Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Meal Plan Monday.....on a Tuesday!

I worked all weekend, plus Monday since Damien was off and could be home with the kids, hence the tardiness of the Meal Plan Monday post. I'm going to make up for it by sharing the most amazing blueberry muffin recipe as well! My sister made them when she was here for the birth of Brooklyn and I've made them a few times since then. They have cream cheese in them. Need I say more?

Monday: Turkey Meatloaf with Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes

Growing up, my mom never made meatloaf. The tought of a loaf of meat somewhat grossed me out. Damien and I were invited to eat dinner with some friends in SC once and she served meatloaf. Obviously, when you are invited to dinner, you eat what's prepared or feel rude. I tried it and I thought it was delicious. So, I've been trying different meatloaf recipes for years now. 

This turkey version from The Kitchen McCabe is amazing! My entire family loves it! I had never made one with carrots in it and I feel like it adds just another punch of healthy. 

This night, I started dinner later than usual, so I used this and cut my cook time to 20-25 minutes at the same temp. You could also use a cupcake pan. Making individual servings not only cuts the cook time, but makes it much easier to serve.

You can't have meatloaf without mashed potatoes. I chop and boil 3-4 new potatoes (depending on size), drain and place back into pot. Add 1/2 cup warm milk, 2 tablespoons of sour cream, 1 tablespoon of butter and salt and pepper to taste. Then, I hand mash mine using this. Done.

I also used fresh French green beans. I blanch them in boiling salt water for 3 minutes then place then drain and place on a paper towel. Place pan back on heat and add a teaspoon of olive oil. Add green beans back to pan, add salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 more minutes. 

Tuesday: Burrito Bowls with Creamy Chipotle Sauce

Meatless meal of the night number one. We love the simplicity of this recipe! The recipe calls for rice, I replace the rice with quinoa (of course!), making it packed full of protein. It's a great quick, easy weekday meal. I've had some comments about houses with picky eaters, so I'll tell you how I do this for my picky eaters.

My kids love black beans and corn, so when I make these bowls for Damien and I, I make cheese quesadillas for the girls, and then give them black beans, corn and cucumber slices. Everyone cleans their plates and are happy. 

Wednesday: Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

If you haven't noticed just yet, Damien and I are obsessed with spicy food. If it has a kick, chances are, it'll go on our list of favorites! While meal planning for the week, I asked Damien if he had any requests and he wanted some sort of buffalo style chicken. So, I asked him if he remembered when I made this recipe from Ella Claire Inspired and if these would be ok. They are a true skinny version of buffalo chicken! We also leave out the blue cheese crumbles (which if you read my meal plan posts regularly, you know we aren't fans of blue cheese).

Also, the kids won't eat buffalo sauce, so I give them plain shredded chicken and some fresh veggies. Again, simple solution without cooking an entirely separate meal for them. Cause nobody has time for all that! Buffalo chicken not your thing either? Well, there are other great lettuce wraps recipes at the bottom of her blog posts for these (haven't tried them yet, but they look delicious!)

I made some baked salt and pepper potato chips to go with these. 

Salt and Pepper Potato Chips

2 potatoes (new or russet work)
clove of garlic, peeled
olive oil cooking spray
sea salt (in grinder)
black pepper (in grinder)

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚
  2. Slice potatoes very thin (I used my Mandoline)
  3. Spray cookie sheet with olive oil spray, then rub pan with garlic clove, pressing into the pan.
  4. Place potato slices on the pan.
  5. Cooke for 12-15 minutes.
  6. Take out of oven, flip potato slices.
  7. Retuen to oven and continue cooking for another 7-8 minutes.

Thursday: Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini

Oh pasta! Why do you have to be so full of calories? This recipe From Bombshell Bling is so easy, it's a travesty that I can't make it and eat it once a week. As you know, I do indulge in pasta typically once a week. I just don't over indulge. (wink, wink). This is meatless meal two for the week, by the way. But, you can always opt for a meat stuffed tortellini. I do prefer cheese tortellini over meat versions.

I have a hard time finding the brand of tortellini she used, so I just grab one that is frozen or refrigerated and cook according to package. I serve up a salad with this entree.

Friday: Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp with Pancetta Green Beans

I'm digging the addition of shrimp to our regular list of proteins. This recipe was a little more fattening because of the butter, but so tasty! Kudos to Half Baked Harvest! She recommends cerving with some coconut rice, which I think would be so yummy, but I didn't have the ingredients on hand.

I did make some fresh green beans again (again, I bought a large quantity, so we had green beans more than once!) This time, I sauteed some pancetta, garlic red onion to top the green beans and they were oh so delicious!! I blanched the green beans in salted boiling water again, but while they rested on a paper towel, I added chopped pancetta, a clove of garlic (pressed) and 1/4 cup chopped red onion. Sauteed over medium heat until onion was tender. Then added the green beans to the mixture and cooked for another 2 minutes to combine. 

Saturday: Pineapple Crockpot Chicken

As I mentioned before, I worked all weekend, so I busted out the crockpot on Saturday morning so my fam could have a hot dinner Saturday night in my absence (I got home right at dinner time). This was an easy, decent meal. Not my favorite, but it's more because it's a crockpot meal. I'm being honest, it's rare that I fully love a meal made in the crockpot, but it's the most convenient way to prepare a meal when I'm not home.

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can pineapple tidbits
1/2 an onion, sliced
2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder

  1. Place onion slices in bottom of the crockpot.
  2. Combine salt, pepper and garlic powder and sprinkle over both sides of chicken.
  3. Place chicken on top of onions.
  4. Dump can of pineapple over chicken.
  5. Combine soy sauce and chicken broth, pour over chicken.
  6. Cook on low 3-4 hours (or until chicken is cooked through).
Serve with veggie or salad.

Saturday Morning: Blueberry Muffins

I don't like blueberries plain. I don't like blueberry cobbler or pie. But, a good blueberry muffin or bread. Mmmmm! Emphasis on "good"! Don't expect me to eat store bought blueberry muffins or the kind you make out of a bag or box. No thank you! 

I'm so grateful to my big sister for introducing me to these little pieces of blueberry heaven from A Family Feast!

Hope you enjoyed today's post!! I will not be posting a Meal Plan Monday next week, due to working. But I promise to be back and on time the following week!!

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