Monday, March 14, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Last week was a menu disaster! The kitchen was a mess, the pantry was bare and we ate out and ordered pizza a record number of times. Over the weekend the Hubs and I decided we would take the fam out to a nicer sit-down restaurant and we had a great time getting out together but there is nothing like paying $4 for a plate of mac and cheese to give you incentive to do a good job with the next week's menu and grocery shopping! So this morning after I dropped my girls off at school my little man and I sat down with a Food Network Kitchens cookbook to look for inspiration. I'm not going to actually follow any of the recipes in it - since they usually call for expensive ingredients - but I got lots of inspiration for simplified versions!

This week at my grocery store they were having several cart-buster sales which I finally took advantage of so now my cupboards are full or rice a roni (which will help out meals all month) especially since my favorite weeknight meal to cook right now is rice a roni with chicken. I discovered it quite on accident, actually. I was baking chicken to put in a pasta salad but then the day turned out to be too cold for pasta salad so I threw the chicken together with a box of rice a roni and voila! There was an inexpensive quick and easy meal that my family loved. And there are lots of possibilities and flavor combinations - so one night I seasoned some chicken breasts with chili powder and threw then in the oven to bake while I helped the kiddos with their homework (I think that baking some bone-in chicken is easier than pan-frying boneless skinless chicken - and it generally turns out better) then I mix up a couple boxes of mexican rice a roni and serve it with tortilla chips and shredded cheddar cheese and we've got a fun mexican night dish. But if I rub the chicken with simply salt and pepper and then use a couple boxes of long grain rice a roni and serve it with a tossed salad or steamed vegetables and I've got a completely different meal. Love it. And I really love the rice a roni brand (I used to buy the store brand but I haven't been able to find a good one lately) so to have them be on sale was an added bonus. I also found a loaf of bread in the bakery that was labeled as a cupcake so I got a whole loaf of bread for just ten cents - which I'll slice up and toast tonight to go with our salads.

Okay - enough about that here's the part you really want to know - my menu for the week:

Monday - Cobb Salad (chicken, bacon, hard boiled eggs, corn, tomatoes, etc.) & toast
Tuesday - Rice a roni with chicken & steamed vegetables
Wednesday - Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with fresh vegetables - sliced tomatoes, cucumber & carrots
Thursday - Pasta Salad with chicken, tomatoes, spinach and red pepper
Friday - Chili fries & hot dogs
Saturday - French Toast stuffed with nutella & cream cheese
Sunday - Mac a& Cheese and baked beans


  1. Sounds like a good week. I used to be so good at meal planning and couponing....not so much anymore. Something that could use a little TLC at my house.


  2. your kids are so cute! i love the pictures of them on the right hand side. what an adorable idea!

  3. One of my New Year's resolutions was to start meal planning and WOW does it help simplify your life and save money! Rice a roni is so versatile, I use it all the time, too!

  4. I always try to meal plan- if I don't I end up spending a ton more than I should and a bunch of food goes to waste.

    French toast with nutella and cream cheese?! YUM x10!!


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