Menu Plan Monday + A Yummy Recipe!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Happy Monday! We had such a good weekend and I totally attribute that to the fact it was sunny and right around 60 degrees both Saturday and Sunday.  We spent a ton of time outside and it was so good to see our girls happy and enjoying the outdoors!

So- I am not sure anyone really cares what my family is eating for the week- but blogging about it definitely holds me accountable and encourages me to get our meal plan figured out for the week...especially when I just want to serve cereal and sandwiches! HA!  This week's menu plan is VERY simple- it is the week before spring break for us and we are going to be traveling on Saturday. I don't want a bunch of leftovers from our meals sitting in the fridge. 
I also want to have easy dinners to prepare, 
since I will be busy packing and organizing for our trip!

For Monday's dinner, I am going to make a light version of Alfredo sauce and toss it with grilled chicken, steamed broccoli and whole wheat spaghetti.  See below for the Alfredo sauce recipe- it is SO good and SO much healthier than the original version.

On Tuesday, we will be having leftovers from Monday's dinner.  I will steam some more broccoli to add to the pasta since that is a favorite vegetable in our house AND because it is St. Patrick's day and I want plenty of green in our meal :)

Wednesday is about as easy as it gets!  Aldi is now carrying organic macaroni and cheese (think identical to the Annie's brand of organic macaroni and cheese) and I am so excited about this as it is one of my girls' favorite dishes.  We like Hebrew National ALL Beef Hot Dogs...I love that I can trust their ingredients and they are pretty darn tasty!  

Thursday, my husband has a late dinner meeting, so the girls and James will be having breakfast for dinner- which is a total favorite at our house!  Again- SO easy and I know I will have happy eaters at my table!  Very important on nights when Daddy is not home and Mommy is running the show by herself :)

Friday, we are going to pick up two $5 take and bake pizzas from Papa Murphy's.  Since, we are leaving for our trip (we are going to my parents house for a few days!!) I don't want any leftover pizza in the fridge.  We used to get $5 hot and ready pizzas from Little Caesar's- but there is not one super close to our house.  About 6 months ago, Papa Murphy's starting carrying $5 take and bake pizzas (cheese, pepperoni or sausage) and we were pumped!  Such an AWESOME deal!  And they are super yummy!

Like I mentioned above, this menu plan is far from fancy and not a ton of what I am serving this week is "homemade."  But that is totally OKAY!  What is important to me is that we are sitting down to dinner every night....sometimes it is to a meal of stuffed chicken breast and rice pilaf and sometimes it is hot dogs and macaroni and cheese.  Either way...I have got my family around the dinner table and that is what we will all remember 20 years from now- not what I served for dinner...but that we were together.

Now- for my "go-to" healthy version of Alfredo sauce!

Lightened Up Alfredo Sauce

(This will make enough sauce to cover an entire cooked box of pasta- you can always cut the recipe in half or freeze half of the sauce!)

4 tablespoons margarine 
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic 
(use more or less depending on how much garlic you like)
4 tablespoons flour
3/4 of a block of 1/3 less fat cream cheese
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
4 cups of 1% or skim milk (if you have 2% on hand- that's totally fine- it just ups the calories/fat content- but if you don't care- then use it!)
salt and pepper to taste

Melt margarine in a medium-large sauce pan
Once melted, add garlic and cook for a couple minutes until golden
Sprinkle in flour and whisk to make a roux
Continuing to keep the temperature at medium heat, slowly whisk milk into the roux, making sure to get out any lumps.
Once all the milk as been poured in, continue whisking on medium- high heat.
Add in cream cheese a little bit at a time, whisking in between to help the cream cheese get dispersed evenly.
Once cream cheese has been incorporated into the sauce, add the parmesan cheese.
Continue whisking over medium-high heat until the sauce thickens.  This might take a few minutes!
Add salt and pepper to taste once sauce has thickened to the texture you prefer!

Pour over cooked pasta of your choice!  This is a delicious dish on its own or you can add a protein of your choice and/or vegetable of your choice.  Enjoy!!

Here's to a wonderful week ahead!

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