Monthly Menu: October
October has arrived! Pumpkins are scattered throughout the house, I picked up a couple new sweaters in anticipation of cooler days and I couldn’t wait to include fall flavors into this month’s menu. A big batch of homemade spaghetti sauce and hearty beef and bean chili are our most anticipated recipes this month. My husband always volunteers to keep an eye on the simmering pot while he enjoys Sunday football. If you don’t have the luxury of staying near the stove all day, consider transferring your sauces, soups and stews that require lengthy simmering time to a slow cooker.
This month I included plenty of dinner ideas that are easy to prepare when you are short on time. I noted whenever I was able to take advantage of a recipe shortcut, leftovers, or pre-prepared items. I also included a fun Halloween themed dinner that is ideal for a group of Trick or Treaters. Serve it with a side of these silly apple bites.
Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli: quick & easy, meatless
Smothered Burritos: slow cooker meal
Chicken Parmesan: quick & easy
Soy & Cola Pork Shoulder: slow cooker meal
English Muffin Pizza: customizable, quick & easy
Note: This is a great meal to schedule on a date night when you need something simple for the babysitter and/or kids to prepare.
Recipe: Split English muffin in half and toast. Spread marinara sauce (use leftover sauce from Wednesday night’s dinner) on each half. Place fresh mozzarella and halved cherry tomatoes on top. Broil until melted. Finish with roughly chopped fresh basil. (customize by adding/subtracting pizza toppings to please different tastes).
Apple, Chicken, Bacon Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette: new to me recipe
Week # 2
Farfalle with Butternut Squash: meat free, quick & easy
Crispy Tacos: family favorite, customizable
Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole: make ahead
Note: I use rotisserie chicken and Trader Joe’s frozen Rice Medley and frozen Jasmine Rice to save time when making this casserole.
Herb Rubbed Pork with Squash & Grapes: gluten free
Steak & Roquefort Pear Salad: family favorite
Chili & Cornbread: slow cooker
Sun-Dried Tomato and Mushroom Pasta: meat free
Tamales: quick & easy.
Note: Pick up a package of your pre-made tamales at your local farmer’s marketer grocery store. Serve with Mexican rice and refried beans.
Chicken Noodle Hold the Soup: family favorite
Carnitas Nachos: customizable
Recipe: Layer tortilla chips with carnitas, black beans, corn and shredded cheese. Broil until cheese has melted. Top with chopped tomatoes and avocado.
Chili Mac: quick & easy
Recipe: Reheat 2 cups of leftover chili. Boil 8 oz. of macaroni. Combine chili with cooked macaroni. (optional: top with shredded cheese)
Spaghetti Sauce: Slow cooker
Week # 4
Autumnal Havest Creamy Pasta: meatless, quick & easy
Note: brown sweet Italian sausage and add to sauce for a heartier meal. Sprinkle with fresh parmesan
Taco Casserole: gluten free
Chicken with White Beans and Tomatoes: gluten Free
Pork Chop with Apples and Polenta: new to me
Chicken Marsala: family favorite
Crescent Mummy Dogs: festive
What fall meals are you craving this month? Use THIS blank monthly menu to customize a plan that best meets your own needs.