Sunday, August 17, 2008

Recapping the Meal Plan

Well, this has been one week of meal planning.

Here is a recap:


1. Homemade Pizza and Salad
2. Egg Noodles and Chicken
3. Crazy Mac and Cheese
4. Pinto beans and Cornbread (with Blackberry Cobbler)
5. Eat out or Beefy Baked Potatoes
6. Beef Brisket over Mashed Potatoes
7. Cowboy Nachos

With the ingredients needed for these meals we made some great breakfasts and lunches. We also used many of the leftovers for meals during our lunch times throughout the week or froze them for future meals.

If you have any questions about the recipes let me know. They can always be modified to fit your family. I spent $60 at the grocery store last Monday. All of these dinners mentioned, our lunches and breakfasts were included. We have many ingredients left over which will be used for our family meal planning this coming week.

Next, you will hear from my dear friend Sarah Ann. She will be posting The Frugal Table. Yea!

The Pioneer Womans Cowboy Nachos, Sunday Evening Dinner.

In our house we have a larger Sunday lunch and then more snack food at dinner time. I am in love with the Pioneer Woman website and it tremendously helpful in creating this meal plan.
Jason and I have been going to a BBQ place here in town and enjoying these nachos. I ran across them on her website and learned how to make them for myself.

Here is what you need:
The leftover pinto beans from your beans and cornbread meal.
The leftover Brisket.
Home made Pico de Gallo, I used the same mixture I had made previously for the Crazy Mac and Cheese (Just add cilantro)!
Shredded Cheese
Tortilla Chips
1 can of enchillada sauce
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Here is how you do it:

Step 1: Heat up in a skillet with a bit of olive oil the brisket. Add a bit of the enchillada sauce. Do not drown the meat. We added to much and this was my only complaint. I would add less than half a can in the future.
Step 2: Heat up the beans.
Step 3: Start thinking layers. Add a layer of chips to a dish, pile on beans, brisket, cheese, and pico de gallo. Repeat several times over until you have a large pile of layered yumminess!
Step 4: Put in broiler long enough for cheese to melt and then top with one more helping of Pico de gallo.

This meal got a triple thumbs up from Jason. He ate so much of it. It was delicious and we LOVED that the ingredients (exept for the chips) all came from previous meals.
It is perfect accumulation of leftovers that make a powerful end to the meal plan for the week.

Unbelieveable Beef Brisket, Saturday

This meal is delicious and you are going to be using the brisket you make for THREE other meals!
I bought a brisket for $12.00, cooked it once, and have made three great meals with it so far. Well worth it.

What you will need:
Beef Brisket
Soy Sauce
Liquid Smoke
Lemon Juice (bottled or fresh)
1 carton of beef broth

What to do:

Step 1: 24 to 48 hours before you want to eat this meal combine the brisket in a large oven dish.
Step 2: In your dish add two cups of soy sauce, the beef broth, squeeze in a 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and a scoop full of garlic. Add two table spoons of liquid smoke. Yummy stuff.

Step 2: Cover with foil and let this all soak in your fridge for 24 to 48 hours. Oh, a good tip from Pioneer Woman is to put the brisket FAT side up.

Brisket must be cooked slow for a long period of time. It is recommended that you cook the meat 40 minutes per pound. Mine took three hours to perfection and let me tell you the entire time we were all salivating!

Serve with mashed potatoes and another veggie. In our house we had this with mashed potatoes, carrots, and home made wheat cinnamon rolls.

Keep all of the leftover brisket. You are going to use it for Cowboy Nachos and you can freeze the rest for some yummy sandwiches on any given day.

Eat Out, Friday Night !

Well, the Brabson's ate out tonight which was planned. We like to eat out once a week. But, if you do not want to eat out you can use this simple and fun Friday night meal:


You will need:
Potatoes, good sized ones.
Cheese (any kind shredded)
Veggies: Tomato is our favorite. You can add any veggies you want.
Sour Cream (if desired)

What to do:
Step 1: Bake your potatoes in the oven.
Step 2: While they are baking sizzle up some ground hamburger and season it up a bit.
Step 3: Chop your veggies.
Step 4: Shred your cheese.
Step 5: After the potatoes are ready, open them up and stuff the fixing into them. Put them back in the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt.

Serve and enjoy!

Pinto Beans and Cornbread, Thursday Night.

This meal is hearty, homey and you are going to use the leftover to make even more wonderful meals this week!

You will need:
Bag of Pinto Beans
Bacon (only four slices)
Salt and Pepper

If you have time go ahead and make home made corn bread. It is the best. I cheated this week and used the .39 cent Jiffy cornbread mix! (Shame, Shame, I know.)

The Simple Steps to Delicious:

Step 1: Put 4 cups of pinto beans into a collinder, rinse and drain.
Step 2: Put beans in pot of a water. Make sure the water is a few inches above the beans.
Step 3: Slice up the bacon and add to the beans.
Step 4: Place on stove and cook for about two hours. Check on the beans and stir occasionally. The beans will start to get a gravy like sauce around them. This means they are almost finished!
Step 5: Add salt and pepper to taste.

Make your cornbread, from scratch or out of a box baby!

Serve hot and with a delicious sweet treat. We enjoyed blackberry cobbler to go along side this dish. YUM!

When you are finished save all the beans. You will be using them for Cowboy Nachos in two days.

Crazy Mac and Cheese, Wednesday Night.

So, Monday night we had Pizza. And, Tuesday night we had home made noodles and chicken.
Now~ let's spice things up for hump day.

Today we are making another wonderful recipe., but I modified it a bit. You can use either!

Here is what you will need:

Noodles (I used whole-wheat maccarooni noodles because Meijer has them on sale for $1.00 a box.)
Block of PepperJack Cheese
Pint of Half and Half
Red Onion
Jalepeno Pepper
Red Pepper
Glove of garlic
Corn (frozen is fine)

Here is how you do it:

Step 1~ boil a pot of water and add noodles. Cook until al dente.
Step 2~ dice up your veggies real nice. You can scrape the seeds out of the pepper to take some of the heat away.
Step 3~ Dice up some garlic cloves (or us already diced cloves and add to taste)
Step 4~ In a LARGE skillet combine the colorful veggies and garlic with a bit of olive oil and saute them up nicely. You will begin to smell something good!
Step 5~ Add the corn to the skillet.
Step 6~ Add your cooked pasta.
Step 7~ Add one cup of half and half
Step 8~ Add two cups of shredded pepper jack cheese.
Step 9~ STIR, enjoy the smell, and begin to savor!
Step 10~ Enjoy!

I knew that my husband would complain about all the vegetables in this meal so I went ahead and made him a side pan of the mac and pepperjack cheese without all the good stuff. He really enjoyed it.

To spice this meal up even more do what Pioneer Woman does and add a can of chopped green chillies too!

Katie's Meal Plan #1

Alright Friends, here is the first official meal plan! I am going to post the meal plan, grocery list, the recipes, and tomorrow I will post the pictures to go along with meals.
I have to go right ahead and thank The Pioneer Woman for three of her recipe ideas. They were (are) amazing!


Monday~ Chicken and Home-made Egg Noodles
Tuesday~ Home-made Whole-wheat Pizza and Salad
Wednesday~ Crazy Macaroni
Thursday~ Beans and Cornbread, Blackberry Cobbler
Friday~ Eating Out Baby or Beefy Bakes
Saturday~ Beef Brisket over Mashed Potatoes
Sunday~ Cowboy Nachos

In our family in order to be frugal we use leftovers two ways, well three if you include giving the pups a treat. We freeze leftovers for use later if they freeze well. I will make sure to mention which ones freeze and reheat well. We also use the leftovers for our lunches throughout the week to spice up the usual sandwich.

The great thing about the above meal plan is that I was able to buy all the ingredients for under $60, many of which are going to be used next week. The main three ingredients of all the meals above are flour, beans, and brisket. There were tons of leftovers and these were easy ways to add lots of flavorful healthy vegetables without much resistance from my husband.

Up next, recipes and grocery list.


Homemade Egg Noodles and Chicken, Tuesday Night.

Hi Friends,

This is hearty, easy, and freezes GREAT. This can easily be modified to make a larger batch if you are feeding a big crew.

What you will need for the noodles:
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of whole-wheat flour
A little bit of salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons of softened butter (We use unsalted, but you can use either)

What you will need for the meal:
Chicken ( I used frozen chicken breast and it was tasty)
Carton of Chicken Broth

I love making my own noodles. They are always a work in progress, but there is a real joy in creating our food with my own hands. For me there is also a bit of stress relief in working with dough.

Step one: Take butter out of your fridge and let 2 tablespoons soften. Meanwhile, clear off counter space, get out some wax paper if you have it, and sing a silly song with your kids.

Step two: In a good size bowl that you like add your flour and make a nice little hole in the middle. Put your eggs, milk, butter and salt into the hole. Stir it up good.

Step three: Put of big pot of water on the stove to boil.

Step four: Take your dough and place it on a clear surface. I like to use wax paper that has a touch of flour on it. I find the dough does not stick so much.

Step five: Roll the dough out until it is thin. I have a hard time with this and get a bit impatient. My egg noodles tend to be a bit fat but my family rather likes them this way. You be the judge and test this out for yourself.

Step six: Once you have the dough rolled out take a pizza cutter and cut your noodles. Add them bit by bit into a your pot of boiling water. Putting them in already boiling water helps them not stick together.

Add chicken and broth to your noodles and boil until it is nice and tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I served this meal with a side dish of blackberries for all.

Overall rating: Thumbs up.
Leftover factor: We have two tupperware dishes full of leftovers which I froze and will use another time.

Homemade Pizza, Monday Night.

One of the best way's I have found to get my husband eating healthier is to include him in the cooking. If he makes it he tends to eat it.
The man loves pizza. There is going to be no taking this away. Pizza can be a great way to add veggies to a diet, just think of the tomato sauce!

What you will need for this meal:
Fixings for salad
Veggies for pizza
Cheese (shred your own, it is cheaper!)
Wheat Flour
Olive Oil

We make our own pizza dough. Its yummy and whole wheat.
Here is what you will need:
Regular Flour
Whole-Wheat Flour
Italian Seasoning (or better yet fresh herbs!)

Here is what you do:

Step 1~ Put an apron on your hubby!
Step 2~ Fill a bowl with 1 1/4 cup of warm water. Add a tablespoon of sugar. You can use honey, but I am not a huge fan of this with the pizza dough. Add 2 1/4 tablespoons of yeast to the warm water/sugar. Let is sit for a few minutes and take that time to clean off your counter top.

Step 3~ In a different bowl combine 1 1/4 cup of regular flour and 2 cups of whole wheat flour. Add salt.

Step 4~ When the yeast mixture is a bit foamy mix it with the flour mixture.

Step 5~ Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Step 6~ Put some olive oil on your hands not only is it a great moisterizer, but it will help with the dough!

Step 7~ Add your herbs to taste, several good shakes of italian seasoning. We like to add fresh orgenano, basil, and some red pepper.

Step 8~ Work out all your tension by kneading the dough until you can form it into a nice round ball. It takes me about 10 minutes.

Step 9~ Place the dough into a bowl and cover it with a towel. Let is rise for about 45 minutes.

After the dough has risen you can either divide this into two 12 inch pizza's or make a nice huge fat pizza! Sometimes we divide the dough making one half into pizza and the other half into breadsticks. Mmmm..

Step 10~ bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes.
Step 11~ Add your toppings (get those veggies cut up really small) and add your sauce and cheese. Speaking of sauce, here is a little tip. We make a HUGE batch of homemade sauce and then freeze it in small containers. Then, when we have a pizza to make we just take out some of our already made sauce. It is healthier than canned sauce and has no preservatives. If you want our recipe let me know.

Bake for about 35 minutes or until the cheese looks perfect!
Let cool for about five minutes if you can resist and dig in!

Serve with a side of salad. (In our house my hubby will not eat the salad, but me and the Moose get a little green).

Sorry, no picture for this one yet. Will post pictures next time we do it!

Don't have time to make it from scratch, use a mix for the dough and jarred sauce. Still yummy. OR take advantage of the $1.00 Pillsbury cresent roll/pizza dough sales happening at many grocery stores right now!