Friday, February 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

It's that time again. Time to plan the menus for the month. This month I'm really trying to find a good balance between economical meals and healthy habits. The hubby is diabetic so we really should be limiting the number of starches and sugars he's eating, however as most realize, healthy food is not cheap. Foods that tend to stretch your budget seem to be those pastas, potatoes and rice. So in addition to finding this balance I'm working to incorporate new recipes. New dishes like the Cabbage Rolls really bring some variety and introduce our family to a variety of ethnic and cultural cuisines. Ok maybe that's stretching it but still, we're very Tex-Mex so maybe something different than that will be a change.

For this month I purchased the Angel Food ministries Regular box and February Special #5.
Here is what we will be working with....

Regular Box
1.5 lb Sirloin Strip Steaks (4x6)
2 lb Tray pack Chicken Breast
1 lb Boneless Pork Chops
2 lb Breaded Chicken Nuggets
28 oz Salisbury Steak Entree
12 oz Sliced Bacon
1 lb All-Meat Hot Dogs
1 lb Stir Fry (Broccoli, Red Peppers & Onions)
1 lb Carrots
8 oz Breakfast Cereal
32 oz 2% Shelf Stable Milk
35 oz Crinkle Cut Fries
7.25 oz Mac 'n Cheese
1 lb Rice
1 lb Bean Soup Mix
1 Dozen Eggs

February Special #5 (Fresh Fruit and Veggie Box)
3 lb Premium Idaho Baking Potatoes
3 lb Premium North Carolina Sweet Potatoes
2 lb New Crop Western Grown Yellow Onions
9 oz Premium Raisins
1 lb California Grown Carrots
1 Green Cabbage Head
3 lb Red Delicious Apples
2 Anjou Pears
1 Golden Pineapple
3 lb Valencia Oranges

Items from the boxes will be in blue

This month's baking and feed the freezer will be:
  • Applesauce, Bran, and Oatmeal Muffins x2 to freeze half, I will also be substituting the corn syrup for Agava Nector since the hubby is diabetic. (See Review)
  • Coffee Cake Muffins by Martha Stewart
  • Carrot and Sweet Potato Pancakes x2 to freeze half
  • New York Style Cheesecake (for the hubby's birthday) Review: Well this bombed, it cracked all over while cooking and then didn't even cook all the way through using the suggested time in addition to cooking for longer than suggested. I'm not sure if it was the change in ingredients or what but I WON'T be trying this recipe again. My full fat cheesecakes never have this problem.

Saturday, February 28th
Lunch: Sandwiches & Soup
Dinner:Hamburgers, Potato Salad and Grilled Corn on the Cob

Sunday, March 1st
Dinner: Chicken Fried Steaks, Mashed Potatoes (Idaho Potatoes) and Gravy

Monday, March 2nd
Dinner: Chicken Stir Fry and Brown Rice

Tuesday, March 3rd
Dinner: Paula Deen's Swiss Steak (onions) and Rice
Review: This was a pretty good quick recipe, the meat turned out very tender w/o having to cube it. Not high on the taste scale but a good solid meal.

Wednesday, March 4th
Dinner: Pasta e Fagioli (bacon instead of pancetta, carrots) and French Bread
Review: Well I butchered this one, I did it in the crockpot and forgot about the noodles. I put them in about 30 minutes prior to turning it off but forgot about it all together and so the noodles ended up mushy and ruined the soup. Overall I think I prefer a fagioli with spinach in it too.

Thursday, March 5th
Dinner: Mole-Style Pork Chops with Black Beans and Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes
Review: This was amazing! The mole turned out great, I thought it'd be a dry rub but while cooking it turned saucy and was perfect. The sweet potatoes were the perfect compliment to the pork. A real nice meal.

Friday, March 6th
Dinner: Steak and Blue Cheese Pizza with Mixed Greens Salad

Saturday, March 7th
Breakfast: Something Quick - Swimming Lessons at 9AM
Lunch: Family Fishing Ministry Day - Pack a Picnic
Dinner: Out to Eat, it's my Birthday!

Sunday, March 8th
Dinner: Breakfast for Dinner! Sweet Potato Hash (bacon and eggs) with Spicy Hollandaise Sauce
Review: I love breakfast for dinner nights, it just fills you up so well! This recipe was delish, I will definitely be trying this again. It was the 1st time I've poached eggs so I'll need the practice. I think the hash was a bit too sweet so I'm going to omit the maple syrup next time and just stick with the spicy savory combo.

Monday, March 9th
Dinner: Sausage and Spinach Soup with crusty French Bread
Fresh herbs are added after the soup cooks so they'll retain their bright color and flavor. You can substitute 1 teaspoon dried herbs for each tablespoon fresh, but add them with the tomatoes. Serve with a toasted baguette.
Review: This soup was SUPER. Quick and easy to make and choc full of nutrients. It's a broth base so its low on carbs and my hubby could eat his weight in it w/o worry about his sugars. I loved soaking up the crusty french bread with the leftover broth.

Tuesday, March 10th
Dinner: Traditional Tuna Casserole

Wednesday, March 11th
Dinner: Sizzling Salmon Salad and Crunchy Crackers

Thursday, March 12th
Dinner: Leftover (Frozen) Mexican Lasagna

Friday, March 13th
Dinner: Grilled Sirloin Skewers with Peaches and Peppers and cilantro lime rice
Review: Oh this was so yummy! We used deer sirloins (of course) so I soaked them in milk prior to skewering them (this gets rid of gamey tastes in the meat). The peaches just melted in your mouth and really added great flavor to the steaks. This was a great filling meal that didn't give you that overfull feeling.

Saturday, March 14th
Breakfast: Something Quick - Swimming Lessons at 9AM
Lunch: Sandwiches
Dinner: Smoked Paprika Pork Chops and Roasted Veggies

Sunday, March 15th
Dinner: Spanish Style Grilled Chicken with Spanish Rice Stuffed Peppers

Monday, March 16th
Dinner: Ham and Bean Soup with Biscuits and Greens

Tuesday, March 17th
Dinner: All American Chili Dogs Night (hot dogs)

Wednesday, March 18th
Dinner: Salisbury Steak Entree and Mashed Potatoes
Review: This was a boxed dinner, well except I made homemade mashed spuds. For a box meals it was great, my lil monster loved it! He's picky on meat textures but he ate this right up. Had lots of extra sauce to use as gravy on the potatoes.

Thursday, March 19th
Dinner: Stuffed Pork Chops and green beans, stay tuned for this recipe

Friday, March 20th
Dinner: Grilled Salmon, Sweet Potatoes and Orange Zest Broccoli

Saturday, March 21st
Breakfast:Something Quick - Swimming Lessons at 9AM
Lunch: Sandwiches
Dinner: Sirloin Steaks? and roasted cabbage side? stay tuned for this decision

Sunday, March 22nd
Dinner: Mock Thanksgiving - whole deep fried chicken w/cajun injector, creamed spinach, stuffing and glazed carrots

Monday, March 23rd
Dinner: Buffalo Chicken Chili and Blue Cheese Cornbread

Tuesday, March 24th
Dinner: Crockpot Breakfast Casserole and fruit salad

Wednesday, March 25th
Dinner: Honey-Pecan Crusted Chicken and veggie?

Thursday, March 26th
Dinner: Turkey Mini Meatloaves and Sneaky Smashed Potatoes
Feed six by doubling the ingredients and shaping the mixture into one eight by four-inch loaf. Bake time may increase to about 45 to 50 minutes; use a thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165°.
Review: These were a great alternative to traditional meatloaf. I loved how they were perfectly portioned so I could keep the hubby from eating too much. Very flavorful with the hint of kick from the hot sauce.

Friday, March 27th
Dinner: Stomboli and Salad

Saturday, March 28th
Breakfast: Something Quick - Swimming Lessons at 9AM
Dinner: Out to Eat?

And as usual for other great menus check out the Organized Junkie!

Shopping List will be updated by the end of the day.

Photos courtesy of CookingLight, FoodNetwork and RachelRay.

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