Sunday: Baked Tacos, Cilantro Lime Rice, Roasted Cabbage
*These were delicious! The boys even ate them without much prodding. As with many of my recipes, I found it on Pinterest. (http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/) I did use her recipe for making my own taco seasoning, and I highly recommend it. It's cheaper and better for you than the packets you buy from the store. I attempted the homemade hard taco shells, but they were a bit chewy, so we used store-bought instead. I'll try them again the next time! These made a good leftover for lunch the next day.
Cilantro Lime Rice
*My friend, Meredith, makes the most delicious cilantro lime rice. I'm working on living up to hers! Just make rice, then add butter, cilantro, lime juice & zest, & a little garlic salt. Yum!
* Hands down, my family prefers roasting vegetables to almost any other way. For cabbage, just chop it up into bite-size pieces, toss with a little (not too much!) olive oil, salt, pepper, & lemon juice, and roast at 425 for 20 minutes or so. Stir it around half-way through. You'll know it's ready when the edges start to turn a yummy brown color!
Monday: Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken & Sauteed Spinach
* Super yummy!! Another Pinterest find (Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice). The dressing is delicious, and I found myself finding things around the kitchen to dip in it. We had the leftovers for lunch the following day.
* The trick for sauteed spinach is to not overcook it. Heat olive oil and garlic in a saute pan. Add the spinach - remember it wilts down to almost nothing, so add a ton! Stir it around in the oil, add salt and pepper, then put a lid on your pan and leave it for 1 minute. Stir it all around again, making sure all the spinach has some oil on it, put the lid back on, and wait 1 minute. At the end of this minute, your spinach should be perfect! I topped ours with crumbled feta...a fave!
Tuesday: One Pot Spaghetti, Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower, & Garlic Bread
* We were very pleased with this. It's easy, and the chicken broth gives it a completely different flavor than traditional spaghetti. I will definitely make this again! (Thanks to Fantastical Sharing of Recipes!)
Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower
* Cauliflower is a recent favorite for Chad and me. We've been part of a produce co-op, and it taught us to like vegetables we had forgotten all about! Roasting cauliflower with a little olive oil, salt, & pepper makes it yummy and golden on the edges. Then I topped it with a generous amount of freshly grated Parmesan (buy the big wedge and shred it yourself, rather than the pre-shredded in a bag...it's totally worth the extra effort), and we ate all of it! The boys will eat it too, although I'm not sure they would say they love it (just yet).
I love having a leftover night during the week. It stretches the budget as well as making me feel like I almost have a night off from cooking. We had the spaghetti again, but I warmed it in the oven topped with a little fresh parmesan and mozzarella, making it more of a baked spaghetti dish. I served it with a spinach salad.
Thursday: Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes & Spinach Salad
* My kids will eat most things if they are wrapped in a biscuit or crescent roll, so I knew these would be worth a shot. They were tasty! It was also nice because I prepared them early and stuck them in the fridge, so before dinner all I had to do was toss them in the oven. (Sunny Slide Up) Payton loved these as well. It made quite a bit! I used rotisserie chicken because I love the flavor and simplicity.
* One small note about salads. I've started making our own dressing, and we won't go back to store bought. It's so simple to add a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, & fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice, then toss your salad with it. Try it!
Friday: Cheeseburger Soup, Caesar Salad, & Bread
* We said this tasted like potato soup with beef. It was great! It does have quite a bit of chopping involved, so I was glad I started it during the kids' naptime, then just had it on warm for a few hours before dinner. It was great for lunch the next day too! (The Recipe Critic)
Saturday: Baked Buttermilk Chicken, Roasted Ranch Potatoes, Parmesan Green Beans
* Delicious!! I will be making this again! It's not the healthiest way to have chicken, but I never said all my meal planning was healthy. :-) (Group Recipes)
Roasted Ranch Potatoes
* I quartered new potatoes, tossed it on a cookie sheet with olive oil and dry Ranch dressing mix and roasted at 425 for 35 minutes or so. Yumminess! I mean, it has Ranch on it, so how could it be bad?
Parmesan Green Beans
* Toss fresh green beans with olive oil, salt, & pepper and sprinkle with fresh parmesan. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes until the green beans are tender and starting to turn golden brown on the bottom. These are so good, I have them for an afternoon snack sometimes!
Okay...so there's the first week! I hope you find some recipes you enjoy.