Menu Planning Monday: My menu for the week of 7/25

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. 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’re new to menu planning, check out my post about how I do my menu planning.

Get more inspiration by checking out the hundreds of menu plans posted every week at!

NOTE:  I sometimes get e-mails expressing “concern” that there are no fruits and vegetables included in our meal plan.  I typically only include our “main dish” items and not our “side/snack” items unless there is a really yummy recipe that I want to share.  If you want to know more about what my $40 weekly grocery budget includes, check out this post.


Breakfast ~ on the road

Lunch ~ Chicken nuggets, carrot/celery/broccoli and ranch dip

Dinner ~ Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells – I saw this recipe in the latest issue of 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 = 11 points per serving (makes 6 servings)


Breakfast ~ Cold cereal

Lunch ~ Meat & cheese skewers

Dinner ~ Country ham & macaroni casserole – We’ve got ham left over and this is quick and easy to make (plus my kids love it), so I thought it would be perfect!
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
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 8 servings


Breakfast ~ Pop Up Pancakes – This is a “new” recipe for us that I took from Make & Takes (I love this blog!) – we were going to try it last week, but it didn’t happen, so we’ll try again this week!

1 cup milk
1 cup flour
6 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
dash salt

Preheat oven at 400*. Blend all ingredients in blender. Grease muffin tins. Bake for 15 minutes or until puffy and golden on top. Use a knife to “pop” them out. Add desired toppings.

Lunch ~ Mini pizzas (we use English muffins and top them with tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings)

Dinner ~ Bourbon chickenKeli shared this recipe awhile back in a Menu Planning Monday post on her blog.  Our family loves it!

1 1/2-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite size pieces)
1-2 T olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 c. apple juice (in the comments section on Recipezaar, some people substituted pineapple juice or orange juice)
1/3 c. light brown sugar
2 T ketchup
1 T cider vinegar (in the comments section on Recipezaar, some people substituted balsamic vinger or did half and half)
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. soy sauce

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned. Remove chicken. Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium heat until well dissolved. Add chicken and bring to a hard boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over hot rice.

NOTES: On Recipezaar, some people mixed cornstarch and water and added it at the end to thicken the sauce.

We made this tonight and it was AWESOME! Definitely a “keeper” for us! We did thicken the sauce at the end.

WW points = 7 points per serving (add 2 points for 1/2 c. rice or 4 points for 1 cup)


Breakfast ~ Scrambled eggs w/ cheese and sausage

Lunch ~ Grilled cheese & tomato soup

Dinner ~ 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.


Breakfast ~ Waffles

Lunch ~ Quesadillas

Dinner ~ Monterey Chicken – I was in a recipe rut and came across a thread on a cooking board on called “Need good chicken recipe ideas” – someone posted this one and it sounded delicious, looked like it was easy to throw together, and I had all of the ingredients on hand!  (The “original poster” of the recipe there was Mommy2Beth&Sarah)  This came together just as smoothly as I had hoped, and even my normally picky kids gulped it down.  This one will definitely be a “keeper” in our house!

4 (5 oz.) Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts1/4 Cup Barbecue Sauce
1/4 Cup Hormel Real Bacon Bits
1 Cup 2% Colby and Monterey Jack Shredded Cheese*
1 (14 oz.) Can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, drained (I’m just going to use regular diced tomatoes)
Sliced Green Onions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pound out the chicken breasts to flatten.  Season each with a little pepper.  Cook the chicken in a skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray over medium-low heat until no longer pink.

Place each breast onto a baking sheet and top each breast with 1 tablespoon of barbeque sauce, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 cup tomatoes, green onions and 1 tablespoon of bacon bits.  Place into the oven and bake until the cheese has melted (about 5 minutes).

Per Serving: 263 Calories; 8g Fat (29.0% calories from fat); 39g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 108mg Cholesterol; 840mg Sodium. Exchanges: 4 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Weight Watchers points = 6 (makes 4 servings)


Breakfast ~ Eggs florentine

Lunch ~ Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches w/ sliced peaches

Dinner ~ 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 2 points for 1/2 c. cooked pasta or 4 points for 1 cup)

Dessert = banana chocolate snack cake


Breakfast ~ Cold cereal

Lunch ~ Tuna sandwiches

Dinner ~ Perfect enchiladas – 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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