Meal Planning Monday ~ Bits & Pieces


This week’s blog post is by Christine Luken.

I have all these great ideas floating around in my head for this week’s blog post, but I also have a nagging feeling that I need to give you some updates and follow-up on some of my past posts!  So this week’s post is going to be a bit of a hodgepodge of updates and helpful miscellaneous meal planning tips.

  • I have finally perfected my Awesome Granola Bar recipe to have less sugar without sacrificing any flavor!  If you try them, I bet you’ll have a hard time going back to store-bought ones.  I usually make 2 pans of them, cut them into bars, put them into individual snack sized baggies, and freeze most of them.  A perfect snack that tastes like dessert, but comes in at right about 200 calories!


  • I made the crock pot applesauce recipe I included in my apple blog post this past weekend.  Holy Moly, was it ever good!  My only disappointment is that a double batch – 12 medium sized Jonagold apples – only produced about 5 cups of applesauce.  So, my advice is to make at least a double batch!


  • I found a great deal on whole chickens at Sam’s Club last month – a twin pack of good sized birds for less than $10!  I tried this recipe for Rotisserie Chicken in the crockpot, which was fabulous!  (I only used about 2/3 of the spice mixture.)  Nick and I got several meals out of this one chicken!  We had the rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes, chicken gravy, and veggies for dinner that night.  I sent Nick to work with leftovers for lunch the next day.  I shredded the remaining breast meat and made chicken salad for lunch the following day – I added mayo, a bit of honey mustard, red grapes, and chopped pecans to the chicken.  I shredded the remaining dark meat, mixed it with BBQ sauce and froze it.  We’ll have quick and easy BBQ chicken sandwiches for a busy weeknight dinner.  That’s pretty good for a $5 chicken!  Next time I make it, I’m going to try this variation, made with steak seasoning.


  • Yes, I did FINALLY get my coupons cut, organized and in my binder!  It took a few hours, but was worth it. Last week I was a shopping maniac.  I hit up Kroger, Target, and Meijer within 24 hours.  I saved over $200 and restocked my shelves and freezer.  So, for the rest of the month, I’ll just be buying produce at the co-op and fresh dairy products at the grocery store.


  • One of my “church peeps” introduced me to white whole wheat flour, which is my new baking best friend!  (Thanks Ann!)  I try to refrain from using white flour when I bake, but sometimes whole wheat flour is too “grainy” for certain recipes.  White whole wheat flour seems to be a perfect solution – not too grainy, but it’s got 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein per ¼ cup!  I’ve been using it to make my chocolate chip zucchini muffins and pumpkin bread with delicious results.  However…. It was a little too grainy for my family’s famous sugar cookies, which my Mom and I baked with my niece Ayla for Halloween.  Don’t get me wrong, all the cookies were eaten within days!  But white flour will be used for the quadruple batch of Christmas sugar cookies in December!  If you’re not burnt out on pumpkin yet, be sure to try my pumpkin bread recipe.  I make a double batch and freeze one of the loaves.  I love to have a piece of it with cinnamon butter and hot cup of coffee!


Pumpkin Bread

(Makes one loaf)

½  c. Domino Light (or 1 cup of regular sugar)

½  c. coconut oil

2 eggs

1 cup canned pure pumpkin

1/3 cup water

1 ½  c. white whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

¼  tsp. table salt

1 ½  tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease loaf pan with non-stick spray.

2. Beat the eggs with a whisk.  Add the coconut oil and Domino Light (or sugar) and blend well.  Add the pumpkin and water.  Mix
just until well blended.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Combine with the pumpkin mixture and mix just until blended. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

4. Bake for 45 minutes — the loaf is done when center springs back when touched.




  1. Dawn Lopez says:

    Sounds like you’ve been really busy lately! I’ve always wanted to try crock post applesauce too. That sounds scrumptious! TY for the pumpkin bread recipe too, yum!

  2. I love Pumpkin, that bread recipe looks awesome. Also, I’m going to have to check out that Rotisserie Chicken Crockpot Recipe.

  3. Debbie Denny says:

    A lot going on for you! Great recipe also!

  4. Trice says:

    My kids loves to cook and be in the kitchen we might have to try this recipe foe the holidays. I told them we are going to he healthy this year.

  5. SHauna says:

    My kids also love to help. That pumpkin bread and home made apple sauce sounds amazing

  6. I am definitely going to make those granola bars…thanks!!! Love when I get good deals!

  7. Ave says:

    I have to check out your crock pot applesauce recipe! Sound so good! Love those photos!

  8. Amy Desrosiers says:

    I am not a fan of wheat flour, but your recipe sound great!

  9. I love when my kids help in the kitchen….thanks for a great line up; we had crockpot tonight, not sure what tomorrow brings; I totally missed making my meal plan this week.. OOPS.. maybe I’ll borrow a few of your ideas..thanks for sharing

  10. Liz Bigger says:

    The crockpot rotisserie chicken sounds amazing! Also, I am going to try the pumpkin bread too – thanks for sharing all your great recipes!!!

  11. I think I am going to have to try crockpot applesauce!!

  12. the granola bar recipe sounds delicious!

  13. Sounds like you have been really busy. I am intrigued by the crockpot rotisserie chicken idea.

  14. Mariana says:

    That pumpkin bread recipe sounds yummy! I love cooking with coconut oil!

  15. I don’t know why I’ve never thought to use whole wheat flour myself. I always buy that kind and order that kind. I’ll try it and make your pumpkin bread too.

  16. brett says:

    i need to get back into meal planning again. it makes my lie so much easier!

  17. It seems as if you have had a great week in the kitchen, congratulations.

  18. Emerald says:

    So many healthy choices!

  19. The pumpkin bread sounds yummy and I’m dying to try the granola bars!

  20. Love crockpot applesauce. Yum!!

  21. Sounds like you have had a productive week!!
    Can not wait to try your pumpkin bread recipe.
    It sounds delish!

  22. Sounds like you’ve had quite a busy week. The pumpkin bread looks absolutely delicious and I’m hoping that you’ll share your granola recipe as well!

  23. Kristyn says:

    mm i love baking pumpkin bread its so yummy!