meal plan . . .

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!  I hope you have gone out or gotten on line during the holiday Christmas Sales and replenished your holiday wrapping paper, bows, decorations, lights etc. on sale. With my little blogging vacation, I have come up with some new ideas.  For starters I will share my meal plan from the previous week (this one is from two weeks ago because of Christmas).  That way I can easily review each recipe and tell you my shortcuts, what I did with the leftovers and if anyone in our household found the meal edible.

M - curry turkey soup & bread

T - steak, brussels sprouts, mock mashed potatoes & salad

W - date night . . .

R - spagetti squash with homemade sauce

F - Trader Joe's Frozen Polenta, oranges & cucumber salad

S - ricotta, ham and scallion tart w/ your choice of a veggie, artichokes?

S - we went out to eat

MONDAY - I had leftovers from our thanksgiving turkey, which I used up in this recipe.  If you don't have turkey use chicken or skip the meat all together and make it a vegetarian or vegan soup (you can figure out what to omit for either option).

INGREDIENTS - for broth

  • 8 cups of water
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1-2 onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 peppercorns
  • Throw everything in a large pot, bring to a rapid boil for 10 minutes and you have made yourself a fantastic broth.

INGREDIENTS to finish up the soup

  • 1/2 can coconut milk, pour the rest of the milk in ice cube trays and freeze for other soups, smoothies or baking
  • 2 - 3 cups of cooked rice
  • 2 T curry
  • Add all of the above to the soup, heat and serve with bread.

TUESDAY - This is one of our family GO TO recipes.  As a lovely lady with my monthly visitor I need Iron and steak with a little bit of vitamin C (tomatoes, glass of orange juice or a screw driver) helps free up the iron so our body's can use it.

STEAK - I always cook flank steak.  It's easy to marinade, it's easy to cook and it's easy to cut up.  And it's a great meat to freeze and use in steak tacos, chili or anything else.  For our family of seven I marinade and cook two flank steaks.  I LOVE Trader Joe's teriyaki sauce.  Is it healthy?  No!  It's loaded with sugar, but it's good.  So the night before I am going to cook flank steak, I marinade the steaks in the TJ's teriyaki sauce in separate gallon zip lock bags.  Be sure you put the bags in a bowl in your fridge, sometimes the bags leak.  During the 24 hour marinating period I jiggled the bags and flip them around so the steak marinates evenly.

These steaks cook quick!  About 45 minutes before you want to eat dinner, turn on your broiler.  Lay the steaks on a broiler pan (you can line the bottom of the broiler pan with tin foil to make clean-up easier).  When the oven is ready broiler the steaks 7 minutes on each side for a WELL-DONE steak.

MASHED CAULIFLOWER (just try it) -

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BRUSSELS SPROUTS - So simple, so simple!  1 pound is a perfect serving for our family when there is five of us eating.  Simply cut the sprouts in half, prepare a cookie sheet with pam, olive oil or butter, lay the sprouts flat side down, on a cookie sheet, drizzle them with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.

SERVE WITH A BAG OF SALAD

WEDNESDAY - date night, pizza!

THURSDAY - spaghetti sauce and frozen sauce

Try this.  It's so easy and so yummy and the leftovers are delicious.  Here is a recipe to quickly walk you through cooking a spaghetti squash in the oven.  http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-spaghetti-squash-178036

As for your sauce you can either used the jarred stuff, make your own or do what I do . . . I doctor up the jarred stuff.  I basically take two jars of pasta sauce and add the following . . .

  • 1 pound of ground beef, cooked
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1-28 ounce can of roasted tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cups of spinach, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 -4 T almonds, diced or ground up
  • 1 T or more italian seasoning

I mix all the ingredients together, heat and serve over the spaghetti sauce.  And then I freeze the leftovers in quart size zip lock bags.  I lay them flat in the freezer and I have a perfect serving size for 4 adults.  The leftover spaghetti squash is awesome the next day one of following ways . . .

  1. heat and serve with spaghetti sauce
  2. eat cold with diced olives, olive oil and parm
  3. eat cold with fresh lemon
  4. eat cold with salad dressing
  5. etc, etc

Yum!

FRIDAY - I cheated!

One of our little guys LOVES Trader Joe's little cups of yogurt.  So every now and again we head over there.  I stock up on the yogurt he loves and teriyaki sauce and like most, a whole bunch of other stuff.  So on this trip I decided to try their frozen polenta.  Wow, it could not have been easier and EVERYONE loved it.  You basically add the bag to a microwave safe dish, heat for 5 minutes and serve.  I served it with three cucumbers (add 2 - 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and sesame seeds to sliced cucumbers).  I also served it with fresh orange slices.  It was filling for the little ones, but the rest of a us were hungry later.

SATURDAY - tart, super easy (the crust is pillsbury pizza dough)

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Here is the link.  This is very good and will become a staple for you!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ricotta-ham-and-scallion-tart-recipe/index.html

Serve it with a salad or roasted asparagus.  Or serve it with artichokes, yum.

S - we are going out to eat or I am going to wing it