Weekly Meal Plan – A How-To Guide


Weekly Meal Plan - A How-To Guide

Ok, here’s how to do it! Here’s how to save a TON of money per month! It’s really simple, it’s really easy…. and I’ll give you a hint: It has to do with FOOD!

Yes — If you are anything like my husband and I, we eat out everyday for lunch…. breakfast too! And at night, we find it way too easy to give in to our daily cravings of whatever might come our way…. Maybe it was that Burger King that we drove by on the way home from work, that DQ commercial that we just saw on TV…. Or perhaps, we just feel unorganized and lazy and nothing seems more appealing than my absolute favorite go-to meal: Pizza!



Well, guess what…. those days are over! It’s time to shape up, it’s time to start saving money and it’s time to eat a little healthier! So here’s how we are going to do it….. with a WEEKLY MEAL PLAN! I’m not only going to show you an easy way to do it, but a super-versatile way too, so you don’t get super-bored and give up!

Ready, set, go!

Step One – Create the base: Designate each night of the week for a type of meat, (or protein if you don’t care for meat!) or a certain meal “type”. I would define a meal “type” as something like tacos, or casserole, or even crock-pot! By doing this, you are predetermining what you are going to need to purchase or take out of the freezer ahead of time.

Step Two – Make a list of side dishes: You can use this list and switch up your choices for different nights of different weeks, and this way, you’re sure to never get bored! Let’s face it — This isn’t the 1950’s and we don’t want to sit down and eat meat, potatoes, carrots — every single night!




To give you an idea, here is what the base of my weekly meal plan looks like:

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Now I’m going to give you some different ideas for these different categories, which include links to some of the best recipes out there! Go ahead, try them out! Eat yummy and save money! 😉

Chicken Recipes

Taco Recipes

Casserole Recipes




Pork Recipes

Beef Recipes

Crock-Pot

Side Dishes


HERE ARE SOME MORE RECIPES THAT YOU MAY ENJOY!

Four Ingredient Gourmet Burgers (The quick and tasty burger hack!)

3 Ingredient Meat-Loaf

Get More out of your Hamburger Helper

Honey Apple Roasted Ham (A very quick and easy, delicious recipe!)

Steak Marinade! Perfect for Grilling!


Weekly Meal Plan - A How-To Guide


*This post may contain affiliate links.

Healthy, Easy, Yummy — Apple Chutney!

Healthy, Easy, Yummy — Apple Chutney!

Prep Time: 5 minutes, Bake Time: 10 minutes

Hello, hello everyone! It’s been a little while since the Project Pile has done a recipe… we have just been so busy around here! Last September I started teaching at our local college, then I starting working on another “project” for another company here in town…. Plus, we are now expecting again — Yes, expecting! So, now it’s the end of the school year, I thought that I would share this really yummy, really easy and healthy apple chutney recipe that I came up with last week when I had to quickly throw together one of those last minute, yet super delicious, home-cooked meals!

I needed the perfect side to go with my pork chops…. something fresh, crisp and summery…. and then it came to me — Apple chutney! Now, here’s the interesting part, the part where my chutney differs a little bit from other recipes…. there is no vinegar in this chutney recipe at all! The vinegar is actually replaced with cranberry juice, which allows the amount of sugar required to be significantly reduced, therefore making it much healthier than your typical chutney recipes! 🙂

So here it goes — hope you enjoy!

All you need is:

  • 3 diced Apples
  • 1/4 cup of Cranberry Juice
  • 1/4 cup of diced Onions
  • 1/4 cup of Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 cup of Cranberries
  • 1 tsp of Butter or Margarine
  • 1 tsp of Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Step One: In a small or medium sized frying pan, saute onions on medium heat in the butter or margarine, until golden-brown.

Tip: Add any extra seasoning that you like during the sauteing process, for extra flavor!

Step Two: Add the apples, cinnamon and cranberry juice. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for seven minutes, or until the apples are soft.

Tip: The cooking time will vary depending on the type of apples that you use. The softer the apple, the less time it will take for them to soften.

Step Three: Stir in the brown sugar and simmer for about two more minutes.

Tip: The addition of the brown sugar won’t only sweeten the mixture, but it will help to thicken it a little too, as it cools.

Step Four: Remove the mixture from heat, and add the sunflower seeds and dried cranberries — Then serve and enjoy!

Tip: It’s best to add the cranberries and sunflower seeds at the very end of the process, otherwise they may harden.

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Savory Southern Stew

3Savory Southern Stew!

I’m so excited that it finally got a little bit cold here in Southern-Ontario! In order to celebrate, I decided to make my favorite stew and I thought…. why not share it with you! It is seriously the easiest stew to make… All you have to do is lightly saute the beef, and then throw everything into the crock pot to simmer for the day!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of chopped or baby carrots
  • 1 cup of diced potatoes
  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • 1.5 lbs of cubed beef
  • 2 tbsp of butter or margarine
  • 1 can of condensed tomato soup
  • 1/4 tsp each, of  salt, pepper and thyme

Step 1: Lightly saute about 1.5 lbs of cubed beef in a frying pan in butter and pepper.

While sauteing your cubes of beef, this is where you could add in one and a half tablespoons of flour for a thicker stew. I chose to leave the flour out, since I’ve been trying really, really hard to eat super-healthy! If you are looking for a thicker stew, after your meat is sauteed, toss it in the flour until all of the flour has been absorbed… It will later mix in nice with the rest of the contents of your stew, causing it to thicken, but by mixing it in with the meat first, you will prevent the flour from clumping!

Step 2: Add beef, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, onions, spices, and one can of condensed tomato soup into the crock pot.

For this stew, I chose to use some of my favorite vegetables; carrots, potatoes, mushrooms and onions…. but really, you can use whatever kind of vegetables you like, or even whatever you already have on hand! I also used just a few of my favorite spices to keep it nice and simple, but you can also choose to use your favorite spices too!

Step 3: Let simmer for at least 4 to 6 hours.

I like to let my stew simmer all day long to make it extra savory! But since the meat is pre-sauteed, you really only have to make sure that your vegetables are cooked all of the way through before serving. Remember, that the smaller you chop your vegetables, the quicker they will be ready!

Step 4: Serve and enjoy! 🙂

A nice dinner roll or slice of bread with butter (plus maybe, a glass of wine)…. make the perfect accessories for this meal!

Sweet Roasted Squash

 

3Sweet Roasted Squash
Besides tasting absolutely amazing, this dish is also super easy to make!
All you need:
1 Squash (of any type)
1 Tbsp. of Margarine or Butter
3 Tbsp. of Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup of Cream
Slice your squash in half and place face down on a baking sheet. Add a layer of water to cover the baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once your squash is done baking, scrape the squash out of the shell and into a bowl. Mash the squash, cream, butter and 1 Tbsp of Brown Sugar all together. Place the mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle the remaining brown sugar on top. Place back into the oven and broil on high for 4-8 minutes, until you get a bubbly brown-sugar topping, (broiling time may vary, dependent on the oven). Serve and enjoy!

Double-Baked-SMASHED! Potatoes

Double-Baked-SMASHED! Potatoes — Prep Time: 60 minutes, Bake Time 20 min

These Double-Baked-Smashed!-Potatoes are probably my most favorite  BBQ/dinner side! Not only are these potatoes super yummy, they are also very simple to make…. Just follow the recipe below for detailed instructions, and enjoy! 🙂

All you’ll need is:

  •  8 Potatoes
  •  1 package of Cream Cheese
  •  1 small Onion, chopped
  •  1/8 cup of Ranch Dressing
  •  1 1/2 cups of Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  •  1 Tbsp. of Margarine or Butter
  •  1/4 cup of Milk or Cream
  •  1/4 Tsp. of crushed Garlic
  •  1/2 package of diced, cooked Bacon or Bacon Bits
  •  Dash of Salt & Pepper
  •  Fresh Chives for garnish

Step One: Wash and slice all of the potatoes in half, the long way. Place all potato halves face down on a baking sheet. Cover the bottom of the baking sheet with 1cm of water, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tip: If you are worried about the potatoes sticking, cover the baking sheet with a light coating of vegetable oil or butter.

Step Two: After potatoes have been baked and cooled to touch, use a spoon to carefully scrape out the potato skins into a large bowl.

Step Three: Add the milk and butter to the potatoes, and mash as you would in order to make “regular” mashed potatoes.

Tip: Reheat the mixture in the microwave to help with mashing.

Step Four: Set aside 1 cup of cheese and 1/2 of the bacon. Mix and mash — (or SMASH!), all of the other ingredients into the bowl, (except for the chives).

Step Five: Spoon the mashed potato mixture back into the potato skins and place them back on to the cookie sheet. Next sprinkle the remaining cheese and bacon on top.

Tip: I like to pre-mix the bacon and cheese in a separate bowl before sprinkling it onto the potatoes. This helps to ensure and even-distribution to each potato!

Step Six: Place the potatoes back into the oven bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the cheese is melted on top.

Step Seven: Sprinkle fresh chives on top, serve with sour cream, and enjoy!

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