Meal Plan Monday: Making Life Easier for You

Hello friends! I had an a ha! moment over the weekend. I realized that since I plan out my meals for the week every Sunday,  I should share this with you on the blog. No reason for you to do the work when I already have! So from now on, the Meal Plan Monday blog post will have four main dishes (because Friday night is Pizza Night-I’m done by that part of the week!), complete with directions, and a list of ingredients for shopping. Yay, right?!

 

 

Introducing Meal Plan Mondays

 

 

Menu Planning
My tools for planning my weekly menu: calendar, menu printable, binder of recipes and Pinterest. (Not pictured: my grocery list printable)

 

(Caveat 1: When I have a recipe that I’ve found from Pinterest or somewhere out there in Internet land, I will always give you a link. I am not a flood blogger so I won’t spend paragraphs talking about the dish.  If that’s your thing-please click on the pink text that takes you to the original source.)

(Caveat 2: All these recipes are ones I have made and my family loves. I would never share anything that hasn’t been tested!)

Meatless Monday: One Pot Sesame Noodles

I am trying to get my family to eat more veggies so I’ve instituted Meatless Monday. This particular favorite is from Oh My Veggies.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces linguine, uncooked
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 medium bok choy or 3 baby bok choy (about 1/2 pound), sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into coins (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (add more if you like more heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 medium Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (about 4 cups, loosely packed)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Toppings: fresh cilantro, chopped salted peanuts, sliced scallions, and/or toasted sesame seeds
  1. In a large Iheavy pot over high heat, add the linguine, water, bok choy, bell pepper, carrots, onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and salt.
  2. When the mixture comes to a boil, set the timer for 9 minutes and cook, tossing constantly with tongs, taking care to make sure the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Now the veggies should be tender and the pasta will be cooked through. Most of the liquid having evaporated.
  3. Remove from heat and add the cabbage and vinegar, tossing until cabbage wilts, about 30 seconds.
  4. Serve, topping individual bowls with cilantro, peanuts, scallions, and toasted sesame seeds.

 

Beautiful photo courtesy of Oh My Veggies
Beautiful photo courtesy of Oh My Veggies

 

Taco Tuesday: Melanie’s Chilequillas

My family loves Mexican food so I try to do something with a Mexican flair on Tuesdays. This recipe came to me through a friend. It’s been a bit chilly here in North Carolina so this soup will be perfect.

  • 5 boiled chicken thighs
  • chicken broth from the boiling process-at least 3 quarts
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil or 1/2 cup real butter
  • 8 oz tomato paste
  • 1 pkg Lipton onion soup mix
  • 1 large can diced green chiles (6-8 oz)
  • 1 large bell pepper (I prefer red or orange.)
  • 3 Tbsp dried onion or 3/4 cup fresh diced onion
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 bush cilantro (diced)
  • 1 bag tortilla chips
  1. Boil chicken and set aside
  2. Add tomato past and onion soup mix, one at a time, to the boiling broth and stir until dissolved.
  3. Stir in diced green chiles.
  4. Reduce heat and let simmer.
  5. In olive oil, saute bell pepper onion, garlic, and cilantro until the bell pepper has reached a crisp but cooked consistency. The cilantro will be totally limp and look like spinach.)
  6. Add this stir-fry to the soup
  7. Add the shredded or diced chicken to the soup. Salt to taste.
  8. Serve soup over tortilla chips.
  9. Top with desired topping. Ideas are grated cheese, fresh diced tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, or olives

 

Wednesday: Glazed Pork Chops from Budget Bytes

Oh I love an easy, quick recipe!

  • 4 thick cut pork chops (bone-in or boneless)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cayenne powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  1. Preheat  oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine brown sugar and spices (salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika and garlic powder).
  3. Remove the pork chops from their package and rub the brown sugar/spice mixover both sides. Use all of the spice mix.
  4. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium/high heat. When the oil is hot (it looks wavy in the pan), add the pork chops. Cook the chops for about 5 minutes on each side or until they are nicely browned.
  5. Transfer the pork chops to a baking sheet lined with foil then place in the oven for 5 minutes to make sure they are cooked through.
  6. Remove the chops from the oven and drag each side around in the thick glaze that has formed around the chops in the pan prior to serving.

 

Mouthwatering photo from Budget Bytes
Mouthwatering photo from Budget Bytes

 

Thursday: Crock Pot Chicken, Green Beans and Potatoes from The Magical Slow Cooker

I try never to miss my favorite class at the YMCA-Total Body Strength with the HILARIOUS Melinda-at 5:30 on Thursday. So a crock pot meal on Thursdays is pretty standard in my house.

  • 1.5- 2lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • ½ lb. fresh green beans, trimmed (about 2.5 cups)
  • 1.25 lb. diced red potatoes (about 4 cups)
  • ⅓ cup FRESH lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  1. Rub the inside of your slow cooker with some olive oil. Place the chicken in the center of a 6-quart slow cooker. Next add the green beans on one side. Then for the potatoes, mound them high on the other side.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic.
  3. Pour this mixture evenly over the chicken, green beans and potatoes.
  4. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours, without opening the lid during the cooking time.
  5. Note- fresh lemon juice makes a big difference in this recipe!

 

Courtesy of The Magical Slow Cooker
Courtesy of The Magical Slow Cooker

 

GROCERY LIST

And now for your grocery list!  Always check to see what you’ve got on hand first; you’ll spend less at the grocery store.

Produce:

  • 1 medium bok choy or 3 baby bok choy (about 1/2 pound)
  • 2 red bell peppers (or one red and one orange)
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 small yellow onions
  • 8 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 1/2 medium Napa cabbage
  • 1 bush cilantro
  • ½ lb. fresh green beans
  • 1 1/4 lb. red potatoes (about 4 cups)
  • 1 lemon

Meat:

  • 5 chicken thighs
  • 1.5- 2lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 thick pork chops

 Condiments:

  • 1/4 cup style soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil

Canned Goods:

  • 8 oz tomato paste
  • 1 large can diced green chiles (6-8 oz)

Spices and Baking Ingredients:

  • brown sugar
  • cayenne powder
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • dried onion
  • garlic powder
  •  kosher salt
  • onion powder
  • oregano
  • paprika
  • salt and pepper

Other:

  • 1 pkg Lipton onion soup mix
  • 1 bag tortilla chips
  • 8 ounces linguine

 

I have 2 FREE printables to help make grocery shopping easier.  My Organized Grocery List contains items which are standard for most people’s grocery shopping. My Organized Grocery List (Blank) is just that-blank-so you can hand write your weekly shopping list.

Grocery List BlankFREE printable grocery list!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again-life is so much easier when you’ve got your meals for the week planned and you know you have all the ingredients.  It almost makes me like cooking!  (Because my friends know I’d much rather be organizing a closet, but you know, we have to eat!) I turn on HGTV and pull together a meal, well, if not like Julia Child, well then, like me 🙂

Let me know how you liked these recipes!  I hope this makes your life easier.

Happy Cooking!

Daria

Don’t Miss the Other Meal Plan Mondays!

Meal Plan Monday: Week 2 of Easier Meal Times

Meal Plan Monday: Week 3 is Easier Than Ever!

Meal Plan Monday: Week 4 is Delicious!

Meal Plan Monday: Week 5 is Tasty and Fresh!

Meal Plan Monday: Week 6 has Something 4 Everyone!

Meal Plan Monday: Week 7 is my Favorite Healthy Meals!

Meal Plan Monday: Week 8 is Very Veggie!

Daria Harvey
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I'm so excited you stopped by my blog! I'm passionate about helping others achieve peaceful lives through organization. I want to help you have less stress and more time for the things you love! Let's get started!

3 Responses

  1. […] always plan my dinners for the week on Sunday. (Check out my first of 8 Meal Plan Monday posts for a week’s worth of meals planned out for you!) I think if I also plan out what I […]

  2. […] Meal Plan Monday: Making Life Easier for You […]

  3. […] *I actually suggest doing this once a week. SO nice at 5:30 every day to know what you are making for dinner and that you have the right ingredients. I’ve already posted 8 weeks worth of pre-planned meals. Here’s a link to the first: Meal Plan Monday: Making Life Easier for You […]

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