New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Friday, September 20, 2013

Monday thru Friday Slow Cooker Meal Plan


Happy Friday!

I've got something  a bit different for you today. I've been trying to figure out how to best share how I meal plan with the slow cooker, and figured it'd be the easiest to just share my grocery list with you! I am a ZipList participant, so if this particular meal plan isn't your favorite, you can easily make your own by clicking on the "save recipe" button under each selection and ZipList will automatically make a customized grocery list for you.

I also have a printable grocery list template on my downloads page that might be useful.

In the mean time, this is what we're having next week in our house. I hope it's helpful!

(meatless) Monday: Pesto Lasagna
Tuesday: Super Simple Cranberry Roast
Wednesday: Traditional Minestrone Soup
Thursday: General Tso's Chicken
Friday: Puffy Pizza Casserole


Grocery List:
(to print just this list, use the PRINT button below, and select just the list to print!)

PRODUCE
carrots (1 cup chopped)
celery (1 cup sliced)
garlic (5 cloves)
onions (2 yellow)
spinach (12-ounces baby leaves)
potatoes (optional; to go with Tuesday's cranberry roast)

DAIRY
eggs (2)
milk (1 cup; any variety)
mozzarella cheese (24 ounces needed for week)
parmesan cheese (1 1/2 cups)
pesto (11 ounces)
ricotta cheese (15-ounces)

MEAT
chicken (boneless, skinless, 1 to 2 pounds)
lean ground beef or turkey (1 pound)
beef or pork roast (3 pounds)
sliced pepperoni (20 pieces)

DRY GOODS
1.5-ounce envelope of Spaghetti Sauce mix (McCormick is GF)
fusilli pasta
lasagna noodles
dried beans (1 cup, black beans or pinto)
flour or gluten free baking mix (1 cup)
rice (optional, to serve with General Tso's Chicken)
soy sauce (1/4 cup, we use gluten free)

CANNED
cranberry sauce (16-ounce, whole berry)
olives, sliced (4 ounces)
pasta sauce (26 ounces)
tomato, diced (14.5-ounces)
tomato sauce (15-ounces)

FROZEN
spinach, chopped (10-ounces)
stir fried veggies (16-ounces, Asian blend)

PANTRY STAPLES
beef bouillon or broth (8 cups)
brown sugar (3 tablespoons)
dried ginger (1 teaspoon)
dried onion flakes (1-2 tablespoons)
Italian Seasoning (1 tablespoon)
red pepper flakes (1 teaspoon)


The Verdict:

Our week runs SO MUCH MORE SMOOTHLY when I take the time to write out a menu and grocery shop for all of the food either on the weekend or the week before. It does take a bit of planning, I know, but I do think you'll find that the hectic meal-making hours will be easier if the groceries are already in the house. 

The slow cooker already forces you to meal plan, so just by using it (somewhat) regularly you're already way ahead!!

have a great week!

15 comments:

Love This Space said...

My weeks always go better when I plan out the meals too. As a single woman, having that crockpot cooking while I'm at work makes coming home SO wonderful! Walking in to a fabulous, healthy meal that I can turn around and take for lunch the next day is hugely helpful in eating right and keeping on budget.

Mia Braddock said...

thank you so much for sharing!! this would be a great cookbook idea. mon-fri meal plans with grocery list!

BethanyBoo said...

I use SpringPad to store all of my recipes. Then when I do meal plans, I just click the "copy ingredients to shopping list" option from each recipe. It's so easy!

Liza Downey said...

Stephanie - are these meals freezer-friendly? i.e., may I prepare them in advance and store in ziplocs and just put the contents in day of cooking? Thanks for this, the recipes look great!

Stephanie ODea said...

Hi Liza,
not really. The cranberry roast is a great candidate, and the chicken can be put together outside of the frozen veggies. Here are the freezer-friendly prepare-in-advance meals:
http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2012/02/slow-cooker-tv-dinners.html

I hope this helps a bit!!

Allie @ Everyday Adventures said...

I do my meal planning once a week too, and it keeps us from eating out all the time!

C. said...

OMG! Love this! Will you do more of these type of posts?

pecanakan said...

This is great, and just in time for next week.I'm going to give it a try!!!

Liza Downey said...

Absolutely! Thank you so much and Happy Friday!

seasonitalready.com said...

Love this! Thank you.

Jenni Brown said...

Could you figure out how to add categories to your recipes so that I can search by time of cooking. The four recipes don't really fit my week. I need to put it in the crock before I go to work, and leave it there all day.

TheBraleys said...

Oh my goodness! I LOVE this post! Can you post something like this or share your planned meals every week??!! :D I just signed up for ziplist (THANK YOU!!) I can't wait to do the shopping next week! :)

Retired Knitter said...

I have always menu planned and shopped off a list for exactly the reason you gave. It makes things easier during the week. To be honest I would love to have a cook who would do all this for me since I typically don't enjoy cooking but if I am doing it I want it as stress free as possible which means planning ahead AND having great recipes to follow AND using a crock pot ... Which is why I follow YOU ! :-)

Hope said...

This is AMAZING!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

Lydia said...

I am using this plan this week and I have to say it has been so wonderful having the thinking, always the hard part, done for me. Went shopping with the list. Assembling the recipes has been easy. Did the lasagna prep the night before and dropped it into my slow cooker. Came home from a 6 mile run to a finished meal. Sweet. Please keep posting your menu plans. They make my life much easier.

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