Fun Week of Cooking

Planning my dinners for the week or next two weeks means that I don't have to worry about what to make for dinner each night. Taking time to scour the freezer, fridge, and pantry for available food for the next week  keeps costs down. Getting ideas from the guys, other blogs, and family and friends is fun and planning is my thing anyway. 

My husband loves dark meat chicken and it is cheaper than white meat. So Monday I baked chicken thighs with the skin on in the crock pot. Paprika, salt, and pepper seasoned the meat all day. I cannot stand to eat chicken skin, but it was easy to take it off before eating the tender portions. 

I cooked about 15 thighs and saved some meat for Tuesday's dinner. I found a recipe for Zippy Chicken in my favorite cookbook, Taste of Home Busy Family Favorites. It's like chicken tortillas soup, just not as soupy. It was so good and easy!

My favorite meal that week may have been butternut squash and black bean soup. I loved the meal for two, maybe three reasons. One, it was delicious!! So creamy and buttery-flavored with great texture from the black beans. Second off, it was so healthy! You can appreciate that as a mom, right? And lastly, I created an original recipe! I love to create beauty out of just stuff, so this made my day. I couldn't find a recipe for black bean butternut soup in my cookbooks nor on the internet. I've made black bean pumpkin soup previously, so I figured I'd just modify that recipe and use squash instead.

We all like fish tacos, but my husband and I love them. This time I used tilapia and I didn't fry the fish, I just baked it. And don't buy coleslaw mix in a jar! You can make your own by mixing a cup of mayo, three tbsp sugar, two tbsp apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Now, you know I substituted half the mayo for plain Greek yogurt, and it tasted great! 

Check out the recipe for white bean turkey chili. It was inspired by my sister's recipe, and it's inexpensive and easy. 

Using what I already had at home and then planning out the week's meals made dinner time easy and enjoyable. All of the dinners were simple to make and were hits with the guys. Let me know when you add any of these to your dinner plans and how they turned out with your family.