As you can see from the plan below, meals were prepped on Sunday and then it was a week of leftovers. I can't say how nice it is to get home from work, know that dinners ready to go, and I've got the time to work in the yard or go for a walk.
The Meal Plan:
Sun - slow cooked Tamale Pie, Stovetop Macaroni, (make Lentil Stew)
Mon (yoga) leftovers
Tues (yoga) leftovers
Wed (meet with friend!) leftovers
Thurs (yoga) leftovers
Fri - leftovers
Sat - (yoga AM) leftovers
Lunches - Lentil stew, fruit, luna bars, nut cups
Stovetop Italian Macaroni (Taste of Home) gluten free option
This was nice for it's simplicity. You can tweet the seasonings to suit your taste (I actually followed as written - for once!), and use what ever cheese you have handy. I did make my own 'onion soup mix' following a recipe I found on-line; lots to choose from and all are pretty similar. Nice to cut out some of those chemicals. If you are fond of macaroni and tomatoes, you'll definitely like this dish.
|photo from Taste of Home|
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cups water
- 1 envelope onion soup mix
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (I used rotini and just cooked a bit longer)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add the tomatoes, water, soup mix, Italian seasoning and, if desired, pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Stir in macaroni. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-9 minutes or until macaroni is tender.
- Remove from the heat; stir in Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cover and let stand for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Yield: 5 servings.
Old Fashioned Tamale Pie (modified, Slow Cooker Revolution Vol 1; America's Test Kitchen) gluten free
Outstanding! This dish did require a bit of pre-planning and was a bit more involved in the prep. However, well worth it!
First - either a rotisserie chicken or prepare your own chicken ahead of time. I slow cooked a chicken in the morning, shredded it, and put it in the dish after lunch. Turkey leftovers would also work great.
Second - The recipe calls for instant polenta, microwaved. Again, I don't have a microwave, so I did use regular polenta made on the stove. I followed the package directions, then added the cheese as directed as if microwaving. I set aside, covered, until needed.
Did I mention this was really good? Loved the polenta topping against the creamy chicken filling. Not to spicy, not to bland, and great leftovers! This made enough leftovers for 4.5 days for two people. I think this would freeze well if you are disinclined to four days worth.
2 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup polenta (note, I followed package directions)
1 cup (4oz) shredded cheese
1 tbsp unsalted butter
|photo from Scifi with Paprika blog|
1 onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chili poweder
1 tsp ground cumin
4 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15oz can creamed corn
1 10oz can enchilada sauce
2 tbsp Minute tapioca (NOT regular)
fresh cilantro - optional
1) My modifications - cook polenta according to directions on pkg. Stir in cheddar and butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
2) Saute onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin until onions are soft and spices fragrant. Transfer to slow cooker.
3) Stir in chicken, beans, corn, enchilada sauce and tapioca. Spoon cooked polenta over chicken filling and smooth into even layer. Cover and cook until casserole is heated through, about four hours on low. Let casserole cool for 20 minutes, then sprinkle with cilantro if desired and serve.
Lentil Stew (modified; Slow Cooker Revolution Vol 1; America's Test Kitchen) gluten free, vegetarian
This wasn't as flavorful as I would have liked, but by no means am I saying this was like bland-bland. The nutty lentils were complimented by the sweet carrots and a more subtle background of onion and spices. What surprised me about this dish, was that it actually thickened over the week, as in it didn't remain in a liquid stew-like state. Once again, I followed the directions with the exception of microwaving - I stove-top sauted my veggies and spices. I contemplated making some rice to serve this with, but held off. As it was, this feed two of us for 4.5 lunches. If feeding a larger group, I would serve with basmati rice.
Though I realize as I type this, I forgot the peas!
1 onion, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, grated or minced
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
4 cups water
1 14oz can coconut milk
1 lb red lentils (2 1/4 cups)
1 lb carrots
1 lb plum tomatoes (4-6) cored and chopped
1 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper
1) Heat a lightly oiled medium pan over medium-high heat. Saute onion, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin,cinnamon, tumeric, cardamom, and red pepper flakes until onions are softened and spices fragrant. Transfer to slow cooker.
2) Stir water, coconut milk, lentil, and carrots in slow cooker. Cover and cook until lentils are tneder, 6-8 hours on low or 3-5 hours on high.
3) Stir in tomatoes and peas, cover and cook on high until heated through, about 10 minutes. Adjust stew consistency with additional hot water as necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.