Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January/March 2014 Monthly Menu Plan

We didn't do our once a month shopping until this past weekend so my menu plan this month also covers the first week of February for us.

I have to say this month was a tough one to make everything fit into the budget I like to stay in and I'm realizing there are times when I have to bust that budget a little and be ok with that.  One of our local grocery stores was having an amazing sale on ground beef ($1.69/lb) and pork chops ($1.49/lb).  I had already planned on buying some ground beef but couldn't pass up the pork chop sale.  We ended up purchasing 10 pounds of ground beef for about $16 and 14 bone in pork chops for just under $8.  These types of sales rarely come around and usually when they do it's not when I'm doing my OAMS.  So I considered this a blessing and that God was looking out for us since with those purchases we shouldn't need pork chops for a good 2-3 months, and the beef should last us through February, so this will allow for me to make other meat purchases and give us some wiggle room next month.

Anyways, on to the menu plan, I have a plan of 28 meals this month, some of which will change a little since we purchased more beef than planned so we have room to make adjustments without depleting our meat supply.

Monthly Meal Plan

1.veggie pot pie  I use Pioneer Woman's chicken pot pie recipe for a base, I've made it before and love the flavor.  Instead of heavy cream I'm using milk, leaving out the chicken and adding green beans instead.
2. stuffed pepper soup: this is a new recipe I've never tried before but came across it and thought it sounded delicious.  I'm always on the lookout for new soup recipes.
3.breakfast for dinner: biscuits with gravy, turkey bacon, and scrambled eggs
4. pinto beans and corn bread- my husband and son love beans, instead of using bacon to season them I bought ham hock which is much less expensive.  I bought a package of 3 ham hock for $3.52 at my local Wal-Mart and will only use 1 for each recipe of pinto beans I make.
5. deer roast with potatoes, biscuits, and deviled eggs
6. homemade pizza
7. fried bologna sandwiches with chips and fruit
8. meatloaf (recipe below) with mashed potatoes, green beans, buttered bread
9. leftovers
10. chili dogs with macaroni & cheese and fruit
11. orange chicken with rice
12. grilled cheese with potato wedges and corn
13. breakfast for dinner: homemade waffles with homemade syrup & fruit
14. leftovers
15. ham and peppers Stromboli (recipe below)
16. black bean enchilada soup (frozen meal from last month) with corn bread
17. turkey Bolognese with breadsticks
18. hamburger steaks with baked potatoes & fruit
19. leftovers
20. breakfast for dinner: ham and cheese omelets
21. homemade pizza
22. onion soup pork chops (recipe below) with fried potatoes and green beans
23. chicken fried rice
24. breakfast for dinner: breakfast pizza, I love Pioneer Woman's breakfast pizza and made it here.  I decided since I bought all the goods to make homemade salsa I might as well use some for this pizza.  However this one will be a veggie breakfast pizza instead of having the sausage or bacon on top.  I always over cook them and it will be a little quicker for me to whip up this way.
25. baked ham shank, mashed potatoes biscuits, and corn
26. tacos with Spanish rice
27. leftovers
28. pork chop casserole another new recipe I found and thought I'd give it a try.

I don't do daily meal plans for breakfast or lunch since it all depends on what I'm in the mood to cook or not cook and what leftovers we have for lunch options.  Instead I make a list at the bottom of my monthly calendar meal plan of all the breakfast items I have ingredients to make.  This way I can take a quick glance and know exactly what we have to choose from.  Here's the list of breakfast foods for this month:


brown sugar muffins
scrambled eggs with bacon
homemade waffles
sweet potato bread
cinnamon swirl bread
baked oatmeal
oatmeal with toast
pumpkin muffins
French puffs


egg salad
tuna salad
turkey sandwiches/wraps
pizza wraps
cheese and crackers with turkey or pepperoni
grilled cheese plain or with turkey or pepperoni


Meatloaf:  Everyone has a different way of making meatloaf but I thought I'd share my basic recipe and ways I change it.

1 1/2lbs ground beef (I prefer to use 80/20 ground beef because there is less grease)
1 egg
about 1/2 cup bread crumbs (use more if necessary)
1 onion finely chopped (you could use minced dried onion if you don't have a regular onion)
salt and pepper
1/4c ketchup (can use tomato sauce if you're out of ketchup)
1/4c milk (this is just for moisture, I've made it without using milk with good results as well but if I think about it, I try to add it.)
-throw it all in a bowl and mix it up.  Form into a loaf in a 9x13 inch baking dish.  Bake at 350 for about an hour, check for doneness just to be on the safe side.

*I don't actually measure any of my ingredients for meatloaf because there's really no wrong way to mix it up so don't be afraid to add more or less of the ingredients above.

*add green, red, and/or yellow bell peppers that are finely chopped
*add shredded carrots and finely diced celery. 
*add 1t minced garlic
*I've read where people advise to sauté any of the veggies (bell peppers, onion, carrots, celery, garlic) in a separate pan before adding them to the meat mixture.  I don't do this because I'm lazy and have no desire to add in extra steps unless I find it necessary.  I haven't every made a meatloaf where the veggies I used tasted raw or hard so I don't do this step, you can if you wish.

Onion Soup Pork Chops:
4 pork chops (bone in or boneless)
1 packet onion soup mix

place pork chops in a glass baking dish.  Sprinkle onion soup mix on top.  Add enough water just to cover the bottom of the dish (this is just for moisture so the chops don't dry out).  Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30-60 minutes.  If you are using boneless wings they tend to be smaller and thinner so you will probably only need to bake them around 30 minutes.  Bone in tend to be a bit thicker and I usually bake them about 45 minutes to an hour.

Ham & Peppers Stromboli:
1 pizza crust.  Recipe I use can be found here.
1 green bell pepper chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 yellow bell pepper chopped
1 small onion chopped
1c shredded cheese (any variety will work)
1c chopped ham (this can be lunch meat ham or leftover ham from a baked ham)
Italian seasoning
salt & pepper

roll pizza crust into a rectangle shape.  Sprinkle 3/4c cheese on center of crust, leaving dough on either side.  Top the cheese with red, green, & yellow peppers, the onion, and ham.  Sprinkle Italian seasoning on top then the salt and pepper.  Top with remaining 1/4c shredded cheese.  Bring both long sides of rectangle up over your ham/onion/pepper/cheese filling and pinch together covering your filling completely.  Pinch each end closed as well.  Take a butter knife and make three 1 1/2inch slits in the top of your Stromboli.  Place on a non-stick cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 until dough is golden brown (usually about 30-45 minutes).
*I love making Stromboli because you can literally make it a million different ways.  I've made pizza Stromboli with various combinations of pizza toppings, ham and cheese Stromboli, broccoli ham and cheese Stromboli, smoked sausage with green peppers & onion Stromboli, and an all veggie with bell peppers, broccoli & cheese.
*add some dipping sauces like pizza sauce or ranch dressing if you like.

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