Meal Plan 1/10/16-1/16/16

Meal Plans are great when you use them! What I’m finding is that we make 2-3 of them and then we munch on them the rest of the week OR pending who’s handling dinner, revert to cereal or picking up something when we’re going to be heading somewhere other than home…This week’s meal is going to focus on things I can make AHEAD thus limiting the cereal diversion. Picking up something typically entails the family is not headed home immediately and there’s only so much control I have over that;)

Today I’m fixing the spaghetti squash casserole and the stuffed peppers which Tim and I (and the kids) will eat for dinner tonight and then for lunch this week (Tim and I).

IMG_0874**edited** I made the spaghetti squash casserole omitting the jalapenos and adding in a gourmet blend of mushrooms because they were more available than the cremini mushrooms. The results: Glad I pulled out the jalapenos because there is a bit of heat in this recipe. If you are not into heat, reduce the paprika. The gourmet blend of mushrooms worked perfectly! We will definitely make this again!



I know I promised I would give the recipe for the Root Vegetable Soup. I adapted it from a recipe I found in this phenomenal book that EVERYONE should get:) The book is called Soup Night and shares recipes and stories of people building community around a night of soup – I have it on my list to do this in our neighborhood at some point because I LOVE the idea behind it. I’ve made several recipes from it and they have all been delicious thus far.

Winter Root Vegetable Soup – adapted from Soup Night
1 onion
1lb. carrots
1 large yam
1 large potato
1 rutabaga
2 turnips
2 parsnips
3-4 stalks of celery
1 tomato, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2lbs. Andouille Smoked Chicken Sausage
1.5 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp whole mixed pepercorns
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp allspice (or 6-8 whole allspice, tied in a cheese cloth)
3 tbsp dried parsley or 1/2cp fresh, chopped
1/2 cp fresh cilantro for garnish

Prepare all of the vegetables and add them to a large pot. Add enough water to cover all the vegetables. Add the remaining ingredients (garlic, sausage, salt, pepper, peppercorns, all-spice and parsley). Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer until the vegetables are tender. *You can use a slow cooker, cook on low for 8 hours)> Serve hot and sprinkle with cilantro.

Italian Chicken Bake
I found this recipe stalking pinterest for something easy to make. It was super simple and my children liked it (although – super typical – Lincoln was not a fan of the tomato – one day I’ll win him over;) but he did like the chicken with the pesto and the mozzarella. I have done this recipe with no tomatoes, with diced tomatoes…and try different types of tomatoes. It calls for Roma, but I use regular tomatoes more often than not. You can easily adjust it to your liking!

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
4-6 Tablespoons Prepared Pesto
1-2 Roma Tomatoes
1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated

Trim the chicken and lay them in a glass baking dish in a single layer.
Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the pesto on top of each chicken breast.
Cut the roma tomatoes into slices approx 1/2″ thick and lay 2 slices on top of each chicken breast.
Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the chicken breasts.
Bake at 400F for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is done and the juices run clear.
Serve over a bed of rice or a plate of pasta.



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