Wednesday, July 8, 2009

5 day Meal Planner Complete with Shopping List

Monday: Salmon with steamed veggies
Tuesday: Mexican Lasagna with bagged salad
Wednesday: Sweet and Sour Pork with Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Thursday: Tuesday leftovers with Wedge Salad
Friday: Italian Baked Chicken with Pastina with bagged salad

Shopping List: I am assuming that you have things such as
Kosher salt, black pepper, chili powder, cumin, powder mustard, paprika bay leaves, flour, light brown sugar, Dijon mustard, panko bread crumbs, sticks of butter, a head of garlic, red wine vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, white wine vinegar, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, milk, eggs, extra virgin olive oil and vegetable oil.

If I am correct then you will need to buy:
4 6-oz salmon fillets
½ cup cubed chicken breast
2lbs ground chicken breast
3lb pork roast, trimmed
4 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled
1 head of iceberg lettuce
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 bags of salad
1 bag of Birds Eye Vegetable Steamers
1 red onion
1 lemon
1 15oz can of black beans
1 14.5 oz can diced tomato with juice
Medium heat taco sauce (need 1 cup)
Bag of frozen corn (will only use 1 cup but can refreeze)
8 8in spinach flour tortillas found in the dairy aisle
2 scallions
2 yellow onions
1 red onion
3 cups peeled cubed Yukon gold or Idaho potatoes
2.5 cups shredded cheddar or pepper jack (for Mexican lasagna)
12oz shredded sharp cheddar (for mac n cheese)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
¼ cup grated parmesan
1 cup small pasta (could use elbows since you already need them)
½ lb elbow macaroni

Sunday before I would put the mac and cheese for Wednesday together and I would chop the potatoes for Wednesday. I would also chop the chicken for Friday as well as the onions for those days that have them. If you take the time to prep on Sunday you will find these recipes to be even less work in the coming week.

night courtesy of Alton Brown and found on

Coho Salmon Fillets: Double this for a family of 4
2 (6-ounce) Coho salmon fillets, 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 inches thick, pin bones removed
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Set a 10-inch nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Brush each fillet with the oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. (you could allow your kids to help with the sprinkling. Mine would be more likely to eat it if they were allowed to help). Place the fillets in the pan flesh side down. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn each fillet over and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer the fillets to a plate, cover loosely with foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve this with a bag of Birds Eye Vegetable Steamers found in the frozen food isle of the grocery store and Wal-Mart that you just pop in the microwave for 4 and ½ minutes.

is Courtesy of Rachel Ray from

Mexican Lasagna:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground chicken breast, available in the packaged meats case
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 cup medium heat taco sauce or 1 (14-oz) can stewed or fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn kernels
8 (8 inch) spinach flour tortillas, available on dairy aisle of market
2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar or shredded pepper jack
2 scallions, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil - twice around the pan. Add chicken and season with chili powder, cumin, and red onion. Brown the meat, 5 minutes. Add taco sauce or stewed or fire roasted tomatoes. Add black beans and corn. Heat the mixture through, 2 to 3 minutes then season with salt, to your taste.
Coat a shallow baking dish with remaining extra-virgin olive oil, about 1 tablespoon oil. Cut the tortillas in half or quarters to make them easy to layer with. Build lasagna in layers of meat and beans, then tortillas, then cheese. Repeat: meat, tortilla, cheese again. (my little ones would love to help here by building the layers). Bake lasagna 12 to 15 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly. Top with the scallions and serve.
Serve this with a bagged salad.

On Wednesday make this Baked Macaroni and Cheese courtesy of Alton Brown from
and Sweet and Sour Pork courtesy of Robin Miller from the same place. Don't worry the pork goes in the crock pot so be prepared to put this in in the morning before work.

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
Temper (this means to add a little of the milk mixture into the egg slowly, stir, and then add the egg and milk back)in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese (this is what I would let me kids help with).
Melt the butter in a sauté pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Slow Cooker Recipe for Sweet and Sour Pork Courtesy of Robin Miller found on

3 cups cubed peeled potatoes (Idaho or Yukon gold)
1 cup chopped onion
3 pound pork roast, trimmed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Arrange potatoes and onion in bottom of slow cooker. Place pork on top of potatoes and onion. Spread garlic all over pork.
In a medium bowl, whisk together water, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, mustard, black pepper and salt. Pour mixture over pork.
Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
Slice pork crosswise into thin slices and serve 12 ounces for this meal. Serve with all of potatoes, onions, and sauce.

On Thursday make this salad and heat up leftovers from Tuesday: Courtesy of The Neelys from

Wedge Salad with Homemade French Dressing:
1 head iceberg lettuce
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Creamy French Dressing , recipe follows

Remove the outside leaves from the lettuce and cut in half. Remove the core and slice the halves in half again, making 4 wedges (personally I would cut the lettuce up if it were for my kids) and wash thoroughly. Drizzle with Creamy French Dressing and sprinkle the tomato halves and bacon over the salad.

Creamy French Dressing:
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a small bowl. Add the oil slowly while whisking constantly. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Let the kids mix this up
Yield: 1 cup

The finale for the week will be Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina by Giada also found on

1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle (kids are always good at this step) over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
This also goes good with a bagged salad.