I'm excited to share something new with you all today! During the last few months, I've been feeling quite overwhelmed with how much there is to do each day as a wife, a blogger, a business owner and especially as a mom. Before I know it each day, its 4:30pm and I usually don't know what I'm going to be cooking for dinner. I'm not the only one, right?
To help keep my life more in order and to make sure I'm feeding my family healthfully each night, I decided to start a weekly meal plan. Thanks to Pinterest (following my Eating Frugal board here), I've found many amazing recipes and sites. It has inspired me to find new, healthy recipes for my family and also keep me on track with my daily Weight Watchers tracking. It is possible to still eat well without lots of processed foods AND save money! At the request of many on my Facebook page, I've decided to start sharing these meal plans and recipes each week with you!
My meal plans follow a similar schedule to the grocery store ads, since as you know, this is how I shop! I plan meals Wed - Tuesday typically (sometimes a bit longer depending on my upcoming weekly schedule) so that I can shop for next meals with the current week's sales. As a couponer, I look for meals to cook that use about 75% of the items I already have on had in my stockpile (Learn about Stockpiling here!). That prevents me from spending lots of extra money each week just for ingredients for my meals. You will find I also often substitute ingredients for something similar that I do have in my stockpile. I can continue to shop each week for the items that are on their lowest sales, with my coupons, and then only have to buy produce and a few extra items I may need. By cooking & shopping by this method, you will find yourself STILL saving at least 60% or more at the grocery store! I DO!
Here's my plan for this week March 21 - March 28 :
** Items in red are going on my shopping list for the weeks since I do not have them in my stockpile or freezer.
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup rice flour (I use regular flour)
1 cup whole buttermilk (I use milk)
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
3 tablespoons canola oil
Sweet chile sauce (optional) - (Great addition!!)
1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Combine buttermilk and egg in a shallow dish, stirring well. Place coconut in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour; shake off excess. Dip chicken in egg mixture; dredge in coconut.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes or until done, turning to brown. Serve with chile sauce, if desired.
BBQ'd Tri Tip (we just sprinkle a bit of Susie-Q Santa Maria Seasoning on it and grill)
Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas WW 5 pts+
Spanish Rice (2 cups rice sauteed in some canola oil until slightly browned. Add a bit of cumin and garlic salt. Add 8 oz tomato sauce, 4 cups chicken broth, and some dried minced onion. Simmer gently until done)
1 pound boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs (about 4)
16 ounces Beer
2 cups Water
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Jalapeno Pepper, minced
3 cups Baby Spinach, chopped
5 burrito-size Flour Tortillas (9 inches)
6 ounces Queso Quesadilla or other melting cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon Olive Oil, or cooking spray
Salsa, for serving
Preheat the oven to 450*F. Put the chicken thighs in a deep sided saute pan and cover with the beer and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the liquid and shred it. Mix together the chicken and seasonings. Pour out all but 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the jalapeno and spinach and cook over low heat until for 2-3 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted. Cut the tortillas in half. Spoon 1/10th of the chicken (about 1 tablespoon) along the long edge of a tortilla. Repeat with the spinach and cheese. Roll the tortilla up, starting with the straight edge. Place seam-side down on an oiled baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Brush the flautas with olive oil or spray with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn them over and bake for until 10 minutes, or until crispy. Serve with salsa. Each flauta has approx. 180 calories, 9 grams fat, 6 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 18 grams protein
Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup WW 7 pts+
Calories: 281 • Fat: 12.2 g • Protein: 13.7 g • Carb: 31.6 g • Fiber: 6.6 g • Sugar: 3.6 g Sodium: 782 mg
2 tsp olive oil
2 leeks, chopped (whites and light green only)
2 cloves garlic
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 lb lean corned beef brisket (yields 9 oz cooked)
6 cups of water
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
1 small head cabbage, cored and chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
fresh pepper to taste
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium low heat. Add leeks and sauté until soft, about 4-5 minutes; add garlic, carrots and yellow pepper and sauté about 2-3 minutes. Add corned beef, peppercorns or seasoning packet that comes with the corned beef, bay leaves, parsley and water; cover and bring to a boil. Simmer covered on low heat for 3 hours, until the meat becomes tender.Remove the corned beef, set it on a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return it to the pot then add the cabbage and potatoes, taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed. Cook until the potatoes and cabbage are tender, about 45 more minutes.
Makes 9 cups.
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3½ oz (100g) rice stick noodles (I will probably just use spaghetti)
3 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
12 oz (360g) uncooked skinless chicken breast fillets—cut into bite size pieces
1 red pepper—deseeded and cut into strips
12 snow peas—ends trimmed, and left whole (I will just use frozen peas)
1 clove garlic—minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped lime zest
1 scallion (spring onion)—thinly sliced on diagonal
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
MIX together the soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, water and pepper in a small bowl until combined. PLACE the rice stick noodles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 8 minutes, then rinse under cold water, drain, and set aside. HEAT a wok or large skillet over a high heat then add 1 tablespoon of the oil. STIR-FRY the chicken for 3 minutes then remove from the wok and set aside on a plate. ADD the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the hot wok and stir-fry the pepper for 3 minutes. ADD the mushrooms and snow peas and cook for 2 minutes. ADD the garlic and lime zest and cook a minute. ADD the cooked chicken, noodles and sauce mixture, and stir-fry for 1 minute to heat through and combine thoroughly. STIR through the scallion, basil and lime juice and serve.
Variations: Instead of chicken you can use shrimp, scallops, squid, or tofu. Other vegetables that go well with this dish include green beans, bean sprouts, broccoli, canned bamboo shoots, or carrots. And if you want to add some extra crunch, cashews or chopped peanuts are ideal.
Crock Pot meal (I have frozen pre-prepared crock pot meals in my freezer so I just pull one out to cook most Monday. I will share those recipes soon!)
8 ounces dried whole wheat or multigrain penne pasta (about 2 1/2 cups)
3 cups Fresh Broccoli, cut into florets
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon adobo seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup light mayonnaise (I will use greek yogurt or maybe light cream cheese)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan cheese
In a Dutch oven cook pasta according to package directions, adding broccoli for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain well. Return to hot Dutch oven. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine chicken pieces and adobo seasoning; toss to coat. In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add chicken; cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
Add chicken to drained pasta and broccoli in Dutch oven. Stir in mayonnaise and pepper. Cook over low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally.To serve, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Makes 6 Servings
Slow Cooker Parmesan Chicken WW 7 pts+
Spaghetti & Veggies
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 T flour
4 (4 oz each) raw boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 lb total)
2 egg whites
1 ½ cups marinara sauce
¾ cup 2% shredded Mozzarella cheese
1. Spread the bread crumbs across the bottom of a large dry skillet and bring over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, stirring every minute or so to rotate which crumbs are on the bottom until the crumbs are browned.
2. Combine the flour and chicken breasts in a large Ziploc bag and seal shut. Shake until the breasts are coated with the flour.
3. In a shallow bowl, lightly beat the 2 egg whites. Place the bread crumbs on a separate shallow bowl or plate. Dip one floured chicken breast in the egg whites, coating all sides, and then press it into the bread crumbs. Flip the breast to coat with crumbs and then place it into your slow cooker. Repeat with three remaining breasts, creating a single layer of breaded chicken breasts at the bottom of your slow cooker.
4. Spread the marinara sauce over the top of the chicken layer. Place the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours. About 15-20 minutes before the cooking is finished, add the cheese so it can melt. Serve and enjoy!
Yields 4 servings. Weight Watchers P+: 7 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Nutrition Information per serving from myfitnesspal.com: 299 calories, 18 g carbs, 9 g fat, 33 g protein, 2 g fiber