Meal Plan Monday: Week Two of the Aldi Test

Meal Plan Monday

So, this is the second week of the Aldi Test of the meal plan.  So far, things are going well.  I managed to only buy five things from Kroger last week:  canned/bottled drinks, lasagna noodles, pork chops, and some of Rene’s lunch stuff.  I was very proud of myself.

This week, the meal plan uses much of what we had already in the house…and it’s the week of Thanksgiving, which automatically blocks out a lot of stuff.

So, what do we have to look forward to?

Saturday:  Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole (Kraft Recipes)

Sunday:  Meatloaf and mashed potatoes, green veg (canned)

Monday:  sloppy joes with homemade buns, fries

Tuesday:  Ravioli with Sausage, frozen green veg, garlic bread

Wednesday:  leftovers or hot dogs

Thursday:  Thanksgiving dinner

Friday:  Thanksgiving leftovers

Saturday:  Thanksgiving leftovers

Sunday:  grilled steaks or small meats or chicken nuggets; salad; fries

What do your meals look like this week?

Meal Plan Monday: Week One of the Aldi Test

Meal Plan Monday

Okay, now that you are scratching your head confused wondering “What the heck is the Aldi test?” I will feel free to enlighten you.

For the past few months, on alternating Saturdays, I have trekked (sometimes with Josh…only twice with Muffin and almost not survived the experience) an hour away to Longview to our nearest Aldi.  I had been a few times before in Houston and Dallas, and, of course, had been enchanted with the stories of individuals in the Pinteresting Blogosphere who have saved a ton of money at Aldi in the past.

…And, now, I’m hooked!

However, I will wax poetic about Aldi in tomorrow’s Tip Tuesday post.

But, now, for details about the Aldi test.  Since I go to Aldi every other week, I’m going to try, for the next two weeks (this week and next week) to plan out my meals and shopping for the next two weeks and plan meals around what is in the house and what I can mostly buy at Aldi.  Now, there are a few outlying supplies that I will buy at Kroger, but my goal is to not shop at all at a grocery store in the intervening week.

How is that possible?

I plan to buy bread and long storage veggies that will last into the second week.  Salads and perishable stuff will be used in the first week, but frozen veg will be used the second half of the shopping cycle along with canned veg.

We will see how this works.  Fingers crossed!

I know there are people who shop every month and every two weeks, but this is new for me.  It will require strict adherence to the meal plan and a ton of foresight.  Of course, the following week is Thanksgiving (American), and that only requires the foresight to know what I’m bringing to my mom’s.

So, what’s up for the first week?  Well, here we go!

Saturday:  Dr. Pepper Pork Chops (Debbiedoo’s), rice, green veg (canned)

Sunday:  Easy Pepperoni Pizza Lasagna (Kraft Recipes), green salad, garlic bread

Monday:  breakfast for dinner (Josh is home, so he gets to cook!)

Tuesday:  Slow Cooker Creamy White Chicken Chili (The Chunky Chef–a recipe that arrived in my inbox just the other day!), cornbread

Wednesday:  anniversary dinner out (Happy 9th anniversary to the most wonderful man in the world!)

Thursday:  leftovers or hot dogs

Friday:  pizza

Saturday:  Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole (Kraft) with some form of green veg

Sunday:  Meatloaf and mashed potatoes, green veg (canned)

What is your week looking like?

Tip Tuesday: Sometimes It’s Okay to Become Lazy With a Recipe

Tip Tuesday

I’m probably the world’s worst person at following a recipe that I know.  Sometimes it works well; sometimes it works less than well.

Sometimes (as is the case of the Mississippi Roast I made yesterday) I misread or forget an ingredient (at 5:30 in the morning when you are racing around trying to gather lunches and stock the slow cooker and get ready for work it happens).  Sometimes, I substitute ingredients.

And, sometimes, after a long, hard day at work, I get…lazy.  There!  I said it.  The recipe I am going to share with you today (my adaptation of Wholly Guacamole Enchiladas by Mommy Hates Cooking) is the product of my extreme laziness.  Rather than enchiladas, it became more of an enchilada casserole.

It was still yummy, but I don’t have the patience to warm corn tortillas to make them pliable, then fill and roll them, cursing them when they still tear and crack anyway on the best of days.  After a day of teaching?  It’s not happening.

So, I put a bit of the sauce in the bottom of a 9×13, spread six corn tortillas flat, then put the enchilada filling on top, then six more tortillas followed by sauce and cheese.  It turns more into an echisagna at the end, but it is still delicious.

Note:  the one thing I will INSIST upon is that you use an enchilada sauce that you like.  I used one from my Aldi run and it was too spicy for anyone except me.  They still tasted awesome, but Muffin and Josh couldn’t finish theirs.  And the sauce was really watery.

But here’s what I did.

Guacamole Enchilada Casserole

(Adapted from Mommy Hates Cooking–See Link Above)

12 corn tortillas

1 large can red enchilada sauce (28 ounces, I think)

2 cups cooked and shredded chicken breast

1 can Rotel (the original says drained…I just realized that)

4 green onions, sliced

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (I could still tell there were leaves in mine.)

16 ounces guacamole (I had two 8 ounce packages in what I purchased from Aldi, so I used it all.)

2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mix of sharp and mild cheddars.  Monterey Jack would be awesome as well.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix in a bowl chicken, Rotel, green onions, cilantro, and guacamole, ensuring it’s well-mixed.

Lightly coat the bottom of a 9×13 Pyrex baking dish with enchilada sauce.  Place six tortillas on the bottom of the pan, overlapping slightly as needed.  Pour and spread all of the guacamole mixture over the tortillas, smoothing as needed.

Cover with six more corn tortillas, arranged as before, pressing slightly to adhere and smoosh.  (Yes, smoosh is a technical term.)  Cover with remaining sauce (I love saucy enchis!) and cheese.

Bake until hot and bubbly (about 30 minutes) and cheese is melted.  Let sit 10 minutes then cut and serve like lasagna.


What is your favorite lazy shortcut?

Meal Plan Monday: Another Week of New Ones

Meal Plan Monday

Well, last week was sorta successful, meal-plan-wise.  I did make the Wholly Guacamole Enchiladas, but I turned them into an enchilada casserole.  I’ve discovered i have no patience for corn-tortilla-enchilada making.  The softening of them to make them pliable is not my cuppa tea.

This week shall be easier to follow the plan.  Tuesday the fate of the nation will be decided, and I will have an extra day to cook.

So, here’s what I’m thinking:

Saturday:  hamburgers and fries/chips

Sunday:  Sweet Tea Fried Chicken (Growing Up Gabel), mashed potatoes, greens

Monday:  Mississippi Roast (NY Times), baked potato, salad

Tuesday:  Slow Cooker Lasagna Rolls (Gunny Sack), salad, garlic bread

Wednesday:  Grilled Pork Tenderloin (Food Network–Alton Brown), rice

Thursday:  leftovers or hot dogs

Friday:  English muffin pizzas, corn

Saturday:  Dr. Pepper Pork Chops (Debbiedoos), rice, green veg

Sunday:  Quesadillas, chips, and salsa

What is on your meal plan for the week?

Meal Plan Monday: Where Has October Gone?

Meal Plan Monday

Happy Halloween!  This has been a strange month.  Sickness, cub scout camping (resulting in my back being locked up grrr), my birthday, Homecoming preparations at work, Canadian Thanksgiving, and my observation.  This month has flown by with several hiccups!

But we are now at the end of the month and the spookiest (to some) day of the year.  This year Muffin is going as a HALO soldier.  And, as usual, I will stay home while he and Josh go trick or treating to hand out treats to those brave souls who venture beyond Josh’s Halloween entryway of horrors.

I’m trying to inject the past few weeks of meal plan fails (Can you believe I actually did no meal planning the past few weeks and went off the cuff–with disastrous results?!) with some fresh blood.  So far, it’s going well.

Of course, tonight is our traditional Halloween hot dog bar.

What’s up for the week?

Scroll down just a bit further to find out!

Saturday:  Coconut Chicken Fingers (Southern Bite–I didn’t make the sauce but instead served it with jarred sweet-and-sour sauce), strawberries

Sunday:  Wholly Guacamole Enchiladas (Mommy Hates Cooking), beans, rice, chips, salsa

Monday:  hot dog bar, chips, brownies

Tuesday:  Slow Cooker Lasagna Rolls (Gunny Sack), salad, garlic bread

Wednesday:  Dr. Pepper Crock Pot Pork Chops (Debbiedoo’s), roasted potatoes, green veg

Thursday:  leftovers or hot dogs

Friday:  mini pizzas and corn

Saturday:  Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas (Life in the Lofthouse), chips and salsa

Sunday:  Sweet Tea Fried Chicken (Growing Up Gabel), greens, mashed potatoes with lots of garlic and butter

Yes, the Sweet Tea Fried Chicken made it to the menu again.  I’m not sure if it will be made.  It’s one of those that I keep putting on the meal plan but it never actually gets made.


Meal Plan Monday: Fingers Crossed That I Follow This One

Meal Plan Monday

This week, Josh is on-call.  The last few on-call rounds have gone less than successfully, meal plan wise.  I am hoping (accent on hoping) that I follow it better than I did the last time (well, few times, actually) that he was on-call.

There is not a lot of new stuff in the plan, merely stuff that I know I can cook even when exhausted.  In other words, anything that isn’t low maintenance is a “no.”

Also, I bought four chuck roasts this week.  I froze one for the weekend coming up, and Sunday morning, we put the “meat factory bee sheen” to work and ground the other three.  The hamburgers and the tacos (see below) will be made with those bags of ground chuck.

So, without further ado, away we go!!!

Saturday:  dinner out since we went to Aldi’s late (at Jucy’s Taco)

Sunday:  chicken nuggets, little sausages, rotel dip, veggie tray, cream cheese and pepper jelly with crackers, chips (for football Sunday…the first one this season Josh is off for)

Monday:  hamburgers and chips

Tuesday:  Taco Tuesday!

Wednesday:  Apricot Glazed Chicken with Dried Plums and Sage (from Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy, a now defunct blog)

Thursday:  Scavenge

Friday:  hot dogs

Saturday:  pork chops (I’m thinking of brining them.  Does anyone have a good recipe?)

Sunday:  chuck roast in the slow cooker, potatoes, carrots, onions

What’s on your meal plan this week?

Meal Plan Monday: Attempt to Make Some Planned Before and Ignored

Meal Plan Monday

This week, I return to attempting to try some dishes that I have planned to make before…then just didn’t.  I planned one several times with the best of intentions (Sweet Tea Fried Chicken), because, let’s face it, I live in the South, and it’s sweet tea and fried chicken.

I am also super excited about one recipe that I am trying this week:  Huevos Rancheros.  It’s one of those dishes I have always wanted to try…but haven’t.

Truly, I sound like the most boring scaredy-cat person ever with the above statements.  But this week, I am going to be bold!  I am going to give these recipes their due!  And that’s all there is to it!

Do all of those exclamations sound emphatic enough?

Also, today is my mom’s birthday!  (Happy birthday, Mom!)  I won’t say how old she is (although if she were still teaching, she would tell her students that she is 135 and that she was born in 1881), but if you send her the oh-so-appropriate (anniversary of her birth-wise) gift of diamonds, she might faint!

My mom’s lucky in that her birthday regularly falls on Labor Day weekend, and this year it falls on Labor Day itself.  (Happy Labor Day, by the way, to everyone else!)

So, what is on that lovely, luscious, delicious, have to try those underdog and unforgotten recipes meal plan?

Here’s what I plan:

Saturday:  Chicken Croquettes (Macaroni & Cheesecake), green veg, fruit

Sunday:  Cashew Sweet and Sour Pork (Our Best Bites), rice, egg roll

Monday:  Apricot Glazed Chicken with Dried Plums and Sage (Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy:  The site seems to be broken, so I will make the recipe and post an entry of it), rice, green veg

Tuesday:  Huevos Rancheros (adding crumbled chorizo) (Fifteen Spatulas), fruit

Wednesday:  Cap’n Crunch French Toast (Lick the Bowl Good), breakfast meat, fruit

Thursday:  leftovers or hot dogs

Friday:  pizza

Saturday:  Baked or Mashed Potato Soup (A Yummy Life), veggies and dip

Sunday:  Sweet Tea Fried Chicken (Growing Up Gabel), mashed potatoes, greens

What’s on your meal plan this week?