As mentioned in my Saturday Savings post yesterday, I’ve been getting meal plan requests. I used to be great at meal planning (actually writing out what we would eat for dinner each night) but lately I’ve been more into winging it. The following is an example of things we may or may not eat this coming week, using the variety of foods I’ve bought over the last couple of weeks.
Tonight: It’s too hot for me to turn on the oven, so I’ll be doing pasta and salads!
Monday: I’ll stick about 5-6 pounds of chicken leg quarters in the crock pot around lunch time. Cook on high for 5-6 hours (usually about an hour per pound is how it works out). Sometimes I’ll season the chicken somehow, but I don’t think I will this time as I’ll want the leftovers for casseroles and chicken enchiladas. I’ll microwave a few sweet potatoes (which I bought at a bargain at the Farmer’s Market this weekend) and may have a salad (I bought some lettuce at the FM too!).
Tuesday: It’s supposed to be cooler, so I’ll fire up the oven and make oven fried chicken. I just make my own coating using some breadcrumbs and crushed crackers. Sometimes I’ll use quick cooking oats in place of the crushed crackers. I’ll also make some sweet potato fries and serve it all with some fresh fruit.
Wednesday: Pork Loin cooked in the oven with salad and some frozen veggies
Thursday: Home made pizza! I’ll use that shredded cheese I bought this weekend and make my own dough (super easy to make and most cookbooks have a recipe for pizza dough).
Friday: Rice and Beans. It’s been a while since we had this, so I think it’s time to make this cheap and easy meal. I buy bags of dried beans and just cook them on low (covered in water) in my crock pot for most of the day. The boys especially like it when we make mini burritos for them using rice, beans, corn and cheese!
Saturday: I usually like to use the crock pot on Saturday because we don’t get home from church until well after the normal “dinner time”. By using the crock pot, dinner is ready for us when we get home! On this night I’ll make a whole chicken in the crock pot. It’s a family favorite and SO easy!
- Rinse and pat dry a whole chicken (4 – 6 pounds in size works best)
- Place 3 or 4 balls of tin foil on the bottom of your crock pot (You can also just wrap potatoes in the foil that way your potatoes cook at the same time!)
- Spray crock pot and foil with cooking spray
- Spray your chicken with cooking spray and then shake seasoning salt all over chicken (Lawry’s seasoning salt is good, but so is a combo of onion powder, garlic powder and paprika)
- Place chicken breast side DOWN on top of the foil balls
- Cook on high for 4-6 hours (again, 1 hour per pound seems to do the trick)
This chicken comes out a lot like the rotisserie chickens found at grocery stores, but will cost about half of what you’d pay if you buy the whole birds on sale! The only difference here is the skin isn’t crispy, but if you’re watching your weight you probably don’t (or shouldn’t!) eat that part anyway. The foil balls help keeping the chicken up out of the dripping fat.
- This recipe utilizes leftover chicken you’ve already cooked up. You can often find small containers of diced or shredded, cooked chicken in my freezer. It’s nice to have ready to use at a moments notice!
- In a bowl beat a brick of softened cream cheese.
- When mostly smooth, add half a packet of taco seasoning and a can of un-drained, diced tomatoes.
- Mix in chicken and frozen corn.
- Spoon mixture into flour tortillas, roll up and line up in a baking dish (spray dish with cooking spray).
- Cover mixture with shredded cheddar cheese and cover with a piece of foil sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (you’re just heating it through seeing as the chicken is already cooked)
- This is also a great dish to freeze for later. Just omit the shredded cheese on top and add that when you’re ready to bake. You will likely need to add 15-30 minutes extra depending on how cold your freezer is.
Hope you found this helpful! I’ll try to remember to do this periodically (or more often if you all would like – just let me know).