Weekly Meal Plan: July 14-20, 2014

Monday: CrockPot Pork Ragu

Changes: 1) Didn’t sear the pork in advance (just added the meat and spices directly to the CrockPot); 2) Didn’t add grated carrots.

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Ratatouille

Ratatouille

Thursday: Cauliflower Pasta Puttanesca

Cauliflower Pasta Puttanesca

Friday: Chicken Taco Salad

Ingredients I used for my plate: shredded green leaf lettuce, diced chicken (I cooked it with homemade taco seasoning), ranch/salsa/cilantro dressing, corn, diced red bell pepper, tortilla chips, and grated pepper jack cheese.

Chicken Taco Salad

Saturday: Penne with Sausage in Tomato Cream Sauce

Sunday: CrockPot Chicken Tikka Masala

Weekly Meal Plan: July 7-13, 2014

Monday: Yum-Yum Fish Stew

Fish Stew

Tuesday: CrockPot Sausage Lentil Soup

Wednesday: Easy Pasta Bolognese

Thursday: Chinese Walnut Chicken

Changes: 1) Used 1/4 cup organic cane sugar instead of 1/2 cup (for the candied walnuts); 2) Didn’t pre-toast the walnuts; 3) Substituted white wine for the Chinese rice wine; 4) Used arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch; 5) Didn’t add scallions; 6) Served with brown rice.

Chinese Walnut Chicken

Friday: Southwestern Salsa with Black Beans and Corn

I’ve eaten this salsa several times at my sister’s house so I was happy when she posted the recipe. SO GOOD. I served it with hamburgers (sans bun for me).

Southwestern Salsa with Black Beans and Corn

Saturday: Cuban Picadillo

Sunday: Black Rice Salad with Edamame, Walnuts & Lemon Vinaigrette

I made this to take to a get-together at a friend’s house, but when it was canceled due to rain we ate it ourselves. Fine by me! I love this dish.

Weekly Meal Plan: June 30 – July 6, 2014

This was a light dinner-making week due to Paul being out of town on a business trip for a few days and then a holiday weekend.

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Tacos
Made with crumbled ground turkey and homemade taco seasoning, served in hard corn tortillas.

Wednesday: CrockPot Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos

Obviously I don’t get tired of tacos!

Changes: 1) Used 2 lbs pork tenderloin but didn’t double the amount of sauce; 2) Didn’t add brown sugar.

CrockPot Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos

Thursday: Hamburgers
I had mine without a bun.

Friday: Greek Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Feta

I made this with regular (non-gluten free) pasta because I wasn’t sure how rice pasta would hold up and I was making this for a crowd at a cookout. It turned out really well though, so if I was making it for myself I’d make it with my normal rice pasta.

Changes: 1) Used fresh spinach instead of arugula; 2) Doubled the recipe to accommodate a holiday gathering.

Saturday: Out to dinner

Sunday: Thai Honey Peanut Chicken with Chinese-Style Rice Noodles

Thai Honey Peanut Chicken with Chinese-Style Rice Noodles

Weekly Meal Plan: June 23-29, 2014

Three new recipes this week!

Monday: Salmon Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce

Change: Used half & half instead of heavy cream

Salmon Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce

Tuesday: CrockPot Caribbean Pork Chili

New recipe #1. I liked this a lot. I’d never used pork in chili before and the cool mango on top made for a nice contrast.

Changes: Didn’t add chipotle chile pepper or red onion shards.

CrockPot Caribbean Pork Chili

Wednesday: Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

New recipe #2. This was decent but I didn’t love it. It won’t get added to the regular rotation list.

Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

Thursday: Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry

New recipe #3. Paul deemed it to be delicious so this will get made again.

Changes: 1) Added frozen peas while cooking; 2) Didn’t add green onion or peanuts; 3) Served over brown rice.

Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry

Friday: Chickpea, Sausage, and Spinach Pasta

Saturday: Out to dinner

Sunday: CrockPot Indian Butter Chicken

Weekly Meal Plan: June 16-22, 2014

Monday: CrockPot Pumpkin Turkey Chili

Tuesday: Asian Chicken Salad

This is a recipe from my sister’s blog — I made it for the first time and Paul and both really enjoyed it. It made a ton of sauce (or maybe I just didn’t add enough cabbage and other veggies), so next time I’d play around with the ratio. Really delicious, though.

Wednesday: CrockPot Minestrone Soup

CrockPot Minestrone Soup

Thursday: Balsamic-Ginger Marinated Salmon with Curried Rice & Lentils

Friday: Sausage and Pumpkin Pasta

Sausage and Pumpkin Pasta

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: CrockPot Creamy Red Shrimp & Tomato Curry

I haven’t made this recipe in about six months — shrimp has gotten kind of pricey so I’ve been using other forms of meat instead. But I had a craving for this so I decided to buy the shrimp anyway! The nice thing about this dish is there’s a lot of veggies, so a pound of shrimp easily feeds four people with leftovers.

Changes: 1) Added 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper for heat; 2) Didn’t add the green onions.

CrockPot Creamy Red Shrimp and Tomato Curry

Weekly Meal Plan: June 9-15, 2014

Three new recipes this week!

Monday: CrockPot Asian Pork with Mushrooms

New recipe #1. Very good! I’d definitely make it again. The sauce gives the pork a great complex flavor.

Changes: 1) Used 2 lb pork tenderloin instead of sirloin roast; 2) Used tamari instead of soy sauce; 3) Didn’t add agave or scallions; 4) Substituted a combination of ground cloves, ground cinnamon, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes for the Chinese Five Spice; 5) Served over brown rice.

Tuesday: Chicken Taco Salad

New recipe #2. I used the instructions as a guide, but adapted it quite a bit based on what I had in my fridge. (For instance, I made the ranch/salsa/cilantro dressing, but didn’t add the recommended 1/4 cup oil while cooking the chicken.)

Ingredients I used for my plate: shredded green leaf lettuce, diced chicken (I cooked it with homemade taco seasoning), ranch/salsa/cilantro dressing, corn, diced red bell pepper, tortilla chips, guacamole, and shredded pepper jack cheese.

Verdict: VERY good. Paul loved it.

Chicken Taco Salad

Wednesday: Chinese Walnut Chicken

New recipe #3. Verdict: Amazing. The caramelized walnuts really make the dish.

Changes: 1) Used 1/4 cup organic cane sugar instead of 1/2 cup regular sugar (for the candied walnuts); 2) Substituted white wine for the Chinese rice wine; 3) Used arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch; 4) Didn’t add scallions; 5) Served with brown rice.

Chinese Walnut Chicken

Thursday: CrockPot Red Curry Pork with Pickles

Friday-Sunday: Visited friends in Washington, DC

Weekly Meal Plan: June 2-8, 2014

Monday: Country Captain Chicken

Tuesday: Cauliflower Pasta Puttanesca

Cauliflower Pasta Puttanesca

Wednesday: Smoky Tomato Lentil Soup with Spinach & Olives

Changes: 1) Doubled the recipe; 2) Used homemade chicken stock (8 cups) instead of vegetable.

Smoky Tomato Lentil Soup with Spinach and Olives

Thursday: CrockPot Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos

Changes: 1) Used 2 lbs pork tenderloin but didn’t double the amount of sauce; 2) Didn’t add brown sugar.

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Baked Chicken Taquitos

Sunday: Leftovers

Weekly Meal Plan: May 26 – June 1, 2014

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Honey Hoisin Glazed Chicken and Asian Noodle Salad

For the Glazed Chicken: I made two of my sister Elissa’s recipes this week. The baked chicken was the first — she made it for us earlier this month when Paul and I were visiting Richmond and we both really liked it.

Verdict: It turned out well but wasn’t quite as good as hers. My sauce was thinner so it didn’t stick as well to the chicken. We both ate it up though!

For the Asian Noodle Salad: I used shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, and chopped steamed snow peas for the veggies. Turned out very well! I really liked the peanut sauce.

Honey Hoisin Glazed Chicken with Asian Noodle Salad

Wednesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is the second of my sister’s recipes. She sent me the ingredients for this soup a few years ago and I’ve made it several times, but she just recently posted it on her blog. Yum!

Thursday: CrockPot Indian Butter Chicken

Friday: Out to dinner

Saturday: Sausage and Pumpkin Pasta

Sausage and Pumpkin Pasta

Sunday: Leftovers

Weekly Meal Plan: May 19-25, 2014

Monday: Chickpea, Sausage, and Spinach Pasta

Chickpea, Sausage and Spinach Pasta

Tuesday: Yum-Yum Fish Stew

Fish Stew

Wednesday: CrockPot Shawarma-Style Whole Chicken

I did the prep for this the night before and kept it in the fridge. I followed the steps to get a crispy skin (which included broiling), but the skin didn’t crisp for me. Still tasty, but I ended up just peeling and discarding the skin from my portion.

Thursday: Easy Pasta Bolognese

I didn’t make this too long ago, but I hadn’t been to the grocery store so I was choosing meals that I pretty much always have the ingredients for.

Weeknight Bolognese with Penne Rice Noodles

Friday: Sausage and Chickpea Soup

Apparently I like the sausage/chickpea combination a lot! (Note my Monday dinner.)

Saturday: Thai Honey Peanut Chicken with Chinese-Style Noodles

Sunday: Black Rice Salad with Edamame, Walnuts & Lemon Vinaigrette

Paul and I went with his parents to visit some family friends; I took this dish as our contribution to the dinner.

CrockPot Minestrone Soup

I’ve made this soup quite a few times and always enjoy it. I like that it’s adaptable — if you don’t have spinach or zucchini, for instance, just leave it out. It’ll still taste great.

This recipe makes a large amount because I like leftovers. If you don’t want to make quite so much, feel free to cut the ingredients in half.

CrockPot Minestrone Soup

CrockPot Minestrone Soup

(Adapted from Skinny Taste)
Servings: 8-12

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 3-4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 (15 oz) cans white beans, drained and rinsed (cannellini, navy, Great Northern)
  • 6 cups chicken or veggie broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 Tbsp chopped fresh or dried basil
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped fresh or frozen (defrosted) spinach
  • 2 cups cooked small pasta, al dente (I use brown rice noodles)
  • Parmesan or Monterey Jack cheese to top (optional)

This step is optional but helps thicken the soup: Rinse and drain beans. Puree half of the beans with 1 cup of the broth in a blender. Pour into CrockPot.

To the CrockPot, combine pureed beans, onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, garlic, broth, tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours.

Thirty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add spinach and cooked pasta. Re-cover. Ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese.