Monday, March 26, 2012

Meal Plan Monday Week 2

I hope that you enjoyed last weeks meals, now ready for a new week? I have to say that I centered this week on some things that I have left over and frozen or ingredients that I need to use up. I had a large amount of spaghetti sauce left over from my last batch and so I froze it so that I would have an easy meal at some point so I am using that this week knowing that my husband will not be around much due to work. I had left over Thai red curry paste that I need to start using up so I am making steak with that (I am likely to do another Thai dish next week). I have been meaning to use some quinoa that I have in my pantry so I decided to try a new quinoa dish this week.


Day 1: Spaghetti Sauce served over Spaghetti Squash (or spaghetti), salad w/ cranberries, blue cheese, green onions, pecans. Serve with garlic bread if you like.
Day 2: Boxes
Day 3: Left over spaghetti and salad
Day 4: Thai Style Steak with carrot salad
Day 5: Carrot-Quinoa “Biryani”
            Find the recipe at the bottom of the article
Day 6: LO Carrot-Quinoa "Biryani" (you may add chicken to this to make it heartier)
Day 7: Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup and Salad


Spaghetti Sauce:

This is my childhood favorite that is from a cookbook my Grandmother typed up and gave to my Mom when she was married to my father. Luckily I received a copy one Christmas. I hardly need the recipe anymore to make it and I am sure that I don't do it "correctly" most times but it still is fantastic. It makes plenty for left overs and for freezing (at least for our family of 4). 

1/2 c minced onion                                                  2 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c olive oil                                                           pinch of basil or thyme
1 lb ground chuck                                                    1 c dry red wine (or beef broth)
2 minced cloves garlic                                             1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 c minced parsley
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 #2 can tomatoes
1 can tomato paste 

           Simmer the onion and mushrooms in oil 5 minutes. Add the beef and garlic and brown. Add everything else except the wine. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add the wine and cook to the desired consistency leaving pot uncovered, about 1 hour. 

Garlic Bread:

I love garlic bread it is one of my favorite things at dinner time when we have it. We have a couple of friends who comes over to dinner every once and a while and they always bring bread because he declares himself to be a bread snob (or maybe that is his wife you declares him as such, not sure). I was so amazed by the simple brilliance of the method in getting the butter and garlic on the bread when he made the garlic bread I have been doing it ever since. So here you go.

1 loaf Italian or French bread cut in half length wise. 
8 Cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 
1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large frying pan add 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup olive oil. Heat on med/low to melt the butter. Add in chopped garlic, basil, and parsley. Put the cut side of bread down into the butter mixture to allow some to stick to the bread, do this with both pieces. Stick in the oven for 10 minutes or so keeping an eye on it. You want it to be just golden and warm. Slice into single serving size pieces and serve.


I recommend using a dark leaf lettuce, arugula, mache, or spinach. I usually buy a whole head and then just estimate how much I need for that evening. 

4 cups lettuce washed, spun, and torn into bit size pieces
1/3 c dried cranberries
2 scallions washed, and thinly sliced
1/3 cup blue cheese

In a salad bowl combine the ingredients. Serve with your favorite dressing.


Turkey hummus wraps: Tortilla spread with hummus, cover with sliced turkey, add a leaf of lettuce, sprinkle with 1/8 cup feta, a few kalamata olives. (Feel free to add tomatoes and red onion)

The rest of the box looks much like last week, hard boiled egg, dried fruit and nuts, tangerines, cheese stick. 

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup:

Sandwich bread
Cheese (cheddar is our favorite)
Butter or olive oil

Laying one slice of bread down add slices of cheese to cover. On the second slice of bread lightly butter. Lay butter side up onto the cheese. Place butter side down, the sandwich in a a frying pan on medium heat, butter the top of the bread now showing (so when flipped the butter will be on the pan). Cover for about two minutes, flip. Remove from pan when both sides are golden brown and the cheese is melted. Serve with warmed up tomato soup and a salad. 

Some other ideas for grilled cheese: add turkey or ham slices, red onion, mustard, or cream cheese.  Add sliced apples to the sandwich or spinach. 

We also like to dip in salsa. :)

Shopping List: 

2 onions                                                 
olive oil*                                                          
1 lb ground chuck                                                   
Head garlic 
basil (at least 12 leaves)
head of lettuce
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms 
Spaghetti squash or 1 lb spaghetti
1/4 c parsley
French bread (1 loaf)
1 stick butter*
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 #2 can tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
black pepper*
1 c dry red wine (or beef broth)
Dried cranberries
Blue Cheese crumbles
Salad dressing
Tortillas (1 package)
Sandwich bread
Tomato Soup (we buy 1 large box and then use it at another point in the week or freeze it for another    time)
Cheddar cheese (grated or block) 
Feta cheese crumbles
4-6 kalamata olives per wrap (we would buy about 12)
Sandwich turkey (1/3 pound)
1-1/2 lb. sirloin steak
2 Tbs. canola oil
3  limes
Fish sauce
Light brown sugar*
 9 medium carrots
Fresh cilantro
1-2 jalapeƱo or serrano chiles
Can unsweetened coconut milk
1 Tbs. Thai red curry paste 

 3/4 cup quinoa
1/4 cup green lentils
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
11/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (you may have some left from last weeks menu)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon garam masala spice blend
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup raisins or currants
dried fruit

*Staple item you may already have this. 

Update: The carnitas were amazing! Also we had tons of them and I actually only used 2.5 pounds instead of 3-4. I used a boneless cut though so that might be one reason. I had enough to feed our family plus friend we had over for dinner. We also had left overs for dinner and still had enough to use for lunches for two days. I made a salad with them using mache (kind of like very small spinach), black olives, carnitas, and salsa as the "dressing". I used chips to make nachos and then ate them together, so good.  

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