Saturday, April 4, 2009

Week of April 5-10...and then some

I am very excited for this week, and I am so sorry for getting this up as late as I am, because I want you all to be able to get excited for this week too. I have many great resources that I am tapping into this week. Second trimester has kicked in and I have been inspired to try some new things that I hope to love, and hope you will love too. We are sneaking in some fruits and vegetables this week. I got my hands on a copy of "The Sneaky Chef", so you will be seeing a variation of Missy Lapine's healthier version of brownies, packed with nutrients! I have three bonus recipes planned for you this week that all make great snack ideas, one of which comes from a book I will share more about later, "Baby & Toddler Meals for Dummies" (stay tuned for a giveaway of this book in the near future). I also have four crock pot recipes to share with you this week because I am working out of my Southern Living Slow Cooker cookbook. Two or them use chicken, so I cooked up a whole chicken tonight that I am planning to go cut into pieces when I am done posting. Okay, too much chit chat. Here's my week:

Monday: Ratatouille (I love spell check!) ;)
Tuesday: Chicken Enchiladas
Wednesday: Mexican Macaroni
Thursday: Sgettis (using the leftover Ratatouille)
Friday: Chicken Lasagna Florentine
Bonus recipe #1: Peanut Butter and Apple Toast
Bonus recipe #2: Brownies you can feel good about
Bonus recipe #3: Fruit bouquet


Here's what you need:

Ratatouille
1 large eggplant
1 large onion
2 tomatoes
1 large green bell pepper
1 large red bell pepper
3 medium zucchinis
3 garlic cloves
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. capers
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 (4.5 oz.) can sliced black olives, drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Chicken Enchiladas
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers
1 (4.5 oz.) can chopped green chiles
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
1 (8 oz.) bottle green taco sauce
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers
Toppings: (optional) chopped tomato, chopped avocado, slicked green onions, sliced ripe olives, chopped fresh cilantro

Mexican Macaroni
1 (8 oz.) package elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
1 (10-3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup water
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
1 (4.5 oz.) can green chiles
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Mexican four-cheese blend

Sgettis
Spaghetti noodles
spaghetti sauce
leftover Ratatouille
mozarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

Chicken Lasagna Florentine
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 cups chopped roasted chicken
1 (10-3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken and mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (10-3/4 oz.) can cream of onion soup, undiluted
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
1 cup milk
1 (8 oz.) pkg. sliced fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
3.5 cups shredded colby-jack cheese blend
9 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Bonus recipe #1: Peanut Butter and Apple Toast
3 pieces of whole-wheat bread
Butter for spreading (I left this out)
2 Tbs. Peanut butter, smooth
Finely slicked apples pieces

Bonus recipe #2: Brownies you can feel good about
1/2 cup wheat germ, unsweetened
1 box (about 21 oz.) brownie mix
2 large eggs
3/4 cup Blueberry and carrot First Juice
1/4 cup canola oil

Bonus recipe #3: Fruit bouquet
1 pineapple
1 cantaloupe
iceberg lettuce
(tools required: heart shaped cookie cutter, skewers, and melon baller)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Chicken and Broccoli

In my house it is never my son that struggles eating his veggies....it is the hubby. Thus, this easy recipe is fantastic for us because he downs his serving without any complaint about the greens.



What you will need:
Chicken Breast (or Pork)
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1/4 cup of cream cheese
1 nice big stalk of broccoli
1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups of whole wheat noodles such as rotini

What to do:

1. Either cut up your chicken/pork into bite sized pieces or place them whole into a pan with olive oil. Let them cook slowly until finished.


2. In the meantime, put your rotini noodles into boiling water until ready. Cut up your broccoli and place it in with the rotini for the last four-five minutes. When finished DRAIN.





3. Add the following to the pan with your meat:
Add 1/2 cup chicken broth to the pan.
Add 1/4 cup of cream cheese to the pan.
Add 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese to the pan.
Stir the above together around your chicken/pork.
They will go form lumpy to a smooth creamy sauce within just a few minutes.





4. When the ingredients are all saucy add the noodles/broccoli to the pan and stir together really well.



If you cut up your chicken/pork it will be mixed into the dish. We did not cut ours up. We set it on top as you can see in the picture.





I got this idea from out of the Kraft Food magazine. This is the first meal I have made from that magazine and it was pretty good. I used more broccoli that they suggested and cut it up into smaller pieces. We liked it. I do think that leftovers of this meal would be really dry, so perhaps adding a bit more chicken broth to the them before reheating would be in order.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wonderballs!

These are a family favorite here in our house. We make them at least twice a month. The beautiful thing about Wonderballs is that they are fun to make with kids, healthy and they taste like glorified cookie dough!


Here is what you need:
One Cup Peanut Butter
One Cup Honey
1/2 Cup Milled Flax Seed (Fiber!!!)
1/4 Cup chopped nuts (This is optional, but we like to add them. We use Almonds)
1/2 Cup of dried fruit (Our favorite is raisins and cranberries)
1/2 Cup of chocolate chips (we like using dark)
2 Cups of Uncooked Oatmeal

1. Now, in a big bowl add your peanut butter and honey together. Stir!!!!


2. Add in your 2 Cups of Oatmeal and stir!!!
3. Add in your Flax Seed too!



4. Add in your chocolate, chopped nuts, and dried fruit. Stir!!!


Now, you will have a big sticky blob of goodness. Using a spoon or your hands go ahead and make cookie dough balls out of them. Next, put them into tupperware. I stack them and use wax paper in between. Place them in your freezer. As they freeze they will lose most of their sticky-ness. We like to keep them in our freezer and pull them out one by one as snacks. You can also refrigerate them for a softer wonderball.




Enjoy!

Thursday: Postponement

Ok, I was going to post the Brocolli and Chicken bake today but we had something come up last night. Rather than making a meal we ended up all fending for ourselves. The good thing about this was that leftovers were cleared out of the fridge perfect for grocery shopping day. I am making the meal tonight, which means it will be posted tomorrow morning.

I will be posting the WONDERBALLS later this afternoon! Yipee!!!!!!!
They are so good!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday: Cowboy Nachoes



I am in love with the Pioneer Woman website and originally received my idea for these nachos from her.
Jason and I have been going to a BBQ place here in town and enjoying these nachos. I ran across them on her website and learned how to make them for myself.

We create a meal plan like this weeks, with pinto beans and brisket as two other meals thus this is the third meal and leftovers from both previous meals are used.

Here is what you need:
The leftover pinto beans from your beans and cornbread meal.
The leftover Brisket.
Home made Pico de Gallo (Tomato, Onion, Lime juice, Cilantro, Onion)
Shredded Cheese
Wheat Tortilla Chips

Pioneer Woman soaks the meat in enchillada sauce for extra flavor. We do not. It is up to you!

Here is how you do it:

Step 1: Start thinking layers. Add a layer of chips to a dish, pile on beans, brisket, cheese, and pico de gallo. Repeat several times over until you have a large pile of layered yumminess!
Step 2: Put in oven long enough for cheese to melt and then top with one more helping of Pico de gallo.

ENJOY!

Once we ran out of brisket and so I used hamburger meat. It was still delicious. Make sure to pile on the pico de gallo. It is the heart of this dish!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday: Beef Brisket



This meal is delicious and you are going to be using the brisket you make for THREE other meals!
I bought a brisket for $12.00, cooked it once, and have made three great meals with it so far. Well worth it.

What you will need:
Beef Brisket
Soy Sauce
Liquid Smoke
Garlic
Lemon Juice (bottled or fresh)
Foil
1 carton of beef broth

What to do:

Step 1: 24 to 48 hours before you want to eat this meal combine the brisket in a large oven dish.
Step 2: In your dish add two cups of soy sauce, the beef broth, squeeze in a 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and a scoop full of garlic. Add two table spoons of liquid smoke. Yummy stuff.

Step 2: Cover with foil and let this all soak in your fridge for 24 to 48 hours. Oh, a good tip from Pioneer Woman is to put the brisket FAT side up.

Brisket must be cooked slow for a long period of time. It is recommended that you cook the meat 40 minutes per pound. Mine took three hours to perfection and let me tell you the entire time we were all salivating!

This time around I served the Brisket with steamed cauliflower and brocolli. We also sliced potatoes really thin and baked them for home made potato chips.
I used the leftover cornbread from last night's pinto beans as the bread for this meal.

Keep all of the leftover brisket. You are going to use it for Cowboy Nachos and you can freeze the rest for some yummy sandwiches on any given day.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pinto Beans and Cornbread




This meal is hearty, homey and you are going to use the leftover to make even more wonderful meals this week!

You will need:
Bag of Pinto Beans
Bacon (only two-four slices)
Salt and Pepper

If you have time go ahead and make home made corn bread. It is the best.
I used White Lily Corn meal, which is super easy to turn into corn bread.


The Simple Steps to Delicious:

Step 1: Put 4 cups of pinto beans into a collinder, rinse and drain.
Step 2: Put beans in pot of a water. Make sure the water is a few inches above the beans.
Step 3: Slice up the bacon and add to the beans.
Step 4: Place on stove and cook for about two hours. Check on the beans and stir occasionally. The beans will start to get a gravy like sauce around them. This means they are almost finished!
Step 5: Add salt and pepper to taste.

Make your cornbread, from scratch or out of a box baby!

Serve hot and with a delicious sweet treat. We enjoyed blackberry cobbler to go along side this dish. YUM!

When you are finished save all the beans. You will be using them for Cowboy Nachos in two days.







For the cobbler, first be prepared to be blown away at how easy it is. Second do the following:

Melt 1 stick of butter in the microwave
In a big bowl, add the melted butter to~
One cup milk
One cup flour
One cup sugar
Stir and pour into a pan
Add your blackberries (or peaches)
Sprinkle a little extra sugar on top.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
It is a perfect desert for this meal.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tasty Green Meal Plan

Last night I went to bed with a spring filled lawn, flowers and green grass and all. This morning I woke up to a sheet of slush and four inches of snow! Yikes!

Here is the meal plan for this week, come snow or shine.

Monday- Pinto Beans and Corn Bread (with blackberry cobbler)
Tuesday-Beef Brisket, carrots and mashed cauliflower
Wednesday-Cowboy Nachos
Thursday-Chicken and Brocolli Noodle Bake
Friday-Ethiopian Doro Wet


As an extra this week we will also be making Wonderballs, a delicious healthy snack that my son can not get enough of!