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Welcome back! Thanks for checking out this week's meal plan. For those of you who are new, the next few paragraphs are about my plans and some friendly reminders. You may want to check those out along with my tips for Pinterest meal planning and list-making on Google Keep. For those who have already read these reminders, scroll down for week eight's fabulous recipes and grocery list!
You'll notice that many of my plans will include recipes that have similar ingredients or, better yet, make creative use of leftovers to help minimize your grocery list and the amount of time you need to spend in the kitchen on those busy weeknights.
You'll also notice that I only have dinners planned for Monday through Friday. I'm a realist. I know that we're all busy and the chances of you actually getting to a home-cooked meal every weeknight are low. So feel free to rearrange plans and postpone as needed to fit your busy life. Go pick up take-out when you need to save your sanity and save one of these for the weekend. Managed to actually make each of these throughout the week? Great job! When you're at a loss for what to make over the weekend, go treat yourself to a dinner out - you earned it!
Final note. I don't know how big your family is. You're going to want to look through the recipes and adjust amounts as needed - make sure you adjust your grocery list accordingly. Keep in mind that for plans that call for leftovers, you'll want to make sure to make more than enough of the original recipe to create leftovers. Essentially, any time I'm doing something in a crock pot, I'm making at least twice what I need so I have leftovers.
Meal Planning on Pinterest
I typically plan out the menu for my week on Pinterest. I have a board called "This Week's Menu" and I update it over the weekend or sometime before I plan on doing my grocery shopping. By pinning all of the recipes in one place for the week, it's just a few clicks to get the ingredients added to my grocery list (I use Google Keep), and a quick click each day to find my dinner recipe.
Make as big of a batch of this pork as you possibly can! Take the extra few minutes right before serving to sear as much pork as you need for the tacos to give it that added flavor and crunch. Make your own Pico de Gallo or Guacamole for topping, or buy store-bought and save yourself the time! Save the rest of the pork from the crock-pot for use throughout the rest of the week.
Tuesday: Pork and Veggie Mac and Cheese
Reinvent your pork leftovers with this easy mac and cheese from our recipe section.
Subtract the heavy cream sauce of a normal mac and cheese and add in great-for-you vegetables and you have a hearty macaroni and cheese dinner that you don't need to feel guilty about. In fact, you'll likely want seconds. This comes together in minutes and will be the perfect use for some of those pork carnitas leftovers from yesterday!
Wednesday: Oyster-Corn Chowder
At first glance, an oyster-corn chowder sounds intimidating but, to be honest, this one is quite simple and simply divine. If you have time to make the biscuits, you can't go wrong but let's be real - those busy weeknights probably call for a store-bought bread. A lightly dressed salad would be a great accompaniment as well!
Thursday: Mini Vegetable Enchilada Stacks
Because recipes from Iowa Girl Eats are always a knock out.
Another easy and delicious meal from Iowa Girl Eats that is perfect for your week night! While delicious as is, adding some leftover Pork from Monday is a great way to reinvent your leftovers and add some extra protein to this one!
The perfect comfort food at the end of a long week comes from the Organic Kitchen.
There's nothing like a simple chili to wrap up a long work week. Making a huge pot of this stuff will ensure that you are covered for lunch throughout the weekend as well! While I usually think of chili as a great warm comfort food for those long winter months, doing a lighter spin on chili like this is great any time of year! Add a fresh side salad and it's a meal fit for any spring day.
Note: This may seem like an incredibly long list of ingredients, but the majority of items you should already have in your freezer, refrigerator or pantry. If you don't, go stock up so you don't need to add them to your grocery list every week. Once you get these items stocked up, the only things you should need to add to your grocery list are those listed in the "Additional Items" section.
- Top Loin Pork Loin
- Pico De Gallo and/or Guacamole and/or Salsa (optional toppings)
- Matchstick Carrots
- Large Red & Green Bell Peppers
- Fresh Chives
- Fresh Cilantro
- Beer (a malty one, if possible - or GF if you want to keep this week Gluten Free)
- Flour Tortillas (or corn if you want to keep this week Gluten Free)
- Street-taco sized corn tortillas
- Gluten Free Enchilada Sauce
- Bellavitano Chipotle Cheese (or sub Gouda)
- Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
- Clam Broth
- Fish Stock (or Water)
- Heavy Cream
- Sour Cream
STAPLES (ITEMS YOU SHOULD HAVE IN YOUR FRIDGE/PANTRY ALL THE TIME)
- Cayenne Pepper
- Chili Powder Blend
- Olive Oil
- unsalted butter
- White Onions
- Red Onion
- Roma Tomatoes
- Finely Shredded Medium Cheddar Cheese
- Finely Shredded Italian Style Blend
- Parmesan Cheese
- Evaporated Milk
- Chicken Stock
- Gluten Free Elbow Pasta
- Frozen Corn Kernels
- Canned Black Beans
- Canned White Beans (also called Navy Beans or Great Northern Beans)
- Canned Artichoke Hearts
- Ground Chicken