Happy June! This is my last monthly menu plan for a while – we are moving in August so I will be spending July trying to use up the odds and ends in the pantry and using shorter-term planning to really hone in on what I already have. I usually do grocery shopping once a week, but last month I planned ahead and purchased all of our meat the beginning of the month. I really liked doing one meat prep, pre-cooking and portioning chicken for salads, chopping, and otherwise just making prep work easier for the rest of the month. I don’t know why I haven’t been doing this all along with these monthly meal plans, because it did make dinner time go very smoothly all month long. All that to say, I was just at the store yesterday and I did the same thing.
I picked up two cookbooks from the library this month – Thug Kitchen, which is all plant-based/vegan, and You Have It Made. I borrowed You Have It Made a few months ago, so I already knew that it had more recipes that I wanted to try. Most specifically I wanted to take a look at the salads because she puts together some really interesting ones. I picked up Thug Kitchen to take a look at making my own vegetable broth (super simple, by the way), and ended up bookmarking at least two dozen recipes with post its. I am trying several recipes from each book this month before returning them to the library.
- Whole chicken in the slow cooker with hummus, pita, and raw veggies (cucumbers, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and olives) – Sometimes I just buy a rotisserie chicken and BAM – a healthy, no cook dinner. Making my own chicken this time means a little more meat leftover for chicken soup this week and chicken, broccoli, & rice later in the month.
- Slow cooker maple & dijon pot roast – It’s been a few months since I’ve made this one! I’m going to prep the night before so I can just turn on the slow cooker in the morning. This recipe suggests serving with grits, and yeah, that is really tasty, so I also recommend grits if you have the time (I use this recipe, which is actually for polenta, but hey, it’s still creamy cornmeal). If I’m short on time I’ll pull out some egg noodles.
- Maple mustard chicken thighs – prepping this one for the freezer! I have made chicken thighs in my slow cooker using the maple mustard and sweet and sour marinades from this list and both came out great! Cook boneless skinless chicken thighs for 4-6 hours on low.
- Creamy Tomato Soup from The Complete Slow Cooker – This is a family favorite that always turns out excellent.
- Rosemary chicken thighs
- Chicken noodle soup – It’s only going to be in the 80s here this week; that’s soup weather, right? 😉 But seriously, don’t let the bones go to waste!
- BBQ bean burritos with grilled peach salsa from Thug Kitchen – Reviewing this recipe, it is really 3 recipes in one – rice, salsa, and finally burritos – so there will be some decent prep work involved. Hopefully it will all pay off!
- Chicken, broccoli, and rice – I make a deconstructed version of the classic casserole, but with a lot more broccoli and probably a bit less chicken.
- Beef tacos with pineapple guacamole from Thug Kitchen – Now that I am writing this, I can see the irony of pairing beefy tacos with a recipe from a vegan cookbook…
Last month I made the broccoli cheddar quiche from You Have It Made, although due to some menu shuffling it ended up being a breakfast item instead of dinner. I don’t have anything special planned for egg nights this month, just our basic scramble with lots of veggies!
- Layered farro salad with kale, feta, and grapes from You Have It Made
- Berry chicken poppy seed salad – Last month I made this with the dressing from this recipe. I’ve made it a few times before and it is fine, but I am pretty sure we have some of this poppy seed dressing lying around, and it goes really well with this salad too.
- Red cabbage & kale salad from You Have It Made – I’m adding some baked chicken breast to this one, and will probably substitute pepitas for sunflower seeds because I have a bunch.
- Southwestern salad – As I have said before, I make different variations of this recipe with black beans, pinto beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes, and salad greens. Last time I added some cheese, and completely forgot about the pepitas. Don’t worry, pepitas, I’m still coming for you. The cilantro-lime vinaigrette I made last month was good, but this time I really might just squeeze some lime on top and call it a day.
- Grilled eggplant with soba noodles from Thug Kitchen – I usually think of pasta night being more Italian-influenced dinners, but really why not throw in some Asian noodles to mix things up? I couldn’t find soba noodles at the commissary, so I ventured out to Earth Fare today to get some. I’m going to try cooking the eggplant under the broiler because I don’t have a grill and I’ve broiled eggplant a couple of times now. Overall this seems like it should be a quick and easy recipe.
- Lemony broccoli pasta – Fast to make and my kids love the “worms”! I know I have said it before, but my kids will eat this as is – pasta and broccoli being mixed together, with lemon and all. That is a big deal around here!
- Pasta with pesto
- Fettuccini with vegetable bolognese from You Have It Made – There is no meat in this recipe, and I could not be more excited to try it.
- Fast and Easy Pasta with Blistered Cherry Tomato Sauce – My favorite, super fast sauce. Remember to dry the tomatoes on a towel after you rinse them to stop them from exploding all over your kitchen.