The (Belated) Return of Monday Meal Planning

Happy Monday! (I obviously wrote this part yesterday before I got insanely busy.) I (finally) have another week of meals for you to try! We're getting better about planning and cooking meals again, now that we've reigned in some of the chaos of living with a new baby. Here's what we've enjoyed in the past week:

Monday: Mediterranean Mostaccioli

We loved, loved, loved this quick and easy dinner. Lots of veggies (which, sidenote: we have a ton. My mom pretty much emptied her garden and gave us half. Yay, but also, what do we do with that many vegetables before they spoil?) and even more flavor. We used more pasta than what the recipe indicates, and shredded mozzarella instead of feta, but otherwise followed the recipe as it is. The leftovers were even more delicious the next day.

Tuesday: Barbeque Tofu Salad

Upon hearing the name of this recipe that Aaron picked out (we're trying to eat more vegetarian meals - but failing sometimes - and this was his choice this week), I was a little hesitant to try it. But! It wasn't bad at all. In fact, I really liked it. We served the salad on rolls that we had split, buttered, and broiled till brown. We also added a lettuce leaf for a little added crunch. This was a great, easy meal.

Wednesday: Grilled Chicken, Hot Crash Potatoes, and Green Beans

We just marinated the chicken in Italian dressing and grilled it in our grill pan. Couldn't be easier. The Hot Crash Potatoes are one of my new favorite ways to do potatoes, and we just steam the green beans and toss a little butter and salt in the bowl when they're done. The butter/salt thing is a total concession to Aaron. I like them just fine plain, but he always manages to butter and salt them before I can stop him. Good thing I like them just fine that way too.

We grilled extra chicken this night to use for Friday's meal.

Thursday: Macaroni & Cheese and Broccoli

Also known as the night before I found out that Gabbie just really can't do broccoli. So! No more broccoli for me for a while. But it was good while it lasted. This is my new recipe for macaroni and cheese when I have a little extra time. Aaron likes this better than my normal recipe, so he's been asking for it regularly.

Macaroni and Cheese
1 c. skim milk
5 tsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups shredded medium cheddar cheese
2 tsp. butter or margarine (the recipe calls for margarine, I don't keep that in my kitchen)
1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. salt (or a big pinch, which is what I did)
1 3/4 c. cooked elbow macaroni (about 3/4 c. uncooked) (I made half the box and then added and stirred until it looked like the sauce was stretched as far as it would go)

Whisk flour into skim milk in a small saucepan. Place the pan over medium-low heat.

Add shredded cheddar cheese, butter or margarine, and salt, and stir often until the cheese begins to melt. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Use a whisk to stir the sauce every couple of minutes so that it becomes smooth and thick.

While sace thickens, prepare macaroni according to package directions.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

When cheese sauce has simmered for 30 minutes, pour pasta into a medium bowl. Gently stir in cheese sauce, and then pour mixture into a casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes until brown and bubbly.

Friday: Chicken Salad and Watermelon

I never used to be a big fan of chicken salad. Then the same friend who brought over the yummy macaroni and cheese also brought over this salad, and I fell in love. I'm also in love with watermelon lately, so it was the perfect side to the salad. In fact we're having the same again tonight, but with corn on the cob for a second side.

Here's the recipe:

Chicken Salad

1 1/2 c. diced cooked chicken
1 c. sliced grapes (seedless red are my favorite in this salad)
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
1 c. mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)

Whip the cream to soft peaks. Combine all ingredients. Chill.

Could this be easier? Probably not. Love it!


Cassie said...
August 19, 2008 at 10:16 AM

YUM, sounds like a delicious week of eating! I really need to go to the grocery store, because I definitely want to try that mostaccioli. That would probably be good with ground lamb, too, right? I love lamb, even though that always makes me feel like such an awful person.

And I don't think there's anything that tastes better than chicken marinated in Italian dressing and grilled. My mouth is watering a little bit!

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