Weekly Menu: What I’m Cooking the Week Before Christmas

I used to share our weekly menus a lot more often. And then the world jumped on the Paleo bandwagon and I kind of shrunk away from those posts. So here’s the deal: I have always been an everything in moderation, no strict dietary requirements (other than those that are required due to allergies) type of family cook. I find the new diets very interesting and worth researching, I’m tempted to try the Whole 30 challenge this spring when the baby is born, but generally, I believe moderation is the key. We strive as a family to eat healthy, home cooked meals. That does not mean that I never feed my children processed foods. That does not mean that during a really busy week it’s not Tortilla Chili made out of 10 cans in a crockpot. We try to eat lean meats, I try to make fish – normally salmon since my kids will eat it – at least once a week, and pasta is usually only a once a week thing (not this week, you’ll see shortly). Generally I make sure that we have fruit with breakfast (usually bananas),  fruit as part of our morning snack (clementines, pears, whatever is on sale/ in season at the store that week), a fruit and veggie (usually apples and carrots) on our lunch plates, and a veggie with dinner (usually a routine side salad, honestly) to get our 5 servings for the day – but it doesn’t always happen. But anyway, all this is a very long justification for saying, if you like ideas for what other people feed their families or are in a recipe slump, read on to see what I’m making this week (no original recipes – all link out to my sources).

 

During the holidays, it can get really easy to have no dinner planned, not want to think about food on top of all the things you have on your schedule, and too easy to run to the store for a frozen pizza for dinner (nothing wrong with that…but when it becomes a multiple night a week habit, then I know I need to get back on the meal planning bandwagon). The Girl Who Ate Everything is my go-to for easy, family friendly meals, and so the majority of this week’s menu comes from her site.

 

Sunday: Leftover Night – I pull everything we didn’t quite finish the previous week out of the fridge and it’s a free-for-all. Sometimes we do leftover night’s twice a week, but I’ve been relying heavily on leftovers the last few weeks so planned out meals for all but Sunday this week.

Monday: Baked Salmon with Rice Pilaf and Broccoli – sometimes I spread a little adobo sauce on the salmon for a spicy flair, sometimes we go lemon and rosemary, sometimes soy sauce. This week it’s chipotle salmon for me and B, I leave the adobo sauce off the kids’ portions since it’s too spicy for them.

Tuesday: Taco Pasta with green beans

Wednesday: Asian Turkey Meatballs on Rice with salad on the side

Thursday: Crock Pot Lasagna with Baked Zucchini Spears

Friday: Party Night

Saturday: Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

 

So that’s what we’re eating this week…what about you?

Lenten Menu Planning (Meatless Meals)

Lent begins on Wednesday, which means meatless Fridays for the next 7 weeks in our Catholic family. I try to prepare meatless dinners year-round, but don’t think about it very carefully for lunch. So for Lent, I require extra planning…and will actually make Mr. B a lunch on Fridays because he specifically requested my help reminding him not to eat meat on Fridays this year. 

Breakfast:
We don’t usually eat meat at breakfast, so I don’t see this one being a big deal, but we’ll opt for:
Spinach Smoothies
Oatmeal
Toast or Bagels 

Lunches:
Salads (my favorites are Spring Greens topped with Cottage Cheese, Red Bell Pepper, Red Onion, Avocado and Red Wine Vinegar…yum!)
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Almond Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

And on the plan for this year’s Lenten Dinners:


Baked Maple Salmon
Pesto Pasta
Clam Pizza Night
Shrimp Scampi
Chuck’s Favorite Mac & Cheese
Lemon and Butter Tilapia

Other Options for Meatless Meals:
  • Pizza Night’s always a favorite. Our very favorite is a Mediterranean Homemade Pizza: Pesto, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, roma tomatoes, oregano and mozzarella. 
  • Salmon Salad
  • Meatless Spaghetti, Garlic Bread and Caesar Salad
  • Any spinach or vegetarian Ravioli or Lasagna
Any other favorite meatless meals you want to share? I’m always on the lookout for new options – Lent or not.



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Meal Planning (and a Shrimp Scampi Recipe)

Since there was so much interest in our $250 a month grocery budget, I thought I’d share my meal plan for this week.  You can check out my personal grocery shopping rules here and my meal planning technique and last week’s meal plan here

Wednesday – Leftovers

Thursday – Chicken Pot Pie

Friday -Spinach Lasagna (new recipe, I’m giving Lasagna another go)

Saturday – Leftovers

Sunday – Shrimp Scampi (shrimp is on sale this week).  I use a recipe from the Joy of Cooking that I love because it calls for ZERO butter.  And because it’s delish.  Here it is:

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice

In a big skillet heat olive oil and cook garlic over very low heat until garlic is golden – 10 minutes.  Don’t skimp on the time here, it’s important.  Toss your shrimpys in the skillet and cook until they are pink on the bottom, turn over and add parsley.  Cook about 5 minutes.  Serve over rice pilaf or pasta and top with lemon juice.

Monday – Leftovers

Tuesday -  Homemade Chicken Fingers and sweet potato fries

So that’s what we’ll be eating over the next week.  The spinach lasagna’s a new recipe, everything else is tried, tested and Mr. B approved.  Is this something you guys want me to post every Wednesday for a couple weeks, or are two weeks worth of meals enough to give you an idea of what we do? Thoughts?