What's for dinner this week?

I've had a couple of friends request that I post our weekly meal plans here on the blog. I've decided to oblige, however I would like to add a couple of disclaimers.

1. I rarely cook dinners that are super difficult, time consuming, so most meals with be fairly easy to prepare and tasty, but nothing I post on here is likely to win me a time slot on the Food Network- so please keep your expectations reasonable ;-)

2. I usually plan between 4-5 dinners per week. Yes, I am aware there are 7 days in a week, but typically we have something going on at least one evening a week that will have us eating somewhere other than home, and I typically have one left over night per week. (On occasion we do pizza/Chipotle, something like that if there are no leftovers and we have the extra money to do that)

3. We don't eat meat every night. I try to make sure there's some form of protein always, often it's through cheese if we're having a meatless meal. If your family must have meat every night, some recipes may help you but some may end up side dishes for you rather than dinners.

That being said, I hope that by posting my meal plans I can either a. save you some work, if you don't want to have to plan and just want a plan to go off of, or b. inspire you to make your own meal plan, maybe using a few of the tried and true recipes I post and tweaking them to your tastes and finally c. show that meal planning isn't all that complicated, and that anyone can do it and enjoy the ease of not having to think "crud, what should I make!?" after a long day. :-)
This week's meal plan:
Sunday: Attending a potluck dinner with TasteFresno.com folks- I'm bringing this
Monday: Spice rubbed honey glazed chicken, with squash and brown rice
Tuesday: (gym night, I'm home later, so meal's gotta be easy!) Breakfast for dinner night! Oatmeal pancakes with fresh fruit and bacon
Wednesday: Glazed salmon with couscous and green salad
Thursday: (another gym night, fast & easy meal needed) Ravioli with sauteed zucchini
Friday: Left overs/Take out night
Saturday: Date night (hopefully!)

Spice Rubbed Chicken
Mix the following spices and toss with boneless skinless chicken breasts to coat:
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika

Broil chicken for 4 minutes on each side on a foil lined baking sheet. Then baste with a mixture of 6 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, broil one more minute. Flip, baste again and broil on more minute on opposite site. (You may want to save the honey mixture to brush the chicken with once more after baking is done)

I'll be slicing a couple of large "patty-pan" squashes from my in-laws garden, and sauteing in butter, salt and a little bit of pepper until slightly brown.

Brown rice:
Nothing fancy here, I'll just be steaming, and adding a little butter and salt, and perhaps I'll try adding a little Bacon Salt, as I've heard it's good on rice!

Oatmeal Pancakes: (from September 2010 Cooking Light Reader Recipes, pg 214)
1/4 cup flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup non-fat buttermilk
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 large egg
cooking spray

1. Combine dry ingredients, stirring with a whisk (this keeps it light, fluffy)
2. Combine buttermilk, butter and eggs in a small bowl and add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
3. Heat a non-stick griddle over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Spoon 2 1/2 tbsp batter per pancake onto griddle. Turn pancakes when tops are covered with bubbles. Cook until bottoms are lightly browned.

I will be topping these with sliced fruit and serving with a few pieces of center cut bacon for protein.

*Maple Glazed Salmon: (from September 2010 Cooking light, page 142)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
4 6 oz salmon fillets
Cooking spray
2 tbsp maple syrup

1. Preheat broiler
2. Combine first 6 ingredients; rub spice mixture evenly over flesh of fillets. Place fish on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 6 minutes, brush filets evenly with syrup; broil 1 minute. (Yields four servings) *sidenote: this is my first time EVER making salmon- I hope I like it! :-)

I'll be melting 1 tsp butter in a saucepan, then adding couscous in the amt directed on the package to yield 3 servings, along with 2 cloves of garlic, grated with the microplane. After coating in butter, I will add low sodium chicken broth (instead of water) in the amount directed on the package.

Ravioli with Sauteed Zucchini from Real Simple

Maple Glazed Salmon, image from Cooking Light

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