Sunday, April 9, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan #7 {April 10, 2017}

Baked Salmon with Roasted Brussels and Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 lb (approx) package fresh salmon fillets (wild caught is preferred but harder to find)
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • dill
  • oil of choice

  • 1 pkg pre-rinsed fresh brussels sprouts
  • 3-4 medium sweet potatoes peeled and diced
  • oil of choice
  • salt and pepper

Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Start with the veggies. (They will cook longer than the fish.) While the oven is heating, peel and dice the sweet potatoes, and halve or quarter the brussels. Place on a sheet pan side-by-side. You can definitely mix them together, but I have one kid who likes the sweet potatoes and one kid who likes the brussels. It just makes it easier to serve them! ;) Drizzle the veggies with about 2 tbsp oil, then season well with salt and pepper. I like to add a little oregano to my sweet potatoes. Roast for about 17  minutes, then turn with a spatula.* (Put salmon in beside the veggies.) Roast again for about 10-15 minutes or until the veggies start to carmelize a little.
* While veggies are roasting the first round, season salmon lightly with all seasonings; go extra light on the dill- it's powerful! (Leave the skin on the one side... it will peel off when done cooking.) Place salmon fillets in a baking dish skin side down. Drizzle lightly with the olive oil. Bake uncovered for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness (put it in during the second roasting of the veggies). You want it opaque, not "clear" in the middle.

Slow Cooker Philly Cheesesteaks
from Dinner Then Dessert

  • 4-5 pounds chuck roast 
  • 2 tablespoons oil 
  • 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup beef broth 
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) condensed French onion soup 
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1/2 cup dark beer (optional)
  • yellow onion sliced into 1/4" slices 
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced 1 inch 
  • green bell pepper sliced into 1/4" slices 
  • 6 hoagie rolls 
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 6 slices Provolone Cheese

Season the chuck roast with the salt and pepper. Heat the 2 tbsp oil in a pan on medium-high. Add the roast and brown, deeply for 4-5 minutes on each side. Place the beef, the beef broth, the french onion soup, Worcestershire sauce, and the beer in the slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8 hours. *Add in the onion, mushrooms, and bell pepper in the last hour of cooking. To serve, toast your hoagie rolls with a bit of butter spread onto the cut sides. With a very sharp knife cut your beef against the grain. Add the cheese, some of the meat and top with the cooked veggies. Reserve some of the broth in the bottom of the slow cooker for dipping!*The veggies will be mush if you start them with the beef. If you won't be home to put them in for the last hour, you can go ahead and have them all chopped up, then quickly, right before serving, saute them with a little oil and salt and pepper. You could even do it in the microwave in a pinch!

Cauliflower Pizzas
from A Healthy Slice of Life

  • ½ head cauliflower (about 2 cups riced)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • small jar pizza sauce (amount used is your preference)
  • food processor or chopper
  • parchment paper
  • toppings of choice (shredded mozzarella, pepperoni, pineapple)
Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees

Wash and trim the cauliflower, then cut off half of the florets. Place them in a food processor. Use the pulse feature until the cauliflower takes the form of rice- small, textured pieces. Transfer the cauliflower “rice” to a nonstick pan. Sauté over medium heat for 6-8 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the mozzarella, garlic, egg, oregano and basil in a large bowl. Once the cauliflower is cooked, add it to the bowl and stir to combine well. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. I highly recommend the parchment paper over a greased baking sheet. I tried both and the greased baking sheet did not turn out well. Press and flatten the “dough” into a 9 inch diameter. It should be about 1/2 inch thick. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.Then the fun part- top it! Get creative! You could add pesto and fresh mozzarella or bbq sauce and cooked chicken. Don’t add too many heavy toppings, though, or the crust won’t hold up well. Broil until the cheese is melted and the pizza looks done. Watch it closely. Let the pizza cool for only a minute or two, then slice and serve warm.

Shrimp Tacos

  • Taco Shells (soft or crunchy corn tortillas are bes, but flour would be OK too.)
  • 1 pound of cooked, deveined, & shelled shrimp – tails off (in freezer seafood section)
  • 1 – 1.5 cups of black bean and corn salsa (I like Newman's Own or Food Club best.)
  • toppings of choice such as diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro, avocado, shredded cheese or queso fresco, shredded Lettuce
  • cooked white rice or packaged Mexican-style rice

Thaw shrimp in fridge the night before cooking. Quick thaw under warm water bath for about an hour.
Roughly chop the shrimp into 1/2 inch pieces.
Place salsa and shrimp in a large zipper bag or sallow baking dish to marinate shrimp for at least 1 hour before cooking.
Heat skillet to medium heat. Add the shrimp/salsa mixture and cook for about 5 minutes until warmed through.
Warm tortillas as directed and top as desire. Serve with Mexican style rice.

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 lb package ground chicken
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup matchstick carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded cabbage
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • For the sauce
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce (found in the Asian section of the grocery store)
  • 1 heaping Tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp freshly chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • Crushed red pepper, to taste
  • Bib or Romaine Lettuce Leaves

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add chicken, garlic, onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, breaking up the chicken until chicken is cooked through. Add the carrots, cabbage, and green onions, cooking an additional 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
In a small bowl combine the sweet chili sauce, ginger, chunky peanut butter, and soy sauce, and crushed red pepper. Stir until smooth. Add to pan along with chopped cilantro. Stir until blended in and heated through. Spoon mixture into lettuce leaves.

Bonus Meal:
Chicken Gyros
  • 1 pkg (1 lb) boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders, cooked any way you'd like (see notes)
  • leaves of romaine lettuce, trimmed
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes* chopped or sliced (see below)
  • 1/4 english seedless cucumber, sliced thin
  • 4-6 fluffy pita breads
EXTRAS: (optional)
  • diced or thinly sliced onion
  • diced or thinly sliced bell pepper
  • sliced kalamata or black olives
  • fresh parsley to garnish
  • extra crumbled feta cheese (I'm guilty of this one! Yum!)
GREEK FETA SAUCE: need your food processor or blender
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 TBSP plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 oz feta cheese (or more)
  • 2 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley (or 1 tsp fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
Adjust seasoning/feta to taste.

Chop, slice, and prep your veggies.
Prep and cook your chicken as desired. (see notes)
Warm pita bread either using the toaster oven, oven, microwave, or a heated skillet.
Lay pita bread flat and layer chicken, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and any additional toppings you'd like to add, then top with a hearty dollop or two of feta sauce.
Wrap and secure with aluminum foil, wrapping it around half the sandwich, burrito-style.
Dig in!

*You can use anything from cherry tomatoes to plum tomatoes to big juicy heirloom tomatoes for this recipe. No need to really measure, add as much as you'd like on your sandwiches.

For the chicken, you can absolutely fire up your grill, roast it in the oven, use up leftovers, or even snag a rotisserie on the way home from work/errands. Literally anything goes.

If you have extra sauce leftover, it's great on everything! Slather it on turkey burgers, sandwiches, and wraps or use it as a tasty salad dressing! Sauce recipe yields approx 3/4 cup.


6 hoagie rolls

taco shells of choice
white rice or pkg Mexican style rice

beef broth
1 can french onion soup
small jar pizza sauce
sweet chili sauce (in Asian section)
crunchy peanut buttersoy sauce

garlic powder
parchment paper

4-5 lbs chuck roast
1 lb bag frozen cooked, peeled, deveined, tail off shrimp
1 pkg ground chicken

1 pkg pre-rinsed fresh brussels sprouts such as Eat Smart Brand
3-4 medium sweet potatoes
2 med yellow onions
8 oz cremini or white mushrooms
1 green bell pepper
1 small head cauliflower
shrimp taco toppings of choice such as diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro, avocado, lettuce
matchstick carrots
green onions
fresh ginger root
whole romaine leaves

sliced provolone cheese
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup dark beer (optional for Phillies) You can buy just one bottle at most grocery stores. You can even get non-alcoholic such as O-Douls.

*** The chicken gyros are not on the shopping list. You will need to add the ingredients if you plan to make them. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan #6 {April 3, 2017}

It's MONDAY! I hate to admit, I kinda like Mondays. It's the day when we get back into our routine, I can start making my lists for the week, and I get to plan out all the rest. It's like a fresh start. As a Christian, Sundays are considered the first day of the week, and I do LOVE Sundays, but in a different way that I like Mondays. But that's another subject for another day...

I am only sharing four meals this week because we have a short week here at our house. Ben and I are going out of town on Friday!!!

So here it is:

Ginger Beef Stir-Fry
from Gimme Some Oven

1/3 cup soy sauce (if making gluten-free, be sure to use GF soy sauce)
1/2 cup vegetable broth (or chicken/beef broth, or water)
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 lb. thinly sliced flank steak or sirloin, cut diagonally across the grain into thin strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces baby portobello or button mushrooms, halved
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, halved
3 cups chopped kale
2 green onions, thinly sliced

2 cups cooked jasmine or white rice or quinoa


Add all marinade ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour marinade into a large bowl or ziplock bag, then add in the steak and gently toss to combine. Cover/seal and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.


Once steak has marinated, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Remove steak from marinade with a slotted spoon, reserving the marinade, and add to saute pan with garlic. Saute for about 2-3 minutes until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove steak with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan.  Then add in the mushrooms, kale, and reserved marinade, and stir to combine. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the kale is wilted, the sauce has thickened and come to a boil, and the mushrooms have cooked, stirring regularly so that sauce does not burn. Add in the steak, and toss to combine.
Serve immediately over rice or quinoa, garnished with chopped green onions.

Crockpot Chicken Verde Tacos
1 large yellow onion
1.5 - 2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or tenders or breasts (amount just depends on how many people you are feeding and if you want leftovers)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1 cup Salsa Verde (I use Trader Joe's brand)
1 large red bell pepper (or use a combination of red and yellow peppers)
tortillas of choice (I love the Ortega whole grain crunchy!)
toppings of choice (I love avocado!)

cooked white or brown rice seasoned with salt, pepper, chili powder, and maybe a little lime juice

Cut the ends off of the onion and then slice into five thick slices. Place in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
Place the chicken thighs on top of the onion. In a small bowl, combine the seasonings and evenly distribute the seasoning mix across the top of the chicken.
Then, evenly spoon the salsa verde over the top of the seasoned chicken.
Slice the red bell pepper into thick slices; discard the seeds and stem. You can either - place the sliced pepper over the salsa and cook with the chicken for very soft pepper slices – or add the sliced peppers during the last hour of cook time to enjoy them al dente.
Cover and cook on high 5-6 hours or on low 7-8 hours.
When chicken is done, use a slotted spoon to move the peppers to the side and carefully remove just the chicken and place it on a large platter. Use two forks to shred the chicken.
Remove the pepper and onion slices and place on a serving plate.
Serve the chicken and veggies with warmed tortillas, or use large Bibb lettuce leaves to make lettuce wraps. Top with your favorite fajita toppings, such as diced tomatoes, guacamole, fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, etc. 

Simple Spaghetti with Side Salad 

spaghetti noodles of choice (We use the Hodgson Mill whole wheat angel hair)
1 jar spaghetti sauce of choice
1/2 -1 lb ground beef or ground mild Italian sausage
shredded Parmesan cheese
bread of choice
salad ingredients of choice (butter lettuce with carrots, tomatoes, and croutons topped with Greek yogurt ranch is our favorite with spaghetti.)

Make salad ahead of time and put in the middle of the table for easy refills. Start browning meat and breaking it up as it cooks. Start noodles while beef is cooking. Cook noodles according to the package directions. Add jar of sauce to the meat after it cooks and warm. Warm the bread in the oven. Drain noodles, then toss with the meat/sauce mixture. Top individual plates/bowls with parmesan. Serve with warm bread and salads.

Smothered Chicken and Snap Peas
adapted from Betty Crocker

cooking oil of choice
1-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts sliced thin (most grocery stores carry pre-thin-sliced breasts)
salt and pepper
garlic powder
dried oregano
dried cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup sliced mushrooms (OPTIONAL) (canned or fresh are fine)
fresh bag pre-rinsed snap peas

Steam the snap peas quickly in a medium bowl in the microwave with a little salt and butter. Reserve.

Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and cayenne if desired. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken for 5-10 minutes on each side (this will depend heavily on the thickness of the chicken). Once it's cooked, but not too brown, top each piece of chicken with as many mushrooms as you can fit, then sprinkle with each of the two types of cheese. Lower the heat, and cover pan with a lid or foil. Let the cheese melt. Serve immediately with the snap peas (reheat if needed).

Shopping List:

  • 1 baguette of choice to pair with spaghetti (We love the garlic oval loaf from Food City.)

  • 1 container sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 oz sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 pkg fresh snap peas
  • 1 bag butter lettuce
  • 1 pkg grape tomatoes
  • 1 pkg shredded carrots (you will not need the entire bag, so if you have regular or baby carrots on-hand already, you can just chop a few of those instead)
  • 1 jar Greek yogurt ranch dressing (This is in the produce section in most grocery stores.)
  • 2 bell peppers (I like 1 red and 1 yellow.)
  • 1 medium-large yellow onion
  • taco toppings of choice such as avocado, tomato, cilantro, lettuce
  • garlic
  • 1 bunch scallions (green onions)
  • 3 cups chopped kale (I like the clamshell containers of baby kale... it's more tender so my kids like it better.)

Dry Goods:
  • 1 pkg spaghetti noodles of choice
  • tortillas of choice (I love the Ortega whole grain crunchy!)
  • jasmine rice (about 1 cup dry)
  • brown or white rice (about 1 cup dry)

  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce/marinara of choice
  • 1 jar salsa verde (green) Herdez brand is my favorite for this recipe.
  • soy sauce
  • vegetable broth (or chicken or beef broth is fine too)

  • cooking oil of choice
  • garlic powder
  • dried oregano
  • cayenne pepper (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika
  • cumin
  • rice wine vinegar
  • cornstarch
  • ground ginger

  • 1-2 lbs thin-sliced chicken breasts
  • 1/2 to 1 lb ground mild italian sausage or ground beef
  • 1 lb thin-sliced flank steak or sirloin (Food City has beef already sliced called "Stir-Fry Steak".)
  • 1-2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, breasts, or tenders (Type and amount depends on your preference and desired amount.)

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar plus a little extra for taco toppings
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • shredded Parmesan cheese or grated
  • sour cream if desired for tacos