Meals for the Week! Homemade “Hamburger Helper”, Asian Chicken Legs & Cheesy Quesadillas

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Do you ever come home and say, “What in the heck am I going to make for dinner?” Sometimes dinnertime can be a huge hassle especially when you have no idea what to make. I always wish I had a magic wand and magically whip up a healthy, homemade dinner, eh?  Well, I decided to start posting meals that I am making to help you get a better idea of easy meal planning (plus it gets me organized!).  This past week I made and/or prepped all these meals in one day and it took me just a tad under an hour. Now if you count clean up plus feeding kids breakfast, then it took about an hour and half.

Let me tell ya, it was totally awwesssome to have some meals already to go when dinner rolled around.  By having meals already prepped and ready to go I was able to enjoy more time with my kids!  I just to heated up the meal and threw some extra veggies on the side in just minutes!  I also think just the simple fact of having a plan left me so much at ease at every evening, ahhh. Now if only I magic wand to do the dishes, hehehehee.

 

MEAL #1: Homemade “Hamburger Helper”- Beef Broccoli Noodles

I searched for an easy hamburger and noodle recipe but was unable to find anything that involved simple, pure ingredients, so I just made one up!

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I used whole wheat wide noodles.  These noodles can be easily hidden so your family won’t know they are eating whole wheat noodles! I like to use the leftover noodles for a yummy homemade chicken soup!

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I cooked a pound of hamburger and saved half the the hamburger for the cheesy quesadillas for later in the week. Chop some mushrooms and broccoli (I used frozen broccoli and nuked it in the microwave for a bit).

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Make a basic roux using butter, flour, milk and then add these little guys: Italian herbed cheese, yum!

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Combine hamburger, broccoli, onions, mushrooms and add cheese sauce.  Stir together and add Parmesan cheese.  A great way to get in some extra veggies, right?

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You may eat from skillet or you may save and place mixture in a baking dish for later. Top with mozzarella cheese.  When you are ready to serve the meal bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes.

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Beef Broccoli Noodles

Ingredients

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp flour

1 1/1 cups skim milk

3 cubes herbed cheese

2 cups whole wheat egg noodles, cooked

1/2 pound lean ground beef, cooked

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped broccoli, cooked (I nuked frozen broccoli florets in the microwave)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup mozzarella shredded cheese

Preparation

In a large  pot over medium heat melt butter.  Add flour and whisk together. Whisk in milk and simmer until mixture thickens. Add herbed cheese (may add more milk to thin out the sauce).  In a small skillet pan sauté mushrooms and onions until tender.  To the cheese mixture add noodles, beef, mushrooms, onions and broccoli.  Stir in parmesan cheese.  Place mixture in a greased 11-inch-by-7-inch baking dish.  Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

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MEAL #2: Asian Chicken Legs & Coleslaw

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This menu was based on reasonable priced items: chicken legs and shredded cabbage.

I used Smart Chicken™ legs and I didn’t think the price was too bad either, less than $4!

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Brown chicken in a hot skillet.

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I found this yummy Light & Tangy Peanut Satay Sauce from Clean Eating Magazine’s website.  I place all the ingredients in my blender and blended until smooth.

LIGHT & TANGY PEANUT SATAY SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1/8 cup creamy natural peanut butter, unsalted
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced finely
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 2 tsp tomato paste (I substituted for some ketchup)
  • 2 tsp low-sodium tamari soy sauce
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 drops chile sesame oil (available at Asian or specialty food stores) ( I didn’t have the chile flavor, but I did have just sesame oil)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl.

Nutrients per spring roll (based on 20 servings): Calories: 90, Total Fat: 2 g, Sat. Fat: 0 g, Carbs: 13 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 0 g, Protein: 3 g, Sodium: 80 mg, Cholesterol: 15 mg

Nutrients per 2-tsp serving of sauce: Calories: 15, Total Fat: 1 g, Sat. Fat: 0 g, Carbs: 2 g, Fiber: 0 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 0 g, Sodium: 25 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg

Place the sauce over the chicken and add some sesame seeds. I saved some of the sauce for the day of and added some to the pre-cut cabbage.

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Meal #3: Cheesy Quesadillas + Fresh Pico de Gallo

I have to give credit to the Pioneer Women for introducing me to a simple, but delicious Pico de Gallo recipe. (I  made a smaller batch of pico de gallo, noted below. ) She sold me on the recipe after watching one of my favorite episodes of her show, Sixteen-Minute Meals.   I have yet to try all of these recipes.

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With the leftover ground hamburger from the Beef Broccoli Noodles, I added some taco seasoning to the meat.  I cut up the fresh pico de gallo and labeled the container.  Ready to go!  Woohoo! The fresh salsa melted all the yummy flavors together in the days waiting, it was delightful!

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On “Quesadilla Night”  I heated up a greased skillet and threw on some whole wheat tortillas.  I spread some organic refried beans a tortilla and topped with hamburger and cheese.  Add another tortilla on top and flip when bottom tortilla is golden brown. 

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Oh and by the way, Meal #4 we grilled and Meal #5 is always Pizza Night!  I made homemade pizza and used this recipe: Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough from a great blog I follow, Pinch of Yum.

Here is the shopping list for the three meals I made in one day!

SHOPPING LIST

Produce   Meat  
cilantro         chicken legs  
lime (2)   lean ground beef (1#)  
garlic      
ginger      
roma tomatoes (4)   Dairy  
jalapeno (1)   butter  
red onion (1)   skim milk  
mushrooms   Parmesan cheese  
white onion   mozzarella cheese  
    Italian herbed cream cheese  
Grocery   Mexican shredded cheese  
peanut butter      
apple cider vinegar   Frozen  
soy sauce   broccoli  
honey      
sesame oil (chile flavor)      
tomato paste      
tortillas      
       

Hopefully this bring some

 

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