Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Meal Planning Part 2: A few good recipes

One of the questions that I’ve received since sharing my meal planning system is what I cook or what recipes are family favorites. There were several other questions about list making, storage, how often I go shopping, etc. So I will touch on those in a post in the next few days. In the meantime, here are a few recipes that I thought I would share with you.

Our family’s “Goulash” recipe (I’ve come to learn that word can mean so many different things depending on who you ask, so here’s ours!)

1 lb. Ground Beef

1 lb. Medium Shell Pasta

1 Can Tomato Soup

1 Can Stewed Tomatoes (Original Recipe)

Fry up ground beef (I always add a little garlic salt and pepper) .  Drain. While meat is cooking, boil water and cook pasta according to directions. Drain. Put stewed tomatoes and tomato soup into pan (for my family, I also take my spoon and chop the tomatoes up a bit in the pan so the pieces are not as big). Add cooked pasta and beef back into the pan and stir, giving it a few minutes over medium heat to fully heat through. Serve with parmesan cheese.

*My dad always kept a little bit of plain pasta and a few spoonfuls of meat in the fry pan that you cooked the beef. We added garlic salt, lawry salt and parmesan cheese to it for those that didn’t want the sauce. However, most of us just eat both!

Ham Fried Rice (my recipe)

3 Cups cooked white or brown rice COLD (the key to a good fried rice is that the rice is cold. This is a great use for leftover rice. If you don’t have any leftover rice, you could make rice at lunchtime or the night before and leave it in the fridge until you are ready to cook. If you didn’t get a chance, I have used a trick I’ve heard where you take your cooked rice and spread it in a thin layer on a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer while you cook the rest of the meal. This will work in a pinch)

1 Bag of broccoli slaw

½ Cup of sliced green onion

3 eggs

2 cups of chopped ham (again, a great use for leftover ham. If you don’t have any, most grocery stores sell small bags of already diced ham. I’ve also bought a small ham, diced it up and put in several small freezer bags and use them in various meals)

2-3 Tablespoons+ of Soy Sauce (Start with 2 tablespoons, stir and taste. Continue adding a tablespoon, stirring and tasting until you get your desired flavor. I tend to use more)

In a deep, large fry pan or wok (I’ve even used a dutch oven) add a small amount of vegetable or olive oil and fry up ham chunks. Set aside in a large bowl. Add green onion and broccoli slaw. Saute until vegetables are softened (I like a little crunch to mine, so I don’t let the broccoli get too soft). Add to the bowl of ham. Add a small amount of oil and scramble eggs. When eggs become scrambled add back into the fry pan the bowl of ham, broccoli slaw and green onion. Add in cold rice. Stir. Add in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and stir on medium heat. Taste and add more soy sauce if necessary.  Enjoy!
Ranch Macaroni and Cheese (Recipe from Taste of Home)

1 lb. of elbow macaroni

1 Cup of 2% milk

¼ Cup of butter

1 Envelope of Ranch Salad Dressing Mix

1 Cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded

1 Cup Colby cheese shredded

1 Cup of Sour Cream

½ Cup of crushed saltines

1 tsp of garlic pepper

1 tsp lemon pepper

1/3 Cup parmesan cheese
Cook macaroni according to directions. Meanwhile in dutch oven, stir milk, butter, salad dressing mix and seasonings. Add cheeses, stir until melted. Stir in sour cream.

Drain pasta, add to sauce along with crushed saltines. Stir and serve with parmesan cheese.

*Somewhere along the way, I stopped adding saltines and all was still well.
Quinoa and Spinach Patties (my meat lovin’ husband LOVES these J) recipe from skinnytaste.com

1 Cup uncooked quinoa

2 Cups of water

4 eggs, whisked

1/3 Cup parmesan cheese

3 large scallions, sliced thin

3 cloves of garlic, minced

½ tsp. kosher salt

1 Cup steamed spinach, chopped (frozen is fine, I prefer using fresh)

1 Cup plain breadcrumbs

1 tsp. olive oil

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly and place the grains in a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until quinoa is tender and has absorbed the liquid, about 20 minutes. Let it cool.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, eggs, Parmesan, scallions, garlic, salt, spinach and breadcrumbs. Let everything sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid. The batter should be moist but not runny. Form patties ¼ cup each.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium –low heat. Cook patties covered for 8-10 minutes on each side, or until browned and golden.

*We like to serve these on slider buns and with my dad’s special ketchup recipe: ½ cup of ketchup, 1 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce, 1/8 tsp of garlic powder and a dash of pepper. Mix and serve on top of burgers.