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Weekly Dinners for 4 under $100 – Menu 3

Weekly Dinners featured this week: Blushing Penne Pasta ~ Apricot-Rosemary Pork Medallions ~ Chipotle Chili Sloppy Joes ~ Chinese Chicken Spaghetti ~ Edamame Soup

Weekly Dinners for 4 under $100 – Menu 3 will give you ideas or the exact menu and grocery list for this weeks dinners. Substitute different vegetables if you don’t like the ones I’ve selected. Also, if you don’t like some of the spices found in the recipes substitute them for ones you do like. 

All recipes are suggestions. I can’t remember the last time I followed a recipe exactly to how it was written. I use what I have to keep cost down. If I don’t have the pasta it calls for I just make one I do have. If I don’t have the type of beans it suggests I use ones I do have. 

Rice – 

I prefer the taste of long grain rice, basmati rice or jasmine rice versus minute rice. I know cooking rice can sometimes be tricky but just watch your heat to water ratio and you will be just fine. I bought a rice maker and it has taken away the worry of burning rice on the stovetop and generates perfect rice every time. I highly recommend getting one if you don’t already have one.

Dinners for the week - About $98.21


Grocery List - Store brand (Metro Detroit)

Prep the week!

prep week

I like to gather my storage containers before I start my prep.  I love the look of the table with all of the containers and as I make progress the containers disappear leaving me with a sense of accomplishment and encouragement to keep going. This picture is an example of one of my prep weeks.

Storage containers needed:

I like to use a sticky note or paper with a piece of tape to label my prep containers with the name of the meals.

  • 1/4 cup; 2 garlic cloves (Edamame Soup)

  • 1/4 cup; 1 shallot chopped (Edamame Soup)

  • 1 cup; 1 medium onion thinly sliced (Blushing Penne Pasta)

  • 2 cups; 1 medium onion, ½ green pepper, 1 jalapeno (Chipotle Chili Sloppy Joes)

  • 1/2 cup; 1 bunch of green onions chopped (Edamame Soup, Chinese Chicken Spaghetti)

  • 1/2 cup; 1 green pepper cut into small pieces (Salad)

  • Salad Dressing Container (Salad)
  • 6 cups; 1 pound broccoli (Side)

  • 6 cups; 24 ounces brussel sprouts (Side)

  • 2 cups; carrots shredded (Chinese Chicken Spaghetti)

  • 1/8 cup; 2 adobo peppers (Chipotle Chili Sloppy Joes)

Let’s start prepping!

I like to use a vegetable chopper to speed up this process. 

  • Do not wash until ready to cook – chop 6 cups of broccoli into bite size pieces; store in refrigerator
  • Slice brussels sprouts in half; store in refrigerator.
  • Chop ½ green pepper in container; refrigerate.
  • Salad dressing:
    • 2/3 cup canola oil
    • Fresh basil (8 – 12 leaves), julienne 
    • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
    • 1 ½ teaspoons ground mustard
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • ½ teaspoon salt
Edamame Soup
  • Peel 2 garlic cloves; store in refrigerator.

  • Chop 1 shallot; store in refrigerator
Blushing Penne Pasta
  • Thinly slice 1 medium onion; store in refrigerator

Chipotle Chili Sloppy Joes
  • Chop small 1 medium onion; set aside;
  • Chop 1/2 green pepper. Add green pepper in with the chopped onion. 

  • Finely chop 1 jalapeno pepper. Add to the chopped onion and green pepper container; refrigerate.

  • Finely chop 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce; store in refrigerator.

Chinese Chicken Spaghetti
  • Chop green onions; store in refrigerator
  • Shred two cups carrots; store in refrigerator. 

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Chop the rest of the adobo peppers and put them by the teaspoon into an ice cube tray then freezer for 24 hours. Remove from ice tray and add to a freezer bag for use at another time. This makes it easy to add to dishes and best of all cuts down on waste!  

Tips and Tricks for the weekly meals to go flawlessly!

Always start by reading the recipe all the way through then read my tips.  Doing this before you start will help prevent “surprises” along the way. 

If I’ve posted it then I have eaten it and called it good.  Also, I know that the portions should work because I have done it.  No guess work here.

Measuring out your portion might be new for you and still leave you hungry after the meal. This is normal and it will take your body time to adjust. Try these tips:

  • Don’t miss your afternoon snack because being ravenous at dinner time will lead to over eating. 
  • Drink 8 ounces of water before you begin your meal and after you end your meal. 
  • Eat a salad or raw vegetables with your meal.
  • Eat a piece of fruit after a meal like an apple, pear, orange, etc. This will subside the hunger and it’s good for you. 
  • Wait 1 hour after your meal and if you are still hungry make some pop corn.  
Blushing Penne Pasta Recipe_ How to Make It  

Before you start the pasta assemble your salad and dressing from prep above.

  1. Salad add:
    • 5 ounces romaine lettuce (half the bag)
    • ½ cup baby spinach to a salad bowl (Rinse if directed)
    • Slice cucumber in half and place half in the refrigerator then chop the remaining half and add to lettuce
    • Drain artichoke hearts reserving half and placing them in the refrigerator cut the remainder into bite size pieces then add to lettuce.
    • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  2. Divide salad between 4 bowls and set aside until dinner.
  3. Follow the blushing penne pasta recipe as directed. Enjoy!
**Be sure to set aside 4 cups of Blushing Penne Pasta for Tuesday night’s dinner.
Apricot Herb Pork Medallions
  1. Follow the apricot herb pork medallion recipe as directed. Enjoy!
**Be sure to set aside 4 tenderloin pieces, half the rice and half the broccoli for Wednesday night’s dinner.

  1. Salad add:
    • 5 ounces romaine lettuce
    • ½ cup baby spinach to a salad bowl (rinse if directed).
    • Chop the remaining half of cucumber then add to lettuce.
    • Cut the remainder artichoke hearts into bite size pieces then add to lettuce.
    • Add 1/4 cup green onions to the lettuce.
  2. Warm pasta and serve with salad. Enjoy!

  1. Wet a paper towel and squeeze out the moisture. Place paper towel over the rice when you reheat in the microwave. 

  2. Reheat apricot-rosemary pork medallions and Broccoli. Enjoy!

Chipotle Chili Sloppy Joes
  1. Preheat oven 400° F.

  2. Arrange brussel sprouts on a sheet pan and add:

    • 1 tablespoon oil

    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

    • ½ teaspoon pepper

    • Stir to coat evenly

    • Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until they are soft and brown.

  3. Follow the chipotle chili sloppy joe recipe as directed.

  4. After the brussel sprouts are cooked add them to a bowl and toss them with 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!

**Be sure to set aside 2 servings of brussel sprouts and sloppy joe mixture for Saturday night’s dinner.
Chinese Chicken Spaghetti
Silky Edamame Soup
  1. Prep the chicken stir fry recipe then set aside and cook the soup. 
  2. Start soup and follow recipe as directed. Keep warm stirring occasionally until the stir fry is cooked. 
  3. Cook the stir fry and serve with soup. Enjoy!
**Serving size is 1 cup of soup and 1.5 cups of spaghetti mixture. Be sure to set two servings aside for Saturday night’s dinner.

  1. A true leftover night! Choose what you want, warm then enjoy!
  2. Warm:
    • Chipotle Chili Sloppy Joes & Roasted Brussel Sprouts
    • Chinese Chicken Spaghetti & Edamame Soup. 

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Christin Lee


It is fun to think that there might be a short cut but the reality is planning plus diligence equals financial freedom.

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