Monday, August 28, 2017

Menu Plan Monday

Before I begin my post about What's For Dinner?, let me first say Thank You, dear readers! Between your comments on this blog and on my Facebook page, I am now so motivated to keep blogging. I appreciate your kind words so much! I am about to write down every single suggestion that you made, and I will attempt to address each one over time. Thank you for all the great ideas!  :)

This week begins the first days of our new normal. We are now a family of four here at home. (I spent last week in Florida getting Clay settled in at college.) Leah and I have chosen new seats at our kitchen table so that the four of us are sitting close together on our big table for 10. We are sitting in the middle. It is also an adjustment in cooking. Most of the summer we had 8 people here eating lots of food! I am now buying less groceries and cooking in smaller quantities. I hope to someday get my freezer stocked with some meals to pull out on busy days. 
Baby steps. Adjusting a little at a time.

After a LONG hiatus, I am back to sharing my weekly menu on Menu Monday over at Org.Junkie.

I made a weekly menu that actually began Saturday.  I am sharing some of the recipes so I can access them easily when I want to cook these dishes again. I am trying several new recipes this week that were all found on Pinterest. Each meal is either a one pan meal (with a side of rice, salad, and/or steamed broccoli) or a crock pot meal. Since we begin XC practice this week on Tuesdays and Thursdays,  I am trying some new crock pot recipes so we will have supper ready when we get home. 

Roasted Parmesan Garlic Chicken and Vegetables

crock pot Italian chicken spaghetti

Italian sausage and vegetables
brown rice

crock pot honey mustard pork chops
brown rice
green beans

pasta salad
fruit salad

crock pot honey sesame chicken
steamed broccoli
brown rice

Roasted Parmesan Chicken and Vegetables
(adapted from a Pinterest recipe)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half
6 Tbs. melted butter
1/2 tsp. garlic salt, divided
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
20 new potatoes, quartered
1 yellow squash, cut into small chunks
1 zucchini, cut into small chunks
2 Tbs. olive oil

Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place melted butter with 1/4 tsp. garlic salt in one shallow bowl. Mix the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and 1/4 tsp. garlic salt in another shallow bowl. Spray a large baking sheet with sides with non-stick spray or line with a non-stick mat. Dip each piece of chicken into the melted butter and then coat on both sides with the bread crumb mixture. Place coated chicken in the pan.
Toss the vegetables with the olive oil, and season with a little garlic salt. (I just sprinkled some on them.) Also add any of the melted butter and bread crumb mixture that you had left from the chicken. Spread the vegetables on another large baking pan that has either been sprayed with non-stick spray or lined with a non-stick mat. 
Bake both pans at 375 degrees for 45 minutes -1 hour or until the chicken is done. (I cooked this on the convection setting for about 40 minutes.)

***I bought my non-stick mats from Amazon (This is what they are actually called....I cannot make a direct link work...AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat 2 Pack)
 few months ago, and they have changed my cooking!  I cannot believe how easy the clean-up is when using these mats.

Italian Chicken
• 1 small onion, diced
• 4oz fresh baby spinach (about 2 handfuls)
• 28oz can of tomato sauce
• 2 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup honey
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon Italian seasonings
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

• 1 gallon-sized plastic freezer bag

1. Label your freezer bag.
2. To your freezer bag, add all ingredients.
3. Remove as much air from the freezer bag as possible, seal, and lay flat in your freezer.

1. The night before cooking, move frozen bag to your refrigerator to thaw. 2. The morning of cooking, pour contents of freezer bag into your crockpot. 3. Cook on “low” setting for 4-6 hours, or until chicken is cooked through.

Serve with spaghetti and a salad. 
(from New Leaf Wellness)

Italian Sausage and Vegetables
  • 2 large carrots ~2 cups
  • 2 red potatoes ~2 cups
  • 1 small-medium zucchini ~2 and 1/3 cups
  • 2 red peppers ~2 cups
  • 1 head broccoli ~1 and 1/2 cups
  • 16 ounces Smoked Italian Turkey or Chicken Sausage
  • 1/2 tablespoon EACH: dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: onion powder, dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated, optional
  • 4 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Optional: fresh parsley, salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or foil (easy clean-up) and set aside.
  2. Prep the veggies: *It is important to prep the veggies according to directions to ensure they all cook at the same time*
  3. Peel and very thinly slice the carrots.  Wash and (if desired peel, we love the peel on) chop the red potatoes. You want the pieces quite small here. (I halve the potatoes and then cut each half into 10-12 pieces)
  4. Halve the zucchini and then cut *thick* coins of zucchini. Coarsely chop the broccoli. Remove the stems and seeds from the peppers and chop into medium-sized pieces. Chop the sausage into thick coins.
  5. Pour all the veggies and sausage on the sheet pan.
  6. In a small bowl combine all of the seasonings and salt and pepper if desired (I use about 1/8 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt) with the olive oil. Stir to combine.
  7. Pour the seasoning & oil mixture on top of the veggies and sausage and thoroughly toss to coat.
  8. Place in the heated oven for 15 minutes. Remove and toss around the veggies + sausage and return to the oven for another 10-20 minutes or until veggies are crisp tender.
  9. Remove and top, if desired, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
Serve on top of rice or quinoa if desired. (Also great plain!)

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken
• 1 small onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1/2 cup soy sauce
• 1/4 cup ketchup
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs • 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper 

Place chicken in crock pot. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over the top. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-7. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and serve with brown rice and steamed broccoli.

Honey Mustard Pork Chops
1 pound boneless pork chops
1 pound frozen green beans
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (I'm using yellow mustard.)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 cup water 

Place pork chops and green beans in crock pot. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over. Cook on low 4-6 hours. 
(from New Leaf Wellness)

***Remember to visit Org.Junkie for more menu inspiration.


  1. I love these menu ideas. Crockpot and one dish meals are my kind of cooking.

  2. Here is a new crock pot I tried last week. Of course I changed it up. I used wheat tortillas that I had on hand and put a can of black beans in with chicken. I also used red sauce. Prob one of the best meals I've done in awhile. Great the next day too.
    Leslie Franklin

    1. Thank you for the recipe. I think my family will like that!