Before the routine, a thought.
On the side
Something is nagging at me.
I went out to dinner with some girlfriends and as we were ordering food to share, we asked that the cheese for the salad be “on the side”. I have ordered lots of things before “on the side”. It’s the classic and one of my favorite lines out of the movie When Harry Met Sally. The restaurant scene where Sally, (Meg Ryan) is ordering her very specific dinner. But this time I can’t get it out of my head.
What is it that I am putting “on the side” in my life? What am I not making part of the main course. Maybe it’s just the hectic schedule and health issues of 5 people. Maybe I am missing something, avoiding something. Guess I have my quiet time cut out for me.
MEAL PLAN- Price Matching this week
Eggo?pillsbury frozen breakfast products $1.88
Quaker Oat Squares $1.88
Mission Tortillas 10/$10
Quaker granola bars 8ct $.25
Strawberries 4 for $5
Onions 2lbs for $1
Bell peppers 2 for $1
Pineapple 2 for $3
Annie’s cookies/crackers 2 for $4
Barilla Pasta $.97
Betty Crocker Cake Mix $.99
Huggies or Pampers Jumbo pack $8.49
MEATLESS MONDAY: Quinoa Burgers and Potato Casserole (eat leftover with eggs for breakfast)
2 cups cooked quinoa
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 medium carrot, finely grated or1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed dry)
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 green onions
1 /2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper and cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt and garlic powder
Olive oil for frying
In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, carrot, eggs, flour, green onions, sugar, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder.
(To help them stay in patty form and not fall apart, I cook them on med-low slowly so they have longer to set-up without burning. Makes them easier to flip, too.) Heat a frying pan and a couple teaspoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Mixture will be slightly sticky, so using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop mixture into pan and lightly flatten to 1/2 inch thick. Fry until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Makes approx. 10 burgers.
• 5 lbs russet potatoes, baked (approx. 12 cups when chopped)
• 3/4 cup low fat Greek yogurt
• 1/4 cup skim milk
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated & divided
• 3/4 teaspoon dry ground mustard
• 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or 2-3 minced garlic cloves)
• 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
• 1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 or 2 dashes cayenne pepper (optional)
• 1 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts, divided
TO BAKE WHOLE POTATOES: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub potatoes under running water. Use a metal fork to poke a few holes in each potato. Place on rack in oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, until soft when squeezed. Remove and cool completely or refrigerate for assembling casserole later.
TO ASSEMBLE CASSEROLE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Leaving skin on, chop baked, cooled potatoes into 3/4″ cubes and add to large bowl. In separate small bowl, add yogurt, milk, Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, dry mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, cayenne (if using), and 3/4 cup green onions; stir until combined. Pour over potatoes and toss until mixed. Transfer mixture to an oiled or sprayed 3-quart (9×13″) clear baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese on top.*** Bake uncovered 45-55 minutes, until lightly browned on top, and edges and bottom are visibly well browned. Remove from oven and sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped green onions on top.
TUESDAY: Italian Crockpot Chicken, Rice and Salad
2-4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese (let sit out to soften)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg. italian dressing seasoning (the dried kind in the packet)
Stir the cream cheese, cream of chicken, and seasoning together in the crockpot. I actually start it on low and let them sit in there for about 30 min so the cream cheese is softer to stir. Put the frozen chicken in and cover with the mix. Cook on high 4-6 hours or until the chicken is cooked and fall-apart-tender. Serve with rice.
WEDNESDAY: Creamy Garlic Pasta (and add leftover Italian chicken)
2 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 cups chicken stock
½ lb spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
In a pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the butter until melted. Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil.
Once it is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook for as long as the box’s directions indicate. Reduce the stove to medium heat and mix in the parmesan until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream and parsley. Serve immediately. Add any leftover chicken from last night.
THURSDAY: Sausage and Pepper Meatballs ( I suggest doubling the recipe and use leftover for friday night meal)
1 Onion, sliced thin
2 red bell peppers cut into strips
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1/2 c. milk
1 lb ground pork
3/4 tsp fennel seed, crushed
Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook till translucent. Remove 1/3 c. onion and set aside. Add bell pepper and cook till soft about 8 minutes. Add 1/4 c. water scraping brown bits. Add tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Simmer.
In a large bowl combine breadcrumbs, milk and 1 tsp salt. Add reserved onion, pork and fennel seed. Stir to combine and scoop meatballs with a spring loaded scoop or form small meatballs (about a heaping tablespoon) and drop into sauce. Cover and simmer about 12 minutes.
Serve with crusty bread
FRIDAY: Stuffed Peppers
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- leftover sausage meatballs and sauce
- 3/4 cup couscous, cooked
- 4 red bell peppers (about 2 pounds), halved lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 2 ounces)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat up leftover sausage meatballs and break up.
- Remove from heat and stir in couscous.
- Fill pepper halves with couscous mixture. Arrange peppers in a baking dish just large enough to hold them. Add 1/2 cup water. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake until peppers are tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil, and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, until cheese has melted and peppers are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes more.