Weekly Menu Plan: A Clean Start in 2011

One of the things we strive for when planning our menus is making everything fit together into one nice, neat little package. We look to use ingredients in different ways throughout the week so that we’re benefiting from the ability of do-aheads and being able to buy in bulk. We also benefit from a well-stocked pantry.

So this is the New Year, and things look a little different. It’s a Clean Start for the New Year, and I hope you’re as excited about it as I am. My dear friend Erin Riley of Jane Reaction made the adorable whisk and spatula with the header, and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. She’s incredibly talented and patient, and she’s gorgeous, both inside and out. I think Conor would agree, and I have Natalie Norton to thank for introducing us.

Along with a new look for 2011, I have a few new projects underway as well, the first of which launched today. If you would, I’d love for you to join me over at the Clean Start Challenge that I’m doing in conjunction with Lifetime Moms and SC Johnson. I’m involved as a Team Coach for Team 3 with Beth Feldman of Role Mommy. Together we’re working towards building self-esteem in kids. My personal goal is to raise awareness with families that family meals and knowledge of food can help lead to healthy children that are secure with themselves because of both family and food relationships, which is a topic near and dear to me having dealt with an eating disorder in the past.

So, along with the New Year, a new menu, filled with soups to get you through January. For some reason, January is soup month for me. The days are short and the snow is deep here in Minnesota, perfect for a blank slate to create a new year upon.

Monday – Brick-Grilled Chicken Dinner with Scallions and Lime Butter

Tuesday – Kale Caesar Salad with Savory Croutons

Wednesday – Baked Eggs with Herbs

Thursday – Garlicky Tortellini Soup with Kale

Friday – Chicken Alfredo Calzones

The Preparation Shortcuts:

1. Use the chicken carcass and make chicken stock for the soups.
2. Kale tends to come in large bunches. We’re using it to make the salad on Tuesday, eggs on Wednesday and soup on Thursday.
3. Make the dough for the calzones ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.
4. Leftover herbs, chicken and other vegetables can all be used in the calzones.

The Shopping List:

1 whole roaster chicken
6 ounces fresh/frozen tortellini
8 ounces spinach
fresh herbs: thyme, parsley, rosemary, basil
1 bunch scallions
1 tomato
1/2 pound bacon
1 1/2 pounds kale
1 cup alfredo sauce or make your own with cream
8 ounces mozzarella
Parmigiano Reggiano

Pantry Items:
chicken stock
olive oil
canned diced tomatoes

Last week from Food for My Family:

Gingerbread Pancakes
And a Happy New Year
Food Your Way:
Exploring Food with Your Kids
Dr. Oz Diet: 11 Weeks to Move It and Lose It in 2011
Do-It-Yourself Mini Donuts
Hoppin’ John Recipe: Get Your Black-Eyed Peas for a Lucky New Year
Ginger Cream Sandwich Cookies

For more menu plans:


  1. Loving the new look, Shaina!

  2. Thumbs up for the 2011 makeover! Although I loved the old look, this is clean and crisp.

    I wish I was eating at your home this week. Fabulous menu. I do have kale in the fridge, off to check out that kale caesar.

  3. Love the new look! It’s so clean and pretty! 🙂 I absolutely love menu plan Monday as well. it makes me think of how to better pan my menus to utilize everything I’m buying!

  4. Great menu and I love the new header!

  5. I second Amiee! Wish I was eating at your house this week too! (or every week that is)

    LOVE the new digs! Beautiful!

  6. The new look is beautiful! Your menu sounds perfect for the cold and snow days right now. Hope you enjoyed the kale Caesar!

  7. This is such a good idea! Like many people, I’m starting the new year with a diet, and I think it would be really smart to plan meals in advance to help forestall those impulse meals that get me in trouble.

  8. You do such amazing work girl… and I just want to take a second to thank you! I tried to set up a meal plan last week and it took me HOURS… you make it look so easy!

    Be blessed-

  9. Beautiful! I knew it was coming and am so excited to see it. I am also proud of what you and lifetime are doing!

  10. I love the way you think. It is smart, and makes sense. Lucky family!!!

  11. Love the new look – it’s so clean & lovely! 🙂

  12. I love how you included a shopping list!

    I also am trying to do better by keeping a meal plan this year…makes things so much easier!!

  13. Love your new design – such a talented designer!

  14. I love the new look! Your menu looks fantastic, too.

  15. The new look is beautiful! I love the whisk spatula!

  16. Love the new look of your blog Shaina! Clean & fresh. Perfect for the new year. This menu looks amazing & very healthy too, of course! xo

Speak Your Mind