Monday, October 8, 2007

Menu Plan Monday--

Last week we tried steaks with pepper sauce and really liked it. I also made ham and cheese stuffed manicotti. I had made these in the past, but it had been several years. We really like this as well. I will post the recipe below. I've been bad about doing my reviews, but I wanted to add that we tried the orange chicken and really, really liked it. We'll certainly be having it again!! Logan isn't much of a meat eater...and he especially isn't fond of chicken. However, I made him try this and he loved it. He even told me about a week later out of the blue, "I like orange chicken"!!

Also, if you read my MPM last week, you already know that we are challenging ourselves to not eat out in October. I know it is only one week in, but so far, so good. I will update you each week and at the end of the month I will update again with a total spent on groceries this month versus last month. That is another area we are working on. Last week we did very well, but this week it was higher. I had a few specialty things on my list and bought a few things that weren't on my list, but all in all, I'd say I did pretty well. As you can see, I don't have any carry over meals....I made all of my meals last week!!

Another big thing this week.....Logan turns 5!! I can hardly believe it. Typically we have gone out to eat, but this time we are making his favorite food at home (pizza) and letting him help make a cake. He'll love that!! We are waiting until the weekend to celebrate. Actually, we haven't even bought his gift yet. We are getting him a is he going to be excited!! We don't have any family that lives real close, so it will just be us, but we will still have a party (pirate theme)!! My little monkey is growing up WAY too fast!!

On to my plan....

Monday--bacon cheeseburgers, sweet potato fries

Tuesday--(Logan turns 5!!) spaghetti, bread, salad, and some sort of special treat (we'll have his party on Saturday...with pizza and cake)

Wednesday--chicken, pasta, corn, asparagus

Thursday--Shepherd's Pie (scroll down in that post for the recipe)

Friday--pork noodle soup (recipe below), grilled cheese sandwiches

Saturday--PARTY TIME!!--homemade pizza* (tomato and cheese for Logan and Lucas; tomato, cheese, pepperoni, and sausage for mom and dad!), cake* (I'm taking a bit of a risk and trying a new recipe...I hope it turns out!)


For more menu plan Monday fun, head on over to Laura's at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Stuffed Manicotti with Ham and Cheese
(From: Great Taste-Low Fat by: Time Life Books)

16 manicotti shells
7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves (I used about 1 T. dried parsley)
2 scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces
1.5 cups low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3/4 cup reduced sodium baked ham, finely chopped
1/3 cup diced Provolone cheese
2/3 cup thin strips of Provolone cheese
14.5 ounce can no-salt-added stewed tomatoes, chopped with their juices
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped (I used about 2 T dried basil)
1/4 cup no-salt-added tomato paste
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/8 t. hot pepper sauce

1. Spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In large pot of boiling water, cook manicotti until almost tender. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain again. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a blender or food processor, puree the roasted peppers, parsley, and scallions until smooth. Scrape the puree into a large bowl and stir in cottage cheese, peas, ham, and diced Provolone. Spoon the mixture into a sturdy plastic bag (like a Ziploc) and snip off a bottom corner. Pipe the mixture into the manicotti and place the shells into the prepared baking dishes. (I just used a baby spoon to scoop the mixture and fill the shells. I used the other method the first time I made this and had trouble with the peas and ham clogging the hole.)

3. In a small bowl, stir together the tomatoes with their juices, basil, tomato paste, oregano, and hot pepper sauce and spoon the mixture over the manicotti. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes, or until the manicotti is piping hot. Remove the foil, sprinkle the Provolone strips on top, and bake for 3 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted.

Asian Pork and Noodle Soup--great for using up leftover pork loin!!
(from a Betty Crocker cookbook that you find near the register...January 2002)

1 pound pork boneless sirloin or loin, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 t. finely chopped ginger root (I omit this)
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) chicken broth
2 cups water
2 T. soy sauce
2 cups (4 ounces) uncooked fine egg noodles--think thin like Ramen noodles
1 med. carrot, sliced
1 small red bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cups fresh spinach leaves

1. Spray 3-quart saucepan with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add pork, garlic, and ginger root; stir-fry 3-5 minutes or until pork is brown (I skip this step because I use leftover pork loin when I make this.)

2. Stir in broth, water, and soy sauce. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes. Stir in noodles, carrot, and bell pepper. Simmer uncovered about 10 minutes or until noodles are tender.

3. Stir in spinach. Cook until heated through.

**This soup freezes great!!


Natalie said...

One word: YUMMY!

Karen said...

Sounds great, Happy Birthday to the little one!!

Tiany said...

Wow, everything looks and sounds so good! Thanks for all the great recipes!!!

ScrapFairy said...

Happy Birthday to your son. And your menu looks great, the orange chix looks yum.

Amy said...

Yum-E! LOL What tasty pictures. LOL Have a great week!

tegdirb92 said...

what a delicious meal plan--we love orange chicken!!

Robin said...

Hope you have a fun and memorable birthday celebration. Keep up the good job of not eating out. It's hard not to give in. I admire your effort.

Have a great week.

Michelle said...

Oh Those all sound so great!!!Especially the Ham & Cheese Manicotti.Will have to try that!!!Thanks for posting.ANd Happy Birthdday Logan!!!!I hope the day is great ;=)Michelle in Canada

Nicole said...

Great menu! Good luck on not going out to eat. :)

Zen Master said...

Yummy Looking pictures.


Precious_1 said...

Looks yummy! Enjoy your little one's party!

Kathryn said...

Sounds like a yummy week. Hope your son has a wonderful birthday!

KC said...

Yum Yum yum.
Happy 5th birthday to Logan.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Thanks for all the great recipes you just listed. I need some more to add to my repertoire.

Happy Birthday, Logan!

Nichole said...

Ooo, bacon cheeseburgers sound so good! Those may show up on our menu next week. :)

Happy birthday to Logan!

Carolyn F said...

Yum -- my MPM is up!

Sonya said...

Ok, now I'm gonna have to try that orange chicken recipe! Your menu sounds yummy! I've gotta get back into doing my MPM!

Sandra said...

Oh YUM....I'm so glad you enjoyed the steaks and let me know what you think of the pizza too :)

That manicotti is going on my menu for next week.....YUMMY!