Menu Plan Monday ~ April 19th

Hey friends, I hope you all had a glorious weekend!   How many of you have fallen off the menu planning bandwagon?  I’d love to know what keeps you from staying on top of it or perhaps even from starting and I’ll see if I can address some of these issues over the next couple of weeks.

I found for myself that last week I set myself up for a bit of failure.  I had too many recipes that were a little too labor intensive for the time and energy I had available.  So recognizing that, I’m going to scale it back a little this week just to take some of the pressure off.  In doing so I’ll still be able to get dinner on the table without resorting to fast food.

Picture from our apple roast last week 🙂

Oh and there was a lot of interest in the Corny Salmon Cake recipe I shared last week.  I just wanted to let you know that they were absolutely delicious and I would definitely make them again.  Even my teenaged (still can’t get use to saying that) daughter was surprised that she liked them 🙂

My menu planning resource link for you this week is to this awesome free printable recipe card maker created by Skip to My Lou.  Print a couple of these recipe cards out with your favorite recipes for yourself or to include along with a dish you are preparing for a friend or neighbor.  Love it!

Here’s what we’ll be eating this week:

Monday: Black Bean, Zucchini and Tomato Quesadillas

Tuesday: Pretty ‘n’ Pink Strawberry Salad & Mozzarella Pesto Grilled Cheese

Wednesday: Piano Festival ~ Dinner out

Thursday: Leftover buffet

Friday: Crab Quiche

Saturday: Whole Wheat Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes served with Green Smoothies

Sunday: Church potluck ~ Mozzarella Dip with a variety of veggies, crackers and tortilla chips


Menu Plan Monday guidelines and banner selections are here.  Join us!

Stuck for dinner ideas?  Check out my Family Favorite Recipe Index

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday


88 Responses to Menu Plan Monday ~ April 19th

  1. 1
    Rita says

    I love the picture!

  2. 2
    The Happy Housewife says

    That mozzarella dip looks really good! I love Taste of Home recipes. I don’t think I have ever tried a bad one.
    Have a great week!

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      Taste of Home always makes me shine, I love that!

  3. 3
    Sheena says

    The apple roast looks fun!

  4. 4
    SnoWhite says

    Sounds like a great week — I’m checking out that mozzarella dip!

    The apple roast looks fun too… how toasty/roasted/warm do the apples get?

    • 4.1
      Laura says

      Well it was our first time but they turned out pretty good especially with the added brown sugar 🙂

  5. 5
    Char says

    Happy Monday Laura. Just want to let you know you would be so proud of me. Not only did I clean and reorganize my office yesterday, I also did my menu planning for the whole month.

    Yep, the whole month, and I have decided that planning for a month at a time is actually easier than planning for the week. I explain why in my MPM post today.

    • 5.1
      Laura says

      That’s awesome Char, talk about productive!

  6. 6
    Christi says

    I’m going to have to try the mozzarella dip – I am always looking for good recipes for when we get together with friends. And can I just say I’m totally jealous that you have a church potluck coming up? 🙂 Yum!

    • 6.1
      Laura says

      We have a church potluck every week after church. It’s awesome!

  7. 7
    In the Bag says

    Last week about did me in. My menu planning helped everyone eat well while I was traveling for business but I wasn’t just beat when I got home. This week I’m really raiding my freezer stash to help prop me up while I get back into my groove.

    Your menu for the week looks fun, particularly the mozzarella dip for the potluck. Happy Monday!

  8. 8
    [email protected] says

    With our very busy baseball and track schedule right now, I have found myself running in circles. I have my meal plan done, but it doesn’t always get fixed like it should. So, I decided this wk to cook all my meals in one day, today is the day. I better get moving 🙂
    Thanks so much for hosting!

  9. 9
    Phoebe @ GettingFreedom says

    I’ve never heard of roasting apples like that before. The kids would love that! Oh, and that Mozzarella Dip looks fab!

  10. 10
    Kerri says

    Yum, the Quesadillas sound great. I make apple, chicken cheese ones that my boys love…
    I use my crockpot at least twice a week to avoid menu burn out…it makes me feel like I got a day or two off…

  11. 11
    Emily/Miss Mommy says

    I think it’s interesting to think about who does and doesn’t menu plan. I have never missed planning a week in 9 years of marriage. I can’t imagine what I’d do- maybe it has been all the extra degrees (and therefore $ spent, thus leaving less room for random eat-outs), but we never eat out because we don’t have options. That’s why I plan. Catch 22, I suppose. I also don’t enjoy grocery shopping at all, let alone with kids. So, the thought of going multiple times a week…I think I just got a little sick thinking about it. However, my dad loves going to the store every day (he would be well-suited to our life here in the UK) because he can be spontaneous…ah, the luxury of empty nesters…

    • 11.1
      Laura says

      Menu planning has literally been a lifesaver for me, I can’t imagine not doing it now either.

  12. 13
    Mrs. Gryphon says

    This is my first time joining a Mr. Linky, so I hope I did it right. I’m Mrs. Gryphon, and the Gryphon and I are trying to build a nest for our dairy and soy intolerant little ones on a very tight budget in southern Ontario, Canada.

  13. 14
    Rachel says

    That strawberry salad sounds delicious–can’t wait to see what that looks like!

    PS–I took a peek at your recycled storage containers–that’s such a great idea!! I can’t wait to try that.

  14. 15
    Tina says

    I’ve never heard of an apple roast, sounds really good!

  15. 16
    The Raven says

    I love the idea of an apple roast! And I can’t wait to check out all the links to everybody’s plans for the week. I’m so glad I found y’all!

  16. 17
    Millie @ Real Food for Less Money says

    I’ve been menu planning for about 3 years now. Sometimes I think “oh, I don’t need to plan this week because… (fill in the blank for the flimsy excuse)”. It’s a miracle we eat at all on those weeks! Because I cook traditional style foods (soaking most grains, making from scratch) having a plan in place is essential for me. My family likes me menu planning too. My husband will often ask ‘what’s for dinner tomorrow night’ and likes it when I can give him an answer. I love MPM and get such great ideas from other’s menu plans. Thanks for doing this every week Laura!

    • 17.1
      Laura says

      You’re welcome!

  17. 18
    kat says

    How fun does that apple roast look!

  18. 19
    The Eoff Family says

    I have been Menu Planning for a while but this is the first week we’re linking up to MPM. Thanks for all the great ideas!

    • 19.1
      Laura says


  19. 20
    Mrs. Fuzz says

    That strawberry salad really does look good!

  20. 21
    Darlene says

    I started menu planning at the beginning of the year and can’t tell you how much I LOVE it! Sometimes the things don’t get made on the day I have planned but I have the ingredients so I fix it the next day. I also make at least one new recipe a week and we have found some that are WINNERS. My picky daughter has also found some new things she loves….. so it is a win, win situation. It has made meal time so much better and less stressful. I know what we are going to eat and so does my family. I have never heard of an apple roast but YUM and what fun!

    • 21.1
      Laura says

      LOL, I’d never heard of an apple roast either before last week! 🙂

  21. 22
    Megg says

    For me, keeping up with it means saving money…and that’s important right now. We’re saving for a new couch and by keeping up with my menu planning I can save money in the long run, so that’s why I keep doing it!

  22. 23
    Vanderbilt Wife says

    I honestly don’t know how people survive WITHOUT menu planning! It’s such a help for me to have it all planned out and all the groceries bought for the week. It doesn’t mean I don’t mix up the days if I feel like it, or skip a meal and go out every once in awhile, but for the most part it definitely keeps us from sitting around going “What are we having for dinner?” at 6pm every night.

    • 23.1
      Laura says

      Yes! We would be lost now without menu planning that is for sure. It has changed my life!!

  23. 24
    Pam says

    I make those same black bean and zucchini quesadillas. I am waiting for fresh from the garden tomatoes and zucchini to make mine. Nothing like it.

  24. 25
    Chris says

    Never thought of bringing a dip to a church pot luck – that is a fabulous idea!!!!

    • 25.1
      Laura says

      It seems like Lasagna is the go to meal for potlucks so hopefully I’m helping others think outside of the Lasagna box 🙂

  25. 26
    Brenda says

    I got off of menu planning for a bit and this is my 2nd week back to it. It is sooooo much easier to have a plan. And it saves money as well. 😉

  26. 27
    Hannah says

    Love the apple roasting picture! Great idea!

    My “Spring Into Health” blog event is going on now! Have some giveaways (lowe entries) that you should love (coffee, wine glasses, enviro lunch bags, cutting board, yogurt)! And hope you will follow my blog and on twitter to keep up with all the upcoming reviews & giveaways! Please grab my blog event button for your sidebar!

  27. 28
    nicole says

    I was going to make tacos tonight, but those black bean, zucchini, tomato quesadillas look too good NOT to try!

    SOLD 🙂

  28. 29
    Judi @ Frugal Frolic says

    I’m a little late with my plan this week (normally I would have it done some time Sunday, or even Saturday), but being on Spring Break last week really put a twist on our schedule! I’m happy to have it done. It helps me to have a list of recipes my family likes (I use Evernote to organize a lot of my recipes, but I’ve also got a binder of my older recipes), so it’s easy to sit down and get it done. Without it, I’d be much more stressed worrying about what we’d be having — or worrying about the cost of “last minute food”.

    Also, I never so meal planning without my calendar! We keep our calendars on Google Calendar, so that we can see everyone’s schedules. That way, I can plan easier recipes when it’s busy, and leave the more labor intensive ones for days I have more time.

  29. 30
    Heather says

    I just found your blog recently, and have really enjoyed it! I’m really looking forward to checking out all the menu plans listed on here … looks like some great ideas! Thanks 🙂

  30. 31
    *~jo~* says

    laura–this is your “simpler” menu?? 🙂 i love that!! we went to a new church sunday , they are doing a potluck every sunday after church too, i think its great….i think we are going back next sunday…its a brand new church …we were there for their very first sunday service yesterday!!! what a blessing it was!! excited that we may be going there permanently…the thought that God might use us to “build” this new church is exciting!!

  31. 32
    Michele @ Frugal Granola says

    Your apple roast looks like such a fun idea! I should definitely plan to try that in our backyard fire pit this summer. We’ve never tried roasting apples, but so far our favorite has been roasted sweet potatoes. Yum! 🙂
    Hope you have a good week.

  32. 33
    Laina says

    I started menu planning about 10 years ago mainly as a way to keep my grocery budget under control. Now, I plan out of habit, but I’ve also discovered that 5 o’clock has become the “witching hour” for us as the kids have gotten older. After homework times three is done, my poor brain doesn’t have any creativity left! If I didn’t already have dinners planned out we’d live off of takeout just because there aren’t enough hours in the day.I love that I can come check out MPM’s for lots and lots of insperation! Which reminds me…we are finally going to try out that Taco Pasta recipe this week. Keep up the good work and thanks so much for all the great ideas!

  33. 34
    Tifani says

    I have an abundance of strawberries right now, so your strawberry salad sounds ideal. Actually, I think I’ll be using several of your recipes on my menu for next week!

  34. 35
    Ellen says

    That Apple Roast looks amazing!

  35. 36
    SavvySuzie says

    I have definitely had those weeks where my menu was more ambitious than my available time and energy…but hey, at least we PLANNED! 🙂 Your photo made me want to bring apples to my mother-in-law’s fire pit…yumm…

    • 36.1
      Laura says

      Yep thank goodness for the plan, I’d be so lost without it!!

  36. 37
    Carrie says

    I’ve been menu planning off and on for years now. I used to do a monthly plan (Hub is only paid once/month), but have found that weekly works so much better. Thanks for keeping me on track!

  37. 38
    Nony (A Slob Comes Clean) says

    I failed to menu plan for the last three weeks because Mondays were busy. Totally lame excuse. I regretted it so much! This week, I went ahead and did it on Saturday night so I wouldn’t miss out again. I have been amazed at how much of a difference it makes in your overall home organization to have a planned menu. I know you’ve said that many times, but it didn’t sink in until I experienced it for myself. And just today, since I KNEW what I was going to make tonight, I started thawing the chicken this morning so I won’t be stuck in a hurry tonight. I love that feeling!

  38. 39
    Nony (A Slob Comes Clean) says

    Oh, and also, about your overly-ambitious menu, I find that when I plan I at least get a little ambitious! I make new and more exciting things when I think ahead enough to plan out my prep time and can be sure I’ll have all the right ingredients. Then, we’re not stuck with the same old quick and easy recipes even on nights when I could have done more.

  39. 40
    Crystal M. says

    My menu is pretty typical this week. Too much going on to try anything new, so Ill stick to the stuff I know we like. Have a great week!

    • 40.1
      Shawna says

      I tried to keep ours pretty simple too! Always something different going on!

  40. 42
    Pary Moppins says

    I am anxious to read how the Crab Quiche turns out. We are having guests in a couple of weeks and this sounds right up their alley. Thanks for hosting Menu Plan Monday!

  41. 43
    Shawna says

    Ooh Pancakes! We are eating breakfast for dinner this week too! It’s a nice break sometimes.

  42. 44
    Amber says

    I haven’t fallen off the menu planning, but I haven’t had the chance to post it! 🙂 My boyfriend and I have a great time planning it together – we have it in an excel spreadsheet that we print out each week with the kids dinner chores included in it too!

  43. 45
    Dara says

    Even on weeks when my meal plan is packed with things like leftovers, spaghetti, bagels, or “order in,” I still feel better having a plan rather than winging it at 5 PM. So I stay on track by keeping the idea of meal planning separate from the ideal of cooking delicious, healthy new meals each night. Sometimes you can do both, but you can still meal plan even if you’re serving mac & cheese from a box!

  44. 46
    Sarah says

    The hardest part for me with menu planning is actually following through. I always plan out my week and gung ho every day. By the end of the day though, I am wiped and really don’t want to make dinner! So even though we have all the food to make dinners in the house, we end up ordering take out. So bad!

  45. 47
    Snubbery says

    After a bit off the wagon last week, our new week doesn’t look so great either with a really sick teenager today (migraine). But the plan is made, has a recipe link, and I’m hoping to stick to it mostly.

    What derailed us last week was just running out of basics, like bread, milk, and produce. I may need to schedule in another produce stop mid-week so we have a variety of fresh things available. If they’ll eat it, I want it around even if it does punch the wallet a bit!

  46. 48
    Lisa says

    I think a great this to address is summer menus, I know that is the hardest time for me to keep from falling off the wagon! Although I have to tell you, I save a ton of money planning out our meals! I don’t impulse buy anymore-or well as much! I also am such a type A planner that I get thrills out of making my list of items in the pantry and the freezer and make meals out of what is on hand!

    Oh and I would love to know more about your apple roast! I have never heard of an apple roast, but it sounds FUN!!!
    Have a great day, Blessings!

  47. 49
    s says

    I always have good intentions and I do some menu planning but not as good about it as I should be to realize all the benefits. A couple things that consistently derail me – organizing my list of stand bys with a list of items to try. I really appreciated when you highlighted the taco pasta as something tried/true because I did jump right in and add that, but I am often taken aback by the sheer # of links that I don’t wander through many of them, especially if they don’t fit my style/need. How do you organize your recipes and things to try so when it comes to planning day you aren’t giving up in exasperation (what was that recipe I wanted to try???). I also find making sure we have variety vs ground beef 3 days in a row or ckn ckn ckn is sometimes hard so I go back to old standbys which everyone here likes but its gotten a bit monotonous (grilled ckn check, rice check, veggie check). The 3rd thing is my husband is not home for dinner many days throughout the week so I really need something that will hold up, yet appeal to my kids. Casseroles tend to hold up but not appeal to 2 of my kids…so I have a hard time overcoming that and often cook the casserole but on the side throw in nuggets or whatever to satisfy the picky ones… so those are my obstacles!

  48. 50
    Bonnie says

    Great looking menu this week !!

  49. 51
    Elise says

    I love getting so many ideas from so many people here. I had forgotten all about quesadillas (used to be a favorite around here) and broccoli shred tacos (another lunch favorite). Not to even mention the yummy NEW ideas!!

  50. 52
    Rebecca says

    Hi Laura.

    You asked about why people “fall off the menu planning bandwagon”. In my case it’s not just not planning, but not executing the plan. In an idea world – the only nights we’d eat takeout would be nights that we’ve planned it.

    Two solutions I’ve found (thus far) – the first is to stock up on what we call “quick meals”. If I don’t have leftovers I can serve, then I buy a box of meatballs, or spaghetti sauce, or some other heat-and-serve meal that isn’t too processed. I serve these on nights when either something happens and I have no time to prepare a 30 minute meal. Or when I am not motivated to cook.

    The second is to have a small group of meals (quesadillas, tacos, pan hash, etc) that I can whip up from scratch without much work. Both work; but neither provides the motivation to actually do something on nights when time and tide are against me.

  51. 53
    Heather Hopkins says

    This is my first time posting my weekly menu plan. I hope I can keep it up. I can see myself being much more organized if I can. I’ll be checking out everyone else’s menus for new recipes as I get the time. Thanx for this resource.

  52. 54
    Scrumptious says

    I have actually had my first few weeks of truly following my menu plan. It has been amazing!

    I used to post them retroactively, as a resource for readers, as I’m one of the few vegan, GF bloggers posting menu plans. But lately I’ve actually been using them to plan my week! It’s amazing – shopping based on the plan, never having to worry about what side to make, and now I’m even incorporating the advance notice I get of what will come in my CSA box! This week I reflected a bit on what seems to be helping me stay on track. It’s early days, yet, however – I predict there will be some snags and snarls still to come.

    Your menu looks great this week – almost entirely meatless so I can fantasize about eating it all!

  53. 55
    Lindsay Hamilton says

    The way things work in my household is my having enough recipes for 6 weeks worth of meals. I have all the recipes written up, with ingredients and instructions and have the whole 6 week plan printed off in a binder. I then refer to our meal plan binder to make groceries, take out food, etc….it has really helped lower my stress level!

  54. 56
    trina says

    So, last week was my first week of joining in this menu planning monday, and this week I posted the plan in reverse – i.e. what we really ate – we strayed far from our plan. Does this count, or would you rather I not link this up?

  55. 57
    Jessica says

    just posted my vegetarian menu!

  56. 58
    Shannon says

    Hi! I am new here and I basically resurrected my blog from the dead to start meal planning!! I hope that I followed all the linking rules correctly. Thanks for all the great ideas!!

  57. 59
    Cindy says

    I am new, and I love menu planning! Thanks for putting this resource together…I love it!

  58. 60
    Kate says

    Hi Laura,
    I’m very new to menu planning (and blogging in general). I just want to say how great I think your Menu Plan Monday idea is. I almost fell off the menu planning bandwagon last week when my 19 year old cat died. If is wasn’t for MPM, I’m sure I wouldn’t have bothered planning our weekly menu. I’m so glad I did, though, because I think it is at times like that, when you have no appetite and really can’t be bothered cooking, that it really pays to be prepared. Not only does it take the stress out of having to decide what to feed your family, it also ensures that the family gets a healthy meal at a time when good nutrition is extra important (removes the temptation to resort to fast food). Aside from unexpected events, the other reason I have almost fallen off the bandwagon is sheer lack of time. I have 4 young kids and am currently working two casual jobs. The workload is unusually intense this week, so I have opted to try some slow cooker recipes that I can prepare before work and have ready for dinner time. Anyway, enough of my rambling…thank you again for inspiring us!

  59. 61
    Tiffanee says

    The apple roast looks really fun!! I agree with the time comsuming recipes. Sometimes we think we have enough time for it all but life is so busy. I agree with the easy to prepare and less time meals. Then we will have enough strength for one or two of the more time consuming meals!! Thanks for all the motivation and inspiration.

  60. 63
    Renee says

    That apple roast looks like fun!

  61. 64
    Amanda says

    I love the benefits to menu planning! Less stress…less trips to the store…less money spent at those random trips to the store…I could go on and on.

    But…I have been in a rut with my menu planning. I am excited to get back into the groove of things and am glad that you host MPM so I can get new recipes ideas to try for my family!

  62. 65
    Megan says

    Your grilled cheese sounds inspirational!!

  63. 66
    Moonstruck Mommy says

    I’m gonna have to try the Pretty ‘n Pink Salad, my daughter loves anything pink!

  64. 67
    Chrissie says

    Oh thanks for all of the great blogs above! I found dinner for tonight! LOL and posted my menu plan as well!


  65. 69
    Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) says

    I’ve been a bit derailed on my meal planning these last few weeks but for me, it’s not because I haven’t planned out or had the ingredients on hand for my meals. The problem has been that I’ve tried to do my planning from memory on our calendar of activities (never a good idea! :-)) and I’ll forget about something we have going on and have to switch around some stuff.

    Like today…totally forgot that my son’s well check is this afternoon until my calendar on my phone beeped to remind me. Because of the time, it will put us coming home around dinner time. We always order our favorite Vietnamese sandwiches when we’re in that town (one over from ours) so at least it means no cooking for me (and they’re cheap and so fresh so I don’t feel too bad about it!)

  66. 70
    Jennie @ A Welcoming Heart says

    I plan and post my menu on Mondays because I try to not be on the computer much on the weekends. Sometimes I get distracted by other things and forget until Tuesday and then I do it. I did go thru about 3 week of not planning or posting in December and a couple weeks here and there but I have mostly been consistent since I started in July.

    The weeks I have not menu planned was weeks I said to myself not again I just did this a couple days ago and couldn’t deal with doing it again already. In December when I took a break it was because I took an unplanned break from the internet because I was restless with it and felt the need to do something different and it happened to take me a couple weeks before I was ready to come back. I did get lots of reading and crafting done though. I think next time I take a week off I will use a menu that I have used in the past. So far I have not reused menus only recipes I am trying to create a year’s worth since most are seasonal favorite or new to us recipes.

    My family and I started training on April 5th for our first 5K and that has been a challenge to get dinner on the table. We have been walking/running after my husband gets home from work and that means most nights no dinner until 8:00. I have been cooking after we get home but I may try to do more prep before we leave so we can eat sooner. I could do more crockpot and oven meals temporarily until our training is over but we are hoping to continue training after the 5K for another one.

  67. 71
    Cynthia says

    I have never heard of an apple roast before. That looks like a lot of fun!

  68. 72
    erin says

    hi im new i think menu planning is great


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