Meal Plan Monday: More New Recipes

Meal Plan Monday

Good morning!  Do you have any Easter plans?  Is the bunny planning to visit you?

Easter, in our family (and probably yours), means ham.  I am not the biggest ham fan.  My mom tries to dodge turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I try to dodge ham at Christmas and Easter.

Last Easter, I was lucky, and I was able to talk my mom into a pork loin.  I don’t know if I will be as lucky this time.

But here is the plan as it is (not etched in stone).

Saturday:  Creamy Chicken Casserole (Kraft), canned veg, bread

Sunday:  Chicken and dumplins, cornbread, salad

Monday:  Teriyaki Chicken and Buttered Rice (Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures)

Tuesday:  tacos, chips, and salsa

Wednesday:  Roasted Garlic Spaghetti with Italian Sausage (Pillsbury), asparagus

Thursday:  hot dogs or leftovers

Friday:  pizza

Saturday:  Caramelized Black Pepper Chicken (Just a Taste), rice, egg roll

Sunday:  Easter Dinner

Do you try to avoid ham at Easter dinner?  What is on your meal plan for the week?

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Meal Plan Monday: Happy April!

Meal Plan Monday

Happy April, everyone in the Pinteresting Blogosphere!

This week finds us back at school after spring break!  Yay!

I am trying a few newbie recipes that have inundated my email folder in recent months and that have colored my foodie imagination in my dreams.

Don’t you hate/love when that happens?!

But I will start us off with a bang!

Saturday:  Imperial Cathay-style Shredded Pork with Garlic Sauce, rice, eggroll

Sunday:  Smothered Chicken, rice, broccoli

Monday:  Baked Ravioli for Weeknights (Kraft Recipes), salad

Tuesday:  Fajita Rice (Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures), beans

Wednesday:  Cheesy Bacon Hasselback Potatoes (Kraft Recipes), salad

Thursday:  hot dogs or leftovers

Friday:  pizza

Saturday:  Creamy Chicken Casserole (Kraft), canned veg, bread

Sunday:  chicken and dumplins, cornbread, salad

What’s on the menu for your week?

Tip Tuesday: Pizza in Another Exciting Incarnation

Tip Tuesday

Pizza.  PIZZA!  Pizzahhhhhhhhh!!!

Is there a way that pizza (in its various forms) isn’t yummy?

But sometimes…the local pizza joint, or a Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pocket, or English Muffin Pizzas just fail to satisfy.

Sometimes, pizza gets a little ho-hum.  Mundane.  Ordinary.  Boring.  Trite.  Overdone (and I don’t necessarily mean burnt).

Sometimes you can (gasp!) get sick and tired of pizza.

That is when pizzahhh needs a reboot.

Today’s reboot comes courtesy of Kraft Recipes.  Well, mostly.  If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that it is impossible for me to follow a recipe exactly.  I.  Must.  Modify.

And luckily, this recipe is easily modifiable and adaptable.

What is it, exactly?

Pepperoni Pizza Lasagna.

Let me repeat that lusciousness again.  Pepperoni Pizza Lasagna.

Cheesy, saucy, meaty, pasta-y, veggie goodness.

And easily adaptable.

Yes, this is recipe nirvana.  (And not the band)

Nirvana (the band) is not exactly the genre of music I hear in my head when making and consuming copious amounts of this recipe.  Sinatra, yes.  Alternative?  No.  Think the Olive Garden soundtrack.  “When the moon meats your eye, like a big pizza pie…”

And, now back to recipe matters and not mangling-lyrics matters.

The original recipe calls for raw diced bell pepper and onion.  That creates two problems in our household.  1)  The peppers and onions don’t get completely cooked, and 2)  Muffin is not a fan of raw bell pepper and raw onion.  And, since he eats so many other healthy things, I have learned not to push my luck.

So, we adapted.  We subbed olives for the peppers and onions.  I think it would also be fabulous with most pizza toppings.  Except maybe pineapple.  As much as I love pineapple pizza, the thought of pineapple and lasagna noodles makes me slightly nauseated.

But Italian sausage, browned and added to the sauce and crumbled over the top?  Definitely!  (Even though we haven’t tried it that way yet.)

So, what do we do usually?

Pepperoni Pizza Lasagna

Adapted from Kraft Recipes (see link above)

1 egg, beaten

1 (15 ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided

1 pkg. pepperoni, divided (I used the 6 ounce package from Aldi)

1 cup (1 can large pitted ripe olives, sliced) veggies, divided

1 jar (24 ounces) smooth pasta sauce (Traditional flavor, if possible)

1/2 cup water

1 package lasagna noodles, uncooked (You will not use them all.)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the egg, ricotta, Parmesan, and half of the mozzarella.

Reserve 12-15 pepperoni slices and 1/2 cup olive slices (or 1/4 cup other vegetation).  Chop remaining pepperoni.  Add it to a medium bowl with sauce, water, and remaining vegetation (olives).

Spray a 9×13 dish or foil pan with cooking spray.  Spread 1/2-3/4 cup sauce on the bottom.  Top with a layer of lasagna noodles, broken to fit, as necessary; 1/3 ricotta mixture; and 1/2 cup of sauce.  Repeat layers twice.  Top with lasagna noodles, sauce, cheese, and reserved toppings (meat and vegetation).  Cover with foil sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake 35 minutes.  Uncover and cook 10 minutes more.  Remove from oven and cool completely.  Cut into serving-sized squares, with a slice of pepperoni centered in the square.

Chill or freeze.

When ready to eat, remove the desired number of squares and reheat in the microwave until heated through.

*Note:  I tried eating this 10 minutes post-oven, but the noodles are on the hard side of al dente.  For some reason, chilling it overnight after cooked softens the noodles to a more preferable al dente (as in, you can then chew them).

This recipe was definitely Muffin Approved!

Muffin Approved

What is your favorite pizzahhhh variation?

Meal Plan Monday: A Lazy Spring Break Week

Meal Plan Monday

Good Monday morning everyone and welcome to the Spring Break edition of MPM on FHM&M.  (Wayyyyy too many acronyms there)  Maybe the “lazy” should simply be for the cooking.  This week is going to be a week of no new recipes (unlike spring breaks in the past with meal plan challenges).

So, what does this week look like?

Here we go!!!

Saturday:  ate at the hotel in Dallas

Sunday:  After the trip and a large lunch at Taco Cabana, I wasn’t hungry.  Muffin ate pizza.  Josh made a sandwich from the boneless ribs left over.  I eventually ate a piece of the yummy peppered maple turkey we bought at Central Market.

Monday:  nuggets, fries, celery sticks and dip

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Tuesday:  Ranch Chicken Enchiladas x 2, rice, beans

Wednesday:  Pepperoni Pizza Lasagna (recipe forthcoming), salad bar salad

Thursday:  leftovers or hot dogs

Friday:  pizza rolls x several to freeze, corn

Saturday:  Imperial Cathay Style Shredded Pork with Garlic Sauce, egg roll

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Sunday:  Smothered Chicken, rice, broccoli

What’s on your meal plan for this week?

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?

Meal Plan Monday: I Hope I Follow This One!

Meal Plan Monday

Last week, I was fairly successful with the meal plan.  The only item that never got made was the ramen noodles, oddly enough.

The problem with planning a week’s worth of meals and NOT making them is that you often find yourself committing expensive mistakes.  First, you have massive food spoilage.  Second, you then waste money in the drive through or, worse, at more expensive sit-down restaurants.

I’ve been guilty of both.

Now, I’ve already spent the money and bought this week’s groceries.  So, it’s extremely important that I make the list count and work for me.

I have several new ones on my list, so I’m kinda worried about it.

Just as last week, I lazily ingeniously focused on one main blog of recipes I had saved from Dropbox (A Spicy Perspective), I did the same this week with Deep South Dish.

At the last minute, I switched around the menu.  Tonight, we attend Muffin’s first official meeting as a cub scout.  So, I’m hoping that the plan still happens as planned.

So, here we go!

Saturday:  Pizza Meatball Subs (Kraft Recipes), Welch’s strawberries from Aldi  (Note:  I decided not to cube the mozzarella into the meatballs, but I instead put sliced mozzarella directly on the bread.  I couldn’t find any Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette, so I put some more chopped sun-dried tomatoes in the sauce mix with some Tuscan Italian salad dressing–Kroger brand.)

Sunday:  Cabbage Patch Casserole (Deep South Dish):  This is a meal-in-one-dish.

Monday:  Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup (A Spicy Perspective)

Tuesday:  Beef and Bean Burrito Skillet Dinner (Deep South Dish), chips and salsa

Wednesday:  Pancakes, sausage, fruit

Thursday:  hot dogs or leftovers

Friday:  pizza

Saturday:  Deep South Pinto Beans and Rice (Deep South Dish), cornbread

Sunday:  Bacony Chicken and Rice Bake (Deep South Dish), green veg

What’s on your meal plan this week?