Monday, December 12, 2011

Meal Planner Monday!

Top o' the Mornin' to ya! Boy oh boy! It's been a long time since I've had a chance to post! Too long if you ask me.

Thankfully the Christmas show is over and I can get back to normal...whatever normal is around here! I would have been back in the game last week, but my family was ravaged by a horrible stomach bug and I was up to my elbows in puke and poop. Literally, it was up to my elbows!

BUUUUTTTTT....Today is a new day, heck it's a new week and since it's Monday, it's time for your weekly meal planner!






Ingredients

1 cup dried pinto beans, rinsed
1 jar (11 ounces) mild or medium salsa (1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), chopped
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream, for serving
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Directions

In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, stir together beans, salsa, chiles, flour, and 1 cup water. Season chicken with salt and pepper; arrange on top of bean mixture. Scatter onion and bell pepper on top of chicken.

Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours. (Do not open lid or stir.)

Remove chicken from stew; shred into large pieces and return to stew. Serve topped with sour cream and cilantro.

Average Cost of Meal: $7.70



Ingredients

For The Meatballs
2 slices white or sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup whole milk
8 ounces ground beef (85 percent lean)
8 ounces ground pork
4 ounces ground veal
1/2 cup finely grated pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large egg
Coarse salt

For The Sandwiches
2 dozen brioche rolls, split
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated mozzarella cheese (5 ounces)
1/2 cup finely grated pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
Small basil leaves

Directions

Make the meatballs: Soak bread in milk for 5 minutes. Gently mix bread and milk with meats, pecorino Romano, parsley, garlic, egg, and 1 teaspoon salt. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll mixture into twenty-four 1-ounce balls (each about the size of a golf ball).
Heat sauce in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Drop meatballs into sauce, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook, partially covered, until meatballs are cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

Make the sandwiches: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Working in batches, arrange rolls, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Place 1 meatball, a spoonful of sauce, 1 tablespoon mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon pecorino Romano on bottom halves. Bake until cheese melts, about 3 minutes. Sandwich with basil.

Average Cost of Meal: $14.99

Ingredients

Extra-virgin olive oil, for baking sheet and brushing
10 ounces baby spinach
Coarse salt and ground pepper
All-purpose flour, for work surface
1 pound store-bought pizza dough (thawed if frozen), cut into 4 equal pieces
8 meatballs, halved, and 1 1/2 cups sauce reserved from <u>30-Minute Spaghetti and Meatballs</u>
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 450. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. In a large saucepan, bring 1/2 cup water to a simmer. Add spinach and season with salt; cover and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer spinach to a fine-mesh sieve and drain, pressing with a rubber spatula to release as much liquid as possible. Transfer spinach to a cutting board and roughly chop.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece of dough into an 8-inch round. In a medium bowl, stir together spinach, reserved meatballs and sauce, cheese, and red-pepper flakes (if using). Season with salt and pepper. With a slotted spoon, divide mixture among bottom halves of dough rounds, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold top half of each round over filling and roll and pinch edges to seal. Carefully transfer calzones to baking sheet. Brush tops lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until calzones are golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes.

Average Cost of Meal: $9.60


Ingredients

4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 can (4 1/2 ounces) chopped green chiles
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes in juice
Coarse salt
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn

Directions

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add onion; cook until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more.
To the pan, add chiles, beans, tomatoes and their juice, 2 cups water, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, puree 2 cups of the stew. Return the puree to the pan, and add corn; simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Average Cost of Meal: $7.91

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef chuck
1 pound ground pork
3 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups canned reduced-sodium beef broth
Grape or red-current jelly, cooked egg noodles, chopped parsley, for serving (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, panko, 1/2 cup milk, eggs, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and allspice. Mix just until combined.

Using a rounded 1-tablespoon measure for each, form mixture into meatballs (you should have about 48). Place meatballs onto two rimmed baking sheets; bake until golden brown and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.

Meanwhile, make sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high. Add flour; cook, whisking, 1 minute (do not let darken). Gradually whisk in remaining cup milk and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until sauce has slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Using a slotted spoon, add meatballs to bowl with sauce; gently toss to combine. Serve as an appetizer, on toothpicks, with jelly on the side; or as a main, over noodles, garnished with parsley, with jelly on the side.

Average Cost of Meal: $14.01

Ingredients

Coarse salt and ground pepper
3/4 pound ground turkey (93 percent lean, dark meat)
1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons butter
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
8 ounces orecchiette or other short pasta
1/2 pint bocconcini (about 20 balls)

Directions

Set a large pot of salted water to boil. In a large bowl, combine turkey, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, 1/4 cup parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; mix to combine. Using a level 1-tablespoon measure for each, form mixture into meatballs (you should have about 24).

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Add meatballs, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water; simmer, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through and liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook until they begin to soften, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, return to pot, and place on the still-warm burner. Add bocconcini, meatballs and sauce, remaining 1/4 cup parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and remaining tablespoon butter. Season with salt and pepper, and toss until combined.

Average Cost of Meal: $11.15
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Cost for meals this week:
$65.36

Shopping List
Don't forget to go to AllYou.com to find the best deals in your area on these grocery items!

Produce
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 medium onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 medium red onion
1 red bell pepper
9 garlic cloves
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Small basil leaves

Packaged 

1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
8 ounces orecchiette or other short pasta
egg noodles
2 slices white or sandwich bread
2 dozen brioche rolls, split (croissants make a fine substitute)

3 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 cup dried pinto beans


Canned

1 can (4 1/2 ounces)  green chiles
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes in juice
3 cups canned reduced-sodium beef broth

Marinara Sauce
1 jar (11 ounces) mild or medium salsa (1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce


Baking
coarse salt
ground pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


Meat
3/4 pound ground turkey (93 percent lean, dark meat)
1 1/2 pound ground beef chuck
1 1/2 pound ground pork
4 ounces ground veal
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)


Dairy
4 large eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 pint bocconcini (about 20 balls)
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated mozzarella cheese (5 ounces)
1 cup finely grated pecorino Romano (2 ounces)




Frozen
 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn


















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