Menu Planning may sound like a lot of work, but it's actually one of the laziest things I've ever done. Since I started planning our meals for the week (and eventually the month) I've noticed some improvements in the way we eat and in the way I shop. Knowing what's for dinner not only saves time, it saves money and helps us eat healthier as well.
By planning out the week's meals I can make a more effective list for the grocery store and purchase only those items that we will need for the week. I make fewer impulse and duplicate purchases, and have practically eliminated the mid-week run to the grocery store—not to mention those impromptu take-out nights.
And if you display your menu where the family will see it, you'll never hear the words, "Mom, what's for dinner?" again!
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
1 cup frozen corn
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes (or equivalent amount fresh)
½ tsp salt (or more to taste)
2 tsp cumin
1½ tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced (optional)
½ cup diced bell pepper
½ cup diced chopped onion
2 cups diced cooked chicken (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
Cut squash in half. With a spoon scrape out seeds and stringy membrane. Lightly drizzle cut sides with 1 tbsp olive oil. Place cut side down on baking pan. (I lined mine with non stick foil.) Bake @ 450 degrees for 30 minutes or until done. Let squash cool until it can be handled. Turn squash over and use a fork to shred it into "spaghetti" strands. (Mine yielded 2 1/4 cups.)
Heat large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, peppers, and garlic in remaining oil until vegetables are softened. Add squash and all remaining ingredients except cheese. Bring to simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to desired consistency. Sprinkle with cheese. Simmer covered until cheese is melted.
Monday, June 8, 2015
3/4 T flour
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
3 medium russet potatoes (about 6 ounces each), peeled and sliced thick
Preheat oven to 375°.
Cheese sauce: melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, salt, and pepper; stir constantly with wire wisk for one minute. Add milk stirring constantly until thickened. Add cheese to the milk mixture stirring until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth.
Place half of the potato slices in an 8 x 8 inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Add half the cheese sauce. Add remaining potatoes, top with remaining cheese sauce.
Cover pan with foil and bake at 375° for one hour or until potatoes are tender. Remove foil and place pan under broiler for one to two minutes to brown top if desired.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
1 lb boneless chicken breast or tenders
8 oz jar of salsa
1 cup cheddar, shredded
Preheat oven to 400°. Place chicken in 9x9 glass baking dish; pour salsa over chicken. Cover with foil and bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until chicken is done (165° inner temperature.) Remove from oven, uncover chicken and sprinkle with cheese; return chicken to oven until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve over cooked rice.
Monday, September 29, 2014
1 small onion, cut into strips
1 medium bell pepper, cut into strips
1/4 cup hot water
1 tsp beef crystals (or 1 beef bullion cube)
1/8 tsp garlic powder (more or less to taste)
3 T soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
4 cups hot cooked rice
Place all ingredients except rice in crockpot; stir to blend ingredients. Cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-3 hours. Serve with rice.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup green peppers (I used red), chopped
1 med tomato, seeded and chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp italian season
salt & pepper to taste
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cup instant rice
1 cup water
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
In a large skillet brown ground beef; drain excess fat. Add onion, green pepper, tomato, and spices; cook until onion is translucent. Add tomato sauce and water; bring to a boil. Stir in rice; cover with tight fitting lid and remove from heat; let sit 3 minutes. Top with cheddar; replace lid and let sit additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and liquid is absorbed.
I like to serve this with a salad and garlic toast. Yumm!
For a "Taco Skillet" meal, omit garlic powder and italian seasoning; add 1 packet of low sodium taco seasoning.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
1 (16 ounce) package 15 bean soup (season packet discarded), soaked overnight
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
2 bay leaves
8 cups water
In 5 qt dutch oven combine the beans, onion, celery, carrots, bay leaves, and water. Add ham bone (if there's not much meat on the bone you may want to add some additional diced ham). Cover with tight fitting lid and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer on low for 6 hours.
Add salt after its finished cooking to taste. I didn't need to add any to mine as the ham was quite salty.
Serve with corn muffins or cheddar biscuits.