Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dinner Diva Menu Week of 11/8

The cold-ish weather has inspired me to start making soups. I've been making a big pot full of something aromatic on a Sunday, and then eating a bowl full for lunch each day. It's wonderful to have the grab and go deliciousness, so when my starving alarm goes off I can satisfy it quickly and healthfully.

I'll start including my soup of the week recipe..stay tuned!

I'm taking it a little easy in the kitchen this week, because with my husband gone there's no one to cook great meals for! Ok, yes, I have my kids, but they are truthfully just as happy, if not happier, with pumpkin waffles than with pumpkin bisque. So, why bother with the tough stuff? (I'm still swapping though, so Kary if you're reading this, don't panic!)

Sunday: pumpkin waffles (Did you catch that? I was foreshadowing.), turkey bacon, fruit salad

Monday: Meal Swap Day, my turn to cook: Apricot Pork Chops, onion potatoes, steamed peapods, homemade applesauce

Buy steam-in-the-bag peapods for an easier prep. Bake the potatoes in the morning or the night before, so they can cool before you have to scoop them.

Apricot Pork Chops


Onion Potatoes



I use about 2 med apples for every serving...about 8 for my family, and I mix the apples (2-3 fuji, 2-3 granny, and 1-2 gala or other..if you can find honey crisp, buy them. They are wonderful!)

peel, core and coarsely chop apples

mix in 1/3 cup honey, 1 T. olive oil, 1 t. cinnamon, a pinch each of cloves, ginger, orange peel, and nutmeg

arrange apples on a cookie sheet bake at 400 for 45 min to an hour, or until apples are soft; use a potato masher or a large tined fork (serving fork) to smash them; they will be gorgeously lumpy. Place in a serving bowl and enjoy warm. (if you don't like glorious chunks in your applesauce, use your blender instead of hand mashing...but I'll call you a wimp behind your back)

Tuesday: grilled cheese sandwiches, campbell's soup, celery and dip

Wednesday: meal swap day, Kary's turn to cook

Thursday: tuna noodle casserole

3 cups uncooked wide egg noodles (whole wheat or spinach preferred)

1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 can cream of mushroom soup (fat free)

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 6oz can tuna, drained and flaked

1 5oz can evaporated milk (fat free)

1/2 cup chopped onion, optional

1/2 t. pepper

1 cup goldfish crackers (cheddar or parmesan)

Preheat oven to 350. Cook noodles according to directions on package. Drain. Stir together noodles, 1 cup cheese, soup, and next 5 ingredients in a bowl; pour into a lightly greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish.

bake, covered, 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese and crackers. Bake 5 more minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Friday: Baked orange roughy, sauteed zucchini, steamed brown rice

1 cup uncooked brown rice

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1 t. italian seasoning

1/4 c. parmesan cheese, grated

1 egg white

4 orange rough fillets, about 1 1/2 lbs

1 T. fresh parsley, chopped

Prepare rice according to package directions. While rice is cooking, preheat oven to 400. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine breadcrumbs, italian seasoning, and parmesan in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, whisk the eggwhite until slightly foamy. Lightly brush both sides of each fillet with the egg white, then coat with breadcrumbs. Arrange fillets on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with 1 T. parsley. Bake about 20 min or until fish is opaque throughout.

4 small zucchini

wash and slice zucchini, throwing away the ends. heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over med heat, add 1 T. butter. Sprinkle zucchini slices with sea salt and pepper. Add zucchini after butter melts, and saute for 7-8 minutes or until zucchini is tender-crisp.

Saturday: with or without him, Pizza night lives on

Soup of the Week: Beef and Barley

1 T. olive oil

1 1/2 lbs top sirloin, cut into 1 inch cubes

4 c. beef broth

1 c. water

1 stalk celery, sliced

1 carrot, sliced

1 t. dried oregano

1/4 t. black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup pearl barley

1 bay leaf

10 oz frozen green beans

1 can 914.5 oz) diced tomatoes

10 oz frozen peas

In a large pot over med-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add beef cubes and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until browned on all sides.

Stir in beef broth, water, celery, carrot, oregano, black pepper, garlic, barley, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes.

Stir in green beans, tomatoes, and peas. Simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf.