Menu Planning Mondays

I wasn't born a planner, let me just say this first and foremost. I am not a "type A" personality but after three kids, an international adoption to fund, a house to run, things to do, errands to complete and dogs to feed I've become a planner. (oh, it also helps that my husband is extremely analytical...thank goodness I married someone organized). So after we moved from Houston a couple of years ago, and I began staying home with my kids I quickly realized that I needed to get on the meal planning wagon ASAP. For those of you who don't meal plan or have never heard of it, it's basically an easy way to organize your meals throughout the week so you know exactly what you're cooking all week long. Meal planning is also a great way to organize your grocery list and stay on task at the grocery store. For our family, we meal plan on Sundays. It's usually the slowest day for us, we only have church to attend and the afternoons are lazy. The perfect time to sit down as a family for a quick meal planning meeting. If you're kids are picky eaters like mine, they'll know what they're eating this week. They have nothing to whine about because they know I'm not making anything but what we have on the menu plan. Now, I'm not saying my kids don't whine, because of course they do, BUT they know we don't change our menu. Sorry lil' stinkers. A good way to get your kids involved in the process is to have a "kids night" where they can choose what they want to make themselves for dinner. We do have guidelines, but they get to choose and it let's them feel like the kitchen isn't "mama's space" it's their space to. So on to our weeks menu! I'm going to try and link this up to but I need my husband to help me with that! Hope everyone has a fabulous week and something delicious :)
Monday- Turkey Sliders with Spinach Salad

1 lb. of ground turkey
1 TBS garlic/herb seasoning
salt and pepper
1 Pkg. Hawaiian Rolls
Spinach with all the fixings i.e. reduced fat feta cheese, 1/2ed cherry tomatoes, olives, red onion (we use olive oil and balsamic vinegar as a dressing)

mix the turkey and seasonings together and make small patties...grill or stove top and top with cheese if desired.

Tuesday- Light King Ranch Chicken with steamed broccoli

• 1 large onion, chopped

• 1 large green or red bell pepper, chopped

• Vegetable cooking spray

• 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts

• 1 (10-ounce) can fat-free cream of chicken soup, undiluted

• 1 (10-ounce) can fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

• 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomato and green chiles

• 1 teaspoon chili powder

• 1/2 teaspoon pepper

• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

• 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas

• 1 (8-ounce) block reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, shredded


Sauté onion and bell pepper in a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender.

Stir in chicken and next 6 ingredients; remove from heat.

Tear tortillas into 1-inch pieces; layer one-third tortilla pieces in bottom of a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with one-third chicken mixture and one-third cheese. Repeat layers twice.

Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly.

Note: Freeze casserole up to 1 month, if desired. Thaw in refrigerator overnight, and bake as directed.

Wednesday - Leftovers

Thursday - Light Turkey Meatloaf with Sweet Potato Mash (thank you Cooking Light!)

• 1 1/2 c. Italian bread crumbs
• 2 tablespoons fat-free milk

• 1/2 cup ketchup, divided

• 2/3 pound ground beef, extra lean (raw)

• 1/2 pound lean ground veal

• 6 ounces lean ground pork

• 1/2 cup chopped onion

• 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

• 1 teaspoon dried basil

• 3/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

• 2 large egg whites

• Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons ketchup and remaining ingredients except cooking spray.

Shape meat mixture into a 9 x 5-inch loaf on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Spread remaining 6 tablespoons ketchup over top of meat loaf. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 10 minutes. Cut the loaf into 12 slices.

Sweet Potato Mash

3 Sweet Potatoes
1 TBS Butter
a splash of milk
a dash of cinnamon (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

pierce sweet potatoes and bake at 350 for 20 min. or until soft to the middle. Peel of skin and place them in a med size bowl. Add butter and spices and mash until desired texture (my kids like it very smooth)

Friday - Weight Watcher's Vegetarian Mexican Casserole (my husband's favorite!)
1 spray(s) cooking spray

4 cup(s) cooked brown rice

1 1/4 cup(s) salsa

1 tsp Ground Cumin Seed, or other brand

15 oz canned refried beans

10 oz frozen corn kernels, thawed

4 oz canned green chili peppers, mild, diced

1 Tbsp chili powder

10 oz chopped frozen spinach, or collard greens, thawed and set to drain in a strainer over a bowl

3/4 cup(s) low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided

2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped (optional; for garnish)


• Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a 2-quart rectangular, round or oval baking dish with cooking spray

• In a large bowl, combine rice, salsa and cumin. Spoon 2 cups of rice mixture into prepared baking dish and spread out to evenly cover bottom of dish.

• In another large bowl, combine refried beans, corn, chili peppers and chili power. Using a rubber spatula, scrape bean mixture on top of rice layer and smooth out top.

• Squeeze out any excess water from spinach or collard greens and then spread on top of bean layer; sprinkle with 6 tablespoons of cheese. Top with remaining rice mixture and smooth out top; sprinkle with remaining cheese.

• Place casserole on a large rimmed baking sheet to catch any spillage. Bake until heated through and cheese is browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro (if desired), cut into 6 pieces and serve.