Thursday, January 17, 2013

It's Meal-Plan Thursday

Welcome to our new segment "It's Meal-Plan Thursday".

I swear by meal planning. It has saved me time and money at the grocery store. I started doing it about 3 years ago and haven't stopped. I shop on the weekends and I would much rather be doing something else besides roaming the grocery store aisles for hours while deciding what to feed my family.

What I do: I have a saved spreadsheet in Excel. I enter what I want to serve for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If I have an abundance of something (like noodles or ground turkey), I plan a meal that will include that item. I print it out. On the back I title a column for each grocery store section I will visit (ex: diary, can/box, meats, fruits/vegetables, etc). I look through the cupboards/freezer/refrigerator and add whatever I need to buy.

I will plan on posting a new meal-plan every Thursday. I am sure I will miss a few here and there. If /when that happens feel free to revert back to an old one (find it under "TAGS" on the right side of this page). I am only posting dinner ideas. Tip: making extra = lunch for the next day (reduces eating out) :)

I hope this will be helpful and I would love to hear feedback from you. Give it try and please drop a note to let me know if it's working out for you.

Here is our first meal-plan (followed by a few recipes)!!


  • 1 lbs. ground beef/turkey
  • 4 cups of tomato or V-8 juice
  • 15 oz. can light red kidney beans
  • 3 large tomatoes (or 15 oz. can of diced petite toms)
  • 1 cup fresh mushroom
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chili pepper
  • 1 tbsp.  garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Brown meat, I don’t chop the meat up too much. I like bigger chunks of ground meat in my chili. Add browned meat (you don’t necessarily need to brown the meat before adding it to the pot… I just choose to), juice and beans to the crockpot or stewing pot. Cut up the veggies, add them to the pot. Add chili pepper and salt/pepper. Stir together. 

Crockpot = 4 hours
Stewing pot over medium-low = 30 - 45 minutes.

Tip: add more or less juice depending on your desired consistency

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

  • 1 lbs. linguine, fettuccine or spaghetti noodles (for a healthier option try whole grain)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 15 oz. Bertolli Garlic Alfredo Sauce (I hope to one day give you a homemade recipe)
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 large tomato

Prepare skillet with olive oil, warm oil for a few minutes over medium heat. Slice raw chicken into strips, add to skillet and tend to it occasionally. Slice veggies (minus tomato), steam broccoli until tender and add to skillet once chicken is fully cooked.  Stir in sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes. 

Serve over cooked noodles and top with diced tomato. 

Scramble Omlet
  • 8 eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tbsp pancake mix
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper
Whisk eggs, milk and pancake mix together. The pancake mix adds a bit of fluff to the egg. Chop up veggies.  Add olive oil to skillet, begin warming over medium heat. Add egg mixture to warmed skillet. Pour veggies over eggs, dash with salt and pepper and scramble the mixture until eggs are completely cooked. Reduce heat to warm and cover top of eggs with cheese, cover the pan to allow cheese to melt.

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