Sunday, February 9, 2014

February 2014 Meal Plan

Being towards the end of my pregnancy I have no real desire to stand in the kitchen and chop, dice, slice, mix, sauté, and cook for an hour and a half.  No instead I noticed the last couple weeks I was picking out the easiest meals left on my January meal plan.  The ones I write down thinking I'll use them on a day we are pressed for time for one reason or another, or a day I don't feel good, etc.  Well these days I'm uncomfortable every day, lacking sleep, exhausted by 10am (I have been waking up at 6am every morning without the help of an alarm), and hurting from this baby I feel is running completely out of room and trying to create more by stretching and kicking constantly.

So no, I don't feel like making anything that takes more than 10 minutes prep time, requires me to stand over the stove for extended periods, or that takes extensive clean up time.  Nope fish sticks, hot dogs, throwing some frozen chicken in a dish and in the oven is more my style.

All that being said, please don't look down on me for my lack of great from scratch meals this month.  I feel like our meals have taken a time warp back to when my husband and I first got married, before I got in to cooking and trying new recipes.  So here it is in all it's glory this month's meal plan of 28 meals:

1. *Chili
2. Tomato soup w/ grilled cheese sandwiches (I don't use the sherry & I substitute  a 28oz can crushed tomato for the diced along with half and half instead of the heavy cream)
3. Breakfast- waffles
4. Breakfast-omelets with hashbrowns
5. Breakfast-eggs, toast & fruit
6. Breakfast-pancakes
7. Leftovers
8. Leftovers
9. Leftovers
10. Leftovers
11. Black bean enchilada soup *freezer
12. Spaghetti w/breadsticks (I love homemade spaghetti sauce but this month it's comin' straight from the jar, thanks Ragu!)
13. Hot dogs w/ mac & cheese & fruit
14. Veggie pot pie (I don't use the white wine and I use a regular pie crust.  For the veggies I throw in whatever I have in my fridge and freezer that sounds good when I make it)
15. Hamburgers w/ green beans
16. Hamburgers w/ mash potato & deviled eggs
17. Grilled cheese w/ potato wedges
18. *Beef & cheese burritos w/rice
19. Lasagna with garlic toast (I broke down and took the easy way out buying a frozen lasagna this month, I haven't bought one in a good 3 years but you can't beat the convenience)
20. Onion soup pork chops w/ rice pilaf & corn (rice pilaf is a new recipe I found and I'm giving it a try)
21. Orange chicken w/ rice
22. Chili dogs with potato wedges
23. Pinto beans and cornbread (I'm seasoning my beans with chunks of ham I have in my freezer from the ham I cooked last month instead of bacon.  I use the recipe on the side of the corn meal bag to make my cornbread)
24. Bbq baked pork chops w/ green beans and corn bread
25. *Meatballs w/ meat gravy mash tato & biscuits
26. *Pulled pork bbq sandwiches
27. Fried bologna sandwiches w/mac & cheese and fruit (I love fried bologna sandwiches, it takes me back to my childhood)
28.  Salisbury Steak w/ green beans and biscuits (I've been wanting to make homemade Salisbury steak for a while now but once again I took the convenience route and bought a frozen one, don't judge me lol)

I included meals that for whatever reason didn't get made last month and none of these are in any special order.  I have a calendar I write all the meals.  I always have 4 days of breakfast for dinner and 4 days of leftovers, usually with a breakfast for dinner on a Monday, leftovers for Fridays, and a soup on Sundays.  Then I just try to space the others out with a good balance and variety.


From what I can tell everyone has a different recipe for chili and everyone likes theirs completely different.  I use the same recipe my mom has made forever.  I don't know where she got it but it tastes like home to me so it's the only way I will make my chili.

1 1/2lb ground beef
1 large onion
2 cans condensed tomato soup
1 large can tomato juice
1T chili powder (I don't normally measure this I just dump some in but it probably comes out to about 1T, you can add more or less depending on your tastes)
salt and pepper to taste
14.5 oz can diced tomato (I throw this in if I have it in my pantry but it's not a must, it's just as good without them)
1/2t cumin (I've made it without this and it's still good I just like the flavor it adds)

brown the ground beef with the diced onion until cooked through.  Season with salt and pepper and a sprinkling of chili powder (not the 1T listed above). Drain the fat from the meat.  In a large pot pour the tomato soups, tomato juice, and diced tomato if you're using them inside.  Add the cooked ground beef to the pot along with 1T chili powder, cumin, a dash of salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

Meatballs w/ meat gravy

I make my meatballs like I make meatloaf.  I don't usually measure so all these measurements are approximate and feel free to improvise or adjust according to your taste buds.

1- 1 1/2lb ground beef
about 1/2c bread crumbs (use more if your mixture isn't coming together)
1/4c milk
1/2 a large onion diced (can also use dried minced onion)
1 t salt
1/4c ketchup

mix together and shape into balls (as large or as small as you want, mine are usually about 1 1/2inches each).  Fry in a pan on medium heat until cooked through.  Remove from pan and transfer to paper towel lined dish.  GRAVY: to make the gravy you will need the leftover fat in the pan from the meatballs you just cooked.  Add 1/4c flour to the fat and whisk.  Add 3t beef bouillon granules and 2c water and whisk together.  cook over low heat stirring constantly until thick.  Once gravy is thick place meatballs back into pan and spoon gravy over the top.

Pulled Pork BBQ sandwiches

4lb pork loin
1 bottle bbq sauce
1 can Dr Pepper, coke, or pepsi (I've made this without using soda and it's still good but the soda adds a lot of extra moisture and sends it over the top)
1T brown sugar
2t dried minced onion
squirt of honey (if you don't have any honey in your pantry just leave this out, it will still be scrumptious)
hamburger buns

place all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low about 6 hours or until the roast falls apart with a fork.  Spoon onto hamburger buns and enjoy.  This freezes really well so don't waste the leftovers, freeze them for another dinner or even a quick lunch.

Beef & Cheese Burritos

1lb ground beef
1/2 large onion diced
2c shredded cheese
1 package burrito size tortilla shells
1 packet taco seasoning
1/4c water
refried beans (I will be using the leftovers from the pinto beans I'm making this month, If you don't have refried beans or don't like them like I don't, just omit them all together)

brown ground beef over medium heat with diced onion until cooked through.  Drain fat from meat.  Add taco seasoning and water to ground beef, mix.  Remove from heat and assemble your burritos with the ground beef, cheese, and beans.  Use rice as a side dish or add it to your burrito as well.

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