Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Meals for the Week of November 7, 2011

Issues with lack of Internet waylaid me from posting at the end of last week with meals for the week of October 31st, my apologies for that.  But I come this week bearing gifts.  This week I hosted in my home a cooking session with women from my Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group.  The idea was that they could bring their kids and we could also cook.  So it was a play date and cooking date.  It was a high energy couple of hours but we made 3 different things for 5 families.   We made some recipes I have shared here;  baked rigatoni with sausage, butternut squash and kale, a meatless marina sauce and Parmesan Chicken nuggets which I have listed this week. 

Parmesan Chicken- we froze them unbaked so everyone could take them home to bake when they wanted.
The Parmesan Chicken bakes up so crispy and delicious!

Baked Rigatoni with Sausage, Butternut Squash and Kale

Afterward, I was thinking about how to facilitate more cooking dates like that and I also remembered that long ago I created some templates for weekly meal plans and labels for freezing meals.  So I wanted to share those with you this week and hope that they will come in handy for you.

Freezer labels- Ready to print on Avery 5164 (or equivalent) labels. 

Meal Planning Template- It's an Excel file that you can keep on your computer, fill out and print each week.  It includes breakfast, lunch and dinner which you may find helpful for creating your entire shopping list or helping with planning what to pack for lunch for work or school.

This week we continue with great fall foods using seasonal ingredients and some inexpensive and quick weeknight meals.  I also have two side dishes that you might be interested preparing for the holidays.

Meals for the Week of November 7, 2011

Butternut Squash or Pumpkin Chili- Totally perfect for fall. 

Taco Cupcakes- I love the idea of making mini servings of things in cupcake pans.  These are fun for kids or would be great for a party. 

Spaghetti Squash Marinara with Italian Sausage- Instead of pasta, use delicious spaghetti squash.  You can make the squash in advance and then re-heat and add your favorite pasta sauce.
Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Feta and Pine Nuts- Very simple stuffed chicken.  Pine nuts can be pricey but this recipe calls for just a mere 2 tablespoons. If you

Parmesan Chicken- Homemade chicken nuggets breaded with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.  You could also serve them with marinara sauce and cheese.  I highly recommend taking the time to prep a large batch, spread them on a pan and freeze, once frozen they can be transferred to a freezer bag or container, then they can be ready to bake when you want.

Taco Mac- A macaroni casserole with taco seasoned meat and tomatoes.  Yum.

Apple and Cheddar Whole Wheat Quesadillas-This can certainly be a snack, but I consider quesadillas my go-to meal for a busy night.  Have a salad or tomato soup on the side and it’s a complete meal.

Turkey Meatloaf- A tasty and lower fat alternative to traditional beef meatloaf.

Easy Italian Pasta Bake- You can make this ahead to bake later, or if you have pre-cooked ground meat on hand you can use it in this.  It’s healthy with whole wheat pasta and use ground turkey instead of beef to make it even healthier.

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup- Not your usual chicken noodle soup.  Recipe suggests using precooked chicken to speed up the cooking which makes it quick for a week night meal.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos- A bunch of cilantro is so inexpensive and this dish is easy.  She also provides instructions for making it as a freezer meal.

Butternut Squash with Sage-  This is a classic flavor combination. You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to make this, give it a try and if you love it, then serve it again for the holiday.

Mashed Potatoes with Brown Butter, Goat Cheese and Sage- If you are open to  trying something new for Thanksgiving instead of basic mashed potatoes, you MUST try these.  THE BEST.  Seriously.  Do it.

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