Meals Plan Ideas for 9/22-10/3

While I can’t say I do this every week/two-weeks without fail, I usually sit down on Sunday afternoons and peruse my Pinterest boards to inspire my menu planning. Today was a lovely Indian Summer day to do just that. I usually cook 3/4 times per 7 days and sometimes I reinvent leftovers, so here is my Pin-spiration for our bi-weekly menu. I hope it inspires you too!

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Dijon Chicken Linguini with mushrooms-A little on the heavy side, I’ll have to save this for a day I work out!

Indonesian Pork with rice- I have a 4-pack of boneless pork shoulders I picked up from Costco. They are so versatile I really enjoy having them around for a change. I’ll be subbing one for the tenderloin in this recipe. I also do not have mango chutney, but what I do have is a lovely preserve that is Orange, Mango and Apricot (also from Costco). It should be yummy in the crock pot!

Beef Stew with Mashed Potatoes-I’ll be using the crock pot for this recipe too. I’m intrigued by the olives….

Chili with Cornbread-ok, I don’t follow a specific recipeĀ for this. In fact, my chili probably tastes a little different every time I make it. I brown 1-lb of ground turkey breast, dump it in my crock pot with the big cans (28-oz) of diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, 1 can of red kidney beans, 1 can of Bushs best chili magic chili starter AND an envelope of generic chili starter/seasonings. Ā Sometimes I add onions, sometimes I add tomato paste, sometimes I toss in other beans/extra beans.

Pork with Peppers-this is PW’s skirt steak recipe but I will be subbing pork and serving it over rice instead of noodles.

Turkey Meatballs-these are nice because I can make a lot of them and if there are leftovers, I’ll freeze them, then put them in my tortellini soup for nights I don’t feel like making dinner.

Crunch Broccoli Bake-a yummy new side idea I think I’ll make with something like fish

Roasted Yellow Squash with onions-my kids will moan and wail and whine but it’s ok with me šŸ™‚

Sweet Potato Coins-What a smart idea!

Buffalo Wing Pretzel Sticks-I am so excited to make these for a Saturday football snack!

Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms-another fun Saturday football snack item I can’t wait to try

The obligatory breakfast-for-dinner, ground turkey tacos, randomĀ pasta toss together (with tortellini), and variousĀ soups will be in the mix too if I need a quick fill in! What have you been pin-spired by lately?

Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce

Saw this on Pinterest and had to try it. It was very easy and so delicious! I made a few minor tweaks to the ingredients/process: I added white pepper to the seasoning for the chicken and used oregano instead of tarragon (because that’s what I had and it suggests that as a substitute) and I pounded out my chicken breasts. It makes for such tender chicken! I also started using Grapeseed Oil in place of EVOO. I’ve just heard so much about cooking EVOO at high temps and how it makes it a trans fat…which is no good!

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Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded to about 1/2 inch thickness
2 T Grapeseed Oil/Coconut Oil
Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano (or tarragon)
1/4 Cup chicken broth
1/2 Cup heavy cream
2 T dijon mustard

Directions:

1. Add Grapeseed Oil to a large skillet and preheat over medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt, white pepper and oregano. Add chicken to skillet and saute until cooked through, 10-12 minutes (juices should run clear), turning ONCE. Ā Note: I like to cook the chicken until it is just shy of being done, then transfer to a warm oven and let it finish. This maintains the juiciness of the chicken and keeps a little bit of a crispness to the outside while I make the sauce and finish the rest of the dinner.

2. Whisk the cream and mustard into the same skillet the chicken was just removed from. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes.

I kept the sauceĀ separateĀ because I have picky eaters around here. I like lots of sauce, my hubby likes just a drizzle, one kiddo likes to dip and the other doesn’t want ANY sauce (the third is too little to have an opinion yet).

I paired this with steamed broccoli and some basmati rice from Trader Joes that I doctored up (with spinach!).

Southwest Bacon and Chicken Wrap

Looking for a quick dinner? This is fast, tasty and if there are leftovers, makes for a great lunch the next day too.

Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 packet of taco seasoning
8 slices center cut bacon
lettuce
salsa
light sour cream
red onion, sliced thin
flour tortillas

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wrap desired amount (will work for 4-6 wraps) of flour tortillas in foil and set aside. In a small baking dish, place chicken breasts and coat with taco seasoning. Ā Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on thickness of chicken breasts).

2. Immediately after removing chicken from the oven, shred with two forks. Place the flour tortillas (that you already wrapped in foil) into the oven while you do this. When finished shredding the chicken, set aside. Cook bacon and cut veggies as it cooks.

3. Build your wrap by placing 1/4 Cup shredded chicken, 1-2 slices bacon, lettuce, salsa, sour cream and onions in warm tortilla. Wrap it up and enjoy!

This would also be yummy with fresh cilantro and avocado slices!

Baked Lemon and Pesto Chicken

Knorr has some great pasta sauce mixes. One of my favorites to have on hand for a fast dinner is their Pesto sauce mix. You only need to add water and EVOO for a delightful dinner.

This recipe is more of a guide than anything else. I’ve tried this multiple different ways and so has my best friend. She’s actually used Costco’s prepared pesto for this dish and said it turned out amazing. So you have some play here.

Before it went in the oven

Ingredients:

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (Or 1 package of boneless, skinless tenders)
1 packet of Knorr Pesto sauce (or your favorite Pesto sauce)
1 lemon

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. If using boneless, Ā skinless chicken breasts, slice them in halfĀ horizontallyĀ so that you end up with 2 thin cutlets out of each breast. Season with salt and pepper and arrange in a baking dish.

3. Mix the pesto according to the directions. Pour over the chicken cutlets. Slice a lemon and place the slices on top of the chicken. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through (depending on the thickness of the chicken).

Pesto Chicken with Parmesan Risotto and Edamame!

This is delicious served with risotto!

Notes: You can also make these in individual foil packs for less clean up, or you can grill the foil packs!

Chicken “Fried” Rice

I made this last week and it was SO good. It isn’t really fried of course, and I added some vitamins by using brown rice.

Author: Martha Stewart
Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:
1 cup long-grain rice (I used brown)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (12 oz total) *I used a rotisserie chx
salt and pepper to taste
1 T EVOO
2 large eggs
8 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 T fresh Ginger, trimmed, peeled and thinly sliced *don’t skimp on this or use ground/dried
1/2 C diced red pepper
2 T soy sauce
1/2 t sugar
1/2 C chicken stock
1 C snow peas, trimmed

1. Cook rice according to package directions; set aside.
Pick the meat from the rotisserie chicken; set aside.

2. Heat 1 T EVOO. Add eggs when hot (not smoking) and just as whites begin to set, stir to scramble. Add scallions and ginger; cook 1 minute. Add reserved bell pepper and rice; cook 2 minutes. Stir together soy sauce, sugar and stock; add to skillet. Add snow peas and reserved chicken, cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.

This was a tasty dish! Very light and bright. Don’t skimp on the fresh ginger-it really makes the dish. In fact, add more if you like it!

15-Minute Pesto Pasta Toss

Short on time? I threw together this super quick meal for my family a few weeks ago and everyone loved it so much that we’ve eaten it about 3 more times since! I feel almost guilty calling it a recipe because, uh, it feels like cheating. It’s that quick and easy!

Ingredients:

1 Pkg Knorr Pesto Sauce
1/4 Cup EVOO
1 box whole wheat noodles of your choice (I like penne and rotini)
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
1 bunch of asparagus, cut with woody stems discarded
1 C sliced mushrooms (if you like them)
1 small head broccoli, not chopped, just cut into florets
1 rotisserie chicken, pulled
spices to taste such as oregano, salt, pepper and garlic powder

1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box/howĀ  much you’ll need for your meal.

2. Follow the directions on the Knorr pack for the pesto, which should say something about adding it to some water with the EVOO in a small saucepan. If you want to have a little more thickness to your sauce, (this is a Giada trick) use the water from the pasta you cooked up for the sauce. It makes it extra nice. šŸ˜€ Be sure to whisk it well.

3. Slice/prepare your veggies as you like them. In a medium-lg saute pan, toss 1 tsp/small splash of EVOO and let it warm up a few minutes. Toss the veggies in the pan once the oil is warm. Season with spices such as salt and pepper, oregano and fresh garlic or garlic powder. The veggies should only cook for 5-7 minutes. You want them to be bright in color and slightly tender, not mushy or remotely brown. They should keep a little crispness to them.

4. While things are cooking, remove the skin from the rotisserie chicken and discard. Pull the meat off in large sections ensuring there are no bones hiding in there. If you are squeamish about touching meat, I can’t help ya. It’s best to use your fingers. As you pull the meat you can either place it in a bowl or toss it in with your veggies if the meat needs to be warmed up.

5. Once everything is complete you can serve it multiple ways: you can make a “build it yourself” pasta bar, keeping everything separate or you can just dump it all into a large platter and toss it together.

This is a light and savory dish that’s perfect for spring and seriously, who can beat a yummy spring dinner in 15 minutes?

P.S. My 5 year old son liked this dish and ate it! He wasn’t a fan of the mushrooms, but liked everything else. I didn’t mark it kid friendly, but I think it just depends on your kid. Don’t be afraid to offer this to them. It’s yummy!

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Pocket

My friend Nicole has a fun cooking website that I love to check out! She has 3 little boys who I dare say are as picky, if not more so, than my own 2 boys. That’s a relief! This recipe was actually inspired by her Chicken and Swiss Crescent Braid recipe. My husband does not eat mayo or mustard…ever…so I had to think a little differently. Below is my version.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts seasoned with Adobo with pepper (if you aren’t familiar with this seasoning, add it to your pantry asap!) and baked until thoroughly cooked, then shredded
1 roll Pillsbury crescent recipe creations dough
2 T all purpose flour
1 C broccoli, steamed and cut into small pieces
1/3 C cream cheese
2 slices reduced-fat swiss cheese
1 T egg white (I used the stuff from the carton)

1. Preheat your oven according to the Pillsbury dough directions. (I forget how hot the oven was!) On a clean surface, scatter flour. Unroll dough from tin and then, using a rolling pin, stretch out until dough is roughly 1/4 inch thick.

2. Combine the chicken, cream cheese and broccoli until the cream cheese is smoothed out/without lumps. (My broccoli was still warm and the cream cheese was room temp when I combined.) Spread down the middle of the crescent dough. Ā Cut each piece of swiss cheese in half (triangle) and place 4 pieces down the roll.

3. Fold the left and right sides of the dough over the top of the filling, creating a pocket. You can roll the ends or fold them. Brush with egg whites and bake until brown and bubbly!

Nicole’s braid is way prettier, but this tasted good too!

 

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Pocket

 

 

Extreme close up šŸ˜€