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Monday, March 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 3/23

This is my first week participating in Menu Plan Monday. Laura from I'm an Organizing Junkie offers this helpful blog post every Monday. If you're stuck for menu planning ideas, this is a great place for inspiration!

My menu plan always revolves around which days I work. This week I'm working Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. My goal is to not cook (or cook lightly) on those days. I have better things to do when I get home. But eating a nutritious dinner without much prep takes some advanced planning. Here's my plan:

Monday - Crock Pot Chili (recipe below)

Tuesday - Leftover chili over baked potatoes (cooked by hubby)

Wednesday - Ham & Cheese Calzones (recipe below) & Salads

Thursday - Salsa Chicken (My friend Pam swears I can dump it over chicken & bake!) with microwave potatoes (cube, toss with canola oil, sprinkle with salt and parsley, microwave)

Friday - Hubby won't be home for dinner, so out with my daughter

Saturday - Fettuccini Alfredo & Salads

Sunday - Homemade Pizza with Friends

Crock Pot Chili (perfect for doubling)
1 pound ground beef (browned)
1/4 cup onion (I use frozen.)
28 oz. petite diced tomatoes
15 oz. tomato sauce
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
15 oz. mild chili beans (don't drain!)
15 oz. black beans, kidney beans, or pinto beans
* When I double, I use black and pinto.
Put it all in the crock pot, and cook all day on low or a few hours on high.

Ham & Cheese Calzones
This is a new recipe for us. I'm using my pizza crust but a little differently than I usually do.

1 T. dry active yeast
1 c. warm (not hot) water
2 1/2 c. flour
2 T. canola oil
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

  • Mix and let sit for 5 minutes. Then roll out on a floured surface. (You may need to add flour to the mix if it's too sticky.)

  • Form a 16 x 12 rectangle. Cut into 4 equal quarters.

  • Top each quarter with ham lunchmeat. (We like Smithfield Lean Generation honey ham!) Leave a 1/2 inch edge all the way around.

  • Mix 1/4 cup ranch dressing and 1 cup shredded cheddar (or other flavor) cheese. Spread over the ham.

  • Add thinly sliced tomatoes.

  • Fold each rectangle in half, and seal by pressing a fork all around the edges.

  • Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, and place pockets on the sheet.
    Bake 16-18 minutes at 400 degrees. They will be golden brown when done.

*NOTE: You can make these up to 8 hours ahead. Place prepared calzones on sprayed baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in fridge.

If these come out well, I'm going to try making them ahead and freezing some. Then we can pop out however many we want, thaw, and bake.

Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken (new recipe for us)
1/2 lb. fettuccine, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 1/4 c. chicken broth
4 tsp. flour
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
  • Cook pasta.

  • While pasta cooks, spray large skillet with cooking spray. Let it heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Cook 5-7 min. or until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken from the skillet.

  • Mix broth and flour in same skillet. Stir in cream cheese, 2 T. Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and pepper. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until mix boils and thickens.

  • Stir chicken into sauce mixture.

  • Drain pasta. Place in a large serving bowl. Pour chicken mixture over pasta, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

For more great menu planning ideas, head over to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie!


Nicole said...

mmm...I think I'll borrow your calzone and fettuccine recipe. You'll be seeing it soon in one of my menu plan monday posts!

Rona's Home Page said...

Welcome to MPM. I'm sure you'll find it very helpful and fun.
These high winds are really kicking those of us wih allergies. Ugh!
Well, while I'm waiting for the coffee to brew I thought I would stop by MPM blogs and see what's being served.
Your menu sounds delicious.

Amanda from Faith, Food and Family said...

Welcome to MPM! Your menu sounds yummy!
Have a great week!
God bless,

Lisa said...

Your menu sounds great. I am going to have to try that fettucine recipe!