Meal Plan #6

Looking for some variety of tastes this week, but chicken is on sale, so yes, that means two roast chickens.  I also feel like experimenting, though, with a couple of different flavours.  We will also be kicking it old school with a pork tenderloin recipe that comes from when I was a kid.  My mom used to make it for us, and then as now, it is an empty plate kind of meal.

I have linked the chicken and waffles recipe to an old recipe, Pan-Seared Haddock with Chili-Maple glaze.  The recipe gives you a guideline as to how to make the sauce, which, let’s face it, is the reason you’re eating chicken and waffles in the first place.  Use boneless, skinless chicken breast for this recipe, for maximum ease of use.

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Meal Plan #5

This week my husband is out of town for half the week, which means any taxiing around of children will be done by yours truly.  This means we need everybody and everything to be flexible and adaptable.  Primarily the meal plan.  Some days may need to be swapped. Some days everyone will be eating at different times. Some days I may not have the chance to breathe, let alone cook.

One night we will be having a selection everyone’s favourite food-in-a-box: chicken wings, nuggets, Chinese dumplings, potato skins, jalapeno poppers, etc.  It’s a mixed plate.  Every now and then, you just need to sink in and own that you want to eat a big pile of junk food in front of the tv for Family Movie night.  It’s so rare to have everyone home these days, that it’s kind of nice to be able to just stick a few trays in the oven and walk away so you can all catch up.

Roast Beef Dip sandwiches with mixed green salad are another quick fix.  The sandwiches are ready to go in about 10 minutes, with a simple, spicy beef broth dip, and mixed greens with blueberries, shallots, and Pecorino Romano.

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Meal Plan #4

There’s nothing exciting on special this week to drive the meal plan, so we’re just having things I feel like eating, based on what is happening on any given day.

When whole beef tenderloins are on sale we always buy one and cut it up into roasts and steaks, but there’s always the tail end.  The meat is nice, but it’s not pretty, so we usually put it in a freezer bag with some marinade and use it for fajitas at a later date.  The last time beef tenderloin was on sale we put the tail end piece in a Korean Beef marinade, so this week we’re having Korean Beef Tacos with a vinegary coleslaw and some spicy-sweet Gochujang sauce.

We will also be having a more Spanish-inspired version of the frittata I usally make with Black Forest Ham and Broccoli.  This one will have spicy Spanish Chorizo, fried onions, and a touch of saffron.  I’ll be making a few changes to the regular recipe and linking that in.

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Quick & Easy Cream of Tomato Soup

Cream of Tomato Soup is one of those nostalgic kind of meals.  It wraps you up in a warm hug, and soothes your soul.  Most people are used to soup from that red and white can, and there is nothing wrong with that.  But sometimes, for whatever reason, you want more control over what you’re eating or you just want to do it yourself.  I’ve experimented with various recipes over the years, using canned tomatoes and fresh, but I often found problems with texture or the acidity levels of the tomatoes.  My solution?  Garden Cocktail.  For myself, I choose the lowest sodium version I could find, with minimal additives, but commercially produced vegetable juice cocktail is smooth-textured and the acidity from the tomatoes has been balanced.  I personally enjoy the more layered flavours of garden cocktail, but you can always substitute tomato juice.  Best of all, using the garden cocktail as a base means you have just turned this into a 15 minute meal!
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Meal Plan #4

Club packs of chicken pieces are on sale this week, so we’re front loading the week with chicken dishes.  It’s okay, we love chicken.  It’s so versatile and adapts well to so many different cuisines and flavours.  The plan is to roast a lot of Chili Lime chicken and then use the leftovers the next day in Quesadillas.

My son has his activity once a week.  It’s very energetic, so he needs some good fuel for energy, but not something that will weigh him down.  His choice is often some kind of sandwich, so this week we are having that good old classic, Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup, but with a little bit of a spin.

We have someone in our household who really hates mushrooms.  There is no “just pick them out”.  They cannot have come in contact with any of the other food, or nothing can be eaten.  It’s funny, but also frustrating, because some of us (Me!) looooove mushrooms.  Mushroom Hater is working one night this week, so we are jumping all over that opportunity to make one of my favourite pasta dishes: spaghetti in a garlic olive oil, with sauteed mushrooms (I like cremini with this), baby spinach, and a special surprise you’ll find in the recipe link.

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Meal Plan #3

Whole chickens are on sale this week, so we’re roasting two (seriously, this is my best time saving tip!), and having leftovers different ways for a couple of days.  And then I’m pulling in some old favourites to fill out the week.  I’m giving you the links this week!

The Cheesy Pasta Bake is such a great dinner on a cold night.  It’s total comfort food.  One of my favourite things about it is there is always enough for, not only leftovers for lunch the next day, but also for a container in the freezer for those busy days when you need a quick dinner that isn’t fast food.

I have recently discovered a store in our neighbourhood that sells food products imported from England.  They have a great selection–it’s where I go to buy my tea–and they have frozen, bowl-sized Yorkshire Puddings! You can bet I’m going to make use of those beauties.

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Meal Plan #2

We have a lot of evening activities with the kids this week, so we’re having a lot of quick and easy dinners–things that are either light enough to eat before the activity, or quick enough to be ready to feed hungry teenagers.  I’m still experimenting with the Instant Pot and not yet ready to try being creative with it.  This week I’m using a recipe from Skinnytaste.com for a Chicken Tikka.  I have included a link for a Bearnaise sauce recipe, which is basically a Hollandaise with tarragon added.  I don’t remember where the recipe I use came from, and to be honest, I will use a powdered sauce mix in a pinch to save time, but this is a classic recipe and the linked recipe adheres closely to the classic.  If you come across a Bearnaise that has cream in it, run the other way!  This is NOT Bearnaise!

And, yes, Naan Pizza makes yet another appearance.  The kids love it and always ask for it.  Its good fuel for before activities, and its super fast to make.  I just keep naan, tomato sauce, and cheese on hand.  Put it together and pop it under the broiler for a couple of minutes, and PRESTO–dinner is ready!  The will never go hungry if I keep all the ingredients on hand.

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