Menu Planning Monday: My menu for the week of 3/14

This week I’m off for spring break and I’m SO excited to have a chance to relax and to have some time to spend with my kids!  I’m also planning to do a little experimenting so that I can hopefully find some kid friendly recipes.  My kids have a tendency to reject everything I make these days!

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!

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.

MONDAY: Chicken lickin’ good pork chops (slow cooker) – I know today’s going to be a busy day, so I wanted something I could stick in the slow cooker that would basically be ready by the time I got home, and this recipe is perfect for that!

6-8 lean pork chops, 1-inch thick
1/2 cup flour (omit if you don’t brown chops in skillet)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp oil (omit if you don’t brown chops in skillet)
1 10.5oz can chicken & rice soup

Dredge pork chops in mixture of flour, salt, dry mustard & garlic powder. Brown chops in oil in a large skillet. Place browned pork chops in crockpot. Add can of soup. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3 1/2 hours. If I don’t brown the chops, then I just toss the salt, dry mustard & garlic powder in the crockpot instead of dredging the chops.

*Note: When making this meal, I use a can of family size chicken & rice soup and drain off some of the broth – it keeps the meat tender and there is more of the chicken & rice mixture for everyone! If you don’t have time to brown the chops first in a skillet, I’ve also just dipped it into the flour mixture and put it straight into the slow cooker and it works fine that way, too.

WW points = 6 servings, 7 points per serving

TUESDAYChipotle chicken taco salad – This recipe is from Our Best Bites and it sounds soo yummy!  I can’t wait to try it!


4 c. chopped Romaine Lettuce
2 c. chopped grilled chicken (you could use Taco Chicken if you want) – I’m thinking I’m going to use Marci’s Shredded lime chicken recipe
1 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, washed
1/3 c. vertically-sliced red onions
1 avocado, cubed
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 8 3/4 oz. can corn, rinsed and drained Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 c. light sour cream
1 1/2 + tsp. adobo sauce from canned chipotle chilies
1 tsp. chili powder
4 tsp. fresh lime juice
¼ tsp. salt

Tortilla Strips
Make sure all salad ingredients that need to be washed or rinsed have been. Combine lettuce, chicken, beans, corn, onion, and tomatoes in a large bowl and gently mix with your hands (which you have obviously and thoroughly washed, of course! 🙂 ). Set aside.

Mix dressing ingredients. I say to start with 1 1/2 tsp. of adobo sauce and then go from there, probably 1/4-1/2 tsp. at a time. If you’re serving this for a crowd, it’s probably better to err on the side of not spicy enough rather than too spicy, but if you’re just making it for your family and you have taste buds of steel, have at it. You could even chop up one of the chilies and toss it in there if you’re feeling super-brave. Then taste the dressing and you’ll know what heaven tastes like. Set dressing aside.

If you’re making tortilla strips, fry those puppies up now. I didn’t make them here because I’m trying my darndest not to be naughty nutritionally, but if I make this salad for some kind of festivity, I always make the tortilla strips. Allow them to cool.

When you’re ready to serve, add avocado, tortilla strips, and dressing. Gently combine with your hands and serve.

WEDNESDAY:   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

THURSDAY:  Swiss chicken – I found this recipe on “Mommy Meals” and it looked kid friendly, so I decided to try it out

4 – large skinless boneless chicken breasts
4 – tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted (I’m going to cut this)
8 – slices Swiss cheese
1 – 10 3/4-oz can condensed cream of chicken soup (I will use 98% FF)
1/4 – cup white wine (I will substitute chicken broth)
1/4 – cup sour cream ( will use reduced fat)
1 Tbls. of olive oil
10 oz. fresh cut mushrooms
1 1/2 – cups pepperidge farm stuffing mix, crushed, I used savory cornbread
kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Season Chicken to taste
3. In a large frying pan with a tablespoon of olive oil brown chicken(about 2-3 minutes per side). Meanwhile in a medium bowl, add the soup, sour cream and the wine.
4. Add the chicken to a shallow baking dish that has been spared with non stick spray.
5. Then in the frying pan cook mushrooms until golden brown. Layer the mushroom over the
6. Top chicken with cheese slices.
7. Pour soup mix over the cheese.
8. Sprinkle stuffing mix on top and drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.

FRIDAYCountry Ham and Macaroni Casserole – My entire family has been BEGGING for this!

Thanks to Sandy~Bettyinthekitchen ( Cooking for Your Family Board)

1 lb country ham slices or regular smoked ham in one piece (I just use whatever leftover ham we have on hand)
1 large onion, diced
1 lb elbow macaroni (whole wheat)
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz) – I use reduced fat
1 cup sour cream (I use reduced fat)
1 can cream of chicken soup (I use 98% fat free)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine, melted (I don’t use this when I make it)
1 cup dry plain bread crumbs

1. Heat oven to 400º.
2. Bring 4 quarts water and ham to boiling in large pot. Once water begins to boil,
remove ham to a plate. Add onion and macaroni to pot. Return water to boiling; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Coarsely chop ham, discarding any fat and bones.
4. Drain macaroni and onion and return to pot. Add ham, cheese, sour cream and soup. Scrape into a 13x9x2 baking dish. Pour melted margarine over top. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
5. Bake in heated 400º oven 30 minutes or until heated through and top is golden brown.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Note: Prepare in two 8×8 casserole dishes, bake one and freeze one (unbaked) for another day. If freezing, top with crumbs and margarine right before baking.

WW points = 9 points per serving (with modifications above), makes 6 servings

SATURDAY:   Perfect Enchiladas – The basis for this recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman, but she uses ground beef and I’m going to use chicken (last time I used pork and that was yummy, too!)  Marci posted the recipe on her blog awhile back and I finally got around to trying it a few weeks ago and it was a hit, so we’re having it again.

Our “filling” – I’m going to put 2 frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot on low with a can of enchilada sauce (red) and some taco seasoning.  I’ll shred the taco meat and that and some cheese will become our “filling”

The sauce (from Marci’s blog)
1 T. canola oil
1 T. flour/cornstarch
1 large (28 oz) can enchilada/red sauce
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
2 T. chopped cilantro

-In a large saucepan over med. heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a paste, cooking for 1 min.
-Pour in the red sauce, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and cilantro, and bring to boil.
-Reduce heat and simmer 30-45 min.

I’m going to use 1 dozen flour tortillas.  Whenever I make enchiladas, I always put a little bit of sauce along the bottom of the pan to keep the enchiladas from stocking to the pan.  I’ll fill each tortilla with the shredded chicken breast and cheese, roll it, and place it in a 9X13 Pyrex baking dish. Then, I’ll cover the rolled enchiladas with the sauce and some cheese and bake it in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 350 until the cheese is melted.

WW points = 9 per serving for 2 enchiladas

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