Meal Planning Monday ~ Lenten Suppers

This week’s post is by Christine Luken.

We’re in the middle of Lenten season, which means either fish or meatless meals on Fridays until after Easter.  As awesome as the Friday Fish Fries are at local Catholic churches, they’re usually not great for your waistline.  To give you some healthy options and a little variety this Lenten season, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite seafood recipes and meatless dishes.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp ~ I love this recipe because it’s ready in minutes and tastes delicious.  The original recipe calls to pairing it with green beans, which – although healthy – isn’t very filling.  I serve black bean and corn salad with it, which is packed with fiber.  It’s also easy to make: In a bowl, combine a can of black beans (drained and rinsed) with a can of corn (drained).  Stir in 1 to 1 ½ cups of your salsa of choice.  And a few tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro (optional), and refrigerate for at least an hour to chill.  Stir before serving.

Salmon with Parmesan Mayo Topping and Garlic Roasted Asparagus ~ This salmon looks and tastes gourmet, but is shockingly simple to make.  The original recipe includes instructions for making your own mayo for the topping, but I just use a lower-fat olive oil based mayo from the store.  Just mix mayo and parmesan, spread it on the salmon, and sprinkle with paprika.  In 20 minutes, you’ve got a healthy, mouth-water fish dinner.  I’ll take fresh asparagus, toss it with minced garlic and a bit of olive oil, and roast it in a Pyrex baking dish in the oven with the salmon.

Tilapia or Swai Fillets ~ I like Swai fillets myself, but both are inexpensive, tasty, and easy to prepare.  I heat up a little bit of olive oil in a pan, season both sides of the fish with Mrs. Dash’s Lemon Pepper or Fiesta Lime seasoning, and pan fry it.  I’ll serve it with either rice or potatoes and a veggie in the steamer.

Easy, Cheesy Casserole ~ Meal Planning Monday guest blogger, Casey Lindberg-Coghill, did an entire post with meatless meals you’ll want to revisit!  One of my favorites is her Easy, Cheesy Casserole.  It’s filling and delicious, so you won’t even miss the meat.  I typically serve this with a side salad.

Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi ~ This oriental style fish recipe is great with some jasmine rice and stir fried veggies.  If you don’t have fresh ginger on hand, feel free to substitute ground ginger from your spice rack.

What are your favorite meatless meals for Lent?

Meal Planning Monday ~ Get Back on the Wagon

Have you fallen off the Meal Planning wagon?  It happens even to the best of us sometimes.  Laid back summer schedules, vacations, and holidays can sometimes derail our meal planning, and that’s okay.  The trick is to get back on the wagon sooner rather than later.  If you’ve never done any serious Meal Planning, now is the perfect time to start!  With the school year starting up, most of us will be getting back to a more structured schedule this fall.  Here are some tips for getting on (or back on) the Meal Planning wagon, and my own Meal Plan for this week.

  • Start small.  I typically meal plan on a monthly basis.  This can seem overwhelming, so let’s just start with planning this week, or the remainder of this month for now.  (I like monthly meal planning because I only have to do it 12 times a year, instead of 52 times a year!)  Make sure that you’ve at least got a week of meals planned before you head to the grocery store.
  • Base your meal plan on what you’ve already got on hand.  If you’ve got an abundance of ground beef in the freezer, or canned tomatoes in the pantry, schedule a few meals to incorporate those ingredients.
  • Look at your schedule.  If you have a parents’ meeting at school on Thursday night, don’t schedule a complicated meal that day.  It may sound like a no-brainer, but save the labor-intensive recipes for days when you have the time to make them.
  • Plan around what’s on sale this week.  I usually plan my main dishes for dinner, but not always my sides.  I want to be flexible enough to work in the red potatoes, cauliflower, and asparagus that are on sale this week!
  • Don’t beat yourself up!  Feeling guilty about abandoning your meal plan isn’t productive, so don’t do it!  If you need extra help with Meal Planning ideas or recipes, check out my e-book, “The Coupon Sisters Get Cooking:  Discover the Magic of Meal Planning.”  (Use coupon code LEAH to save 10%!)  You can also find it on Amazon.

 

Here’s my Meal Plan for this week:

Monday ~ Black Bean Soup with Blue Corn Tortilla Chips.

Tuesday ~ Grilled Chicken Bruschetta with Quinoa and a Salad.

Wednesday ~ Honey Lime Tilapia with wild rice and carrots.  This recipe is very easy and super tasty!

Thursday ~ Pizza & Chicken Wings.

Friday ~ Grilled Hot Dogs and Hamburgers.

Saturday ~ We’re going to my cousin’s wedding, so no cooking for me tonight!

Sunday ~ Grilled Chicken Tenderloins with mac & cheese and green beans.