Menu Planning Monday: My menu for the week of 4/18

For those of you who may be doing Weight Watchers, I have included the points per serving calculations for most of my recipes this week (we had lots of family things going on this weekend, so I didn’t have time to calculate all the recipes – I will try to have the points added in for the others by the end of the day). I used the “Recipe Builder” feature on the e-Tools program to input all of the ingredients and calculate the points, so it should be pretty accurate.

You can read more about my $40 weekly budget in this post here.

If you have blogged a menu plan for the week (or even just a favorite recipe), please feel free to comment and share your link. I’m always looking for new ideas and inspiration and will be happy to share a link to your blog if we try your recipe! Check out hundreds of other meal plans at!


SUNDAY ~ Frozen pizzas – Friday night, I only got 4 hours of sleep because I was up pricing things for our garage sale and between the garage sale and birthday parties on Saturday, I didn’t even make it to the grocery store and I had no energy to cook, so we had frozen pizzas! (some days are just like that)

MONDAY ~ Taco rice (freezer meal) – This is a carry over from last week

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
3 cups Chicken broth (I use 100% fat free)
8 oz. Tomato sauce
1 pkg. Taco seasoning mix
1-1/2 cups Brown rice, uncooked
1/2 cup Red or Green Pepper
1 can of corn
(1 can red enchilada sauce ~ this is my personal addition)

On Hand:
Shredded cheddar cheese

Optional Ingredients:
Tortilla chips, flour tortillas, tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, etc.

Assembly Directions:
Mix everything in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until rice is done (about 40-50 minutes). Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Freezing Directions:
Allow rice mixture to cool. Place in appropriate sized containers. Seal, label and freeze.

Serving Directions:
Thaw in the refrigerator. Reheat in microwave until warm. You can also reheat it in a saucepan if you add a little bit of water before heating. Sprinkle cheese on top and serve with tortilla chips.

This is a big favorite around our house. This time around, I substituted red enchilada sauce for the tomato sauce. I thought it would give it more zip, but I didn’t really notice a huge difference. My entire family loves this and it makes a LOT. We use it with nachos or as filling for tacos/burritos.

WW points per serving = 5 points/serving (this does not include toppings or “extras”)

TUESDAY ~ Meatloaf on a bed of potatoes (slow cooker) – simple to make and totally kid friendly!

From BabyCenter Cooking for Your Family

By: Sandy~Bettyinthekitchen

2 T olive oil
3 large russets, cut into 1 to 1-1/2” chunks
2 lb ground sirloin
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup crushed saltine crackers
3/4 cup ketchup
2 T dehydrated onions (optional)
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Combine oil and potatoes in crock pot, toss to coat. Spread in an even layer on the bottom of the crock.

In a large bowl, combine beef, eggs, crumbs, ketchup, onion, salt and pepper. Mix gently, do not compact. Shape into oval or round, place on top of potatoes. Spread with topping.

Cover and cook on High for 1 hour. Reduce heat to Low and continue to cook for 6-7 hours, or until a meat thermometer reads 160º to 165ºF.
Sandy’s notes: I used plain ketchup for the topping since that is my family’s preference. To make the meatloaf easier to remove: Take two long pieces of foil and fold them into two strips. Place them across each other over the potatoes and set the meatloaf on top. Use as handles to remove when the meatloaf is done.

**My notes: When I make this, I sprinkle parsley and Mrs. Dash seasoning over the potatoes.

WEDNESDAY ~ Chicken tortilla soup (slow cooker)

3 cans chicken broth (100% FF)
3 cans cream of chicken soup (98% FF)
3-4 chicken breasts
1 can Rotel
Mrs. Dash original seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

Place chicken breasts in the bottom of the crock pot. Add Mrs. Dash’s seasoning to taste. Add broth and cream of chicken soup, and Rotel. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Shred chicken in crock pot.

To serve: (if frozen)

Defrost in refrigerator. Reheat on stove. Serve and top individual bowls with desired toppings (tomatoes, green onions, avocadoes/guacamole, cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, etc.)

WW points =  3 per serving – this makes a TON of soup (at least 8 servings for my family), the 3 points, of course, does not include any “toppings” such as cheese, sour cream, and chips!

THURSDAY ~ Country Style Pork Loin (slow cooker)

Country-Style Pork Loin
Katie (Katiedid) from Taste of Home

1 boneless whole pork loin roast (3 pounds)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground mustard
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
Hot mashed potatoes, optional

Cut pork roast in half. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, onion powder and mustard. Add pork, one portion at a time, and shake to coat. In a large skillet, brown pork in oil over medium-high heat on all sides. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Pour broth over pork. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until tender. Remove pork and keep warm. For gravy, strain cooking juices and skim fat; pour 2-1/2 cups cooking juices into a large saucepan. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into juices. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Slice pork; serve with gravy and mashed potatoes if desired. Yield: 8 servings.

*This recipe was SOOOO yummy! Even my kids loved it. It is definitely a keeper at our house!
FRIDAYPasta Carbonara – I found this recipe on the Babycenter Cooking for Your Family board (the original poster of the recipe was Elyselovesherboys)

3 cups uncooked penne pasta
6 slices bacon, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 1/4 cups milk
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened & cubed
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp.
Remove to paper towels, reserve 3 Tablespoons drippings,
Sauté garlic and onion in drippings until tender.
Add the milk, cream cheese and butter; stir until smooth.
Stir in the Parmesan cheese and bacon; heat through.
Toss with pasta.

SATURDAY ~ 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 = 5 per serving (makes 4-6 servings)