Mama's Meal Plan 2015 Week Four

Almost month of plans done, shopped for, and here's hoping week four's plan goes as well as the last three.  This week showcases one of our favorite meals, "healthy" fettuccine Alfredo with Brussels Sprouts, plus one of my favorite dinner tools: the crockpot.  Last week's new recipes were such a hit, we're trying another one from the Food Network, soy-citrus chicken.  We're going to do a homemade pizza night, and then Friday we'll most likely treat ourselves to dinner out thanks to the grocery bill reduction through meal planning.  We're not all the way there yet, the bill for this week came to $150.  WAY better than previous weeks last year, but room for improvement.  However, the fact that the grocery trip covered breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for a family of three for a week still makes me happy.  Look for a wrap up of this month with a calendar of meals, grocery lists, and totals to help give you an idea of how this month went.  I'm keeping this blog as we go, rather than reporting at the end of the year.  I'll share whoops moments, warts, and all...and I hope anyone out there reading and trying any of these will share their thoughts as well!  So, here we go...


SUNDAY: Breakfast for Dinner

We have a nor'easter moving in this weekend in Central PA.  What is better than cozying up with breakfast for dinner?  The little one was overjoyed to have cereal for breakfast, Daddy poached some eggs.  Cereal is always a big hit in this family, we buy Mom's Best Cereals.  Recently, Safari Cocoa Crunch showed up on our grocery store's shelf...and it is already a new favorite!

MONDAY: Fettuccine Alfredo and Brussels sprouts

This recipe comes from Runner's World, an annual subscription in this house.  My husband has run 4 marathons, I've done two 1/2 marathons, and we've each done a bunch of 5ks.  At the beginning of this year, along with my commitment to blogging, I re-invested in my running.  Both have been going very well!  Do not let the Greek yogurt in this dish scare you.  My husband balked at it too...and this is one of his favorite meals now! 

We usually do our sauteed Brussels sprouts with this, they pair very well together. 

I think this picture is a year or two old, but it's the same meal!

TUESDAY:  Slow Cooker Soy-Citrus Chicken, with Rice and Broccoli

When making this week's plan, I asked my daughter what her favorite meal was and she answered "chicken and rice."  It just so happens that the most recent Food Network Magazine had a pretty tasty sounding crock-pot meal with chicken, so we are going for it!  Instead of watercress and rice noodles, we're going to do rice and broccoli.

WEDNESDAY: Leftover soy-citrus chicken...

...either with rice, or on a salad, or in a taco...or maybe plain!  Like before, we'll most likely be at the fellowship meal (super bowl party theme this week!) on Wednesday, but if not, we have a backup plan!

THURSDAY: Homemade Pizza

I was going to cheat and purchase frozen pizza dough.  But somehow I missed it on my checklist and came home without it.  SO, Sometime between Saturday and Thursday I will be making a simple pizza dough (four weeks and I've managed to not do an in between grocery store run!!).  The toppings will be tomato sauce, mozz, and then veggies.  When we get to Thursday, I'll update this portion with pictures, etc. 

Not only did I neglect to purchase pre-made pizza dough, I did not have any yeast in the house.  Therefore, we had a homemade, no-yeast, flat bread.  The recipe I used was a mix of many, here's what we came up with:

No-Yeast Pizza Dough

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp flax-seed meal
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup water

Mix dry ingredients together, then add olive oil and water.  I used my kitchen aide stand mixer with dough hook, but kneading this was pretty easy too (just ask Evie...she had a little too much fun with the "play" dough). Roll out, top, bake!  First pizza we added toppings, put it in for 20 minutes at 400.  Second pizza, we rubbed olive oil on top, baked for 10 minutes at 400, then brought out, topped, and back in for another 10.  I think having the stoneware to bake it on helped too. 

For the pizza sauce:
Tomato sauce, tomato paste (1 can each)
Ricotta cheese (2 healthy large spoon-fulls)
Kosher Salt
Squeeze of fresh lemon

Stir together in medium sauce pan, heat until warm, do not boil.  Set to side until ready to top pizza.

For the white pizza sauce:
Juice from half of a lemon
Ricotta cheese (approximately 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
Kosher salt
Minced Garlic

Mix together, top pizza.

Evie's choices on left, Daddy's on right

Mama's white pizza with capers, olives, mushrooms

FRIDAY:  Dinner Out!

I completely recognize the irony of celebrating a successful month of meal planning by going out to does sort of defeat the purpose.  We'll keep at it though...and I am pleased our first month went so well!  It gets easier and easier as we go.  Wednesday night after I was done eating, I brought my meal planning journal to the table and the family picked the meals for this week.  I hadn't been able to finish the final week when I planned a month ago.  Having the family schedule set certainly helps. As does having the family on board and involved! 


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