Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Food System for Big Families

Thinking about dinner:  My least favorite thing.  Especially at 5:00, when everyone is home and needy and yipping around me like I'm the owner of a puppy mill.
So I created a system, and it's working pretty well.  Thought I'd share.
I print off a calendar for the month, and use this system to fill it in and plan the meals.  It is flexible, and if I have a day that crowds out dinner prep, there are a lot of back-up plans built in.  I try to have dinner mostly made before the kids come home for school. This has saved me a lot of stress and money, and seems to be a healthier choice, offering variety and seasonal selections.

Before I begin, I'd like to remind everyone that it has taken me YEARS to get this going.  If you like the idea, start small.  Take a little portion of your budget and just start with ONE thing.  If everyone in your family likes spaghetti, for example, then when your favorite sauce is on sale, buy 3 extra.  3 bags of pasta, three cans of sauce, and 3 cans of beans, and you suddenly have a 3 month supply of one meal that your family will eat.  Something is better than nothing.  

Every Monday is chicken.  (I buy chicken on sale and keep it in the freezer.  I also can chicken with the pressure cooker--time consuming, but really handy and thrifty.  I can make sure the chicken I can is good quality, with the fat trimmed and from a good source purchased on sale.)

Every Tuesday is beef. (Canned fat-free hamburger, canned roast, and then frozen sale meat and/or precooked and frozen hamburger.)

Wednesday is soup in winter, sandwiches or salad in summer.

Thursday is leftovers.  I often bake a double meal and freeze half, so that I can reheat it later if we are lacking leftovers on Thursday or if I need an easy meal for a crazy day.

Friday is kid food.

Saturday is casserole, other meat meal (not chicken or beef) or a frozen meal.

Sunday is something big or in the crock pot.

So, to fill in the calendar, I use this system:

1st Monday:  Chicken and Rice
2nd Monday:  Chicken and Potatoes
3rd Monday: Chicken and Pasta
4th Monday:  Chicken and Bread/Tortillas

1st Tuesday: Beef with Potatoes
2nd Tuesday:  Beef with Pasta
3rd Tuesday:  Beef with  Bread/Tortillas
4th Tuesday:  Beef with Rice

I try to use seasonal recipes, and to vary between tomato based, and cream based meals, between Italian, Mexican, Chinese and American dishes, and between rice, bread, potato and pasta.  
My goal for each meal is to offer 3 fruit/vegetable sides using raw and cooked/canned/steamed/frozen.
I shop sales, buying a year's worth of supplies at a time, and I keep the ingredients that store in my food storage, as I can't just run into the store for one thing and leave with just one thing. It's also reassuring to know that if something happens, lost job, natural disaster, etc., that I have a years' supply of food in my pantry that my children are used to eating, and that I will know how to cook.

In theory I should just have to go to the store for fresh stuff, milk and veggies once a week. This is still a place I am striving to improve. This saves us a lot of money, and allows me to stay home with our children.

Here are the tried and true meals that I use to fill in the calendar.  The recipes appear below in alphabetical order.  Often I'll plan one thing, and change it out with something easier, but if I keep the basic format, we still have variety.

1st MondayChicken with Rice   Choices include:
Chicken Bulkolgi                    Chicken Taco Shred
Chicken Marinate                    Cranberry Chicken
Chicken Rice Stuffing Bake   Hawaiian Haystacks  
Italian Chicken                        Orange Chicken         
SW Chicken and Rice             Sweet n Sour Chicken
Won Tons                                Salad Dressing Chicken
Pasta Roni with Chicken       

2nd Monday:  Chicken with Potatoes
Fried Chicken                         Chicken Marinate
Chicken Bulkolgi                    Parmesan Chicken
Chicken and Biscuits              Chicken Gravy on Potatoes
Salad Dressing Chicken         

3rd Monday:  Chicken with Pasta
Chicken Marinate        Tetrazzini Chicken
Chicken Parm              Ramen Deluxe
Fried Chicken             Salad Dressing Chicken
Parmesan Chicken       Pasta Roni Casserole

4th Monday: Chicken With Bread/Tortillas
Chicken Chili on Scones         Chicken Salad Croissants
Chicken and Biscuits              Chicken or Tuna Roll-ups
Chicken and Dumplings         Chicken Quesadillas
Chicken enchiladas                 Chicken Cordon Bleu Cass.
Won Tons

1st Tuesday:  Beef with Potatoes  Choices include:
Bulkolgi                                  Fricadellas
Meat Loaf                               Roast Beef in crock
S & c meat loaf                       Shepherd’s pie
Beef gravy on potatoes           Tater tot casserole
 2nd Tuesday:  Beef with pasta
Fricadillas                                Meat Balls in Crock pot
Meat Loaf                               S&C meat loaf
Sneaky shells and cheese        Spaghetti and meat balls
French dip                               Beef Stroganoff
Pasta Roni with Beef 

3rd TuesdayBeef with Bread/Tortillas
Beef Roll-ups                          Hamburgers on grill
Chili with Scones                    Burritos
Tacos                                       Hamburger Roll-ups

4th TuesdayBeef with Rice
Bulkolgi                                  Cherokee Casserole
Meat Balls in crock pot           Spanish Rice  
Sweet n sour meatballs           Rica a Roni casserole

Wednesday Soups:  Recipes under main meal recipes at bottom.

Thursday leftovers: or freezer meals

Friday Kid Food:
Pizza                                        Make your own pizza
Hot Dogs                                Corn Dogs      
Burritos                                   Tacos
Chicken Nuggets                    etc…

Saturday Casseroles:
Cherokee Casserole                             Chicken Enchiladas
Shepherd’s Pie                                    Zucchini Pie
Sneaky Shells and meatballs               Pizzeria Casserole
Spanish Rice                                       Sausage Stuff Broccoli Bake
Tater Tot casserole                              Zucchini Stir-fry
Chicken and Biscuits                         
Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole

Miscellaneous Meals:
Fried Rice with ham
Pizzeria Casserole
Noodle Stack
Funeral Potatoes w/ham

Sunday Meals:
Pot Roast                                            Pork Chops
Turkey Breast in crock                        Ham
Chicken in Crock                                Steak

Meat Loaf                                           Lasagna

Warning:  These recipes are written for me, so the instructions are somewhat vague.  Also, pay attention to the quantity, as some of these make a lot of food. (Some of these recipes are mine, others are blatantly stolen from family, friends and online.)

1 Can  beef
Beef Gravy
Mix together and pour over
Potato pearls—use pkg directions

1 lb. Beef, Chicken or Pork cut in slices
4 TBS Sugar
2 TBS Sesame Oil
6 TBS Soy Sauce
1 Green onion
1 clove garlic
4 TBS Prepared Sesame Seeds
Marinate meat for at least ½ hour.  Fry in oil, sesame is best.

3 lb. pork
16 oz. chunky salsa
1 can Dr. Pepper
2 c. brown sugar

Put pork in Crockpot and fill halfway with water.
Cook 4 hours on high.
Drain water, cut pork in thirds, mix together the other ingredients into a  sauce and pour on top.
Cook 4 more hours on low.
Drain some liquid and shred pork. (Save a little liquid and mix it in with the pork so it is really moist.)

1 Can chicken
Chicken Gravy
Potato Pearls


1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup onion chop
1/8 tsp Thyme
1/8 tsp Garlic power
1/8 tsp Oregano
1-16oz can tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp salt 
Dash of pepper
1 to 2 sm bay leaves
1 can Cr of Mush soup
1 can Olives chopped
Sautee in oil, add cooked rice, fish out the bay leaves, top with cheese.  Good with meatballs.  I double.

1 Can Cream of Celery Soup
1 Can Cream of Potato Soup
1 C milk
¼ tsp thyme
¼ tsp pepper
4 C cooked cut-up Veggies
2 C cooked chicken
1 pkg refrigerator biscuits

Mix all but biscuits and bake 400* for 15 min.  Then top with biscuits and bake 400* 15 more min.

3 roasted boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained
1 (11-ounce) can golden sweet corn, drained
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 large yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup jalapenos, drained and chopped
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander

Simmer for 5 to 6 hours in crock pot.  Doubling recipe fills the big crock pot.

4-5 Chicken breasts
8 oz mozzarella or Swiss
8 slices ham,  cubed
1 can cream of chicken soup
¼ C milk
2 tsp lemon pepper
1 pkg stuffing (dry)
¼ C butter
1/4 C hot water
Layer in pan chicken;  ham; soup mix with milk, and pepper; cheese.  Then mix together stuffing, butter, and water and put on top.
350* for 30 min
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons water
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
5 C cooked chicken
20 flour tortillas
2 cans cr of chicken
2 C Sour Cream
1 cup 2% milk
2 cans green chilies
2 C shredded cheddar
Place 1/4 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes. In a large bowl, combine the soup, sour cream, milk and chilies; pour over enchiladas.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-40 min
 Chicken – in bite-size chunks
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce,
1/2 Cup Oil and
1 can of 7-up
Yellow, red, orange peppers
Cherry tomatoes
Chicken- marinate (below)
Soak wooden K’bob sticks.
Alternate chicken with the veggie/fruit chunks of your choice.  Grill to perfection! 

½ C Soy sauce
½ C oil
1 Can Sprite

2 Cups bread crumbs
1 C parmesan cheese
Garlic Salt
Dip chicken in egg and then crumb mixture.  Fry in hot oil until browned.  Place in 9X11 pan and cover with spaghetti sauce.  Bake in oven 350* until chicken is cooked.  Top with more parmesan or mozzarella or both.  Serve over spaghetti or other pasta.
½ C Diced Onion
½ C Diced Celery
2 TBSP Butter
1 Can (14.5 oz) Chicken
1 C instant rice
1 can (10 oz) chicken
1 bag (6 oz) stuffing
1 packet turkey gravy
Chopped fresh parsley

Preheat to 350* Sautee onion and celery in butter.  Stir in rice, chicken and stuffing.  Pour into 11X7 dish.  Bake 30 min.  Prepare gravy and pour over before serving.
Jeri Keeley
1 Can Cooked Chicken
½ lb Purple Grapes, sliced
¾ C. Mayo
1 ½ TBS Ranch Dressing
½ C Slivered Almonds
½ tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
¾ C Chopped Celery
½ TBSP Lemon Juice
Combine and put in Croissants. 

4 Chicken Breasts
Cook in crock pot
Add salsa and taco seasoning
(Or use canned chicken)

2 lbs ground beef
1 C chopped onion
1 tsp crushed garlic
2 TBSP Chili Powder
2 Beef Bullion cubes
¾ tsp Paprika
½ tsp Oregano
½ tsp Cumin
½ tsp Cayenne
1 Can 28 oz Diced Tomatoes
1 Qt. tomato puree  (V8)
2 Cans 8 oz tomato paste
2 Cans kidney beans
1 Can Black beans
Salt and pepper
FRENCH DIP-fast meal

1 Can beef
Au Jus

Slice hoagie buns, butter and toast in the oven with a little garlic salt.  Cover with cream cheese.  Soak Roast beef in Au jus and the layer on top of cream cheese.  Cover with sharp cheddar, sautéed onions and bell peppers and toast or broil.  Dip in au jus. 

2 lbs ground beef
1 lb ground sausage
1 TBSP salt
½ chopped onion
2 eggs
1 scant c flour
½ tsp pepper
Mix all together and make into patties.  Fry in oil very slowly.  Make a milk gravy with the drippings.

3 Cups pancake mix
2 TBSP Lawrys Season Salt
2 tsp Pepper
1-2 C Crushed corn flakes
1 TBSP Basil
½ TBSP Oregano
Mix into one bowl to dip chicken in.
In another bowl, crack and beat 3-6 eggs.  Dip chicken in egg, then flour mix, then egg, then flour, then fry in oil about 375* for about 15 min on each side.
I use boneless skinless breast strips.

Scrambled Egg
Soy Sauce
Sesame oil


Canned Chicken
Sour cream
Mix above items
Cooked Rice
Cottage Cheese
Sunflower seeds
Chinese Noodles
Mandarin oranges

(Crock Pot)
4-5 chicken breasts
2 cans Cream of Chick Soup
1 8 oz block of cream cheese
1 packet Italian salad dressing      seasoning dry mix
½ C milk or 1 cube butter
Crock pot on low
Kind of chunk it.  Serve on rice.

Emily Ball
1 Jar Grape Jelly
1 Bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce

1 Egg
¾ c milk
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
½ C quick oats
½ C chopped onion
1 tsp Salt
1 lb lean ground beef
Mix well.  Shape into 8 loaves.
Place in greased jelly roll pan, lined with tin foil for easy clean –up if you wish.
2/3 C Ketchup
½  C Brown Sugar
1 ½ tsp. prepared mustard
Spoon this mixture over loaves.  Bake 350*  45 min.

Au jus
Fettuccini or linguini  pasta
Hard boiled egg
Cottage Cheese
Sunflower Seeds

3 lb boneless skinless chicken
3 cans orange soda (12 oz)
1 ½ C soy sauce
Put all in crock pot on low for 5-6 hours.  Serve over rice.

2 C bread crumbs or cereal
¾ C parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp pepper
¼ C dried parsley
2 tsp salt
Mix well.  Dip chicken in melted butter, then in crumb mixture.  Bake at 350 for 75 min.  Do not turn.  (Watch chicken.  75 might be way too long.)

Make box, add chicken and veggies.

Keeley cookbook
3 TBSP Yeast
3 TBSP Sugar
6 TBSP Oil
3 tsp. salt
¾ C warm water
2 ¼ C warm milk
6 ¾ C flour

8 oz (3 Cups) Mostaccioli Noodles Cooked
2 Cups pizza sauce
1/3 cup (2 oz) sliced pepperoni
1 ½ Cups cheese (6 oz) Mozzarella is good.
Olives if wanted
Put in Casserole dish
Bake 350 for 25 minutes.

Refried beans
Sour cream w/ taco mix and ranch and salsa

2 C flour
½ TB sugar
3 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Cut in ½  shortening (Crisco)
Stir in 1 egg and ¾ C milk.  Add a little flour until it becomes like bread dough.  Make it like cinnamon rolls, but for dinner with either Hamburger filling for Hamburger roll-ups or Tuna roll-ups.
Hamburger roll-ups:  Filling:
Hamburger, 3 TBS Flour ½ C milk.  Stir in pan over heat until thick. Cool.  Spread over dough and roll up like cinnamon rolls.  Bake roo for 20-25 min.  Top with spaghetti sauce.
Tuna roll-ups: 
Filling:  2 Can tuna, drain.  Add chopped onion, 1 egg, ½ tsp salt, dash of pepper, and ½ c grated cheese.  Spread on dough, roll up and cut.  Bake 400* 20-25 min.  Top with cream of Chicken Soup sauce. 


1 to 2 lbs hamburger cooked
1-2 cans tomato sauce
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
1-2 cans green beans
Pepper to taste
Mashed potatoes
Grated cheese
Cook 350 for 30 minutes.

Lisa Thomas

Boil one box of large pasta shells according to package directions, drain and cool
Pour 1/3 jar of Western Family spaghetti sauce (this is really the brand to use here) into the bottom of a 9 X13 pan  Wrap one meatball into one shell and place seam down in sauce.   Fill pan this way.  Drain one can jumbo black olives and pour whole olives on top of shells.
Cover the filled shells and olives with the remaining sauce.  Top with cheese. (Sharp cheddar is best.)
Bake 350* until hot–15-30 minutes.

3 lbs ground beef
½ C oatmeal
3 eggs
1 TBSP Lawrys
(Liption OSM or Cr of M)
Bake 350* about 1 hour

Jeri (Marlene)
6-8 Boneless, skinless breasts of chicken cut into chunks or strips
2C (give or take) Corn Starch
2 eggs, beaten
 2 C sugar
1 1/2 C. Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
3/4 C. Catsup
3 TBSP. Soy Sauce
Dip the chicken in the egg,
then roll in the cornstarch to cover. 
Fry in about 1/2 inch hot oil (375*) until both sides are light brown.

Put chicken in 9 by 13 Pyrex dish and cover with sauce.
2 C sugar
1 1/2 C. Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
3/4 C. Catsup
3 TBSP. Soy Sauce
 Pour over chicken.  Bake 325 for 1 hour (or 350 for 1/2 hr.)  Turn if you remember.
 I serve it over rice, or even rice and stir fried veggies.

Breasts and/or Thighs
1 Can Cranberry sauce
1 package onion soup mix
1 small bottle of Catalina salad dressing or Russian
Boneless skinless chicken  breasts or thighs
Mix ingredients.  If breasts, bake in oven for 20-40 minutes until cooked.  If thighs, bake in crock pot for 3-6 hours until done.  Make sure chicken is cooked through. 

Dump some dressing or barbeque sauce on some boneless skinless chicken in the frying pan.  Serve over rice.

1 pkg stuffing
1-2 box sausage, cut
Broccoli cooked
1-2 C mozz cheese
Mix and put in bottom of 9X13
1 Can C of Mush soup
1 C milk
9-12 eggs
Mix and pour over dry.
Top with cheese.
Bake 350 about 40 min or until solidly done.


4 Chicken breasts
1 C salsa or picante
1 pkg taco season
2 C water
2 C uncooked Minute Rice, or reg rice cooked 10 min longer later
1 Can black beans drained
Boil together until rice is cooked.
Sprinkle with cheese and sour cream.

2 TBSP Veg Oil
1 C uncooked White rice
1 onion, chopped
½  green bell pepper
Sautee above ingredients. Then stir in
2 C water
1 10 oz can diced tomatoes
Green chilies
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
Simmer 30 min.
I add beef, sausage or meatballs.

1 8oz can of Tomato Sauce
13oz can of Pineapple chunks – Drain-Keep juice
2 TBSP Soy Sauce
½ Cup Brown Sugar
½ Cup Vinegar
1 ½ tsp. Prep  Mustard
1 ½ tsp. Cornstarch-add after boiling
¼ Cup Water
Meat balls, cooked or store bought.  Set pineapple chunks, corn starch and meatballs aside.  Boil everything,
add cornstarch to thicken. 
Add Pineapple and cooked meat.   Serve over rice.

Mix Cream of mushroom soup with about 1/3 can milk and some frozen vegetables.  Put some tater tots and salt and pepper and cheese on top.  Bake 350* for ½ hour.


4 Cups chicken pieces
½ lb spaghetti
3 TBS butter
1 Cup chopped green pepper
1 ¼ Cup chopped onion (to taste)
4 Cups Monterey Jack Cheese – grated
2 Cans Cream of Mushroom soup
1 Soup can of Milk
Cook spaghetti according to package directions.   Sauté the onion, green paper, butter.  Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl
Cook 350 degrees 30 to 40 minutes until bubbly.


Dump one jar of canned hamburger into frying pan.  Add 1 pkt taco seasoning.


1 pk noodles, cooked
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1-2 bags Meatballs

1 pkg shredded cabbage
Cooked chicken or pork
Shredded carrot
Bean sprouts
Soy sauce
Sesame seed oil

Jeri Keeley
2   tablespoons Butter
4   cups grated zucchini.
1   cup chopped onions. 
2   TBS dried parsley flakes
1/2   tsp Garlic Salt
1/2   tsp pepper
1/2   tsp dried basil leaves
1/4   tsp dried oregano leaves
Sausage or hamburger cooked
2   Eggs, well beaten
2   cups shredded Muenster or mozzarella cheese (8 oz) to egg mixture.
1   can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
teaspoons yellow mustard

I usually double or triple it.  Cook zucchini for a minute or two and drain some of the liquid, then sauté the ingredients down to the sausages for a few minutes.  Add the sausage, eggs and cheese to the frying pan and cook for about 3-5 min.   Spread crescent dough in pie pan or pan you’re using, and coat with mustard.  Spread frying pan mixture on top of dough and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake 375* for about 20-30 minutes.  Cover with tin foil for first 20 min or so.  Slice with knife to see if cooked through.  
Can make individual baby pies with crescent rolls folded over.


Zucchini cubed
Onion, chopped
Sautee in olive oil.  Add fresh tomato or canned, basil, oregano, parsley, and garlic salt. 
Stir in sausage chunks.
Serve over pasta with cheese.


1 Box Rice-A-Roni , use
package directions.
Add one can garbanzo
beans, broccoli, 1 beef

bullion cube, meatballs.


Crock Pot
4 lbs beef stew meat cubed
1/2 C flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
2 bay leaves
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 onions chopped
3 C beef broth
6 diced potatoes
8 Sliced Carrots
1-2 stalks chopped celery

Place meat in slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, and pepper; pour over meat, and stir to coat meat with flour mixture. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth, potatoes, carrots, and celery. Crock Pot Low 10-12 hrs.  or High 4-5

2 TBSP Butter
2 TBSP Flour
½ C Chopped onion
1 C half-and-half
1lb Broccoli cooked
16 oz Velveeta Cheese
29 oz chicken broth
1 C shredded carrots
8 oz  (2 C) shredded cheddar
Salt and Pepper

Sautee onions and carrots in butter.  Stir in flour.  Cook about 1 min, then slowly add half-and-half, about ¼ C at a time, whisking until smooth and thick.  Add broccoli and Velveeta.  When cheese is melted, add chicken broth 1 C at a time until well-mixed and smooth.  Simmer 10 min.  Stir in Cheddar cheese and cook 10 more min.  Salt and pepper.

1 lb cooked ground beef
½ head med cabbage shredded
2 celery stalks chopped
1 small bell pepper chopped
1 med onion, diced
1 16 oz can kidney beans
1 28 oz can tomatoes chunks
4 beef bullion cubes
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp garlic salt
Salt and pepper.
28 oz water

1 C milk
1 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 ½ TBSP Butter
3 eggs
Blend milk and butter in saucepan.  Bring to boil.  Add flour slowly and stir until dough forms a ball that pulls away from sides of pan.  In mixing bowl, add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add salt.  Drop by spoonfuls into boiling broth.  When done, dumplings come to top.

1 lb 4 oz beans with Soak overnight.  Rinse.
 2 Quarts water boil with ham for 2 ½ hours
Add 1 C chopped onion, 14.5 oz diced tomatoes, 1 tsp chili powder, juice of on lemon, 1-2 cloves garlic.  Salt and pepper.
Cook another hour +

4 TBSP Butter
¾ C chopped onion
¼ C chopped celery
½ C chopped carrots
1 Can beans
½ C shredded Cabbage
1 Can 14.5 oz stewed tomatoes
1 TBSP Tomato paste
1 ½  C cubed potatoes
1 Q chicken broth
2 Cloves garlic minced
2 TBSP dried parsley
1 tsp salt
½ C pasta

Cook 1 hr. add pasta and ½ hr more and then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

6 potatoes cubed
6 C chicken Broth
1 TBSP onion flakes or some real onions
Boil until potatoes are soft
16 oz sour cream
12 oz can of evaporated milk
1 C grated cheddar.
5-6 strips of bacon
Add .

4 TB butter
2 Carrots finely chopped
1 C water
1 Gol Del apple chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 large onion finely chopped
2 Cans (14 ½ oz) chicken broth
1 can (29 oz) pumpkin
1 tsp salt
1 C heavy cream
Sautee veg and butter for 5 min.  add all but cream.  Simmer 30 min.
Hollow out little pumpkins, bake 375* 45 min with butter, salt and pepper.  Serve inside pumpkins.
(Can microwave pumpkin for 20 min instead.)

SPINACH SOUP  (creamy)

2 lbs frozen chopped spinach, thawed
4 Cup Water
8 tsp Chicken bullion granules
1 C chopped onion
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup flour
6 Cups half-and-half
Salt and pepper to taste

Place spinach, water, bullion, onion and garlic powder in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer until spinach is tender.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a  small saucepan and whisk in the flour until smooth.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Slowly stir in half-and-half; mix until smooth.  Pour it into the spinach and simmer until thickened (about 10 min).  Season to taste.

Crock Pot
1 lb hamburger cooked
¼ C taco seasoning mix
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can kidney beans drained
1 16 oz can tomatoes with juice
1 can chopped green chilies, drained
1 can sliced olives, drained
3 TBS ranch dressing or 1 pkt
Put into crock pot and  garnish with sour cream and chips.

4 TBSP butter
4 TBSP flour
8 C chicken broth
Make a roux using the bread and flour.  Add chicken broth to thicken
2 Can condensed Tomato soup
1 14.5 can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz can tom paste
2 C cooked chicken
2 oz diced gr chilies
2 oz chopped jalapeño
4 Tbs chopped onion
¾ tsp garlic pwdr
¾ tsp cumin
¾ tsp black pepper
¾ tsp chili powder
2 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
Simmer all about 45 min.

Cut up flour tortillas into 1” squares. Spray cookie sheet.  Broil until crispy.  Line bowls with chips and cheese for soup.

6 tablespoons butter
2-4 onions chopped
4 carrots chopped
2 TBSP minced garlic
10 lg chopped tomatoes
3 teaspoons sugar
3 TBSP tomato paste
6 cups chicken stock
2 TBSP kosher salt
4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
Croutons, for garnish

Sautee butter, onions and carrots and for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.
Use hand blender to puree.  Add cream.  Reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve with basil, cheese and/or croutons.

2 C finely chopped onion
2 C finely chopped carrot
1 C finely chopped celery
½ C Butter
Sautee until soft not brown
½ C flour  --  blend in
4 C chicken broth
Gradually stir in
4 C half and half
Stir in, then cook, stirring constantly. 
Then add:
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper
1 dash cayenne pepper
4 C diced cooked turkey
Stir a few minutes until it is all heated through.  Can use country gravy, corn, 2%, etc.


Make Ramen Noodles according to package directions.  Add egg, veggies, ham, etc…


Kristen said...

Great ideas. I have a similiar system because I think we talked about doing this forever ago. It is a great idea to vary the sides so you don't end up with rice four out of seven days like I did this week.

My schedule now is Mon - Soup/salad, Tues - Freezer Meal, Wed - Sandwich, Thurs- Leftovers or Freezer, Fri- Make something for yourself because I am either on a date or in my room reading, Sat - Breakfast, Sun - Whatever I want because I am resting and sometimes I rest with toasted cheese other times with a Martha Stewart Meal.

The best new things that I am doing are FREEZER MEALS! They take me an hour or so when I buy meat on sale, but make up for it on the days I work. The other thing is planning a menu for the month with stuff already in my pantry/ freezer. Then I do a little better on the grocery bill the rest of the weeks when I am buying cheese and fresh stuff. I have a bunch of my favorite recipes on pinterest.

And now I would like to create a loving tribute to your awesomeness, but I have to go to a parent meeting for the Robot Team because that is what Moms do for their technically minded sons instead of send love to their friends.

kristin said...

This is AWESOME! I am going to refer back to this post to get my meal planning back under control!


Jeri said...

Kristen S. You are really the one who taught me this, and I should have included you in the credits.
Could I have some of your freezer meal recipes? This is my favorite, too, and makes it easier to take a meal to someone if I want to, also.
You spend a lot of time doing boy stuff--you are THE MOM!