Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Week Plan Wednesday

Do people care about how I never actually follow my meal plans?  Last week we ended up having corned beef and cabbage for both lunch and dinner on Sunday (due to totally not understanding what was on the menu for dinner with friends), so I had no interest in Ruben sandwiches until today.  Combine that with the library story time theme of "pizza," and well, you can guess where that went.

Wednesday- Rubens. Coleslaw.  "This hits the spot," says The Gibbon.

Thursday- Cream of Broccoli Soup.  Stromboli.

Friday- Grandma is bringing dinner

Saturday- Roasted chicken, garlic potatoes, oven roasted beets, sweet potatoes.

Sunday- Winter pesto (use whatever pesto recipe you like, but replace the basil with parsley and the pine nuts with walnuts). Chicken salad.

Monday- We're doing dinner with friends, but haven't decided who's hosting.  If we are, I'll do Chicken noodle soup from scratch, loaded with vegetables, fresh bread with butter, and broccoli salad.

Tuesday- German ptotato salad (which is served warm, so it's ok).  Either scalloped cabbage or broccoli salad, depending on what happens Monday.

You want my broccoli salad recipe?  Yes!
Chop up your broccoli into bite sized pieces.  Seriously.  No huge three-bite chunks.  It's better this way.
Juice a lemon into a bowl.  It helps if you roll it on the counter before you cut it open.  Microwaving it for 15 seconds also helps.
Crush some garlic.  I like a lot, maybe 3 or 4 big cloves.  But it's your deal.  Just chop it up a little, generously sprinkle it with salt, and smush it it paste with whatever's handy: the back of a spoon, the side of a knife, a nice clean rock, whatever.  Throw it in with the lemon juice.
Add a glug of olive oil, if you want.  It won't hurt to skip it if you've got fat somewhere else in your meal, but a little fat helps you to absorb the nutrients from the vegetables.  Also grind in a bunch of black pepper.
Use a piece of broccoli to taste the dressing.  If it's good, good.  Otherwise, add more salt or garlic or pepper or lemon.
When it's perfect, toss the dressing over the broccoli.
This is best if left to sit for an hour or more before you eat it (the acid takes some of the "raw" flavor out of the broccoli), but you can totally chow down whenever.  Yum.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Week Plan Wednesday

Wednesday- Pasta with Cheaters Vegetable Sauce.  It's sort of a recipe!  And I threw mine together in 20 minutes between grocery shopping and leaving for a meeting!  Dice up and saute a whole bunch of basic kicking-around-the-kitchen vegetables.  I used onion, garlic, green pepper, carrot, and celery.  When everything is cooked at least sorta, throw in some Italian seasoning and a whole bunch of V8, or a similar tomato-based vegetable juice.  Simmer until the vegetables are actually all the way cooked.  Glob in a few scoops of sour cream.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over pasta.

Thursday- Beef and Barley Soup.

Friday- Broccoli salad with lemon dressing and Everything in the oven!  Buns.  Oven baked pork chops.  Rice.  Roasted cauliflower (lightly coat with mayonnaise and sprinkle with parmesan cheese).

Saturday- Broccoli frittata.  More buns.  Some carrots.

Sunday- Corned beef and cabbage, of course.  Mashed potatoes.

Monday- Rubens.  Sweet potatoes.  More broccoli salad, if we've got it.

Tuesday- Chicken and carrots in Thai ginger sauce.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Week Plan Wednesday

Wednesday- Minestrone soup.  Bread with ricotta cheese and garlic.

Thursday- As you no doubt remember, The Littles came down with the flu last Wednesday.  They weren't actually feeling better until Monday (ARGH!), so we ate chicken noodle soup for a lot of meals.  Which means, I still have all my chili fixings.  Go Thursday!

Friday- Grandma's bringing dinner. 

Saturday- Moussaka.  Bread.  Moussaka is like the Greek version of lasagna, but it's got eggplant in it in place of the noodles.  Traditionally it's made with lamb, but our meat CSA doesn't raise sheep, so I'm making mine with ground beef instead. 

Sunday- Poblano peppers are on sale this week.  So I'm doing Lazy Chilies Rellenos a la Ree Drummond at The Pioneer Woman Cooks.  With corn tortillas.  Maybe a salad.

Monday- Cream of cauliflower soup.  Cheesy buns.  Sliced green peppers.

Tuesday- Roasted potato nachos.  It's a recipe! 

Wash up some plain, boring old potatoes.  Depending on the size of the potatoes and how hungry the people you're feeding are, somewhere between 1 and 2 potatoes a person should do it. 
Cut your potatoes into wedges.  Toss with a little oil, salt, and pepper.  (You only need a little oil.  You could skip it, but the potatoes won't brown well without it.)   Toss on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 400 degrees until they're tender all the way through (usually this takes me longer than 30 minutes, but I don't watch too carefully.  Stab a potato with a fork to make sure).  Throw some shredded cheese over the potatoes during the last 5 or 10 minutes of cooking.
While your potatoes are cooking, brown up some ground beef and season it with cumin, chili powder, onions, garlic, canned tomatoes, salt, and pepper.  You could just cheat with one of those "taco seasoning" packets, but they're more expensive for fewer spices and more preservatives.  Muck with the seasonings, tasting as you go, until it seems awesome to you. 
Also chop up a green pepper, some green onions, a fresh tomato (if you can find a good one), some lettuce, some olives, an avocado, or whatever other vegetables are wonderful on nachos. Here's your chance to make homemade pico de gallo or guacamole, if you're feeling ambitious.
When your potatoes are done and the cheese is melty, serve them out onto plates and pile them high with your seasoned meat, chopped vegetables, sour cream, and salsa.  Squeeze a lime over top for a little extra kick.
Eat right this second
Advice: Go heavy on the vegetables, they're good for you.  Also, it's better to use a smaller amount of full fat dairy then to try and skimp calories by using "low fat" sour cream or cheese.  Those things are chock full of non-food ingredients.  Not good for humans.  Yum Yum.