Sunday, March 30, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Today I'm participating in Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie. Lately, I've been trying to make weekly plans for dinner, and it has helped in organizing my grocery shopping. I've also noticed that I tend to overeat less during the day when I know what's planned for dinner that night. I want to start being more intentional with breakfast (to avoid having Pop-Tarts every morning!), so I'm including plans for breakfast, too. Recipes for items with an asterisk are later in the post. I think you'll be able to see where I get the majority of my recipes!


Breakfast: Banana bread (made tonight with EA's help!) & fruit

Dinner: *Oven-Fried Parmesan Chicken Strips (the kids love these, & they're healthier than heat & eat chicken nuggets) & *Tomato-Basil Pasta Salad


Breakfast: Slow Cooker Oatmeal

Dinner: Tater Tot Casserole (from Kysha at Love's School) & Steamed Veggies


Breakfast: Homemade Bread (cooked in the bread machine with the timer set to start so that the aroma of fresh bread wakes us up in the morning!) with my in-laws' apple butter

Dinner: Pork Tenderloin & *Stacked-Grits Spinach Salad & Smashed Sweet Potatoes


Breakfast: Yogurt with fruit

Dinner: Slow Cooker Pot Roast & Egg Noodles & Green Beans


Breakfast: Cheese Omelettes with fruit

Dinner: *Chicken Parmesan & Salad

Oven-Fried Parmesan Chicken Strips (from Southern Living)

Makes 5 servings

2 tbsp. butter

1/3 c. reduced-fat baking mix

1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

1/8 tsp. black pepper

2 lb. chicken breast strips

1. Melt butter in a 15-x10-inch jellyroll pan in a 425 degree oven.

2. Place baking mix and next 3 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; shake well to combine. Add chicken, several pieces at a time, shaking well to coat. Arrange chicken in melted butter in hot baking dish.

3. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until chicken is done, turning once. Serve immediately.

Tomato-Basil-Asparagus Pasta Salad (from Southern Living)

(Note: My husband's not a great fan of asparagus, so I'm leaving it out this week!)

1 (16-oz.) package bow-tie pasta

1 lb. asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 cup bottled lemon vinaigrette

1 (1-oz.) package fresh basil, chopped

1 pint (16 oz.) grape tomatoes, halved

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding asparagus pieces during the last two minutes of cooking time. Drain and rinse under cool water. Stir together lemon vinaigrette and chopped fresh basil; pour 3/4 c. dressing mixture over pasta mixture. Stir in halved tomatoes and salt and pepper to test. Cover and chill 1 hour.

Toss pasta mixture with remaining 1/4 cup dressing before serving. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.

Makes 4 main-dish or 8 side-dish servings.

Stacked-Grits Spinach Salad (from Southern Living)

1 (14 1/2 oz.) can chicken broth

1 cup quick-cooking grits

2 cups shredded cheddar, divided

2 tbsp. butter

1/2 c. pecan pieces

7 cups shredded fresh spinach (I just use a bag or two of Baby Spinach)

4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

1/4 cup Italian vinaigrette (I love, love Newman's Own Olive Oil Vinaigrette with this!)

Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in grits. Cook, stirring often, 4-5 minutes. Add 1 1 /2 c. cheese; stir until melted. Pour into a lightly greased 8-inch square pan. Chill. Cut grits into 8 triangles; cut each triangle horizontally in half.

Melt butter in a large skillet over med.-high heat. Add pecans, and cook, stirring often, 2 min., or until toasted. Remove pecans from skillet with a slotted spoon.

Cook grits cakes in batches in skillet over med.-high heat 2 min. on each side or until lightly browned.

Toss pecan pieces, bacon, and remaining 1/2 c. cheese w/ vinaigrette.

Place 1 grits cake on each of 4 individual plates. Top each with 1/4 cup spinach mixture. Repeat layering 3 times, forming stacks. (Note: I've never been able to get my salad to "stack" like the recipe says, so we just treat the grits cakes like a gigantic, soft, yummy crouton!)

Chicken Parmesan (from Southern Living)

1 c. Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. ground red pepper

2 skinned & boned chicken breasts (I use 3; our 2 young kids split a chicken breast)

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1 tbsp. olive oil

Tomato Sauce (I like Classico Four Cheese sauce)

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Combine breadcrumbs, flour, and ground red pepper in a small bowl, and set aside.

Place chicken between two sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and flatten to 1/4-inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin.

Dip 1 chicken breast in egg whites, and coat with breadcrumb mixture. Dip again in egg mixture, and coat again in breadcrumb mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken breasts.

Cook chicken in hot oil over med. heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until done.

Place chicken breasts in a single layer in a lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish. Top evenly with tomato sauce and cheeses. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheeses melt.


Bobbie said...

Welcome to MPM! I hope you enjoy it here. I too love Southern Living magazine. Menu looks great. I am very impressed with the homemade bread!

Anonymous said...

Your menu looks great! My gang loooves tater tot casserole. Thanks for the chicken strips recipe! Hip Rider is a very picky eater but she will eat chicken strips so I'm going to give this one a try. Have a blessed day!

Wifey said...

Welcome to MPM! Thanks for all the recipes, they look yummy. Have a great week!

Mommychicky said...

Welcome to MPM! The Stacked-grits salad sounds so yummy!

Thanks for sharing your menu and have a great week.

My menu is up at Don't Eat Baby.

Laura said...

That Asparagus Pasta Salad sounds so good! Great job planning a menu!

Mom24 said...

Your menu looks really yummy. Thanks for posting it. I'll be back next week!

Org Junkie said...

Sounds like a great week, thanks for joining in and welcome to MPM!!!