Menu Plan Monday ~ Oct 7/13


tammysmkphoto Hey hey hey Org Junkie readers!

My name is Tammy and I write the blog Skinny Mom’s Kitchen. I was giddy like a little girl at a NKOTB concert when Laura contacted me to host this week’s Menu Plan Monday. I am an Organizing Junkie was one of the first blogs I started to follow 4+ years ago and have been an avid Menu Planning Mondays participant since then.

Back in 2012 I shared with Org Junkie readers the different ways I organized my weight loss. – 40 pounds to be exact. It was one of the first times I shared before and after pictures. Yikes. You can see more pictures here. Anyway, menu planning has been (and continues to be) one of my key weight loss strategies. Basically, what I found is, it is much easier to eat healthy when you plan out meals. Who knew?

However, planning out your meals is only one component of menu planning. I mean think about it. Anyone can write out 5 dinners they want to make, right? But actually purchasing the ingredients then cooking the recipes is where the real work comes in. I cannot tell you the number of times I have put together a fabulous menu plan filled with delicious dinners only to order take out or break out a box of cereal because I forgot ingredients or did not have the energy to trim chicken breasts. Good thing I learned a couple solutions early on to help with this – make ahead and freezer cooking.

The weeks my menu plans succeed are almost always weeks where I have prepped recipes ahead of time. That can be anything from chopping vegetables, prepping chicken, cooking sauces, and/or making complete meals ahead of time. I usually take 2-4 hours on a Sunday to prep menu plan. I am always posting pictures of this process on my Facebook page. Of course, depending on your schedule you can take more or less time. Also, you don’t have to prep every recipe ahead of time just do what you can. In my experience, taking even a small amount of time to prepare a few ingredients will make your menu plan run much more smooth during the week.

Let me show you how I prepare my menu plan ahead of time. This is what we will be eating for dinner this week.

Monday: Linguini and Red Clam Sauce. Served with broccoli and garlic bread.

Make ahead tip

  • The clam sauce will be made completely ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. The sauce will be warmed up the night we eat and I will also make the pasta and other items that night.

Tuesday: Taco Bar

Make ahead tip

  • Taco meat makes ahead and reheats very well. This will be made completely on Sunday and stored in the refrigerator.

Wednesday: Buffalo Chicken Subs


Make ahead tip:

  • I am going to cheat and make this one easy by purchasing a rotisserie chicken. I will shred chicken and store in the refrigerator. Subs will be put together and cooked the night we eat.

Thursday: Broccoli Alfredo Pita Pizza

Broccoli Alfredo Pita Pizza Recipe

Broccoli Alfredo Pita Pizza Recipe

Make ahead tip:

  • I will make extra broccoli on Monday to use on these pizzas. Alfredo sauce will be jarred.

Friday: Campfire Subs

No make ahead tips for this night. We are going camping this weekend so dinner is going to be easy peasy.


Menu Plan Guidelines, banner selections and recipe helpers are here.

More family favorite recipes here.

Don’t forget to join the growing Menu Plan Monday Facebook Page!!

One of my favorite menu planning resources:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday


35 Responses to Menu Plan Monday ~ Oct 7/13

  1. 1
    SusieQTpies says

    Great interview! I love buying rotisserie chicken for quick meals! Thanks for the linky!! Susie

  2. 2
    Cathy @ Chief Family Officer says

    You are so right about the preparation that goes along with meal planning … I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s made a menu, then ended up with takeout!

  3. 3
    Emily @Random Recycling says

    Thanks for the tip about the taco meat. Taco night is now one of my kids (and husband’s!) favorite nights and getting ahead of it would be so helpful!

  4. 4
    Lucy says

    Those Buffalo Chicken Subs look fantastic and I often make my taco meat ahead of time as well. I need to get back to planning meals regularly again. Thanks for the tips.

  5. 5
    Janet @ Frugal & Focused says

    Great to see you here this week, Tammy. Love how you broke down the prep you do. And those Buffalo Chicken Subs look so good.

  6. 6
    Keri says

    It seems like I always run out of the one thing I need for dinner by the weekend! I try to prep meals either the day before or in the morning when I am more motivated.

  7. 7
    Jody @ Mommy Moment says

    I have never really been successful at menu planning, but I know my blog assistant Angela always talks about how she menu plans and how it makes life so much easier – I just may have to try – thanks for sharing your recipes Tammy, and thanks for this weekly feature Laura!!

  8. 8
    April @ Angels Homestead says

    I menu plan and prep just like you Tammy. I cant count the times I was able to get a meal on the table, and not resort to takeout only because I had the items for the meal already prepped and waiting on me in the fridge. Menu planning rocks. 🙂

  9. 9
    Pat @ Elegantly, Gluten-Free says

    You have some great ideas for making meals easier during the week! Thanks for sharing them, and I really am hoping to try that Buffalo Chicken Sub soon!

  10. 10
    Michelle says

    I also cook my noodles that I need for the week on Sunday. Just toss a little olive oil over them (keeps them from sticking together) and put them in a ziplock bag in the fridge. That night run hot water over them and you are done. It works with any kind of noodle. Many mom/pop Italian places do this to have portion control and noodles ready, they just use sandwich bags.

  11. 11
    Scarlett says

    Buffalo Chicken Subs sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  12. 12
    CrftySAHM says

    Great hosting Skinny Mom. I follow you on Facebook as well. I should have linked up on Monday morning, but I am still learning to manage my time on the unexpected days that I have both grand babies, one 2 and one 2 months. LOL Am also getting my kitchen remodel finally started. More details on my blog.

    Thanks for hosting, and am very thankful for Organizing Junkie hosting Meal Plan Monday each week.


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