I love menu plans! I save money, time, and stress just knowing what I'm going to cook, and I'm excited to get more ideas through Menu Plan Monday. I usually write out my menu by hand, but I decided to start doing it here instead.
So, here's how I Menu Plan:
1- I work on a 2-week schedule. I cook about every other day. On the "off" days we either have Leftover Buffets or Cheater Dinners (like pizza or sandwiches).
2- 30 Minutes. My meals take less than thirty minutes to prepare. I just don't have time for more than that! I might make one exception every two weeks. This menu's exception: Sour Cream Enchiladas. We love 'em!
3- Pre-cooked meat. I buy 5-pound torpedos of hamburger and cook it with onions. Then I divide the meat into 6 freezer baggies to use in meals. I also pre-cook and freeze chicken.
4- I don't assign a dinner to each day. Each day, I pick a dinner from my menu for that night.
And here's the menu:
#1. Stuffed Pepper Casserole
I love stuffed bell peppers, but expect that doing it in a casserole will be easier. My idea is to mix it all together, coat it with cheese, and cook till the cheese is melted and it is warmed all the way through. I might even try it in a crock pot. ;)
* about 1 pound pre-cooked hamburger
* about 1-2 cups rice
* 4-6 chopped (in large bite-sized pieces) bell peppers
* 1 onion chopped
* 2 cans tomato sauce
* 1 Tablespoon worcestershire sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon garlic
* 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
* 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
* salt and pepper to taste
#2. Pot Roast (sort of)
The recipe is for pot roast, but I bought a different kind of beef and am adding potatoes and carrots. It'll be good. Mix everything in a crock pot and cook it on high for 4-6 hours.
* 2-3 pounds chuck roast
* 2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 2 teaspoons cumin
* 1 medium onion
* 5-6 cloves garlic
* 1 cup tomato juice
* 1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
* a bunch of potatoes and baby carrots
#3. Chicken Salad Sandwiches
You've had these--mix it all together and plop it on some bread!
* chopped grapes
* chopped celery
* mayo (start out with a little, then add more till you're happy)
* a squirt of lemon juice
* salt and pepper
* optional: fresh parsely and a teaspoon of dill seed
#4. Hawaiian Haystacks
This will be a novelty for my family, though I grew up with them. I don't know the last time we had them!
* Mix together chicken, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, or whatever flavors you want, to make a thick chicken gravy mixture.
* Put crispy chow mein noodles and rice on the side.
* Put out bowls of chopped carrots, celery, tomatoes, cucumber, pineapple, raisins, etc.
* Layer individual plates with crispy chow mein noodles, rice, chicken gravy mixture, and top with veggies/fruits of choice!
#5. Chicken & Rice Casserole
Mix everything together in a big ole' pan, cover it with cheese, and cook until the cheese is melty and the food is warm!
* cooked chicken (or any other meat)
* cooked rice
* frozen peas or broccoli--just dump the whole bag in!
* a can or two of cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom soup
* salt, pepper, garlic, & oregano to taste
#6. Sloppy Joes & Veggies
Pick your veggie side, then make your sloppy joe goop. Add a can of sloppy joe mix to a pound of meat, a chopped onion, and a chopped bell pepper. Boil your goop for a few minutes so your onion and pepper are soft. (Or cook them first...whatever.)
#7. Sour Cream Enchiladas
This is the only recipe on this list that will take more than half an hour to prepare. But, it is really tasty. ;)
* Cook a pound of hamburger (or other meat) with a chopped onion and a can of diced green chilies. Add a can of refried beans and a can of black beans. If you want a ton of enchiladas, add a can of red beans too. ;)
* In a separate bowl, mix a can of cream of chicken soup, a can of cream of mushroom soup, a few tablespoons of green enchilada sauce, and a cup of sour cream.
* Smear about 1/2 cup of soup goop all over the bottom of a big fat pan.
* In your tortillas, put about 2 Tablespoons of soup goop and some hamburger mixture. Roll it up and put it in your big pan.
* Fill your big pan up with tortillas. Cover them all with soup goop and some enchilada sauce. Then cover it with cheese and cook it at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until your cheese is melty and everything is warm.
#8. Lemon Pepper Tilapia
This is Jon's specialty...I'm not sure what he does. It's something like spray a frying pan with cooking spray and cook the fish with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Maybe some Worcestershire sauce or something like that. I can ask him for details if you want. We usually stir-fry some veggies to go with it. Fish cook fast. ;)
#9. Breakfast for Dinner
This will depend on the mood I'm in, but will be pancakes, waffles, french toast, fried eggs, or breakfast burritos.
#10-12. Cheater Dinners
#13-14. Leftover Buffet
Dessert: Oreo Cheesecake.
I found this delicious looking recipe here: http://makeaheadmeals.blogspot.com/2008/02/32-freeze-ahead-oreo-cheesecake.html I don't know when I'll have time to make it, but I bought all the ingredients! I don't intend to freeze it.