Monday's Menu and Beef Taco Bake Review and Recipe

Mondays Menu - I've found that menu planning reduces my stress during the week. It does so by answering the dreaded "What's for dinner tonight?" question and by saving money since I know exactly what I need to buy at the grocery store. Sometimes it's really hard to come up with a menu each week that meets my daughter's allergy needs. My hope is that we can share our menus here to inspire each other with new menu ideas.

Last week's menu included a new recipe: Beef Taco Bake. Overall, I'd say it's a repeat recipe. Although, my daughter wasn't thrilled with it. She did eat it as leftovers when we made it into nachos, though, which gives me hope to try it again. I found the original recipe on

Here's the recipe with my adaptations: Beef Taco Bake, Renee's Way.

1 Tbs Olive oil
1 Medium onion (organic)
1.5 pounds 93/7 ground beef or ground buffalo (free range or organic)
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning (I used Trader Joe's; if you can't buy this, I'd make your own)
1 (16 ounce) can of refried beans (I use Whole Foods organic)
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa (I used Muir Glen's Mild; Note: I wouldn't like this salsa for chip dipping b/c it's too much like tomato sauce. However, it turned out to be very tasty in this dish)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I used organic)

1. Preheat oven to 375, rack in the upper middle
2. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat.
3. Dice or mince your onion and cook until softened (5 to 10 minutes); I add salt to speed up the process
4. Brown the meat and cook entirely (NO pink)
5. Drain off any fat (my meat didn't have any fat in the pan)
6. Add entire package of taco seasoning and stir
7. Evenly spread all the beef mixture into an 8x8 or 8x11 glass baking dish. I found a 9x13 too big for this looked a bit silly when serving to company.
8. Evenly spread out the refried beans over the beef. This is harder than it sounds!
9. Evenly spread out the salsa over the refried beans.
10. Sprinkle on the cheese.
11. Bake in the oven until bubbly (your objective is just to heat everything through), about 20 minutes.

We served ours with organic chips, homemade guacamole, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese. If you eat chicken, I'd guess that you could easily substitute shredded chicken for the beef/buffalo.

On to this week's menu!

Monday:  Pancakes and eggs

Tuesday:  leftovers or pasta

Wednesday:  Soups Galore: tortilla, beef and Israeli couscous, and quinoa

Thursday:  Sliders (my daughter LOVES these! I'll take pictures to share)

Friday:  French Toast Casserole (this will be super easy after church)

Saturday:  Snacks during the day: razmataz, celery and peanut butter, trail mix. Dinner: Baked Ziti, Filet Mignon, Broccoli, Peas, Crunchy bread. Dessert: Pecan Pie, Chocolate cookies, buck eyes, Coffee ice cream

Sunday:  leftovers

So what will you be eating this holiday week?


Jennifer Breseman said...

I'm making the taco bake for dinner. It looks and smells good. Will the picky eater eat it? ...

Renee said...

I hope your picky eater ate it!!! Mine stopped eating this dish so I stopped making it :( It seems she only wants to eat smoothies, pancakes, pizza, quesadillas, and cookies. Thank goodness I have those breakfast cookies in the freezer every day!