Menu Plan for the Week {31 Days of Real Food Reality ~ Day 26}

Just a few days left in our 31 Days of Real Food Reality series!  Hopefully, reading the series has been an encouragement to you. Or at least maybe you’ve been convinced to eat real butter. :)

Today’s Real Food Reality Tip:  Have fun playing with recipes, making them work for your family’s real food tastes and needs!

For instance, our family has fallen in love with this Cheeseburger Soup recipe.  I have been making it once a week for the past few weeks. To keep life exciting (because clearly, not much exists in life that is more exciting than soup in a bowl) – sometimes I substitute the potatoes in the recipe with whole wheat or brown rice pasta. It is delicious this way! Plus, dumping in noodles saves me a few extra minutes if I don’t want to take the time to prepare potatoes.

Cheeseburger Soup

I’ve also shared that sometimes I make our Raspberry Oatmeal Bars with different varieties of jelly. It’s fun to take basic, favorite recipes and play with them to add variety without adding extra work!

Mix and Match Oatmeal Bars

Here’s our menu plan for this week. I may or may not be tweaking some of these recipes to keep life interesting. :)

Sunday, January 26
Instant oatmeal, apple slices
Beef stew, quick mix biscuits, fruit salad
Hamburgers, carrot sticks, spinach salad

Monday, January 27
Mix and match bars, applesauce
Popcorn chicken, roasted cauliflower, sliced sweet peppers, spicy avocado dip with chips
Chicken fried steak strips, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas

Tuesday, January 28
Honey cinnamon muffins, scrambled eggs, clementines
Cheeseburger soup, sliced cucumbers with ranch dip, pears
Pizza casserole, tossed salad, steamed broccoli and carrots

Wednesday, January 29
Warm chocolate soother, toast with peanut butter, oranges
Tuna casserole, peas, grapes
Spaghetti squash with pasta sauce, steamed asparagus, green beans

Thursday, January 30
Sweet potato streusel muffins, turkey sausage, bananas
Salmon patties, potato wedges, green beans
Homemade pizza, tossed salad, carrots with ranch dip

Friday, January 31
Pumpkin chocolate chip bread, applesauce
Rice and veggie stir fry, with broccoli, carrots, and zucchini
Sloppy joes, sweet potato fries, peas

Saturday, February 1
Bacon cheesy eggs, honey whole wheat bagels, oranges
Creamy chicken and rice casserole, tossed salad, fried zucchini

Do you like playing with recipes or do you prefer to follow a recipe precisely?


  1. Lana says

    I do quite a bit of changing up of recipes, too. I don’t want to write off a recipe just because it contains an ingredient that we are not crazy about or are overbudget. Sun-dried tomatoes are not popular here and neither are mushrooms. It also depends on what needs to be used up in my pantry or refrigerator.

    We had a large pork roast for lunch today so I will be freezing some of those leftovers for pork and noodles later and using the rest over the next few days. I hope to make Cuban sandwiches tomorrow for lunch.


  2. Teresa says

    Speaking of mixing things up some with our recipes…
    Have you thought of making the quick mix biscuits and mixing in garlic powder and cheese and dropping them by tablespoonfuls on a baking sheet and making garlic cheese biscuits?

    My daughters just went crazy when I made them this past week for lunch. : )

    Thanks for the great mix.


  3. Sheila H. says

    Thanks for the soup recipe. We were looking for something like that. I see spaghetti squash on your menu and wanted to give you a recipe that we love. Bake the squash and shred it into noodles. Cook 1 lb. of hamburger meat with crushed garlic clove and add to the squash. Beat 3 eggs and add those to 12 oz of pizza/pasta sauce. Mix all ingredients together. I like to add pepperoni and then top it with cheese. Bake for 40 minutes at 350.


  4. CJ says

    When do you bake all the muffins and breads on your menu? Do you make them the night before, the morning of, the weekend before or some massive baking day in the past and pull them out of the freezer?

    I had time this evening and was in the mood so I made 2 loaves of applesauce bread and a pan of strawberry bars.


  5. says

    Your menu looks yummy. :-) I usually follow recipes, but will sometimes play around with them, especially after I have made them once. I am amazed at how involved your lunches are.


    Laura Reply:

    Our lunches are actually pretty simple to put together – especially since I get my boys in there helping me. :) We’ve found that sandwiches just don’t cut it for us – too expensive for our big eaters!


  6. says

    Love to mix recipes up, like you said. Keeps life interesting and we all need that. If the recipe has something in it we don’t buy I try to sub in what we have on hand that is similar.

    Seeing the sweet potato streusel muffins on your menu reminds me I need to make some more of those. So good and I have a few sweet potatoes left from our CSA.


  7. says

    I read about the instant oatmeal packets a while back and just didn’t grab onto the idea for some reason, but last week, I decided to give it a try. WOW! This is amazing. It is SO EASY to put together and easier still in the morning. We halved the recipe (in case it was not a hit) and after filling each little storage bowl, pulled out or dried fruits, cinnamon, nuts…My 10-year old son and I had so much fun combining flavors and popping our little bowls into the pantry. Next morning all we had to do was choose (that was the hardest part – so many great options), dump our mixture into a cereal bowl, and pour on our hot water. That was it! My little bowls are all empty now and I’ll be making more – this time the entire batch! :) Thanks for sharing!


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