My family has been really open minded over the last six weeks as I’ve focused on menu planning and trying out new recipes. As I was putting this week’s menu together I asked them what meals they’ve enjoyed most since the New Year and I matched those with what’s on sale this week to come up with our menu. I’m happy to report that they’ve enjoyed more than half of the new recipes we’ve tired, and they’ve also really enjoyed the ways I’ve used the leftovers from one night in another dish later in the week. If these first few weeks of the year are any indication, this approach to meal planning has been a success. With family favorites as the theme, our menu plan for the week looks like this:
- Monday: Honey-Ginger Grilled Salmon with roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts
We’re still working on having fish at least once a week, and more if different types of fish are on sale. Roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts are easy because the oven does most of the work – just what I need on a Monday night.
- Tuesday: White Chili with Ground Turkey with cornbread (Freezer Stash)
I’m using up the rest of my freezer stash of this chili next week to make room for a new batch of freezer-friendly recipes I plan to make next week. My family really likes this chile and leftovers become another favorite on Sunday: Frio pies.
- Wednesday: Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts with Shallots with steamed rice and sautéed green beans
If you ask my family about this dish they can’t tell you the name but will say “that chicken that we had in the cheese steak sandwiches”, but that’s good enough for me. While white wine and shallots may seem a little fancy, they really are family friendly. We’ll of course be having the leftovers in cheese steaks on Sunday.
- Thursday: Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction with asparagus and long grain and wild rice
It seems like lamb has been on sale almost every week so we’re having
- Friday: Frito pies made with leftover chili
Frito pies are perfect for a Friday night when we’re all tired and ready for a simple and fun dinner. These were another family favorite and they couldn’t be simpler: reheat the left over chili in a sauce pan, open an individual bag of Fritos or other corn chips, put a cup or so of the chili in the bag on top of the chips, and sprinkle on some grated cheese. While you can dump the chips into a bowl first, it’s much more fun to eat this dish right out of the bag.
- Saturday: Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Uncle Ben’s Mexican rice and black beans
My family loves these as an alternative to the same ol’ tacos.
- Sunday: Chicken cheese steaks with french fries
One of my favorite local restaurants makes the most amazing cheese steaks, but the cost and calorie counts are through the roof. I can turn the chicken from earlier in the week into “mom’s chicken cheese steak” with some fresh rolls, grilled peppers and onions, and provolone cheese. Oven-baked fries are healthier alternative to the ones we’d have at the restaurant.
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