The Southern Nest Blog

Quick and Easy Dinners-Sunday Meal Planning

Quick and Easy Dinners-Sunday Meal Planning

Every Sunday, I “meal plan” for the week.  It keeps me feeling organized through the week, limits trips to the grocery store, and keeps me from scrambling to find something for dinners last minute.  During today’s “meal planning” I realized how much time it takes to comb through recipes finding the perfect ideas for dinner.  I decided to share it and hopefully cut the meal planning time for someone else.

S: Grilled Steaks Balsamico

M: Chicken Salad

T: Chicken Thighs with Carrots and Potatoes (Slow Cooker)

W:  Linguine with Clam Sauce

Th: Leftover/Free Night (Translation-find something in the fridge, family.) 🙂

F: Family Pizza and Movie Night


Grilled Steaks Balsamico

(from Southern Living)


  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup fig preserves
  • 4  (6- to 8-ounce) boneless beef chuck-eye steaks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1  (6.5-ounce) container buttery garlic-and-herb spreadable cheese

Process vinaigrette and preserves in a blender until smooth. Place steaks and vinaigrette mixture in a shallow dish or a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Cover or seal, and chill at least 2 hours. Remove steaks from marinade, discarding marinade.

Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350° to 400°) 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove to a serving platter, and sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper; keep warm.

Heat cheese in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring often, 2 to 4 minutes or until melted. Serve cheese sauce with steaks.


Chicken Salad



4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
halves – cooked and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1 Golden Delicious apple – peeled, cored
and diced
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup seedless green grapes, halved
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
3/4 cup light mayonnaise

In a large bowl combine the chicken, celery, onion, apple, raisins, grapes, pecans, pepper, curry powder and mayonnaise. Mix all together. Serve!

Chicken Thighs with Carrots and Potatoes

(from Southern Living)


  • 1  medium onion
  • 4  medium-size new potatoes (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 6  skinned, bone-in chicken thighs

1. Halve onion lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place onion in a lightly greased 6-qt. slow cooker; top with potatoes and carrots.

2. Combine broth, next 3 ingredients, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Pour over vegetables.

3. Combine paprika and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper; rub over chicken. Arrange chicken on top of vegetables.

4. Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours or until chicken is done and vegetables are tender.

Linguine with Clam Sauce



4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic,
finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped (or 1/3 cup finely chopped
3 6.5-ounce cans chopped clams, drained, juice reserved (you should
have about 1 1/2 cups of juice)
1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth, if
the wine flavor will trouble your kids)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
Salt to taste
Freshly grated
1 pound of linguini, freshly cooked until just tender (be sure to
salt the cooking water well)

  • Set a large pot of four quarts of water to boil (for the linguine). Salt the water generously. (Add the pasta when the water comes to a boil.)
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat, then sauté the onions and garlic until softened and very fragrant — 3 or 4 minutes.
  • Add the reserved clam juice, the wine or broth, and the Worcestershire sauce, raise the heat, and bring it to a vigorous simmer, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes (while you cook the linguini according to package instructions).
  • Drain the linguine when it’s done al dente — don’t let it overcook to too much softness, as you’ll be simmering it further in the sauce (next step).
  • Taste the sauce for salt, then add the clams, the linguine, and the parsley, and simmer together for 5 minutes, until the sauce is mostly absorbed and everything tastes fantastic.
  • Serve with grated parmesan.


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