Menu Plan Monday (sort of)

Since Monday is over; I will just start with Tuesday.  I am trying to stockpile the freezer with extra meals. Also, we will be taking the Eat Local challenge starting Friday so I have created a menu to use up what I already have before then. There are no desserts listed this week because we have so much candy from the Labor Day Parade it would be junk overload to bake anything sweet!


Valerie - Mexican Casserole

LaBamba Casserole

  • 1 (5.25 oz can) whole green chiles, drained
  • cooking spray
  • 1 lb cooked, chopped chicken
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves; minced
  • 1 (10 oz can) diced tomatoes and green chiles; undrained
  • 2 cups frozen whole corn kernels
  • 1 16 oz can refried beans
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese; shredded
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 375. Cut green chiles in half lengthwise. Arrange chiles in a single layer in a 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken, onion, chili powder, cumin, salt, and garlic; saute 5 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add diced tomatoes; cook 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Spoon chicken mixture over chiles. Top with corn. Carefully spread beans over corn. Sprinkle cheese over beans. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes; top with chopped tomato and green onions.

This recipe easily doubles and freezes.  Use a freezer casserole pan (with a lid) and assemble completely; label and freeze. 

A version of this recipe originally appeared in Cooking Light.


Sausage Tomato Rotini

  • 1 pound bulk sweet or hot Italian sausage (I am using turkey sausage)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 cups half-and-half or light cream
  • 12 ounces rotini
  • 3 tablespoons finely snipped fresh basil
  • Freshly ground Romano cheese

In a heavy large skillet, cook the sausage, onion, garlic, and red pepper over medium heat until sausage is cooked through, stirring to break up pieces of sausage. Drain off excess fat.Stir in undrained tomatoes; boil gently, uncovered, for 5 to 7 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add half-and-half or light cream. Simmer 4 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; return to saucepan.Add sauce to pasta; heat through, tossing to coat. Serve on warm plates. Sprinkle with basil and Romano.

Serve with a salad of mixed greens, olives, and thinly sliced chopped salami.

(This is also a double and freeze recipe.  Do not freeze the pasta.  Just double the sauce and freeze in a gallon freezer bag. Put the basil in one quart sized freezer baggie and the Romano in another.  Put them all in another gallon freezer baggie and label.  Don’t forget to add to the directions that you will also need 12 ounces of rotini when you make it.)


White Bean and Pork Chili

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 medium carrots, chopped

  • 2 medium celery stalks, chopped

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 pound pork sirloin cutlets, cut into 1/2-inch dice

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground sage

  • 1 cup beef broth

  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can peeled tomatoes (undrained)

  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained (I used dried; this is a lot less expensive but it takes longer. Prepare dried beans normally as directed on the package.)

  • Grated cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese

  • Minced fresh cilantro

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Pat pork dry. Add to skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook until browned, stirring frequently, approximately 6 minutes.

Add pork to vegetables. Blend in chili, cumin, oregano and sage and stir 3 minutes. Add broth to skillet and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Stir into pork mixture. Add tomatoes with liquid and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until pork is tender, stirring occasionally, approximately 1 hour.

Add beans to mixture and stir until heated through. Spoon into bowls. Top with cheese and cilantro.

(Yet another freezer recipe.  Everything but the cilantro and cheese go into one gallon freezer bag.  Cilantro in one bag; cheese in the other.  Label and lay flat to freeze. This recipe is from Epicurious.)


Wherever Mr. Binder feels like ordering pizza from; as I will be chowing down at the “How To Eat Local” event at SanChez!

Click here for more Menu Plan Monday.




Filed under Menu Plan Monday

3 responses to “Menu Plan Monday (sort of)

  1. Omgosh… your menu sounds soooo good. I’ve bookmarked the La Bamba recipe. My hubby wont eat it, but I can take it to spreads when needed. Thanks for the ideas!

  2. Oh the LaBamba Casserole sounds excellent! Thanks for sharing it. Have a great week.

  3. What a spicy week you are having. How come I wasn’t invited to your fiesta?

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