Meal Plan Monday – October 6th

This week’s meal plan in our (that would be NinjaMeg’s) family is one where many (if not all) of recipes can be doubled and frozen. We’re deep into prepping meals for after our little Ladybug arrives (I have around 11 weeks left until she’s born – we’re still waiting on a c-section date), so I’m trying to pull as much double duty as I can (doubling the recipe so I only have to prep or cook once). NinjaMichelle is the resident freezer cooking Ninja, so luckily I have someone whom I can ask when I have questions along the way!

We're linking up with orgjunkie's Menu Plan Monday be sure to stop by and check out her menu and hundreds of others.

We’re linking up with orgjunkie’s Menu Plan Monday be sure to stop by and check out her menu here & hundreds of others.

 

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Meal Plan for the Week of October 6th

MondayCincinnati Spaghetti, Green Salad (doubling the chili recipe, then freezing the leftovers- it’s great as Cincinnati Spaghetti, but also over baked potatoes, in chili cheese dogs/fries, etc. Note: This recipe does make a lot, even without doubling!)

TuesdayRoasted Garlic & Artichoke Stuffed Chicken (doubling the recipe & freezing 1/2 of the the stuffed chicken breasts raw), Greek Salad, Roasted Lemon Potatoes

WednesdayCrockpot Beef Stew (doubling it, cooking then freezing 1/2 of the batch – after I take out 1/2 of the batch to freeze, I’m going to add in some diced cooked potato) & Homemade Bread (in the bread maker)

ThursdayThai Chicken (this one I’m just freezing some raw chicken to have on hand since I’ve read if you freeze chicken in a marinade with soy sauce & citrus, it can change the texture of the meat), Rice & Bok Choy Salad (it’s just as good without the fried shallots)

FridayBistro-Style Short Ribs (freezing 1/2 of the batch after cooking), Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Brussels sprouts

Saturday – Appetizers for dinner: Buffalo Wings, Veggies & Ranch Dip, Spinach Dip with baguette slices, Hot Onion Soufflé Dip (making full regular recipe, which makes a lot, & freezing 3/4 of it) with baguette slices, Jalapeño Popper Dip (doubling the recipe & freezing 1/2 of it) with tortilla chips

Sunday – Thanksgiving Dinner (Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving, but I like making our dinner on the Sunday): Classic Roast Turkey and Gravy, My Great-Grandmother’s Stuffing Recipe, Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Carrots, Green Salad, Mashed Potatoes and Cranberry Sauce. (I’m doubling the stuffing recipe, which makes a lot of stuffing, so that I can make two dishes of my own take on Rachael Ray’s Pilgrim Casserole to freeze – one will be for after Ladybug arrives, one will be for American Thanksgiving).

For lunches, there will be lots of leftovers this week, so that will take care of those. For breakfasts, Monkey’s still on his kick of turkey sausages, whole-grain toast and eggs and I’m still not able to eat too much (Greg takes care of his own breakfasts). So there you go, this week’s meal plan!

~ NinjaMeg

 

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Meal Plan Monday September 8

We're linking up with orgjunkie's Menu Plan Monday be sure to stop by and check out her menu and hundreds of others.

We’re linking up with orgjunkie’s Menu Plan Monday. Be sure to stop by and check out her menu here and hundreds of others.

This week’s menu plan was easier than most because it is a shop in my freezer week. That means as random or plain as the meals are I am determined to clean out my freezer and use up some of my previously prepped food. There are lots of good reasons to do this on a regular basis such as prevent things from being lost in the deep dark depth of your deep freezer, add a little variety, change over to a new season of foods and flavours or your hot water breaks and you have to purchase a new one. Ok maybe that last one was just me, but I really didn’t like the idea of spending another cent after forking out that cash so freezer shopping I went!

Its is also the start of extra curricular activities this week. Those words can strike fear into any brave mother. The driving, the forms, the 3.6 minutes you have to pick up your child, feed them a healthy nutritious meal, wrangle them into some uniform or another and get them to practice.

So with that in mind I went simple!

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Click on the photo to see a bigger version of the menu plan 🙂

 

Stay tuned soon for a post on all our tips and tricks to save time and money while still making sure our families get quality, healthy foods.

 

Meal Plan Monday Aug 18, 2014

We're linking up with orgjunkie's Menu Plan Monday be sure to stop by and check out her menu and hundreds of others.

We’re linking up with orgjunkie’s Menu Plan Monday be sure to stop by and check out her menu and hundreds of others.

Most of us Ninjas menu plan in some form or another, we all gotta eat right?! And there is nothing worse than standing at the fridge after a long day thinking ‘what’s for dinner?’

I work 9-5 and by the time I pick up my son and drive home it’s nearing 6pm. Trying to fit in dinner, family time and bath and still get little man in bed at a reasonable time is a real struggle, am I right?!

My solution is prepping much of the proteins and some sides for the week on Sunday. I cook up a roast or whole chicken in the slow cooker, grill up some veggies and make a pasta dish for lunches.

Check out my menu plan for this week as well as Leslie and Megan’s and let us know what tricks you use to keep your family fed and happy without being chained to the kitchen.
~Ninja Kirsten

Kirsten's Meal Plan Aug 17-23

Kirsten’s Meal Plan Aug 17-23

leslie's mpmmegan mpm

Meal Plan Monday (sort of) – Freezer cooking edition Aug 11, 2014

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Once again we are linking up with Laura for OrgJunkie.com‘s Menu Plan Monday. Be sure to check out her menu plan for the week here.

As Megan mentioned in last week’s Meal Plan Monday post, most of the ninjas do some sort of meal planning. I am not one of those ninjas who meal plans. You’re likely asking yourself, “then why is she the one writing the Meal Plan Monday post?” That’s a legitimate question and one I asked myself. My answer is this, while I don’t meal plan in the sense of deciding what we will have for our meals throughout the week, I do plan for meals. Huh? Let me explain a bit.

First off, We’re monthly grocery shoppers. What that means is we try to shop for the bulk of the groceries we need for a month (or longer) in one big (and expensive) trip per month. We do stop weekly at the local farmer’s market to restock fresh veggies & fruit as needed, as well as free range eggs & sometimes local meat. We might also make a stop at the local grocery store for things like milk & bread or something we don’t normally keep on hand. Shopping monthly allows us to shop out of town at a larger grocery store that has a much bigger selection & better prices on organics and other foods that fit how we try to eat than we could shopping in town. We are also able to shop Costco and stock up on items.

Another thing we do is buy our chicken in bulk through Zaycon Foods. (This is my referral link. If you click-through and end up signing up with them, I will get a credit added to my account to go towards my next order. If you do that, thanks! If you prefer you can just google them and get to their site that way.) While I would love to buy all of our chicken locally, cost-wise it just isn’t possible and I feel like Zaycon is a good alternative. If you’d like to know more about the chicken we buy from Zaycon Foods and how we process and use it, post your question in the comment section below and I can do a future post on it.

So with all this bulk food buying, how do I plan for meals? Well one big part is freezer cooking. For me this can involve making any number of things(breakfast, school lunches, dinner items or sides.) The freezer cooking I did this weekend involved 13 lbs of ground turkey and around 4 lbs of frozen chicken breast. Obviously not all or even most of these items will be eaten this week. They will go into the freezer with items from previous freezer cooking days as well as the store for us to pull from as needed.

Today I’ll tell you what I did with the chicken. Come back tomorrow to see what I did with all that ground turkey.

First off I made some taco seasoning. Have you seen what they put in those packets you buy at the store? Partially hydrogenated soybean oil, maltodextrin, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Caramel Color (sulfites)? Uhm, no thanks.

taco seasoning
Taco Seasoning
Ingredients
8 T chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
4 T ground cumin
4 tsp sea salt
~4 tsp black pepper (I use fresh ground pepper so I don’t actually measure it, just grind some in until it looks right.)

Directions
Place all seasonings in a jar (mine is 12 oz), cover & shake to mix. Store in an airtight container.

3 T = 1 packet

I used the taco seasoning to season half the chicken breast & steak seasoning on the other half then I baked it in the oven, covered, at 350 degrees until cooked through. For me this was about 40 minutes since the chicken was frozen when I started. Once the chicken cooled a bit I used 2 forks to shred it. The steak seasoned chicken was frozen in 2 cup portions to be used in future meals. The taco seasoned chicken was sprinkled with additional taco seasoning & cumin. Part of it was used to make 2 meals worth of quesadillas for the kids lunches and the rest was divided into baggies and frozen to make quesadillas in the future.

shredded chicken

quesadillas
Quesadillas
Ingredients
2 tortillas (per quesadilla)
shredded chicken
shredded cheese

optional filling
jalapenos
cooked peppers & onions

toppings
sour cream
salsa
guacamole

Directions
1. Preheat skillet over medium heat.
2. Place tortilla in skillet, top with a small amount of shredded cheese, then chicken & any other additions you’d like ending with more shredded cheese. (I just did chicken in & cheese in these since they are for the kids) Top with a second tortilla.
3. Cook until bottom tortilla starts to brown.
4. Place a paper plate over the quesadilla in the pan. Place your hand over the paper plate then carefully lift the pan and flip it over so that you are holding the paper plate and quesadilla in your hand (with the cooked side up.) Now carefully slide the quesadilla back into the pan with the uncooked side down.
5. Continue cooking until the 2nd side is browned.
6. Slide out of the pan onto a plate, cut and serve with your favorite toppings.

These can also be frozen and used for school lunches. Just take out of the freezer and put in their lunch box in the morning and they will be thawed by lunch. They can be eaten cold or microwaved for 30-45 seconds.

As promised here’s part 2 of my freezer cooking day.

Meal Plan Monday – NinjaMegan’s IIFYM Menu

menu-plan-monday

For our first Meal Plan Monday, we’re linking up with OrgJunkie.com ‘s Menu Plan Monday link up. You can find her menu plan for the week here.

One of the things that most of us Ninjas do is some sort of meal planning, whether it’s planning meals for each day or prepping ingredients in advance so that there’s several options to throw together for a meal. I find it easier for my family to plan dinners in advance, but keep everything pretty flexible, e.g., if I decide I want Friday’s dinner on Wednesday, it’s easy to switch around. I’ll also mention that we’re a If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) family – I was eating IIFYM before I got pregnant and loved it and then Greg started eating that way not too long ago and is really enjoying it. Since Greg requires more protein, if I make any modifications for his dinner, I’ve indicated that in italics.

Copycat P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps - so quick & delicious!

Copycat P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps – so quick & delicious!

Dinners:

Monday: Burgers, Green Salad (double patty of extra lean ground beef for Greg)

Tuesday: Chicken Tzatziki Lettuce Wraps, Greek Salad, Grilled Greek Potatoes

Wednesday: California Chopped Salad with Shrimp (adding more grilled chicken for Greg)

Thursday: Wings and nachos (Splurge Day! NFL Pre-season starts)

Friday: Copycat PF Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Sesame Noodles

Saturday: My night off from cooking!

Sunday: Southwestern Chopped Salad

Lunches:

Lunches are often leftovers (I’m a big believer in cook once, eat at least twice), but I also have the following things pre made or the ingredients so they can be quickly thrown together:

– Taco Salads

– Greek Salad (with grilled Greek-style chicken breast for Greg)

– Cottage Cheese Spinach Casserole with a salad (this is a family favourite – freezes great and perfect for macros as it has a lot of protein. I’ll share the recipe in a future post)

Breakfasts:

Greg has the same thing for breakfast everyday:

– A cup of coffee with milk, 2 eggs & 3 eggwhites scrambled; 1 piece of Silver Hills whole grain bread with jam and nitrite-free turkey sausages

– Monkey’s been on a kick of cinnamon raisin bread right now, so he often has that, some fresh fruit and I add some sort of protein to that as well – either a cheese stick, turkey sausage or scrambled eggs; sometimes he also asks for oatmeal (even when it’s 90 degrees out)

– Me, I kind of scrounge around since most of the time I have a hard time eating breakfast.

Meal Planning Bonus!

NinjaEm’s up at her family’s cottage this week, but that didn’t stop her from meal planning. Here’s her yummy meal plan too:

NinjaEm

 

Enjoy!