Monday, September 18, 2017

Meal Plan with Shopping List {Week of September 18, 2017}

Tomato Soup
adapted from gracelaced

This can be made in the Crockpot. Add all ingredients except heavy cream and pesto. Low 4-6 hours. Just add the heavy cream right before serving, and warm for 5-10 more minutes. This also makes a great freezer meal.

1 28 oz. can organic crushed tomatoes
2 cloves fresh garlic minced
olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
jar pesto for serving (optional)
ingredients for grilled cheeses (if desired)

Heat a couple a tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan and saute garlic lightly over medium heat. Add canned tomato and broth with all spices in saucepan. 
Bring to a simmer on med-high heat.
Lower heat to low- med and add cream, stirring until fully incorporated. 
Bring to a light simmer again, stirring constantly. 
Serve warm with a dollop of pesto on top. 
Grilled cheese sandwiches are a perfect pairing with this comfort food.

One Pot Greek Chicken with steamed snap peas
from A Healthy Slice of Life

1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenders
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, finely diced (roughly 1 c)
1 cup long grain white rice
2¼ c chicken broth
1 tsp salt
2 lemons, zested and juiced
2 Tbsp dried oregano
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
½ cup kalamata olives, sliced
parsley (for garnish)
fresh snap peas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Chop all ingredients.
In a large pot (I suggest a dutch oven), heat the 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium high. Add the onion and garlic and saute 2-3 minutes until onions start to become translucent.
Into the same pot, add rice, broth, salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, and kalamata olives. Stir and bring to a boil.
Once it reaches a boil, turn off the heat and add chicken to pot. Cover and place in oven.
Bake for 30 minutes until chicken is cooked through and rice is fluffy.
Plate and garnish with finely chopped parsley and any remaining lemon zest.

While the main dish is in the oven, do a quick-steam in the microwave of your snap peas. Salt lightly and serve alongside the chicken and rice. Yummy!

Simple Fish Tacos with chipotle lime cilantro dressing
from me

cooking oil of choice
1 Tbsp. homemade taco seasoning
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1- 1 1/2 lbs. tilapia
tortilla of choice (I prefer soft yellow corn.)
toppings: avocado, broccoli slaw, chopped baby spinach, diced tomato, salsa, onion, shredded cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt
Place 1 tablespoon taco seasoning, 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal and the fish in a gallon size zippered bag, or bowl with a tight-fitting lid, and shake to coat. Reserve excess cornmeal-seasoning.
Heat oil on medium-high heat.
Place the fish in the pan with the hot oil, and lightly sprinkle the reserved cornmeal and seasoning on top of the fish, then flip it over immediately; sprinkle the other side of the fish lightly.
Cook about 5 minutes on each side (cook time depends on the size of the fillet).
Start to break up the fish as it softens with cooking, and stir to distribute the cornmeal and seasonings a bit more.
Continue to cook until nice and golden, about 5-10 more minutes.
Serve on tortilla of choice with fresh toppings and 
Cilantro-Lime Dressing:

1 chipotle pepper in adobo
1/2 tsp adobo sauce
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 mayonnaise
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
juice of 1 lime
Remove seeds from one chipotle pepper and dice. Add diced pepper and a healthy handful of cilantro and ½ tsp of adobo sauce into a small food processor (or blender), mixing until finely chopped. Add yogurt, mayo, vinegar, small pinch of salt, and juice of 1 lime. If you like it a little spicier add another ½ tsp of adobo sauce.

My Mom's Spinach Lasagna
from my mommy, Edwina

10 oz frozen chopped spinach
16 oz ricotta cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
8 oz shredded or fresh mozzarella cheese (1/4 cup reserved)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 egg
1 jar marinara sauce of choice
8 oz regular or whole wheat lasagna noodles (oven ready are fine, just don't pre-boil them.)
garlic loaf of choice

Preheat oven to 350F.
Cook noodles according to directions (unless using oven-ready).
Thaw spinach in microwave and drain.
In a mixing bowl combine the cheeses (ONLY 1/4 cup of mozzarella), spinach, egg, salt and pepper and garlic powder.
Spray a 9x13" casserole. 
Spread a layer of marinara in bottom of casserole.
Next spread a layer of the cheese/spinach mixture.
Sprinkle with mozzarella.
Layer about 4 noodles over the mozzarella.
Repeat layers until all is used. Try to end with a layer of mozzarella on top.
Bake for 45  minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Hot garlic bread is amazing with this!


bread for grilled cheeses (if making)
garlic bread (for lasagna)

8 oz lasagna noodles of choice
taco shells of choice (I prefer soft corn for fish tacos.)
white rice

garlic powder
cooking oil of choice
white wine vinegar
corn meal
taco seasoning (homemade or packet)
dried basil

1 jar marinara of choice
jar chipotle peppers in adobo (in Mexican food section)
sundried tomatoes
kalamata olives
1 qt chicken broth
28 oz can crushed tomatoes (organic preferred)
pesto (if desired)

bunch cilantro
1 lime
snap peas
2 lemons
1 small onion

1 lb tilapia filets (or mild fish of choice)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenders

10 oz frozen chopped spinach

shredded parmesan cheese
shredded or fresh mozzarella
16 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup plain yogurt
feta cheese
heavy cream
butter (if making grilled cheeses)
sliced cheese of choice (if making grilled cheeses)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Meal Plan with Shopping List {Week of September 11, 2017}

Menu Plan Monday Guidelines

Mexican Pizzas
4 large soft flour tortillas
1 cup salsa
1/2- 1 lb Ground beef
Shredded cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese
1 can refried beans
Taco seasonings (packet or homemade)
Green onions, diced

Heat oven to 350°. Cook and crumble the ground beef, add the seasoning when almost done browning. Lay out two of the tortillas and spread each with about half of the can of refried beans. Top with the ground beef and sprinkle some cheese over the ground beef (your preference). Top each one with another tortilla. Spread desired amount of salsa over the top of the tortilla and sprinkle with more cheese. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. You may have to broil lightly for a couple of minutes to brown the cheese. Top with chopped green onions and/or diced jalapeƱos if you like some extra heat!

Broccoli Cheese Soup
from Peas and Crayons

Watch the video of me making this recipe here.

one bunch of fresh broccoli (about 2 cups when florets are cut off)
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping
1 heaping cup of regular gouda cheese, freshly grated
1 cup of shredded or diced carrots
1 small white onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup half and half or heavy cream, room temperature
3 TBSP all purpose flour
3 TBSP butter
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp salt will vary based on salt content of your stock/broth
a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cut all the florets off the broccoli stems. You can save some of the stems and chop them up if you want a little texture in your soup. Dice the onions super small, mince the garlic, and shred/dice the carrots if you didn't buy pre-shredded. This can all be done ahead of time and stored in the fridge for later.
Add your veggie/chicken broth to a pot on medium-high heat, add broccoli, onion, garlic, carrots, and bay leaf. Simmer on medium, covered, for about 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
Once the broth is done, start your roux: In a large pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter on medium heat, whisking constantly. Once melted, slowly add 3 tablespoons of flour as you continue to whisk.
For a thicker soup, use an extra tablespoon of each. Remove from heat and slowly pour in the broth from your veggie mixture [its okay if some of the veggies jump in along side it!] and stir to incorporate.
Next pour in the veggies and slowly stir in 1 cup of room temperature half and half.
Return to the burner on very low heat, uncovered.
Spoon out the bay leaf and season with the above herbs and spices, adding a little extra of whichever you like to taste. I personally adore the pinch of nutmeg in this soup but feel free to leave it out if it's just not your cup of tea! The soup is great both ways! Depending on the saltiness of your broth, you might skip the salt entirely or prefer to add a bit more. Taste and tweak as needed after adding your cheese.
Oh yes: the cheese! Once the soup has warmed back up, stir in the grated cheeses [slowly and in small batches] and remove from heat immediately. I won't tell if you sneak extra cheese in your soup.

Garnish with a little extra grated cheddar and a sprinkle of parsley and even a pinch of spicy red pepper flakes if you'd like! Anything goes!

Chicken Pot Pie
from me (April of Fruitful Family)

This recipe is for one 9x13 casserole. I doubled it and froze one before baking.

For the biscuit topping
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
For the filling
  • 1 lb. cooked and shredded chicken breasts
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 cans unsalted mixed vegetables (or small bag frozen), (or fresh chopped and blanched veggies)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • Homemade condensed cream of chicken "soup" (recipe below) or two small cans of cream of chicken soup
Condensed Cream of Chicken "Soup"
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp. celery seed (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp. dried thyme
Poach the chicken by bring it to a boil, then simmering for 15-20 minutes.
While the chicken is simmering, get your creamy "soup" going:

Add chicken stock to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and flour until the flour is dissolved.
Slowly pour the milk mixture into the boiling chicken stock, whisking to combine. Whisk in remaining seasonings. Reduce heat to medium, and bring the mixture back to a very low boil, stirring constantly so that the bottom of the pan does not burn. Let the mixture boil for about 3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Set aside until ready to use.
Once the chicken is cooked through, let cool slightly, then shred to desired texture. (I use my paddle attachment in my stand mixer to shred the chicken- it's amazing!

If you plan to cook the pie immediately, go ahead and pre-heat your oven to 350°F.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the shredded chicken, homemade soup, diced onion, and veggies. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour mixture into a 9x13" casserole.
Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese on top of the chicken mixture. Rinse out the mixing bowl to use for biscuit dough.

Make the biscuit topping:
In the mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the melted butter and milk just until combined.
Pour the biscuit dough evenly along the center of the chicken mixture and shredded cheese. Use a spatula to spread the dough evenly over the entire pie.

To freeze for later, wrap thoroughly in foil, and freeze.
Thaw in refrigerator the night BEFORE you plan to bake the pot pie.
Bake at 350°F for 1 hour.

Veggie Beef Soup (Crockpot or Stovetop)
also from me

1 lb bag frozen mixed veggies
1 can condensed tomato soup
2 cans diced tomatoes (no salt added)
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 cups beef broth
salt and pepper
1 package onion soup mix (OR homemade recipe below)

recipe for homemade onion soup mix:
⅔ cup dried, minced onion
3 teaspoons parsley flakes
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon ground pepper
You will not use all of this mix in the recipe, so you'll have extra for the next time you need it.

Brown the ground beef in a skillet. Drain any excess fat. Put all remaining ingredients using only 3-4 tbsp of homemade onion soup mix OR 1 package onion soup mix into the Crock Pot. 
Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours. If you need to cook it in a hurry, brown the ground beef in a large soup pot, drain any excess fat, then add all other ingredients to the pot. Bring it to a boil, then simmer on low for 30 minutes. Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches for comfort food at its best!


baguette to dip in the broccoli cheese soup
bread for grilled cheese sandwiches (if desired with veggie soup)

large soft flour tortillas (burrito sized)

taco seasoning packet or homemade blend of chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and coriander
all-purpose flour
baking powder
onion soup mix if not making homemade
needs for homemade soup mix:
⅔ cup dried, minced onion
3 teaspoons parsley flakes
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon ground pepper
For homemade cream of chicken:
garlic powder
celery seed

small can refried beans
vegetable or chicken broth 
beef broth
2 small cans unsalted mixed veggies if not using fresh or frozen
12 0z more of chicken broth if making homemade cream of chicken soup
2 cans cream of chicken soup if NOT making homemade
1 can tomato soup
2 cans diced tomatoes (no salt added is best)

2 lbs ground beef (for 2 recipes)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts ( or 2 lbs if doubling recipe)

green onions
carrots (1 cup)
1 bunch or bag of broccoli
1 large white onion, halved for 2 recipes
any veggies desired for pot pie if not using canned or frozen

sliced cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches (if making)
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz gouda cheese (usually found in specialty cheese aisle)
half and half or heavy cream (1 cup)

1 bag(approx 16 oz)  mixed veggies for veggie beef soup