Spring Meal Planning

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Spring Meal Planning

April 3, 2015

Anyone who knows me, knows I love to pour over cook books and pinterest and meal plan.  I really enjoy cooking and entertaining.  I also love a good deal and pride myself on being frugal.  My grocery store offers 15% off groceries the first Tuesday of every month.  I plan all month long for the items I am going to buy – the usual – a ton of milk, meat, butter, flour, sugar, peanut butter, cereal etc.  All the things that I can stock up on for the month.  I don’t just willy-nilly go and buy though – I generally plan out 16 – 20 suppers per month and buy the non-perishable ingredients I need on cheap Tuesday.  Like a lot of people, we have our favourite go-to recipes.  I have a list that I pull from in the winter, spring and summer.

I am often asked for my recipes as I am prone to post a lot of my meals on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

So, I thought I would share the 16 meals that were planned for the month of March.  If you need a side of bread – check out our bread blog too!

Meal 1 Beef Stew – this isn’t your Grandma’s stew. It has some special ingredients that make it so gourmet tasting; rosemary, red wine and BBQ sauce! It is a must try (and goes great with the bread recipes!)

Meal 2 – Egg Noodle Pasta Bake – it’s like a casserole lasagne. I add in some extra spices (oregano, thyme, italian seasoning etc) The kids like this one and it is great for left overs

Meal 3 – Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin in the crock pot

Meal 4 – Pan fried steaks – I buy the long beef tenderloin roast from costco (around $90 to buy) and then cut it into about 15+ steaks, which last 5 meals for us. The key to this one is buying a really nice cut of meat.  We like this better than BBQing our best cuts of beef and it is so easy and works every time.  A great entertaining recipe (as long as you really like the guests – this one is a bit pricey!) This is a great option for a date night in – save the money on a sitter and buy better meat! No link for this one: here is what I do:

  • Buy the best steaks you can! Preheat oven to 400F
  • season both sides with fresh cracked pepper
  • Add a few tablespoons of butter to a frying pan on medium-high heat
  • Cook steaks on both sides for 4 minutes
  • Remove from frying pan and put them into a oven safe dish
  • Add 2 tbsp balsamic oil to pan and scrape off any bits of meat
  • Pour frying pan contents over steak and bake at 400 for 12 minutes.  VOILA!

Meal 5 – Homemade pizza – choose a Friday or Saturday night for this one and enjoy it. We LOVE this pizza.  Add some veggies & dip and it’s the perfect meal for kids (or a glass of wine?!)

Meal 6 – Shrimp & spicy sausage pasta in a cream sauce – this one probably won’t give you leftovers it is SO good!

Meal 7 – Crockpot Whole Chicken – I make this with carrots & mashed potatoes/wedges or fries for the kids and add to a spinach salad for Daddy & I. (My very own recipe is included in the Crockpot Chicken blog post!)

Meal 8 – Parmesan & Honey Pork Tenderloin in the Crock Pot

Meal 9 – Glazed pork chops – made in the frying pan and finished in the oven.  Make the spice mixture a bit ahead of time and when you put it on the pork, the brown sugar melts all over it. So good!

Meal 10 – Lime Chicken Fajitas – you can either make your own marinade, or visit your spice aisle at the grocery store and buy a kit!

Meal 11 – Crunchy Baked-Fried Chicken with Green Bean Casserole & Cheddar Biscuits

Meal 12 – Ribs in the Crockpot (finish under the broiler or on the grill!)

Meal 13 –Sweet Chili Chicken

Meal 14 – One Dish Rosemary chicken with potatoes, & carrots – this is another spice kit you can buy from McCormicks to make things extra easy! The recipe doesn’t call for carrots, but they are really yummy in this dish.  This is also a pretty dish for guests on a cool night with a nice green salad.

Meal 15 – Husband’s Favorite Parmesan Chicken (great whole chicken breasts or cut up into slices for wraps, salads or just to eat on their own! We love to take this on road trips – packs great and doesn’t need to be re-heated!)

  • Either use whole chicken breasts, or cut up into slices.  Put into a bowl that has 1 egg cracks with 1/4 cup milk and a few dashes hot sauce
  • Remove chicken from egg/milk mixture in batches and toss in a ziplock bag that contains 1/2 cup parmesan (not the fresh, grated kind!) a few tbsp flour and some dried parsley. You can also add some panko and a bit of garlic salt for variation.
  • cook on medium high heat with a generous amount of oil until crispy and no longer pink.  We could eat this every night!

Meal 16 – Super fast Garlic Shrimp & Pasta.  I always have a bag of shrimp in the freezer.  The family loves it and it defrosts in cold water in minutes.

 

Some of our favourite sides to add to these main meat dishes are:

  • Steamed carrots
  • Steamed brocolli & cauliflower with cheese sauce (to make cheese sauce, just melt 2 tbsp butter, then add 1 cup of milk that has been mixed with 2 tbsp flour slowly until it thickens.  Then add 1 cup grated cheddar cheese.
  • Oven Roasted Cauliflower – SO good!!!!
  • Roasted Veggies (sweet potato, carrots, peppers etc) with herbs & olive oil
  • Panko Zucchiki
  • Panko Green Beans
  • Snap peas pan fried with a bit of water and oil. Top with either a bit of garlic salt or sweet chili sauce
  • Stir fried veggies (carrots, peppers, snap/snow peas) We cook in a bit of broth until just soft and then add in sauce (2 tbsp soy, 2 tbsp water, 1 tbsp corn starch, 1 tbsp brown sugar)
  • Orzo Pasta cold with greek salad dressing & raw veggies or cooked with butter, pepper and fresh parmesan cheese
  • Wild Rice
  • Potato Wedges with parmesan, garlic salt, paprika and olive oil
  • Sweet potato slices thin with a bit of coconut oil, salt and pepper and a bit of cayenne pepper

Stay tuned for a blog post all about salads (we love to make all of our own dressings!)

 

Happy Cooking!!

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