Menu Plan For the Week ~ Waking Up To a Ready-Made Breakfast

Every day this week, our family will be waking up to a healthy breakfast that has already been prepared.  You wanna do the same?  Here are all the plans to make this happen.  You are going to love this!

Speaking of breakfast, you should know that I made the worst breakfast ever yesterday.  I think my hair is still holding on to the smell from the nastiness I put in front of my family to eat.  I had grand plans to fill us all full of good protein by making a hearty (but quick) meal of Bacon Cheesy Eggs before soccer games.  Therefore, I already had the bacon chopped up and cooked ahead of time.  While getting eggs cracked open and whipped, I started rewarming the bacon in the skillet – on high heat.  Within just a few seconds, it started smoking and smelling up the kitchen.  Oh well, I thought.  I’ll just quickly add the eggs, scrambled them up together, and all will be well.

If only.

That bacon was apparently beyond repair, making the bacon/egg/cheese mixture taste like ashes.  Not that I’ve ever eaten ashes.

We sort of choked it down, because it is very hard to throw away farm-fresh eggs, even if they do taste like burnt fire wood.  And that is how I sent my children off to the soccer fields so that they could run several miles and attempt to do fancy footwork.  It was not one of my finer moments.  But as Asa (our 16 year old) said with a grin, “Well, the cantaloupe sure is good.  At least you didn’t burn that.”  Yes, at least.  :)

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars 12

These Raspberry Oatmeal Bars aren’t in our freezer cooking plan for this week,
but they are another example of a great recipe you can make the night before
to serve first thing in the morning.  We love these bars!

Here’s what I’ll be trying not to burn this week:

Sunday, April 13
Raspberry oatmeal bars, applesauce
Cheesy beef and pasta casserole (recipe in {Healthy} Make-Ahead Meals and Snacks eBook), tossed salad, green beans
Small Group potluck

Monday, April 14
Easy breakfast casserole, cantaloupe
Chicken patty sandwiches, lettuce and tomatoes, pickles, carrots, fruit smoothies
Cheeseburger macaroni, tossed salad, roasted asparagus

Tuesday, April 15
Poppy seed bread with orange glaze (recipe in {Healthy} Make-Ahead Meals and Snacks eBook), eggs, strawberries
Rice and veggie stir fry with zucchini, carrots, and broccoli
Chicken tacos, fresh pineapple

Wednesday, April 16
Sweet pecan French toast casserole (recipe in {Healthy} Make-Ahead Meals and Snacks eBook), kiwi
Sloppy joes, creamy coleslaw, cucumbers and carrots with ranch, blackberries
Lamb chops, baked potatoes in the crock pot, tossed salad, peas

Thursday, April 17
Poptarts, bananas
Popcorn chicken, potato wedges, steamed carrots and broccoli
Tuna casserole, peas, roasted asparagus

Friday and Saturday – travel days (packing some food for the road, especially fruits and veggies)

Please make plans to join us this week for the Freezer Cooking Breakfast Challenge.  You’ll love getting ahead for the morning!

Menu Plan For the Week – with more freezer cooking plans

So…freezer cooking this week.  Are you in?  Most importantly, do you have your chicken?  :)  You can check out all the plans, download the grocery list, and access the recipes here.  Make plans to join us this week!

Black Bean Chicken Nachos

Here’s our menu plan for the week, which of course, includes a lot of chicken.  I also added in some coconut flour recipes since I found such a great deal on coconut flour yesterday:

Sunday, April 6
Homemade instant oatmeal, pears
Sloppy joes, carrot sticks, fruit
Small group fellowship:  Nacho bar

Monday, April 7
Green machine milkshakes, coconut flour muffins
Chicken chef salad with tons of veggie choices, crispy cheese crackers
Pizza boats, fruit salad, raw veggies

Tuesday, April 8
Scrambled eggs, quick mix biscuits, kiwi
Black bean chicken nachos, fresh pineapple, sweet peppers and cucumbers
Shepherds pie, tossed salad, strawberries

Wednesday, April 9
Whole wheat waffles, blueberries, whipped cream
Crock pot barbecue chicken breast sandwiches, creamy coleslaw, carrots and cucumbers with ranch, peaches
Tuna casserole, peas, tossed salad

Thursday, April 10
Poptarts, fried eggs, bananas
Taco corn fritters, pineapple mango smoothies green beans
Bacon wrapped cream cheese chicken (recipe in {Healthy} Make-Ahead Meals and Snacks eBook), tossed salad, roasted asparagus

Friday, April 11
Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, applesauce
Turkey ranch pinwheels, chocolate milkshakes, grape tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers
Potato soup, sweet peppers, tossed salad, coconut flour cheddar drop biscuits

Saturday, April 12
Cranberry white chocolate chip breakfast cookies, fried eggs, oranges
Chicken noodle soup, tossed salad

Did you sign up for BudgetFocus and take advantage of the big discount they’re offering?  Budgeting made simple!

Menu Plan for the Week – Freezer Cooking Plans

Since the Freezer Cooking Challenge plan for this week includes making food for each evening, along with making extra for the freezer, you’ll see all of those casseroles sprinkled into this week’s menu plan.  I love the simplicity of this getting ahead system!  (Please make plans to join us for this challenge!  Tonight I’ll post the next steps we’ll be taking.)  If my freezer cooking plan gets shifted around, I’ll simply shift around my menu plan.

Notice all of the easy fruit and vegetable side dishes that go along with our main dishes.  It is so much fun to fill the cart with fresh or frozen produce, and then to load the table with a variety of these great and colorful foods during each meal time.

How to Serve Fruits and Veggies

Here’s our full menu plan for this week:

Sunday, March 30
Homemade instant oatmeal, blueberries
Cheesy salsa enchiladas, fresh fruit plate
Afternoon road trip, packing food to go

Monday, March 31
Cream cheese pumpkin muffins, scrambled eggs, applesauce
Creamy mac and cheese, peas, sliced cucumbers and carrots with ranch, strawberries
Cheesy beef and rice, tossed salad, green beans, pear slices

Tuesday, April 1
Honey cinnamon muffins, green machine milkshakes, apples
Potato soup, sweet peppers, sliced cucumbers and carrots with ranch, oranges
Bacon cheeseburger casserole (recipe in {Healthy} Make-Ahead Meals and Snacks eBook), tossed salad, asparagus

Wednesday, April 2
Oatmeal Breakfast Bars, blueberries, clementines
Homemade tomato soup, cheesy cauliflower cakes, sweet peppers, canned peaches
Cheesy beef and pasta casserole (recipe in {Healthy} Make-Ahead Meals and Snacks eBook), tossed salad, steamed carrots and broccoli

Thursday, April 3
Peanut butter pancakes, bananas
Spanish rice, strawberry peach yogurt smoothies, sliced cucumbers and carrots with ranch
Creamy salsa enchiladas (recipe in Let’s Do This! eCourse), tossed salad, fresh pineapple

Friday, April 4
Whole wheat donuts, clementines
Popcorn chicken, creamy coleslaw, sweet peppers, pears
Whole wheat pizza, tossed salad, pineapple mango smoothies

Saturday, April 5
Fried eggs on toast, oranges
Tuna casserole, peas, tossed salad

 How is the Freezer Cooking Challenge going for you so far? 

Just a reminder to go sign up for our BudgetFocus giveaway!

Menu Plan For the Week

Today has been so much fun!  We already had plans for several to come over for lunch after church.  Then, out of the blue, it worked for my brother and his family of six to drive up for the day.  Suddenly, I had 20 people at my house for lunch.  It was loud, crazy, and awesome.  I love it when God gives us bonus blessings we weren’t counting on!

Here’s our menu plan for this week:

Sunday, March 23
Oatmeal breakfast bars, pears
Roast, potatoes, carrots, green beans, corn, rolls, ice cream
Small group: Sloppy joes with fun side dishes brought by others

Monday, March 24
Strawberry cream muffins, applesauce
Easy noodle stir fry with broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and zucchini
Orange chicken, rice, peas, tossed salad

Tuesday, March 25
Fried eggs on toast, oranges
Crustless Pizza, green machine milkshakes, sweet peppers, olives
Italian cream cheese chicken, tossed salad, roasted asparagus

Wednesday, March 26
Dark chocolate almond granola, kiwi
Tuna casserole, peas, strawberries
Lamb chops, baked potatoes, green beans, creamy coleslaw

Thursday, March 27
Cream cheese pumpkin muffins, bananas
Black bean chicken nachos, fruit and yogurt smoothies
Alfredo sauce with pasta, tossed salad, steamed broccoli and carrots

Friday, March 28
Easy breakfast casserole, clementines
Calzones, sweet peppers, cucumbers with ranch, carrot sticks
Lasagna casserole, tossed salad, corn

Saturday, March 29
Quick mix pancakes, blueberries
Beef stew, cornbread, tossed salad

Have you tried the Green Machine Milkshakes yet?  They are surprisingly delicious!

Green Machine Milkshakes

Menu Plan for the Week

Today after church, one of my friends rounded up a bunch of ladies and we all went out for lunch together.  Matt and the boys fended for themselves.  What a treat!

Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes

Have you tried these Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes yet?  So delicious!

Here’s what our menu looks like this week:

Sunday, March 16
Easy breakfast casserole, fruit plate
Out for lunch with friends
Small Group:  Italian pasta bake, sides brought by others

Monday, March 17
Whole Wheat Waffles with blueberries, strawberries, and whipped cream
Baked potatoes in a crock pot, green machine milkshakes, sliced cucumbers
Baked three cheese chicken pasta, tossed salad, steamed broccoli

Tuesday, March 18
Pancake and sausage muffins, applesauce
Calzones, pineapple mango smoothies, carrot sticks, sweet peppers
Homeschool basketball team award night dinner

Wednesday, March 19
Scrambled eggs with cheese, snickerdoodle muffins, clementines
Calico beans, honey whole wheat bread and butter, fresh pineapple
Beefy enchilada bake, tossed salad, green beans

Thursday, March 20
Dark chocolate almond granola, apples
Bean and cheese burritos, strawberry peach slushies, sweet peppers, olives
Alfredo sauce with pasta, tossed salad, roasted asparagus

Friday, March 21
Flaky cream cheese pastry, kiwi
Black bean chicken nachos, oranges, carrot sticks
Chili, cheesy cauliflower cakes, cucumbers with homemade ranch

Saturday, March 22
Whole wheat donuts, strawberries
Cheeseburger macaroni, peas, tossed salad

What are you eating this week?


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Menu Plan for the Week ~ including strawberry shortcake so I can pretend that it’s summer

Every good and perfect gift comes from above.  This includes the cold weather, right?  Freezing temps, blowing snow, amazingly cold wind chill, frozen nose hairs – it’s all a part of living in a state that has long, cold, windy winters.

It’s so easy to complain when we’re too hot or too cold.  As for me, I struggle to be content with cold weather by the time March rolls around.  I’ve been cold since September, my wool socks now have holes in them, and I’m so ready for sunshine I tear up a little when I think about the rays beaming down on my (pale) face.  I know that if I’m complaining about the weather, I’m grumbling against God, because He’s pretty much the one in control of what falls from the sky and blows across the plains.  So I’m trying very hard to keep a good attitude and enjoy the fact that I live in an area that has four beautiful seasons.  Spring really is coming.  Sometime.  Really.  I know it’s true.

Well, all that to say that I’m doing everything I can to give my attitude a lift.  This week, that’s going to include making Strawberry Shortcake.  It is definitely not strawberry season here yet.  But I found a decent deal on them at the store this weekend.  They look nice, and have more flavor than those we get shipped to Nebraska in January.  In a desperate effort to believe that spring really is coming, I bought two big containers.  For breakfast tomorrow morning, we are going to have shortcake (made from whole wheat and honey).  We’ll heap on the strawberries and whipped cream.  We’ll pretend like it’s summertime.  And we’ll drink hot tea, because clearly, it isn’t summertime and our toes will still be frozen.  Fake it till you make it, right?

Strawberry Shortcake with Whole Wheat and Honey

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

I’d also like to pretend it’s summertime by grilling burgers and eating watermelon.  Seeing as turning on the grill when it’s below zero is impossible, I’m going to have to stick with eating soup and being patient.

Here’s our menu for this week:

Sunday, March 2
Instant oatmeal packets, fruit
Clean out the fridge
Small group fellowship – I’m making baked potatoes and everyone else is bringing toppings

Monday, March 3
Strawberry shortcake and hot tea
Potato soup, sliced cucumbers and carrot sticks with homemade ranch dip
Sweet and sour meatballs (recipe found in lesson 5 of Let’s Do This! eCourse), rice, tossed salad, roasted broccoli and carrots

Tuesday, March 4
Whole wheat waffles, blueberries
Grilled cheese sandwiches, homemade tomato soup, blackberries, sweet peppers
Orange chicken, tossed salad, peas

Wednesday, March 5
Snickerdoodle muffins, applesauce
Easy noodle stir fry with broccoli, carrots, and zucchini
One dish meat and potato casserole, tossed salad

Thursday, March 6
Fried eggs on toast, oranges
Pigs in a blanket, fruit salad, cucumbers and carrots
Pizza casserole, tossed salad, green beans

Friday and Saturday – traveling for boys’ basketball tournament.  Packing some food/eating out some.

Menu Plan For the Week

Have you tried using our new Ingredient Search feature yet?  It will be very helpful to use while you’re planning meals or snacks.  Simply type in an ingredient or two you would like to use this week, and several relevant recipes should show up for you to pick from and work with.  Find this search box at the very top right of my side bar.  Have fun finding tasty recipes that will work with the ingredients you have on hand or that are on sale this week!

Easy Noodle Stir Fry

This Easy Noodle Stir Fry recipe is a super way to get lots of veggies into one meal. 
We love this simple dish!

Here’s our menu for this week:

Sunday, February 23
Oatmeal breakfast bars, blueberries
Lasagna casserole, tossed salad, butterscotch bars (lunch with friends)
Chili cook-off church fellowship

Monday, February 24
Chocolate chocolate chip muffins, apple slices
Easy noodle stir fry with broccoli, carrots, and zucchini
Italian cream cheese chicken, tossed salad, green beans (friends coming over)

Tuesday, February 25
Easy breakfast casserole, oranges
Pizza boats, sweet peppers, olives, cucumbers, carrot sticks, peaches
Cheeseburger soup, tossed salad

Wednesday, February 26
Blueberry streusel muffins, applesauce
BLT wraps (new recipe I created for a new eBook I’m working on), grapes
Alfredo sauce with pasta, steamed broccoli and carrots, tossed salad

Thursday, February 27
Fried eggs on toast, creamy orange cooler
Tuna casserole, peas, raspberries
Chicken tacos, fruit salad

Friday, February 28
Quick mix biscuits, sausage gravy, blueberries
Black bean salsa, organic corn chips, fresh pineapple
Taco potatoes

Saturday, March 1
Scrambled egg sandwiches, raspberries
Hoagie sandwiches on the road, pears, carrots, cucumbers

Menu Plan for the Week ~ And Why We Eat Hot Lunches Instead of Sandwiches

This week, I plan to answer several frequently asked questions that I hear, you know, frequently.  Clever idea, eh?  I’ll be addressing the question of why I don’t have a Sam’s or Costco membership, how I store fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh, and this question:

Why do my lunches seem so involved?  Why don’t I just feed my family sandwiches for lunch?  So let’s start with this question since it relates to my menu plan.

The two main reasons we eat full meals at lunchtime instead of sandwiches are to save money and to save time.  All six of us are usually home for lunch.  We go through about two loaves of bread and up to two pounds of lunch meat and cheese in one meal – and that’s just the sandwiches.  The cost of feeding my family sandwiches for a meal can really add up, so we save sandwich meals for times we’re on the go.  There are many other meals I can serve at lunchtime that save us on our grocery budget.  (Check out our Real Food Dollar Menu recipes for ideas.)

As for time?  I find that if I’ve got food prepped in the freezer, it takes less than ten minutes to prepare lunch.  A frozen casserole can be pulled out and put it into the oven mid-morning while we go about our school day.  Foods like Chicken Patties or Popcorn Chicken freeze easily, and just have to be rewarmed in the oven.  Serving fruits and veggies with these meals is easy as all I have to do is pull out the raw veggies that I’ve already cut, wash a container of berries, or steam veggies quickly.  I also let my boys help with meal prep and clean up.

You like how I said “let my boys help?”  Obviously, that means that I holler out their names and start giving out orders.  Oh yes, I let them do all sorts of things around here.  (Speaking of which, I really should let someone put the clothes in the dryer right now…)

Sandwiches work for many families – just not mine at this stage of life.  What do you eat at lunchtime? 

Here’s our menu plan for this week:

Sunday, February 16
Instant oatmeal, pears
Fund raising dinner at church (Asa is going with a group of teens to Ecuador this summer!)
Small group – Soups, breads, fruit

Monday, February 17
Fruit pizza, bacon
Chicken patty sandwiches, carrots and cucumbers with homemade ranch, fresh pineapple
Italian cream cheese chicken, tossed salad, green beans

Tuesday, February 18
Honey cinnamon muffins, scrambled eggs, oranges
Pizza casserole, steamed veggies, canned peaches
Teriyaki chicken and veggies (broccoli, carrots, zucchini), pineapple

Wednesday, February 19
Raspberry oatmeal bars, bananas
Taco corn fritters, sweet peppers and carrot sticks, apples
Chicken noodle soup, tossed salad

Thursday, February 20
Fried eggs on toast, clementines
Healthier cheese dip, organic tortilla chips, grapes, sweet peppers
Chili mac, tossed salad, peas, blackberries

Friday, February 21
Whole wheat waffles, blueberries
Beefy vegetable soup, cornbread
Cheesy salsa enchiladas, tossed salad, corn, raspberries

Saturday, February 22
Dark chocolate almond granola, pears
Beef stroganoff, tossed salad, roasted veggies

Menu Plan for the Week

How’s the Fruit and Vegetable Challenge going for you?  I’ll post an official check-in tonight, but in the meantime, I thought I’d share that my goal for this week’s menu is to plan at least two veggies and/or fruits for each lunch and dinner.  We always have fruit with breakfast and more fruit and veggies for snacks.  But if I’m intentional about scheduling plenty in for meals too, we should be getting all kinds of goodness.  What’s fun is that many of my soups and casseroles have veggies in them already, so if I plan two more, we’re getting three to five servings of vegetables and fruits in one meal!

On an unrelated note (well, still on the topic of food, of course) – my jars of Instant Oatmeal are officially empty.  Making more has been on my to-do list as I’ve watched my supply getting lower and lower, but I just haven’t found the ten minutes to get some made.  This week, it will happen!  If you haven’t taken the time to make Instant Oatmeal yet, do it!  It’s such a great food to have on hand for healthy breakfasts and snacks.

Instant Oatmeal in a Jar

I’m also completely out of Whole Wheat Quick Mix.  While I’ve got out my big mixing bowls, I plan to get a double batch of that made too!

Here’s what we’re eating this week:

Sunday, February 9
Grape nuts cereal, blueberries
Hamburger potato casserole (from Healthy Make-Ahead Meals and Snacks eBook), tossed salad, green beans
Small group – Crock pot barbecue chicken breasts, plus sides others are bringing

Monday, February 10
Cranberry white chocolate chip breakfast cookies, pears
Calzones, carrot sticks, cucumber slices, grapes
Beefy vegetable soup, tossed salad, cornbread muffins

Tuesday, February 11
Crock pot breakfast casserole, oranges
Cheddar ranch burgers, potato wedges, roasted asparagus, kiwi
Calico beans, fruit salad, carrot sticks

Wednesday, February 12
Poptarts, blueberries
Grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, raw veggies
Cheesy salsa enchiladas, tossed salad, avocados, olives, applesauce

Thursday, February 13
Warm pumpkin custard, toast, bananas
Sloppy cornbread muffins, peas, sweet peppers, apples
Three cheese garlic chicken pasta, tossed salad, steamed broccoli and carrots

Friday, February 14
Heart shaped pancakes, raspberries
Pizza soup, applesauce, cucumber slices, sweet peppers
Chicken pot pie, tossed salad

Saturday, February 15
Justus’ 14th birthday!  He’s still thinking through his meal choices.  All we know for sure is that Cheesy Turkey Sausage Stromboli is definitely on the list.  :)

Menu Plan for the Week ~ And Our Weekend Fun

We’ve had quite a weekend!  Our older boys had both a basketball tournament and a church youth rally going on.  Both were held in our home town (thankfully!) so they were able to run back and forth to both events.  I do believe they will sleep well tonight.

Because our church was hosting the youth rally, with over 130 teens from Nebraska and Kansas in attendance, we were among the families who signed up to house kids.  We had 10 extra middle school boys stay with us Friday and Saturday night.  They were all so much fun and super sweet.  Middle school boys – sweet?  Why yes, they were.  How about that?

Our breakfast this morning was bigger than normal since we were feeding so many.  I made all the food yesterday, so prep this morning was simple.  We had Easy Breakfast Casserole, Oatmeal Breakfast Bars, Raspberry Oatmeal Bars, and fruit.

youth rally breakfast 3

See all the crusty stuff on the egg casserole dish below?  That’ll be fun to clean up, huh?  That mess is a result of me trying to hurry this morning.  Somehow I had in my head that the casserole would be more solid than liquid.  Um, eggs, cream, ham, and cheese – unbaked?  Liquid.  Okay then.  I was reminded of its liquid state as I sloshed it up and over the edge of the casserole dish on my way to the oven.  What a waste – and a mess!  Two blessings:  Egg goo did not get on my church clothes, nor did it slop into the open drawer I was standing by.  It all hit the floor, making clean up easier.  Oh wait – a third blessing:  At least I did not slosh it into the oven.  Yeah, don’t even picture it.

youth rally breakfast 2

Now we’ll settle back down with our family to begin a new week of school and life.  I’ll probably air out the house a little this afternoon.  I mean, those middle school boys are sweet, but their socks and shoes are not.  God bless ‘em.

Here’s our menu for this week:

Sunday, February 2
Easy breakfast casserole, oatmeal breakfast bars, raspberry oatmeal bars, fruit
Sub sandwiches at the youth rally
Super Bowl Party – Pizza, pizza soup, fruit plate, veggie tray, chips and dip

Monday, February 3
Quick mix pancakes, blueberries
Black bean salsa, corn chips, fresh pineapple
Easy noodle stir fry with broccoli, carrots, zucchini, and chicken

Tuesday, February 4
Bacon cheese muffins, raspberries
Chicken patty sandwiches, lettuce/tomatoes/pickles, pears
One dish meat and potato casserole with peas, tossed salad

Wednesday, February 5
Dark chocolate almond granola, oranges
Pizza boats, sliced cucumbers and sweet peppers, kiwi
Creamy chicken and rice casserole, roasted vegetables

Thursday, February 6
Warm chocolate soother, toast with peanut butter, bananas
Grilled cheese sandwiches, homemade tomato soup, carrot sticks
Orange chicken, baked potatoes, tossed salad, green beans

Friday, February 7
Almond flour muffins, scrambled eggs, pears
Taco potatoes, pineapple
Lasagna Casserole, tossed salad, steamed broccoli

Saturday, February 8
Whole wheat waffles, blueberries, whipped cream
Hamburgers, sweet potato fries, raw veggies

Are you doing anything fun for the Super Bowl tonight?  I’m very proud of myself for finding out (five hours before game time – a record for me) who is playing tonight.  What can I say?  I just go to these parties for the food.