Making Dinner: Recipes for Aug 27 – Sep 2


Here are the recipes from the past week’s meal plan. All in all, a fairly successful week in meal planning, shopping and cooking! Because we didn’t have dinner at home at all on the weekend the husband and I shopped together on Sunday evening for the week.  Things got a bit nutty during the week and the husband ended up cooking one meal plus we ditched one of them and ate leftovers instead. This is why it is important to be flexible!

As a reminder, here was the plan:

August 27 – September 2

Friday: Dinner at Mom & Dad’s
Saturday: Dinner at my sister & brother-in-law’s house (Mexican Fiesta! Ole!)
Sunday: Dinner at a friend’s place
Meatless Monday: Lasagna Rolls
Tuesday: Thai Red Curry with Chicken
Wednesday: Steak Lettuce Wraps
Thursday: BBQ Chicken, baked potato and cucumber salad

Recipes after the jump…

OK, first up is Meatless Monday. I made Lasagna Rolls which is a dish we have made a lot over the last couple of years. A friend of mine gave me a binder full of Cooking Light recipes that we used as our bible when I was doing Weight Watchers. These Lasagna Rolls were only 7 points or something like that and are totally filling.  I didn’t get the husband to rate these as I’m using the rating scale to judge dishes we haven’t had before.  But they would probably be around a 4/5 on his scale. Always yummy!

Lasagna Rolls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

by Cooking Light


Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 rolls)



  • 8  uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 4  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1/2  cup  finely chopped onion
  • 1  (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
  • 1  (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2  cup  (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2  cup  part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4  cup  minced fresh basil, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  crushed red pepper


  • 1  tablespoon  red wine vinegar
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1  (7-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, undrained
  • 1/8  teaspoon  crushed red pepper


  1. To prepare lasagna, cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, mushrooms, spinach, and 3 garlic cloves; sauté 5 minutes or until onion and mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat, and stir in cheeses, 2 tablespoons basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper.
  3. To prepare sauce, place vinegar and remaining ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.
  4. Place cooked noodles on flat surface; spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture over each noodle. Roll up noodles, jelly-roll fashion, starting with short side. Place the rolls, seam sides down, in a shallow 2-quart microwave-safe dish. Pour 1/4 cup sauce over each roll, and cover with heavy-duty plastic wrap. Microwave at high 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons basil.

Additions / Substitutions / Reviews

I don’t bother with the fresh spinach, since I usually have a package or two of frozen chopped spinach in the freezer. If you go this route, saute the onions, garlic and mushrooms first and then add your thawed, well drained spinach at the end.  Also, we found that the sauce tasted better if it’s thrown in a saute pan and cooked for a bit while the noodles were cooking.  Finally I always put this in the oven at about 350 – 400 degrees for 20 minutes until the sauce is bubbly.  Oh and one last thing, throw an extra noodle or two into the boiling water just in case you 1. break one or 2. have extra filling.  These turned out really yummy (as usual!)

Red Thai Curry with Chicken

by: Thai Kitchen


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 1 can (14 ounces) Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce (or 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and the juice from half a lime)
  • 1 pound boneless chicken, beef, pork or duck, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 cups assorted cut-up vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, carrots and sugar snap peas
  • 2 tablespoons julienne-cut fresh basil
  • Cooked Jasmine Rice


  1. HEAT oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add curry paste; stir fry 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until fragrant. Add coconut milk and chicken stock; bring to simmer on medium-high heat. Stir in brown sugar and fish sauce until well blended.
  2. STIR in meat and vegetables; simmer 5 to 7 minutes or until meat is cooked through and vegetables are tender-crisp. Remove from heat. Stir in basil.
  3. SERVE over cooked Jasmine Rice

Additions / Substitutions / Reviews

Ok, so I have to start off by saying this was SO YUMMY! It is by far the tastiest thing I have EVER cooked in my life. The husband agrees, he gives it a 4.6/5 (he said he would have given it 5/5 but he didn’t want to rate something so high so early, just in case I make something even better).  Fish sauce sort of scares me so I googled “substitutions for fish sauce” and found out that most people either just leave it out or use a combination of soy sauce and lime juice. I did the latter and it turned out really yummy.  We made ours with chicken and rather than simmering it in the sauce I browned it in the skillet first.  The veggies in our curry were – red peppers, green peppers, red onion and zucchini.  The next time I make this dish (which may very well be next week!) I will double the sauce because it was SO GOOD. I highly recommend you try this out!

Steak Lettuce Wraps


<ahem, no picture for this because we dove in and ate and I forgot again. Bad Michelle. I’m going to have to start leaving the camera downstairs by the kitchen table! Next week I’ll be better..>


  • 2 medium sized steaks cut into strips
  • 2 cups of carrots, peppers, onions and whatever other veggies you want, cut into strips
  • bean sprouts
  • cripsy Asian noodles
  • whole peanuts, toasted in a dry pan or roasted in the oven (careful – they burn quickly!)
  • head of lettuce (bibb works great but head lettuce works well too and is much less expensive. We’ve even done this with hearts of romaine and made lettuce “boats”)
  • hoisin sauce
  • teryaki sauce


  1. Heat skillet and add a touch of oil. Fry steak strips with a squirt of teryaki and hoisin sauce until cooked through and remove from pan.
  2. Add a touch more oil if necessary and stir fry vegetables until cooked but still crunchy.
  3. Toss in cooked steak and any juices. Throw bean sprouts on top and toss in the peanuts.  Stir to combine, taste to see if it needs more hoisin or teryaki (sometimes we add a bit of soy). Empty pan into a big serving bowl.
  4. Separate the lettuce leaves into whole pieces (as best you can, it takes some practice, but if you get smaller pieces, don’t worry about it).
  5. To eat – take a lettuce leaf, put a little dab of hoisin or teryaki sauce in the bottom, add a scoop of the steak and veggie mixture and top with some crispy noodles.  Roll it up as best you can and shove it in your mouth!

Additions / Substitutions / Review

No additions or substitutions to report here as it is our own recipe.  I would say that these are just as yummy the next day (and I’m not a leftovers girl!).  We ended up tossing a couple of the crispy noodles in with the sauce and veggies so they got soft which is equally as yummy.  This is a standby in our house, so it gets another 4/5. Give them a try! These are also yummy with chicken or just veggies.

Thursday – we ended up having lots of leftovers from the lettuce wraps that we decided not to cook Thursday’s meal, so BBQ chicken with potatoes and cucumber salad has been moved to next week, again. But this is why it’s important to be flexible with your meal plan! The chicken is kept in the freezer until we need it, so I don’t have to worry about it going bad. Plus the cucumber for the salad and the potatoes for the baked potatoes will last a few more days for us to use them up next week. No sweat off my back and I got to take a night off cooking (well, actually two nights since the husband cooked the lettuce wraps!)

I think we are getting in more of a rhythm with this meal planning and cooking.  Onwards to next week!  Watch out for the meal plan this afternoon.

Click here for the recipes from last week.
Click here to read my guest post on Like a Bird on Meal Planning.
Click here to download my Meal Planner sheets.


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