Sunday, January 9, 2011

Finding Balance

So much of life is finding a balance. A little work, a little play. A little exercise, a little r&r. A little time with friends, a little time with family, a little time just for me. A little have to, a little want to. A little healthy food, a little treat.

So, for the past few weeks my "treat" food has outbalanced my healthy food, and it's time to tip the scales back. At the same time, my "have to" list is long and time-consuming, so I'm going to try to select quick and healthy meals for the week.

Monday: Taco Soup
I received this from my meal swap last month. It's the perfect meal for a busy day, as I can take it out of the freezer, throw it in the crock pot, and it will be ready to eat when we're ready to eat. Grab something you've frozen for tonight, or make this taco soup from Food Network.

Tuesday: Mexican Manicotti
This is a make-ahead, freezable recipe that I am making for our family and for meal swap. Making several of the same recipe at once saves time, money, and dirty dishes!

1 8oz package manicotti shells
1 t. salt
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 cups cottage cheese
2 cups cheddar or cheddar/jack cheese, shredded and divided
1 t. chili powder
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. cumin, or to taste
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 4oz can green chiles
1/2 c. water
1/4 t. cayenne pepper

Cook manicotti as directed, if serving today. If freezing, cook half the time. drain, cool, and set aside.

Brown ground beef and onion. Drain and slightly cool.

In large mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, 1 cup of the shredded cheese, chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin. Add meat mixture and mix well. In another bowl, mix tomato sauce, green chiles, water, cayenne, and salt and pepper.

Place half tomato mixture in the bottom of a 13X9 pan.

Stuff manicotti shells with beef/cheese mixture, and place stuffed shells over the layer of tomato sauce in pan. (To make stuffing easier, place cheese mixture into a large ziploc bag, squeeze out excess air and seal. Cut the corner off the bag and pipe stuffing into shells.)

Pour remaining sauce over shells, top with remaining cheese. Wrap tightly and freeze, or bake at 350 for 45-50 min or until hot.

Wednesday: Omelettes, fresh pineapple, whole wheat toast

Thursday: Shrimp Stir Fry, Rice

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Salmon Sliders, roasted potato wedges, coleslaw

1 lb salmon
1 egg, beaten
3 T. chopped onion
3 T. soy sauce
1 T. sugar
1/4 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 1/2 t. sesame seeds
6 T. breadcrumbs

Cut fresh salmon into very small pieces and place in mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients to bowl. Mix well. Form salmon mixture into patties. (for sliders, make the patties small!)

Heat 1 T. oil in pan. Fry burgers until browned on both sides.

For slider buns, you can make your own dough, or buy frozen dough. Shape into small balls, and flatten slightly. Allow to rise, bake and slice. Or, look for small rolls in the bakery section of your grocery store.

Sunday: Grilled Steak, Sesame Green Beans, baked sweet potatoes