Monday, March 20, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan #4 {March 20, 2017}

Did you have a good weekend? We had a busy one! Not much cooking happened on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday; so I'm ready to get back on track this week. ;) Here goes...

Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup

1 1/2 lbs boneless beef sirloin steak cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tbsp oil
4 carrots, chopped, 1/2-1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup pearl barley
2 cans (14.5 oz) beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning

Heat oil in skillet on medium-high. Brown beef bits on all sides. Put carrots and onions in bottom of crock. Sprinkle seasonings over veggies. Top with the barley and meat. Pour broth and tomatoes over the beef and barley. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours. Serve with hot bread. Yummmm!

Spinach Quiche

Recipe for two- pie crust (below), or pre-made crust in refrigerated section

Homemade Crust Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour
2 sticks (1 cup) butter cut into squares
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup cold water

Directions Homemade Crust:
Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a stand mixer (or in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer or spoon)

Put the butter into the bowl and begin mixing on low-med speed

It will start to combine and look crumbly or cornmeal-ish

Add the water, a little bit at a time.

Increase the speed slightly and scrape the sides of the bowl as it combines.
A dough ball will begin to form and stick to the mixer attachment.
Turn off the mixer.
Lightly flour your two pie plates
Push the dough out of the mixer attachment. Form a ball again.

Divide the dough by eyeballing into your two floured pie plates, sprinkling a little flour on top of each one.

Press dough into pan evenly or roll it out with rolling pin and press into plates.

Refrigerate until you're ready to use it. (Cover it if it will be more than a couple of hours.)

No need to pre-bake this crust. Just pull it out of the fridge, fill it as you desire, and bake!

Filling:8 eggs
1 cup milk
2-3 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
2-3 cups shredded mozzarella (or cheese of choice)
Salt and pepper

Whisk the eggs and milk with salt and pepper. Stir in the spinach. Pour egg-spinach mixture into the pie plates. Top with the shredded cheese. Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes. Let the top get nice and golden-brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Quiche is one of those meals that can really be personalized. Feel free to add cooked crumbled bacon, shredded ham, sundried tomato and pesto, broccoli and cheddar- really whatever sounds good to you!

Ground Turkey Risotto with Roasted Green Beans
from Rachael Ray

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), 2 turns of the pan
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small onion
2/3 cup arborio rice
2/3 cup barley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine (or broth)
4 cups chicken broth or low-sodium chicken broth (keep over low flame)
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan) cheese (a few good handfuls)
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 pkg fresh prewashed green beans
oil of choice
salt and pepper

Preheat a deep skillet (or wide 4-quart saucepan) over medium heat. Add the EVOO (2 turns of the pan), and the garlic, then grate the onion juice into the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the rice and barley. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the wine, raise the heat to medium-high and cook away the liquid, about 1 minute. Add a few ladles of the warm stock to cover the rice and barley, then drop in the ground meat in small bits. Stir frequently and continue to ladle in the stock until the rice and barley are cooked al dente, about 22 minutes. Stir in the cheese, adjust the seasoning and garnish with the parsley.

Roasted Green Beans

Preheat oven to 425F. Toss the green beans with about 1 TBsp oil and salt and pepper spreading evenly on a sheet pan.

Cover with foil. Roast covered for 10 minutes, then uncovered for 10 minutes until they start to brown a little. Yummy!

Mexican Pizzas!
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash cayenne powder
  • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
  • 4 (10 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 8 grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeno peppers (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment, Silpat, or foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium-high heat until beef is browned and onion is tender. Drain grease. Stir in chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne.

Place two tortillas side by side on baking sheet, and cover with a layer of refried beans. Scatter half of the seasoned ground beef over each tortilla, and then cover with a second tortilla. Bake 10 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Spread salsa on top of each top tortilla stack. Top with cheeses, tomatoes, green onions, and jalapenos.

Return the pizzas to the oven, and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Remove from the oven, and let cool slightly before slicing each one into 4 pieces.

BBQ Chicken and Kitchen-Sink Corn Muffins
Muffins from "Bless Your Heart" cookbook

1-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken tenders, breasts, or thighs
1 cup BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Ray's original is my favorite)
BBQ seasoning
salt and pepper
2-4 potatoes to make BBQ loaded baked potatoes (optional)

Place chicken in slow cooker and season well on both sides with salt, pepper, and BBQ seasoning. Pour BBQ sauce over the top of the chicken, but don't dump it. Too much BBQ sauce on the crock will burn. Try to just get the sauce ON the chicken. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for up to 8 hours.
If you want to make loaded potatoes you can shred up the chicken and put it on baked potatoes with extra, warmed BBQ sauce, butter, shredded cheddar cheese, and crisped chopped bacon, and salt and pepper.

Bake potatoes in the oven wrapped in foil and salted well for an hour to an hour and a half on 425 degrees. If you have a second crockpot, you can make the most delicious baked potatoes ever! Wrap them in foil with lots of salt just like you would do for the oven method. Cook in the crock on high for 4-5 hours.

Also, if you don't want to make the corn muffins because you're short on time, grab a can of organic French-style green beans; microwave for about 3-4 minutes with some butter and salt and pepper. Simple, semi-healthy, and delicious!

Corn muffins:
1 10 oz pkg frozen chopped broccoli
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
3/4 cup small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter melted
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup buttermilk (or regualr milk if you don't want to buy buttermilk)
1 8 oz pkg corn muffin mix

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease approx 18 muffin cups. In a large mixing bowl combine every BUT the muffin mix. Mix well, then add the corn muffin mix gently. Fill each cup 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes.

Shopping List:

Dry Goods/Bread/Bakery
baguette of bread (to pair with beef and barley soup)
(4) 10" flour tortillas
Arborio rice (2/3 cup)
barley (1 cup)

1 small bottle BBQ sauce (I prefer Sweet Baby Ray's Original)
1 can refried beans (any variety!)
salsa of choice (to top the pizzas) (I prefer Frontera.)
small jar diced jalapenos (optional)
1 quart chicken broth (4 cups)
2 cans beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning

cooking oil of choice
(1) 8 oz pkg corn muffin mix
BBQ Seasoning
chili powder
cayenne pepper(optional)
flour *(if making homemade pie crust)
sugar *(if making homemade pie crust)
salt and pepper

onion 1 for corn muffins and mexican pizzas
2-4 baking potatoes (Russets are the best)
1 bunch green onions
grape tomatoes
bunch of parsley
2-3 cups fresh baby spinach
4 carrots
1 pkg prewashed green beans (Eat Smart Brand from Food City)

1-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken tenders, breasts, or thighs
1/2 lb ground beef ( freeze the other half-pound for later)
1 lb ground turkey
1 1/2 lbs boneless beef sirloin steak cut into 1-inch pieces
small pkg bacon (if desired for BBQ potatoes)

(1) 10 oz pkg frozen shopped broccoli

small curd cottage cheese (6 oz)
eggs (12)
shredded cheddar cheese
shredded Mexican cheese blend
shredded mozzarella for quiche 2-3 cups (or whatever cheese you want)
buttermilk (1/3 cup)
sour cream (optional for pizzas)
grated Parmesan
*refrigerated pie crust (pkg of 2)*if not making homemade

dry white wine (1/2 cup) such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc (optional for Risotto)

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