Monday, August 27, 2012

{Monday Meal Planning} Edition there is a Meal Plan this week

We're back on for {Monday Meal Planning} and I'm liking it better already! I can't tell you how often my meal plan changed throughout the week (you can probably see the eraser marks!).  You may be asking yourself does this then render meal planning useless, and the answer is no.  I still stuck to the actual recipes, and it reduced my unplanned grocery store trips; I just tweaked it as the week went on and plans changed (read: I didn't feel like cooking).  It turned out that I had more leftovers than planned at the beginning of the week which made it unnecessary to make all of my meals - woot.  We may or may not have had chicken nuggets Sunday night to stretch out the last of the leftovers...

Here it is:

Monday - can we say comfort food? I was looking for a one dish meal that was portable since we offered to bring dinner over to our friend's house.  Our friends are British and have 2 young boys, so a family friendly meal that everyone would enjoy that required a casserole dish was in order. I had pulled this recipe from PW awhile back and when I came across it while meal planning, it met all of my criteria.  And it was a hit!  The best part of the meal was when I overheard their 7 year old saying to his mum, "this meal was lovely." Taylor absolutely loved it too and Seth ate it without much coercing though I'm pretty sure there was a promise of getting to play with the aforementioned 7 year old's matchbox cars if he ate all of his dinner.

Tuesday - this was a last minute meal because we didn't end up having enough leftovers from the night before and more importantly I had ground beef in the fridge that had to be used immediately.  Taco Salad is one of my go to easy meals because I usually have all of the ingredients on hand - spinach, tomatoes, onions, salsa, taco seasoning, tortilla chips, cheese, avocados for guac, pickled jalapenos and sour cream - and it takes no time to throw it together. My Mexican rice recipe is adapted from my sister, Leti.  She makes the BEST rice ever.  She taught me how to make it back when I was in high school, but she doesn't use measurements, and that was before I was really interested in cooking, and let's be honest, at 15, I probably wasn't paying very close attention.  I've adapted her recipe because I can't quite get it right, and let's again be honest, if you've never had her amazing rice, this will still seem really good to you.

Easy Mexican Rice 
Bring 3 cups of water to boil. Throw in 1 and 1/2 c of white rice (maybe brown could be subbed, but the water to rice ratio will be probably be different).  Add in some garlic salt, cumin, and lots of the key ingredient: Knorr's Caldo de Tomate (aka Tomato Bouillon). Sorry for my lack of measurements - my only advice is err on less is more with the garlic and more is more on the Caldo de Tomate; the cumin falls in the middle.  It may take a few times to get it just right and then muscle memory takes over and it will be great every time!

Wednesday - I posted this a few weeks ago, but didn't end up making it because of our impromptu BBQ.  It was delicious, but when I had it on leftovers night, I added more balsamic vinegar to it, and it was even better!

Saturday - saw this on Elizabeth's website and knew I had to try it.  I'm always looking for seafood recipes.  It was fresh and easy to make - a perfect summer dish.  Taylor raved about this one too; Seth however was not a fan.  I think this was his first introduction to shrimp and he kept spitting it out.  He loved the "pastoff" (Sethish for pasta) and tomatoes though.

We resume our monthly Soup Night next week, so if you have any dynamite soup recipes that are easy to make for 30 people, leave a comment please!

What Seth does while I make dinner


Elizabeth Ann @ Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box said...

Everything sounds amazing! ;-) Isn't that summer stir fry awesome?? :-)

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