This is my daughter’s first week back at school and even though I’ve been back on contract for two weeks now, I knew this would be a busy week for me, too, because it’s the first week with KIDS at school! So, we’ve got another week of a lot of easy slow cooker recipes. I’m sharing some of my plans for my daughter’s lunch. This is definitely an area where I need some more inspiration!
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 WeightWatchers.com e-Tools program to input all of the ingredients and calculate the points, so it should be pretty accurate.
If you’re new to menu planning, check out my post about how I do my menu planning.
Breakfast ~ Scrambled eggs with turkey bacon
Lunch ~ Ravioli (Chef Boyardee – it’s free @ Target this week!)
Dinner ~ Back to School Celebration – I only have one school-aged child right now, and we make a big deal out of the first day of school. I told my daughter that Sunday would be her “Back to School Celebration” and asked what she wanted for dinner and dessert.
She picked Country Ham and Macaroni Casserole and Cherry Cheesecake!
Country Ham and Macaroni Casserole
Thanks to Sandy~Bettyinthekitchen (BabyCenter.com 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
Philadelphia 3 step cheesecake
2 packages (8 ounces each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese (I use the 1/3 less fat and it works fine)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
1 Honey Maid graham cracker pie crust
Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Stir in fresh lemon juice and grated lemon peel. Pour into crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool and refrigerate 3 hours (or overnight). I add a can of cherry pie filling on top.
1/2 cube butter (not margarine – I have used “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and it has turned out fine)
1 cup Milk (I use skim)
1 Cup Pancake Mix (or Bisquick)
Preheat oven to 425 Degrees. Place butter in a 9 X 13 inch pan. Put in preheating oven until butter is melted. In a blender, combine eggs, milk and pancake mix. Pour batter into baking dish. Bake for a bout 15 – 18 Minutes until pancakes are puffy and lightly browned. Do not open oven while pancakes are cooking. Top with sifted powder sugar.
Serve with warm maple syrup or fruit toppings.
WW points = 4 points per serving (makes 8 servings), this does not include any toppings you may add
Lunch ~ Ham & cheese skewers and fruit skewers
Dinner ~ 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
Breakfast ~ Toaster Strudel (super cheap thanks to the Kroger sale for the past two weeks!)
Lunch ~ Peanut butter & Jelly sandwich, cantaloupe
* 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat – cubed
* 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
* 1/2 lime, juiced
* 1 teaspoon white sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
* 1/2 white onion, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
Mix together vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, onion, garlic and cilantro. Put in crock pot with chicken and cook on low 6 hours. Shred chicken apart with forks and serve in tacos with toppings of choice!
Breakfast ~ Cold cereal
Lunch ~ Turkey and cheese sandwich, grapes
Dinner ~ Meatloaf on a bed of potatoes (slow cooker) – simple to make and totally kid friendly!
From BabyCenter Cooking for Your Family
2 T olive oil
3 large russets, cut into 1 to 1-1/2” chunks
2 lb ground sirloin (I use ground turkey all of the time when I make this)
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 ~ Peanut butter & jelly, cantaloupe
Dinner ~ Teriyaki chicken (freezer meal) – if you are wanting to get started with freezer cooking, this is seriously the EASIEST freezer meal to put together and a great one to start with!
1 cup sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup pineapple juice
4 chicken breasts
Mix marinade ingredients together and throw in a freezer bag with the chicken breasts. If you use it as a freezer meal, just defrost and cook as you please when ready to eat!
Lunch ~ I’m going to let my daughter buy her lunch @ school on Fridays
Dinner ~ Crockpot chicken and rice
2-3 frozen chicken breasts
1 pkg McCormick Zesty Herb chicken seasoning blend
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 c. hot cooked rice
Place frozen chicken breasts in the bottom of the crockpot. Mix ingredients for McCormick seasoning according to directions on the packet and pour over the top of chicken. Cook on low for five hours. Shred chicken in crock pot using a knife and fork. Add cream of chicken soup. Let cook for one more hour. Service over rice with additional toppings as desired (we add cheese, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc. depending on what we have on hand).
WW points = 5 per serving (makes 4 servings) for the chicken mixture; add 2 points for 1/2 cup rice and 4 points for 1 cup rice plus points for additional toppings
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter
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 ~ Grilled cheese sandwiches w/ goldfish crackers and fruit salad
Dinner ~ Aussie chicken – this was a featured recipe on Orgjunkie.com and I thought it sounded similar to Monterey chicken, which we love! This recipe comes from The Finer Things in Life.
* 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
* seasoning salt
* 6 slices bacon, cut in half (What is it with me and all the bacon recipes this week?!)
* 1/4 cup mustard
* 1/4 cup honey (I use more like 1/3 cup.)
* 2 T. mayo
* 1/2 Tbsp. dried onion flakes
* 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
* 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
* 2 cups shredded Colby/Jack cheese
Sprinkle and rub the chicken breasts with seasoning salt. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp.
In a small bowl, mix the mustard, honey, mayo and dried onion flakes.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken in the skillet and saute for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned. Move chicken to a 9×13 pan.
Apply the honey mustard to each breast, then layer with mushrooms, bacon, and shredded cheese.
Bake in a 350° oven for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chicken is done. (Be sure to cut into a breast to see that it is fully cooked before serving to guests who will find raw meat in their main dish. Ask me how I know…)
Serve with honey mustard sauce.
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