Saving Green by Meal Planning

Meal Plan Photo

Click Here for a Shopping List for the Following Recipes

This week’s menu has 2 cabbage dishes because my winter CSA has been blessing us with cabbage.  I will actually be using a Napa cabbage in the pasta dish. 2 of the recipes are made in the slow cooker and the others require less than 45 minutes to cook

Be sure to check out my Shopping List PDF.  I organize my list on a chart by recipe Why?  Well, sometimes I decide that I don’t want to make a recipe or I can’t find a main ingredient and by listing them by the recipe I avoid buying items that I don’t need.  The list is also to my blog reader’s advantage because if you don’t like some of recipes I use you can plug in your own in recipe in that spot.

Our meal planning starts on Tuesdays because store sales here run Wed. through Tues. The ads for the next week come out on Mondays. So I plan on Mondays, and shop on Tuesdays. By waiting until the end of the sale I can see what is on sale the following week so I don’t over pay on things I am buying today. Also, I find that stores have generally restocked sale items that often get picked over at the start of a sale.

Tuesday (today): Beef Stew
Wednesday: Penne with Cabbage from the September 2013 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray
Thursday: Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Slaw.  Check out the slaw recipes I have 3 different types using celery, celery root (celeriac) or cabbage.
Friday: Go out to eat!
Saturday: Butternut Squash Risotto from the December 2013 issue of Family Circle.  Have it with a spinach salad.  Just make sure to save a cup of spinach for the stuffed squash on Monday.
Sunday: Middle Eastern Chicken and Lentils
Monday: Sausage Stuffed Squash

Saving Green by Meal Planning

Meal Plan Photo

Click Here for a Shopping List for the Following Recipes

This week’s menu utilizes the last of the turkey from Thanksgiving (the soup brings out the best of all those little stubby pieces that no one wants to put on their sandwich).  The feature meal is latkes for Hanukkah, even though our family is Christian we like latkes too. Also, 3 of the 6 recipes are made in the slow cooker to decrease with the stress of Christmas shopping and concerts, at least dinner will be made in the morning.

Be sure to check out my Shopping List PDF.  I organize my list on a chart by recipe Why?  Well, sometimes I decide that I don’t want to make a recipe or I can’t find a main ingredient and by listing them by the recipe I avoid buying items that I don’t need.  The list is also to my blog reader’s advantage because if you don’t like some of recipes I use you can plug in your own in recipe in that spot.

Our meal planning starts on Tuesdays because store sales here run Wed. through Tues. The ads for the next week come out on Mondays. So I plan on Mondays, and shop on Tuesdays. By waiting until the end of the sale I can see what is on sale the following week so I don’t over pay on things I am buying today. Also, I find that stores have generally restocked sale items that often get picked over at the start of a sale.

Tuesday (today): Sweet Potato Latkes and Apple Latkes  that were in Sunday’s Parade Magazine
Wednesday: Leftover Turkey and Bean Soup
Thursday: Carne Guisada from December 2013 issue of Taste of Home
Friday: Create Your Own Frittata
Saturday: Slow Cooked Coconut Chicken from December 2013 Taste of Home
Sunday: Fettuccine with Spicy Sausage and Cabbage Ribbons from April 2013 issue of Food and Wine.  I use this Italian Sauce in place of the tomato sauce in the recipe.

Italian Sauce and Meatballs

Italian Sauce

My husband is taking the boys camping this weekend so I will be taking the opportunity to make some sauce.  I like to make a big batch of it and freeze it in quart (freezer safe) canning jars.  It will keep in the refrigerator for 4 days.  The meatballs freeze beautifully as well.  After baking move them to a clean baking sheet and place in the freezer.  Once frozen place them in freezer bags or another freezer safe container, keep up to 6 months in a deep freezer.

Ingredients
2 (28 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
2 (28 oz.) cans whole peeled Italian tomatoes (with liquid), crushed with your hands
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds pork ribs or neck bones with meat
1 large onion, minced
1 large shallot, minced
3 ribs celery, minced
1 green bell pepper, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 Bay leaves
Salt
4 tablespoons sugar

Directions
1. Place a mesh sieve over a bowl. Add the tomatoes; force through to remove the seeds.
2. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium. Add the pork ribs/necks; cook until browned, turning as needed about every 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add the onion, shallots, celery, and bell pepper; cook over medium, 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds.
4. Add the tomatoes, carrot, thyme, oregano, black pepper, bay leaves, sugar and salt to taste; return the ribs to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until meat is tender, 2-3 hours; remove bones and carrot.
5. Meanwhile, make meatballs (below)
6. Serve over choice of pasta with meatballs and grated cheese.

Makes approximately 4 quarts.

Italian Meatballs
In large bowl combine:
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 eggs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup whole milk
¾ cup bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes or ¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper

1. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil
2. Form mixture into approx. 40 (2-inch) balls.
3. Place balls on lined baking pan and bake at 400° for 20 min. turning over halfway through.
4. Serve with Italian sauce and pasta

Click Here for a printable copy of Italian Sauce and Meatballs

Saving Green by Meal Planning

Meal Plan Photo

Click Here for A Shopping List for the Following Recipes

Here are the recipes I’ll be cooking in our house this week. Our meal planning starts on Tuesdays because store sales here run Wed. through Tues. The ads for the next week come out on Mondays. So I plan on Mondays, and shop on Tuesdays. By waiting until the end of the sale I can see what is on sale the following week so I don’t over pay on things I am buying today. Also, I find that stores have generally restocked sale items that often get picked over at the start of a sale.

Tuesday (today): Stuffed Peppers & Swiss Chard Au Gratin from Everyday with Rachael Ray
Wednesday: Brown Ale Braised Chicken from Oct. 2012 issue of Better Homes and Gardens
Thursday: Baked Pasta Shells from Nov. 2013 issue of All You.  I saved a quart of this Italian Sauce from the past weekend to use in this recipe.
Friday: Squash and Lentil Stew from Oct. 2012 issue of Family Circle need to use up the rest of the lentils?  Try this delicious salad: Hearty Barley and Cauliflower Salad with Manchego and Salami from the Nov 2013 issue of Real Simple Magazine
Saturday: Shrimp Scampi with mixed green salad.
Sunday: Smoky Pork Tenderloin

Beet Crostini

Beets

Beet Crostini

Click to print Beet Crostini recipe

I really don’t like beets. My husband loves them. I have a rule in this house if he plants them, he cooks them.  However, this year I signed up for a winter CSA through Fresh Fork Market and wouldn’t you know it the first week’s package included a bunch o’ beets. Ugh, now I had to cook them. Luckily the CSA sent out a newsletter with a recipe for Beet Crostini. I figured bread and cheese can make most things taste pretty good so I’d try it with the beets. The results? I still don’t like beets, but the recipe made them edible; my husband loves them even more, and my 8 year old ate them (he actually ate about 5 pieces). So, if you like beets make this recipe, if you don’t like beets and you find yourself with a bunch of them; go ahead and make this recipe it won’t hurt.

Ingredients
1 bunch beets with greens attached
16 – ½-inch-thick slices baguette, cut on the diagonal
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon salt
4 oz. creamy goat cheese (I didn’t have goat cheese so I used cream cheese)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Trim greens from beets, reserving stems and greens. Place the beets in a baking pan, cover with foil and roast until very tender when pierced with a knife, 45 minutes to 1½ hours, depending on the size of the beets.

Beets

3. Meanwhile, thinly slice the beet green stems and finely chop the leaves; keep stems and leaves separate. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the greens, vinegar and water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender and the liquid has evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in salt and remove from the heat.
4. When the beets are finished roasting, remove from the oven, uncover and let cool. Turn the oven down to 350°F if serving immediately.
5. Peel the cooled beets and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place ¾ cup beet pieces (reserve any remaining beets for another use), goat or cream cheese and pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth.

(At this point you can store the beet-cheese spread and greens separately in containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring them to room temperature before serving.)

5. Arrange baguette slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake, turning the slices over once halfway through, until toasted but not browned, about 14 minutes.
6. To assemble crostini, spread about 2 teaspoons beet-cheese spread on each slice of toasted baguette and top with sautéed greens.

Recipe can also be found here:  Eating Well

Saving Green by Meal Planning

Meal Plan Photo

Click Here for a Shopping List of the Following Recipes

Here are the recipes I’ll be cooking in our house this week. Our meal planning starts on Tuesdays because store sales here run Wed. through Tues. The ads for the next week come out on Mondays. So I plan on Mondays, and shop on Tuesdays. By waiting until the end of the sale I can see what is on sale the following week so I don’t over pay on things I am buying today. Also, I find that stores have generally restocked sale items that often get picked over at the start of a sale.

Tuesday (today): Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Wednesday: Butternut and Parsley Penne from the Oct 2013 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray
Thursday: Sausage & Lentil Soup from the Oct 2013 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray I’ll be  buying a pound of lentils and using some for this recipe and some for a recipe next week.
Friday: Hearty Barley and Cauliflower Salad with Manchego and Salami from the Nov 2013 issue of Real Simple Magazine
Saturday: Coq au Riesling from the Oct. 2013 issue of Food & Wine Magazine
Sunday: Italian Sauce and Meatballs I’ll be making a double batch of this and making a Lasagna with it on Tuesday.

Along with the meals we will need a few snacks and some biscuits.  I will be baking a batch of these hearty Apple Oatmeal Muffins from the Sept. 2013 issue of All You magazine

Buttermilk Biscuits from the Oct. 2013 issue of Food & Wine Magazine

And finally a PB&J Snack Mix consisting of the following:
1 big bag pretzels or 1 box Ritz Bits crackers
1 (12 oz.) bag peanut butter chips
1 (12 oz.) bag dried fruit of choice usually blueberries or cherries

Mix together in a large bowl. Store tightly sealed.

Tea Time

Tea Time (0)

After a particularly stressful day nothing soothes like a cup of fresh herbal tea. Chamomile is in full bloom at my house and we have been picking and drying it each morning as the blooms are open and fresh. I dry most for the long, dark, cold winter days so I can smell, taste and remember what spring will bring back. Here is how to make a fresh herb tea:

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3 Tablespoons Chamomile and Mint
1 sprig Sweet Woodruff

1. After harvesting fresh herbs give them a quick rinse in cool water and blot on a towel.
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2. Chop them finely and measure.  The basic fresh herb to water ratio is 2 tablespoons for every 4 ounces of water. Dried herb to water is 1 tablespoon for every 4 ounces.

3. Bring enough water to a boil to fill your cups. Your water should not come to a rolling boil it should hit the point where just a few big bubbles break the surface.
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4. Steep the herbs for 3-5 minutes. Do not over steep. If you want your tea stronger then use more herbs.
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5. Pour the tea through a strainer into a warmed cup and add honey, sugar, or lemon if desired.

The cup shown in the pictures above is a Kati Tea Brewing System by Tea
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We brew pots of tea with a French Press. It is sold as a coffee pot but it works nice for loose tea as well.

Note of caution: Herbs used for tea should not be sprayed with any pesticides to avoid human consumption of pesticides.