Family Meal Plan – 30 minute weeknight meals

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Life has returned to as normal as it gets around here. The hubster is back to work and the kids and I are settling into our own little groove.

It’s been a month since I started this blog and I’m moving into the fifth week of meal plans. So far it’s been a great experience. It’s re inspired me to cook and try new things, and it’s been an interesting process to try to bring my thoughts into a coherent focus to share with everyone. I’ve made a few updates to posts over the last month to reflect some of this refocusing and I hope what I’ve shared so far has been helpful in feeding your friends and families in way you can feel good about.

So…here’s this week’s plan. No plans for the evenings but with the way timing is working out I have only about 30 minutes to get dinner on the table. This week’s plan is all quick, healthy and yummy dinners for 30 minutes or less, except for Sundays.

Weekly Meal Plan

Monday Night

Vegetarian breakfast burritosNo recipe required, just scrambled eggs with bell peppers, mushrooms and green onions, served in warm tortillas and topped with shredded cheese, lettuce, avocado and salsa. Served with sliced apples

Tuesday Night

Indian Spiced Sloppy Joes We eat a lot of chicken so I’m going to use extra lean ground beef in replace of the ground chicken. It works just as well in the recipe and it gives us a little chicken break

Wednesday Night

Chicken Tikka Masala PastaI made my Roast Chicken earlier in the day while the kids napped if you are shorter on time a rotisserie chicken could work just as well. This is an Indian inspired pasta that has all the yummy flavours of Tikka Masala in 25 minutes.

Thursday Night

Chicken Caesar wraps In a large bowl toss together: chopped romaine lettuce, 2 diced tomatoes, diced red pepper, green onion and your favourite Caesar dressing. Place in wraps, with sliced chicken layered on top. Serve with oven fries. Cut a baking potato into wedges and lightly coat with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake in a 375 oven for about 25 minutes.

Friday Night

Bacon, Leek and a fried egg pizzaI made this the other day for photos and to get the recipe down and it was probably one of the best things I have eaten in a long time. The creamy leeks and the egg add a rich, luxuriousness to this dinner.

Saturday Night

Leftover NightI know I need to clean out the fridge so we’ll use what’s there and make a feast of it. I’ll probably make a salad too.

Sunday Dinner

Creamy vegetable, chicken and tortilla casseroleThis is a favourite of my dad’s so I’ll make him happy with this yummy casserole. It’s easy to put together and can use precooked chicken for a busy Sunday. I’ll serve this with a green salad and a lime dressing. In a small container with a lid combine the juice of half a lime, 2 tbsps olive oil, 1 tsp honey, a smooshed clove of garlic and salt to taste. Shake it up and dress your salad.

One more week of meals with six under 30 minutes. If you would like to create your own meal plan or are looking for more information check out my meal planning guide.

Breakfast Pizza

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Two awesome things happened today. This pizza and a marathon call with one of my besties while making it.

As I get older it amazes me how quickly weeks turn into months and I realize I haven’t talked to someone for way too long. So it worked out perfect. This was a new recipe I wanted to experiment with and she had time to talk. I love catching up and no amount of Facebook, texting or smiley faces will ever replace that time. Maybe all that love translated into my dinner because this one sure felt inspired.

I’m not exaggerating at all, this really was the best pizza ever and is up there as one of the top things I have ever made. The leeks got creamy and had that delicious light green, oniony flavour, bacon of course is bacon and always awesome and the egg added a creaminess that completed the pizza perfectly.

I’m so excited to share this recipe that I haven’t tested it as much as normal, so if you notice anything that doesn’t work perfectly please let me know and I’ll make some updates to the recipe.

Update – As I said, I was really excited to share this so I hadn’t tested it as much as I normally would. I made this again recently and have a few changes I think improved the recipe. Changes are crossed marked:)

Leek, Bacon and Egg Pizza

5 whole wheat Naan
6-8 slices of bacon cubed
1 tbsp butter
small splash of olive oil
3 cups of leeks thinly sliced (the whitish part not the really green part)
1 thinly sliced shallot
1 clove of crushed garlic
1/4 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp cream cheese
1 cup grated extra old white cheddar
5 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Frank’s Red Hot Sauce if you like a little kick.

Preheat the oven to 400F 425F

Rinse the sliced leeks to remove any dirt hiding in them. Over medium heat, melt the butter and add the olive oil. Once the two are friendly add the leeks, garlic and shallots and allow them to cook down, about 5 minutes. After the leeks have softened add the chicken stock and continue to cook until most of the liquid has cooked off, about another 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and melt in the cream cheese and season with salt and pepper

Cook the bacon in a pan over medium heat until crispy. Remove from the pan and let sit on a paper towel to remove excess grease.

Spread the leak mixture over the Naan and sprinkle on the bacon and cheese. Place in the oven for 6-8 minutes (so 7). Increase the oven temp to 450 and remove the pizza. Crack on egg in the centre of each pizza and return to the oven. Make sure your oven light is on and watch for the egg to be cooked. You want the white completely cooked but the yolk still runny. Mine took 5 minutes at that temperature and then 2 minutes under the broiler. 

Timing this meal for 30 minutes to the table:

  1. Preheat oven
  2. Slice the leeks
  3. Start the bacon
  4. Prepare leek mixture
  5. Grate your cheese
  6. Ready the Naan and have your ingredients handy
  7. Make your pizzas

If you’re wondering why this is for five Naan….It’s because that’s the size of the package at Superstore and it works perfect for us. One for my son, two for hubster and one and a bit for me:)

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Chicken Tikka Masala Pasta

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One of my favourite ways to make an amazing pasta dinner is to play with a meal that I already love and to translate those flavours. Tikka Masala is a rich and creamy Indian dish using the spice blend Garam Masala. I’ve talked about Masala before in my Indian Spiced Sloppy Joe recipe. It’s a combination of warm fragrant spices and it instantly makes my mouth water.

Tikka Masala is generally not low calorie and uses whipping cream and butter to add richness to the dish. I’ve cut back on the cream and all the butter. By using Greek yogurt there is still richness without the heaviness. To save time I’ve used cooked chicken that I made using the Roast Chicken recipe leaving off everything but salt and pepper, a rotisserie chicken would be perfect too if you don’t have the time for making roast chicken. In a traditional recipe the chicken would have been marinated in yogurt for at least an hour. To get the tang of the yogurt without the time of marinating, the yogurt is added at the last minute. Spinach provides greens and if you like a little heat add a diced jalapeño while cooking the onions.

If pasta isn’t an obsession for you like it is for me this would be delicious over rice, quinoa or really anything, even cardboard would probably taste good with this sauce:)

Chicken Tikka Masala Pasta

2 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 cup diced onion (about 1 med onion)
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tbsp of grated fresh ginger
1 heaping tbsp garam masala
1 large can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup whipping cream
4 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach
1 tsp salt if using no salt added tomatoes. Season to taste otherwise
2 cups sliced cooked chicken
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup Greek yogurt

4 cups uncooked rigatoni pasta, cooked to package instructions

Over medium heat sweat the onions until they become translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and garam masala. Allow the spices to cook for five minutes stirring regularly, then stir in the diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and add the spinach. It may need to be added in batches. It will seem like a lot but will cook down quickly. Once the spinach is wilted in mix in the whipping cream. Season with salt and lay the chicken in the sauce. Simmer for another five minutes and remove from the heat. Once the sauce has stopped bubbling fold in the yogurt and cilantro, if the sauce is still too hot the yogurt can seperate. Pour the sauce over the pasta and gently combine.

I like to grate a little parmesan on the top after serving.

Tikka Masala

To get this meal on the table in 30 minutes:

  1. Have the salted water on the stove over high heat for the pasta
  2. Once the tomatoes have been added pour the pasta into the boiling water
  3. After adding the pasta slice the chicken
  4. Once the spinach is added chop the cilantro and measure the yogurt
  5. After adding the yogurt and cilantro let the sauce rest a few minutes while you set the table, then add the pasta

Enjoy and if you’re interested in how this dinner fits into my weekly meal plan It can be found in my Weekly Meal Plan list.