Menu Planning Monday: my menu plan for the week of 1/30

Welcome! One of my New Year’s “goals” was to eat healthier, and so I’m trying to incorporate healthier recipes all around into our menu plan. My husband was gung ho at first, but last night informed me that we’ve been eating a LOT of chicken and asked could we please add some beef to the menu this week!

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: Hamburgers

MONDAY: Monterey Chicken

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.

WW points = 6 points per serving

TUESDAY: Hawaiian chicken bowls – I saw this recipe on Marci’s blog last week and it sounded yummy and looked kid friendly (I think anything with ranch dressing is kid friendly!)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 3)
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple (I used lite)
1 bottle (16 oz) [gf] barbecue sauce (I used lite)
4-6 cups rice, cooked (I used 1/2 white and 1/2 brown)
Steamed broccoli
Ranch dressing

Place meat in 3 1/2-5 quart slow cooker. Combine pineapple and barbecue sauce and pour over meat. Cook on high heat for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Layer in bowls: rice, chicken, broccoli, and a little ranch dressing. Makes 4-6 servings.

WW points = 6 per serving; add 5 points for 1 cup brown rice or 3 points for 1/2 cup

WEDNESDAY: Taco soup

1 1/2-2 lb. ground meat (I use 1 lb and 93/7)
1 packet Ranch dressing seasoning mix
1 packet taco seasoning
1 can corn
1 can pinto beans
1 can Ranch style beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
1 can Rotel
1 can water

Brown the meat and then add combine the meat and other ingredients in a crock pot and to cook it on low all day. When we’re ready to eat, I will serve it with tortilla chips, sour cream, and cheese.

NOTES: With just one can of water, it will be very thick. Add more if you want it thinner. I drain the corn and pinto beans before adding them. I don’t drain the Ranch style beans because they are seasoned!

WW points per serving = 8 points per serving (this does not include any toppings you add)

THURSDAY: Country 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

FRIDAY: 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)

SATURDAY: California Combo – I found this recipe on Marci’s blog awhile ago. It’s pretty quick and easy to make and my family loves it. We’ve got some zucchini to use up, and I saw this great recipe for Guiltless Baked Zucchini on Favorite Family Recipes this week, so I thought we’d try it out.

– about 8 oz. noodles, cooked (I used my GlutenFree Penne)
– 1 lb. hamburger
– 1/2 c. onion, diced
– 1 c. sour cream (I use FF)
– 8 oz. cream cheese (I use reduced fat)
– 1 jar (1 lb. 10oz) spaghetti sauce
– 4 green onions, diced
– cheddar cheese to top dish

– Cook beef and onion in sauce pan, drain. Stir jar of sauce into pan and heat through.
– Sautee green onions in a little butter.
– Cream together sour cream and cream cheese. Stir green onions into mixture.
– In lightly greased casserole dish layer noodles, cream cheese mixture and meat mixture. Repeat layers again and top with enough shredded cheese to cover top.
– Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
I actually cooked 16 oz. noodles tonight but only used about half of them. I like to go heavy on the sauces, otherwise you may be able to do a 9×13 dish. I had enough for an 8×8 and then a little extra as shown. The cream cheese mixture is what makes this sooo good!

Guiltless Baked Zucchini
1-2 large zucchini, cut into spears or circles (the zucchini we had was HUGE so we just used one)
2 eggs
1-2 Tbsp. milk
1 c. Italian-style bread crumbs or croutons blended up finely in a blender (we ran out of bread crumbs so we did the crouton thing)
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Butter or cooking spray

First, line a baking sheet with foil and spray evenly with cooking spray. Next, combine eggs and milk in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and salt & pepper. Dip each zucchini piece into the egg mixture, then dip into bread crumbs until evenly coated in crumbs. Place zucchini on baking sheet, spray each with cooking/butter spray and then bake in the oven at 425-degrees for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. For an added crisp, turn the oven to broil and cook for about 30-45 seconds longer (don’t let em’ burn though, watch them closely). Remove from oven and serve hot with ranch dressing or marinara/pizza sauce.

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