Monday, March 3, 2014

Yummy Recipes Compiled on a Soggy Sunday

This is less a menu plan and more a brainstorm. We are still "eating down the larder" and it's easier to go day by day.  That said, we did have some wonderful food last week that I will share to inspire you on your own Menu Plan Monday! (Check out some more ideas on Org Junkie's link-up)

Eating down our larder makes me more creative. Here is one night's meal:

This was bacon (obviously) with creamy polenta topped with ratatouille and fresh bell pepper, and zoodles (zucchini "noodles). Since the ratatouille was from the freezer, the bell pepper perked it up prettily.

We have a lean meatloaf we love. Here is the formula. For the vegetables, I was able to use the leftover ratatouille and zucchini from the night before. The kids don't even notice the vegetables in this yummy meat loaf. Try it this week!

Master Meat Loaf

Serves 8 or more. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2# lean ground beef or lean meat mix
2 eggs
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups cooked vegetables - almost anything works
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. Worchestershire sauce

1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. brown sugar
Pinch salt

Mix all the meatloaf ingredients together. It's faster if you use your hands. Then press them all into a large loaf pan and un-mold onto the rack of a roasting pan. If you don't have a roasting pan, then put a cake rack over a jelly roll or 9x13 pan. It's important to let the drippings drain off to keep the fat down.

 These vegetables all but disappear when you cook it. Not once have any of my kids mentioned the vegetables in the meatloaf.

Mix the sauce ingredients together and slather them on the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes until done. I look for it to be 175 degrees in the center.

Slice and serve!

I used to make a rustic, round loaf but it was too hard to turn the leftovers into sandwiches. We love the leftovers.

Blueberry Make-Ahead French Toast

This week I found a yummy sounding recipe on SparkPeople. If you're not familiar with the site, it is an amazing weight loss, calorie tracking and exercise site. It's free. You can't get a better price than that!

So here is the link to the blueberry french toast. I can't wait to try it on my peeps.  Any breakfast I can make the night before is a winner in my book and since they are usually very high on calories, this one looks even better. At 344 calories and only 6 grams of fat, this sounds like a winner! The site claims zero fiber but I'm sure that's because fiber varies by loaf in whole-grain bread. Use your bread label to determine your fiber for this dish. I have whole grain English Muffins in the freezer that are going to form the basis for this dish for us.

Dinner Menus

Fantastic Fish Pie

  • We'll be having Surprise Chili with beans this week because I have lots of beans and a lovely
    chili grind from my grassfed beef; I'm sure some purple coleslaw will be on the menu that day.
  • We'll have homemade bread and navy beans on Wednesday for Ash Wednesday
  • I love beef stew and we are having a spate of cooler weather. We are getting lovely stewing vegetables in our CSA box so beef stew is on the horizon.
  • That sounds like a too soupy week so tonight will be pork loin and quinoa with tiny diced beets and sweet potatoes. We'll be having rainbow chard too.
  • Chicken thighs, cheese grits, collard greens and sweet potatoes sound good!
  • Fantastic Fish Pie with salad or greens is in the works for the first Friday of Lent. (We will subbing in skim milk for most of the cream and not adding much at all to the potatoes when we mash them. Outside of Lent, we love to add chopped dried chorizo to the pie.)

Braised Chicken Thighs
That's a wrap! Have a healthy, fun week!

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