Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Meal planning with themed days went over quite well with my family, especially my partner who gives me the sad puppy eyes look and says, "What happened to Taco Tuesdays?".  Well climbing back on the wagon we go with the meal planning!  This one is for next week, I am adapting it for the warmer weather ahead with things like healthy Wednesdays and BBQ Saturdays.  Although it is snowing today here in WI, I have faith that the summer will actually come, well maybe anyway!


This again doesn't have to be meatloaf just have that kind of retro meal feel for the meal.  Think comfort retro food, perfect for those crushingly depressing back to work Mondays!  This upcoming Monday I am making a family favorite - Stuffed Peppers.  Stuffed Peppers is a dish my mom always made for the family and I have put a slightly spicier, cheesier spin on my mom's classic dish. This is pretty much a one dish meal although a warm veggie on the side is nice.  I usually serve it with saltine crackers on the side as that is how my mom always served it when I was growing up.  

6 large green bell peppers
1 lb lean ground beef
2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
12 teaspoon salt
14 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups rice (measured dry, before cooking)
2 cans corn, drained
1 (24 ounce) spaghetti sauce (any flavor – your choice)
2 cups grated cheese (any flavor- your choice)

Cut thin slice from stem end of each pepper. Remove seeds and membranes; rinse. Place peppers, with tops, upright in ungreased 9x12 inch glass baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap; microwave until hot, 3 to 4 minutes--(note: do NOT cook peppers until done, you are just blanching them, 3 to 4 minutes should be plenty, depending on the size of your peppers). Cook and stir hamburger and onion until hamburger is light brown; drain if necessary. Stir in salt, pepper, garlic powder, pepper flakes, cooked rice, corn, ¾ of the grated cheese and 1 cup of the tomato sauce; heat through.  Stuff each pepper with hamburger mixture; stand upright in ungreased baking dish, 9x12 inches. Pour remaining sauce over peppers. Replace tops (stem ends) on peppers. Cover with foil; cook in 350 degree F oven 45 minutes. Uncover;  sprinkle with remaining cheese and cook 15 minutes longer.


Again, this can be any Latin/Tex Mex inspired meal - anything from Paella to Frito Pie and everything in between!  This Tuesday I am trying out a new recipe called Lime Chicken Tacos served with a side of black beans.


1 1⁄2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1⁄8 cup red wine vinegar
1⁄2 lime, juice of
1  teaspoon white sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2  green onions, chopped
2  cloves garlic, minced
1  teaspoon dried oregano
10  6-inch flour tortillas
1  tomatoes, diced
1⁄4 cup shredded lettuce (or cilantro)
1⁄4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
1⁄4 cup salsa

Saute chicken in a medium saucepan over medium high heat for about 20 minutes.  Add vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, green onion, garlic and oregano.  Simmer for an extra 10 minutes.  Heat an iron skillet over medium heat.  Place a tortilla in the pan, warm, and turn over to heat the other side.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.  Serve lime chicken mixture in warm tortillas topped with tomato, lettuce, cheese and salsa.

I changed the title of this to reflect the upcoming warm weather.  This day can be fish & veggies, a main dish salad or soup - whatever spells light and healthy to you.  This week I am making a baked fish dish along with a baked potato and garden salad.  This was one of my favorite meals when I was pregnant.

12 -16 ounces tilapia fillets
1 lemon, juice of
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1⁄4-1⁄2 cup flour, for dusting fish

Chop parsley and put aside. Juice lemon and put aside.  Melt 2 tbs. butter and the olive oil in non-stick skillet  Lightly dust fish fillets in flour, season if desired with salt and pepper.  When butter stops bubbling, add fish and saute 3-4 min on first side.  Turn and finish second side 3-4 min, until done and flaky. Remove to plate and keep warm.  Add remaining 2tbs. butter to skillet and melt.  Stir in lemon juice and parsley quickly and pour immediately over fish.


This can be any sort of Asian inspired meal.  I like to make things like stirfries or something of that sort because it is guaranteed I will be tired come Thursday and ready for a quick meal.  This Thursday will be a one dish meal of beef and veggies quickly stirfried in a relatively uncomplicated sauce.


1⁄4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1⁄4 cup soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, crushed
1⁄2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper (to taste)
1⁄3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup carrot, peeled and julienned
1 cup broccoli floret, sliced
1 cup cauliflower floret, sliced
Slice beef across the grain into bite-size strips. (If beef is partially frozen it is easier to slice).  Combine green onions, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, sesame seed, red pepper flakes, sugar and pepper; add meat and marinate 30 minutes at room temperature. 
Drain meat, reserving marinade.  Dissolve cornstarch in water and add to reserved marinade, mixing well.  Preheat wok or large skillet over high heat; add 1 tablespoon oil, then add carrots and stir fry 3 minutes. Add broccoli and cauliflower slices and stir-fry 2 minutes (until vegetables are crisp-tender). Remove vegetables and keep warm.  Add remaining oil to pan.  Add half the beef to hot pan and stir-fry 2- 3 minutes (until brown). Remove beef and stir-fry remaining meat. Return all meat to pan.  Stir marinade a little and pour into skillet or wok. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the vegies. Cover and cook 1 minute.  Serve over hot rice.
This can be anything Italian inspired and yes frozen or takeout pizza counts for tired mommies!  This Friday we will be doing just that - takeout pizza from Pizza Hut!  Hey it is on sale $7.99 for a large and I will have been slaving over a hot stove all week LOL!
I also changed this as it used to be board games on Saturdays and family friendly "junk food" type of meals.  Now that the weather is warming up here and there we have been braving the elements and getting the grill going.  This Saturday I am making some kabobs.  This was the very first company dinner item I ever made when I first started cooking - I love these to this day. 
1/4cup wine vinegar
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1⁄4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon oregano
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1⁄2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
3 lbs chicken, cut into 1 inch cubes
green pepper, cut into squares
red pepper, cut into squares
yellow pepper, cut into squares
1 small onion
fresh zucchini rounds
Mix together first nine ingredients for marinade.  Add meat, stir to coat, then cover and refrigerate overnight.  Alternate cubes of meat with pepper squares, small onions, zucchinis, tomatoes and mushrooms.  Place on charcoal grill, turning often until meat is done to your liking.  Note: I like to blanch the onions and green peppers first before placing on the skewers. 
This day is all about a nice home cooked meal and the family getting together over the dinner table.  While I love to cook traditional soul food recipes, your "soul food" might be whatever ethnic tradition you grew up with in your family.  This Sunday I plan to make a
family favorite of Salisbury steak along with mashed potatoes, honey carrots, brown and serve rolls. 
1 (10 1/2 ounce) can french onion soup
1 1⁄2 lbs ground beef
1⁄2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 egg
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup ketchup
1 -3 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, to taste
1⁄2 teaspoon mustard powder
1⁄4 cup water
In a large bowl, mix together 1/3 cup condensed French onion soup with ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, salt and black pepper.  Shape into 6 oval patties.  In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown both sides of patties.  Pour off excess fat.  In a small bowl, blend flour and remaining soup until smooth.  Mix in ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce and mustard powder.  Pour over meat in skillet.  Cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally

1 comment:

  1. Deborah I love this! Thanks for the link to the cookie book it's great!!