Week of January 5th Dinner Menu

The weekend is my favorite time to go to the grocery store. I try to avoid weekday shopping, because by the time I get home from work and pick up Baby J from childcare, it is already 5 o’clock. I don’t want to waste any of our precious time together at the store. Every Sunday morning, my husband and I plan our meals for the week. I am a vegetarian and he is not, so we usually try to find recipes that are not only healthy, but flexible, as well. I do the shopping. He cleans out the fridge and unloads the groceries. It works out pretty well for us. This is what I have planned for this week. Maybe you will find some dinner ideas that your family will enjoy, too.

Follow links to recipes unless otherwise indicated.

Contact us if you would like the coordinating grocery list.

SundayBroccoli Cheese & Potato Soup

I will make this recipe exactly as written. 

broccoli-potato-and-cheddar-soup

Monday–  Squash-Rice Casserole

I add garbanzo beans to this recipe for additional fiber & protein. I also use brown rice instead of white rice. I have even made this casserole with quinoa, and it turned out great!

casserole-ck-522093-l

Tuesday Creamy Whole Wheat Mac & Cheese with Vegetables

Unless it is a special occasion, I use half of the cream & butter this recipe calls for. I also saute a mix of veggies with olive oil and throw it in before serving. I usually add broccoli, diced red pepper, mushrooms, edamame, and onions. The possibilities are virtually endless. If you have a picky child on your hands or you are in a hurry, toss all of the veggies in a food processor, process into small pieces, and warm up in skillet before mixing with mac & cheese. 

mac-and-chz

Wednesday– Easy Tortilla Bake*

See recipe below. 

tortillacasserole

image courtesy of www.tasteofhome.com

Thursday– Chicken Dijon with Wild Rice* (I use tempeh instead of chicken)

See recipe below. 

chicken dijon

image courtesy of www.food.com

Recipes

Easy Tortilla Bake

San Antonio Junior Forum Cookbook

This is another recipe that my mom cooked for us all of the time when we were kids. I still enjoy it today!

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef- (I use non-GMO soy crumbles)

2 TBS chili powder

1 12-ounce can tomato sauce

12 corn tortillas, quartered

1 16 oz carton sour cream (I use light)

1 medium onion, diced

2 cups grated cheddar or Monterey jack cheese (I use 2% sharp cheddar)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, brown ground beef and drain grease. Add chili powder and tomato sauce. Simmer 10 minutes. Dip quartered tortillas in sour cream. In a greased 8×12-inch baking dish, place half of tortillas to line bottom of dish. Top with half of meat mixture, half of diced onion, and half of grated cheese. Repeat layers. Bake 30 minutes.

VARIATION: Add a layer of refried beans in between meat and cheese layers.

Chicken Dijon

from Cooking with Joy: The 90/10 Cookbook

Ingredients:

Cooking Spray

6 five-ounce chicken breasts, cut into pieces (I will use tempeh)

2 cups broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)

1 can low-fat cream of mushroom soup

1 cup skim milk

2 TBS Dijon mustard

1/2 c low fat sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions:

Coat a large frying pan with cooking spray. Saute the chicken pieces until they are thoroughly cooked and lightly browned on both sides. Microwave, steam, saute, or roast the broccoli. Add to the chicken. In a bowl, mix the mushroom soup, milk, mustard, and cheese until clump-free. Add the soup mixture to the chicken, bring to a boil, and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

*I am serving over wild rice.

My husband and I both take left-overs to work each day instead of buying additional groceries for lunch. You may notice that as the week progresses, the recipes become easier to make… That is by design. Let me know if you try any and/or all of these recipes and how you like them!

XO,

Elleigh

P.S.- I buy and recommend organic ingredients for all of the meals I cook. If that is not possible, make it a priority to buy organic ingredients for the items on the dirty dozen list.

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Aunt Carrie’s Oatmeal Muffins

This recipe is one of my all time favorites. These unassuming muffins are hard to resist… They don’t last longer than a day in our home, which is why I only make them occasionally. My mom was kind enough to make me a batch almost every day for weeks following the delivering of Baby J. I also grew up eating these muffins, so they hold a special place in my heart, too. And as much as I would like to claim Aunt Carrie as my own, I can’t. This recipe is from the Raleigh House Cookbook, which is well-worth the $10 it costs used on Amazon. The Raleigh House Restaurant operated in the Hill Country of Texas for 34 years.

As a side note, I am taking over the blogging side of LWO, so you will primarily be hearing from me from now on. I’ve mentioned before that I really try to eat healthy during the week and indulge on the weekends guilt-free. Last night we went to happy hour at La Mancha, where we drank a few rounds of margaritas and ate more queso than I’d like to admit. Some might think it’s a little cold outside for a frozen drink. I couldn’t agree less. It is never too cold, too early, or too soon for a margarita.

We ate an obscene amount of food and paid the price of keeping Baby J out past his bedtime. Here’s a picture of our little nugget all bundled up… He’s pretty dang cute if you ask me. And yes, he has a very large head.

BabyJ

Aunt Carrie’s Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients

muffins1 cup quick oatmeal

1 cup buttermilk

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

*the original recipe calls for 3/4 c raisins, but I only like raisins in Raisin Bran cereal, so I leave them out!

Directions

Combine oats and buttermilk in a large bowl. Cover and let stand for an hour in refrigerator. Add sugar, eggs, and oil and mix well with a fork. Mix flour, baking powder, soda, and salt into a separate small mixing bowl. Add to buttermilk mixture, stirring again with a fork just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not use an electric mixer. Add raisins if using. Spoon into greased muffin cups filling 3/4 full. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degrees oven about 20 minutes or until done in the center.

Yield: 12 muffins

To make a healthier version of the muffins, I will occasionally substitute any of the following ingredients:

  • flax eggs for eggs
  • 1/2 the amount of brown sugar
  • applesauce for oil
  • whole wheat flour for white flour

I don’t recommend using all of the substitutions at once, however.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I have throughout the years! Thanks Aunt Carrie!

XO,

Elleigh

-LWO

*muffin image from www.tasteofhome.com

Black-Eyed Peas, Please!

Once again we face another new year, a time when many of us reflect on the previous twelve months and make resolutions for the those to come. Me? I’m not a resolution kind of gal, because quite frankly, I don’t stick to them. Ever.

If I resolve to adhere to some kind of crazy, extreme diet, I inevitably find myself face-deep in a bowl of mac and cheese by the third day. Okay, second day. Needless to say, I don’t do diets, and I don’t do resolutions.

But what I do do (cue laughter from my 4th grade class) is eat healthy 90% of the time. And not just because I want to fit into my skinny jeans. I actually like healthy food, and I enjoy cooking, too. Unfortunately my days of homemade nightly dinners have pretty much ceased to exist thanks to my little one, but every now and then when the stars align just right, I am able to knock out a delicious and nutritious dinner.

This is a recipe I found on Pinterest quite awhile ago, and it is one of my go-to recipes. Shockingly, my husband enjoys it as much as I do- We have very different palates. It is super easy to throw together, too. I’m hoping Baby J enjoys it as much as we do when he starts eating solids next month, but I won’t hold my breath.

*You can find the original recipe here.

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole New Year’s Style

*photo courtesy of eatingwelllivingthin.wordpress.com*

blog-38

Ingredients

Texas Black-Eyed Pea Tempeh- use as much or as little as you want

BEPTempeh-300x132

(Click picture for info on tempeh. If you’ve never had tempeh, you should try it! It is very versatile and tasty. You could also use plain tempeh, garbanzo beans, or chicken as a substitute, or you could leave the protein out altogether.)

One 10 oz can condensed Cream of  Mushroom soup

1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise 

2 tablespoons milk- I use skim

1 1/4 cups reduced fat shredded cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, etc.)

black pepper, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste- I put red pepper flakes in EVERYTHING I eat, and not only because I like them. Check out this article highlighting the benefits of this ingredient.

2 cups cooked broccoli- I also sometimes include chopped red bell pepper, diced onion, mushrooms, and/or edamame. I always sauté my veggies in olive oil and use a lot of fresh garlic.

1 1/2 cups  COOKED quinoa

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

To cook quinoa:

3/4 cup quinoa

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear.  In a small saucepan combine the quinoa, water, and salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until fluffy and the white ring/tail is visible.  Fluff with a fork.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a shallow (8×8 in or 5-6 cups) casserole dish – or individual ramekins – with vegetable cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine the soup, mayonnaise, milk, shredded cheese, and spices until well mixed. Stir in the tempeh, quinoa, and broccoli.

Spoon mixture into prepared casserole.  Sprinkle on a couple tablespoons of Parmesan and bake for 35-40 minutes (20-25 minutes for ramekins) or until bubbly on the edges and golden.  Makes 8 generous 1/2-cup servings.

***

I have included links above with various ingredients that I use frequently in my cooking. I am a vegetarian, so I am always looking for creative ways to include protein into my diet. The links will take you to websites that explain the benefits of each highlighted ingredient.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions this year?