Sunday, May 23, 2010

Meal Planning May 23 to May 29

Here I am getting ready for another week, and I have nine days of school left for this school year. As exciting as that is, it means the next two weeks will be hectic and tiring. As much as I don’t want to plan tonight, I know it is necessary to keep us from the drive-through lane. I also have no dinners provided on Wednesday, since that has ended for the summer. This is the time of year that I want to relax, but I know I can make it another 9 days. Today I got together with some girls from my Sunday school class for a “casserole shower” for one of our members who is counting the days down to twins. We all came home with 6 meals for the freezer. I will write more about it later, but I can’t stress how excited I am to have some new things in the freezer.

Sunday Night: Tricia’s Famous Lasagna (One of my children’s favorites)

Meatless Monday Night: Fried Rice with Tofu Egg Rolls (from the freezer)

Tuesday Night: Pork Tenderloin in the crockpot with potatoes and fresh vegetables

Wednesday Night: Cranberry Chicken Casserole (from the freezer) with peas from the freezer (Casserole Recipe Coming Soon)

Thursday Night: Pork Tenderloin Rice Bowls (rice, black beans, pico de gallo or salsa, cheese, topped with leftover pork tenderloin

Friday Night: Out

Saturday Night: Cooking Out for the Holiday Weekend

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summer Stir-fry

This morning, as I was leaving for school, I stopped by the freezer to grab some meat for dinner tonight. I grabbed an Elk Fillet that I had purchased from the local market. I wasn't sure what to do with it and it was only a half a pound of meat. Well, I cut it, marinaded it, and stir-fried it, and it was a great light summer meal. Here is an easy stir-fry recipe that can use whatever is in the fridge.

1/2 to 1 lb of meat cubed (chicken, beef, elk, etc.)
3 T of soy sauce
1 T of sugar

3 to 4 veggies chopped into bite-size pieces (I used all locally grown food)
* 1 onion
* 2 carrots
* 1 head of broccoli
* 1 squash
* 1 head of Chinese Cabbage chopped

1 package of Udon Noodles cooked (or 1/2 bag of linguine)

Marinate meat in soy sauce and sugar mixture for 15 minutes to an hour. Pour a dollop of oil in to the stir-fry pan. Once heated, add meat and chopped onion. Cook over medium heat. Then, add the carrots and squash to mixture. About 5 minutes before serving add cabbage and broccoli. Add in cooked noodles. Serve and enjoy!

Meals for the Week May 15- May 22

Sorry to be so late, but this has been one of those weeks. I haven't even had a schedule for the week and we have been having what is in the freezer, fridge, and pantry. So, here is what we have had this week:

Sunday Night: Left-overs from the weekend (easy- everyone had something different)

Meatless Monday: Potato Leek Soup with fresh bread (yes, repeat from last week, but the girls love it and there was just me and the girls to eat that night)

Tuesday: Rotisserie Chicken with Amy's Mac and Cheese and Green Beans

Wednesday: Locally Grown Stir-fry- with an Elk Fillet (recipe coming)

Thursday: Lemon Chicken with Barley

Friday: Pizza Party for E's school! Last two weeks of preschool- excited and sad.

Saturday: Spaghetti (easy family favorite)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

One Week’s Meals – May 9 to 14

Well, it is Sunday again and I am working on keeping us going another week. We hosted my cousin’s college graduation party this weekend, so the weekend was spent working on that meal. So, today I looked at what would be easy to cook and the best use of our leftovers. I also posted the sides again this week. All of my vegetables came from the farmers market this weekend and will make for great sides this week. This week at the local market I purchased: zucchini, squash, cucumber, and leeks. I have had to watch buying too many items at one time- it all looks so good that I want too much for one week.

Sunday Night- Out to eat- My family took me out for mother’s day. It was a great day with the family.

Meatless Monday Bean and Cheese Burritos with stir-fried veggies (squash, zucchini, and onions)

Tuesday Left-overs from the Graduation Party (Grilled chicken, baked beans, and coleslaw)

Wednesday Church Picnic (end of choir for the year- one activity down- YIPPEE!)

Thursday Spaghetti and Meat Sauce with fresh cucumber salad (take sauce our of the freezer)

Bean and Cheese Burritos- Meatless Monday Meal

A quick meal that can be a life saver on those busy nights. Ingredients are simple and easy to keep on hand. Kids love these burritos.

◦7 flour tortillas, 10-inch (25cm) diameter
3 1/2 cups fat-free refried beans, (two 16-ounce cans)
◦1/2 cup green chiles, canned, chopped (one 4-ounce can)
◦1/2 tsp cumin
◦1/2 tsp garlic powder
◦8 oz reduced fat cheddar cheese*, shredded

◦Preheat over to 400°F (205°C).
◦Prepare filling by mixing refried beans, chilies, cumin and garlic together in a bowl.
◦Grate cheese.
◦Assemble burrito by spooning approximately 1/2 cup (130g) bean filling into the center of each tortilla and top with about one Tbsp of cheddar cheese. Fold in ends and then sides. Place burritos seam side down on baking sheets that have been sprayed with vegetable oil spray.
◦Bake for 20–25 minutes until golden brown.
◦Serve with a dab of light sour cream and salsa.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Chicken kabobs

We made some chicken kabobs on the grill and they turned out pretty good. I used the following recipe to marinade the chicken. It was pretty darn spicy and since I'm a whimp I will only use 1/2 of the crushed red pepper next time. Although spicy, I really liked the flavor of this marinade! Besides chicken I used onion, green, red, yellow and orange bell pepper, an pineapple on our kabobs. You could add whatever you like!!

1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

In a small bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, garlic, honey, thyme, red pepper flakes, pepper and salt if desired. Reserve half of marinade for basting; cover. Cut chicken into 1-in. wide strips; weave on skewers. Place in an 11-in. x 7-in. x 2-in. glass baking dish. Pour remaining marinade over chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Drain, discarding marinade. Place skewers on grill over medium-low coals. Grill, turning and basting with reserved marinade, for 12 minutes or until juices run clear.

Strawberry pie

My parents came to visit last weekend and we picked lots of strawberries at a local strawberry farm. Mom wanted to make a fresh strawberry pie. This was a delicious recipe!! It was one of the only ones we could find without jello. Adding jello to a pie just didn't seem right.

Here's proof of the freshness!!

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
1 quart fresh strawberries
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Arrange half of strawberries in baked pastry shell. Mash remaining berries and combine with sugar in a medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling strawberry mixture. Reduce heat and simmer mixture until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over berries in pastry shell. Chill for several hours before serving. In a small bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Serve each slice of pie with a dollop of whipped cream.

Note: we filled the entire bottom of the pie with whole strawberrries, not just 2 cups. The pie was delicious but a little runny. Next time we will try less water.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo Slaw

Happy 5th of May, everyone. This is from my friend Kaye. I have to say this slaw recipe looks good for any time of year. Have a great one!

2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 cup shredded green cabbage
1 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. or more fresh squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. honey
2 green onions, chopped with tops
3 Tbsp. or more chopped cilantro
pinch of cayenne
* add more sea salt and white pepper if desired.

Combine all ingredients well. Serve immediately

Teriyaki Chicken Freezer Recipe- Recipe #4

1 lb of chicken, cooked and diced
½ box of spaghetti, cooked
1 28oz can of stir-fry vegetables (I found in the Asian food section, or equivalent in the freezer section)

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
2 T brown sugar
2 T white wine or apple juice

Day you make it: Mix ingredients together. Place in an aluminum pan, or freezer bag. Freeze
On cooking day:
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bake in a preheated 350F oven for 30 to 45 minutes.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Vegetarian Lentil Soup- Meatless Monday


Lentil soup is one of those recipes that should be in every cook's repertoire. Lentils are available in most grocery stores and are high in protein, healthy and very cheap. This vegetarian lentil soup recipe uses plenty of spices to perk up the soup. Enjoy this traditional and warming dish! You may also want to try this crockpot lentil soup recipe.

•1 tsp vegetable oil
•1 onion, diced
•1 carrot sliced
•4 cups vegetable broth
•1 cup dry lentils
•1/4 tsp pepper
•1/4 tsp dried thyme
•2 bay leaves
•dash salt
•1 tbsp lemon juice

In a large pot, sautee the onions and carrot in the vegetable oil for 3-5 minutes until onions turn clear.
Add the vegetable broth, lentils, pepper, thyme, bay leaves and salt.

Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until lentils are soft, about 45 minutes. Remove bay leaves and stir in lemon juice before serving. Makes 4 servings of lentil soup.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Meal Planning, Week of May 2- May 8, 2010

We have another busy week ahead. I can see the end in sight at school, which is nice. This week there are a couple new recipes to be posted, but ones I have cooked before. The other items I have added this week are the side items we are having. All of the vegetable items I have added are locally grown veggies. It is early in season, but great things are available. I purchased mine through the locally grown cooperative for Conway. I made Chinese cabbage for the first time tonight, and it was very tasty. Not as pungent in smell as the regular head of cabbage. I also made cabbage rolls with the other head. (I got two from the market.)

Make Ahead for the week: Teriyaki Chicken (2) and Cabbage Rolls (2), and Lentil Soup (or can be made in crockpot)

Sunday Night: Teriyaki Chicken with fresh steamed Chinese cabbage (recipe posted this week)

Meatless Monday Night: Lentil Soup with Texas Toast (from the freezer) (recipe posted this week)

Tuesday Night: Cabbage Rolls (or as my family knows them: Mini-Meatloaves) with fresh broccoli

Wednesday Night: Church Meal

Thursday Night: Crockpot Chicken with fresh squash and broccoli rabe

Friday Night: Leftover Chicken in Pita Pockets with fresh strawberries and salad

Saturday: Graduation Cookout for my Cousin Whitney!!! (menu and recipes to follow)

Chicken Divan Freezer Recipe – Recipe #3

With all of the new recipes I have tried lately, I think this is my favorite. Who doesn't love creamy cheese sauce! Now, that being said, it will not be one that will make a regular rotation. This would be a great dish for company, too. It would be easily doubled, so you could make two at a time for the freezer. Have a great week!

Basic Ingredients
1 pkg frozen broccoli (cooked according to pkg instructions)
1 lbs of cooked chicken, sliced
3 cup of rice, cooked

¼ cup butter/margarine
¼ cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp minced onion
1 oz sherry
salt & pepper (to taste)

In one aluminum casserole pan, place cooked rice on the bottom. Place broccoli and top with chicken. In a saucepan melt butter then gradually add flour. Once thickened, add milk, stirring until combined. Once smooth, add remaining ingredients, stirring until heated through and cheese is melted. Pour over rice, chicken, and broccoli, cool then freeze.