Friday, September 7, 2012

What's Cookin': Weekly Menu

**Taps the mic**


I'm still here !  I've had some time to reflect on the blog a lot during the break I took and I can truly say that I feel like I'm excited about blogging again.  B and I recently shuffled a few things around in the house and I now have a large space inside the house with (hopefully) tons of excellent natural afternoon sunlight.  I have been waiting so long to have a better place to snap pictures and am so very excited to finally test it out !

Kitchen lighting of my dreams.  source

I thought I'd fill you in on what's been going on behind the scenes these past few months...

Recipe testing!

I came up with a pasta (or grain) salad recipe over the holiday weekend that takes under 30 minutes to prep with 10 ingredients.  Not 10 plus salt and pepper, but 10.  This salad would be perfect prepped on Sunday and portioned out for weekday lunches.  Where I live, it's common to have an Indian summer, so for us here in SoCal, it has really been feeling like summer these past few weeks and I wanted to incorporate that in this dish.  I hate to see summer go and this salad makes me feel like it's not quite over yet.  I'll be making this again soon and will share the recipe after I get it just right.

In the mean time, try out Orzo Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing with your grilled salmon this weekend.

Or you could also use your left over grilled vegetables in Spicy Greek Grilled Vegetable Orzo Salad.

I just love a good make ahead salad.  If your salad appears a bit dry the next day, let it come to room temperature and if it's still dry add a splash of olive oil to get things moving.  Also, there's no reason why you have to use orzo.  I've made both of these dishes with quinoa and am pretty sure it would work with any pasta or grain you have on hand.

The Flop Report:  I'm also trying to come up with a healthified version of my 1 stick of butter banana nut bread.  Attempt 1 was a fail.  I think changing two variables at once was probably not the best idea.  Back to the drawing board.  I'm shooting for something with a good amount of protein and fiber that I would slather with peanut butter before a morning workout with coffee.


Now for the weekly menu!  I planned three meals for next week and will eat leftovers on the remaining nights.  I like to prep all the veggies I can on Sunday evening.  How does the saying go?  If you don't plan, you plan to fail?  Definitely a little corny, but so true.  Having healthy snacks and salad ingredients ready to go make life a whole lot easier.

Dinner Option 1: Make Your Own Chipotle Bowls (chicken, cilantro lime rice, beans + toppings)

Dinner Option 2: My Mom's Spinach Casserole, Roasted Zucchini & Baked Potatoes

Dinner Option 3: My Slow Cooker Chili

Grocery List (Print List Here)

  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 1 - 1.3 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 can chipotle chiles in adobo (or two chilies with adobo sauce)
  • 1 can black or pinto beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 avocado
  • 2 red or sweet onions
  • head of garlic
  • 3 sweet peppers
  • 1 large bunch cilantro or 2 small
  • favorite fresh salsa
  • garlic powder
  • cumin
  • smoked paprika
  • chili powder
  • 1 lb frozen spinach
  • 2 cups frozen (roasted) corn
  • 1 16 oz container cottage cheese
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 3 Tbs flour
  • eggs
  • extra sharp cheddar
  • zucchini
  • baking potatoes
  • 12 oz beer (Sam Adams)
  • olive oil

Bon appetite!

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