Meal Plan: August 16-21

We are starting to get the hang of me being back at work part time, and meal planning has definitely helped! It takes the stress out of each day, trying to figure out what to make; it allows me to do all my grocery shopping over the weekend; and it allows me to plan ahead to find the best deals and plan my meals around sales so I’m as to save money. I highly recommend it, even if you don’t work!

Saturday:Copycat Chick Fil A Sandwich and Crispy Green Bean Fries
IMG_2062.JPGI love Chick Fil A, but it is so hard to eat out while I’m still not able to eat dairy. In both of these recipes, I was easily able to make them dairy free by using unsweetened regular almond milk instead of the cream/milk. I couldn’t even tell the difference!
The pickles on the sandwich were homemade (it was also the pickle juice I used to marinade the chicken) using this recipe, but instead of using dill seed I used a few sprigs of fresh dill.
The icing on the cake (or the sauce on the sandwich) was definitely the copycat Chick Fil A sauce. If you haven’t tried this sauce, you MUST! It’s like a BBQ honey mustard sauce, but is way better. I don’t like mustard, at all, but I love this sauce! It also made a great dipping sauce for the green beans!

Sunday: Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
IMG_2072.PNGI made this salad with things I had on hand, so instead of pomegranate I used dried cranberries, instead of pecans I used sliced almonds, and I didn’t add any feta since I can’t eat dairy. I love the quinoa in this, and it would also be good with some grilled chicken.

Monday: Steak au Poivre with Roasted Broccoli and Potatoes
IMG_2123.PNGMatt has started making dinner on Monday nights because I work in the afternoons, and what a treat that has been! His favorite place to find recipes right now is in an amazing book called Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequest. Highly, highly, highly recommend it!

Tuesday: Baked Honey Garlic Chicken with Brown Fried Rice
IMG_2121.PNGThis chicken was so good! Super crispy and the sauce coated it perfectly.
For the fried rice I heat vegetable oil in a wok, add leftover brown rice and cook until heated through. Then I add some diced onion, frozen mixed veggies, scrambled egg, sesame seeds, a couple tablespoons of soy sauce and about a teaspoon of sesame oil. Then I cook it until everything is hot, and add more soy sauce if needed!

Wednesday: Sesame Soba Noodles
IMG_2122.PNGSoba noodles were on clearance at the grocery store so I thought it would be fun to try them. This was the perfect dish for a hot day! I followed the recipe but added some cucumber and added a little chili oil which was delicious! The dressing would be great for a cucumber salad too!

Thursday: Chickpea Salad with Honey Garlic Lime Vinaigrette
IMG_2168.PNGThis salad was AMAZING! I can still taste it days later! It’s best if made ahead of time so the flavors all have plenty of time to meld. I made it around 1pm and it was great for dinner (it tasted great right after I made it, but got even better by dinner and then even better still for lunch the next day). I added an extra tablespoon of red wine vinegar and also added shredded chicken and thin sliced shallots instead of cherry tomatoes. I can’t wait to make this again!


Macaroni and Cheese

Last night Matt was wanting comfort food but neither of us really felt like cooking after a long day in the sun and pool (tough life, I know). We decided to try this recipe for Mac n cheese because it didn’t seem too hard and looked delicious. Naturally we made our own changes, and it was so good!!


What you need:
2 cups dried pasta (we used veggie pasta macaroni)
1 cup fat free half and half (yes, they make fat free half and half!)
1 1/2 cups fat free milk
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup freshly shredded cheddar (we used pre-shredded reduced fat)
2-3 slices of cheese (we used muenster)
1/4 cup Italian seasoned panko

In a medium pot, combine dried pasta, half and half, milk, garlic, and nutmeg. Heat over medium to a simmer, reduce heat and continue to simmer until the pasta is cooked (about 20 minutes). You want to stir it frequently to keep the pasta from sticking and to prevent the milk from boiling.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Once the pasta is cooked (there should still be a little liquid), remove from the heat and add the shredded cheese. Stir well to combine. You can eat the Mac n Cheese at this point, or keep reading to make it even better! 🙂

Place the Mac n Cheese in an oven safe dish, top with a few slices of muenster cheese, and sprinkle with Italian seasoned panko (panko works better than breadcrumbs since we aren’t adding butter or oil to crisp). Place in the oven until the sliced cheese has melted and the dish is bubbling, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cook just slightly, this dish is best hot.