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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Week of Menus

I have so much fun with Halloween every year!! This was one of Miss No-No's lunches - the bat and pumpkin were made with cookie cutters (nut butter - I can't send her to school with PB, so I use cashew butter instead - and Jelly sandwiches) and the bat's eyes are raisins that I rolled down a little bit (with a spice jar), cut in 1/2 and then "glued" on with extra nut butter. I also used cupcake toppers as decoration (however, it looks like I took the picture before I added those in - lol).

Here's a look at what I have planned for dinners this week:

Chili and Cornbread

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Spinach and White Beans

Pan-fried Tofu with Fried Rice and Sauteed Greens

Tacos or Burritos
Carrot Sticks

Garden Burgers and
Left Over Bonanza

Dinner Out

Pasta Dinner with Green Salads

We are eating a lot of greens and spinach this week. I got overzealous while I was at Costco and convinced myself that we could eat a whole HUGE bag of spinach AND broccoli - I have NO idea what I was thinking.... Maybe if I was feeding six of us that would have worked out, but with only 2-1/2 mouths to feed, we are having to put spinach and broccoli into nearly every meal!!
Here's the notes:
1. Chili and Cornbread - This chili is my mom's recipe and it's sooooo fast and easy: Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat, add 1 T. oil, let warm, add in 1 diced onion, stir to mix with oil and let cook (stirring occasionally) until onions are soft, about 7 - 10 minutes, add in chili seasoning (I make my own from a recipe I got a, but my mom uses a store-bought spice pack and it tastes the same), stir to combine. Add 1 package of Yves (brand) Smart Ground (a ground beef substitute), stir to combine. Let cook for about 5 minutes. Add 1 Tbs flour (sprinkled over the Smart Ground), stir to combine. Let cook for 3 - 4 minutes or until all flour is dissolved. Add in two cans of diced / chopped tomatoes and 2 cans of pinto or chili beans, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then cover, turn heat down to low and let simmer for as long as you can (at least 10 - 15 minutes). This recipe makes enough for four with left overs for lunch the next day. Served with cornbread and a salad, it's a complete and easy meal!
2. Baked sweet potatoes with spinach and beans - I "bake" my sweet potatoes in the microwave until I can get a fork through the middles easily, then I cover them with a little bit of olive oil and put them in the toaster oven on broil for a few minutes. In a saute pan, add some olive oil, some crushed garlic, let cook for about 30 seconds and then add in as much spinach as your pan holds (it will look like a ton, but put about 3x what you think you can eat - believe me, it will shrink down to almost nothing!! When the spinach has wilted down for a few minutes and is bright green, add in one can of white beans (rinsed and drained), let the beans warm up, add in some salt and pepper (and maybe a little nutmeg). Serve with sweet potatoes - or - slice sweet potatoes, cut out insides, mix together with spinach and bean mixture and then pile back in.
3. Fried Rice - this recipe has been adapted over time from a recipe that I got at Basically, I take (pre-cooked, cooled) brown rice, put it in a saute pan, with a small amount of heated oil, let it get warmed up, add in some small veggies (diced carrots, peas, diced green beans or whatever else I have on hand), let them cook up for approximately 5 minutes, add in some soy sauce (or Braggs), add some sliced green onions, stir to mix it all up, remove the pan from the heat, top with some sesame oil (mix again) and then serve.

How was your Halloween? Did you see any tricks or any treats???

More later!! :)