Weekly Meal Planner – Week 4

A Meal Planner is a part of my weekly routine – and I am determined to make it part of yours. It will save your time and money by planning ahead for the week’s dinners. Welcome to Week 4 of the Weekly Meal Planner – scroll down to download the free printable!

Each week I will be sharing one Weekly Meal Planner each Sunday to help you get a jump start on your meal planning. I also want to provide you with the blank version of the Meal Planner so that you can make your own menu using other recipes (egads!) than those from my cookbook! Maybe even incorporate some of the free recipes I provide right here on this blog

Hopefully by now you have purchased your copy of the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook – if you haven’t you can get it as a Paperback or an eBook on Amazon! All of the full recipes for these meals are found in the cookbook. As mentioned in the cookbook, you can easily create weekly mean plans by simply selecting a recipe from each of the five categories in the book:

Here is the free printable Blank Homemade on a Weeknight Meal Planner (pdf):

Homemade on a Weeknight Blank Menu Planner

And here is this week’s Meal Plan!

This Week’s Meal Planner

Meal Planner Week 4 Printable

Cheddar Fried Chicken

Cheddar Fried Chicken

Individual Beef Wellingtons

Individual Beef Wellington

Creamy Red Enchiladas (get the recipe here!)

Creamy Red Enchiladas

Ricotta Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup

Ricotta Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup

Baked Shrimp “Boil”

Baked Shrimp “Boil”

Tips for Meal Planning

Some people shy away from meal planning because they think it makes things too scheduled. But here’s the deal – you have to eat every day! If you take the time to plan ahead what you will eat, you will actually eat healthier more complete meals. So here are some tips when picking out what you are going to put on your plan:

  • Ask for real opinions about the meals – if you family always tells you they love it, they might not be being truthful. And that could lead to you making a meal over and over that they just don’t actually like.
  • Try out some of the suggest variations on the recipes in cookbook
  • Remember to take a break from cooking every once in a while and plan for a night out or ordering in.

Spicy Potato Corn Salad – perfect for a Steak Side!

Jump to Recipe

Almost every cook has a potato salad recipe that they know by heart and pull out for every picnic, BBQ and pot luck. If you have been following along with homemade on a Weeknight you know that I like to change it up from time to time and try some new flavors in old stand-byes. This time I’m adding some Cayenne and Corn to Greek Yogurt and Apple Cider Vinegar and calling it Spicy Potato Corn Salad!

Spicy Potato Corn Salad

The other night I wanted to just make some steaks on the grill – which doesn’t require all that much effort to prep. So I like to put a little more effort into the side dishes when the main is a snap. We all love potato salad but some times its just meh. So I started thinking of other salads that I really like to make and I remembered the Corn Salad I featured in the Side Dishes section of my cookbook Homemade on a Weeknight. I started to combine that recipe with my potato salad recipe and came up with this Potato Corn Salad.

Steak & Spicy Potato Corn Salad

The cayenne does give it a little kick but it’s so good! If you want to tone it down for the littles you can substitute the 1/4 tsp of cayenne for a 1 tsp of smoked paprika for a smokier flavor – would be great with some smoked pork butt – like pulled pork sandwiches!

Potato Corn Salad Prep

I love using Greek Yogurt instead of mayo in dressings – you get the same creaminess without the calories and you get some probiotics for your happy belly too. I usually use 2% or 5% Fage – but you could use other varieties if you are more comfortable with them – just make sure it’s PLAIN. Had a friend try a recipe that called for Greek yogurt and then she was complaining it was so sweet – turns out she used Vanilla flavored not PLAIN!

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Spicy Potato Corn Salad

This time I'm adding some Cayenne and Corn to Greek Yogurt and Apple Cider Vinegar and calling it Spicy Potato Corn Salad!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword bacon, corn, Corn Salad, potato, Potato Corn Salad, Potato Salad, Side Dish, side dish ideas
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill Time 20 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Baby Red Potatoes quartered
  • 1 Sweet Corn (15 oz can) drained
  • 1 lb Bacon cut in ½-in pieces
  • 1 bunch Scallions diced
  • ½ cup Fresh Dill chopped
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 6 oz Greek Yogurt plain

Instructions

  • Prepare all of the ingredients. Start water boiling for potatoes
  • In a frying pan, add bacon and cook until crispy. Remove to a paper towel covered plate and let cool. Add potatoes to boiling water and cook for 15 minutes. Drain in colander and let cool 5 minutes.
  • In a serving bowl, combine bacon, yogurt, garlic, salt, cayenne, sugar, vinegar, dill, corn, scallions, and lemon juice. Once cooled, add potatoes, toss to coat and chill in fridge at least 20 minutes before serving,

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Sweet Pepper Nachos – KETO Friendly

Sweet Pepper Nachos – all the flavor and hardly any carbs! It doesn’t get much better than that! Replacing Tortilla Chips with Sweet Bell Peppers is seriously the easiest away to have your Nachos and eat them too! Here is a step by step instruction on how to make them!

Sweet Pepper Nachos

Step 1: Start by browning some ground turkey with 1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, chili powder and cumin.

Browned Ground Turkey

Step 2: Make the Black Bean and Corn mixture with one 15 oz can of black beans (drained), one 15 oz can of Sweet Corn (drained), 1/2 red onion diced, 8 grape tomatoes (quartered), and 2 tbsp lemon juice.

Black Bean & Corn Mixture

Step 3: Now comes the preparation of the the Sweet Bell Peppers. You first cut the top off. Then you cut in half so that you have the widest remaining pieces. Then you scrap the ribs and seeds out and then you have a good “chip” for the nachos.

Sweet Pepper Preparation

Step 4: Build the Nachos. Place all the prepped sweet bell peppers on a baking sheet (oven should be preheated to 425deg). Put a portion of the cooked ground turkey on each bell pepper. Then a portion of the black bean & corn mixture. Then sprinkle cheese over all of it. Put it in the oven for 15 minutes

Sweet Pepper Nacho building

Step 5: Once the nachos are cooked, plate a portion. Then top with sour cream and pickled jalapeno, as desired.

Sweet Pepper Nachos

This is seriously one of the easiest recipes you can make on a weeknight. It comes right out of my Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook in the Healthier Fare section. My family absolutely loves this recipe – my son actually requested it for his birthday meal this year! If you want more healthier alternatives please check out my cookbook. It’s available in PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS on Amazon.

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Featured on Imparting Grace – Make-ahead Egg Bites

How exciting! The Make-Ahead Egg Bites recipes was featured on the Grace at Home weekly post by Richella from Imparting Grace!

In case you missed this recipe – you are definitely going to want to check it out! These make-ahead egg bites are a perfect healthy alternative to sugary cereal in the mornings. You can make a whole batch of different mix-ins and have them ready in the freezer each morning! The post also has step by step instructions – WITH PICTURES!

Make Ahead Egg Bites

Turkey Quesadilla Burger

In case you haven’t noticed – I love to make burgers. But not typical burgers. I like to get a little wild and crazy with flavors and definitely support bun alternatives! Thus the birth of the Turkey Quesadilla Burger – which uses 2 quesadillas as a bun As quick side dish – I just made some french fries and seasoned them Cumin, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder and Salt (essentially taco seasoning).

Turkey Quesadilla Burger

My family had to make a considerable leap of faith when I presented them with this plate of food…but it was well received. What kid doesn’t love a quesadilla anyway, right? And it was surprisingly easy to eat – there was a little concern that it was going to be hard to keep together. But once you have the half in your hands, you are good to chow down. But a do suggest using something more than a toothpick – I used regular bamboo skewers that my husband cut in half for me.

You could maybe get fancy and make a jalapeno popper or bacon wrapped jalapeno on the grill while you are making the burger and layer that on the top of the quesadilla – that would be pretty!

Turkey Quesadilla Burger

If you wanted to take this burger all the way to the border you could nix the tomato, lettuce and onion and add on some fresh made salsa on top (you could use the Salsa recipe from my Salsa Chicken Video!) And then you could serve it up with some yummy Rice & Beans (I have a super easy recipe for that too – in my Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook – available on Amazon in either Paperback or Kindle versions).

If you are looking for more burger recipes – check out my Caesar Salad Burger or my other collection of 10 Burger Ideas! I can’t wait to hear what you think of this latest creation. Comments are always welcome.

Now let’s get cookin’

Cheesy Rice & Broccoli

Jump to Recipe

There are many nights that I actually put more effort into the side dish than the main course – usually because I am grilling steaks or baking chicken. Rice dishes are a favorite in my home, and who doesn’t love cheese? That’s how I came by this super gooey Cheesy Rice & Broccoli recipe!

Cheesy Rice & Broccoli

It is really simple to put together. The secret here is to brown the rice some before you add the water. This helps the rice keep it’s structure but still get tender – so you don’t end up with a mushy mess. I use fresh broccoli but it will work with frozen broccoli too. You will just have to wait a little longer for the broth to boil before you cover the pan.

The other secret to this Cheesy Rice & Broccoli dish is the Parmesan cheese. It adds a layer of salty goodness that brings the whole dish together. Combining the Sharp Cheddar with Parmesan Cheese will make you seem so fancy too!

This dish would go great with any number of beef, chicken or pork dishes. It would also make a great weekend lunch dish. If you like this recipe and would like some more Side Dish ideas – check out the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook, which has a whole Side Dish Section! You can order it in Paperback or Kindle eBook versions from Amazon.

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Cheesy Rice & Broccoli

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Cheesy Rice, Rice & Broccoli, Rice Dishes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Long Grain Rice
  • 4 cups Chicken Bone Broth
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 2 cups Broccoli Florets
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese shredded
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream

Instructions

  • Prepare all of the ingredients
  • In a large pot over medium heat, add oil and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes then add rice. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 more minutes (until rice is toasted).
  • Add chicken broth and broccoli to pan and stir. Bring to a boil. Then cover, reduce heat to medium and let cook for 15 minutes. NO PEEKING!
  • Add cheese and stir until fully melted. Stir in heavy cream. Place cover back on pan and let cook another 4-5 minutes.

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Asparagus Mac & Cheese

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A great Homemade Mac & Cheese recipe is a must in every kitchen – IMO! And once you have a solid one, you can start to play around with what you add into it to make it more fun, fancy, or flavorful. This go around I am going to add in some asparagus and BACON! to make Asparagus Mac & Cheese a new favorite in your house.

Asparagus Mac & Cheese

The made-from-scratch sauce is a huge part of this meal – and it really is super simple. Making sauces from scratch is what Home Cookin’ is all about. If you can whisk – you can make this velvety sauce. And once you have the process down you can change it up with different cheeses, different seasoning and different flavors. Sometimes I add in some lemon juice to give it brighter flavor or I add in some paprika to give it a little kick.

You might be thinking – is this just a side dish? The answer is NO Asparagus Mac & Cheese is not meant to be a side dish – but it could be if you wanted. You could serve it with some baked chicken or grilled shrimp or maybe a pork tenderloin. But trust me when I say this recipe is enough to make a meal out of it. And every other week I try to do a ~mostly meatless~ option for dinner! I can’t get away with no meat at all with my houseful of carnivores, but bacon usually placates them. I usually put out a nice simple green salad (lettuce, cucumbers, cheese, tomatoes, croutons and dressing of choice).

Asparagus Mac & Cheese Bowls

If you like this recipe and want more like it you can purchase the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook in Paperback or Kindle (eBook) versions through Amazon to get over 100 more recipes developed by me!

Now Let’s Get Cookin’

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Asparagus Mac & Cheese

Adding Asparagus and BACON to a delicious made from scratch cheese sauce makes this dinner a winner!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword asparagus, bacon, mac & cheese, Pasta, pasta dishes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • lb Short Pasta rotini, shells, elbows, penne
  • 1 lb Asparagus cut in 2-in pieces
  • 1 lb Bacon cut in 1/2-in pieces
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour AP or Whole Wheat
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese shredded
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tbsp Parsley

Instructions

  • Prepare all of the ingredients. Start water boiling for pasta
  • In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add bacon pieces. Cook until crispy and remove to a plate with a paper towel.
  • Add pasta to boiling water and cook as directed on the package. In the last 2 minutes of cook time add the asparagus to the boiling water. Drain in colander and rinse with cool water to arrest cooking process then return to pot.
  • While the past is cooking, in a separate saucepan over medium heat, add butter and garlic powder. Cook until butter is completely melted then whisk in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth and cook for 3 minutes more. Whisk in heavy cream and cook 3 minutes more. Add salt and begin to add cheese by the handful, stirring regularly, until all is added. Then stir in parsley.
  • Pour sauce over cooked pasta and asparagus and combine well. Stir in half of cooked bacon. Serve in a pasta dish with a sprinkle of remaining bacon on top.

Estelle Forrest self-published this cookbook after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:

AVAILABLE IN PRINT OR KINDLE eBOOK VERSIONS

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Weekly Meal Planner – Week 3

A Meal Planner is a part of my weekly routine – and I am determined to make it part of yours. It will save your time and money by planning ahead for the week’s dinners.

Each week I will be sharing one Weekly Meal Planner each Sunday to help you get a jump start on your meal planning. I also want to provide you with the blank version of the Meal Planner so that you can make your own menu using other recipes (egads!) than those from my cookbook! Maybe even incorporate some of the free recipes I provide right here on this blog

Hopefully by now you have purchased your copy of the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook – if you haven’t you can get it as a Paperback or an eBook on Amazon! All of the full recipes for these meals are found in the cookbook. As mentioned in the cookbook, you can easily create weekly mean plans by simply selecting a recipe from each of the five categories in the book:

Here is the free printable Blank Homemade on a Weeknight Meal Planner (pdf):

Homemade on a Weeknight Blank Menu Planner

And here is this week’s Meal Plan!

This Week’s Meal Planner

Meal Planner Week 3 Printable

Weeknight Jambalaya

https://homemadeonaweeknight.com/2020/08/08/chicken-cordon-bleu-casserole/Weeknight Jambalaya

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole (get the recipe here!)

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Taco Pasta (Watch the Recipe Video here)

Taco Pasta

Thai Inspired Coconut Shrimp Soup

Thai Inspired Coconut Shrimp Soup

Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

Tips for Meal Planning

Some people shy away from meal planning because they think it makes things too scheduled. But here’s the deal – you have to eat every day! If you take the time to plan ahead what you will eat, you will actually eat healthier more complete meals. So here are some tips when picking out what you are going to put on your plan:

Chicken Scampi with Garlic Parmesan Rice

Chicken….Garlic….Parmesan….how can that not be delicious. This dish is so yummy and so quick to make. Chicken Scampi with Garlic Parmesan Rice is going to be a regular in your menu planning.

Chicken Scampi with Garlic Parmesan Rice

This meal takes just over 30 minutes from start to finish. That makes it perfect for a busy night of extra activities. I like to make this one when we have plans to go to weeknight movie – it is filling enough to get them through the show without needing all that popcorn!

The light breading on the chicken makes the kiddos happy – they think they are getting chick strips for dinner! And the big bold garlic flavor is going to the keep the grown-ups happy with this classic paring of Italian flavors. I think this dish fits in pretty perfectly with my Let’s Get Fancy Recipe Collection.

I have learned that a “Fish Flipper” is the best to use for pan frying the chicken tenderloins. Since they are long and skinny, the Fish Flipper makes is easier to maneuver them around the pan. I have a nylon one for my ceramic coated pans and a metal one for my cast iron pans and I use them for almost every meal!

You can also use this rice recipe for lots of different meals or even as a quick and easy lunch. It goes great with a nice Steak or Pork Tenderloin – or you could get real fancy and serve it with Shrimp Scampi.

Garlic Parmesan Rice

I think this dish will definitely be a great addition to your weekly menu rotation. If you like this recipe and want to get more like it, you can purchase the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook in Paperback or Kindle (eBook) versions through Amazon.

Now Let’s Get Cookin’!

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Beer Battered Onion Rings a Featured Favorite!

I just love that people are taking a liking to the recipes. Today, Busy Being Jennifer along with Jerri at Simply Sweet Home, Lisa at Condo Blues, Amy at A Day of Small Things, and Penny at Penny’s Passion listed the Beer Battered Onion Rings recipe as a favorite on this last week’s recipe round – Friday Favorites! This recipe is so easy and so yummy. You may even get your kiddos to try out the onions with this crispy goodness. And if you are just looking for some good old pub food while social distancing – I got you!

Busy Being Jennifer Features Beer Battered Onion Rings

If you haven’t tried these Beer Battered onion Rings yet – you are seriously missing out. They are so crispy and crunchy and the perfect weekend side dish for your burgers, chicken, ribs, brisket, really anything that came off the grill!

Here is the recipe if you missed it:

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Beer Battered Onion Rings

Super crispy, super easy and the perfect side to a tasty burger!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword burger, onion rings, Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 Yellow Onion cut into rings no more than ½ in thick
  • cup Flour
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 12 oz Beer (Lager is best)
  • 4 cups Oil

Instructions

  • Prepare all of the ingredients. Add oil to large wide pan (like a large saute pan). Bring oil up to 400 deg.
  • Mix flour, salt, paprika and baking soda together. Coat each onion ring in the flour and set aside.
  • Mix beer into flour mixture. It should be the consistency of pancake batter
  • Once oil is hot enough, dip a floured onion ring in the beer batter and coat completely. Gently drop into oil and let cook until brown then flip and cook until brown again. Remove to a cooking rack over paper towels. Serve immediately.

If you like this recipe and want to see what other recipes I have to offer – You can purchase the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook in Paperback or Kindle (eBook) versions through Amazon to get all of the recipes.

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