Favorite Meals of 2015 (January 10-16)

This week has been full of simple, tasty meals.  I used a meal plan and went shopping at Aldi on Saturday to get myself prepared.  Everything for the week cost about $150, and of course we still had things in the fridge, freezer, and pantry to use for all of our meals and snacks as well.

Since one of my goals this year is to accomplish things, we’ve been eating at home a lot more.  Easier on the waistline and way easier on the budget!  These are our hits from this week.

Favorite Meals of 2015

Simple Slow Cooker Shredded Pork (Carnitas)

You will need:

  • 2-3 lb pork tenderloin (we used 3 and it was enough for two meals for our family)
  • 12-20 oz root beer
  1. Place your pork tenderloins in the crock pot.
  2. Cover with root beer.
  3. Slow cook for 4-6 hours.  (I started on high for the first two hours and then put it to low until we were ready to eat.)
  4. Remove from or drain off liquid and shred meat with 2 forks.

For one half, I used these just as they were.  We had a make-your-own burrito dinner (sort of like the taco kits at Chipotle) and they all said this was almost exactly like the carnitas there.  Score!

For the other half, I added some barbecue sauce and made it into pulled pork sandwiches.  I had a few hamburger buns to use up, so I served it on there with some pickle slices and extra sauce.  My hubby loved it, and it was hearty!

Easy Chili (or stew if you add beef broth)

You will need:

  • 2 lb ground turkey or beef
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of beans (we used kidney beans), drained and rinsed
  • 2 (14 oz) cans of diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp dried minced onion (or up to a cup fresh, diced)
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or up to 2 cloves fresh, diced)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste (probably around 2tsp salt, 1tsp pepper)
  • You could add up to a carton (or a can or two) of beef broth or stock to make this more like a stew, and corn would go well in here as well.
  1. In a large pot, brown your ground turkey or beef until it is crumbly and drain.
  2. Add all other ingredients to the pot and bring to a low boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for at least 30 minutes.  If you want to leave it on the stove longer, reduce heat to low.

Other fun things we tried:

-We added 1/4 cup of peanut butter to our pancake batter this week to make “PB&J Pancakes” served with jam instead of syrup.  It was really good, and all of the kids inhaled this.

-We also made a biscuity “pot pie” in a 9×13 casserole dish.  We used 1 pound (next time we’ll use more) of cooked, diced chicken and mixed it up with some minced dried onion, 2 cans of mixed veggies, a jar of alfredo sauce and some Italian seasoning and topped it with 2 small cans of biscuits (the little 100 calorie ones that come 10 to a can).  I baked it at 250 for 10 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered, but I’d increase that a bit next time because the biscuits ended up a bit gooey on the side touching the filling.

-I tried my hand at a dijon chicken with about 2 pounds of chicken cooked in a few Tbsp of butter and browned on each side.  Then I topped it with a combination of 2 cups chicken broth, some dried minced onion, 3 huge squirts of dijon mustard, and 2 1/2 Tbsp flour (all whisked together).  I cooked that covered on low for another 25 minutes.  This made a ton of sauce, so next time I think it would be amazing served over rice or fettuccine noodles.  (I tried serving it with couscous, but it burned when I got a phone call in the middle of making dinner… I hate when that happens!)

About Jenn L

Jenn lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and 5 children. The family likes to eat healthy and try new recipes. Jenn homeschools all of the kids. She is heavily involved with local bloggers and is slightly addicted to social media.


  1. Can’t wait to try the pulled pork recipe, sounds yummy! Slow cooker recipes are my jam!
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