Posts Tagged ‘30-day-meals’

Menu Plan Monday 5/17/10-5/23/10

Linking up with again for menu planning! Wow, this becomes a habit quickly… it’s a good habit to have though! And we have tons of chicken in the freezer still so it is easy to plan menus! ūüôā ¬†Stocking up on plenty of fresh fruit and yogurt for snacks this week too — I’m so glad it is summer and fresh fruit and vegetables are starting to be in season!

I’ve been looking for (even more) ways to save on groceries… and yet I came across this link (on a government site!)¬†stating that for my family of 3 we should be spending $128/week to eat healthily. ¬†Um… we spend less than 1/2 of that a week and while it definitely takes some thought and careful planning, I think we eat fairly well. ¬†We spent just under $70 at the store this week and I thought that was a pretty bad grocery week ($10 of that was for 5 pounds of ground beef which will probably last us over a month… we are only using 1 pound this week, and another $4 was for vitamins for the little guy who is much better at remembering to take them than I am… maybe I should buy gummy vitamins for myself!)

Since I’ve never mentioned it, we tend to do cereal, oatmeal or eggs for breakfast (though with all that fruit and yogurt around I think I’ll try to make some smoothies this week). ¬†For lunch, we usually do leftovers, sandwiches, or salad (for me, at least… the 4 year old would eat PBJ for lunch every day if I’d let him.)

Lots of new recipes this week; I hope they are good!

Recipe update from last week — the egg drop soup was great and I finally made that Parmesan Arborio rice pilaf (which was great as well).

Monday 5/17 — Shredded Chicken Taco Salad/soft tacos for the boys;¬†book club for me! ūüôā

Tuesday 5/18 — Stroganoff Style Chicken with green peas

Wednesday 5/18/10 — Sloppy Joes and¬†Baked French Fries for the boys;¬†¬†Girls Night Out for me (taking baked beans)! ūüôā

Thursday 5/19/10 — Leftover Buffet

Friday 5/20/10 — ¬†Breakfast for dinner: Eggs, bacon and¬†Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole with fresh fruit

Saturday 5/21/10 — Pork chops, green beans, cooked apples, leftover hashbrown casserole

Sunday 5/22/10 — Chicken¬†Mozzarella¬†Spaghetti (made Saturday and reheated…) or leftovers if we have enough

My Tip of the Week: Look for ways to use up¬†ingredients¬†you already have on hand. ¬†We used some green onion in the egg drop soup but nowhere near a bunch of it… I decided to make this Balsamic Roasted Red Potatoes recipe yesterday instead of the mashed potatoes I’d planned to make… used up some more green onions and found another great recipe!

20 Ingredients to Make 10 Meals

So, I had a reader say I should start an organizational blog… and after I stopped laughing (because I’ve never thought of myself as particularly organized)… ¬†I realized that I have learned quite a bit about household management over the past 15 years or so… mostly in the cooking/saving money departments rather than the cleaning department. ¬†ūüôā¬†¬†I started thinking of items that I try to keep on hand for last minute meals and this is what I came up with! ¬†If we are out of most of these ingredients, we desperately need to go to the store! ¬†Some of these, I’d usually dress up a little more, but basic is good when the pantry is getting close to empty. ¬†I’m assuming most people keep salt and pepper on hand and not including those…

20 Basic ingredients I keep on hand (there are more, these are just 20)


  • Rice
  • Dry pasta
  • Spaghetti sauce (well, I usually keep canned tomatoes, fresh garlic, dried oregano and dried basil but jarred sauce is easier!)
  • Onions (you can dice and freeze if you need too)
  • Potatoes
  • Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • Olive Oil
  • Chicken Broth
  • Sandwich Bread (can freeze if needed)… also peanut butter for sandwiches, but I don’t use it for any meals below.
  • Teriyaki or Soy Sauce
  • Cream of Chicken Soup


  • Eggs
  • Butter or margarine
  • Milk
  • Parmesan Cheese (fresh lasts a while, but grated is fine too!)
  • Cheddar cheese (shredded or block… block will last longer)


  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (bought in bulk and frozen in 1-pound portions)
  • Frozen stirfry mix
  • Frozen grean beans or corn
  • Peppers (buy fresh, slice and freeze)

Meals you can make with these 20 ingredients… just options!

  • Spaghetti with Garlic Bread (Cook dry pasta, Add onion/pepper/parm cheese to jarred spaghetti sauce, add butter and parm cheese to sandwich bread and bake)
  • Parmesan Chicken (serve over spaghetti or with parmesan roasted potatoes and green beans)
  • Chicken Stirfry (chicken, rice, frozen stirfry mix, teriyaki sauce)
  • Homemade Chicken nuggets (dip chicken chunks in milk or egg, then roll in bread crumb/parmesan cheese mixture and bake) and oven baked fries
  • Pasta with butter and parmesan cheese (and garlic if you have it!)
  • Baked Chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans
  • Combine chicken and cream of chicken soup in a skillet and serve over rice ¬†(similar to¬†this recipe)¬†with green beans
  • Teriyaki Chicken Kebabs over rice (chicken, teriyaki sauce, onion, pepper, rice)
  • Breakfast for dinner:
    • Cheese, red pepper & onion omelet with potato pancakes (add an egg to leftover mashed potatoes and fry)
    • French toast (um… I guess without syrup…)
    • Eggs and toast or egg & cheese sandwich on toast with breakfast potatoes (diced potato, onion, pepper, oil)

Or add a few more ingredients and you can make these! ¬†I found a few of these searching for recipes today so it’s pretty likely you’ll see them again.

  • Chicken fajitas (add tortillas and fajita seasoning),
  • Campbell’s Chicken and Rice Bake (add paprika and cream of mushroom soup)
  • Shredded chicken soft tacos (add Rotel to chicken breasts, cook in crockpot and shred, serve in tortillas with cheese)
  • Chicken noodle soup (add carrots and celery)
  • Quiche (add pie crust and half&half or cream)
  • Easy Skillet Chicken a la King (add pimentos, mushrooms, and onion powder)
  • Baked Mozarella Chicken Spaghetti (add mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and yogurt)
  • Super Easy Breakfast Casserole (add sausage and evaporated milk)
  • Baked Paprika-Parmesan Chicken (add paprika and flour)
  • Broccoli-Cheese Baked Potatoes (add fresh broccoli)

Menu Plan Monday 5/10/10-5/16/10

Super simple week… ūüôā ¬†Linking up with’s Menu Plan Monday Linky… visit there to see even more menus!

Monday 5/10: Spaghetti with Mushrooms & Breadsticks
Tuesday 5/11: Baked Potato Bar (Broccoli & Cheese or Loaded Potatoes)
Wednesday 5/12: Leftover chicken and dumplings and green beans from last week
Thursday 5/13: Egg Drop Soup, Chicken Stirfry (using the marinade from this… and I’m using the entire recipe next time!)
Friday 5/14: Baseball Game or Hot Dogs/Baked Beans
Saturday 5/15: Grilled Chicken, Parmesan Black Pepper Arborio Rice Pilaf, Green Beans
Sunday 5/16: Parmesan Turkey Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Corn

Monday Meal Planning 5/3/10-5/9/10

Update on last week — we ended up not having the risotto because I had some potatoes that needed to be used instead. ¬†I”ll definitely try it soon though. ¬†Instead of breakfast for dinner, we ended up having this quiche one night… and we went to McDonald’s on a night. ¬†Spending $12 for supper for 3 at McDonalds is much cheaper than going out to eat at a non fast food restaurant a couple of nights a week (as we have been known to do in the past), so I say we are still making progress.

This month may be a challenge. ¬†This is the month that… after cutting back on eating out and everything else I can think of… we are actually going to *follow* the budget that I’ve been creating for the last few months. ¬†That means going to the store once a week, using cash, shopping sales even more, eating out maybe once in a month.

Monday 5/3/10: Hot dogs on the grill (charcoal or Foreman depends on the weather!), baked beans

Tuesday 5/4/10: Homemade pizza (pepperoni, onion, olive so far!) using this pizza sauce, breadsticks, salad

Wednesday 5/5/10:  Black bean and corn quesadillas, tortilla chips with salsa & guacamole

Thursday 5/6/10: Grilled chicken, green beans, corn on the cob

Friday 5/7/10: Parmesan Turkey Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green peas

Saturday 5/8/10: pasta salad (from Aldi’s) for lunch; leftovers for supper

Sunday 5/9/10: Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings for lunch; spaghetti for supper

Monday Menu Planning 4/26/10-5/2/10

I have to say that the Shrimp Alfredo (over angel hair instead of penne) from yesterday was great! ¬†I also experimented with the bread machine last week and my husband loved the Yummy Dinner Rolls from Monday. ¬†Here’s this week’s plan:

Monday 4/26 Taco Salad (trying out this taco seasoning instead of the pre-packaged processed one) with Southwest Salad

Tuesday 4/27 Breakfast for dinner (based on what we have in the refrigerator right now, that is bacon and cheese omelets with biscuits)

Wednesday 4/28 Country Supper ¬†(smoked sausage, sliced potatoes, onions, carrots, celery browned together in an electric skillet with a bit of olive oil… no it isn’t the greatest for you, but it sure tastes good!)

Thursday 4/29 TBD meat on the grill, red potatoes, green salad

Friday 4/30  Leftovers (just me & the 4-year-old at home)

Saturday 5/1 Shrimp Scampi, Parmesan-Black Pepper Arborio Rice Pilaf, Broccoli (debating if this rice pilaf will go well with shrimp… any input?)

Sunday 5/2  Dollar Sunday at church for lunch; Small Groups/Holy Ground for supper

Poppyseed Chicken

I am apparently being prolific with “P” posts today… if you are looking for my actual “P” post from the A-Z challenge, you can read it here.

By request, here is my poppyseed chicken recipe. ¬†Ok, it isn’t really mine because I got it from someone else. ¬†If that person was you, feel free to stake your claim in the comments. ¬† ūüôā ¬†(Okay, now you can thank Carmen and Southern Living for the great recipe… and don’t hate them if you don’t like mushrooms, I think the original recipe called for cream of chicken soup)

Poppyseed Chicken


3 cups Chopped, cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken is quick & easy to use!)
1 can Cream of mushroom soup (10 3/4 oz.), undiluted (or cream of chicken if you just can’t stand mushrooms)
16 oz. Sour cream
3 tsp Poppy seeds
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, coarsely crushed
1/4 cup Butter


  1. Combine first 4 ingredients. Spoon mixture into lightly greased 11×7 inch baking dish.
  2. Stir together cracker crumbs and melted butter; sprinkle evenly over casserole.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Monday Menu Planning 4/19/10-4/25/10

This week’s focus is seeing how much I can stretch 3 pounds of chicken breasts… ūüôā

Monday:  Bacon Jack Chicken, Creamed Corn, Green Beans

Tuesday: Citrus Cilantro Tilapia, Crash Hot Potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, and leftover Green Beans — I got a free citrus cilantro mix from Homemade Gourmet, so I’m trying it out! ¬†Grilling tilapia and the chicken breasts for the rest of the week since both recipes call for cooked chicken ¬†(Updated to say this was great!) And… Yummy Dinner Rolls!

Wednesday: Poppyseed Chicken and carrots

Thursday: Chicken Stirfry — chicken, brown rice, frozen stirfry mix leftovers? Just did prep for poppyseed chicken and we’re now out of chicken! Plenty of fish left though so guess we’ll do two nights of leftovers…

Friday:¬†leftovers… or something

Saturday: Hamburgers

Sunday: Alfredo Sauce with penne pasta… maybe some shrimp? Yum!

Joy (of cooking) and other J’s.

Throwing everything in one blog post today… usual weekly menu planning and what else is going on this week. This is shaping up to be a busy week so I may have some hurried blog posts!

I was thinking last week when I wrote the Homemaking post that one thing I do enjoy about “housekeeping” is cooking. ¬†I was not at all a cook when I first got married and definitely relied on the newest Joy of Cooking to learn some basics. ¬†I have grown to love to cook, though I am no gourmet. ¬†One thing that I enjoy most about being a SAHM is having more time to cook and being able to make a variety of recipes. ¬†It seemed like when I was working full time I was always either throwing something together that could cook in a few minutes or using the crockpot. ¬†I still do those now too, but it is nice to have the option to cook something that takes a little more prep time. ¬†And I have more time to look for new recipes! ūüôā ¬†I am really trying to do better at eating healthier too so I am enjoying looking for different recipes for that. ¬†This week I am trying to focus on other areas of homemaking (such as clearing out a lot of junk!) so the menu is pretty simple.

I was blessed to have a friend come over this morning and help me clean out some junk. ¬†She has a little boy just a bit younger than mine so we got to experience another “j” word — jealousy — when the boys had a tough time sharing today. ¬†Thanks to her, my living room looks a little brighter and more organized so now it is time to turn to the other hurdle of the week… finishing taxes! ¬†(I’m jealous of everyone who is already finished… I never leave taxes this late but it has been a strange tax year for us!)

As for the menu… here it is! ¬†Heading out of town for the weekend so I’m only planning meals for Monday-Thursday. Add a day of leftovers in there and that’s only three days of cooking for the week! ūüôā



  • Blackened Tilapia — new recipe for us, I’m still figuring out cooking fish!
  • Green Beans
  • Roasted potatoes


  • Tortellini with Homemade Pasta Sauce w/Ground Beef
  • Salad


  • Leftovers… if there aren’t any I’ll figure something out!

Bonuses (apparently I’m cooking for lots of other people this week too:

  • Poppyseed Chicken (for a MOPS potluck on Wednesday)
  • No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie (for a book club meeting tonight!)

I’ve been trying to post recipes on here but am going to take the time right now to get back to those taxes… I’ll post them later if anyone is interested. ūüôā ¬†Looking forward to looking at some of the other A-to-Z participants blog posts later tonight as well.

Monday Menu Planning 4/5/10-4/11/10

Update on last week — we did really well… the only meal I planned and didn’t cook was meatloaf and we used that meat for hamburgers over the weekend and the green beans I’d cooked to go with it for green bean casserole for Easter! Went out to eat once over the weekend which we are trying to avoid… but overall we’re doing better than we used to!

Looking to this week… the high for tomorrow is 84 degrees… I’m a little scared of what August will be like! So… assuming it doesn’t rain… tomorrow sounds like a great day for cooking OUTSIDE! No good sales at the store and lots of chicken in the freezer, so here’s the plan so far:


  • Grilled Chicken
  • Potatoes of some sort (we have potato salad in the refrigerator, instant in the pantry and actual potatoes on hand too… so I’ll see what I feel like then)
  • Green Bean Casserole (from Easter)


  • Chicken Kebabs (we just did that 2 weeks ago but they are so easy! ¬†Tuesday night is busy so we’ll probably grill Monday and just reheat) — chicken, onion, peppers, mushrooms
  • Brown Rice
  • Grilled Pineapple


  • Spaghetti with leftover sauce from last week
  • Quick Eggplant Parmesan (update: ¬†this was a new recipe for us and really good!)
  • Garlic bread (otherwise known as leftover dinner rolls brushed with garlic butter) ūüôā


  • Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
  • Black Beans


  • breakfast for dinner… either waffles or Easy Breakfast Casserole
  • fruit


  • Probably a leftovers day… I’ll see later in the week


  • Crockpot Chicken & Dumplings (with baby carrots added in) ¬†— love this recipe because I can put on to cook when I get up and it is ready when we get home from church!
  • Green Beans

Southwest Salad

Yields about 8 1/2-cup servings.  Great by itself or as a dip for tortilla chips or topping for taco salad.


1 15 oz can Whole kernel yellow corn, drained
1 15 oz can Black beans, drained and rinsed
1 10 oz can Tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel), DO NOT DRAIN
1 medium Avocado, diced (the salad is good without it too!)
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp Table salt
3 Tbsp Lemon juice, canned or bottled (Lime juice works as well)


Mix all ingredients except lemon juice. Add lemon juice to taste (I like about 1 Tbsp). Mix and serve!