Menu Plan Monday: Week of 11/14/11 & a Crock Pot Challenge

menu plan monday

I use Plan to Eat for all of my meal planning because I can simply drag meals from my recipe book to the menu planner and then the system automatically creates a shopping list for me…simple & easy, just the way I like it!

Rachael’s guest post a couple weeks ago, How to Get Out of a Cooking Rut, was very timely for me. We have been in a cooking rut and, quite frankly, eating processed junk and fast food way too often because I just haven’t had the energy or motivation to cook.

A few friends of mine have been encouraging me to use my crock pot. I have one, but I don’t enjoy cooking with it, so I haven’t been taking advantage of the whole “fix it and forget it” aspect of crock pot cooking.

But something has to change, and I think the crock pot may be a tool that I can use to take some of the stress out of preparing dinner on busier days.

Because I never do anything halfway (ha!), I decided to do a “crock pot challenge” this week and make all five of our weeknight dinners in the crock pot. My hope is that I’ll learn enough and start building habits that will make it easier to use the crock pot once a week or so moving forward.

I’ve been searching for crock pot recipes on Pinterest (hint: a lot of them are labeled “slow cooker” rather than crock pot), and even gotten some great suggestions on the Life Your Way Facebook page. My hubby is fairly picky, and I want him to still enjoy dinner, so I had to whittle down the recipes I found to the ones he’d actually eat, but I’m really excited to see how this week goes!

Here are the crock pot meals we’re going to try this week:

  • buffalo chicken sandwiches with carrot souffle and french fries
  • slow cooker lasagna with garlic bread
  • whole chicken with rice and fried apples
    **I’ll then use the carcass to make homemade chicken stock
  • chicken parmesan with spaghetti
  • italian cream cheese chicken with rice and veggies

We don’t usually eat this meat every day, but I didn’t find any meatless dishes that would really appeal to my family, so we’re going to go with it for the sake of the challenge.

Visit Menu Plan Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie for more menu plans and ideas!

Do you use your crock pot? What is your favorite recipe?