Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tasty Green Meal Plan

Meal Plan for October 26 - November 1

I love that Momma Hughes (Alisha, from Out of the Box) made soups last week. We are going to continue making a few soups this week as they are nutritious, delicious, and make for great leftovers. I am also spicing things up a bit with a few simple meals that have absolutely nothing to do with the fall season and have everything to do with my recent cravings!

Here is the Tasty Green Meal Plan for this week:

Sunday~ Pumpkin Tomato Basil Soup in bread bowls
Monday~ Katie's Quadoba
Tuesday~ Chicken soup
Wednesday~ Spicy Corn and Wild Rice Casserole
Thursday~ Pinto beans and cornbread
Friday~ Gnocci (Potato Noodles) and Pesto
Saturday~ Homemade whole wheat pizza

Bonus: Pumpkin baking, pumpkin freezing, and pumpkin butter!

Even though with most of the above meals you CAN buy the canned/frozen version of the ingredients I highly encourage you to use fresh ingredients. It is healthier and will save you money in the long run.


Fresh pumpkin puree (or a can of pumpkin)
carrots (4 or 5 of good size)
Either vegetable stock or chicken broth
Can of tomatoes, pureed
fresh basil

Black beans
Lime Juice

Chicken broth
Basil, bay leaves, oregano (really the spices of your choosing)
Chicken (I used just one big chicken breast. You can adjust depending on your family size)
Salt and Pepper

Corn (fresh or frozen ~ not canned)
Wild Rice
Half and Half or whole cream
Cayanne Pepper seasoning

Pinto beans
(If you have buttermilk you do NOT need milk and vinegar).
Two slices of bacon
salt and pepper

Pine nuts
3/4 cup Parmesan, FRESHLY GRATED
extra-virgin olive oil

Flour (we use whole wheat)
olive oil
Tomato sauce (canned or home made)
toppings of your choice
*HINT* You can always puree vegetables into your sauce and give your pizza an extra kick of taste and nutrients that picky eaters will not gripe about. My pizza sauce has tomato, green pepper and mushrooms all pureed into it.

We will also be making home made applesauce this week and enjoying home made potato chips as a snack.

Have a great week! We have been loving the email and comments, keep them coming!

Halloween Treats

Here's a Halloween treat idea that your kids could help you with. They're really just rice krispie treats, using corn flakes, with Indian corn eyes and m&m smile. Here's the pics, though, in case if you need step by step direction.

3 Tbs. butter
40 large marshmallows
6 cups corn flake cereal
1 bag m&m's
1 bag Indian corn (or candy corn)
(helps to have parchment paper for this one)
Melt butter in saucepan.Add marshmallows and stir while melting.
Once marshmallows are completely melted add cereal and mix.
Drop spoonfuls onto parchment paper. (Today my 2 year old learned the word "gooey")

Use Indian corn upside down for the eyes and m&m's for the smile. These things are messy to make, but yummy to munch on. Hope you have fun making them!

Saturday: Mexican Casserole (Slow Cooker recipe)

Makes 6 servings.
This one also comes from the Meal Planning ebook I mentioned earlier, by Sheri Graham.

1 lb. ground beef
1 can (15.25 oz) corn, drained
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 jar (11 oz.) salsa
5 cups uncooked egg noodles
1 can diced tomatoes (29 oz), undrained
1 cup water
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brown beef and transfer to slow cooker. Top with corn. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour salsa over all. Top with noodles. Pour tomatoes, and water over all. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until noodles are tender.
Dinner is served!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday: Chicken and Mushroom Soup (South Beach Diet)

Makes 4 (1-3/4 cup) servings

This soup was surprisingly delicious! We loved it. I had NO idea I could like a Brussels sprout! :) Very worth trying if you are someone who does not know if you like a Brussels sprout.

1 medium leek, light green and white parts only, outer layer removed
4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
6 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
8 ounces brussel sprouts, halved
Salt and pepper to taste.

Trim leek, keeping root intact. Slice in half lengthwise, submerge in cold water, and rinse thoroughly to remove any dirt.

Slice into 1/4 inch pieces.

Bring broth, water, and thyme to a low boil in a large saucepan. Add leek and mushrooms ; reduce heat and simmer until leek is softened; about 5 minutes. Add chicken and Brussels sprouts. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

Print this recipe.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday: Mexican Chicken Soup (South Beach Diet Recipe)

Makes 4 (2.5 cup) serving

This soup is also delicious! Way better than I had anticipated. Hope you like it as well!

1 Tbs. canola oil
1 small onion
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin
5 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch strips
2 cups mild refrigerated fresh salsa
Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and jalapeno; cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cumin; cook 30 seconds more.
Add broth, increase heat to high, and bring to a rapid simmer. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in salsa, bring back to a simmer, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday: Creamy Chicken-Spinach Soup

Makes 6 (1 1/3-cup servings)

Yummy. You will love this one. Your husband and children will too. This one is also taken from the Five Ingredient, Fifteen Minute cookbook. Again, two easy steps. Gotta love it!

1 (9-ounce) package refrig. cheese tortellini
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (10 ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (9 ounce) package frozen cooked diced chicken breast
1 cups fat-free milk
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. pepper

Step One: Cook tortellini according to package directions, using 1 can broth instead of water. Step Two: Add soup and remaining ingredients, stirring well. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until thoroughly heated.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesday: Cheesy Spinach Bake (A South Beach Recipe)

Makes 8 servings.

This recipe is actually great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
1 container (16 oz.) Cottage Cheese
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
4 eggs, beaten
1 jar (7 oz.) roasted red peppers, well drained, chopped
1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp. dried Oregano leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients until well blended.
Pour into greased 9-inch pie plate.
Bake 40 minutes or until center is set.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Bonus: Centerpiece idea

Okay, so I realize that this is not a crafting blog, but as a bonus this week I am including a picture of the centerpiece on our table right now. I was thinking today as I was taking pictures of our food that our centerpiece is prettier than the food and I wanted to take a picture of it instead. :) This was the cheapest decoration ever, but it did not turn out too bad so I thought it might inspire someone else. Later I will add a picture of the "vase" that matches. I just used cardboard cut into the shape I wanted, a hot glue gun, a bunch of hot glue sticks and a bunch of string. Tossed several smooth rocks in there (flowers looked pretty too when I used this before) and a pillar candle. Walla! (is that even a word?)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Monday: Beef Enchiladas

I got this recipe from an ebook by Sheri Graham. It's called Menu Planning Made Easy. She has lots of good recipes in her ebook that are simple to make and use very few ingredients. (and she is not paying me to say so) ;)

1 lb. Ground Beef
1 can (10 ounce) enchilada sauce or red sauce
1 can condensed Cream of chicken soup
1 can condensed Tomato soup
10 flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet, cook beef, drain. Combine enchilada sauce and soups; pour 1 cup of sauce into bottom of greased 9x13 baking dish. Stir 1 cup sauce into beef mixture, then stir in 1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese.

Spoon 1/4 cupfuls of beef mixture down center of tortillas. Roll up tightly; place 10 tortillas seam side down in pan. Top with remaining sauce. Cover with foil and bake in 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with additional cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Tip: This recipe is great frozen! Just double your recipe! Assemble tortillas into pan, cover with foil, and freeze (do not bake first). To bake, thaw in refrigerator overnight and bake as directed.

Sunday: Tomato Ravioli Soup

Makes 1 (1.25 cup) servings.

I have to start by saying that these pictures do not do this recipe justice. This soup is so good that it may just become a weekly "Sunday soup" in your house. Extra bonus: Doesn't take a lot of ingredients either. This one came from my Five Ingredient, Fifteen Minute cookbook. I LOVE this cookbook. It is definitely my favorite of all my cookbooks. This recipe has two easy steps.
Ingredients: 1 (14.5 oz.) can stewed tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz.) can chicken broth or vege broth
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning (I always use it from an Italian seasoning packet, but I think the recipe intends that you just use regular seasoning)
3 cups frozen cheese ravioli (about 12 ounces)
1 small zucchini, sliced
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Step One: Combine first three ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Step Two: Add ravioli, zucchini, and pepper; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heart, and simmer 7 minutes or until pasta and zucchini are tender.

Now, the question is: Will you use a fork or a spoon?!