Busy Mom’s Weekly Menu Plan – February 15 – 22

Busy Moms Weekly Meal Plan

I really had to rack my brain hard for recipes that I haven’t cooked in awhile this week. It was difficult for me to come up with my meal plan. Have you ever been at the point during the season when you just don’t/can’t wear the same clothes you have been wearing for the past 3 months? I am at this point with winter recipes right now. I am at the point where I want winter to pack up and move out to make way for spring. Even though I really do enjoy rich beef stew and homemade chicken soup, I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can break out the grill.

In the next few days, the temperature is going to go from 29 degrees to 40 degrees, so hopefully that will melt the 3 feet of snow on top of the grill and I can start it up. A girl can hope can’t she.

Until then…

Here is what I plan on making for dinner this week:

Sunday:  Shrimp and sausage jambalaya.

Monday:  Caribbean Black Bean Soup.

Tuesday:  Chicken Cacciatore.

Wednesday:  Leftovers

Thursday:   Crockpot Mexican Chicken with homemade guacamole.

Friday:   Homemade Takeout. Stir Fried Singapore Noodles with Garlic Ginger Sauce.

Saturday:  Chili with homemade cornbread.

Question: What are you looking forward to cooking on the grill this spring?

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Busy Mom’s Weekly Menu Plan – February 9 – 15


Busy Moms Weekly Meal PlanThis week on Friday, couples will rush out to restaurants to have a hurried meal while they are packed into every square inch of a restaurant because it is Valentine’s Day.  Many restaurants will create menus with more expensive prices, since they know couple will come no matter what.  My husband and I love to go out to dinner but when restaurants are over crowded like this, we just don’t enjoy our meal.  We find that we have a much better time if we go out either the week before or the week after Valentine’s Day.  The restaurants are so much calmer then and you do feel like people are waiting to give your table to the next couple.

So instead of going out, we celebrate Valentine’s Day at home.  On Friday, I plan on putting the kids to bed early (we shall see how that goes) and making a special dinner for just the two of us.  On the menu is broiled salmon with sauteed spinach.  Salmon + a bottle of wine + my husband = a perfect night!

Here is what I plan on making for dinner this week:

Sunday:  Chicken Fajitas with a Yellow Rice.

Meatless Monday:  Vegan Chili.

Tuesday:   Leftovers.

Wednesday:  Sauteed Lemon Chicken with spaghetti and asparagus. 

Thursday:   Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions.

Friday:   Valentine’s Day Dinner, Broiled Salmon with sauteed spinach.

Saturday:  Hamburgers with homemade coleslaw.

Question:  How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Busy Mom’s Weekly Menu Plan – February 2 – 8

Busy Moms Weekly Meal Plan Feb 2 - 8Do you ever feel like all you do is eat chicken for dinner?

I feel like chicken is always on the menu in my house.  It is really hard for me to come up with beef recipes during the winter months.  During the summer a burger or steak on the grill tastes so good. But for some reason, steak cooked on the stove or in the broiler doesn’t taste as good.  It might be because every time I cook steak inside of the house, the entire house fills up with black with smoke.  Oops. 

The week I found a recipe for steak tips looks so yummy.  I think that there is only a small chance of having to call the fire department to tell them to ignore any alarms from our house when make it for dinner.

Here is what I plan on making for dinner this week:

Sunday:  Pizza and Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings.  Super bowl baby!

Monday:  Cream of Broccoli Soup.

Tuesday:   Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili.

Wednesday:  Steak Tips with Peppered Mushroom Gravy.

Thursday:   Leftovers.  I always have leftovers after making the crock pot chicken taco chili.  You could use the leftovers to make chicken tacos  served with rice and refried beans.

Friday:   Roasted chicken, with potatoes, carrots, and fennel.

Saturday:  Out to dinner.

Question: What is your favorite beef recipe to cook in the winter?  I am always looking for ideas.

Banana Bread

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Banana Bread

I buy A LOT of bananas each week.  When people see the stack of bananas in our house, they think that we are crazy.  I buy anywhere from 30-40 bananas a week.  It might seem like an excessive amount but when you do the math its really not that many because we do have 5 people in our family.  30/5 = 6 bananas per person per week.  The little kids sometimes will eat 2 a day and that causes us to go through them pretty quickly.

But there are some weeks where we don’t finish all of the bananas l buy before they turn brown or they turn brown too fast and they lose their appeal. The picture below is a case in point.  No one was going to touch these bananas no way, no how.

Banana Bread

Do you ever wonder what to do when your bananas look like this?  When bananas are this ripe, they are perfect for Banana Bread.

Total time:  75 minutes (only 15 min hands on time)

Ingredients:

  • 8 Tbsp butter (I use Earths Balance)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed until smooth
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×5 bread pan.

2.  Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl.

3.  Using a mixer, beat the butter, eggs and mashed bananas together.

4.  Stir in vanilla extract.

5.  Gently combine the wet and dry ingredients together by pouring the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix slowly until just mixed.

6.  Pour the batter into the pan and bake from 45-60 minutes. Bread is done when toothpick comes out clean from center.

Banana Bread

Happy baking!

Tip:  Store extra ripe bananas in the freezer. Peel the bananas and put in a ziplock bag until ready to use. Defrost the banana before using the bananas in a recipe. Maximum storage time should be 3 months.

Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta

CreamyTomatoSpinachPasta1This recipe is a wonderful meal to make on a Meatless Monday.  It is super easy and will easily become a family favorite.  The spinach mixes in with the pasta and hides it enough so the kids will eat it up!

Total time: ~30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 8 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 oz cream cheese (I used Toffutti Better Than Cream Cheese)
  • 1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb pasta (penne or campanelle pasta are both good to use)
  • 8 oz fresh spinach

Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to directions on package.

2. While the pasta is cooking, dice the onion and mince the garlic.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over med-low heat.  Add the onion and garlic, cook until softened and transparent.

3. Add the diced tomatoes with juices, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the pan.  Stir to combine.  Add the tomato paste and 1/2 cup of water to the sauce.  Stir until the tomato paste is combined with the rest of the sauce.

4. Turn the heat down to low.  Add small bits of cream cheese to the tomato sauce and stir until the cream cheese has melted completely.  Add 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese to the pan stirring until combined.  Add the remainder of the Parmesan and stir until completely combined.

5.  Stir the spinach into the sauce.  Cover the pan and cook the spinach until it is wilted.  Add the pasta to the pan and mix well.

Serve with garlic bread.

Tofutti1When I cooked this recipe I made a few changes to make it a dairy free meal.  I substituted Toffutti Better Than Cream Cheese  for the cream cheese.  Toffuti is a great brand that offers many dairy free options of milk products.  In the past I have cooked with their version sour cream and cream cheese.

Tip: This is a quick recipe to make and it uses ingredients easily found in any pantry.  This recipe doubles in size very nicely and can be served at your next party.