Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What's for dinner Wednesday - Week 5

"What's for dinner Wednesday"

This is the final post for this series!  I hope you have enjoyed it and been inspired with your meal planning! 
Asian Orange Chicken

This was a HUGE hit in our home!  Something definitely out of the ordinary.  I didn't read through all the instructions ahead of time and realized, a little too late, that I was suppose to marinate the chicken in the sauce for at least 2 hours...woops.  That didn't happen since there wasn't enough time...but it turned out just fine with skipping that step!  I will for sure be making this again in the future!

photo courtesy of
  • Sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (I used gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Chicken:
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used brown rice flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Pour 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce into a saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir in the orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, chopped onion, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and cool 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Place the chicken pieces into a resealable plastic bag. When contents of saucepan have cooled, pour 1 cup of sauce into bag. Reserve the remaining sauce. Seal the bag, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  3. In another resealable plastic bag, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the marinated chicken pieces, seal the bag, and shake to coat.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken into the skillet, and brown on both sides. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels, and cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Wipe out the skillet, and add the sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Mix together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water; stir into the sauce. Reduce heat to medium low, add the chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Happy Eating!!
In case you missed it:
"What's for dinner Wednesday" - Week 1
"What's for dinner Wednesday" - Week 2
"What's for dinner Wednesday" - Week 3
"What's for dinner Wednesday" - Week 4

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What's for dinner Wednesday - Week 4

"What's for dinner Wednesday"

(Recipe from Gluten Free Homemaker )
Photo courtesy of an image search
This was so quick and easy and my 8 year old had fun helping me make it!  Definitely something you could double up on and freeze a tray for another meal too!  You can also add more ingredients to this as it is very basic...things like bell peppers, olives, cilantro, corn, or black beans would all be great!  And of course enchilada sauce, sour cream, salsa, or guacamole to top it off!
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 onion, chopped
1 can refried beans
8 oz. tomato sauce
Corn tortillas, cut in strips
Shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

  1. Brown the beef and sauté the onion in a skillet.
  2. Add the seasoning mix and prepare according to the package.
  3. Combine the beans and tomato sauce and place a little of this mixture in the bottom of a greased 2 quart casserole dish.
  4. Add a layer of tortillas, putting them on any way you want to cover the space, but overlapping them some.
  5. Add half the beef mix, spreading it out to the edges.
  6. Sprinkle on cheese to cover (how much depends on how cheesy you like it).
  7. Spread half the remaining beans on top.
  8. Repeat layers of tortillas, beef, cheese, and beans. Top with some additional cheese, or reverse the last two layers so that the beans go on top of the beef and you end with cheese.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Happy Eating!!

In case you missed it:
"What's for dinner Wednesday" - Week 1
"What's for dinner Wednesday" - Week 2
"What's for dinner Wednesday" - Week 3

Please Subscribe here if you don't want to miss upcoming posts or find me on Facebook!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What's for dinner Wednesday - Week 3

"What's for dinner Wednesday"
Breakfast Casserole (because who says it's only for breakfast)
I don't know about you but I don't have time in the mornings, typically, to make a big fancy breakfast.  For us it's usually the Bobs Red Mill instant steel cut oatmeal, cereal and toast, or throwing some pre-cut/frozen pieces of sausage into the toaster oven and scrambled eggs.  So I love this idea of doing breakfast for dinner once a month because I can actually make those things I don't normally get to make!  This turned out so good and there was plenty leftover for us to have for breakfast!! 
Breakfast Casserole:1/2 pound of meat (Bacon, Sausage, Ham, or a combination of any)
1/2 cup onion (chopped)
1/2 cup green bell pepper (Chopped)
12 eggs
1/2 cup milk (I use 1%)
1/2 cup water
1 package (about 16 ounces) fresh hash brown potatoes or frozen hash browns-thawed
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dill weed
Begin by cooking the bacon, sausage, or any other meat of your choice. Cut the meat into bite size pieces. While the meat is cooking, chop the onion and green pepper, set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the 12 eggs, milk, water, salt, pepper, and dill weed. Add the meat, hash browns, cheese, onion, and pepper to the egg mix. Combine thoroughly.
Pour the whole mix into a 9x13 baking dish. Spread the mixture around in the baking dish to even it out. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Happy Eating!!
In case you missed it:
"What's for dinner Wednesday" - Week 1
"What's for dinner Wednesday" - Week 2

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What's for dinner Wednesday - Week 2

"What's for dinner Wednesday"
Turkey Burger with Avacado Cream Sauce

I had never made anything like this before so it was fun trying something new!  It was super easy to make and very delicious too!  I got this recipe from my good friend and fellow homeschool mom, Anna Lindsey, who has her own food blog:  She has a good variety of options from main meals to desserts and vegetarian to gluten free too!  She strives to cook whole food meals verses canned/pre-packaged meals.  So you know what you are making is going to be good for you and your family.
Photo courtesy of lindsey clan kitchen
1 cup of fresh or frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup red onions, chopped
1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound ground turkey breast

1 ripe avocado, peeled
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt

For burgers: In large skillet saute corn, onion, red pepper, jalapeno in oil until crisp-tender. Stir in lime juice, garlic, salt, cumin, chili powder and oregano and saute 1 more minute. Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly. Crumble turkey over mixture and mix well. Shape into four burgers and refrigerate for 30+ minutes. Broil the burgers 4 inches from the heat for 5-7 on each side.

For sauce: In a small bowl mix all sauce ingredients together. Refrigerate until serving.
Eat Burger on a bun/bread of your choice!

Happy Eating!!

In case you missed it:
"What's for dinner Wednesday" - Week 1

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What's for dinner Wednesday - Week 1

During the Month of October I decided to do a series called, "What's for dinner Wednesday." 
We all get stuck in a rut when it comes to the meals we make and the motivation to plan ahead.  I can't even count the number of times I have stood looking in my fridge or cupboards at 4:45 racking my brain on what to make.  I have recently been inspired to create a meal plan and venture out and try new things.  So each week I will be highlighting some of these meals...and hopefully inspire you too!

This week I just want to focus on the idea of planning your meals out in advance.   Being intentional in planning out your meals is such a great way to help manage your day and keep you from losing your mind (thanks, "A Busy Homeschool Moms Guide to Daylight" for reminding me of this). 

If you google meal plans you are going to come across a bazillion ideas and it can feel overwhelming.  So here are my suggestions....1) Pay out a few dollars a month and have a monthly  meal plan along with grocery shopping list emailed to you by going to eMeals.   You can choose from several meal plan options including: gluten free, low carb, clean eating, vegetarian, natural & organic, low fat and portion control.  You can also choose from a menu for 1-2 people or 3-6 people.  A 12 month membership is $58 which is the best value at $5 per month.  Or 2) create your own monthly meal plan (that is what I did). 

I printed up blank calanders here.  Then I thought of themes for my monthly calender such as Asian, Mexican, Italian, Crockpot, Home Cook Meal, Leftovers, Vegetarian, Breakfast for Dinner, etc...I added those on first then added in my specific meals under the themes.  Please note, you don't have to assign meals to a day either.  You can simply plan out however many meals you desire for the week and have all the ingredients on hand for whenever you choose to make each one!

Here is my example

Monday-leftovers, take-out, sandwiches or crockpot (my daughter is doing dance this year which goes from 5:00-5:55 so this night has to be something quick and ready to go when we get home or takeout)
Tuesday - Rotate between Mexican theme and Breakfast for Dinner
Wednesday-Rotate between 1) Oldest child picking the meal & helping me cook, 2) Asian, and 3) Vegetarian
Thursday - Crockpot (If its a soup I typically make enough for several more meals which I divide up into gallon bags and freeze and save some out for lunch the next day)
Friday - Rotate between homemade pizza and Italian
Saturday - leave this open as we usually are on the go
Sunday - Home cooked meal

Once I got my themes in place,  I then got specific ideas through my cookbooks, food blogs and online recipes.  For cookbook meals I wrote the cookbook name and page number on my calendar.  For recipes I found online I printed them right away and added them behind my calendar for quick access.

So a more specific Monthly Meal Plan would look like this:

Week 1

Monday-Chicken & Rice soup in Crockpot (plenty extra to freeze for future quick meal)
Tuesday - Mexican Lasagna
Wednesday-Orange Chicken over rice
Thursday - Sweet Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup in crockpot
Friday - Homemade Pepperoni Pizza and salad
Saturday - leave this open as we usually are on the go
Sunday - Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, and Broccoli

Week 2

Monday-Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches w/Apple slices

Tuesday - Breakfast Casserole
Wednesday-Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
Thursday - Taco Soup in Crockpot (Froze extra)
Friday - Penne w/sausage and roasted peppers
Saturday - leave this open as we usually are on the go
Sunday - Glazed Chicken with pineapple salsa over rice

Week 3

Monday-leftover taco soup that I had froze from week before
Tuesday - Beef Enchiladas
Wednesday-Oldest picks Lasagna to help me make
Thursday - White Bean Chicken Chili in Crockpot
Friday - Homemade Canadian Bacon & Pineapple Pizza
Saturday - leave this open as we usually are on the go
Sunday - Homemade fishsticks, Rice Pilaf, and Corn

Week 4

Monday- Pick up Taco Time on way home from dance

Tuesday - Blueberry Pancakes
Wednesday-Ginger Peanut Shrimp stir fry
Thursday - Beef Stew in Crockpot
Friday - Fettucchine w/Chicken, spinach, and orange sauce
Saturday - leave this open as we usually are on the go
Sunday - Sheperds Pie

My experience with meal planning has been wonderful so far.  It is so nice to know ahead of time what the plan is for dinner and that I have all the ingredients needed.  It has really helped me manage my days better and feel more on top of things. 

Stay tuned next week as I share a delicious meal idea in the, "What's for dinner Wednesday" series!

For other meal planning inspiration check out:
Confessions of a homeschooler
Meal Planning Mommies
This Week For Dinner
I'm An Organizing Junkie

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