Meal Planning

July 10th Meal Plan

After a busy last week filled with holidays, mechanics, plumbers, birthday parties, and traveling, I’m back with this week’s meal plan!

In my very first blog post, I mentioned how about once a month I like to make a big pot of beans and use those in recipes throughout the week.  I don’t really have a “tried and true” recipe I follow, but I do like cooking them in the crockpot.  Also, I always forget to soak my beans…so I try to find methods that let me skip that step.  This morning I took a pound of black beans, soaked them in water for about 20 minutes and then rinsed.  Then I tossed a halved onion, 3 garlic cloves, a bay leaf, and 6 cups of water along with the beans in the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours.  I’ll check them at about the 6 hour mark, and that when I add my salt and pepper.  Super easy!

Pioneer woman also has a really yummy black bean recipe that I’ve used before.  But really…is anything she makes not good??

Here’s What We’re Having For:

Dinner

Monday: Black Bean and Quinoa Casserole

Is there anything better (or easier) than a good casserole!?  When Chase looks at our list of meals for the week, he always knows what meals I’m making because they involve the word “casserole” or “crockpot”.  Ha!

I’ll be using some of the black beans from the batch I made this morning.  Plus, we’re a family of carnivores so I’m going to add some shredded chicken before I bake this.

 

Tuesday: Italian Herb Chicken and Pasta

When I took Home-Ec in high school, one of our assignments was to make a recipe, take pictures, and serve it to our family.  I ended up finding and making something that later my parents would call “Amanda’s Penne Chicken”.

Now, I’ve never been creative in the kitchen.  I like to find a recipe, and follow it.  After making a recipe a few times, I may modify it slightly…but I still follow the same base recipe.  Oh, how I wish I could just throw some ingredients together without any sort of plan and create something amazing!  But the idea of spending an evening in the kitchen making up a recipe as I go, and then knowing it could turn out awful…well, that’s what keeps sending me back to the Pinterest boards!

After making this penne dish for my family, it became a monthly favorite.  Although we called it my penne chicken, I by no means made up this recipe!  I have it typed up and stuck in a binder of favorite family recipes…but I had no idea where I had originally found it all those years ago.

After a quick google search, I found it!  And it’s actually a Campbell’s recipe!  I guess the lack of Pinterest and food blogs back then led me to find my recipes on the back of Campbell’s products!  Either way, it’s tasty, still a family favorite, and actually fairly healthy.

 

Wednesday: Black Bean Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries

Ok, if you’ve never had a black bean burger, it probably sounds disgusting to you.  But they are so good!  You can find tons of black bean burger recipes online, but I’m not going to link any because Chase always makes our black bean burgers (and he never follows a recipe…lucky).

We’ll use some of the black beans from the batch I made on Monday.

 

Thursday: Chase’s Choice

Chase gets to make dinner tonight, which means I have no idea what we’re having!  But I do know that he’ll only use stuff we already have in the fridge and pantry…and that it’ll be super yummy!

 

Friday: No meal planned

We’re going to a concert on Friday, and our concert tradition is to stop at Yucatan Taco Stand beforehand and stuff our faces with nachos.

And a beverage.

Or two.

 

Saturday: Fajitas

No explanation needed for fajitas!  Grill ’em up, stuff ’em in a tortilla, and pile on the toppings!

 

Sunday: Taco Pizza

Every time I make a big batch of black beans, we always have this taco pizza from Pioneer Woman.  That’s because the “sauce” is smashed black beans!  I actually first saw this on her show on Food Network, and I had to wipe the drool off of my mouth after I finished watching.

This pizza is so easy, and it’s easy to customize it the way you want it.  I always add ground beef, black olives, and substitute the lettuce for spinach.

If you follow me on Instagram, I posted a picture at the end of last week about an awesome Meal Deal HEB has going on: buy a pizza crust and pepperoni, and get shredded cheese, pizza sauce, and soda for free!  Even though I usually make my own crust, this was such a good deal so I made sure to scoop it up!

Lunch

To see more about how we eat/plan lunch, read here.  I don’t really have a “scheduled” day that I make any of these lunches.  These are all just from a pool of options I’ll be choosing from this week.

Tuna salad using flavored tuna packets

See the above link to see how I made my tuna salads.

Basil Avocado Chicken Salad 

I already have a basil plant…which is a huge money saver because I use basil in so many things.  I also like to buy a bag of frozen chicken breasts to keep in the freezer…they are perfect for lunches.

Cucumber, Avocado, Tomato Salad

This is the perfect salad for all those extra tomatoes and cucumbers you may have from your garden.

Funny story: my cousin is the one that turned me on to this recipe about 7 years ago, and for awhile I ate it almost everyday!  One night, we were going to see a movie and I was so hungry, but I didn’t have time to eat before we left.  Popcorn wasn’t going to cut it, so I threw this salad together really quick, tossed it in my purse and pulled it out to eat in the middle of the movie.  I got some strange looks, but it was worth it.

Salad

Sandwiches

Leftovers

Breakfast

My method of cooking breakfast is prepping enough at the beginning of the week, and everyone can just grab and go from there.  I have a lot going on in the morning, so this saves a lot of time.

This week I plan on prepping overnight oats and ground turkey/black bean/egg white bowls.

Overnight Oats

I never get tired of oatmeal because there are SO many different ways you can eat it!  Click on the link above to see 5 quick and easy ways to make overnight oats.

Bowls

One of my favorite bloggers is The Mostly Healthy Mommy.  I don’t know if this recipe is on her blog, but I know it’s on her Instagram (which is where I got it).  Basically cook some ground turkey, egg whites, and black beans…and you’ve got yourself a delicious and protein packed breakfast!  Of course I always add cheese to mine.

Saturday and Sunday: These days are usually reserved for pancakes, waffles, or a Chase specialty.

Snacks

-bananas, peaches, mango, cherries

-cottage cheese + fruit

-boiled eggs

-cheese sticks (I cut them myself from a regular block of cheese)

-fruit popsicles

-raw veggies and a “healthier” ranch dip alternative: 4oz of cottage cheese, 2 Tbsp of greek yogurt, and 1 tsp ranch powder

Grocery List and Shopping

I use the app List Ease to organize my grocery list.  Not because it’s life changing, but because it’s the first one I downloaded and I happened to like it.  Here’s what my grocery list for the week looks like.

I’ve mentioned before, I get all I can at Aldi and then finish up at HEB.

Aldi

I was actually lucky enough to find everything I needed at Aldi this week!  Super awesome since today is yucky and rainy…I don’t want to have to go to more stores than I have to.  I spent $58.86 at Aldi today (I forgot to take a picture of my receipt).  Also, I know it’s hard to see what I bought in this picture, but I post it so you can see how much food you can get for $60.

 

Have you tried meal planning yet?  If so, I want to hear about it!  Let me know in the comments or email me privately with any questions.

 

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