Meal Planning. Hum.
Some of us figure out what we are eating for dinner at 5:00 pm. Some of us figure out what we are eating 5:00 am….. a week ago. Some of us figure it out that day. Some of us figure it out while we are in the store. Some of us figure it out when we look in the fridge to see what there is. Some of us figure it out the day before.
Whenever you “figure it out” is fine, it probably works for you! If someone would make me figure out dinner at 5 pm, THAT . same. day, I would probably stand there like a dip with my chin on the floor. NOT knowing what to do.
I thought it might be fun to share a menu plan and a grocery list. Maybe it will help you on a BUSY week. I know it will help me! Let me know if you like this or not, then I know better if I should do it again! THANKS!!
Some notes as to how this will flow.
- I am not going to assume you will follow this “plan” exactly, we all cook our own ways, I just thought it might be fun. Feel free to sub in your families favorite meal in place of one of these.
- I plan (usually) 5 meals per week. That leaves room for a leftover night and a “hey honey can we have____?” night. Should they arise. If there are no leftovers or no requests, then I have a file of stand by recipes in my mind. (Ex. ~ box o’ noodles and jarred sauce or eggs and toast. 😉 )
- If you have a busy day, then meal planning allows you to prep dinner for the busy day on a less busy day. Usually there is some aspect to every meal (if not all of it) that you can do a day or two ahead. I am including a grocery list. Just in case that is helpful.
- I am really not good at the “serving” amounts. I make one batch (unless marked otherwise) of each of these recipes for my family, this will usually leave us with some leftovers.
- I will label this as “March” because I cook differently as per season.
The “extras” ~ cause we all NEED ’em!
* Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies ~ we all need a sweet!
* “Buttermilk” Pancakes.
* Lunch Box Sandwich Rolls ~ recipe below.
Dinner # 1.
* Slow Cooked Chicken Caesar Sandwiches. (I double this recipe for my family.)
* Olive Floret Salad.
Dinner # 2.
* Crock Pot Lasagna ~ recipe below.
* Strawberry Lettuce Salad.
* Garlic Toast ~ recipe below.
Dinner # 3.
* Bacon Cheese Topped Chicken.
* Butter Baked Rice.
* Vegetable side of YOUR choice!
Dinner # 4.
*Ranch Pork Chops.
*Mashed Potatoes (however your family enjoys them!)
* Kid’s Favorite Green Beans.
Dinner # 5.
* PIZZA!!! (Feel free to use your family’s favorite!!!)
Some New Recipes!!
Crock Pot Lasagna
Crock Pot Lasagna
Grab the recipe here. It is really easy. Really good. (Feel free to “doctor” up the jarred sauce a bit ~ if that is your thing. I also added some onions and green pepper to the beef.) (This recipe seems flexible enough to add the things your family enjoys ~ ex. spinach, meat free, homemade sauce. Just be sure there is enough liquid to cook the noodles!!) Thanks Mandi for a yummy recipe!
I am sure you have all already been making this your whole life. BUT just. in case. it is new to you, here is the recipe!!!
* You can use really any bread ~ french bread, sandwich bread, hot dog/hamburger buns, bagels, english muffins, and on and on!!!
* You can top with Italian Seasoning and/or mozzarella cheese as well! You REALLY cannot go wrong!
* This Garlic Toast is fantastic served with Italian dishes or soup.
bread of choice
Spread your bread on one side liberally with butter, sprinkle with garlic powder and top with some Parmesan cheese. Broil till browned. Serve. Enjoy!
Lunch Box Pinwheels
Another recipe that you can make your “own”!! Add whatever meats, cheeses and spices that your kids will enjoy! I usually try to keep it simple, so as not to scare them!! You can also include a dipper ~ such as Ranch Dressing or Pizza Sauce.
Yields 12 Pinwheels.
Lunch Box Pinwheels
1/2 c. warm milk
1/4 c. warm water
1/8 c. olive oil
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. wheat flour
1 TB. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. yeast
1/2 lb. deli ham
2 c. cheese (I use a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella)
sprinkle of oregano.
sprinkle of Italian seasoning
Prepare the dough, I like to use my bread machine. Or use your mixer or knead by hand. To mix by hand ~ Combine the warm milk and water, add the yeast. Let set for 5 minutes. Add the oil, salt, sugar, and 1 c. flour. Mix. Add the rest of the flours and knead for 6-8 minutes. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
When dough is done, roll it into a rectangle (about 12″ x 14″ or so). Spread the cheese, then top with ham and sprinkle with oregano. Roll up (like cinnamon rolls) ~ cut into 1″ slices and place (cut side down) on a greased cookie sheet.
Cover (I use plastic wrap that I sprayed with cooking spray) ~ let rise for 30-40 minutes. Till doubled. Bake @ 375° for about 15-18 minutes. Either serve right away or cool to pack in lunches.
I have listed everything, (hopefully) down to the salt and pepper. I am sure you have a lot of this stuff already ~ so your list should not be THIS long!!!
(If there is not an amount listed behind the ingredient, then the amount needed is not more than a few tsp’s or TB’s.)
yeast (1 1/2 tsp.)
brown sugar (1 c.)
white sugar (about 1 3/4 c.)
cream of tartar
flour (about 8 c.)
wheat flour (1/2 c.)
corn meal (3 TB.)
vegetable oil (about 1 1/2 c.)
olive oil (about 1/4 c.)
peanut butter (1/4 c.)
shortening (butter or regular ~ 3/4 c.)
chocolate chips (about 1 c.)
Peanut Butter chips ~ found by chocolate chips (about 1 c.)
red wine vinegar (2 TB.)
black olives (about 1/2 c.)
Italian Dressing (1 c.)
1 env. dry Italian Dressing Mix
1 env. dry Ranch Dressing Mix
Caesar Dressing (1-2 c.)
Dijon mustard (1/2 c.)
honey (1/2 c.)
parsley (dried is fine)
Ramon Noodles ( 1 pkg.)
walnuts (1 c.)
long grain rice (1 c.)
1 can chicken broth (or 2 bouillon cubes+ 1 3/4 c. water)
1 can cream soup
pizza sauce (amount depending on how much sauce you like, I would grab 2 cans ~ the 15 oz. size)
1 lb. box of bow tie pasta
2 jars of spaghetti sauce
1/2 c. white wine (or 1/2 c. chicken broth)
lemon juice (1/2 tsp.)
milk ( just over 2 c.)
1 lb. butter
cottage cheese (1 large container)
Feta cheese (1 c.)
Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 c.)
5-6 c. mozzarella cheese
2 c. cheddar cheese
8 chicken breasts
1/2 lb. deli ham
1 lb. Italian Sausage
1 lb. ground beef (or turkey or chicken)
4 pork chops
bacon (8 strips)
bread needed for Garlic Toast, any kind
head of cauliflower
head of broccoli
2 c. cherry tomatoes
2 med. carrots
8 c. ice burg lettuce
1/2 c. green onions
2 c. mushrooms
1 head of garlic
(veggies for pizza, opt.)
(vegetable side dish, your choice)
(potatoes for your kinda mashed potatoes)