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Dinner for the Week

A New Series!

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Ranch Chicken Meatloaf

Ranch Chicken Meatloaf

Linda Larsen
I think one of the hardest things to do is to plan dinner, day after day after day. Even when you have lots of inspired, even when you own thousands of cookbooks, sometimes you are just stymied. When that happens, turn to this new series at Busy Cooks - Dinner for the Week.

Every so often, I'll plan out a week's worth of dinner menus and include a shopping list. The menus use delicious and simple recipes and make good use of leftovers (not that your family will know they're leftovers!) so you only have to shop once to feed your family six times.

Print out the grocery list at the end of this article and make changes to it according to what you have on hand and the changes you make in the recipes. And you can certainly change the recipes! For instance, for the Ranch Chicken Loaf that I've made for the first dinner, I used ground turkey instead of ground chicken and added more salsa, omitting the ranch salad dressing. And I added some Parmesan cheese to the meatloaf just because I like it. That's what is nice about cooking - you can change things to suit your tastes as long as you follow the basic outline of the recipe.

Enjoy your week, knowing your meals are planned out and your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry are full of good food to nourish your family.

Monday Night Dinner

  • Ranch Chicken Loaf
    Ranch flavored tortilla chips are crushed and used as the binder in this excellent meatloaf. It's delicious and good for you too.
  • Tender Asparagus
    Cook more asparagus than you'll need, cover, and refrigerate for Wednesday's dinner. In the spring, I use asparagus a lot because it's such a treat, and less expensive too. Make more than you need and reserve in the fridge for Wednesday's dinner.
  • Garlic Bread
    You could just brush the bread slices with olive oil, and leave out the garlic for a milder version. Save three slices for tomorrow's dinner.
  • Cookie Brittle
    This super easy shortbread is a wonderful last minute dessert that's also wonderful in lunchboxes during the week. Save a few squares for the pie for tomorrow night.

Tuesday Dinner

  • Broccoli Frittata
    Use leftover crumbs from the Garlic Bread from Monday night to make this delicious and hearty frittata. You can use your family's favorite vegetable in this easy recipe; if not broccoli, then green beans or even peas will work wonderfully.
  • Marinated Fruit Salad
    Use the best fresh fruits you can find in the market for this accommodating salad. Drain off the excess dressing and save the leftovers, covered in the fridge, for tomorrow's dessert.
  • Seasoned Breadsticks
    Let your kids make these flavorful breadsticks while you get the ingredients for the frittata together. They have the most wonderful flavor and texture.
  • Italian Frosty Dessert
    Make this delicious and super easy rich dessert on Monday night after dinner. Use some of the Cookie Brittle from last night for the crust.

Wednesday Dinner

  • Impossible Ham Asparagus Pie
    Use the asparagus left over from Monday night's dinner in this super easy Impossible Pie. If you don't want to use ham, cooked shrimp or chicken would be excellent; you could even use cooked ground beef.
  • Herbed Spinach Salad
    Buy a nice oil and vinaigrette salad dressing to use on this salad instead of the homemade version to save some time.
  • Fruit Pavlova
    Meringues are very simple to make and they last several days, loosely wrapped, stored at room temperature. They're also very good just filled with ice cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup if you don't have fruit salad leftover.

Go to the next page to get menus for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday plus the printable grocery list.

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