Meal Plan Monday 11/5/18

stemarie_1650skitchen

I’m back home from Wow Summit, and I had 4 bags full of goodies- most of it was food- no lie! So this week is going to be incorporating a lot of the new foods into our lives and seeing how we like them.

Breakfasts are usually the same for us: Protein shakes for grown ups, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. We have plenty of protein shake fixins’- I buy the over ripe bananas, peel and slice them pop them into ziploc bags, and freeze them for smoothies and protein shakes. I also keep sandwich ziploc bags of  other frozen fruit on hand to make the kids smoothies when they request them (a few times per week). Berries, peaches, and mangos are pretty popular.

Lunches are leftovers, salads, or a protein shake for the grown ups, and The Big Kid has a specially packed lunch of whatever he’s into at the time (which changes frequently). Bitty Bird eats whatever I’ll feed her.

For dinner, when we’ve got busy days (like Mondays), I’ll try and put something in the crockpot in the morning, or pull something I’ve already prepped out that can be quickly cooked.

Monday: DIY Ramen Night with ramen kits I got from Wow Summit. One is Forbidden Rice Ramen, and the other is Red Miso Ramen. We’ll add poached eggs, bean sprouts, scallions and Asian veggie patties from Aldi’s. I love DIY Ramen nights- it’s a great way to have a yummy, filling vegetarian (or even Vegan) meal. I’ll be writing more about how you can do your own DIY Ramen bar at a dinner party soon.

Tuesday: Grilled Cheese sandwiches and soup, watermelon slices

Wednesday: breakfast for dinner! probably egg scrambles with bacon, veggies, cheese, and whole wheat toast (or whatever bread I have in the freezer)

Thursday: Fruit salad bar (I have a lot of fruit right now- it’s time to make a huge fruit salad), yogurt or cottage cheese, and granola.

Friday: Steak. I really want a steak right now, so I’m planning on pan seared steak with caramelized onions, and a red wine pan demiglace. Roasted veggies, twice baked potatoes, green salad, and popovers. This is a super simple, inexpensive dinner- Less than $20 for a steak dinner for three (Big kid doesn’t eat meat).  I will write about making a rocking steak dinner on the cheap soon.

Saturday: DIY Pizza night

Sunday: Leftovers

 

Talk Back: What are you craving for dinner this week?

Black Bean Veggie Soup

IMG_7410I made this soup tonight and it was sooo good. This would be great for meatless Monday (if you do that at your house), or save this recipe for Lent (if you give up meat for Lent). I served it Mexican Cesar Salad.

It’s tasty, quick, and easy. It took about 5 minutes to put together, and I let it simmer on low for 45 minutes.

Black Bean Veggie Soup
Ingredients:

  • 1 can Campbell’s Black Bean Cumin & Cilantro Condensed Soup
  • 11 oz (1 can) of water
  • 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bag of Birds Eye Recipe Ready Southwest Blend
  • 1 packet Taco seasoning
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This Veggie blend is great! Perfect in soups, chili, and tacos!

Directions:

 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a stock pot
  2. Cook on medium/low for 45 minutes-1 hour.
  3. Top with shredded cheese. It’s also really good with hot sauce and a squeeze of lime.
  4. Serve with Mexican Cesar Salad (Recipe below) and warmed tortillas.

Makes about 6 servings.

The best part is that this meal was less than $1.00/serving! The can of Campbell’s Soup was .49, the tomatoes and black beans were .79/each, and the Frozen veggies were $1.00. I had taco seasoning in the cupboard (It was freebie from a few months ago).  All of these ingredients can be purchased at your local 99 Cents Only (That’s where I got them!).

Here what I serve this incredibly filling soup along side:

Mexican Cesar Salad

  • 6-8 cups of your favorite lettuce/lettuce blend (romaine and bibb is great!)
  • 2 tomatoes cubed/sliced
  • ½ cup purple onion, cut into rings
  • ¼ c ranch dressing
  • ½ c your favorite salsa
  1. Combine the salsa and ranch together, chill in fridge 6-8 hours before servings. This allows the flavors to blend.
  2. Toss the veggies in a chilled salad bowl with the dressing.
  3. Top with ¼ c crushed corn chips/tortilla chips for some added crunch!

Serve topped with grilled chicken breasts for an entree or without meat as a side dish.  Serves 3 as an entree, serves 6 as a side dish.

Recipe: Lemon Garlic Spaghetti Squash Casserole

file000382147880.jpgWe love Garlic. It’s a good thing that hubs and I both like it, because otherwise this recipe wouldn’t go over too well.

This is my spin on the Spaghetti with Garlic White Wine sauce found here.  It appeared in hubs Facebook feed one day several months ago, he sent it to me, and we’ve been tweaking it to make it our own ever since.

To make it a little healthier, I added in 1 large spaghetti squash. If you’ve never cooked one, I write about it here. It’s super easy to cook, and it’s very yummy

Lemon Garlic Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 2 large white onions, cut into quarters and layers separated
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large lemons, zested and juiced
  • 4 T butter, divided
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, minced (you can use more or less)
  • 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 1/2 T Thyme (I usually have it dried in my spice cabinet, but if you have it fresh, use 5-6 springs)
  • 1 c. Grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 c chicken broth (or pasta water)
  • 1 large spaghetti Squash
  • If you want to add pasta to this dish, you’ll need 1/2 lb spaghetti, 8-10 cups water (to cook pasta), and salt (to salt the water)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Prep spaghetti squash (scoop out the stringy parts and seeds) and bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.

Toss cut up onions in oil, salt and pepper. Bake in a baking dish covered for 20-30 minutes, uncover and bake an addition 10-15 minutes.

IMG_3202.jpgAfter the squash is done cooking, allow to cool for about 10 minutes, or until it’s easy to handle. Scoop the “meat” out and set aside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Baked onions, cooling, along with the butter needed to finish the recipe.

After onions are done baking, set aside.

If you are cooking pasta, start the water to boil and cook pasta as directed.

Zest and juice the lemons, set aside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Heat half the butter in a skillet. Once melted, add the minced garlic and cook on medium for 5-ish minutes until fragrant (watch out, it burns really easily). Add red pepper flakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3200.jpgAdd Lemon juice and wine, turn up the heat for a few minutes. You’ll want to cook off the alcohol, so about 5-10 minutes at medium high heat. Add the baked onions.

Add 2 T. chicken broth (or pasta water), and the remaining butter, and the Thyme. Once the butter is melted, turn off the heat.

Add the spaghetti squash and/or pasta into the skillet, and gently toss to coat. Add lemon zest, and half of the parmesan cheese. If the mixture becomes too thick, add more chicken broth or pasta water a little at a time.

Top with any additional cheese, thyme, and/or pepper flakes.

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Here is an extra step that makes it a little better (IMO) but isn’t needed: Place skillet under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese on the top is brown and bubbly.

I have made this recipe with both pasta and spaghetti squash.  This last time I made it, I used only 1 serving of whole wheat spaghetti, mostly because I prefer the way it turns out when it has the pasta water in it, instead of the chicken broth.

*If you are a vegetarian, feel free to substitute in veggie broth.

**This recipe can be made with GF pasta.

 

Vegetarians- Rejoice!

I was scanning through all of the new printable coupons released over the past week or so, and I found a bunch of great new vegetarian meat alternative coupons!

$0.75 off any ONE MorningStar Farms Veggie Burgers
$0.75 off any 1 MorningStar Farms Grillers Burger
$0.75 off any ONE MorningStar Farms Veggie Patties
$0.75 off any 1 MorningStar Farms Original Patties
$0.75 off any 1 MorningStar Farms Chickpea Burger
$0.75 off any ONE MorningStar Farms Veggie Burgers

$1.50 OFF any ONE (1) Dominex brand product
Save $1.00 on any TWO (2) packages of Hilary's Veggie Burgers

I love how many different options there are for non-meat proteins!

What id your favorite non-meat protein?

Delectable Tuesday: Easy Peasy Black Bean Soup!

Hubs loves Black Bean soup.  So based on what we had in the cupboard and fridge, I whipped up a batch. I didn’t have a specific recipe in mind, I just played it by ear and it turned out GREAT!!

Black Bean Soup (makes 6 1-cup servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 15 oz. cans of organic black beans (do not drain)
  • 2 c. salsa of your choice
  • 1 can chicken broth (if you are a vegetarian, use vegetable broth)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (top, leafy part only) chopped
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion (white or purple, whatever you have)
  • 1/4 c. chopped  Fresh Jalapeño Peppers (about 2)
  • dash of hot sauce (your choice, optional)
  • 6 T. plain Greek Yogurt or low fat Sour Cream

Directions:

  1. Combine everything in a large stockpot.
  2. Cook the soup on low for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Really simmer it gently and allow the flavors to meld.
  3. Ladle into bowls and top each bowl with 1 T. of plain Greek Yogurt or low fat Sour Cream.
  4. Serve with quesadillas and Mexican Cesar Salad.

Mexican Cesar Salad

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 cups of your favorite lettuce/lettuce blend (romaine and bibb is great!)
  • 2 tomatoes cubed/sliced
  • ½ cup purple onion, cut into rings
  • ¼ c ranch dressing
  • ½ c your favorite salsa

Directions:

  1. Combine the salsa and ranch together, chill in fridge 6-8 hours before servings. This allows the flavors to blend.
  2. Toss the veggies in a chilled salad bowl with the dressing.
  3. Top with ¼ c crushed corn chips/tortilla chips for some added crunch!

Serve topped with grilled chicken breasts for an entree or without meat as a side dish.  Serves 3 as an entree, serves 6 as a side dish.