January 19, 2012


This first week of meal planning has gone fairly well thus far. Though Ben and I did have a little teensy fight on Tuesday because there was a misunderstanding on who was in charge of the vegetable dish. I guess we have a bit of a learning curve to figure this out.

Monday we ate Dawn Scampi...
meal planning: week one
Most scampi recipes are pretty high in fat, so we never eat it. This was a nice alternative and pretty delicious. Just make sure you wet the noodles in the sauce before serving, just follow what the directions say. We served the noodles first, then poured shrimp and sauce on top, so I don't think the sauce coated the spaghetti very well. Another change we did, was that we didn't have croutons, so I just sprinkled garlic herb spice on some whole wheat bread with smart balance light spread atop it, and toasted it in the oven until it was really dark and crunchy. I think that made a decent crouton substitute. The olives give the scampi a good flavor, but I think next time I would put a little bit more.

Tuesday was Oven Fried Chicken and Roasted Butternut Squash...
meal planning: week onemeal planning: week one
We were all totally loving this recipe. Soul devoured it in the first minute. We cooked drumsticks for the girls and chicken breast for Ben and me. If you have really big breast pieces, you will need to slice it in half so you won't get such a chunky piece. I didn't use the parmesan cheese in the breading because True is allergic to dairy, and for the breading that went on the breast, I added a bit more cayenne pepper than the recipe called for because we like our food really spicy!

It is cooked in the oven and the the breading gives a nice crunch that makes you kinda think you are eating something fried. Just looking at the pictures, it does look fried, but it isn't at all! I am definitely going to try and memorize this and make it more often.

Ben bought some already cut up butternut squash from the store, coated it in extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled some salt and pepper and stuck it in the oven for about 20 minutes. You can't really go wrong roasting vegetables that way.

We have enough leftovers from both nights that we had more chicken on Wednesday with a side of mashed sweet potatoes (using this recipe, we didn't like the gravy) and today we will finish off the scampi. I hope we can stick to this cause it saves us some time and hassle in the evening already knowing what is on the menu for dinner.

This past week's dinners were common dishes that typically aren't a high nutrition type of dish due to the fat content, but these recipes were nice alternatives. The wonderful part is that even though they were healthy versions, they still were jammed pack with flavor. I am for sure noting these dishes to be cooked again, especially that oven fried chicken!

Week of 1/23-1/27:
Monday: Pork Chops with Garlic Mashed Cauliflower (The recipe calls for potatoes, but we will use cauliflower.)
Tuesday: Cheddar BLT Burgers with Tarragon Russian Dressing (I am going to use lean ground turkey for the patty and use turkey bacon instead of regular bacon.) with a side of sweet potato wedges.
Wednesday: Tuesday's leftovers
Thursday: Oven Baked Taquitos (do something you already know how to make)
Friday: Pizza (or something easy like that)

If you do try out any of these recipes or have some of your own recipes to share, I would love to hear about it! Anyone else doing meal planning or following along with this? I will try to get my family meal posts up on Thursdays, that way you have the weekend to get groceries should you decide to follow along.


  1. I've been munching on roasted butternut squash this week too! SO good- add a little rosemary to your salt & pepper for an added flavor. :)

    p.s. I added your post from yesterday to a roundup of matryoshkas on my blog today. :)

  2. MMM!!! It all looks delicious!

  3. I was doing good about making weekly menus and the holidays threw me off schedule. This inspires me to get back on track! The shrimp scampi looks amazing...

  4. Thanks for posting, this has helped in our household too! I always get a little of anxiety about dinner, I'm a new SAHM and have a toddler and a baby about 2 weeks younger than your smallest.

  5. Oh that scampi looks yum! :) Fillerup, please?

    xoxo, Jjanga

  6. love this new series! the bf & i are also trying to start to meal plan and i can't wait to try your recipes. hopefully this will help us to get out of our frozen trader joe's meals rut! also love all the inspiration on your blog!

  7. Looks wonderful! I am trying to do more meal planning, we've been in a rut because all the kids have been picky lately and wanting to eat different things!

  8. mmm that fried chicken looks delicious!

  9. i'm a hardcore carnivore, and i want that fried chicken!

  10. Is there a reason why you are going to substitute the potatoes for cauliflowers? I'm curious to know if there is a significant health-related benefit...

    I'm going to try and make the oven-fried chicken soon!

  11. nicole- cauliflower is just a much more nutritious option. we steam it, then mash it, add some mashed potato flakes, sprinkle in butter buds and it is tastes just as good as mashed potatoes, but is much higher in nutrition!

  12. that scampi sounds like a delicious alternative to the traditional, which i've made many-a-time. i love that it has crushed croutons in it!

  13. i'm coming over for dinner on monday and tuesday! haha! just kidding... :)

  14. I am trying out meal planning in hopes to get my family on track before I have to go back to teaching. I'm on maternity leave right now. With an 18month old and 2 month old I need all the organization I can get. We've done it for two weeks and it's working out pretty good so far. I'm always looking for quick, easy recipes with few ingredients. I love this feature on your blog.

  15. I love the way you've explained it all and linked up to things so it's very reader friendly! I think I'm going to come back and browse through these once we're settled in CO because I'll finally have more time/energy/back up to starting cooking more often. I'm so glad you're doing this!

  16. Everything looks so delicious!

    YAY for meny planning :)


  17. We're on our third week of consistent meal planning and it's saving us time and money. We use kitchenmonki.com. You put in your recipes and then you can check off items for your shopping list. It organizes it in sections and you can even put what store you're going to. It's working really well so far. You can also share recipes:) good work!

  18. I have been doing more meal planning too! My favorite new recipes are sweet potato falafels and penne giardiniera (penne pasta with spinach balls). Yummy! I have posted the recipes here: http://ohbeauty.blogspot.com/2012/01/whats-for-dinner.html

    I will definitely be trying the recipes you posted starting with the baked chicken.

    Thanks! Ann

  19. Ummm, yummmm! :)
    Definitely inspired to cook more!

  20. Ah thanks for answering my question! I forgot to check back to see if you got to it. Hmm..maybe I'll be making some mashed cauliflower soon. ;)

  21. i am so grateful to have checked in here and found that you are doing meal planning! i cannot bring myself to cook and my husband has a special diet and our 15 month old won't eat anything but breast milk and a bush load of blueberries, so i have been feeling the pressure to get organized in the food dept. this has given me inspiration. sure, i might just READ about meal planning for a few weeks, but every journey starts somewhere.


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