Last week I hit a wall.
A chicken wall.
A wall that said, “If I eat a simple chicken breast and broccoli one more night for dinner I just might explode. Or just go eat 12 pizzas… Tough call.”
I have been in a meals rut. Ever been there before? You have a plethora of possibilities, but none of them sound good so you just end up making the same easy thing every night? … Just me…? I shared our Costco haul a few weeks ago, you can find it here, and with it our usual purchases and a glimpse at a usual meal plan for the week!
But, I took to my friends and Pinterest, and I set out on a mission to make 5 different meals last week and it was a success! I only made a few minor tweaks or special purchases to our usual grocery list, and each meal was right around $10 or less! Yep! 5 new meals, same budget. $50 for weeknight meals! YES YES.
Stuffed Bell Peppers (OMG) These things are so good, and I see them on Pinterest all the time but I always think, “That’s too fancy for me to make.” WRONG. This was arguably the easiest meal of the week!
I used this recipe. The only thing outside my Costco haul I had to purchase was the bell peppers and enchilada sauce. I had everything else on hand.
Baked Salmon with Pineapples, Diced Sweet Potato, Brussel Sprouts
I set my oven to 425 and put in the salmon at the same time as my diced sweet potato and brussel sprouts pan. I seasoned the salmon with olive oil, 21 Salute Seasoning (From Trader Joe’s), and I bought a little container of precut pineapples at my grocery store for $2.50. Lay the pineapples all around your salmon.
My brussel and sweet potatoes I put in a container and mix up with oil (coconut or olive is great!), salt, pepper, and a drizzle of honey.
Lay your brussel and potato mixture on a large greased pan.
This is proof I am no “food blogger”… I don’t know how long I leave stuff in for. I just watch it and know when it’s done. But I think it’s right around 20 minutes… haha.
Night 3 (Home Group Night):
Every other Wednesday we host home group at our place for our small group at church. It’s the best! This week we did Favorite Family Appetizers, so I made nachos! It seemed easy enough, and you can’t go wrong with cheese and chips… Am I right?
Tortilla chips, can of corn + can of black beans (drained), Chili Lime Seasoning (Trader Joe’s), Salt, Pepper, Mexican Blend Cheese, premade Pico de Gallo from the store, Green Hatch Chili Salsa (OMG this stuff is so good from Market Street right now!), Jalapenos, Sour Cream
Oven on 400
Lay your chips on a large greased pan (I sprayed it with Avocado Oil), layer (thick…) cheese, spoon out the bean/corn/chili seasoning mixture evenly across the chips. Put in the oven for about 5 minutes (or until cheese is fully melted!). Add sliced jalapenos, salsa, and sour cream immediately upon taking out, and SERVE them tasty cheesy chips.
Apple Cider Pork Chops from the Butcher, Mashed Sweet Potato, Baked Broccoli
I mentioned these in my Costco Haul as an item we buy at our local grocery store. We eat them almost every week, because they are MASSIVE and it’s usually right around $5 for 2 of them. They are by weight, so it can vary week to week, but that’s the average cost.
WE LOVE MASHED SWEET POTATO. Also a staple in our home, and delicious with a can of drained corn mixed in. But, this week, we did just the mashed sweet potato and a tray of baked broccoli.
Sear your pork chops on a pan with oil of choice. These cook fast, but it’s about 4 minutes a side. Pork chops are like chicken and can’t be pink at all inside. Be sure to check.
Boil a pot of water. Once boiling put in 2 peeled and chopped sweet potato. Allow to cook through. Drain and put potatoes in mixer. Add butter (or you can do a TBSP of coconut oil!), salt, pepper, dash of cinnamon, and a little milk (we use Almond). Whip it together!
I shake up my broccoli in melted coconut oil with salt and pepper. Lay on sheet in oven (400 degrees) for about 10 minutes. Watch closely, those suckers burn fast!)
Honey Glazed Chicken, Cucumber Salad, Spinach
Oven on 425
Put defrosted chicken in cooking pan. Season with salt, pepper, 21 Salute Seasoning from Trader Joe’s, and drizzle honey on top. Bake for about 30 minutes.
2 cucumber, peeled and sliced. Put in container with lid and shake up with 2 tbsp. of white vinegar, salt, pepper, and onion.
Spinach can be a bed for your chicken to keep things really simple. But, we like to sauté it in coconut oil. This takes all but 1 minute… I skip it sometimes to keep from dirtying a pan. Your call!
If you didn’t notice the pattern… these were all quick, easy, and as few of dishes as possible! Yummy doesn’t have to be complicated. I am all about simplicity. I hope these inspire you to get out of your meal rut, if you’re in one. OR, that it inspires you to cook! Get in your kitchen. Don’t be afraid of it.