Meal Planning Monday ~ Use What You’ve Got on Hand


          My Freezer Inventory Sheet was a mess!  I hadn’t updated it on the computer in a month and a half, so there were scribbles all over it – many things crossed out and plenty of others written in.  It was past time to physically double-check what was in my kitchen freezer and what was in my deep freezer in the basement.  My goal is to update my Freezer Inventory Sheet on the computer once every few weeks and print a clean copy to hang up in my kitchen.

            I made some interesting discoveries while doing my update.  I am running low on soup.  If you’ve been following me for a few months, you know I’ve been making large batches of soup on a regular basis and freezing them in small containers so I don’t have to buy canned soup (less tasty and less healthy than homemade).  I’m down to my last container of vegetable soup, and only have a good stockpile of my turkey noodle soup that I made last week.  So, I am going to be making turkey chili this week and vegetable soup next week to restock my supply.  I’m out of muffins and pancakes, so I’ll be making batches of those this week as well.

            I also discovered that I have an abundance of certain things that I need to make use of over the next month or two.  For some reason I have a ton of chicken and turkey sausage.  I will definitely be working these into my meal plan for March.  I’ll probably make sausage and bean stew, turkey kielbasa with potato and cheese pierogies, and spaghetti with three-cheese Italian chicken sausage.  I’ve also got eight quart-sized bags of blueberries – yes, 8!  And over a dozen frozen bananas.  You bet I’ll be working those into my pancake and muffin recipes!  I’ve also plenty of frozen green beans from the co-op to use up.

            I’ll be putting together my March meal plan sometime this week, and it’s always a good idea to take stock of what’s in the freezer and pantry before planning begins.  This way you can be sure to make good use of what you’ve already got on hand.  Here is my Meal Plan for this week.

Monday ~ “Mmm… Chicken” with mushrooms sautéed in butter and salad that was left over from our family dinner last night.  Darn Good Chocolate cake for dessert, see recipe below.

Tuesday ~ Turkey Chili.  I browned the ground turkey in advance last week and froze it.  I’ll toss it in the crock pot straight from the freezer and combine with my canned chili beans and tomatoes.  Cook on low for 3-4 hours and dinner is ready!

Wednesday ~ BBQ Chicken in the crock pot with Parmesan potatoes and green beans.  This is so easy!  I just toss four bone-in chicken thighs (frozen) in the crockpot with a bottle of BBQ sauce and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Thursday ~ FFY – Fend for Yourself or eat leftovers!

Friday ~ Honey Lime Tilapia with rice and broccoli.

Saturday ~ Eggplant Rollitini with salad.

Sunday ~ Turkey Sausage and Bean Stew.


Darn Good Chocolate

Recipe Modified from The Cake Mix Doctor cookbook by Anne Byrn

  • 1 box of chocolate or devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 small box of chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt (you can sub low-fat sour cream)
  • 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder (optional)
  • 1 Tbs. of milk (omit if not using the protein powder)
  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ cup of canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups of semi-sweet mini chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside.  Place all ingredients except chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until well combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into the Bundt pan and smooth with a spatula for even distribution.  Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.  Let cool for 20 minutes.  Run a long, thin knife along the edges of the pan and invert onto a serving platter.  This cake is excellent served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!