Category Archives: Meal Planning

An Autumnal Themed Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner
Autumnal-themed Thanksgiving Dinner

Undisputedly, a big roasted turkey is the traditional star of the Thanksgiving dinner in many North American homes.  Playing the supporting roles, of course, are all the fixins’, including the variety of vegetables and gravy. This year, however, I am deviating from the norm and putting a new twist on Thanksgiving dinner, lightening it up and sizing it down for smaller households, while still staying true to some of the elements of what one would expect to be on the Thanksgiving dinner table.  Here’s why I’ve shaken up the norm a bit.

Sizing Down and Lightening up the Thanksgiving Dinner

I sometimes hear people say they don’t want to cook a big turkey, or even a whole chicken, because perhaps they have a small household of only one, two, or three people and it’s just too much meat for them.  And, then there is the large carcass to deal with – though I am a big proponent of using it to make great homemade stock (click here for my stock recipe).  Others have indicated they don’t have a big roaster in which to roast a turkey and still some others say they don’t know how to roast a turkey to get it cooked properly.  I have heard some say that, while they like a roast turkey dinner, it can be a heavy meal with rich gravy, heavily spiced stuffing, and so forth. Others may be on a restricted diet making it a challenge to, alternatively, dine out for Thanksgiving dinner.  Whatever the reason, I have decided to create a Thanksgiving dinner menu suitable for the smaller household and those looking for lighter fare.

Now, it can be challenging to size everything down precisely to one or two servings and, to be frank, it’s not the most cost-effective or efficient approach to meal preparation for the smaller household.  I learned that many years ago and that’s when I moved to batch cooking for the freezer which allows me to have much greater meal variety than would be the case if I was to spend time in the kitchen preparing unique daily meals for one or two.  This menu, by the way, is also suitable for any autumnal dinner party and the recipes referenced are scalable to the number of servings required.


Menu Inspiration

The inspiration for the menu was drawn primarily from seasonal foods, those that would be considered to be fall flavors. While varied from the traditional Thanksgiving dinner style, I aimed to still maintain elements of a typical Thanksgiving dinner. From the gourd family comes the butternut squash for the soup.  From the garden come the fresh greens, vine-ripened tomatoes, beets, and carrots.  From the fields of a local farmer, come the potatoes.  From the cranberry bogs and high bush blueberry field come the cranberries and blueberries.  And, from a local orchard and distillery come the apples and liqueur for the dessert. In lieu of turkey, I have opted to go with chicken breasts though turkey breasts could certainly be used.  The chicken breasts are smaller to roast and plate quite attractively. The steamed mussels for an appetizer have been included because, well, it’s PEI and we love our mussels any time of the year!

The table is set – it’s time to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner!

Thanksgiving Dinner Placesetting

The Menu

Food is meant to be enjoyed and savored, not hurriedly consumed.  This menu and its serving style aim for that objective.


Island Blue Mussels steamed in Upstreet’s “Rhuby Social” beer

Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Served with a toasted baguette slice topped with cheese, bacon, and chives


Mix of Garden Greens with Vine-ripened Mini Tomatoes and Button Mushrooms

Dressed with Raspberry Vinaigrette and served from the salad urn, tableside


Roasted Chicken Breast with a dry rub of spices

Served over Sausage Bread Dressing


Petite Roasted Potato Stacks

Thinly sliced potato tossed with melted butter, herbs, and cheese then roasted

Roasted Beets and Carrots

Cranberry Blueberry Sauce


Apple-Maple Bread Pudding with Maple Sauce

Wine Pairing

   Clean Slate 2016 Riesling (Germany)


The Appetizers

It’s almost bordering on the sacrilegious if either (or both) steamed mussels and oysters are not on the menu for a gathering here in PEI!  Yes, we love our seafood!  I’ve chosen Island Blue Mussels steamed in Upstreet’s “Rhuby Social” beer (recipe here).  Steaming mussels in beer lends a wonderful flavor to the mussels.  Easy and quick to prepare, these mussels are a great start to a wonderful meal.

PEI Mussels
PEI Mussels Steamed in Rhuby Social Beer from Upstreet Craft Brewing

The second appetizer I’ve chosen is the Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini (recipe here).  These little morsels are ever-so-tasty.  This recipe is easy to reduce or increase in size, depending on the number of guests and either wheat-based or gluten-free baguettes can be used.

Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini
Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini

The Soup

Our Thanksgiving dinner this year starts with Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, a stunning golden yellow soup that is smooth and luxurious and filled with the warm flavors of fall (click here for recipe). This soup is a great way to kick off an autumnal dinner. My recipe for this soup makes 8-10 servings so, if making the soup specifically for Thanksgiving dinner in a small household, the remainder can be frozen for later enjoyment.  Alternatively, the soup can be made in advance of Thanksgiving, frozen, and then the number of servings needed thawed and reheated for the dinner.  I love when I can do prep work for dinners days ahead as it relieves some of the work and stress on the day of the dinner.

Squash Soup
Classic Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Serving the soup at the table from a soup tureen adds a lovely touch to a special meal or dinner party.

Squash Soup
Classic Butternut Squash Soup

The soup tureen can also serve as a table centerpiece for the soup course.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

The Salad

Our garden did fabulously this year.  We grow a grand selection of lettuce that usually takes us well into the fall, sometimes until late October.  Our one tomato plant with mini tomatoes has literally produced hundreds of tiny orange tomatoes this year.  It was a very prolific producer and we have been blessed to have its produce right through to Thanksgiving, even if it meant blanketing it down on frost nights in order to keep it producing.

Salad Urn

My salad bowl is a small ceramic urn-shaped planter which also serves as the table centerpiece for the salad course.  It’s a great conversation piece and it elevates the status of the salad! When using a unique vessel, like this urn, for the salad ingredients to be assembled at the table, opt for few ingredients that can easily be divided between plates. It’s not always necessary to have a multitude of ingredients in a salad, particularly if it is a starter to a meal.  In this salad, all I’ve used is a selection of lettuce, tiny tomatoes, and button mushrooms served with a simple raspberry vinaigrette. I like vinaigrettes because they allow the flavour of the vegetables to shine through as they are not masked by a heavy cream dressing.

Edible Salad Centrepiece

Chicken Breasts

Chicken breasts sometimes get a bad rap for being dry.  I think this is because they have not been properly prepared and cooked.  I always brine my chicken breasts – it makes such a huge difference in both flavor and texture and no more dried out, stringy chicken.  All I do is place the chicken breasts in a salt brine for 1½ – 2 hours, rinse them off, then pat them dry with paper towel followed by a light brushing of some olive oil and a sprinkle of selected dry spices.  Then, into my convection oven set at 400°F they go just until they test done on my trusty meat thermometer.  The high heat locks in the juices and cooks the chicken fast so it does not get a chance to dry out.  The result is perfectly cooked and juicy chicken …. every time.  The great thing about boneless skinless chicken breasts is it’s all meat and no waste and they slice beautifully for plating, sandwiches, etc.

Sliced Roasted Chicken Breast

The Dressing

For my Thanksgiving dinner, I have plated the sliced chicken over sausage bread dressing – recipe here.  This is not a heavily spiced dressing so it is in keeping with my “lighter” Thanksgiving dinner theme yet it still bows to the tradition of having stuffing/dressing as a side dish at dinner.  In fact, I will often make this recipe and freeze it for later use when I am having some kind of chicken dish for a meal.  So, this is also something that can be made ahead for this dinner and the dressing can be heated for just a few seconds in the microwave.

Stuffing Recipe
Sweet and Savory Sausage Bread Stuffing

The Potatoes

Because this meal is meant to be light, the traditional gravy is absent.  This meant I needed to come up with a potato side dish that did not need gravy.  These Roasted Potato Stacks (recipe here), are the perfect potato side dish.  These are not difficult to make and, with the butter, garlic, herbs, and cheeses, these tasty morsels are simply divine.  They bake perfectly in muffin cups and plate beautifully.  They are best served fresh from the oven.  However, they can be pre-made, roasted, and refrigerated for up to 24 hours then reheated for a few minutes in the oven.  So, again, this is a menu item that can be made in advance of the dinner.  While my published recipe makes eight potato stacks (serves four), the recipe is easily halved (or, alternatively, make the whole recipe and enjoy leftovers the following day).

Potato Stacks
Roasted Potato Stacks

The Roasted Vegetables

For my vegetable side dishes, I decided to go really local — all the way to our backyard garden!  Beets and freshly dug carrots were roasted with herbs in the oven.  I love roasted vegetables because their true flavors are evident and no nutrients or flavor are washed down the drain as can be the case with boiled vegetables.  The beets were tossed with a spritz or two of raspberry balsamic vinegar and the same of orange juice.  The key is not to add too much liquid to the roasted vegetables that would make them soupy or lose their roasted flavor.  Both the vinegar and orange juice are just meant to be flavor enhancers so very little is needed.

Thanksgiving DInner

The Condiment

For the condiment, I’m serving my Cranberry Blueberry Sauce.  This sauce is a beautiful deep burgundy-plum color and combines two complementary flavors.  The tartness of the cranberries is enhanced by the sweetness of the high bush blueberries.  Click here for my recipe.

Cranberry Blueberry Sauce

The Dessert

To bring one of the quintessential fall flavors into the menu, I am serving Apple-Maple Bread Pudding with Maple Sauce (recipe here).  Both the pudding and the sauce freeze well for later use and both can be made ahead of the dinner, thawed, and reheated for dessert.

Bread Pudding
Apple-Maple Bread Pudding

The Wine Pairing

The wine I’ve paired with this meal is Clean Slate, a 2016 Riesling from Mosel, Germany, an affordable wine that appeals to a variety of tastes.  When selecting the wine for this meal, I considered the menu items, both individually and collectively.  Thanksgiving dinner plates tend to have a variety of foods with flavors that span the spectrum from sweet (Cranberry-Blueberry Sauce) to the moist and gently spiced (Sausage Bread Dressing) to the herbed and roasted (the vegetables) to the slight saltiness (brined chicken breast).  With that variety, it can be a challenge to select one wine that will temper and balance all the flavors and cleanse and refresh the palate between bites so that the true flavors of each of the foods can be enjoyed.

A Riesling wine is a great choice because it has low alcohol content with lots of palate-refreshing acidity along with a slight touch of sweetness to balance and complement the variety of flavors.

Thanksgiving Dinner

So, whether you’re looking for inspiration for a Thanksgiving dinner with a lighter fare, one that is suitable for smaller households, or for an autumnal-themed dinner party, this menu is scalable to virtually any number, big or small. All recipes referenced can be found on My Island Bistro Kitchen’s website, a one-stop destination for recipes for a tasty fall dinner.

Pin Me To Pinterest!

Thanksgiving Dinner 2018

Meal Planning – Week 4

Here is my suggested meal plan for the upcoming week. If you want to check out previous weeks’ meal plans, click here for the meal plan for week 1, here for week 2’s plan, and here for the meal plan for week 3.  I’ve provided a list of the main ingredients that, for the most part, would probably involve a shopping trip to the supermarket for most. However, as always, read each recipe thoroughly and carefully to create your own list as I have not listed what I consider to be “staple” items like regular milk, butter, eggs, flour, sugar, butter/shortening, oil, spices, etc.

This week, we’ll start off with a roast chicken or turkey.  I watch and get chickens or turkeys when they are on sale and I usually have a stock of 2-3 in the freezer.  They are great week starters because, yay, there are leftovers!!!! This means the leftovers can be transformed into other dishes such as turkey chowder and chicken (turkey) chow mein casserole.  And, if you are cooking a turkey (or a large chicken), don’t throw out the carcass as it makes great poultry stock!

Click on the green links below to access the recipes for this week’s meal plan.


Bran Muffins – A healthy batch of muffins to start off the week.

Shopping List:  Applesauce, molasses, natural bran, all-purpose and whole wheat flours, and raisins

Bran Muffins
Bran Muffins

Dinner:  Roast Chicken or Turkey with Mashed Potatoes, Favorite Side Vegetables, Turnip Puff Casserole, Stuffing/Dressing, Cranberry Sauce

Who can pass up a roast chicken or turkey dinner with all the fixins’!

Shopping List: Roasting Chicken or Turkey, Vegetables of Choice. For Turnip Puff Casserole – Rutabaga, applesauce, onion, parmesan and cheddar cheeses. For Stuffing – Potatoes, bread crumbs, onion, summer savory, celery, apple, and liquid chicken bouillon. For Cranberry Sauce – cranberries (fresh or frozen), apple, and orange juice.

Roast Turkey
Roast Turkey
Turnip Puff Casserole
Turnip Puff Casserole
Turkey and Dressing
Turkey and Dressing

Cranberry Sauce
Zesty Cranberry-Orange Sauce

Dessert:  Blueberry Buckle

A cake type dessert made even more tasty with blueberry sauce and vanilla ice cream.

Shopping List:  Blueberries (fresh or frozen), orange juice + general baking supplies

Blueberry Buckle
Blueberry Buckle with Vanilla Ice Cream Drizzled with Blueberry Sauce


Make stock from the carcass of the turkey/chicken.

Homemade stock is so flavorful and versatile. You’ll find a multitude of uses for this stock.

Shopping List:  2 lbs fresh turkey pieces, onion, leek, carrots, celery, garlic, rutabaga, parsnips, mushrooms, cider vinegar, herbs and spices (rosemary, parsley, thyme, dill, sage, basil, coriander, summer savory, cardamom pods, cloves, allspice, star anise pod, peppercorns)

Homemade Turkey Stock
Homemade Turkey Stock

NOTE: Be sure to save 2 cups of cubed turkey/chicken for the turkey chowder for Wednesday’s dinner and 1 cup for the casserole for Thursday’s dinner.

Dinner:  Leftover Roast Chicken or Turkey with Potato Salad (add a green salad, if desired)

Don’t reserve potato salad just for summer picnics and barbeques.  It’s great any time of the year and is a fine accompaniment to cold chicken or turkey.

Shopping List: For the Potato Salad – potatoes (such as Yukon Gold or Reds), eggs, celery, onion, salad dressing (click here for my recipe), sour cream, sweet relish, and mustard).

Potato Salad
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s PEI Potato Salad

Dessert:  Leftover Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry Buckle


Dinner:  Turkey Chowder

Leftover turkey gets transformed into this hearty and flavorful chowder.

Shopping List: Onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, red pepper, summer savory, poultry stock, potatoes, milk, 1 – 10oz can creamed corn, and Parmesan cheese (Note: This recipe requires 2 cups of the cooked, cubed leftover turkey/chicken)

Homemade Chowder
Turkey Chowder

Dessert: Molasses Spice Cookies

A spicy and chewy cookie.  Great for the cookie jar!

Shopping List: Molasses and general baking supplies 

Spice Cookies
Molasses Spice Cookies


 DinnerChicken Chow Mein Casserole served with a green salad and fresh biscuits

Leftover chicken (or turkey) gets re-purposed into this flavorful easy-to-prepare casserole.

Shopping list:  For the casserole: 1 – 10oz can Cream of Chicken Soup, Parmesan cheese, fresh mushrooms, red pepper, celery, onion, garlic, chicken broth, cashew pieces, sliced water chestnuts, and chow mein noodles. (Note: This recipe requires 1 cup of the cooked, cubed leftover turkey/chicken) For the salad: Lettuce and fresh vegetables of choice and dressing. For the biscuits: Whipping cream, milk, and standard baking supplies.

Chicken Chow Mein Casserole
Tea Biscuits
Tea Biscuits

Dessert: Old-fashioned Jam Squares

A real old favorite, these jam squares demand red jam like raspberry!

Shopping List: Raspberry Jam, Lemon, and general baking supplies

Jam Squares
Jam Squares


 Dinner:  Seven Layer Dinner (aka Shipwreck Dinner)

By far, one of my most popular recipes and one of the most frequently searched for on my website. Dinner in one casserole! A simple meal but a mighty tasty one!

Shopping List: Ground beef, potatoes, onion, celery, parsnips, carrots, frozen peas, Minute Rice, and 1 – 10oz can tomato soup

Shipwreck Dinner
Seven Layer DInner

Dessert: Peanut Butter Cookies

This is an all-time favorite cookie.

Shopping List: Peanut butter + general baking supplies

Peanut Butter Cookies

NOTE:  Soak the yellow-eyed beans overnight tonight in preparation for making the Maple Syrup Baked Beans for tomorrow night’s dinner.

Soaking the Dried Beans


 Dinner: Maple Syrup Baked Beans with Homemade White Bread

A Saturday night tradition in many Maritime homes.  These beans freeze great if there are any leftovers.

Shopping List: For the Baked Beans – 1 – 1lb bag yellow eye beans, garlic, dry mustard, liquid chicken bouillon, tomato paste, cider vinegar, pure maple syrup, molasses, BBQ sauce, and onion.  For White Bread: Yeast, milk, flour and general baking supplies.

Baked Beans

White Bread
Homemade White Bread

Dessert: Apple-Maple Bread Pudding with Maple Sauce

This bread pudding is such a treat, especially when flavored with maple liqueur that is made right here in PEI by Deep Roots Distillery in Warren Grove, just outside Charlottetown.

Shopping List:  For Pudding: 1 – 1lb loaf of soft French bread, whole milk, blend/cream, baking apples, maple liqueur, and raisins. For Sauce: Maple syrup and maple liqueur.

Apple-Maple Bread Pudding


 Sunday Breakfast: Special Treat – Irish Cream French Toast, a great way to use some of the homemade bread from yesterday

Irish Cream jazzes up traditional French toast. A lovely weekend treat.

Shopping List: Irish Cream Liqueur (click here for my recipe), orange juice, eggs

Irish Cream French Toast
Irish Cream French Toast

DinnerPork Chops with Bread Stuffing and Creamy Mushroom Sauce; serve with baked potato and medley of favorite steamed vegetables

This is such a flavorful way to present pork chops. Yummy.

Shopping List: Pork Chops (bone-in), bread crumbs, onion, summer savory, celery, apple, liquid chicken bouillon, 1 – 10oz can mushroom soup

Pork Chops with Bread Stuffing and Creamy Mushroom Sauce
Pork Chops with Bread Stuffing and Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Dessert: Leftover Apple-Maple Bread Pudding with Maple Sauce

Maple Sauce on Apple-Maple Bread Pudding

Week 1 Menu Plan
Week 2 Menu Plan
Week 3 Menu Plan

So, there you have it! A weekly menu that makes full use of a roasted turkey or large roasted chicken.

Meal Planning – Week 3

A weekly meal plan is always useful to have. It helps with shopping, meal preparation, healthy eating, meal variety, and can save on the grocery bill. Here is my suggested meal plan for the upcoming week. This is the menu for Week 3.  Click Week 1 and Week 2 to access menus for those weeks. The Week 1 posting also includes information on meal planning in general.

I’ve provided a list of the main ingredients that, for the most part, would probably involve a shopping trip to the supermarket for most. However, as always, read each recipe thoroughly and carefully to create your own list as I have not listed what I consider to be “staple” items like regular milk, butter, eggs, flour, sugar, butter/shortening, oil, spices, etc.

Click on the green hotlinks to access the recipes.


Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread – This is a lovely treat to start off the week. Tuck it in to the lunch bags for a treat at break.

Shopping List: Lemon, pecans

Glazed Lemon Pecan Sweet Bread

Dinner:  Rich and Hearty Goulash Soup with Whole Wheat Biscuits

This soup is the full meal deal – very filling and flavorful.

Shopping List: For the Soup – Ground beef, onion, celery, carrots, rutabaga, parsnip, potatoes, zucchini, garlic, tomato paste, canned diced tomatoes, ketchup, beef stock (click here for my recipe), red wine vinegar. For the Biscuits – All purpose and whole wheat flours, buttermilk

Goulash Soup
Rich and Hearty Goulash Soup

There’s nothing like a wholesome homemade biscuit and these whole wheat biscuits go really well with the Goulash Soup.

Whole Wheat Biscuits
Whole Wheat Biscuits

Dessert: Apple Crisp

No matter the season, this old faithful dessert will always meet with satisfaction. Pure comfort food at its best!

Shopping List: Apples (e.g., any combo of Cortland, Honeycrisp, Humes, Gingergold), rolled oats, pecans, lemon juice

Apple Crisp
Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream


Dinner:  Pork Loin Roast with Pomegranate, Red Wine, and Black Garlic; serve with Potato Patties and medley of roasted vegetables of choice

Black garlic is not all that common yet, here on PEI, the garlic grower at Eureka Garlic just outside Kensington produces black garlic. Click here to read the story I wrote on Eureka Garlic’s black garlic.  Not at all the taste you might think – in fact, no garlic flavor at all. Its transformation is more of a cross between a fig and a prune. Goes particularly well with pork.

Shopping List: For Pork Loin Roast – Pork rib roast, garlic, soya sauce, white wine vinegar, shallots, pomegranate molasses, chicken stock, black garlic, balsamic vinegar, red wine, orange juice. For Potato Patties – Potatoes, sour cream chicken bouillon, breadcrumbs.

Pork Loin
Pork Loin Roast with Pomegranate, Red Wine, and Black Garlic Sauce served with Potato Croquettes and Roasted Root Vegetables

These potato patties are such an incredibly tasty way to serve potatoes and they freeze well, too!

PEI Potato Patties
PEI Potato Patties

Dessert:  Date Squares

Date Squares, the perennial favorite with many! These are a yummy treat and they freeze well, too.

Shopping List: Dates, rolled oats, orange juice

Date Squares
Date Squares (aka Matrimonial Squares)


Dinner:  Savory Cottage Pie

Lovely winter time treat, these little pies are packed full of flavor!

Shopping List: Ground beef, onion, carrots, parsnip, celery, green pepper, garlic, mushrooms, tomato paste, tomato sauce, ketchup, canned diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, beef broth, molasses, frozen peas and corn, potatoes, grated cheddar cheese

cottage pie
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s Cottage Pie

Dessert: Butter Tarts

When it comes to food, it doesn’t get any more Canadian than these sweet butter tarts! A treat for sure, eh!

Butter Tarts
Butter Tarts

Shopping List: Pie Pastry, general baking supplies + maple syrup, milk/blend/cream 
Butter Tarts


DinnerMussel Chowder served with Pan Rolls

This chowder is incredibly flavorful. They’ll ask for seconds on this one!

Shopping list: For Chowder:  2 lbs PEI mussels, onion, garlic, white wine, celery, carrots, potatoes, chicken broth, whole milk (or evaporated milk); For Pan Rolls: Yeast + standard baking supplies

PEI Mussel Chowder Paired with Upstreet Brewing Company's Commons Czech Style Pilsner
PEI Mussel Chowder Paired with Upstreet Brewing Company’s Commons Czech Style Pilsner

Nothing better with chowder than fresh homemade rolls, still warm from the oven! Bring on the butter!

Pan Rolls
Pan Rolls

Dessert: Squash Pie

Pick up a butternut squash and make this delectable pie – it’s even better than pumpkin pie and has a deeper flavor. Don’t reserve this recipe just for the autumn – it’s good any time of the year!

Shopping List:  1½ – 1¾ lb butternut squash, pastry for 10” single crust pie, evaporated milk, whipping cream

Squash Pie
Squash Pies


 Dinner:  Chicken and Mushroom Crepes with Cheese Sauce; serve with favorite green salad

A real special Friday night dinner. These crepes are so tasty with their cheesy sauce!

Shopping List: For crepes – 2 cups cubed cooked chicken, chicken stock, cheese mix (e.g., mozzarella, provolone and parmesan), celery, mushrooms; For salad – lettuce and favorite salad fixings and dressing.

Chicken and Mushroom Crepes with Cheese Sauce
Chicken and Mushroom Crepes with Cheese Sauce

Dessert: Leftover Squash Pie

Squash Pie
Squash Pie


Dinner: Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Rice

Fresh asparagus works best in this chicken dish.  Super yummy and looks great when it is sliced with the rings of the asparagus being very showy!

Shopping List: Boneless skinless chicken breasts, Boursin cheese, fresh asparagus spears, prosciutto, parmesan cheese, rice.

Asparagus-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Dessert: Blueberry Bread Pudding with Grand Marnier Sauce

Oh là-là, how many different ways can you say “yummy”? This moist and flavorful bread pudding will have them calling for seconds!

Shopping List:  For Pudding: 1 – 1lb loaf of soft French bread, whole milk, maple syrup, 2 cups high-bush blueberries (fresh or frozen). For Sauce: Grand Marnier, corn syrup

Blueberry Bread Pudding
Blueberry Bread Pudding


 Sunday Breakfast: Special Treat – Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon Buns

DinnerCranberry and Ginger Sauced Pork Chops; serve with baked potato and medley of favorite steamed vegetables

Jazz up pork chops with a tasty and colorful cranberry and ginger sauce.

Shopping List: Pork Chops, chicken broth, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, cranberry preserve/jam, mustard, onion

Pork Chops
Cranberry and Ginger Sauced Pork Chops

Dessert: Leftover Blueberry Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s Blueberry Bread Pudding

I hope you have found some interesting recipes from my food blog to try this week!

For other weekly meal plans from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Week 1 Meal Plan

Week 2 Meal Plan



Here is my suggested meal plan for the upcoming week. This is the Week 2 menu.  You can access the meal plans for Week 1 by clicking here and for Week 3 here.

I am a big fan of meal planning – it takes some coordination and effort upfront but the payoff is great. Find tested and reliable recipes with ingredients you know your family will like, read through the recipes to see what’s involved in their preparation and how long it will take to prepare them, make the shopping list, shop for the ingredients, and set aside the time to make the recipes. If you have helpers in the household, assign them tasks to help with the preparation.

Rather than spend time aimlessly perusing recipes in books or magazines or searching through the internet for a recipe that might pique your interest, I recommend first thinking about what main ingredient might appeal to you – is it ham, beef, poultry, fish, pasta, vegetables, etc. Are you looking for a casserole, a pot pie, or a main entrée, a one-time meal recipe or one that leftovers could be frozen for another meal or transformed into another dish altogether? Once you narrow down what you are aiming for, your search for the recipe will be more focused and concentrated and you will spend less time on the recipe search and more time productively spent actually making the dish.

To help you with that search, I hope you find some, or all, of the following recipes of interest and ones you will add to your weekly meal plan.

I’ve provided a list of the main ingredients that, for the most part, would probably involve a shopping trip to the supermarket for most. However, as always, read each recipe thoroughly and carefully to create your own personalized list as I have not listed what I consider to be “staple” items like regular milk, butter, eggs, flour, sugar, butter/shortening, oil, spices, etc.

Make sure you read through the menu suggestions for the entire week as some require some leftover meat or gravy, etc., from a previous day’s dinner so you will need to know what amounts of ingredients need to be set aside for a subsequent day’s meal.

Click on the green hotlinks to access the recipes.


GranolaMy recipe for granola is nut free.  So tasty, it’s actually yummy eaten as a trail mix treat, too! 

The Bistro’s Great Nut-Free Granola

Best Zucchini Granola Muffins – These are great breakfast or coffee break muffins and they freeze very well.  Great treat to start off the week!

Shopping List: Granola (click here for my recipe), zucchini, applesauce

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Zucchini Granola Muffins

Dinner:  Roast Beef, Potato Patties, Turnip Puff Casserole

A roast beef dinner is so tasty (and the house smells so great when the beef is roasting).  Be sure to save some of the beef and make some gravy for the beef pot pies for Tuesday night’s dinner!

The potato patties are a change from traditional mashed or boiled potatoes and these are super tasty.  Turnip goes particularly well with beef and is transformed into a lovely flavorful casserole to serve as a side dish. Jazzes up a roast beef dinner for sure!

Shopping List: Roast of beef, cut of choice. For Potato Patties – Potatoes, sour cream chicken bouillon, breadcrumbs. For Turnip Puff Casserole – Rutabaga, applesauce, onion, parmesan and cheddar cheeses.

PEI Bistro-style Potato Patties
PEI Bistro-style Potato Patties

 Turnip Puff Casserole

Turnip Puff Casserole

Dessert: Rustic Apple Pie

Who can say no to a homemade apple pie!  Add a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream to make this an even more special treat!

Shopping List: Apples, pie pastry for double-crust pie + enough for a single crust pie (needed for tomorrow’s Beef Pot Pie)

Apple Pie
Rustic Apple Pie


Dinner:  Beef Pot Pie – This is a great way to use up leftover roast beef and gravy from Monday night’s dinner.

Sometimes, depending on the size of roast, after a couple of days of leftover sliced cold roast beef, it can be a little boring, shall we say.  That’s why it’s important to find other uses for the leftover roast beef, like this Beef Pot Pie, so it seems like a brand new idea for dinner!

Shopping List: Rutabaga, carrots, potatoes, onion, mushrooms, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, red wine summer savory, frozen peas and corn, fresh parsley, pastry for single crust pie

Beef Pot Pie
Beef Pot Pie

Dessert:  Leftover Apple Pie

Apple Pie
Apple Pie


Dinner:  Potato Leek Soup with Whole Wheat Biscuits

Sometimes you just need a plain old-fashioned silky smooth cream soup and this Potato Leek Soup fits that bill nicely.  Serve it with some warm homemade whole wheat biscuits, with a slather of butter, of course!

Shopping List: For Soup – Potatoes, leek, celery, onion, garlic, chicken/turkey stock, milk, white cheese blend (e.g., mozzarella, provolone, parmesan) For Biscuits – All purpose and whole wheat flours, buttermilk

Potato Leek Soup
Potato Leek Soup


Whole Wheat Biscuits
Whole Wheat Biscuits

Dessert: Chocolate Drop Cookies

These are a great chocolate cookie and sure to find their way into the heart of any chocolate lover.

Shopping List: General baking supplies + cocoa

  Chocolate Drop Cookies

Chocolate Drop Cookies


Dinner:  Chili Con Carne served with Pan Rolls

This chili is packed full of flavorful ingredients.  While I think it’s perfect any time of the year, it’s especially inviting on cold winter days!  Make a batch of homemade pan rolls to accompany this chili.

Shopping List: For Chili – Ground beef, onion, green pepper, celery, garlic, 1 – 28oz can diced tomatoes, 2 – 14oz cans red kidney beans, 1 – 10oz can tomato soup, 1 – 5.5oz can tomato paste, chili powder, balsamic vinegar, liquid beef bouillon, mushrooms. For Pan Rolls – Yeast + standard baking supplies

Homemade Chili


Pan Rolls
Pan Rolls

Dessert: Creamy Coconut Rice Pudding

Baked rice pudding is a comfort food and many will remember their mothers and grandmothers making this treat. I’ve jazzed up my recipe with coconut milk and raisins that have had a little “nip” of amaretto!

Shopping List: Arborio rice, amaretto, raisins, coconut milk, maple syrup, shredded coconut

Rice Pudding
Creamy Coconut Rice Pudding


 Dinner:  Honey Garlic Spare Ribs, Twice-baked Potatoes, favorite side vegetable

Nothing beats honey and garlic to add some life to spare ribs!  These ribs can be served with rice or choice of potato but my favorite is to add a twice-baked potato to the plate. Super yummy.

Shopping List: For Spare Ribs – Ribs, apple juice, honey, soya sauce, garlic, onion. For Twice-baked Potatoes – Baking potatoes such as Russet variety, sour cream, whole milk or cream, liquid chicken bouillon, garlic, cheddar and parmesan cheeses

Garlic Spareribs
Garlic Spareribs served with Turnip Casserole and Baked Potato


Stuffed Baked Potato
Twice-baked Potato

Dessert: Jelly Roll

Lovely sponge cake rolled with red jam or jelly. Yes, this is indeed an old favorite with many.

Shopping List:  Cake and pastry flour, favorite red jam or jelly

Jelly Roll


 Dinner: Moussaka with green salad

While I have made Moussaka for years, recent visits to Greek islands reignited my love for this dish.  As a nod to my Prince Edward Island heritage, my version uses potatoes instead of the traditional eggplant. A little time-consuming to make but the end result is so worth it!

Shopping List: For Moussaka – Ground beef, onion, celery, garlic, 14-oz can crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, beef broth, russet potatoes, milk, Gouda cheese, breadcrumbs. For green salad – favorite lettuce and salad fixings of choice, dressing.


Dessert: Vintage Tomato Soup Cake

I grew up with this cake being frequently made.  Bet you can’t tell there is a can of tomato soup in it!

Shopping List:  Tomato soup, molasses

Tomato Soup Cake
Tomato Soup Cake


 Sunday Breakfast: Special Treat – Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Sunday mornings call for something just a little more special than you might make on busy weekday mornings.  Try these Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes with maple syrup or a rich blueberry sauce for double the blueberry flavor.

Shopping List:  Buttermilk, blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Blueberry Pancakes

DinnerLeftover Moussaka


Dessert: Leftover Vintage Tomato Soup Cake

Tomato Soup Cake
Tomato Soup Cake

So, there you have it – the Week 2 Meal Planning Menu from My Island Bistro Kitchen.

For other meal plans from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Week 1 Meal Plan

Week 3 Meal Plan

Meal Planning – Week 1

I am a big believer in meal planning and follow it regularly.  I recommend meal planning for several reasons:

  • Eliminates last minute meal planning – that’s when you leave work with no idea what’s for dinner and, suddenly, as you pass a supermarket with a deli or prepared food section or a fast food outlet and, well, you know the story – that becomes dinner.
  • Saves money and reduces food waste – have a plan in mind for using leftover meat such as ham, turkey, or roast beef. For example, use the leftover meat in sandwiches, casseroles, and/or soups. These are great ways to stretch the food dollar and eliminate food waste.
  • Healthier way to eat – You will eat less pre-packaged foods that often have way too many preservatives, additives, and other unhealthy ingredients. Meal planning means you are in control, to the extent possible, of what is in your food.
  • Less stress – Once you have a plan in place for meals for the week, you don’t have to stress each day over what to make for meals.

The keys to good meal planning are:

  • Make meals with ingredients you know your family will like – doesn’t have to be fancy, new, or creative. Sometimes, the old faithful comfort foods are the best.
  • Make the meal plan on the weekend and formulate the shopping list BEFORE you go to the supermarket and then stick to the plan, avoiding distractions of already-prepared or frozen entrées that supermarkets display to tempt shoppers.
  • Make your To-Do list for the meal preparation for the week – for example, if you are making baked beans on Saturday, get those beans soaking overnight on Friday evening.
  • Read each recipe carefully to ensure you will have all the ingredients and that the method is easy to understand and do-able in the time in which you have to do the food preparation.
  • Watch the supermarket sales flyers. Know your favorite dishes and buy ingredients for them when they are on sale. You’ll be more likely to stick to a meal plan if you already have most or all of the ingredients for a recipe on hand.
  • Plan around what’s in season. One of my favorite soups is cream of cauliflower which freezes well (provided whole milk, not fat-reduced, is used). I make several batches of this soup each fall when the locally-grown cauliflower is in season. I would not make it, however, in January with imported cauliflower that has traveled thousands of miles for days and is highly priced. Good meal planning needs to take place, on an ongoing basis, throughout the year.

Here is my suggested meal plan for the upcoming week, focusing primarily on dinners with some suggestions for a couple of lunches making the most of a boiled picnic ham. I’ve provided a list of the main ingredients that, for the most part, would probably involve a shopping trip to the supermarket for most. However, as always, read each recipe thoroughly and carefully to create your own shopping list as I have not listed what I consider to be “staple” items like milk, butter, eggs, spices, etc.  Click on the green hotlinks to access the recipes.


Blueberry Muffins – These are great breakfast or coffee break muffins and they freeze very well.  Nice treat to start off the week!
Shopping List: Blueberries (fresh or frozen), orange juice, orange rind

Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry Muffins

Dinner:  Meatloaf
Serve with mashed or riced potatoes and your favorite side of veggies. Homemade mustard pickles go great with meatloaf!

Shopping List: Ground beef, onion, prepared mustard, tomato soup, dry onion soup mix, graham wafer crumbs, fine bread crumbs, garlic powder, vegetables of choice

Meatloaf with Riced Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables
Meatloaf with Riced Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables

Dessert:  Gingerbread
At least once every winter, I have to have a dose of this yummy comfort food! Drizzle with brown sugar sauce for an extra-special treat!
Shopping List: Applesauce, molasses, coffee

Gingerbread with Whipped Cream and Brown Sugar Sauce



Homemade White Bread – This is always such a treat!  This bread will be super good with the ham sandwiches this week!
Shopping List: All-purpose flour, dry yeast, milk, butter/shortening

White Bread
Homemade White Bread

Dinner:  Old-fashioned Boiled Ham Dinner – This is truly dinner-in-a-pot and is my definition of “comfort food”!  The meat and vegetables are all cooked in the same broth in the same pot. Make sure you cook enough veggies for Wednesday night as this always tastes even better the second day. Easy to heat the vegetables in the microwave and, poof, you have two nights’ meals prepared in one effort. You’ll want those mustard pickles or mustard beans with this dinner!
Shopping List: Smoked pork picnic shoulder (ham), parsnips, carrots, rutabaga (turnip), potatoes

Boiled Ham Dinner
Boiled Ham DInner

Dessert:  Blueberry Grunt
This is such an incredibly yummy dessert – serve it with your favorite vanilla ice cream!
Shopping List: Blueberries (fresh or frozen) and lemon rind, vanilla ice cream

Blueberry Grunt
Blueberry Grunt



Lunch:  Ham Sandwiches made with homemade white bread!  Don’t forget the mustard!

Dinner:  Leftover boiled ham dinner from Tuesday.

Dessert: Cherry Wink Cookies
Shopping List: Dates, cornflake crumbs, maraschino cherries

Cherry Wink Cookie
Cherry Wink Cookie



Homemade Tea Biscuits
Shopping list: Whole milk, whipping cream, unsalted butter

Tea Biscuits
Tea Biscuits

Lunch:  Ham Sandwiches

Dinner:  Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole – this is a great way to use up left-over cooked ham and stretch its use. Serve these with those tasty biscuits and perhaps a green salad!
Shopping List: Rice, cream of celery soup, sour cream, liquid chicken bouillon, broccoli, canned pineapple chunks, Parmesan cheese, fine bread crumbs, leftover cooked ham, and ingredients for a green salad and dressing

Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole
Hawaiian Fiesta Casserole

Dessert: Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares
Shopping List:  Chocolate chips and coconut

Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares
Decadent Chocolate Chip Squares


Dinner:  Mac ‘n Cheese with a green salad and homemade tea biscuits
Shopping List: Elbow macaroni, liquid chicken bouillon, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, salad ingredients and dressing

Mac 'n Cheese
My Island Bistro Kitchen Macaroni and Cheese

Dessert: Cinnamon Sweet Bread
Shopping List: Staple baking ingredients

Cinnamon Sweet Bread
Cinnamon Sweet Bread


Dinner: Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts with Rice
An extra special weekend treat!
Shopping List: Boneless skinless chicken breasts, onion, fennel, orange juice, orange rind, chicken stock, maple syrup, orange marmalade, rice

Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken
Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken

Dessert: Coconut Cream Pie
One of the best pies going!
Shopping List:  9” pie shell, coconut milk, whole milk or cream, sweetened shredded coconut

Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie


Sunday Breakfast:  Pancakes


Dinner:  Bistro Burgers with Home Fries
Shopping List: Ground chuck, mayonnaise, maple syrup, ketchup, rhubarb relish, Dijon mustard, sour cream, onion salt, Parmesan cheese, Blueberry BBQ sauce, dry onion soup mix, bread crumbs, Cheddar cheese slices, red onion, tomato, prosciutto, fresh pineapple, bread and butter pickles, hamburger rolls, potatoes (for home fries)

"The Bistro Burger"
“The Bistro Burger”

Dessert: Leftover Coconut Cream Pie

Meal planning can be a challenge, especially with high food prices, ingredient availability (particularly in winter for fresh local ingredients) and, of course, for those who are busy and time-challenged.  However, with having a plan in place and establishing a routine for meal preparation, it is a way to eat better, save money, reduce food waste, and eliminate the stress of last-minute meal preparation that can sometimes result in unhealthy food choices. For those with children, it’s a good way to help them make good food choices and engage them in meal preparation by assigning them tasks to help with the work of making meals.

For my Week 2 Meal Plan, click here.

For my Week 3 Meal Plan, click here.