Planning is the way to go. Using TCOT's weekly menu planner guarantees an exciting array of foods that are healthy, easy to cook, inexpensive AND fast! What more could you ask for?!
Let's DIVE into this weeks menu!
Meatless Monday: corn chowder (I know there is bacon there. Leave it out!)
Not into the vegetarian thing? Then make some clam chowder. My hubby scoffs at the idea of Meatless Monday. Boo! Cutting back on red meats is so much better for your health.
Here's what I have for you:
Awesome, right?! Just a handful of ingredients which ya might already have around the house and your off to a fantastic, soothing dinner! Add some bacon if ya gotta have the meat or take it out for a healthier choice. If ya think it just might not be enough, bring home some fresh baked bread to go along with it!
Tuesday: Flex day, meat, starch, veg
We will be having sausages and stump. I'll hook ya up with the recipe for this Belgian favourite and an absolute HIT with the kids. It'll be a forehead smack! LOL!
We will be having chipolatas/sausage, mashed potatoes, carrots and a touch of cabbage (mixed in that stump recipe from a previous menu) and gravy. It's a favourite of the kids and when made from scratch, very healthy. It is also an excellent way to introduce your kids (or picky adult eaters) to new veggies. Use less veggies if you think they may not like it.
I'll help ya out by providing a homemade gravy recipe and tell you this. I was terrible at making gravy in the beginning. It really did take me a long time before I got it right. Now, I can whip up any kind of sauce and gravy in less than 5 minutes. All from scratch and with real food ingredients.
Click here for a VIDEO on how to make gravy.
I keep my gravy drippings (which rarely ever have fat that I need to skim off and a little bit of fat makes it taste goo, too.) I reserve my veggie and potato water as well. Then I take 2 tablespoons of flour or corn flour and shake it up vigorously with 2 tablespoons of COLD water and add at that to the meat, potato and veggie reserves. Stir until heated through and thickened and add salt, pepper....
Wednesday: uitsmijter (pronounced: out-smay-tr)
This is another Belgian staple and I know it would be a hit in the states. All the recipes are in Dutch, of course. So, I'll hit ya up with a quickie! Who doesn't love a quickie?!
My recipe is the gourmet recipe! Let me hit you up with the speedy version first. Make some toast. Maybe with the left overs from Monday's dinner? Fry your eggs like above. What do ya call it? A dippy egg? Sunny side up? In the mean time lay a slice of cheese over your toast and a slice of ham on top of that. If ya want, zap it for just a couple of seconds to melt the cheese and heat up the ham. Place your eggs over the top when they are finished cooking and voila! One awesome meal. I love mine with small, bean sprouts or rucola and some tomatoes.
If ya really wanna do it up, here's what you make. BTW, this is a MAN PLEASER RECIPE!!! Hehehe....OK! Get your eggs cooking on another burner. Melt some butter or herb butter in the pan and lightly toast one side of your bread (go for a light, grain type of bread, not too strong) flip it and toast some more. No more than a minute for each side. Then slap that slice of cheese on it, the ham slice and let it warm up a bit, Now, keep that fire LOW! Gently place your egg(s) over the top sprinkle with a touch of garlic powder or your dried garlic mill along with a few other herbs and BOOM! Awesome meal! (Consider putting a dome over it for just a couple seconds to heat through.)
Thursday: Fish, rice, veg
You choose! I'm not big on all kinds of fish. I like more mild tasting ones like cod and other types of white fish. Tilapia is yummy, too. Typically, I gently sauté my my fish in olive oil, sprinkle it with some black pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon or coat it in Old Bay or a cajun seasoning! Hehehe....
I always advise a rice cooker or steamer. I'm terrible with making rice, but it always comes out great in my cooker. Thank goodness because I love rice! Maybe you would rather try some couscous? It cooks really fast and goes great with just about any herbs and a pad of butter. I've got'cha hooked up to a recipe here for couscous. I'm not a huge fan of fruit in stuff that ain't for dessert. Hehehe...Here's a very basic, but nice recipe.
We will be having giant green beans from my pa-la's garden. Yes!!! Always go with fresh veggies where you can or frozen. Never use canned or jarred ones. Bleck!
Fun Food Friday: Sloppy Joe's
A couple of tips for you: Use a pita or a wrap instead of bread. Put your onions, garlic and peppers in a food processor for the veggie dislikers and NEVER put sugar in. That's right! NEVER! In nearly every recipe there already is sweet stuff either in the tomatoes or the ketchup. Sugar is BAD stay away from it. Hehehe...
If you are a basic kind of cooker, then definitely hit up Better Homes and Gardens. I have their old cook books and make a lot of recipes from them. Tried and true recipes with all real food ingredients.
Saturday: risotto, parma ham and zucchini
This one is kind of crazy. I've got a picture, but the recipe doesn't exactly go with it. I just always like a picture with my recipe, darn it. Hehehe... The recipe is nearly a replica of the one I make, only I use zucchini, thinly sliced and not asparagus. If neither one of these two are a family favourite, then consider peas.
This recipe will take some time to make. There are quite a few ingredients in there, but you can substitute like crazy. Prosciutto, parma, bayonne....any kind of similar ham to this would work. I've used them all! Hehehe...No worries if you don't have the saffron either. I've never used it in my recipe.
Sunday: salad sandwiches
I'll be stopping off at my local, fresh butcher. She's got some amazing salads for on bread. Head to a deli or the grocers or best, make a salad yourself. How about egg salad or tuna salad? I'll hook you up with a couple of recipes for egg salad. It's very easy and filling, too. Just remember to make fresh bread and try to stay away from white bread if possible. Especially, those with the really long shelf life. Ugh!
Hey! Ya don't have to go thorough all of the peeling hubbub either. Crack your eggs in a a greased muffin pan, place it in the over and bake for about 12 minutes then chop'm up!
Man! This one took me awhile! Hehehe...I figured I owed you after cheating last week. LOL!
Now share this site with your friends and family that could use this kind of help. We all can eat better and smarter.
See ya next week!