Meal Plan Monday: 3-7 April 2017

Welcome to Meal Plan Monday! I’ve posted meal plans and meal prep (particularly my love of meal planning and food prepping) countless times, but to be honest with you – since becoming a full time mom last year I haven’t had the same amount of free time to fully plan and prep meals as I have in the past. That said, I do still try to have a weekly plan in place for my family, particularly so I know what groceries to buy when I make my weekly trip to Wegmans. (Not that it helps, as I still somehow always end up leaving that store with $50 worth of extra stuff we don’t need!) Regardless of whether you meal prep or not, having a menu and sticking to it saves tons of time and money – and as you can see, we eat leftovers for the majority of our meals, so not sticking to the menu means a lot of last minute rushing around to find food. My only slight deviation is lunches for the young one – he’s not a huge leftover fan to begin with, and I’m not going to send him to elementary school with a lunch that requires a microwave. So as you can see I’ve added separate school lunches for him, in case you’re in the same boat! (Please note, the lunch includes an afternoon school snack as well).

I’m also only planning for Sunday night through Friday night, because weekends tend to be a free for all in my house.

In the future I’d like to start including the approximate cost of each week and a shopping plan. I did note which items can be made ahead of time in case you do want to prep on a weekend.

*Note: I’m feeding two adults and one elementary school age boy, so we try to make enough food for three, plus leftovers.*

BEAR FAMILY MEAL PLAN, WEEK ONE

Sunday DinnerHearty Pot Roast with Carrots and Potatoes

Monday:

B: scrambled eggs, chicken apple sausage (we prefer Aidells brand)

L: leftover pot roast/carrots/potatoes

L2: ham slice roll-ups, clementine, chips, granola bar, milk and apple juice

D: Turkey Taco Salads (turkey can be made ahead of time)

Tuesday:

B: Breakfast Fritatta over greens (Fritatta can (and should) be made ahead of time)

L: leftover taco salad

L2: little smokies sausages, apple slices, chips, granola bar, milk and apple juice

D: pan fried chicken thighs (boneless/skinless), seasoned rice, mixed vegetables (*20 minute meal!)

Wednesday:

B: Fritatta, greens, fruit

L: leftover chicken/rice/veg

L2: chicken thigh slices, mini apple, chips, granola bar, milk and apple juice

D: stuffed pepper soup (ground beef can be prepped ahead, recipe coming soon!)

Thursday:

B: overnight oats (made the night before, obviously!)

L: leftover stuffed pepper soup

L2: tuna snack, clementine, chips, granola bar, milk and apple juice

D: turkey meatballs over spaghetti squash and sauce (meatballs can be made ahead of time, bake spaghetti squash ahead of time *10 minute meal if prepped!)

Friday:

B: fritatta with greens or overnight oats

L: leftover spaghetti squash and meatballs

L2: individual plain meatballs, apple slices, chips, granola bar, fruit and milk

D: Homemade Pizza Night

 

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Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

I love roast chicken.

bearfamilystrong.com | lemon thyme roast chicken

Not only is roasting a chicken pretty much the easiest thing in the world, but one chicken usually serves our family three meals at least. The week I made this bad boy, my husband and son were out of town and one four pound bird lasted me three full days for lunch and dinner. Basically I ended up eating leftover chicken over salad vegetables for lunch, and then for dinner I would heat up some of the chicken and serve it with a different vegetable each night (steamed snap peas on Monday, pan fried okra on Tuesday, and roasted green beans on Wednesday). Admittedly, if you are a person who enjoys variety in your meals and doesn’t like leftovers, this will definitely not work for you. But for me, it not only eliminated the need to plan additionally dinners, but it also saved me a ton of time in the kitchen!

bearfamilystrong.com | lemon thyme roast chicken

The other nice thing about roast chicken is that you can experiment with flavors. (See here and here). I usually throw a chicken in the crockpot which really saves time, but the chicken tends to fall apart and you don’t get the crispy brown skin that results in roasting a chicken in the oven. Just remember that if you are going to roast our chicken in the oven, it’s going to take about 90 minutes – so plan accordingly.

My personal favorite flavor combination of late has been super simple lemon and thyme, with a salt crust made with an herbs de provence salt blend I purchased while in Paris this summer. To recreate this salt at home, simply mix some coarse salt with herbs de provence – it’s as easy as that!

bearfamilystrong.com | lemon thyme roast chicken

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

Ingredients:

one whole roaster chicken (organic free range if possible)

fresh thyme

butter, melted

salt

herbs de provence

2 lemons

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse and pat your bird dry. Give your bird a healthy melted butter bath, then cover liberally with the herbs de provence salt blend, making sure the chicken is evenly coated. Sprinkle a handful of chopped thyme over everything. Inside the cavity of your chicken, add two lemon halves, a handful of fresh time, and more salt if desired. Cut the second lemon into 4-6 wedges and tuck them into the roasting pan with the chicken. Bake at 400 for about 80 minutes, then remove from oven and rest an additional 10 minutes. Chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165F.

bearfamilystrong.com | lemon thyme roast chicken

Makeover Your Leftovers: Beef Sirloin Tip Roast Turned Breakfast

Welcome to the second edition of my Beef Sirloin Tip Roast Leftover plan! As I mentioned in my last post, it’s easy to get bored with eating the same old leftovers meal after meal and so we’ve learned to get creative. It’s also easy to get stuck in the mentality that something like a beef roast can only be eaten for dinner, or maybe lunch – not to mention the mentality that breakfast should be limited to eggs, toast, cereal, etc. That’s why today I’m sharing a super simple, yet filling, Whole30 approved breakfast idea using leftovers!

bearfamilystrong.com | beef roast with eggs

This isn’t rocket science, obviously. But if you’re anything like me, it’s easy to overlook something like this when you’re standing in front of the refrigerator trying to come up with something to eat for breakfast. And beef roast with vegetables should be eaten for dinner, not breakfast – am I right? Let me give you a tip: throw that thinking out the window. One of the best things you can do for your body is feed it good, nutritious food – whether it’s a traditional “breakfast” food or not. If you want a grilled chicken salad for breakfast, eat it! Not feeling bacon and eggs? How about a bowl of chili with diced avocado on top? You’re much better off eating something nontraditional but filling enough to keep you satiated until lunch than if you ate a bowl of cereal and then snacked all morning.

bearfamilystrong.com | beef roast with eggs

Not only was this a delicious breakfast, it only took me approximately ten minutes to make. I tossed the potatoes and onions in a hot skillet (you could even throw the carrots in if you wanted – I chose not to), and while they were cooking I heated slices of roast beef in another skillet and scrambled two eggs in the same skillet as the beef – not only did this save me dishes, but the residual seasoning from the beef gave the eggs an additional pop of flavor that blended the entire meal together. No muss, no fuss!

Have I mentioned how much I love leftovers?