Happy New Year! I’ve been listening to fireworks all day today – no one does New Year’s Eve fireworks like Hawaii! After six long months, I am happy to announce the return of my monthly menu plan. My nights have switched around a bit since I last shared a monthly menu plan. It feels less festive than Fridays deserve to be, but since Fridays look like they are going to be the busiest night of the week for a while, I decided to make them leftovers night for the quickest, easiest possible dinner. I rounded out the weekdays with other meals that I can prepare with a bunch of kids underfoot – some less than fussy salads, eggs, meats, and soups, many of which can be made ahead. I stuck new-to-me recipes on Sundays, when my husband will be home to wrangle our kids in case things go terribly wrong. Pizza, which is easy to scale up and share with visitors, got Saturdays, the day we would be most likely to have other people over.
I decided to try out a new program to make the printable menu this month. If you want to print this menu plan, you can just click on the image below and it will open the full-sized image in a new tab. I scaled it to be 8.5×11, or the size of a standard piece of printer paper, so it is ready to print.
- Black Bean Veggie Burgers from You Have It Made – We got some take out from Down to Earth, and one of the stand-out items was the Black Bean & Roasted Beets Burger. My 5-year-old, who is really into the idea of burgers right now, said she would eat it again, so I’m trying this homemade variety, which also contains beets and can be made ahead.
- Barley Stuffed Peppers from Thug Kitchen – These kind of remind me of the pepperoni pizza quinoa stuffed peppers that I love, but you know, vegan. I will probably set some of the filling aside to increase the chances of my kids trying it.
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts Bowls – This recipe has been on my “to make” list for a while. I will probably use some chicken sausage instead of veggie sausage, we will see what the store has in stock.
- Roasted Chickpea and Broccoli Burritos – Six months ago, I made Thug Kitchen’s BBQ Bean Burritos with Grilled Peach Salsa and they were phenomenal. Like, hands down the best burritos I have ever made at home and probably the best burritos I’ve had outside of little burrito shops when I was in college. These chickpea and broccoli burritos look like a lot less work, but the authors say they are a fan favorite. Fingers crossed that they are just as tasty!
- Kale and Apple Salad with goat cheese and candied walnuts – We’ve eaten this salad several times in the last few weeks because it is so fast to throw together. I like to add some baked chicken breast to make it a meal (note that the recipe is for a “side salad”) and I swap goat cheese for blue cheese because that is my preference.
- Asian chicken salad – Prepare the chicken breasts ahead of time and this is a super fast dinner
- Farro Salad with Kale and Grapes from You Have It Made – I was asking my family what they want to eat this month, and one of my kids said, “I like farro!” We’ve been eating farro a lot lately, but I decided to throw in this salad for her.
- Southwestern Salad from You Have It Made – I’m feeling inspired to up my southwestern salad game after trying so many salads this summer. Ellie Krieger’s salad calls for jicama, an ingredient that I haven’t used since 2011! It wasn’t a great experience, which is why I haven’t really used it since then – hopefully this goes better.
- Ginger Peach Chicken – My tips for this recipe are 1) slice the onions very thin – I use my food processor’s slicing disc and 2) cook the chicken WITHOUT the peaches, then add the peaches in for the last 30 minutes
- Pot Roast – Prep for this always takes me a while so I will probably start it the night before
- Chicken Parmesan Burgers – I made these for the first time since 2016ish a few weeks ago when my burger-lover started asking for burgers. She liked it (with no sauce and cheese on the side) and asked to have them again. If you’ve never used ground chicken, these are worth a try!
- Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker – save some extra meat for chicken noodle soup
- Spaghetti and Meatballs – As I have previously described, I make this sauce with these meatballs in my 7.25 quart Dutch oven. Basically, I start the sauce, then start the meatballs, and pop them into the pot after I broil them. I use all of the meat to make meatballs, instead of using some to make the sauce a meat sauce (doing this yields me about 32 meatballs instead of 16). It is time consuming but oh so good. I’ll be working on this on a weekend and then freezing the meatballs and sauce to use on a week night.
(Our 1-year-old eats what we eat, and she really likes soup. Feeding her with the spoon is hit or miss, because she likes to feed herself. Right now, one of my favorite ways to feed her soup is by dipping chunks of bread in the soup and letting her feed herself the soupy bread.)
- Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup
- Creamy Tomato Soup from The Complete Slow Cooker – This is still my kids’ favorite soup
- Cheesy Cauliflower and Potato Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Winter Lentil Soup from Easy, Delicious Meals
I haven’t made pizza in the longest time, not because I have stopped eating pizza, but because there is actually a really great pizza place nearby (Boston’s Pizza, if you are on Oahu). I think there is a 50/50 chance I will make pizza versus ordering some take out, we will see where the weeks take me. This is the crust recipe I typically use and this is the sauce.
Notes about side dishes –
- I use “green veggies” and “salad” pretty interchangeably, but my goal is to have a bunch of veggies at dinner every night, and especially a bunch of green veggies. I keep it vague on my menu plan and then usually look for the best looking, most reasonably priced stuff when I’m at the store.
- Similarly, I have listed “bread” as a side dish several times, but depending on the night that might be homemade biscuits, an artisan loaf, buttermilk bread, cornbread, or even some Annie’s crescent rolls.
- Adults – Some combination of leftovers, egg & cheese sandwiches, PB&J sandwiches, yogurt, cheese & crackers, fruit, raw veggies, hummus
- Kids – PB&J sandwiches/crackers, mac&cheese, cheese & crackers, fruit, raw veggies
Cereal, yogurt, smoothies, fruit, oatmeal