Two of my goals on my 2017 Vision Board were to:
1. plan more of our meals (and in turn save some money) &
2. Utilize my blog more so that I can share with more people
So – I’ve decided to combine the two and post our weekly dinner menu on here so that you can either follow it with us, or use it for some inspiration! Instead of writing some novel about why I’m doing this, let’s keep it simple and stick to why you’re reading this –> the meal plan.
Here’s how this week is looking….
Let’s walk through each day so I can tell you how I cooked everything and what I added in after-the-fact. 😉
Sauce – All I did for the marinara was pour 3 large cans of crushed tomatoes into my crockpot, added dried basil, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder and a drizzle of olive oil on top. I let it cook for about 6 hours on low and it was DELICIOUS. Save leftovers for pizza night on Friday!!
Chicken sausage – buy enough of your favorite chicken sausage (mine was Nature’s Promise from our local grocery store) for TWO NIGHTS of dinner. To cook, remove casing, saute in a skillet on low heat with cooking spray until brown on the outside and cooked through on the inside. Cook enough sausage for dinner on Monday AND Tuesday. One less thing to prepare on Tuesday night!
Spaghetti squash – preheat the oven to 400 degrees. CAREFULLY cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds. Spray the cut side of each half with olive oil cooking spray, season with salt and pepper and place face down on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Let it cool until you can handle it. Once cool, use a fork to scrape the flesh to make strands.
Rice – I decided to make the cilantro lime rice on Tuesday so that I didn’t have to do anything except heat it up on Wednesday night. The favorite rice in our house is jasmine rice, so that’s what I bought, but you can use whatever is the favorite in your house! I cooked enough rice for Tuesday AND Wednesday night according to the package instructions (this will be different for everyone depending on your household, so just use your judgement based off of experience). While the rice is cooking, finely chop one bunch of cilantro and halve one (juicy) lime. Once the rice is finished, squeeze the whole lime and add the cilantro to the bowl and mix very well. Add salt to taste.
Bell pepper & Avocado – Easy as this…. dice one bell pepper and one avocado. Place them in a bowl with a little salt and pepper and mix well. And you’re done with that! It’s so refreshing!
Chicken sausage – Reheat the leftover sausage from Monday night. Can’t get easier than that.
Rice – see Tuesday. Simply reheat the leftovers.
Black beans – Buy one small can of reduce sodium black beans. Pour entire can into a colander and rinse until the water runs clear. Set aside until it’s time to assemble your plate. The beans will still be flavorful, but not loaded with sodium.
Shrimp – Again, use judgement on how much you need for your family. Thaw frozen, uncooked shrimp according to package instructions. Once the shrimp are prepped (thawed, shells removed), place them in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, and LOTS of garlic powder. Saute in a pan coated with olive oil until they are pink with brown edges. I used “extra jumbo” size and cooked a 2 lb. bag that we used for lunch leftovers later in the week.
*Bell pepper and avocado – I loved this combination so much from Tuesday night, I made it again on Wednesday and added it to my plate. See Tuesday for directions.
Thursday (I apologize for this being below the image, wordpress wouldn’t cooperate):
Salmon – Season salmon fillets (one for each person) with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Coat the bottom of a saute pan with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (you will see “ribbons” in it when it’s hot enough) place the salmon fillets in the pan. Cook each side until brown and crispy (about 5 minutes each side), and the salmon is cooked through.
Asaparagus – *I decided to blanch the asparagus instead of steam. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a generous amount of salt. Cut the ends of the asparagus off (about 1 inch up) and then cut in half. Cook the cut asparagus in the boiling water for two minutes. Remove the asparagus from the boiling water and immediately place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Once they are cooled, remove from the ice water and pat dry with a paper towel.
“Salad” – on a large platter, arrange plum tomatoes (cut in half), hard boiled eggs (if you need a recipe for the perfect boiled egg, check Pinterest because mine are never that great LOL), asparagus, and sliced avocado. Keep each part separate instead of mixing together.
Lemon-Herb vinaigrette – 6 T. olive oil + 6 T. lemon juice + 2 T. Dijon mustard + minced garlic + herbs of choice ( used oregano, rosemary, and thyme) + salt & pepper. Whisk together well. Drizzle over entire platter.
Crust – I originally put “tortilla” pizza in the dinner plan, but while I was grocery shopping I changed my mind and bought flatbread. The crust is one Flat Out flatbread per person (or two if you’re really hungry). To make the crust crispy, place it on a baking sheet and spray each side with olive oil cooking spray. Pre-cook in a 400 degree oven for about 2-3 minutes each side. Do not take your eyes off of it because it will go from brown to burnt FAST. This method helps keep the crust crispy without overcooking the cheese.
Pizza sauce – use the leftover marinara from Monday night’s spaghetti squash
Toppings – whatever YOU love! We used turkey pepperoni and part-skim mozzarella.
Directions – pre-cook the crust as stated above. Once it is crispy, assemble the pizza on the baking sheet with your favorite toppings and place back in the 400 degree oven for 7-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Grocery List for Dinner Plan 1/9 – 1/13
1 medium/large spaghetti squash
Cilantro (1 bunch is plenty)
Flat Out flatbread (many varieties so just choose your favorite)
3 large cans of crushed tomatoes
Chicken sausage (enough for 2 nights, and lunch leftovers if you want)
Salmon (I buy the portions from the seafood counter)
Herbs (usually people have these on hand but replenish if needed)
Please comment on this post if you try any of these dinners this week or in the future! I would love to hear what you think of them!