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  • Writer's pictureNikki

Menu Plan Monday: A Week of Comforting and Flavorful Dinners!

(Well, I might have missed last week! haha So I'm making it up for you now!)

Hey there, wonderful readers! Nikki from BShapedBody here, ready to bring you another fantastic edition of Menu Plan Monday. This week, get ready to indulge in a lineup of comforting and flavorful dinners that will leave you feeling satisfied and possibly going in for seconds. These dishes are not only delicious but also easy on your wallet - and each one is amazing the next day for leftovers, plus Im going to walk you through how to use up all of your ingredients together. So, without further ado, let's dive into the mouthwatering meals for the week!

Pinto Beans and Cornbread

Let's kick off the week with a classic Southern dish that warms the soul—pinto beans and cornbread. These slow-cooked beans are packed with flavor and served alongside a fluffy and golden cornbread. It's a hearty and comforting meal that will make you feel right at home. I make my beans by soaking them overnight in water - then drain and rinse. In your crockpot or instant pot, you'll add your beans, half of an onion, 2-3 strips of bacon cut into chunks, a few pickled jalapeño slices and some of the juice, and about 2-3 TABLESPOONS - yes I said tablespoons, of the Fiesta Brand pinto bean seasoning! This is the KEY to incredible pintos. DO NOT add salt when cooking beans, add it after for taste!! Cover it with enough water or stock to cover by about an inch and a half and either slow cook on low all day (8 hours) or high pressure cook one hour in the instant pot. Now, I bought a 2lb bag of pintos at Walmart for under $2, soaked all of them, but froze half and cooked half. For dinner we will only eat half of the cooked ones, and I'll save the other half for burritos later this week. If you have a bigger family, cook all 2 pounds and save half for later this week. I just made jiffy cornbread with these because its cheap, easy, and quick! Cook it in your cast iron and it makes it 100000000000% butter, I mean better! haha!!

Swedish Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Tender meatballs smothered in a rich and creamy sauce, served over a bed of creamy mashed potatoes, and accompanied by perfectly cooked green beans. It's a cozy and satisfying dinner that will have you reaching for seconds! Heres how I make it! for 2 people I use half a pound of beef but you can adjust that as needed. Mix it with seasonings of your choice, I use garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. Im going to add one egg and some breadcrumbs then roll them into balls and bake them in my air fryer (its too hot for the oven! lol) on 350 for about 10min. Then Im going to toss them into my slow cooker with 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup, a packet of mushroom gravy mix, 1C of beef stock, and 1C sour cream. Season this as you like and cook on low 4-6 hours.

Bean Burritos and Nachos

Let's spice things up midweek with a Tex-Mex fiesta! Were going to use our leftover pintos for this, so it's SO easy! In a pan, heat up a little oil - or you can do it like me and use bacon grease for the best flavor - and then add in your pinto beans, and smash them with a potato masher. You can add extra seasoning if you want like, but they are usually pretty seasoned from making them earlier in the week. Next warm up your flour tortillas and layer in your beans, shredded cheese, and I like to keep my sauce packets from different take out places, but if you don't have Taco Bell sauce on hand, you can buy it by the bottle at Walmart! I also like onions on mine, but Charlton doesn't! Once you have filled your tortilla, give it a roll and I like to sear ours in the cast iron for just a minute to crisp them up! Im going to serve nachos on the side. I have some left over nacho cheese in the fridge from movie night last week and chips. I'll layer it with pickled jalapeños, sour cream, and salsa!

Shepherd's Pie with French Bread

Time to indulge in a comforting classic—Shepherd's Pie. This hearty dish layers seasoned ground meat, mixed vegetables, and creamy mashed potatoes, all baked to golden perfection. Serve it with some warm and crusty French bread to mop up every last bit of deliciousness. You should know by now I love a shortcut so I cook my beef with some chopped onion, usual suspects for seasoning - salt and pepper, garlic and onion powder, and some beff bullion seasoning. Add in half a bag of frozen mixed veggies, and then just enough water to create a gravy. Layer that in a casserole dish with mashes potatoes on top, and we like shredded cheese on top of that. Everything is hot, so I just throw it under the broiler for a minute until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

If your Walmart marks down bread from the day before, on your shopping trip, grab a loaf of French bread, or any other kind of bread you like, and toss it in the fridge until you're ready to use it! I just throw it under the broiler with the pie to warm it up for a few minutes.

Chicken and Dumplings

Nothing says comfort food quite like chicken and dumplings. Tender chicken, fluffy dumplings, and a rich broth come together in this soul-soothing dish. It's like a warm hug in a bowl and will leave you feeling nourished and content. Now here is the EASIEST dish of the week! Im going to use some rotisserie chicken I have in my freezer, but you can cook and use any chicken you like. Then in a pot, you want a large can of cream of chicken soup, some chicken stock or chicken bullion and water, just until its not "thick" anymore - don't worry it will thicken back up. Put that over medium high heat until it starts to simmer. I use the Walmart brand of pop-tin biscuits, cut them into 1/4's and drop them into the soup. Cover and let simmer about 10 minutes. Then you're going to add in the other half of your frozen veggie mix you used in the Shepards pie, and your chicken. Stir it all together, add in seasoning to your liking, and serve!

Turkey Potato Casserole

This delicious casserole combines turkey, sliced potatoes, and a medley of savory flavors. Baked to perfection, it's a satisfying dish that the whole family will love. this is the recipe I will be using!

Spaghetti with Garlic Bread

It's towards the end of the week, were tired of cooking, were tired of everything! You know how to make this - just get yourself fed! haha! Buon appetito!

French Toast with Bacon

Wrap up the week with a breakfast-for-dinner treat—French toast! Thick slices of bread soaked in a sweet and custardy mixture, then cooked to golden perfection. Top it with a drizzle of maple syrup and serve it with crispy bacon for the perfect balance of flavors.

There you have it, folks—a delectable lineup of comforting and flavorful dinners for the week ahead. Be sure to visit the BShapedBody blog weekly for more detailed recipes, where I'll also share some of my personal tips and tricks. Happy cooking, and enjoy the delicious meals!


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