Menu Planning Monday: My menu for the week of 2/13 (WW pts included!)

 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! Both kids eat breakfast at home, but my son eats lunch at daycare, my daughter eats lunch at

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:  Rice meatballs – This is a recipe from my mother in law.  I’m going to make the meatballs before I go to work so all I have to do is cook them when I get home!

1 cup uncooked minute rice
1 lb ground beef (I use 93/7)
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 t. grated onion
2 t. salt (I cut this in half)
1/8 t marjoram
dash pepper
2 1/2 cups tomato juice (or two 8 oz cans tomato sauce mixed with 1/2 cup water)
1/2 t sugar

Combine rice and all other ingredients except tomato juice and sugar. Form balls and arrange in skillet. Pour tomato juice & sugar over meatballs. Bring to boil. Reduce heat & simmer uncovered 15 minutes. 

WW points = 7 points per serving
Sides = green beans and green salad

MONDAY:  Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells – I’m not a big fan of crowds, so we’re eating in this Valentine’s Day.  I got this recipe from All You Magazine and decided to try it out.  My husband loves manicotti, but I don’t make it often because I hate stuffing the shells.  This is basically the same thing but SO much easier.  It was a hit with everyone and my daughter declared that “It’s a keeper.”

* 24 jumbo pasta shells
* 1 15-oz. container ricotta
* 2 cups shredded mozzarella
* 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
* 1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* Salt and pepper
* 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
* Pinch of ground nutmeg
* 1 26-oz. jar spaghetti sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Mist a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cook pasta shells according to package label directions; drain and set aside to cool. While pasta cooks, in a large bowl, stir together ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, spinach, egg, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and nutmeg.

2. Spread 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce over bottom of baking dish. Stuff shells with cheese-and-spinach mixture and place in dish. Spoon remaining sauce over shells and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella.

3. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 10 minutes longer, until bubbly and cheese begins to brown.

WW points = 12 points per serving (makes 6 servings)
Sides = Roasted parmesan asparagus and watermelon

TUESDAY:  Beef tips (slow cooker) – I found this recipe in Taste of Home Magazine. We have eaten it a few times now and my whole family (even my picky eater kids) loves it!

1 beef top sirloin steak (1 pound), cut into 1-inch cubes
2 to 3 medium carrots, chopped
1 to 1-1/2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed golden mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 to 1 cup white wine or beef broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
Hot cooked egg noodles

In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine the beef, carrots, celery, onion, soup and wine or broth. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until meat is tender.

Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; gradually stir into cooking juices. Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes or until thickened. Serve with noodles. Yield: 4 servings.

WW points = 6 per serving (add 3 points for 1/2 cup pasta/rice or 5 points for 1 cup pasta/rice)
Sides = green salad, cantaloupe

WEDNESDAYEnchilada soup – The original recipe is meant to be cooked on the stove, but I have adapted it to cook in the slow cooker

4-5 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 can Rotel
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can enchilada sauce (I prefer red for this soup)
1 T chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 medium onion, diced
1 T minced garlic
1 can chicken broth
8 oz Velveeta
1 can chopped/peeled chilis
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
7-8 corn tortillas (sliced lengthwise in pieces)

Add chicken (I use frozen usually), Rotel, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, chili powder, cumin, onion, garlic, chicken broth, and chilis.  Cook on low 6-8 hours.  Then, I shred the chicken breasts and add the Velveeta about an hour before serving and cook until it is melted well.  I serve with the corn tortillas and the shredded cheddar cheese.

THURSDAY:  Steak stroganoff (slow cooker) – This is a family favorite!

2T flour
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 3/4 lb. boneless round steak
2 cans 10 3/4 oz cream of mushroom soup (I use 98% FF)
2 c. water (or 1 can 100% FF beef broth for more flavor)
1 envelope beef stew mix
4 oz can mushrooms, sliced and drained
1/2 c. sour cream
1 T minced parsley

Combine flour, garlic powder, pepper, and paprika in slow cooker. Cut meat into 1 1/2 inch strips. Place in flour mixture and toss until meat is well coated. Add soup, water, and stew mix. Stir until well blended. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours. Stir in mushrooms, sour cream, and parsley and then cook on high 10-15 minutes until heated through. Serve over egg noodles. (Depending on the consistency of the sauce, you may need to add cornstarch to thicken or add more water/broth to thin)

To freeze: Pour into gallon freezer bags (I used Ziploc containers for this one). Allow to cool before freezing.

To reheat: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Warm on stove and serve over rice or egg noodles. (Add sour cream when warming if you left it out of the initial recipe)

WW points = 7 points/serving, 6-8 servings (add 3 points for 1/2 c. cooked pasta or 5 points for 1 cup)

Sides = green beans and green salad

FRIDAY:   Cheesy ham pasta bake – This recipe originally comes from Finding Joy in My Kitchen

Cheesy Ham and Pasta Bake – Inspired by Tiffanee at One Crazy Cookie

1 lb. whole wheat penne pasta
2 C extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C diced ham
8oz. mushrooms, sliced
4 T white wheat flour
3 C milk* (divided)
1/4 tsp. pepper. 

Begin by boiling the pasta according to package directions.  Then, mix together 1 C milk and flour in a large measuring cup. Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms in a large skillet with a little olive oil, if necessary.  When mushrooms are cooked, remove from the pan and toss with diced ham. In the same skillet, pour the milk mixture into the pan. Stir constantly, adding additional milk to reach desired thickness (I ended up adding ~1C milk to the mixture) while warming the mixture so that it thickens. Simmer about 3 minutes.   Add in the ham and mushroom mix, and simmer until ham warms.  Then, add in 3/4 of the shredded cheese.  Spread the pasta into a 9×13 glass baking dish. Pour the cheesy sauce over the pasta.  Stir to coat. Then, sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Stick the dish into a warm oven… about 300 degrees, for 10 minutes, until the cheese on the top melts.

WW points = 12 per serving
Sides = cantaloupe, broccoli

SATURDAY:  No Guilt cheese enchiladas – I got this recipe in an e-mail from Spark People

12 8-inch Corn Tortillas
1 cup shredded Mexican four cheese blend
1/2 cup fat-free cottage cheese
3/4 cup chopped white onions
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
1 can (19 ounces) enchilada sauce
2 Tbsp diced green chilies
3 Tbsp sliced black olives


Step 1:
Soften the tortillas. Normally, tortillas are softened by lightly frying them in hot oil. Skinny enchiladas skips this step…and all the fat!

Pour the enchilada sauce in a skillet and heat. Dip each tortilla in the hot sauce, coating each side, for a few seconds. Shake off and place on microwavable platter, 3 or 4 at a time, making sure that they do not overlap. Microwave for 20-40 seconds, until soft. (Time will vary according to your microwave oven.) Set aside to cool.

Step 2:
In a bowl, mix 3/4 cup finely chopped onion (about 1/2 a large onion), ricotta, cottage cheese, green chiles (mild or hot, to taste), and salt and pepper to taste. Add half the shredded cheese (1/2 cup.) Mix with fork until ingredients are blended.

Step 3:
Spray a rectangular casserole dish with non-stick spray.
Place approximately 1/12th of the cheese mixture (about 1/4 cup) on a tortilla and loosely roll. Place seam side down in casserole dish. Repeat until all tortillas are filled. Spread remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas.

Step 4:
Bake for 15 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. After 15 minutes, remove and evenly spread the remaining cheese and the black olives on top. Return to oven for 10 more minutes.

Serve hot.

WW points = 6 per serving (2 enchiladas per serving)
Number of Servings: 6

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  1. Found your blog through MPM and really enjoyed it. Good stuff!!