Sunday, March 27, 2011

Meals 3/28

We have a couple repeats. I forgot I had a mom's night out so that was one less meal! We also ate up some frozen Bean Soup one night because neither of us wanted to cook. I hope everyone has a great week!

Monday: Polenta Casserole, homemade bread
Tuesday: Mediterranean Lentil Salad, homemade bread
Wednesday: Southwestern Quinoa Casserole in tortillas, carrot sticks
Thursday: Cold Veggie Pizza (make ahead)
Friday: Artichoke and Spinach Lasagna, veggie, homemade bread
Saturday: Curried Cous Cous, roasted veggies (Thanks Karla!)
Sunday: Chilaquiles Casserole, rice

Cold Veggie Pizza

Cold Veggie Pizza

This is a great dish to bring to potlucks etc. Its also is a fun treat for dinner!

*2 (8oz) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
*1 cup sour cream
*1 8oz package cream cheese
*1 teaspoon dried dill weed
*1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
*1 1oz package ranch dressing mix
*Veggies: peppers (multi-colored), celery, radishes, carrots, onions, broccoli, tomatoes etc...just whatever you have!

*Spread crescent roll dough onto large cookie sheet and bake at 350F for approximately 10 minutes (just watch it until its done). Cut dough now...much easier than doing later :)
*In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine sour cream, cream cheese, dill weed, garlic salt and ranch dip mix. Spread this mixture on top of the cooled crust.
*Arrange veggies on pizza. Cover and refrigerate. Serve once chilled.

Roasted Vegetables

These are SO SO SO GOOD! My friend Karla made them at her kids' birthday party the other day. Even if you don't like veggies, you'll love these! Especially the sweet potatoes.

Roasted Vegetables:
You can do whatever veggies you'd like.
My favorite are
Sweet potato
Portabello caps
Others that roast well are:
Red peppers

For all the veggies, drizzle extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
Place them on a cookie sheet or baking pan and roast in the oven at
400 degrees. The each take about 20-30 minutes. You can also grill
them on a pan or outside grill. Make sure they are a little chard but
not burned. For the sweet potatoes or carrots I usually pre-slice
them. The bellos, I usually leave whole then slice them when they come
out. the Peppers I usually cut into halves or thirds, roast them and
then slice them.

A WONDERFUL dip that goes well with them:

*1 cup mayo
*3 oz sour cream
*salt and pepper to taste
*5 oz balsamic vinegar
*2 garlic cloves
*6-8 medium sized basil leaves

Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for an hour or more before serving.

Curried Couscous Salad with Dried Sweet Cranberries

Curried Couscous Salad with Dried Sweet Cranberries

This recipe is SO good! I don't like curry but in this its amazing :). Its also super easy which is a plus. Thanks mom for the recipe!

*1-5.8 oz box instant couscous (or equivalent... I buy couscous in bulk)
*3/4 cup dried cranberries (raisins also work)
*1 Tablespoon curry powder
*1 tsp salt
*1 tsp sugar
*1/2 orange, juiced
*2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
*3-4 scallions thinly sliced OR green onions chopped
*2 TBS chopped parsley
*1/2 lemon, juiced
*3/4 cup chopped walnuts
*Freshly ground Pepper

Stir the couscous, cranberries, curry powder, salt and sugar together in a heatproof bowl. Bring water listed in package directions to a boil and pour over the couscous. Add orange juice. Give it a big stir, cover the bowl and let it stand, giving it a big stir once or twice until the water is absorbed and couscous is tender, about 5 minutes.

Fluff up the couscous with a fork. Add the olive oil, scallions, parsley, lemon juice and walnuts. Stir around until everything is distributed evenly throughout the couscous. Make up to 2 hours ahead of time and keep at room temperature until you are ready to serve. Check the seasonings just before you serve the salad and add salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Mediterranean Lentil Salad (from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home)

Serve this nutritious salad on a bed of lettuce, topped with feta cheese and olives and surrounded by tomato wedges and cucumber slices.

Serves 4
Total time: 30 minutes

1 cup brown or green lentils
4 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme,(½ teaspoon dried)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
boiling water
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced red or yellow bell pepper
½ cup minced red onion
½ cup chopped fresh parsley

⅓ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 rounded teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Rinse the lentils. In a medium saucepan, bring the lentils, water, bay leaves, thyme, and garlic to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until tender, stirring occasionally.

While the lentils simmer, cover the sun-dried tomatoes with boiling water in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Combine the celery, peppers, onions, and parsley in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients until smooth. When the sun-dried tomatoes have softened, drain and mince them, and add to the vegetables.

Drain the lentils and discard the bay leaves. Remove the garlic, mash it, and mix it back into the lentils. Toss the lentils with the vegetables and dressing, and adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Serve immediately, or cover and chill to serve later.


Rumpledethumps (from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant)

The diet of northern European peasantry relied heavily upon the potato ever since it was imported from Peru in the sixteenth century. In Celtic Britain it was taboo to harvest any potatoes before the festival of Lugnasa, and so the event was met with great anticipation. Colcannon, a potato and cabbage dish-variations of which are legion-is traditionally served on Lugnasa. All members of the family must share the dish or risk offending the agricultural spirit that protects the crop. After the first bite everyone shouts, "Death to the Red Hag!" thus driving away the specter of starvation.

Rumpledethumps is a colcannon that includes broccoli and cheddar cheese; it serves equally well as a luncheon or side dish. There are over one zillion know varieties of colcannon, and we have tried them all. This one is best.

Serves 6

5 large potatoes (2-2 ½ pounds)
2½ cups chopped cabbage
2 leeks, washed and chopped
2½ cups coarsely chopped broccoli
6 tablespoons butter
¼ teaspoon mace
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup milk
1½ cups grated cheddar cheese

Peel the potatoes, cut them into chunks, and boil them in salted water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, steam the cabbage, leeks, and broccoli. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and stir in the mace. Mix this seasoned butter and salt and pepper to taste into the steamed vegetables.

Drain the potatoes and mash with 2 more tablespoons butter, the milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the seasoned vegetables and mix evenly. Spread in an oiled 13x9-inch baking pan. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle it over the potato mixture. Sprinkle the top with the grated cheese. Place under the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.

If you'd like to prepare Rumpledethumps ahead of time, omit the cheese topping, cover the baking pan tightly, and refrigerate. Later, bake, covered with foil, for 30 minutes at 350ยบ. Uncover, sprinkle with the cheese, and place Rumpledethumps under the broiler for a few minutes to brown.

Meals 3/21

I'm a bit late posting this week, sorry all! I had my MIL in town and my hubby out of town! We had a great time and she finally got to meet the baby, horray!

My daughter now has T-ball Monday and Thursday nights so I will be planning either super quick meals or easy do-ahead meals :).

Monday: Easy Peasy Black Beans & Rice in tortillas, apple slices
Tuesday: Delicious Big Bowl Quinoa, veggie
Wednesday: Alumni Association Dinner-St. Pats Party!
Thursday: Chickpea Burgers, potatoes (the burgers are super easy to make ahead and freeze)
Friday: Rumpledethumps, salad
Saturday: Meditterean Lentil Salad, homemade fresh bread
Sunday: Polenta Casserole, bread

Anyone have any good strawberry recipes to share? We went strawberry picking this weekend and picked 20 quarts! They are so delicious but now I need ideas of what to make with them :).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Meal Plan 3/14/11

We made an offer on a house and it got accepted, woohoo! I hope its all smooth sailing from here :). In the mean time, we are going to commence "operation empty out deep freeze" :). I don't want to move a lot of frozen stuff, even if its just a few miles away!! So its time to do freezer inventory. Hopefully our meals won't bore you all too much! Oh and we have a repeat from last week, we didn't quite get to all the meals. And lots of new recipes!

Monday: Pasta Salad
Tuesday: Chilaquiles Casserole, rice (repeat)
Wednesday: Spaghetti Squash with veggie meatballs, roasted broccoli
Thursday: Beans and Rice in Tortillas, salad
Friday: Delicious big bowl quinoa, fruit salad
Saturday: Thin crust pizza, salad
Sunday: Vegetable Quiona cakes, stirfried green beans with garlic

Publix Shop 3/12

So I thought I'd pass on some of the savings I've been getting at Publix! This week I spent a total of $138.70 and saved $100.38. This includes a $10 Publix giftcard, and $100 in gas!!

I should also note that we get 90% of our produce from an organic produce co-op I'm in (If you're in Tampa and interested let me know!). The veggies I buy at Publix are b/c I either forgot to order them or they weren't available etc. For example I spent $55 for the next 2 weeks of produce.

Here's what we got:

2-Post Honey Bunches of Oats Raisin Medly
2-Multigrain Cheerios
1-Heartland bulgar wheat
6-Birds Eye frozen veggies
2-Glad Lock gallon storage bags (40 ct each)
2-Lysol cleaning products
1-Dawn dish soap
1-Publix unbleached flour
7-Voskos greek yogurts
1-Publix sour cream
2-Barilla pasta
1-Lindsay sliced olives
6-Stouffers French Bread Pizzas (frozen)-yeah its convenience food... I know :)
1-1# block Publix cheddar cheese
1-Large publix Peanut butter
2-Sargento Shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1-16 ct whole wheat tortillas
1-package asparagus
1-red bell pepper
2-hunts ketchup
1-sweet potato
1-bunch cilantro
1-package butter
4-Marzetti Simply Dressed salad dressings
1-$10 Publix Gift Card
2-$50 Shell Gas gift cards

Thin Crust Pizza

Thank you Scott for sharing your recipe!! :)

1/4 oz active dry yeast
1/4 tsp granulated sugar
3/4 c water, heated to 110 degrees
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
pizza sauce, of your choice
shredded cheese and toppings of your choice

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
Dissolve yeast and sugar in water; allow to rest for 8 minutes.
2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour and salt.
3. Pour yeast mixture over flour mixture and mix using dough hook of mixer.
4. Turn dough onto a floured surface and press dough into a 12" circle.
5. Sprinkle cornmeal on lightly greased pizza pan.
6. Place dough on pizza pan and stretch dough to edges.
7. Bake crust for 5 minutes.
8. Remove crust from pizza pan and place on pizza peel.
9. Spread sauce over crust and top with desired toppings and cheese.
10. Place pizza back in oven directly on the rack and bake for 5-7 minutes or until edges are golden and toppings are heated through.

Pasta Salad

Delicious Summer Pasta Salad
Serves 4-6

The key to this pasta salad is the dressing! I've played around with other ones but this one is the BEST! Ken's Creamy Balsamic is also good and VEGAN so you can make this meal vegan). I also love that this recipe can be really really cheap with sales. The pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, peas, and dressing all go on sale regularly :).

1 package veggie pasta (I use Ronzoni Garden Delights or Wacky Mac... loving the bow-ties these days)
1/2 package regular pasta (I love using those corkscrews!)
2 teaspoons olive oil (or oil from sun-dried tomatoes)
1 Big handful sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (I've used regular and packed in oil. Packed in oil = more calories but also yummier!)
1 small can sliced olives, drained
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
fresh shredded Parmesan cheese (optional, I actually like it better without)
Balsamic Dressing (I LOVE LOVE LOVE Marzetti Simply Dressed Balsamic, and its BOGO this week!)

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
2. In large bowl combine pasta with olive oil (I skip this if I'm using sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil and just use a bit of that oil instead)
3. Add sun-dried tomatoes, olives, frozen peas, and Parmesan cheese (optional).
4. Refrigerate until serving.
5. Add dressing when you serve the pasta salad. If you put it on beforehand, the pasta just soaks in the dressing but the flavor goes away, so definitely wait until you are serving it to add the dressing!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Meals 3/6

Here's our menu for this week! We had to stay under $40 this week so I chose recipes with a lot of things we had on hand or were frozen (I have some frozen calzones and chickpea burgers).

Monday: Broccoli Calzones-use pizza dough recipe to make 4 large calzones. Mix in a bowl fresh or frozen broccoli, mozzarella cheese, pasta sauce and spices. Use mixture to fill calzones and bake.
Tuesday: Breakfast Burritos (scrambled egg or tofu, veggies , potatoes)-vegan w/ tofu
Wednesday: Chickpea Burgers, potato side, fruit (whatever we have on hand)
Thursday:Linguine in Lemon Cream, salad, breadsticks
Friday: Southwestern Quinoa Casserole (I use tomatoes not ro-tel and don't put cheese on the top)--as tacos... vegan, fresh fruit
Saturday: chilaquiles casserole, rice, veggie (whatever we get from co-op)--Recipe from my Aunt Kristen, I can't wait to try it!! :)
Sunday: Polenta Lasagna (I make a different sauce though), fresh homemade bread

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Polenta Lasagna

Polenta Lasagna-from Moosewood New Classics

4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups cornmeal

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoons dried marjoram
1/2dried oregano
1 cup chopped red bell peppers
3 cups crushed tomatoes with juice (28-ounce can)
1/2 cup dry red wine (optional)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup Neufchatel or cream cheese
1 large egg
2 cups rinsed, stemmed and chopped Swiss chard, kale, or spinach
1 1/2 cups grated mild provolone
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring the water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk the cornmeal into the boiling water. Reduce the heat to low and let the polenta simmer, stirring often, until thick but pourable (see note). Pour the polenta into a lightly oiled baking sheet. Use a lightly oil spatula to spread it 1/2 inch thick or less. Refrigerate.

Warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat and saute the onions for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, basil marjoram, oregano and bell peppers and saute 5 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and, if using, the wine. Bring to a simmer and add the tomato paste, salt, and black pepper. Simmer on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

Soften the cram cheese in the oven for 3 to 4 minutes. Lightly beat the egg and stir it into the softened cheese. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet or saucepan and saute the greens until tender. Remove from heat and set aside. Remove the polenta from the refrigerator and cut into manageable 4 x 6 inch pieces that will fit together to make single layer in your baking pan; a few gaps don't matter.

To assemble the lasagna, spread a third of the sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking pan and top with a later of polenta. Add the sauteed greens to the remaining sauce and spread half of it on the polenta. Spread the softened cream cheese over the sauce and top with the provolone. Make a final layer of polenta and top with the rest of the sauce. Dust the Parmesan cheese evenly over all.

Cover the baking dish and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Note: for this dish, make a relatively stiff polenta. The amount of water needed and the cooking time will depend on the cornmeal used. Finely ground cornmeal such as polenta cornmeal cooks quickly and is excellent for this dish. Coarsely ground and stone-ground cornmeals may need to simmer for up to 45 minutes. Any cornmeal may need additional water; start with the amount given and add more if the polenta becomes too thick.