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Weekly Dinners for 4 under $100 – Menu 7

Weekly Dinners featured this week: Lemon Chicken Pasta ~ Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini ~ Slow Cooked Pepper Steak ~ Five Cheese Shells

Weekly Dinners for 4 under $100 – Menu 7 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. 

I enjoy cooking with wine, lemon, and fresh herbs in the spring and summer. There is something about the tartness that illuminates the dishes. The Lemon Chicken Pasta dish is a great spring dish because it shows off the fresh herbs and is satisfying.    

Dinners for the week - About $94.46


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.

Let’s start prepping!

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.

  • ¼ cup; 20 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup; 1 medium onion (Turkey Italian Stuffed Zucchini)
  • 5 cup; 1 large onion, 1 large green pepper, 1 large red pepper (Crock Pot Pepper Steak)
  • 1 cup; 1 medium onion (Five Cheese Shells)
  • 3 cup; green beans (Side)

Storage containers needed:

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

Multiple Dinners
  • 20 garlic cloves, peeled. Place in ¼ cup container; refrigerate.
Turkey Italian Stuffed Zucchini
  • Dice 1 medium onion (1 cup). Place in 1 cup container; refrigerate
Crock Pot Pepper Steak
  • Slice 1 large onion and place in a 5 cup container; set aside.
  • Slice 1 large green pepper and place in the same container as the sliced onion; set aside
  • Slice 1 large red pepper and place in the same container as the sliced onion and green pepper; refrigerate
Five Cheese Shells
  • Finely chop 1 onion and place in a 1 cup container; refrigerate.
  • Trim green beans and cut into 1 inch pieces but do not wash place in a 3 cup container; refrigerate 

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.  
Lemon Chicken Pasta
  1. Place a large pot of water to boil for the pasta and green beans
  2. Cook green beans with the pasta.
  3. I like to separate the green beans from the pasta when mixing the noodles with the other ingredients. Enjoy!
**Be sure to set aside 2 servings of chicken, pasta and green beans for Tuesday night’s dinner.  
Turkey Italian Stuffed Zucchini
  1. Follow the recipe as directed
  2. After the zucchini goes in the oven prepare the salad:
Tomato Cucumber Salad
**Be sure to set aside 4 zucchini halves and remaining cucumbers and tomatoes for dinner on Tuesday

Warm Lemon Chicken Pasta & Green Beans.

Warm Turkey Italian Stuffed Zucchini & serve with tomato cucumber salad. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Pepper Steak

In the morning:

  1. Follow the pepper steak recipe as directed.

In the evening:

  1. Add salad to a salad bowl. Enjoy!
**Be sure to set aside 4 servings of beef, rice, vegetables and salad for Friday night’s dinner. The rest of the beef can be used for sandwiches or frozen for a later use.
Four Cheese Small Shells
  1. Once pasta goes into the oven start the asparagus:
    • Rinse and trim 1 inch off the bottom of asparagus and add to a sheet pan
    • Add to a small bowl:
      • 2 minced garlic cloves
      • zest of 1 lemon 
      • the juice of the lemon
      • 1/8 cup olive oil 
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1 teaspoon pepper
      • stir
    • Drizzle the sauce over the asparagus and thoroughly mix these ingredients together and let sit until the pasta comes out of the oven.
  2. After pasta comes out of the oven increase the heat to 425°
  3. Bake asparagus for 8 – 12 minutes until crisp tender. Enjoy!   
**Be sure to set aside 4 servings of pasta and asparagus for Saturday night’s dinner.

Warm the steak, rice, vegetables and serve with remainder of the salad. Enjoy!

Warm cheese shells & roasted lemon asparagus. Enjoy! 

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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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