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.

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

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.

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

I love carving pumpkins, I have done it every October for as long as I can remember.  We usually saved the seeds and tried roasting them but they never tasted right; usually they were soggy or not salty enough.  It was not until  we visited a pumpkin farm and I was given this recipe. I almost threw the recipe away because I have tried so many ways to roast pumpkin seeds with such lackluster results, that I just thought it wasn’t worth the bother.  I am so happy I tried it and I won’t use any other.  These are easy, guaranteed, and taste SO GOOD!

  1. Scoop out pumpkin seeds.
  2. Rinse seeds and let them in a dry in a single layer overnight on a towel.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°.
  4. In a medium bowl, stir together:

    • 2 cups seeds
    • 2 Tablespoons olive or canola oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon garlic or onion powder (I like both so I add ½ teaspoon of each).
  5. Spread seeds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350° for 20 minutes.  Stir and re-spread half way through baking.  Seeds are done when they are a nice golden brown color.
  6. Allow to cool.
  7. Store or give away in jars 🙂

2 Recipes for Broccoli Stalks

Broccoli Stalk Salad

Broccoli Stalk Salad

Broccoli is in season right now and there are lots of ways to use the florets but what about the stalk? Until recently I hated the stalk but felt so wasteful tossing it in the compost bin. However, with the help of a mandolin slicer, (pictured at the bottom of the blog) I now use the whole plant! Here are 2 quick recipes for you to enjoy:

Broccoli Stalk Salad
Ingredients:
3 Broccoli Stalks, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon sesame oil
Pinch crushed red pepper

Directions:
1. In a colander mix stems with salt. Let sit 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix garlic, vinegar and sugar; add oil and red pepper.
3. Rinse salt off stems and toss with dressing.
(From Rachael Ray Magazine, Dec 2011)

 

Thai Noodles

Thai Noodles

Thai Noodles
Ingredients:
1 (16 oz.) box spaghetti
1 Tablespoon oil for sautéing
3 Tablespoons fresh Ginger, peeled and chopped
4 Broccoli stalks, julienned or 16 oz. bag broccoli slaw
4 large carrots, julienned or 10 oz. bag julienned carrots
1 (12-14 oz.) bottle Thai Peanut sauce (I like Target’s Archer Farms brand)

Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a nonstick skillet and sauté ginger 15-30 seconds, be careful not to burn it.
3. Add the broccoli and carrots to the skillet and sauté until warm but still crisp about 4 minutes.
4. Add the veggie mixture to the spaghetti in the pot.
5. Stir in the peanut sauce to coat and serve.

 

Borner Slicer

Borner Slicer

Frugal Salad Dressing

Do you hate it when you have almost empty bottles of condiments like mustard or mayo and there is probably about a tablespoon or 2 of it left but it is stuck to the side and you can’t or don’t want to take the time to get it out?  Well, I have a solution for you.  Turn it into salad dressing!

I don’t normally buy salad dressing because making it is so easy.  Often I have an almost empty bottle of mayo in the fridge and the flavor possibilities are endless with different kinds of vinegar, spices and herbs.  Also, it usually makes just enough for the meal and maybe a little for leftovers the next day.  Here is a really simple recipe and you can substitute the vinegar and spices to make your own concoctions.

Frugal Salad Dressing
Ingredients:
1 almost empty container of mayonnaise
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
dash of garlic powder
dash of white pepper
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
Preparation:
Add the olive oil, vinegar, garlic powder and pepper to the mayo container. Strip the leaves of the thyme sprigs and add them to the mayo. Replace the cover, tighten and shake well. Allow to sit 30 minutes so the flavors mix.  Depending on the amount left in the container you may need to add a little more vinegar or olive oil.

Your turn: What do you make with almost empty condiments?