Thursday, July 7, 2011

Menu Planning with the MARTIN’S Ad

Menu planning and saving money really can go hand-in-hand.  It is important to realize that you can still enjoy some of your family’s favorite meals by menu planning with a sales flyer, you just need to be flexible. 

I am including ideas and recipes for four meals this week.  I have found that I really only cook on average four meals a week and that we end up having at least one left-over night, one meal out, and something easy like homemade pizza or breakfast for dinner.

Coupons mentioned in this post that do not state where you can find them are listed in my weekly top deals post.  Feel free to check it out for deals on other items that you can pick-up to fill your refrigerator or pantry for less.

I wanted to write a post about grilled chicken with the deals this week on GIANT Brand Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks ($1/lb), Split Chicken Breast ($0.99/lb), and Chicken Leg Quarters ($0.89/lb).

I was searching for grilling recipes and discovered this great video about how to grill great chicken. 

When we grill up chicken I like to prepare extra to use throughout the week.  Here are some ideas to make your grilled chicken into a new meal for the next night.

Grilled Chicken Summer Salad:

I have shared before that we enjoy the summer salads that incorporate fresh fruit and vegetables.  It is just as easy to make this type of salad for an individual or for your family.  After grilling your chicken allow it to cool, remove it from the bone and slice it.  Start your salad with a base of greens, whatever you prefer, then add your sliced chicken.  There are lots of options for fresh fruit on sale this week – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.  I sometimes add canned fruit like pineapple or mandarin oranges.  I have seen restaurants offer similar salads with either a poppy seed dressing or some sort of vinaigrette like a balsamic or raspberry.  You can really add whatever you like to the salad if you want some crunch add croutons, sunflower seeds, or toasted nuts.  If you are a cheese lover this type of salad is great with some blue cheese or feta cheese.  It really depends on what is in season and on hand.   You can easily adjust it to work for what your family likes and dislikes. 

Chicken Quesadillas:

This is another meal that you can make for one person or you can make for your whole family.  It is so simple – just slice or shred your chicken after it has been cooked and removed from the bone.  Place a tortilla on a flat surface and sprinkle cheese over it.  (If you don’t have tortillas there is a coupon for the Chi-Chi Tortillas in the 6/12 SmartSource insert.  The Sargento Shredded Cheese is $2 a bag this week.) Once you have covered the tortilla with cheese sprinkle some of the chicken over the cheese, you can add a little salsa also if you like, then add a little bit more cheese.  Top with a second tortilla and heat in a pan or a griddle like you would a grilled cheese sandwich, or microwave for 30-60 seconds or until the cheese is melted.  Serve it with a side of salsa, sour cream, guacamole, or whatever else you want.  You can add a side of rice and refried beans or black beans if you want a complete meal. 

Chicken Salad:

This is a recipe that you can play with to make it work for your family.  Chicken salad can easily be served in a lettuce cup, on a croissant, in a tortilla wrap, or on a hearty bread.  It makes a great lunch or a light dinner.  You can serve it with a side of fruit or chips – either way it will be great. 

Pasta Salad:

I came across this recipe for an Asian pasta salad and I can’t wait to make it myself.  I recently bought a bottle of sesame oil because I have read several recipes that call for it that I want to try.  This one is being added to the list.  I read several of the reviews and they added their own spin on this salad with different vegetables that they had on hand or were plentiful at the time.  The one thing they all seemed to agree on is that the dressing is great.  It looks like it could easily be a complete summer meal, or you could add a side of veggies to make it one.  

Happy Menu Planning!


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