Weekly meal plan #2


This is My second menu posted. I will be trying to post menus every Monday, Look for it to use while planning your family’s menu.

I want to add that I don’t have exact recipes for any of these items. I have some on my Pinterest i like to use as reference. most of the time i just do what feels right. do some research and find recipes you like. through doing these you will learn what is necessary and what works. then you will just be able to cook from heart.


1. Chicken Pot Pie

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  • Pie crusts are fairly simple. Butter must be cold and this makes the dough easy because you dont have to wait for the butter to come to room temperature. Find a recipe you like online for a pie dough. The dough simply consists of Flour, salt, butter and Ice water (water better be super cold) Just mix flour and salt in a bowl. dice up cold butter and start squishing between your fingers with the flour. The mixture should be mealy and have a few pea sized chunks of butter left. then a spoon full at a time start adding the ice water (no ice, just cold water). mix until it all comes together but not sticky, just wet enough. (you have to make a few pie crusts in order to know what feels perfect. if its too dry you will have a hard time rolling it out because it will keep breaking.)  wrap in plastic and chill for like 30 minutes. (you have to let it rest in the refrigerator for a bit so that the dough will be more tender, keep the butter cold.) Its a piece of cake, really. practice makes perfect. If this isn’t up your alley just buy a crust from the store, no judgement do what you have to.
  • The pie filling is simple. first, dice onions small and saute with small dice garlic, carrot and celery. when this is all cooked tender add more fat and then flour equal to the amount of the fat  you added to make a roux. this will thicken your gravy. cook this roux, stirring, for a minute or two. slowly while stirring add in stock. allow this to come to a simmer and thicken then turn down the heat to low. add in cooked chicken, taste and adjust seasoning and this is done.
  • place bottom crust in your pie dish (trim it to just hang over the dish maybe 1/4 inch.) then, place in filing. put top crust on  and try to tuck it in behind the bottom crust. crimp with your finger. make some slits on top to allow steam to vent.
  • bake this on 350 until it is golden brown.

2. Pasta carbonara, Salad, Bread

  • this one sounds fancy but it really isn’t.
  • First get your pasta cooking. I like linguine.
  • then dice up some bacon or pancetta . cook until crispy brown but not burnt (freeze it  until firm before you start cooking, it will be easier to cut.)
  • next, you need to small dice some onions and garlic, saute in left over fat until onion is translucent. don’t brown these.
  • third grate up some Parmesan cheese and add egg, heavy cream and pepper all into a bowl big enough to hold your pasta as well. Mix it all together.
  • When your pasta is done, drain it reserving about a cup of the water.
  • add hot pasta into the cream, egg, cheese mixture. Stir, stir, stir. (if you don’t stir you risk the possibility of the egg turning into scrambled egg instead of a nice creamy sauce) the egg will cook from the hot pasta added and the sauce will be creamy cheesy delicious. if the sauce is too thick go ahead and add a bit of the reserved pasta water until its the consistency you like.
  • add the bacon, onions and garlic you cooked earlier, mix together
  • When everything is combined, taste and adjust your salt and pepper to your preferences. serve with some fresh cracked pepper and grated parmesian on top.

3. Meatball sub sandwich

  • This was a huge hit with the family but I didn’t make enough for everyone to have more than one sandwich. Please be sure to make enough.
  • you need a roll or hoagie that can stand up to the challenge here. make sure its got a crusty outer shell so that its not going to get soggy and flop, causing your meatballs, sauce and cheese to spill out.
  • Meat balls are an easy item to make. choose a ground meat, we used turkey. I added bread crumbs, an egg, italian seasoning, salt,pepper, Parmesan. don’t be shy when adding ingredients flavor these things up.
  • next, place your sauce of choice in your skillet and add in meat balls (uncooked), cover and let simmer for a while. This can be done in the crock pot.
  • When your meatballs are done, its time to get the bread ready. carve out a trench to set your meatballs in. I toasted my hoagies to to add a bit of stability.
  • place meatballs in trench and add some sauce, top with cheese and place under broiler to melt and toast the cheese.
  • TIP: After I first made these i decided that it would be delicious to add some oil to the buns before toasting then rub with a clove a garlic before adding meatballs. GARLIC BREAD MEATBALL SUB!

4. Corn chowder, Bread

  • Chowders are an easy and quick meal.
  • dice up onions, carrot and celery, garlic and bay leaf. saute until translucent.
  • add extra fat if needed then flour to make roux. cook roux for a couple of minutes
  • add in stock and a can of corn with liquid form can. allow to come to a simmer and it should thicken.
  • add some heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. your done. If it isn’t thickened to your preference you can make a mix of equal parts of corn starch and cold water and bring to a simmer to thicken more.
  • you can get as fancy as you like. before you saute the veggies render some bacon and set aside, saute your veggies in the bacon fat. add bacon back at the end before tasting for salt and pepper. add some potatoes and let simmer for a bit to cook. let your creativity reign. maybe use left over mashed potatoes to thicken your soup or add some left over baked or fried potatoes.

5. Artichoke chicken bake, salad

  • this was a quick and easy dinner to create. I made the casserole a day ahead and just placed it in the oven 40 min before I wanted to serve dinner.
  • I referred to a couple recipes for this dinner and created my own master piece. First get your pasta cooking. I used a tube pasta for this. try what you like.
  • get the pasta cooking. its done at al dente (almost done, not quite.) the pasta will finish cooking in the oven. if you cook your pasta until done then it will get over cooked and mushy in the oven. No Bueno!
  • dice up some onions and garlic and saute until translucent. you can begin with bacon and saute in the fat if you like. Yumm.
  • remove vegetables and add diced chicken breast. brown it on all sides. remember GBD (golden brown delicious)
  • remove from pan and set aside. add some new fat to the pan and then the flower and cook your roux.
  • to the roux, slowly whisk in some milk. add some nutmeg, salt, pepper and parmesian cheese. taste it to be sure that you
  • grease your baking dish with butter and add your chicken onions, garlic, and jar of artichoke hearts. ( cut your artichoke hearts to a size that you like). mix these up however much you want.
  • pour the sauce into the baking dish evenly.
  • top with bacon if you used any and a cheese like a mozzarella and parmesian combination.
  • this should bake at 400. if you notice that its browning too much cover lightly with some foil

6. Boneless pork chops in a creamy mustard thyme sauce with caramelized mushrooms and mustard thyme sauce with mashed potatoes.

  • this recipe is DIVINE. my family and I loved it and its great reheated. the recipe isn’t written out how most recipes are : ingredients/ amounts and directions. its all up to you to decide what looks good to you.
  • when I made mine, I placed the chops back into the sauce to simmer and piled the mushrooms and caramelized onions on top of the chops and then placed the lid on and let it simmer for a bit.
  • I will make this again for sure. give it a try. its so rich and creamy, I would expect to pay at least $25 for a plate like this at a restaurant.


7. Ricotta stuffed Chicken

  • this recipe is found on the blog from the above link(#6). its right under neath the pork chop recipe.
  • I followed this recipe all the way through. The picture just looks so Yummy! well, I am not a fan of sun dried tomatoes and I didn’t like the texture of the ricotta. none of the family really cared for this his recipe much.
  • I love how the chicken is butterflied, I think that I wan to to all my roast chickens like this from now on. it was easier to serve up and seemed like less waste to me.
  • if you’re a fan of sun dried tomatoes and ricotta, give this a try. I think that I would like to try this one more time with halving the ricotta with a basil pesto and omitting the tomatoes or decreasing the amount. Maybe blend the tomatoes with the ricotta.

Here is my monthly menu plan template. I fill this in and record my menu each week for the month.  I keep in a clear plastic sleeve on the refrigerator. feel free to change it how you like. I hope you can use it.


Here is one weeks planned menu. I sincerely hope that some or all of these meal ideas will work for your family.

Menu Plan


Monday is my shopping day so I plan my menu to go until Mondays and begin on Tuesdays. Obviously, you will plan your menu dates for what works for you. My current menu layout is basic and allows for you to write in what day the calendar will begin a new week on and add in numbers.

Here is my monthly menu plan template. I fill this in and record my menu for the week on here. I keep in a clear plastic sleeve on the refrigerator. feel free to change it how you like. I hope you can use it.



1. Roasted chicken (salt roasted), rice and vegetable.

  • the chicken is roasted using the salt roasting method: rinse, clean chicken to personal standards. very generously salt the chicken in every crevice ( in wing creases, leg creases, neck cavity and body cavity) do this on the skin and not under it.
  • truss the chicken. (simply take some butchers twine and tie the legs together so that they are not flopping all over) next bend the wings back and tuck them in behind the chicken so they are close to the body.
  • chicken is cooked breast up, add a bit of salt to top of chicken since you shook it all off. Bake at 400. a roast chicken usually takes an hour but wait until it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees.
  • plain rice is fine but why not spice it up a bit? make it with broth instead of water. maybe add some herbs or peas.

2. Meat loaf, Potato (baked or mashed), Salad.

  • meat loaf is easy and awesome, you can use this opportunity to use up left overs. add any rice or vegetables left from last night. chop the vegetables small so that they blend in well
  • first add you meat to the bowl, any kind of ground meat will do. Add some egg, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. this is basic. it will do but do you really want it to just do? give it some pizazz! dried thyme and oregano are nice. Add mustard powder or some dijon. a dash of worcestershire sauce, some Tabasco or cayenne.
  • Form loaf on a lined baking sheet. I have a silicone mat that i love to death! nothing will stick to that sucker.
  • place meat loaf on the middle rack of a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees.
  • You may wonder when is this loaf of meat done? good question, its done when its done. your loaf size will differ from another as will your oven. invest in a thermometer and periodically when you are wondering if its done just stick it in and see. I have a thermometer that i can stick into my food item and it has a cord on it that connects to a reader that i can stick next to my oven. it has a timer and will tell me when my food reaches the desired temp. SWEET…
  • It’s up to you if you like a topping on your meat loaf. I’d have to say that the best topping is what ever you feel like at the moment. try slathering the top with ketchup about 2/3 of the way through cooking. if you like a gravy, just make a brown gravy. for a brown gravy just make a roux. A roux is just equal parts of fat and flower, use what ever fat you like: butter, bacon fat, lard. what ever floats your boat. let your roux cook for a minute, stir stir stir. When your ready slowly add in your stock, beef or chicken or what ever you have available to use. Whisk constantly while adding in the stock. bring it to a boil and turn down. No exact measurements here, i’m incapable. Cooking is feeling for me. if your gravy isn’t thick enough, use corn starch. just get some cold water in a bowl, just a bit. add a spoon full of corn starch, mix until dissolved.

3. Taco salad.

  • I like chicken, here is my recipe. saute some onions, i cut them in half moons (google it) this allows them to break down during the cooking process and lend the most flavor. I add some roughly chopped garlic to the sauteing onions and when this is done put it in the crock. add some tomato paste, bay leaf, salt and pepper, stock (just level with chicken), oregano, pinch of cayenne, paprika, cumin. if you have some on hand throw in some cilantro and parsley. Here is a link to a recipe that has an enchilada sauce which has for ever changed the way I cook mexican food. Seriously, this has influenced me and taken my food up a notch. it seems simple but  will knock your socks off! its a great base to allow your creativity to flow.  http://www.thegardengrazer.com/2012/03/black-bean-spinach-enchiladas.html
  • let this cook until the meat easily shreds. take remaining juices and reserve for rice. add some oil to a skillet and add the rice, cook a bit and pour in the chicken juices (everything, bay leaf and herb stems). add enough for the rice recipe, bring to boil, turn to low and put on lid. cook until done.
  • warm some tortillas and place in bowl, add rice, chicken, if you like beans then add them. Lettuce, cheese, pico (tomato dice, jalapeno dice, cilantro, lemon juice, salt and pepper). guacamole, we like plain yogurt instead of sour cream.  sky is the limit, do whatever floats your boat!

4. Manicotti pasta, Italian salad

  • Surf the internet for a  manicotti filling you like. I did this one and we really liked it:  http://www.recipegirl.com/2011/02/21/spinach-and-cheese-stuffed-manicotti/
  • Stuff the raw manicotti pasta with the filing and pour over spaghetti sauce. top with cheese and bake covered and at the end take off foil cover and brown the cheese a bit. this is similar to lasagna but better because it is so much easier to make.
  • for the italian salad: dice up some romaine lettuce, use canned three bean salad, tomatoes, banana pepper, olives, salami, cheese. top with favorite salad dressing. We love Opa brand ranch dressing.I tried to model this salad after the one from Mary’s Pizza Shack. I miss Mary’s, unfortunately we don’t have one here in Utah so I have to make due.

5. Sweet and spicy chicken served over raw cabbage with white rice.

  • here is the recipe I used for the sweet an spicy chicken. Click on the link to the Asian BBQ sauce, BOY it is yummy! I didnt use the whole recipe, I ended up putting it in the freezer and using for a second dinner late on. I heartily recommend.  http://www.laurenslatest.com/grilled-asian-sweet-and-spicy-chicken-skewers-over-brown-rice/. After marinating the chicken and putting on skewers, I grilled on the BBQ. I served this with white rice topped with shredded cabbage and placed the skewers on top. it is simple but fancy.

6. Chicken Parmesan, Kale Cesar salad.

  • I pounded my chicken breasts thin, seasoned with salt and pepper and then coated with seasoned (salt/pepper) flour and next dipped in beaten egg seasoned, and finished by dipping in the flour again. Fry the chicken in a bit of oil, enough to go about half way up the chicken.
  • Boil pasta noodles of choice, I used linguine.
  • place chicken in baking dish, top with marinara, place cheese on top of each piece of chicken (I used mozzarella and Parmesan). When sauce is hot and cheese is melted and browned, place pasta on a plate and ladle sauce on top then place on a piece of chicken. You can do this recipe a thousand ways, this is how I did it. feel free to be creative. its yours so do it your way.
  • Here is a great recipe for a ranch dressing that doesn’t use mayo. http://wellnessmama.com/2875/easy-ranch-dressing/ Just add some anchovies (I like the paste in the tube) and some lemon juice.
  • cut up your kale how ever you like and add some thinly sliced red onions, toss with a bit of the dressing (what ever is a good amount to you. Plate a good serving size and add some sliced tomatoes and top with a bit of grated Parmesan and fresh ground pepper.

7. chicken Alfredo, bread, salad

  • Alfredo is something that sounds hard but is really very easy.
  • first, set some water to boil for the pasta. Then, season your chicken with salt and pepper and grill it (save a pan, use the BBQ). Next saute some finely diced onion and garlic until the onion becomes translucent, don’t let it burn. Fourth, pour in your heavy cream and add some butter. OH YEAH! let the good times ROLL! let this simmer a bit and add your chicken back into it. add some pepper, wait on adding any salt.
  • grate some Parmesan cheese and place it in a bowl large enough to accommodate your sauce and pasta.
  • when your sauce has lightly simmered for a bit, turn off the heat and pour over your grated cheese your placed in the bowl. (WARNING: don’t put cheese into the skillet because if you do this, especially if the heat is on, the cheese will adhere to the pan and you will be scrubbing.) stir the sauce and cheese up to melt and combine. at this time taste it and add any salt you may need. add your pasta and toss together. now you are ready to serve.
  • place on a plate and add some grated Parmesan to the top.
  • this recipe is very versatile. I like to begin it by rendering bacon and then saute the onion and garlic in the bacon fat. add the crumbled bacon to the top with fresh grated Parmesan. Be fancy and use pancetta.
  • serve your alfredo with some warm french bread and a green salad or Italian themed salad from above.