Saturday, July 27, 2013

Meal Plan

Things are changing a bit.  I just reentered the workforce which is why I have been MIA lately.  I am back to shift work and that means cooking duties will be shared with my husband.  He isn't much of a cook so I will be making it as easy as possible for him to cook yummy meals.

I think the best way to keep it simple for him is to make freezer meals or quick and easy crock pot meals.  Either way I will prep them the night before so he can just turn it on or heat it up.  You will notice I have decided to repeat my meals every two weeks.  For me it is easier to split meals for my small family and freeze in batches.  Once I get into a routine and know my schedule I will start adding some more involved meals again.

Now that we know what we are making it is time to build the grocery list.

If you will be using foil pans make sure you add those to the list too.  Below is what I need to buy for the month.

Not too bad for a month of groceries.  Now onto the recipes!

2.5 lbs ground beef
2 small onions, diced
2 sleeves saltines or ritz crackers, crushed
4 eggs
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup honey mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
2 TBS worcestershire sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
2 TBS cider vinegar

  • Mix all the meatloaf together using your hands until fully combined
  • Shape into 2 loafs
  • Place into loaf pans (I used an aluminum loaf pan to freeze 1 loaf)
  • If freezing cover with aluminum foil, label, and write instructions on the pan
  • To prepare right away mix 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 TBS cider vinegar per loaf then spread evenly on top of the loaf
  • Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven
  • Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until cooked through
  • To prepare from frozen: Defrost in the fridge overnight and then follow the instructions for normal preparation
This recipe makes 2 loafs.  I will be freezing one for later this month.

Biscuit Breakfast Bake source The Shady Porch
1 can refrigerated biscuits
1 lb crumbled breakfast sausage, cooked and drained
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 small onion, diced
3 chopped green onions
1/4 cup milk
6 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

  • Mix milk, eggs, onions, and cheese in a large bowl
  • Cut the biscuits into fourths and stir them into the egg mixture
  • Add the cooked and crumbled sausage
  • Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish making sure the biscuits are in a single layer
  • Bake in a 250 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through
I have this scheduled twice, but it is not a freezer meal.  I will prepare this the day we plan to eat it.

2 can cream of chicken soup
2 1/2 cups sour cream
1 tsp chili powder
3 - 12 oz cans of chicken, drained
2 TBS butter
2 4oz can diced green chile's, drained
6 TBS green onion, diced
2 small onion diced
1 1/3 cup water
2 package taco seasoning (or 4-6 homemade taco seasoning)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 TBS lime juice
2 package tortillas
6 cups shredded cheese
2 can enchilada sauce
4-6 TBS green onion, diced (for topping)
2 - 4 oz sliced black olives, drained 
  • Combine soup, sour cream, and chili powder in a small saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over low heat and stir frequently.
  • While sauce is heating, heat butter in a skillet.  Add chopped onion and saute until translucent.  Add the chicken, chopped green chile's, green onion, water, and taco seasoning.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in lime juice, garlic powder, and onion powder; simmer for an additional 10 minutes (add more water if needed).
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir approximately 2 cups of the soup mixture in with the chicken mixture.  Spread the remaining soup mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  • Fill each tortilla with chicken mixture and shredded cheese, fold, and place seam side down in the prepared pan.
  • Once all the enchiladas are in the pan pour enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas.  Top with the remaining cheese.  Sprinkle with the green onions and black olives, then bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, approximately 25 minutes.
  • TO FREEZE:  Once topped with cheese cover with foil, label, write instructions, and freeze
  • TO PREPARE FROM FROZEN:  Defrost overnight, top with sliced green onions, and black olives then bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly
This recipe makes 2 batches.  I will be freezing one for later in the month.

Lasagna Casserole source Money Saving Mom
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground italian sausage
1 onion, diced
16 oz Rotini noodles
2 jars of spaghetti sauce
4 eggs, beaten
4 cups ricotta cheese
16 oz mozzarella cheese
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
  • Brown ground meat with onion until cooked through and drain
  • Prepare noodles as directed on the package for al dente
  • Mix spaghetti sauce with cooked meat
  • Set aside 1 cup shredded mozzarella for topping
  • Combine the remaining mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and eggs
  • Stir the pasta into the cheese mixture and combine 
  • Divide the noodles between 2 pans and top with each with 1/2 of the meat sauce mixture
  • Top each with 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly
  • TO FREEZE: After you top with cheese cover, label, and freeze
  • TO PREPARE: Thaw overnight and bake for 30-45 minutes in a 350 degree oven
This recipe makes 2 casseroles that fit in a 9x9 aluminum pan.  I will freeze one for later use this month.

Chicken Ala King
2 green peppers, seeded and diced
1 cup butter
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp pepper
4 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
4 cans chicken, drained
8 oz pimento, drained
  • Melt butter in a large skillet
  • Saute green pepper until just softened, about 7 minutes
  • Add flour and pepper and whisk until combined
  • Cook about 2 minutes to cook off the flour flavor
  • Whisk in broth and milk
  • Bring to a boil and continue to cook for about 1 minute or until thickened
  • Stir in chicken and pimento and stir to combine
  • Serve over hot cooked rice, biscuits, noodles, or toast points
  • TO FREEZE: Store in a gallon freezer bag
  • TO PREPARE: Defrost overnight and reheat in a saucepan until warmed through
This recipe is doubled so I can freeze 1 batch for later in the month.

BBQ Chicken Pizza
1 uncooked pizza crust
1 can chicken, drained
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
  • Prepare pizza crust as directed on the package until lightly browned
  • In a small bowl combine chicken and BBQ sauce
  • Sprinkle 1 cup cheese on the pizza crust
  • Top with chicken and then sliced onion
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese over top and bake for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted

2 box manicotti noodles
2 - 15oz container of ricotta cheese
8 oz fat free cream cheese
1 Cup shredded parmesan cheese
16 oz shredded mozzarella, plus 16 oz for topping
4 large eggs
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
4 tsp parsley
3 jars of spaghetti sauce
2 - 10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed with moisture squeezed out

  • In a medium bowl mix together ricotta cheese, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, 8 oz mozzarella cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley until fully combined
  • Put 1.5 cups of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and spread evenly
  • Place the filling mixture in a piping bag or ziploc bag and pipe into the manicotti shells.  Hold the shell in one hand and squeeze bag from top to fill shells.  Put enough filling to over flow both ends and then place in sauce lined pan.  Repeat for the rest of the shells or until you run out of filling.
  • Cover the pasta with the remaining sauce, top with cheese, and cover with foil
  • At this point you can either place it in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to bake or bake it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes.  Remove Foil and continue to bake uncovered for 10 more minutes
  • TO FREEZE:  Cover, label, and write instructions for preparation
  • TO PREPARE: Defrost overnight in the fridge and then follow the normal baking instructions
The above recipe is doubled and I will be making 2 dishes.  One of the dishes I will freeze in a 9x13 aluminum pan to use later this month.

Breakfast Tot Casserole
1 lb ground breakfast sausage, cooked and drained
3 cups shredded cheese
2 cups milk
4 eggs
1 bag tater tots
  • Spread sausage in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish
  • Top with shredded cheese
  • In a bowl mix together eggs and milk
  • Pour over the sausage and cheese mixture
  • Top with frozen tater tots
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until tater tots are cooked through and golden brown
Beef Enchiladas
2.5 lbs ground beef
2 small onions, diced
4-6 TBS taco seasoning
2/3 cups water
2 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cans tomato soup
2 cans mild enchilada sauce
2 packages tortilla shells
4 cups shredded cheese
  • Cook beef and onions in a large skillet until no longer pink and drain
  • Return to beef mixture to the skillet, add the taco seasoning and water, and simmer for about 10 minutes
  • In a bowl combine soups and enchilada sauce
  • Add about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce to the meat mixture
  • Spread about 1 cup of the sauce divided in the bottom of 2 separate 9x13 pans
  • Add approximately 1/4 cup of the meat mixture to each tortilla shell and top with about 2 TBS of shredded cheese
  • Roll each enchilada and place seam side down in the prepared pans
  • Top with reserved sauce
  • Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes
  • Uncover, top with cheese, and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted
  • TO FREEZE: Before topping with cheese cover, label, write instructions, and freeze
  • TO PREPARE: Thaw overnight in the fridge and prepare using the above method
Chicken Pot Pies source Meal Planning Magic
1 onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup evaporated milk
2 cans chicken, drained
1 cup frozen peas
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 unbaked pie crusts
  • Roll out pie crusts and place 2 of them in the bottom of pie plates (set aside the remaining pie crusts for topping later)
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat
  • Saute onion, celery, and carrots for about 3 minutes or until tender
  • Add flour and cook for about 1 minute stirring constantly
  • Add chicken broth and evaporated milk
  • Stir constantly until thickened and bubbly
  • Stir in chicken, peas, salt and pepper
  • Cool completely before pouring into pie crusts
  • When cooled and poured into pie crusts cover with the top crusts
  • Crimp the crusts and poke slits in the top
  • Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes
  • Cover with foil and bake 30 mire minutes
  • Let rest 10 minutes before slicing
  • TO FREEZE: After crimping cover with foil, label, and write preparation instructions on the container
  • TO PREPARE: Defrost overnight in the fridge and prepare according to the above instructions
This recipe makes 2 pies.  I will freeze one for later this month

1 package of no boil lasagna noodles
1 lb italian sausage
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion, diced
2 TBS minced garlic
1 can italian diced tomatoes, drained
2 jars of spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
  • Cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until cooked through and drain
  • Add tomatoes, seasonings, and spaghetti sauce to the meat mixture and stir to combine
  • In a separate mixing bowl combine the ricotta cheese, egg, spinach, and 1/2 tsp salt
  • Spoon about 1/4 cup sauce in the bottom of each pan
  • Layer uncooked noodles, sauce, ricotta mixture, shredded mozzarella, and parmesan cheese in each pan until all ingredients are used up ending with sauce and cheese (I got 2 complete layers of each)
  • Cover with foil, label, and freeze
  • When ready to bake thaw overnight in the refrigerator
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour - 1.5 hours or until heated through 
This recipe makes 2 lasagnas.

BLT Ranch Pizza source
1 refrigerated pizza crust (like pillsubury)
2 cups lettuce, torn
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
8 oz cream cheese softened
1/2 cup ranch dressing, divided
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup sliced olives
1/4 cup onion, diced finely
6 sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled

  • Bake crust according to instructions and cool completely
  • Combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup ranch dressing, and garlic
  • Spread evenly over the crust
  • Top with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, olives, and bacon
  • Drizzle with remaining dressing.
There you have it!  My meal plan for the next month.  I have quite a few easy meals which I think my family will love.  Hopefully, this made it super easy for my husband so we don't have to order pizza or live on hot dogs for the next month ;)  

Linked to:

Addicted to Recipes Button, Page button I Heart Nap Time The Chicken Chick  Ms. enPlace mop it up mondays It's Overflowing  Mixitup Photobucket Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays Mandy‘s Recipe Box Our Delightful Home Anyonita Nibbles nap-time creations The DIY Dreamer Cast Party Wednesday Back for Seconds HungryLittleGirl Cheap Recipes and Money-Saving Tips 52 Mantels Miz Helen’s Country Cottage Photobucket What's cooking, love? BWS tips button Photo Friday Blog Hop Blissful and Domestic Or so she says Super Saturday Show And Tell Recipes and Ramblins with the Tumbleweed Contessa
What I am Eating - Townsend House


  1. I'm a menu planner too. I don't know how I'd get a meal on the table if I didn't already have it planned out. It helps a lot with grocery shopping too.

    Thanks so much for sharing this at "The Saturday Spotlight party"!
    Have a great weekend!

    1. It sure does! I save so much money because of planning and honestly I couldn't imagine struggling to figure out dinner at 6 pm. I don't miss those struggles at all!

  2. the BLT Ranch pizza sounds perfect for us this week! Thank you for sharing on Foodie Friday

  3. just going over the recipe again, and realized you cook the pizza crust separately! You just made my night that much easier

  4. Thanks for linking up to the Friday Follow Along. This is great! Pinning this for later!

    1. Thanks! I hope you find lots of useful recipes and ideas :)


What do you think? I'd love to hear from you!