Week One Meals

week 1When I decided to do this weeks meals, the blog idea had not yet come to me.  So there are no pictures to show yet.  I promise, pictures will come eventually.

Monday:   Italian Beef Roast with Roasted Asparagus

I love shredded meat of any kind.  The juicy flavors, the fall apart tenderness, the convenience of the crockpot, and something my children will eat makes the perfect love story!  And if that isn’t enough of a reason to love shredded meat, lots of times I can find leaner roasts on sale at my local grocery store.  This roast has an Italian twist with roasted red peppers and Italian salad dressing for a different twist.  Also, this makes a lot of meat.  I serve great sandwiches on deli rolls that my rancher loves to eat for lunch and a recipe for revamped leftovers later in the week.  I love it on a salad for lunch when my rancher is eating his sandwich.  What can I say, I have to work harder on my waistline than he does!

Italian Beef Roast:

  • 2-3 lb beef roast  ( I like bottom round.  It tends to be leaner, but I use whatever is in my freezer.  It is also on sale at my local grocery store until Tues.)
  • onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1/4 tsp (or less) salt
  • 16 oz jar of roasted red peppers, undrained
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing of your choice
  • 1/4 cup unsalted beef broth
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Place onion in the bottom of the crock pot.  Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper and place on top of the onion.  Add garlic and roasted red peppers.  Mix together the salad dressing and beef broth and pour on the top.  Cook on low for about 8 hours or on high for about 6 hours.  When the meat is done it will be falling apart tender.  Take out of the juices and shred with 2 forks, then place shredded meat back in the juices for about 30 minutes.  When ready to eat, just scoop the meat out with a slotted spoon(don’t drain too much of the liquid off) add Parmesan cheese and mix together(and for a guilty pleasure I will sometimes add just a little bit more dressing to the finished meat.)  I will include a link to the original recipe, but this is how I changed it to my taste.     The original link

Roasted Asparagus

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1-2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • zest of a lemon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Wash, dry, and trim the ends off the asparagus.  Place asparagus on a cookie sheet and add the olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Cook for 5-10 minutes.  Take out of the oven and add the garlic and lemon zest.  Cook for another 5-10 minutes.  (The garlic doesn’t take as long to cook so just add it at the end.)

**Little tips for easy cleaning:  I love using crock pot liners.  I just love not having to stand and scrub on my crock pot.  I also when roasting vegetables line my cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  It makes clean up take much less time.

Tuesday:  Unrolled Egg Rolls

This is honestly not one of my ranchers favorites.  When we first were married and lived a little closer to a town with restaurants, I would use meals like this to get taken out to dinner.  Now that isn’t an option, and he has to eat them!

Unrolled Egg Rolls

  • 1 lb ground meat
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • onion
  • 3/4of a  package of broccoli slaw
  • 1/4 cup of shredded carrots
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • reduced sodium soy sauce

Add 1 tsp of oil to a skillet.  Cook the onions until translucent(about 5 minutes).  Add the ground meat.  (  I like to add pepper, garlic powder, and a touch of salt to my meat to give it a little flavor, but I cant tell you how much!)  Cook the meat until it is fully done.  (The recommended internal temperature for fully cooked hamburger meat is 160 degrees.)  drain meat and set aside.  Add the sesame oil to the skillet and cook the broccoli slaw and carrots until tender.  Add meat back to skillet.  Add green onions.  I drizzle the top soy sauce.  (between 1 and 2 tsp).

Little tips:

  • I will add hamburger meat to a recipe later in the week.  I will go ahead and cook more meat than needed and store in the refrigerator until I need it.  I buy my hamburger meat when it goes on sale and usually it is in a 10 lbs package.  When I buy the meat I will cut it into 4 pieces and store in the freezer.  Also, you can cook it when you buy it and store in the freezer already cooked.
  • When draining the meat add paper towel, foil, or both to the bottom of the bowl to make clean up easier.
  • For the kids, I will also cook some brown rice to give them a little something else.
  • Make this to taste.  My clan doesn’t like onions so I have to use the green onions sparingly.
  • Cole slaw mix also works really well in this, but I will use a little of the broccoli slaw later in the week.

Wednesday:  Italian Beef Pockets with Steamed Broccoli

This is my revamped leftover recipe.  I use the leftover delicious meat from Monday night and stuff it in canned crescent rolls.  My kids scarfed theses down in no time flat.  I know this isn’t fitting in the low carb category, but I just ate the meat from the inside(I might have eaten a bit or 2 of the roll).  This is a great way to use up some of the leftover meat and not feel like you are having the dreaded leftover night.  As I experiment more with trying to have a healthier and lower carb lifestyle I am hoping to find other ways to us the leftovers.

Italian Beef Pockets

  • 1 can of canned crescent rolls(if you can find the seamless rolls those would work better, but I can never find them)
  • Shredded Italian meat
  • Mozzarella cheese sandwich slices

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Unroll the crescent rolls and separate the rolls to make rectangles(this will be 2 of the triangles)  Press together to seal the seams.  If you find the seamless crescent rolls unroll the dough and cut into 4 rectangles with a pizza cutter.  Place 1/2 of a slice of cheese onto the bottom of 1/2 of your dough.  Place meat on top of the cheese.  Fold the half of the dough with nothing on it over the half with he meat and cheese.  Crimp the edges with a fork to seal.  Cook for about 15 minutes  or until golden brown.

Steamed Broccoli

  • 1 head of broccoli, broccoli crowns, or a bag of broccoli florets(these are found in the produce section)
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • juice of half a lemon
  • zest of a lemon

If you don’t use broccoli florets in the bag for convenience,  cut your broccoli off the stem and into pieces.  Wash the broccoli florets(even if you use the bag).  In a 10-12 inch skillet with a lid or a medium size sauce pan with a lid bring water to a boil.  Add the broccoli and replace the lid.  Let steam for about 5-10 minutes until just slightly tender.  Drain off any excess water and add the lemon juice and zest.

Thursday:  Dance Night!!!!!

Friday:  2 Way Spaghetti and Salad

Don’t be thinking, “Spaghetti, seriously?!”  Remember this is a meal planning website!  In my household, spaghetti is a rare meal.  I am not a big fan of noodles and my kids faces after eating spaghetti.  But spaghetti is one of my ranchers favorites, and since I fixed unrolled egg rolls this week, I think that I can compromise a little.  I do use canned spaghetti sauce but I always add to it.  I usually add a can  of Italian style diced tomatoes, crushed red pepper, some Italian seasoning, and browned hamburger meat(remember that extra meat from Tuesday?  Yep!  Dump it in!)  I let all this simmer while I cook the 2 way noodles.

For the kids and my rancher, I make any whole wheat pasta I have on and or have picked up.  I really like to use the whole wheat penne because that seams easiest for the kids to eat.  For myself I use the broccoli slaw that I saved from the unrolled egg rolls.  I simply bring a little bit of water to a boil in a skillet and steam the slaw until tender.  I tried the spaghetti squash route one time.  I didn’t mind it, neither did my oldest.  But the youngest daughter could not choke it down, and that I was the last time I tried!  Since it is just me that uses the alternative noodles I can control the portion amount better with the broccoli slaw better and I like the broccoli better than the spaghetti squash.

For the salad, I like to buy the big bags of romaine lettuce and eat on for lunches during the week.  And when preparing my meals it is so easy to rinse really quick and dump in a bowl. I usually will add some of my favorites and family favorites :cucumber, red bell peppers, and some green onion(because I have them.)   I don’t usually top with any dressing because I let each person pick their favorite.

Seriously, could dinner for 4 days be any easier.  So ring the dinner bell, put away the cell phone, pull up a chair, and get ready for the laughter that is about to surround the table.  Its time for dinner!!






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