Monday we had dance class, first day of carpooling with a new kid, Open House and Parent Night at the new school (plus volunteering for the event feeding the kids pizza, water and homemade cookies and then cleaning up) so we just had cheese pizza with the other families. It was a late night for us and we didn't get home until 7:15.
Tuesday we had chicken divan with broccoli and cauliflower instead of just broccoli. There are a million and one recipes for chicken divan out there, it is a classic southern dish. In fact I can't imagine a potluck or family reunion without a warm casserole dish topped with breadcrumbs or even potato chips and containing this strangely addictive dish. Most recipes for chicken divan call for a can of cream of chicken or broccoli cheese soup, I used some leftover chicken gravy I had made over the weekend,. Most recipes also call for a certain amount of cream and cheese as well, so I used some leftover alfredo sauce. I know, I KNOW, right? But here's the thing. I am super frugal by nature and super broke most of the time by circumstances so I often make these kind of strange substitutions or even plan meals around what ever bits and bobs of food I have leftover in the refrigerator. In any case the dish came out just fine, very tasty, and I loved the addition of cauliflower to the usual broccoli in the casserole, or as my kids call it, broccoli and white broccoli.
Wednesday we had red beans and rice with smoked sausage, this was another frugal feast. I found both buy one get one boxes of red beans and rice and buy one get one smoked sausage this week, I knew instantly it would make a very nice dinner for a busy night. The kids and I don't get home from gymnastics until 6:30 on Wednesdays so this was ideal. My husband got it ready for us and we were able to wash up and eat as soon as we came in the door.
Thursday we just made some simple vegetarian pasta for dinner. I chopped up some tomatoes, onions and garlic and sauteed them in olive oil and then threw in some 4 Cheese tomato sauce. I made some multi-colored veggie pasta and tossed the noodles with the sauce and some freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Friday my husband brought home rotisserie chicken and I made homemade mashed potatoes steamed mixed vegetables. I found an organic frozen mix with broccoli, cauliflower, carrot and squash in it and it's great simply steamed and tossed with butter or maybe even some grated parmesan cheese. The leftover chicken served to make us a nice lunch of chicken salad today and I boiled the carcass with some ends of carrots and onion and a bay leaf to make some lovely broth which I freeze and then use whenever I need chicken stock. Which is like all the time, I use stock to cook vegetables, be a base for soups, make gravy, flavored mashed potatoes, cook rice, or a host of other things.
I tried to get a jump on this week's cooking by making some vegetarian chili for Monday night, today. I think chili tastes better the second day and so it will have all night and all day tomorrow to get flavorful. Tomorrow I will bake some fresh cornbread to go with the very veggie chili; it has tomatoes, green peppers, onion, garlic carrot and some cooked from scratch red beans that I made in the pressure cooker. I flavored it all with 2 TB of chili powder, salt, pepper and 1 TB of BBQ rub. I am making some black beans and rice plus a cuban picadillo for dinner tonight and I have some plans for a roasted whole chicken later in the week.