Menu Planning Monday: My Menu Plan for the week of 2/5

I’m trying to stay on track with menu planning.  There are lots of quick and easy slow cooker recipes this week.  I’ve been sick and after a long day at work, I don’t have the energy to cook, so it’s nice to come home to a meal that’s basically ready to go!

The plan listed here just includes our dinner menu and recipes. I have calculated someWeight Watchers points values using the e-tools Recipe Builder, and points values this week are based on the new Points Plus program! (I will update with points values on the others as we have the meals)

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 and the end of grocery stores in our area doubling and tripling coupons, I’m still experimenting to try to figure out what a reasonable budget is.  Stay tuned!

If you’re new to menu planning or would like tips for getting started, check out this post here.  You can also view hundreds of meal plans each week at Orgjunkie.com

SUNDAY:   Weight Watchers Pizza Pasta Casserole – I found this recipe on Pinterest and have been so excited to try it!  This comes to you courtesy of Recipe Diaries.  It’s just 6 points per serving!  This was a HIT and the kids had fun helping me make it.  Pictures and a full review will be coming to you later this week!

Ingredients:

1 lb ground lean turkey sausage
1 medium onion , chopped
1 clove garlic , minced
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
8 ounces rotini pasta , cooked and drained
2 cups shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese (20 oz)
32 slices of turkey pepperoni

Brown ground beef, onion, garlic and seasoning in oil.  Stir in pasta, spaghetti sauce and 2 cups cheese.  Place mixture in 2 greased 9x13x2 inch baking pans or 4 square pans.  Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.  Top with pepperoni.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until heated through.

MONDAY:  Creamy chicken noodle soup (slow cooker)

TUESDAY:  Melt in your mouth meatloaf (slow cooker) - This was supposed to be on our menu last week, but got bumped, so it’s back again!  Whenever I mention this recipe, the most common response I get is something like this “Meatloaf….in the slow cooker?  Really?  I would have never thought of that!”  Yes, REALLY!  This one is super easy and totally family friendly!

WEDNESDAY:  Tacos – I was short on time and needed something quick to throw together a few weeks ago.  I made tacos and it was a huge hit.  Sometimes I forget about the simple things!

THURSDAY:  Crockpot chicken and rice – I came up with this recipe after experimenting a bit and couldn’t come up with a more original name.  It’s yummy and easy to make!

Ingredients:
2-3 frozen chicken breasts
1 pkg McCormick Zesty Herb chicken seasoning blend (sometimes I substitute the Good Seasonings Italian dressing blend if I have it on hand)
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 c. hot cooked rice
Grated cheese
Tomatoes
Celery
Bell peppers

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).

FRIDAY:  Country Ham and Macaroni Casserole – A favorite with my kids!

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

Ingredients:
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:  Pizza – I’m taking the night off from cooking!

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