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Menu Plan Monday!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Hi!! Happy Monday!!
Soo...I just checked our weather forecast and it is supposed to be in the 60's all week here in Indianapolis?!? WHAT?? It is pretty much supposed to be raining all week- but I don't care! The thought of not having to wear my huge puffy winter coat is making me smile REAL big right now! HA!

How was your weekend?? We had a great time visiting my friend Michaela, who came to visit us from Chicago! The weather was kind of crappy all day on Saturday- so we had to get a little creative with things to do with the kids. We ended up to taking them to Cabela's on Saturday afternoon, just to walk around and look at the big aquarium they have. 
 Michaela and I literally didn't stop talking the whole weekend :) We would start one conversation and somehow veer off that topic and end up talking about something completely different and then forget what we originally started talking about- HA! It was SO much to have her around for a couple days! We have plans to see her this summer and we all can't wait! :)
So...last week I wrote a post about how I created a "broad" menu plan for the Month of March.  My hope in doing this was that it would help me plan specific meals for the week easier and I wouldn't spend so much time just staring at my blank calendar, trying to think up 7 meals I could make for the week! Well- I am happy to say meal planning and making my grocery list was a breeze yesterday! My monthly meal plan gave me such a great place to start and it was really easy to get our menu set for this upcoming week!

Monday: Pasta with Alfredo Sauce, Broccoli and Carrots + Green Salad
I am making a meatless, but VERY filling and satisfying, "Italian" inspired meal tonight. I am going to steam some broccoli, sauté some thinly sliced carrots in a little olive oil and garlic and I am going to make a homemade Alfredo sauce to go with the veggies and some whole wheat pasta. We will have a green salad to go along with our pasta.
My husband LOVES when I make homemade Alfredo sauce- and I love that it is easy and a healthier version of the "normal" Alfredo sauce!

Here's how I make it!

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

Directions:
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!!

Tuesday: Ground Beef Tacos in Crunch Shells
Tuesday is Taco Tuesday and I am going the super simple route of browning up some ground beef (I got some on sale last week!) with a packet of taco seasoning. I am going to use crunchy taco shells to put our meat and toppings in- my girls prefer the crunchy shells over soft, flour tortillas. Such an easy meal- but one my family really enjoys!!

Wednesday: Pancakes and Fruit!
Aaron won't be home for dinner- so it is pancakes for dinner! While my kids don't like it when Aaron isn't home for dinner- they do LOVE it when I make pancakes for dinner :) It is an easy meal that I can count on them eating without any complaining- WIN-WIN in my book! :)

Thursday: Leftovers!
Thursday is kind of a "freebie" night for me- leftovers from the meal we have had earlier in the week! I love leftover night because I don't have to cook (YAY!!) and it helps us to not waste food and to not have a bunch of random tupperware containers in our fridge at the end of the week!

Friday: Potato Corn Chowder + Grilled Cheese + Green Salad
Another meatless meal night for us- this is my favorite recipe for potato corn chowder- it is Aaron's FAVORITE! 

Potato Corn Chowder
4 cups diced and peeled potatoes
2/3 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup butter or margarine- divided

1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups milk 
1 teaspoon dried dill weed (if you don't have this- totally ok to leave it out!)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I like to use sharp cheddar)
1 can (16 oz) cream style corn
OPTIONAL: 1 cup diced, cooked ham or crumbled, fried bacon

Combine potatoes, celery, onion, water and 1/4 cup butter in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Add in remaining butter, flour, salt and pepper.  Stir and incorporate flour well.  Gradually add milk.  Add dill.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Stir in corn.  Add ham or bacon if desired.  Heat all the way through over medium heat, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking on the bottom of the pot.


Saturday: Pizza Night!
This doesn't really need an explanation, does it?? HA! My girls have cheese pizza and get to have a picnic in the living room, while they watch a movie and eat their pizza. The get SO excited about pizza night! :) Aaron and I sit with James at the kitchen table and watch him stuff his face with pizza- I am telling you- I have never seen a baby take down some pizza like James can! HA!

Sunday: Hot Dogs on the grill + mac 'n' cheese + steamed green beans
For our "Grill Out" night- we are going to grill hot dogs (we really like the Hebrew National, all beef hot dogs- we get them in a 3 pack from Sam's Club), I am going to make some mac 'n' cheese and steam up some green beans. A nice, easy casual meal to end our weekend! :)

Do you have a meal plan for the week? What's for dinner at your house??
I hope you have a WONDERFUL week and the BEST day!!

I am linking up with Laura today!

2 comments:

  1. So glad that you had a nice weekend with your girlfriend!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad you had such a fun weekend! This warm weather has been a nice change even if it means rain :) We were in Indy on Saturday to try a new restaurant and hit up Target. Your meals sound delicious. I've never made alfredo sauce and your recipe makes it sound really doable - thanks for sharing. I love that you put crunch tacos on the menu. I tend to forget about those and only plan soft shells.

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you! Let's keep it nice though...ain't nobody got time for anything else!

 
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