Menus with Meredith, Fall/Winter, Week 3

Hello, dear readers!
I apologize for the tardiness in publishing this delicious menu from Meredith.  If you are following me on Instagram and Facebook, you know my house is upside down.  I've been working on our Master Bedroom, Study, Bathroom, & Closet Remodel 6-8 hours a day, homeschooling, helping the other children with schoolwork, attending sports games, etc.  You know!!!  We call that LIFE! :)

Without further ado, here is a delicious menu that will help get your family through these first few chilly weeks of spring.  
Side note:  can I get an Amen that SPRING has SPRUNG?!! (Hands in the air, waving around like I just don't care!!!)

Fall/Winter Menu
Week 3


Monday
Pasta Fagioli Soup


Tuesday

Chicken and wild rice casserole 


Wednesday
Taco Casserole

Thursday
Stir Fry

Friday
Nachos

Saturday
Go out or Take Out

Sunday
Easy Dinner



Groceries:

Produce-
  • 5 yellow onions (pasta Fagioli, chicken casserole, taco casserole, beef stroganoff)
  • Celery (chicken casserole and pasta Fagioli)
  • Carrots (pasta Fagioli and snacks)
  • 1 green bell pepper (taco casserole)
  • 1 bag shredded iceberg lettuce (taco casserole)
  • Salsa (taco casserole and nachos)
  • Guacamole (taco casserole and nachos)
  • Cilantro (taco casserole and nachos)
  • Fruit (for breakfast, lunches, snacks)


Bakery-
  • 1 loaf Italian Bread (pasta Fagioli soup) 
  • English muffins (breakfast)


Meat-
  • 3 packages ground beef (pasta Fagioli, taco casserole, beef stroganoff)
  • 2 packages chicken breasts (chicken casserole, stir fry) 
  • Bacon (breakfast)

Staples-
  • Ditalini pasta (pasta Fagioli)
  • 1 jar marinara or spaghetti sauce (Fagioli)
  • 1 can Cannellini Beans (white beans) (Fagioli)
  • 32 oz. Chicken broth (Fagioli)
  • 2 boxes fast cooking long grain and wild rice (chicken casserole)
  • 3 cans cream of mushroom (chicken casserole and beef stroganoff) 
  • 2 cans sliced water chestnuts (chicken casserole)
  • 1 package sliced almonds (chicken casserole)
  • 1 package egg noodles (beef stroganoff)
  • Worcestershire sauce (beef stroganoff)
  • 1 can corn (Taco casserole)
  • 2 cans black beans (taco casserole)
  • 2 cans sliced black olives (taco casserole and nachos)
  • 2 taco seasonings
  • 2 bags tortilla chips (taco casserole and nachos, we use Scoops for nachos)
  • 2 bags frozen stir fry veggies (stir fry) with sauce pouch
  • soy sauce (stir fry) or buy the frozen stir fry veggies that contain a sauce pouch
  • brown rice (stir fry)

Dairy-
  • shredded parmesan (pasta Fagioli)
  • 24 oz. sour cream (chicken casserole, beef stroganoff and nachos) 
  • 8 cups shredded sharp cheddar (chicken casserole, taco casserole, nachos)
  • Eggs (breakfast)
  • milk (chicken casserole)




Easy Pasta Fagioli
1lb. ground beef
1/2 cup Ditalini pasta 

1 jar favorite marinara 
1 diced onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 can Cannellini beans (white beans) 
1 box (32 oz) chicken broth
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese (optional)


Brown ground beef in a soup pot. Add onions, celery and carrots and cook until tender. Add beans, marinara sauce, broth, salt and pepper and water. Simmer about 20 minutes and then add dry pasta. Cook at a low boil for 8-10 minutes. Stir and serve... especially yummy when topped with parmesan cheese.



Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
1 (2.25 oz) package sliced almonds
2 boxes quick cook long grain and wild grain rice
2 T. butter
2 medium onions, chopped
5 cups of cooked, chopped chicken
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans sliced water chestnuts
1 small container of sour cream (light, if you prefer) 

1 cup milk
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar
2 cups breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 350 and while it’s warming, toast almonds for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through. Then, in a large pan, melt butter and cook chopped onions and celery. Sauté until tender, and then add cooked chicken, cream of mushroom, water chestnuts, sour cream, milk, salt and pepper, rice and 3 cups of cheese. Stir well and pour mixture into a large baking dish or 2 medium baking dishes. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. (I just put a piece of bread or 2 in my NutriBullet for a few seconds to make bread crumbs.) Bake for 35 minutes. Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of cheese and toasted almonds and bake for 5 more minutes. Serve with a side salad. This casserole is like serving a hug! :)


Taco Casserole
2 Lbs. Ground Beef
1 diced onion
1 diced green pepper
2 cans black beans, rinsed 

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can corn
1 package taco seasoning
1/2 cup water
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 can sliced black olives
1 bag of your favorite tortilla chips Shredded iceberg lettuce Cilantro, chopped


Brown ground beef in a large pan, then add onion and green pepper and cook until tender. Add black beans, tomatoes, corn, taco seasoning and water and simmer. Meanwhile, in a 9x13 greased casserole dish, sprinkle in about 2 cups of crushed tortilla chips. Then layer the beef mixture evenly over the chips, followed by 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar. Then repeat one more layer... crushed chips, beef mixtures then cheese. Top with black olives and bake for 30 minutes. Once removed from the oven, top with shredded iceberg lettuce and serve with your family’s favorite toppings, such as chopped cilantro, sour cream, salsa and guacamole.


Stir Fry

Put chicken breasts in crock pot and cook on low for 6 hours or High for 3 1/2-4 hours. (This is what I do. Just cook the chicken anyway that’s easiest for you.) Cook enough brown rice for your family. (I want to recommend purchasing a rice cooker. Sounds crazy, but they’re inexpensive at Walmart, and you just put your rice and water in it and you’re done. After it’s cooked, it will keep the rice warm for hours too. I can scorch rice in a blink because I’ll get side tracked for just a minute, and then it’s too late. I’ve done that more times than you can count, so I love the rice cooker. It’s fool proof!) In your largest frying pan, sauté a bag of stir fry veggies (or 2) in a little olive oil. Add soy sauce to taste. Once veggies are cooked until bright green, add chicken and rice to the pan and mix everything together. You’ll probably want to add more soy sauce. 



Beef Stroganoff
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup tomato juice
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 can cream of mushroom
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream 

1 package egg noodles

Brown ground beef in a large pan and add chopped onion to cook until tender. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the noodles, stir and let simmer. Boil noodles according to package directions and drain. Serve beef mixture over noodles. Serve with a salad or side of green vegetable.



Friday Night- Nachos!
Friday night is movie night in our house! We usually have nachos for dinner and popcorn
Scoops chips
1 bag shredded sharp cheddar 

1 can black beans
1 can of corn
1 large can sliced black olives chopped cilantro
chopped avocado
chopped tomatoes
fresh salsa


Use 2 baking sheets and spread the Scoops chips right side up and cover with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes until cheese is melted. While that’s in the oven, put black beans and taco seasoning in one pot and corn in another to warm. I assemble all the nachos at once, using slotted spoons for the beans and corn. (I also leave the cilantro and avocado off a few nachos for one family member who doesn’t like them.)



Saturday Night- go out or take out 


Sunday Night
Sunday nights are usually very low key as we get ready for the upcoming week, and so we’ll have a fun, easy dinner. Some Sunday dinners that we enjoy are...
-burgers on the grill

-let the family roast their own hot dogs over the grill or an outdoor fire, (S’mores would be a great dessert!)
-Cheese plate with our favorite cheeses (Manchego, Gruyere, Brie), along with crackers and hummus and vegetables.
-Fondue, with bread, broccoli, carrots and apples.
-When the children were young, we sometimes would have “Brinner” on Sunday nights, which is just breakfast for dinner... pancakes and bacon, or eggs and toast.




As always, thank you so much, Meredith for sharing your family's recipes with us!  


*To see more of Meredith, follow her gorgeous and inspiring Instagram at MeredithLewis05*



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XOX,

Emily


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