Meal Plan Monday: November 12 – 18th

Monday: Roasted Chicken (I purchased a whole chicken a few weeks ago when Hy-Vee had them on sale), mashed potatoes with gravy and frozen vegetables.
I have tried a few different roasted chicken recipes but I prefer to keep it simple and season with salt, pepper and a little “Chicken Seasoning”.

Tuesday: Leftovers.
Just like most weeks when I am teaching my evening 10-week Eating for Life Class.

Wednesday: Ham and Bean Soup with bakery bread.

photo from allrecipes.com


Thursday: Leftovers
My husband has parent-teacher conferences tonight and we will have plenty of prepared food in the fridge.

Friday: Spaghetti with side salad.
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Whole grain noodles, homemade sauce (thanks Mom!) with Smart Chicken Sweet Italian Sausage. I could write an entire post about my love of Smart Chicken Sweet Italian Sausage. If you haven’t had the pleasure of tasting this deliciousness, you are missing out. Get in your car right away and go buy some!

Saturday: Pizza
Now, I’m not talking about delivery. Pizza-night at our house almost always is homemade. Partially because I don’t like to spend money going out to eat, but mostly because our homemade pizza ROCKS! The best way to cook pizza, by far, is to grill it. If you haven’t ever grilled pizza, it is life-changing. I owe my life-changing pizza moment to my good friend, Nicki.

Don’t get intimidated by the thought of grilling the perfect pizza. If you are a frozen-pizza type person, don’t fret, they grill up nicely too. I prefer to make my own crust, but the pre-made crusts work well as does frozen bread dough.

My favorite toppings are Smart Chicken Italian Sausage (I sound like a broken record, but this stuff is amazing!), feta, and oodles of veggies (cherry tomatoes, onions, fresh mushrooms, bell peppers, black olives, fresh spinach).

I will post photos and directions for how I grill my pizza in a future post. So keep coming back!

Sunday: Black Bean Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries and Salad
I remember the first time I ever had a “veggie” burger. I was in high school on a band trip to Chicago (I played the tuba and trombone). We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. Because we had a large group and a limited budget, our choices were hamburger, cheeseburger or veggie burger. {Now here’s a little back story. I grew up in a small town in rural Iowa. The local restaurant offered a “veggie” burger which was a hamburger with veggies (lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions). The regular hamburger was just a burger patty and bun.}

So, fast forward back to Chicago. The waitress asked me what I wanted to eat. I ordered the veggie burger because I really like pickles, tomatoes and lettuce on my hamburgers. Imagine my surprise when what came was a lumpy, seedy, bland, dried-out patty made from soy and other beans. I did my best to pretend that I was not intimidated by and disappointed in my food choice. I did what any other self-respecting American does to their food. I covered my burger in ketchup, mounds and mounds of ketchup!

With my disappointment in veggie or bean burgers still tainting my thoughts, I shied away from any sort of patty not made from meat. It wasn’t until I became a registered dietitian nearly 10 years later that I thought it was time to give my bean friends another try.

I have made dozens of different recipes for meatless burgers and by far, this recipe from a fellow dietitian is my favorite. The chipotle mayo really is amazing!

Black Bean Burgers
All you need:
5 whole wheat hamburger buns
1 can (15 oz) no salt added black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
2 large egg whites
2 green onions
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp chipotle mayonnaise
4 lettuce leaves
4 tomato slices

All you do:
In a food processor, blend one hamburger bun to fine crumbs. Set a side in a large bowl. Place 1/2 of the beans, all of the cheese, egg whites, onions, chili powder, oregano and garlic powder in the food processor and blend well, scraping sides as needed.
Pour mixture into bowl with hamburger bun crumbles. Add remaining black beans and mix together. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat a mini-indoor grill (George Foreman or other brand) or nonstick skillet. Place 1/4 up mixture on grill and press down to form a patty. Let the patties cook 4 minutes on each side. Place on bun and top with chipotle mayo, lettuce and tomato slice.

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About thisRDeats

A mix of realism, humor, tips and delicious recipes. I am a mother, wife, passionate sewer and registered dietitian. I want to show people that food is medicine and getting back in the kitchen is the key to health. I love everything about food: gardening, shopping, cooking and most of all, EATING! Notice that "dishes" isn't on that list.... Food isn't perfect. It nourishes our minds, bodies and souls! As a blogger, journalist, speaker and broadcast professional, I enjoy talking about food and nutrition for websites, television, radio, magazines, and newspapers. I also work with companies to provide customized nutrition education and recipe development.
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