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Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Week's Worth of Menus

Monday -- Boca burgers, roasted potatoes and steamed mixed veggies

We prepared the boca burgers according to package directions, personally I like to top the burgers with some salsa and shredded cheese, or vegetarian tomato sauce and cheese but they are just fine plain, or served on a bun with regular burger fixings. The kids really enjoyed them, a great quick serving of protein. I'd recommend them for any quick weeknight dinner. I also made the microwave roasted rosemary potatoes, just chop your potatoes into bite sized pieces, add 2 TB of butter, some salt and pepper and crushed rosemary and microwave them for 10-15 minutes.

Tuesday -- Whole Wheat Lasagna with Lots o' Meat Sauce, we used the Paula Deen lasagna recipe, and the sauce was lovely but the ricotta was sort of bland. My search for the perfect lasagna recipe continues. I want to try one that uses a bechamel sauce soon.

Wednesday -- Cabbage, Peppers and Onion with Kielbasa

My mom taught me to make this for dinner when I was about 12. Take some kielbasa and slice it into half inch rounds, put them in the bottom of a stock pot with a tablespoon of olive oil and let them cook over medium heat. Let them get good and brown on one side before stirring them. While kilebasa is cooking slice some cabbage into thick shreds, I also portioned out about a cup of frozen chopped mixed onion and peppers. When the kielbasa was nice and browned I tossed in the frozen veggies and stirred them about and let them cook for about 2 minutes. Then I add the cabbage and stir everything together, pop on a lid and let everything cook for about 10 minutes. Dinner can be ready in as little as 20 minutes. Taste the cabbage for flavor and see if it needs salt, but usually the kielbasa is usually salty enough. This can be served with roasted potatoes, but we did raw carrot strips and applesauce. I have made it with turkey kielbasa many times, but I'd like to try it with veggie sausage, there are some delicious ones out there.

Thursday -- Homemade penne and cheese sauce, turkey hotdogs, homemade coleslaw

My Mema (southern for Grandmother) makes the world's BEST macaroni and cheese, or as some of the family refers to it "gallbladder killer" because it has enough fat to, well, kill your gall bladder. I rarely make her version because it takes a lot of time, 4-5 different cheese and you have to cook it on the stove top and in the oven. Totally worth losing your gall bladder for though. I made a stove top version that was not as good, but easily twice as fast. First make a white sauce with 2 TB os butter, 2 TB of flour, some salt and about a cup of milk (or half and half). Melt the butter, add the salt and flour, let it cook for a minute or two and then thin it out with the milk, stirring constantly. To the white sauce add several handfuls of shredded cheese. I used a 4 cheese preshredded blend, about a cup to a cup and half. Stir in some squirts of mustard, a few dashes of worcestershire sauce and a shot or two of tabasco sauce. Stir until all smooth and then put on the back burner on warm until your pasta of choice is done cooking, then mix the pasta and the cheese sauce together, stir and serve. My homemade coleslaw is shredded cabbage and carrot mixed with my own coleslaw sauce. Use whatever sauce you like, but I like the one I invented. In a small bowl whisk together a tablespoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar until honey is dissolved. To this add 1/4 C of plain yogurt and 1/4 of mayonnaise and whisk until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and then you can add poppy seeds or black sesame seeds if you like, though they are optional. Toss your cabbage and carrot mixture with the sauce and refrigerate till you are ready to serve. I find the dressing sweet and tart, creamy and acidic and it is a good compliment to the cabbage.

Friday -- Homemade Pizza using "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" dough, with turkey pepperoni and cheese.
I have bragged before about how awesome this book is, the authors were kind enough to give anyone with an internet connection access to their Master Loaf recipe so you can try this ingenious bread baking method. I took the plain master loaf and stretched it into about a 12 inch flat round and pricked it all over with a fork. I placed the circle of dough onto a cornmeal covered baking sheet and then topped it with sauce and turkey pepperoni and cheese. It baked for about 20 minutes and we had pizza! You could even give people individual portions of dough to shape and top as they like in personal pizza sizes with this easy recipe. It is awesome because you just have refrigerated dough on hand when you need it so pizza can still be the impromptu dinner it is probably meant to be.

Happy cooking!

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