Meal Plan Monday 8: Very Veggie

 For Meal Plan Monday 8 I’ve tried to highlight recipes which use quite a bit of vegetables. At least for me. I have to admit I struggle to find vegetables I like and am still trying to find a recipe for Brussel Sprouts that doesn’t make me gag. If you have a winner, please share! Still, I feel like this week recipes have a good amount of vegetables-except for Taco Tuesday; you’ll have to give me a pass on that day. Let’s just say we’ll garnish our tacos or enchiladas with plenty of veggies. I hope these recipes help you easily increase your veggie intake!

Meal Plan Monday

Week 8 is Very Veggie

 Meal Plan Monday 8-Very Veggie

Meatless Monday:

Southwest Pepper Jack Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Now, when I first served this recipe from Carlsbad Cravings my family was like “salad for dinner?”  But the flavors are so incredible (and  I served it with some of their favorite bread on the side) that it is now allowable to have salad for dinner. I hope you enjoy this light, healthy, meatless meal.


Courtesy of Carlsbad Cravings
Courtesy of Carlsbad Cravings



  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • fresh corn kernels from 1 ear of sweet corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese, or more to taste
  • Tortilla Strips for Salads


Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing

  • 1 small avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (may sub.plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup smooth salsa (medium for more of a kick)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar*
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


Add all of the Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, scraping the sides down as needed. Add  salt and pepper to taste. Add additional milk to thin to desired consistency if needed. Chill in the refrigerator if you have time.

Add salad ingredients to a large bowl except for the tortilla strips and toss to combine.

Toss salad with desired amount of dressing (there will probably be some left over) or drizzle dressing over individual servings if not eating all of the salad immediately.

Garnish salad with tortilla strips and freshly cracked salt and pepper.

Tuesday: Spicy Shredded Chicken

Lucky me stumbled across this recipe from Short Stop Blog via Pinterest.  This chicken requires little prep and can be used for tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas-any type of Mexican dish your family enjoys.  And it easily doubles or triples and freezes well.  I always keep a bag on hand in my freezer for busy weeks.


Meal Plan Monday 8's dish is Spicy Shredded Chicken
Courtesy of Short Stop Blog



  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 cans Rotel (Mild, Medium, Hot – whatever you like)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes


Place all ingredients in crockpot. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

Shred with two forks right in pot.

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Wednesday: Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry

 If I ever meet the woman behind Dinner at the Zoo, I’m going to hug her. She’s saving me a good bit of money by giving me (and you!) an easy stir fry recipe, thereby negating the need to visit my kids’ favorite and very expensive Hibachi restaurant.  (We do still go. I’m not a monster.  We just don’t go nearly as often now!) Enjoy!
Courtesy of Dinner at the Zoo
Courtesy of Dinner at the Zoo


For the stir fry:

  • 1 and ¼ lbs thinly sliced steak such as flank steak or sirloin
  • 3 cups of mixed vegetables (I used broccoli florets and sliced bell peppers)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Optional garnishes: sliced green onions and sesame seeds


For the sauce:

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch


For the sauce:

Place the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, honey and sesame oil in a small pot over medium high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Turn up heat to high and bring to a boil.

Mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water until dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and boil for 1-2 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Set sauce aside.

For the stir fry:

Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until vegetables have started to brown and soften. Add 2 tablespoons of water and cook, until water has evaporated. When your vegetables are crisp tender remove them from the pan and set aside.

Wipe out the pan. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in the pan over high heat.

Place half of the steak in the pan and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until just cooked through. Set the first batch of steak aside and repeat the process with the rest of the beef.

Add all of the meat and vegetables back to the pan. Pour the sauce over the top and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium high heat until warmed through.

Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions if desired.

Thursday: New Potato and Chicken Casserole

Anything with new potatoes.  Anything with Rosemary.  Anything with Parmesan Cheese.  Check!  This recipe from Midwest Living has all my favorites-plus green beans, which are veggies!!


Courtesy of Midwest Living
Courtesy of Midwest Living



  • 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • 2 medium leeks, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (2/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 8 – ounce package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill or 2 teaspoons snipped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 2 – 2 1/4 – pound purchased roasted chicken


In a 4- to 6-quart covered Dutch oven, cook potatoes in boiling water for 8 minutes. Add green beans; return to boiling. Cook, covered, for 7 to 9 minutes more or until potatoes are tender and beans are crisp-tender. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook leeks in hot butter over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until tender and just starting to brown, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low. Add cream cheese; stir until melted. Add sour cream and stir until combined. Gradually stir in milk. Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the dill and pepper.

Remove the meat from the chicken; discard skin and bones. Chop the chicken and add to the leek mixture along with the drained potato mixture. Stir gently to combine. Transfer to a greased, shallow baking dish. Spread mixture evenly in dish.

Bake in a 350 degrees oven, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake 5 minutes more or until heated through.


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.

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  • 1 small avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cilantro
  • 1 ear of  corn
  • Fresh dill (or fresh rosemary)
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • 8 ounces fresh green beans
  • Green onions
  • 2 medium leeks
  • 1 lime
  • 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 other bell peppers of your choice
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • Cherry tomates


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 2 – 2 1/4 – pound purchased roasted chicken
  • 1 and ¼ lbs thinly sliced steak such as flank steak or sirloin


  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cans Rotel
  • Salsa


  • Honey
  • Olive oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce


  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Sesame seeds


  • Milk
  • 1 8 oz brick cream cheese
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • 2 pints sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)


  • Brown sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Sugar


  • Chicken bouillon cubes
  • Roasted and salted sunflower seeds
  • Tortilla strips


Is it the looming swimsuit season that has me thinking of vegetables?  Perhaps.  I do feel though, that it’s time for us to take the time to treat our bodies well.  I’m not saying we shoulb be able to double as fitness models.  Whatever health means for you-that is what you should ensure happens.  You are worth it!  For me, I know I need to eat more veggies.  And these recipes help me do it-easily. I hope you enjoy them!

Happy (easy) cooking!


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