Friday, December 9, 2011

Meals for the Week of December 12, 2011

So how's the Holiday Hustle and Bustle going?  I haven't even begun to make all the homemade gifts I have planned.  Or bake the cookie and candy trays that my husband will bring to work.  Somehow I have to get it done all next week.  With that in mind, I have a few meals already in the freezer and will work on a few more on Sunday.  If I don't post here next week, I'm up to my elbows in flour.  :)

This week on the other blog I posted how I make breakfast burritos which you may find is a great item to keep handy for hurried mornings.  Also, I added an article that I had on my old website that was long overdue to be added to the blog.  It's timely because the New Year is coming and maybe it's time to purge your kitchen or get organized.  Well, here's a little guide for The Well Stocked Pantry.

This week I am again heavy on the meals that are good to make ahead and freeze or are quick to make on a weeknight.  But I also tried to choose some low calorie or nutrition packed meals that can keep you going while you are running around.
Have a great week!

 Meals for the Week of December 12, 2011

Paprika Shrimp Green Bean Saute- Shrimp is always a great weeknight choice because it’s so quick cooking.  This is a good one pot dish, cooking the shrimp and green beans together. 

Chicken Fajitas- Prep this on the weekend so you can save time later on.  Or make it on the weekend and then have leftovers for lunch during the week.

Vegan Crockpot Lasagna- I’m in love with polenta.  I’m preferring it over pasta right now.  Although it’s not like I’m eating every night.  It just seems to be what I want to pair my sauce with these days.  So I love that my friend Allison has this recipe for a crock pot lasagna using polenta.

10 Minute Tasty Asparagus and Brown Rice- You can consider this a side dish.  Or you could have it as a meatless main dish along with more veggies or a salad.

Crockpot Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili- Very low fat, a great twist on the usual flavors and packed with vitamins.

White Bean and Kale Soup with Chicken Sausage- I’ve posted this one before.  If you haven’t tried it when I recommended it, try it now.  I make it with chicken apple sausage, it’s so good and full of good stuff for you. 

Braised Chicken Thighs with Potatoes and Carrots- Another simple and easy slow cooker recipe.

Cheap and Easy Turkey Stir Fry- If you have ground turkey or beef in the freezer and any sort of veggies, you can make this meal.  And it keeps it simple and healthy and cheap! 

Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta Al Forno- Really easy pasta casserole.  You can assemble in advance and then bake when you want it. Or cook the whole thing and re-warm as needed. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Meals for the Week of December 5, 2011

Well, I survived Thanksgiving.  It was a wonderful day of family, friends and food.  I actually did a lot of cooking on Wednesday in order to eat early on Thursday and I liked how that worked out.  I may do that again.  I managed to bake 19 pies and cheesecakes for people.  I was happy with how they turned out and my process for getting them all completed worked out pretty good too.

So, now it's December and more holiday madness.  I'm gearing up for more baking and I plan to do a lot of make ahead meals because I have found that between holiday functions, shopping and my heavy baking workload, it's best to have meals ready to go in the freezer.  Our budget is always tight and I'd rather spend the money on gifts or the supplies I need for my homemade gifts than eating out.  So this week I've got some recipes that are good for making ahead.

Speaking of homemade gifts- I have a little list with just a few ideas for easy homemade gifts from your kitchen.  They are perfect for teacher gifts or for friends and neighbors.  Get children involved and have it be their gift to grandparents or their classmates.
Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas

Meals for the Week of December 5, 2011

Easy Shepherd’s Pie- This is a great dish for using leftover mashed potatoes or make the parts of this dish separately in advance.  You can cook the beef part in advance and then just assemble the casserole and bake.  You can also easily swap out the ground beef and broth for ground turkey and chicken or vegetable broth.  A different flavor profile, but it’s leaner and just as filling.

Vegetable Fried Rice- Quick, easy, inexpensive and you can throw in leftovers like chopped turkey or green beans.

Turkey Cobb Salad- All the parts of this salad except the avocado could be prepped in advance.  Makes it so easy to just assemble and eat.

Black Bean and Tortilla Bake- Vegetarian and low calorie dish.  Inexpensive ingredients and you can make variations to suit your tastes. 

Veggie Tacos- This recipe is so adaptable.  Use whatever fresh vegetables you like then just follow the instructions for seasoning and preparing the tortillas. 

Cheesy Fish Sticks- A healthy fish stick that kids will love.  Tilapia can work well for this as well as cod.  You can also use these with the veggie tacos to have your own crispy fish tacos. 

Baked Polenta Pie- Assemble this in advance in a disposable foil pan, put in the freezer and save it for a busy night, just bake and eat.  Feel free to change up the sausages/meats to use whatever you prefer. YUM! 

Cold Sesame Noodles with Shredded Chicken- If you just take  an hour one weekend or even just multi-task while making dinner one night, cook up a bunch of chicken breasts and then shred the meat and freeze it.  Then dishes like this are easy on a weeknight.

Beef, Cheese and Noodle Bake- Substitute with ground turkey and use whole grain elbow macaroni to lower the fat and increase the healthy carbs.

Ravioli and Vegetable Soup- Very easy soup, low calorie, but I like that it's not just a noodle, but a more filling ravioli.  Great for making a big batch ahead of time and then having it for a couple meals throughout the month.