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Menus with Meredith Spring/Summer, Week 1

I am so excited to introduce to you a new weekly series here on Eleven Gables written by my dear friend Meredith Lewis.  Meredith is a wife, busy mom of three, gardener, shop owner, and Instagrammer.  I actually met Meredith through Instagram.  You can follow her too at @meredithlewis05.
Meredith has a knack for putting together menus that are simple and straightforward....not a lot of prep or ingredients.  When we were talking about cooking for our families, she told me about her menus.  I immediately thought of "Menus with Meredith" and asked her if she would do a weekly series on my blog.  I am thrilled she said, "Yes!"

Without further ado, I give you Meredith:

I know that every family is different, but one thing we all have in common is the need to feed our family dinner every night. When my husband and I first married and began our family over 20 years ago, I realized early on that I can’t reinvent the wheel every single night and start thinking about what to cook around 5pm. I needed to plan. That’s when I started making a simple list of dinners for the week, along with my grocery list. I made a “menu” for each week of the month, and then just used it again the next month.  I had a one month menu for the spring/summer months, and one for the fall/winter months. My recipes are extremely easy. This is just not the season of my life for complicated cooking. I make yummy, fast and healthy dinners, and I try to buy organic, if possible. I also keep my family’s health needs in mind. For instance, I try to make healthy dinners so my husband's cholesterol stays low. I keep in mind that I have growing children who play sports year round, and try to incorporate lots of protein and calcium for their growing bodies. Also, I cook with red meat, beans and spinach for iron, since my daughters and I can run a little anemic. I do as much prep work while the children are at school, including setting the table, so I am as ready as possible once they’re home. I want to be available to them when they’re here, and not busy in the kitchen. I hope you can use my menus and tailor them to your family and your schedule. I’d love for these menus to help your days and weeks run more smoothly and allow you to enjoy a more peaceful dinnertime with your family.

Spring/Summer 2018 Menu
Week 1

Monday- Salmon, corn on the cob, roasted potatoes, steamed asparagus
Tuesday- Pesto Pasta and french bread
Wednesday- BBQ chicken sandwiches (in the crockpot) and bagged salad
Thursday- Spaghetti Pie and salad (use remaining bagged salad and spinach)
Friday- Nachos for Family Movie Night
Saturday- go out or take out
Sunday- Cheese plate (hummus and veggies, cheese and crackers, olives, apple slices)
or Cheese Fondue with bread, veggies and apple slices.
Breakfasts- Boiled eggs, english muffins and fruit;  yogurt, fruit, granola;  eggs and bacon


Corn on the cob (Salmon and veggies)
Bag of red potatoes (salmon and veggies)
Asparagus (Salmon and veggies)
Fresh basil (pesto)
Bag of Spinach (pesto)
2 Roma tomatoes (nachos)
Avocado (nachos)
Cilantro (nachos)
Baby carrots (fondue)
Green peppers (fondue)
Broccoli (fondue)
Bagged salad (BBQ chicken sandwiches)
Apples (fondue)
berries (for breakfast)
Garlic (Pesto)
Lemon (asparagus and salmon)
Yellow onion (Spaghetti Pie)
Green pepper (Spaghetti Pie)

2 french bread (pesto night and fondue) 
English muffins (breakfast)
hamburger buns (BBQ chicken)

Salmon (half pound per person)
Package boneless chicken thighs (BBQ chicken)
Bacon (breakfast)
1 lb. Ground beef (spaghetti pie)

olive oil (Salmon and Pesto)
garlic salt (potatoes)
salmon seasoning (Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Salmon Seasoning)
Taco seasoning (Nachos)
1 box protein enriched bowtie pasta (Pesto)
1 box protein enriched spaghetti or rotini, whichever you prefer (Spaghetti pie)
2 jars favorite spaghetti sauce (Spaghetti pie)
1 can black beans (Nachos)
1 can sliced black olives (Nachos)
Large bag Scoops tortilla chips (Nachos)
Granola (breakfast)
BBQ sauce (BBQ chicken)

2 5 oz. bags shedded parmesan (Pesto)
1 8 oz. bag shredded sharp cheddar (nachos)
2 8 oz. bags shredded mozzarella cheese (spaghetti pie)
1 small container ricotta cheese (spaghetti pie)
2 dozen eggs (1 to boil and 1 to use however)
Sour cream, (I buy it in the squeeze bag for the nachos)

Salmon, roasted potatoes, corn on the cob and steamed asparagus

Salmon- rinse salmon and place on foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and Salmon Seasoning. Bake with potatoes at 400 for 25-30 minutes. (You could substitute salmon for any easy to cook fish or meat.)

Wash and quarter potatoes. Put in large ziplock bag with olive oil and garlic salt. Seal and squish until all potatoes are coated. Bake at 400 for approximately 35 minutes with salmon. 

Cook/steam corn and asparagus. I cook my corn in the microwave for 1.5 minutes per ear. I cook the asparagus in a frying pan in shallow water with garlic and lemon juice until it turns bright green… usually 5 minutes or so. I like to put lemon juice of the fish and asparagus.

Pesto Pasta and French Bread

Cook bowtie pasta according to directions.

For pesto sauce, mix together in a food processor
2 c. fresh, washed basil
10 cloves garlic (or I use jarred garlic)
3/4 c. olive oil
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
(Optional- I sneak 2 cups fresh spinach for extra veggies. Can’t tell the difference!)

Stir pesto sauce into cooked, drained and rinsed pasta. Serve with warm French bread. This is one of my children’s favorite dinners, by far.

(Typically pesto sauce is made with pine nuts, which I do not use, because of a nut allergy in our family.  You will never miss it.) 

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches and Salad

Rinse chicken thighs, place in crockpot, and cover with your favorite BBQ sauce. No need to add water. Cook on High for 4 hours, or on low 6-8 hours. Chicken will shred apart when done. Put on warm hamburger buns and serve with your favorite bagged salad.

Spaghetti Pie with Salad

Cook pasta (either spaghetti or rotini) according to the package. Brown 1 lb. of ground beef. Once it’s almost cooked, add 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped pepper and cook until soft. Add 2 jars of spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese and 1 bag of mozzarella cheese and mix well. Mix in cooked pasta. Spread pasta and sauce mixture into baking dish, top with 1 bag of mozzarella and bake for 20-30 minutes at 350.  Serve with a salad.

Nachos for Family Movie Night

Line 2 cookie sheets with Scoops chips and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Warm in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. While they’re warming, cook 2 cans black beans with about 2 T. taco seasoning in a pot. Remove chips from oven, and sprinkle with black beans (use a slotted spoon so they don’t drip too much), chopped tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, black olives and sour cream. Enjoy with a movie and have a great weekend!

Sunday Night

I usually don’t cook on the weekends, if I can help it, but we are all usually home on Sunday nights and so I’ll plan a fun, easy dinner. I will usually either make a cheese plate with our favorite cheeses (Manchego, Gruyere, Brie), along with crackers and hummus and vegetables. Sometimes, I’ll find fondue cheese in the deli section of my grocery store, and I’ll make fondue, with bread, broccoli, carrots and apples. We’ve also been known to have “Brinner” on Sunday nights, which is just breakfast for dinner… pancakes and bacon, or eggs and toast. Sunday dinners are usually very low key, as we are all finishing up homework, working on our calendars and gearing up for the week ahead. 

Thank you, Meredith, for sharing your menus with us!

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  1. Wow, thank you! I hate menu planning and you've done it all for me including recipes.

  2. I have enjoyed reading your menu! Can't wait to see what comes next and what I can incorporate into our menus!

  3. Emily and Meredith!! This is such a great idea for a new series, so excited to follow along! I've tried a million different methods to stay on top of this through the years but I love Meredith's idea of having a set menu that starts over again the next month, and changes up for spring/summer-fall/winter. So smart! Loved this first edition and looking forward to more!

  4. Menu planning has become a huge challenge in my empty nester years ... I love these recipes and will enjoy trying them. Looking forward to more Menus with Meredith!

  5. Thank you so much for these menus. The recipes sound easy and good. I’m looking forward to making them for my family including two grandsons. I appreciate your thoughtfulness in planning healthy meals.
    Is there a printer friendly version for printing?


I enjoy hearing from you! I read each comment and will answer any questions you might have. Thank you for stopping by!!