Menu Planning Monday: My menu for the week of 1/16 (WW pts included!)

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Welcome! I fell off the wagon in the menu planning department last week and it was a disaster.  No planning = not so great meals or fast food.  One of my New Year’s “goals” was to eat healthier, and so I’m trying to incorporate healthier recipes all around into our menu plan. The plan listed here just includes our dinner menu and recipes. I have calculated Weight Watchers points values using the e-tools Recipe Builder, and points values this week are based on the new Points Plus program! You can see my spreadsheet with our lunch and breakfast foods here (recipes are not included, but points values are – if you want a recipe, let me know!!).  Both kids eat breakfast at home, but my son eats lunch at daycare, my daughter eats lunch at school, and my husband fends for himself!

Many of my recipes this week are coming from The Biggest Loser Cookbook: Budget Friendly Meals Your Whole Family Will Love.  The book really does have a lot of great, family friendly recipes and great pictures, too.  My kids had a great time helping me pick out menu options this week!  Whether you’re counting points or calories, this cookbook is awesome because it includes calories, carbohydrates, fat content, and protein.

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, then you know that for the past two years, I have done a $40 weekly budget.  With the changes to our eating habits, I’m going to increase our budget to $50 per week and I’m really going to try to stick to that, but I’m not even sure that will be enough.  This will be a trial and error experience, so stay tuned!

If you’re new to menu planning or would like tips for getting started, check out this post here.

SUNDAY:  Peppered Steak – this is a family recipe that came from my mother in law

3 cups hot cooked rice
1 lb lean beef round steak (cut into 1/2 inch thick strips)
1 T Paprika
2 T butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 c. beef broth
1 cup sliced green onions
2 green peppers, cut in strips
2T cornstarch
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 lg tomatoes (cut in eighths)

Pound steak to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 1/4 inch wide strips. Sprinkle meat with paprika. Let stand. Brown meat in butter. Add garlic and brother. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in onions and green peppers. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Blend cornstarch, water and soy sauce. Stir into meat mixture. Cook, stirring until clear and thickened, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir gently. Serve over beds of fluffy rice.

WW points = 7 per serving (makes 4 servings); add 5 points for 1 cup rice or 3 points for 1/2 cup rice

MONDAY:  Braised pork chops – I got this recipe from my mother in law awhile ago – I think she may have gotten it from a Martha Stewart magazine (or online)

2 T. veg. oil
6 boneless center cut pork chops trimmed of fat are preferable (but any will do)
1 teas. Dijon Mustard
1T red-wine vinegar
2 T. light brown sugar
1teas. garlic salt
1 T. worcestershire OR soy sauce

Heat oil in a lg. heavy skillet over med. high heat.
Brown chops on each side 2 to 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, site together all other ingredients with 1/3 cup water. Pour over chops. Reduce heat, cover and cook until tender, about 1 hour.

Transfer chops to a serving dish. Raise heat to med. high and cook sauce until thickened….about 5 minutes. Pour over chops and serve.

WW points = 5 points per serving, add 5 points for 1 cup brown rice or 3 points for 1/2 cup brown rice
Sides:  carpese salad and green beans

TUESDAY:  Melt in your mouth meatloaf (slow cooker) – I’ve made this several times now for our family.  It’s easy to make and yummy!

2 eggs
3/4 c. milk (we use skim)
2/3 c. seasoned bread crumbs
2 tsp dried, minced onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (we always make this with ground turkey instead and it’s yummy!)
1/4 c. ketchup
2 T brown sugar
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well (mixture will be moist.) Shape into a round loaf; place in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Spoon over the meat loaf. Cook 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

WW points = 5 per serving with the ground turkey, ground beef may be more (makes 6 servings)

Sides – Sour cream mashed potatoes (4 pts) and green beans (0 pts)

WEDNESDAY:  Balsamic chicken with mushrooms (from the WW site)

2 tsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), crushed
1 pound(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, four 4-oz pieces
2 cup(s) mushroom(s), small, halved
1/3 cup(s) canned chicken broth
1/4 tsp dried thyme, crumbled

* In a nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of oil.
* In a medium bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of vinegar, the mustard and garlic. Add chicken and turn to coat.
* Transfer chicken and marinade to skillet. Sauté chicken until cooked through, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm.
* Heat remaining teaspoon of oil in skillet. Sauté mushrooms for 1 minute. Add broth, thyme and remaining tablespoon of vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are deep brown, about 2 minutes longer.
* Serve chicken topped with mushrooms.

WW points = 4 points per serving
Sides = Baked asparagus with balsamic butter sauce (1 pt), spinach salad

THURSDAY:  Red Chicken Chili with Cornbread Muffies – Carrie posted this recipe on her blog (complete with pictures) and it looked yummy! I have seen lots of recipes for “white chicken chili” but this was the first recipe I have seen for “red chicken chili.” We tried it a few weeks back and loved it, so we’re making it again.  I’m going to put all of the ingredients in my crockpot on low for the day.

1 bag sliced white mushrooms
1 can (15.5 oz) light red kidney beans, rinse and drain
1 16 oz jar chipotle salsa
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
3 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup sour cream
6 oz American ale beer (I’m going to omit this)
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons minced garlic (not dried)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons flour

Boil chicken breasts in water for 40 minutes, shred with fork.

Combine all ingredients except flour. Mix flour with just enough hot water to make a paste. Add to ingredients. Bring to a simmer and continue for 1 hour. Cool for 15 minutes. Top with extra cheese and sour cream.

Notes:  Since I made mine in the crockpot, I didn’t do the “paste” part.  I just dumped everything in the crockpot (including the chicken breasts, which were frozen) and let it cook on low for the day.  I shredded the chicken, mixed it all together, and let it cook on low for about 15 minutes before serving.

WW points = 8 points per serving (makes 6 servings), includes sour cream and cheese, cornbread muffins are 4 pts/each

FRIDAY: Baked Ziti w/ cucumber wedges (this is made with whole wheat pasta and comes from The Biggest Loser Cookbook: Budget Friendly Meals Your Whole Family Will Love)

*My daughter carried my cookbook off to her room and is still sleeping, so I will have to add the recipe later!

SATURDAY:  Beef Stew (slow cooker) – I got this recipe on originally

*2 pounds beef chuck or stew meat, cut in 1? cubes (or you can even buy stew meat already cut up)
*1/4 cup flour
*1 1/2 tsp salt
*1/2 tsp pepper
*1 1/2 cups beef broth
*1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
*1 clove garlic
*1 bay leaf
*1 tsp paprika
*4 carrots sliced
*2 cans of potatoes (I have a few potatoes that need to be used up, so I’m going to just cut them up and throw them in)
*2 onions, chopped
*1 stalk celery, sliced

Directions: Place meat in cooker (no need to brown first). Mix flour, salt and pepper and pour over meat; stir to coat meat with flour. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix well. Cover and cok on low for 10-12 hours or high 4-6 hours. Stir stew thoroughly before serving.

WW points = 6 (makes 6 servings)

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  1. Miz Helen says:

    Hi Melissa,
    Your Peppered Steak and your menu look very good. I would like to invite you to bring a dish to my Full Plate Thursday. Thank you for sharing and you have a great week!

  2. Yum! Thanks for sharing the recipes and points. I'll be subscribing to your blog!

    My menu is posted HERE.  I just started Weight Watchers again yesterday, so I'm still trying to figure out the new points plus system. Last time I did this it was on the old points system.