I'm experiencing a miracle, I think! The Mashup Mom Aldi Meal Plan is actually one I could see myself sticking with long-term. It's certainly the first one I've been able to successfully stick with for so long! That's pathetic, isn't it? Last week, I tried out a little hack - when the meal plan hit my inbox on Friday, I decided to price compare the whole list. I'll share this trick with you - and my first "Oh my gosh I miss Chicago" moment, thanks to the plan!
In case you've missed it, I've started following the Mashup Mom Aldi Meal Plan, and I'd love for you to join me! As a mom of two very littles, I completely understand how OOC everything can feel. But I'm striving - making an effort to feed my family better food and to save money while doing it.
Along the way, I've made some tweaks here and there. I swapped days (like today's winner!), or substituted ingredients when I couldn't find what I originally wanted. All in all, being more regimented about cooking food at home and living for leftovers has saved us money and lowered our food waste! It's a win-win, in my book.
Today, the Mashup Mom meal plan calls for an Italian Chicken Pasta Skillet. Delicious, I'm sure. I had an avocado that was perfectly ripe, so instead I chose to make the Chicken Sausage and Pepperoncini Dressing Salad. Winner, winner! It felt like this meal was meant to be. First the fortuitous extra avocado - then the discovery of a whole endcap of Italian pickled items in Aldi (SCORE!).
Two adults, a picky toddler, and an unpicky baby with a shocking love of solid foods. I didn't want to turn the oven on, and knew that my avocado was literally ripe for the pickin'. This salad made dinner for us all, plus three respectable leftover salads for us. My only suggestion? Cook more sausage for leftovers.
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp EVO
2 pepperoncinis, destemmed
2 Tbsp brine from pepperoncinis
1 tsp oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
S & P, to taste
1 package smoked chicken sausage
2 hearts romaine, washed and chopped/torn
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
Sliced pepperoncinis, to taste
Top and serve with shredded parmesan.
Here's the beauty of this "recipe". Mix together your salad ingredients in a salad bowl. Or, serve them in small side dishes as toppings for the romaine lettuce. Your call.
Toss everything for the salad dressing into the food processor or blender. Liquefy. Puree to your little heart's content.
I found that pouring my own dressing is best for leftovers, rather than tossing the entire salad with a dressing (delicious though that may be).
Again, I'd reiterate: more sausage, personally. And I'd probably rather have hot italian sausage than chicken sausage. But now I'm getting picky!
This week's recipes actually seem mostly pretty appealing! The only things I'm staying away from are the premade burgers and the tilapia. I'm saving that tilapia recipe, though! I've sort of reached my max on fish for a while from the weekend's (DELICIOUS) lunches.
Slow Cooker Italian Pulled Pork Sandwiches // Italian Chicken Pasta Skillet // Chicken Sausage Dinner Salad with Avocado Pepperoncini Dressing // Summer Squash and Tomato Frittata // Baked Fish with Parmesan Sour Cream Sauce // Sauteed Squash & Zucchini (side)
Something beautiful happened when I spotted that jar of pepperoncinis in Aldi. I also found a jar of giardiniera - labeled "Chicago Style". My heart warmed a little - and while I didn't pick up a jar this week, I will soon. The pepperoncinis in salad is such a classic Chicago flavor - it took me right back to those amazing house salads from the big pizza chains. I missed home a little - for the first time, the actual place. The people? Well I miss them all the time. And this salad helped me feel a little bit closer to them, irrational though that may be. It's just what this mama needed!