Friday, June 1, 2012

I'm no Barefoot Contessa {II}

I did one of these posts awhile back but thought I'd bring it back because friends are always wondering how and probably why I meal plan.  I'm a planner, a list maker and a food obsesser.  We finish one meal and I wonder what the next is going to be.

Day 1: Pasta with Marinara Sauce and Baked Chicken Meatballs Courtesy of Jocelyn P.
This recipe makes enough for two meals, you could freeze and even pair with meatball subs.  

3 slices Italian bread, torn into small bits (1 cup) – I used wheat bread 
1/3 cup milk
3 ounces sliced pancetta, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large egg
1 pound ground chicken
1 tablespoons tomato paste, divided
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 400°F with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Soak bread in milk in a small bowl until softened, about four minutes.
Cook pancetta, onion, and garlic in one tablespoon oil with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large skillet over medium heat until onion is softened, about 6 minutes. (Alternately, as in “I thought of this after the fact”, I’d bet you could render the pancetta for a couple minutes and cook the onions and garlic in that fat, rather than olive oil.) Cool slightly.
Squeeze bread to remove excess milk, then discard milk. Lightly beat egg in a large bowl, then combine with chicken, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, pancetta mixture, bread, and parsley. Form 12 meatballs and arrange in another 4-sided sheet pan (I used a 9×13 roasting dish).
Bake in upper third of oven until meatballs are just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Day 2: Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce Courtesy of Cooking Light and Joc:)
Serve with a homemade pasta or potato salad.

1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese 
1 tablespoon minced red onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper $
1 pound ground turkey breast $
1 garlic clove, minced
Cooking spray
2 cups arugula (I've made with and without)
2 (6-inch) whole-wheat pitas, toasted and halved (last time I used the Trade Joes Naan and grilled!)

1. Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl; mix until combined. Divide panko mixture into 4 portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick oval patty.
2. Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat (or just grill). Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Place 1 patty and 1/2 cup arugula in each pita half.

Tzatziki sauce: Combine 1/2 cup plain low-fat, Greek-style yogurt; 1/4 cup finely chopped seeded cucumber; 1/4 teaspoon salt; and 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper. 

Day 3: Tuna patties with wild rice and broccoli.  Lauren would get a hotdog or chicken nuggets

Note on the patties...I use two small cans of albacore tuna and usually skip the mint because I always forget it.  

Day 4: Pasta Fagoili Soup with a baguette
• 1 (29 ounce) can diced tomatoes
• 2 (14 ounce) cans great Northern beans, undrained
• Fresh baby spinach (add as much or as little as you like)
• 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth or stock
• 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
• 3 cups water 
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 8 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled or 1/2 lb of ground sweet italian sausage (cook first)
• 1 tablespoon dried parsley (I prefer fresh)
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
• 1/2 pound seashell pasta
• grated parmesean cheese
• In a large stock pot, combine diced tomatoes, beans, chicken broth, tomato sauce, water, garlic, bacon or sausage, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and basil. Bring to a boil, and let simmer for 40 minutes, covered.
• Add pasta and cook uncovered until pasta is tender, approximately 10 minutes. Right before serving add spinach, cook until it wilts.  Depending on how thick you like your soup, you may need to add 1/2 to 1 cup more of water.  Ladle soup into individual serving bowls, sprinkle cheese on top, and serve.

NOTE: this makes a suggestion is follow the recipe but before you add the spinach, take half out and freeze.  Even with taking half out, you will have leftovers.  And for Lauren I usually give her a really thick bowl before I put the spinach in.

This is really good and Lauren eats it.  Is time consuming because you have to stand by the stove, but I think its worth it!

Thanks Jocelyn...I continue to keep the recipes you send in our rotation!



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