Menu Plan Monday ~ Turn Off the Oven Edition

The contest has ended. If you are interested in signing up for the Stolen Moments Menu Planning service, I have a discount code available here.

I am so excited to guest host Menu Plan Monday for my friend Laura. Laura’s site was one of the first blogs I read when I started writing The Happy Housewife. Her Menu Plan Monday meme motivated me to plan and publish my menus each week. Having a menu plan and sticking to it is one of the easiest ways to save money on your monthly food bill.

To show my appreciation for all the menu planners out there, who have motivated me and held me accountable over the past months, I thought it would be fun to have a menu planning giveaway. If you struggle with menu planning or just want a break for a while because of a busy season, I’ve got a great solution for you.

Kate from Cooking During Stolen Moments recently launched a menu planning service, Stolen Moments Menu Planning. This service is different from other menu planning options out there because it is fully personalized to your family’s size, likes, dislikes, cooking styles and budget. Kate takes your answers from a brief survey to create unique menu plans tailored just for your family. Each plan includes the menu, recipes and a corresponding grocery list. You can choose to have your plans delivered monthly or weekly. You can also subscribe to either the basic plan for dinner only or the complete plan which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. For more information, check out the Stolen Moments Menu Planning site and order page. I have seen first hand Kate hard at work creating menus for families and I can assure you this is a valuable service for anyone who struggles with what to make for dinner.

Kate has offered to give one of my readers a 6 month subscription to the basic menu planning service. To enter, just leave a comment on this post. The giveaway ends Thursday, August 6, Cora time. You don’t not have to link up with a menu plan to enter, just leave a comment.

Menu Plan Week of August 2nd

I am not sure about you but it is hot around here! The temperatures are rising and in an effort to keep our electric bill reasonable I am trying to use the oven as little as possible. Thankfully we have a grill, griddle, and a crock pot to get us through this hot and humid summer.


Whole wheat pancakes (recipe below), Homemade English muffins, Oatmeal, Eggs and toast, Blender better whole wheat waffles


Sandwiches, Fruit, Veggies, Yogurt, Cheese and crackers, Smoothies


Cuban Chicken Salad – This delicious dish is perfect for summer and takes about 20 minutes to prepare from start to finish.


  • 2 chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 can back beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn (cooked)
  • 1/4 cup green onions chopped
  • 1 small red pepper, sliced thin

Grill chicken until thoroughly cooked, slice into strips. Chop lettuce and divide on to four plates. Heat black beans and corn and spoon on top of the lettuce. Add sliced pepper and onion. Top with sliced chicken.


  • 2 TBS lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 1/2 teas sugar
  • 1 teas minced garlic
  • 1/2 teas chili powder
  • 1/2 teas salt
  • 1/2 teas pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Put all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Pour over prepared salad.
For a fun twist add blue corn chips. For those who are not a fan of cilantro this salad also tastes great topped with salsa or ranch dressing.

Lemon Pepper Chicken Legs: Dark meat chicken is a great way to add meat to a meal without adding to your grocery budget.

served with tossed salad, fresh steamed broccoli, and seasonal fruit

  • 2/3 cup dry unsweetened lemonade mix
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 (16 ounce) bottle Italian-style salad dressing
  • 3 pounds chicken legs
  • Remove skin from the chicken legs. Mix together marinade ingredients and marinate the chicken legs all day in the fridge. Grill chicken legs on low heat until thoroughly cooked. The chicken legs usually take about 45 minutes to an hour on the grill.

Simple Crock Pot Pork Roast: Buy a cheaper cut of meat to save money. I purchase boneless, but that is my preference.

served with fresh pineapple, macaroni and cheese, and tossed salad

  • 1 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Spray crock pot with nonstick spray. Place pork roast in crock pot. Add worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Cook on low for 8 hours. Turn pork roast occasionally. For those of your with acute observation skills, yes, I do put my crock pot outside in the summer months to keep the house cooler.

Pizza on the Grill: Let’s just say I am no Bobby Flay when it comes to grilling. I tried pizza on the grill last summer and failed horribly. My family loves pizza and during the cooler months it is a staple on Friday nights. I am going to attempt to grill pizza again this week, with hopefully some better results.

Salmon Cake Sandwiches: This is a favorite summer time meal. I usually have some whole wheat rolls in the freezer, but since I am all out I will probably buy some potato rolls at the store.

served with watermelon, chips, and corn

  • Two cans boneless, skinless salmon, drained
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (you can use low fat)
  • 4 teasp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teasp black pepper
  • 1 teasp salt

I beat the eggs first, then take all the ingredients and mix together in a bowl. You might need to adjust the amount of bread crumbs a little to make sure you can form the patties.

Form the mixture into eight patties (similar to hamburgers)

On medium heat coat a frying pan with vegetable oil, then melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan.

Fry your salmon patties for about 4 minutes on each side until they are a beautiful golden color.

Set on a paper towel to blot any extra oil.

Serve on a bun with your choice of toppings. We like lettuce and mayo at our house.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk ( I use powdered and add water)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat (fresh ground soft white) flour

Mix dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients and mix. Cook on a hot (350 degrees) buttered griddle for about 3 minutes on each side.

Time to link up your menu plans for the week. To participate please follow Laura’s guidelines below:

  1. Link to your individual MPM post instead of to your home page.
  2. When adding your name to MckLinky please make sure to include some spaces. Here is an example of the right way: The Happy Housewife (Turn off the Oven), and this is an example of the way not to do it: The Happy Housewife(Turnofftheoven)
  3. Please feel free to let us know if you are new to MPM (so we can be sure to visit and welcome you) by putting “I’m new” or “first one” in brackets after your name in MckLinky.
  4. Please mention MPM in your post and link back to my weekly MPM post hosted this week at The Happy Housewife.  I reserve the right to delete those links that don’t adhere to this.
  5. Please do not host your own MPM at your site. Thanks!


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.


  1. Your menu planning inspired me!

  2. What a great giveaway! It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut making the same 5 family favorites over and over! 🙂

  3. Thanks for the giveaway. I have tried menu planning in the past and always seem to end up cooking the same 7 or 8 meals over and over! I hope I win!

  4. Thank you for always posting your menu. We struggle a great deal w/ menu planning. I can eat the same food everyday, hubby likes something different, and my 3 year old doesn’t care as long as he likes it. Problem is, hubby is not home for dinner 3 nights a week so I will ignore any ‘plan’ we might have and the little one and I will have PB&J, soup,and applesauce and be happy as can be! That saves us money but doesn’t help when we need leftovers to pack for hubby’s lunches!
    Until I get a good routine going, the stress of reading sales, organizing coupons, and planning meals gets to be too time consuming and I give up for something more immediately satisfying – like cleaning up a mess I can actually see!
    Thanks for the great giveaway! And the great blog!

  5. Your menu plan came at the perfect time! It’s been the hottest summer on record here in Texas and while I’ve been planning no-stove meals all summer, this gave me a fresh batch of recipes to try. Thanks!


  6. Please enter me in the give away!!

  7. Menu planning is one thing that I discovered, being from a completely unorganized family that drove me crazy!! I am the opposite and completely OCD, ADHD organized!! Thanks for the greate website!!

  8. Thanks for the giveaway! And great menu planning!!

  9. need lots of help menu planning. this would be great!

  10. I soooooo need this giveaway! I am a terrible meal planner.

  11. Thank you so much for this giveaway. I really, really want to win this. I work full time and I am a full time mom to 2 girls. I have tried to menu plan to help control out budget, but I have struggled. Especially with my picky eaters. I also struggle with adding more variety. Please pick me. Have a great day!

  12. What a fantastic giveaway! The Stolen Moments blog is heavenly and certainly inspires me 🙂

    Good to have you back Happy Housewife, I’ve missed you!

  13. This is a great giveaway idea!

  14. I’d try it – liked her ebook!

  15. What a cool giveaway! I love the likes/dislikes thing…for instance, my family is not a big fan of spicy foods, or fish. If we could specify likes/dislikes, and personalize a menu to fit our family, it would make my menu planning so much easier!!

  16. Thanks for all the menu ideas! I love meal planning! Please enter me in the giveaway!

  17. Would LOVE to win a menu planner–am pregnant and having a hard time even thinking about what to fix these days! Thanks for hosting and putting up the giveaway.

  18. Just “found” you – love this site.
    Pick me-Pick me!!!

    Thanks for all the good info.

  19. Sounds fantastic!

  20. This is a fantastic idea!!!

  21. As I do more and more cooking at home, I’d really love to try out her service.

  22. I LOVE menu planning and my family appreciates it too! I would love to win! Thank you for entering me.

  23. This would be so awesome for us! Thanks for the giveaway!

  24. Thanks for hosting. Your recipes look delicious! This is a great giveaway. Thank you!

  25. Great recipes.Would love to try the salad recipe.Hope to win the giveaway.

  26. The hardest part for me is figuring out what to cook (especially given that about the only vegetable my husband likes is green beans). With just six months of this, I’d have a whole arsenal of recipes that my family might just eat.

  27. Made the Cuban chicken salad this week. A definite keeper!

  28. Love your blog! I also love Kate’s blog – her recipes are so delicious. How great would it be to win her menu planning!!

  29. Great recipes! Thanks!

  30. I would love to win this fabulous giveaway! What a neat idea! And thanks for all the recipes and ideas! Can’t wait to try some of them!

  31. Would love to win the Stolen Moments menu planning service with school starting in just a few weeks. Thanks for offering this wonderful giveaway!

  32. I love Kate’s recipes, I actually already plan my menus off of recipes she posts, but you have the actual menu plannings service would be amazing!

  33. Thank you for offering the subscription. It would be so cool to win.

  34. Jennifer says:

    Would love to win if it’s not too late!

  35. Thank you for the recipes! Would also love to win the giveaway – not only am I struggling through planning our family menus, I need to fix enough extra of some items to freeze for my parents now. Thank you for your information!

  36. Oh, 6 months of planning help sounds so nice! We have a 4 year old and a 10 month old and are 2000 miles away from family, so it has been a long year, but a great year.

    But a little help would be such a treat.

  37. I love love love MPM, both here and at orgjunkie… but must vent! I hate hate hate when there aren’t recipes or recipe links!!

    Thanks again for hosting this week!!

  38. My family loved your simple pork roast recipe tonight! My husband was only upset when I told him there wasn’t any leftovers, he wanted it on a sandwich roll tomorrow. 😉
    I’m pretty sure that Cuban Chicken Salad is going on our menu next week, looks delicious!

  39. That salad looks amazing!

  40. I love this concept, we need to focus on more no-cook meals and they really tend to be healthy I’ve noticed! Salads, fresh veggies and fruit…I could use more of both!


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