Week 7 Meals

20160316_150357What a crazy week this has been.  The family survived Easter, the college kid safely returned to school, and spring break has officially begun.  Unfortunately a break for this rancher’s wife is not in store.  So like always, delicious, quick, healthy, and easy meals are in store with a salsa verde roast with revamped leftovers, a zucchini and ground meat skillet, and a pesto chicken.

Monday:  Salsa Verde Roast with Salad

This roast is another great and different way to prepare a roast in the crock pot. I just love how inexpensive roasts are, easy to prepare, and always make for a revamped meal later in the week.  This roast with a salsa verde is a crowd pleaser.

Salsa Verde Roast

  • Bottom round roast(or roast of your liking)
  • onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minces
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 1/4 cup unsalted beef broth
  • handful of cilantro

Place onions in the bottom of a crock pot.  Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper and place on top of the onions.  Add garlic and cilantro.  In a small bowl mix together the salsa verde and beef broth and pour over the meat.  Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8 hours.

*Shred leftover meat before putting in the refrigerator for revamped leftovers later in the week.

Salad

For this salad I am simply going to add some tomatoes, bell pepper, avocado, and red onion to a bag of romaine lettuce and serve with a jalapeno ranch dressing.

Tuesday:  Zucchini and Ground Meat Skillet

This recipe originally had eggplant.  I discovered I am either not an eggplant fan, it is the wrong time of year for eggplant, or my eggplant was not good.  I made it again using zucchini and liked it much better.  I may have to try this again with eggplant when the produce stands open in the summer and I can buy eggplant fresh from my local farmer.

Zucchini and ground Meat Skillet

  • 1 pound of ground meat, browned and drained
  • 3 small zucchini, quatered and chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp of reduced sodium soy sauce

Heat oil in a skillet and add zucchini.  Cook until softened (about 5-10 minutes).  Add garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add ground meat, tomatoes, and soy sauce.  Stir together.  Reduce heat and simmer until most of the liquid is gone.

  • I served this over bagged lettuce and drizzled with a sesame Asian dressing.  For the kids and my rancher, I served over brown rice.

Wednesday:  Pesto Chicken with Asparagus

20160324_184531My oldest sister originally found this recipe and told me how much she loved it because it was delicious and easy.  She told me what how she made it so I tried it.  She was right.  It is delicious and easy.

Pesto chicken

  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4-1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 2 slices of provolone cheese, halved

Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.  Place chicken in the baking dish, cover each breast with basil pesto.  Cover with foil and cook at 375 for 25-30 minutes.  Remove chicken from the oven, remove the foil and top the chicken with cheese.  Place back in the oven uncovered and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

*I had the provolone cheese in my refrigerator. You could use about 1/2 cup of an Italian blend cheese or mozzarella.

Asparagus

Wash and cut the ends off  one bunch of asparagus.  Put about an inch of water in a covered skillet and bring to a boil.  Put asparagus in the boiling water and let steam until it reaches the desired tenderness.  Mine usually only takes about 5-10 minutes.  Drain the water and put about 1 Tbsp of butter in the skillet and let melt over the asparagus.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday:  Dance Night!

Even on spring break we have dance because the spring breaks did not match the other schools!  That is my story.  I am sticking to it!

Friday:  Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Zucchini

Revamped leftover night!  I love using my leftovers in different ways so it doesn’t feel like I am eating leftovers.  If you are too exhausted from the week you could easily use the meat and just make lettuce wrap tacos, but these peppers are a great alternative to regular boring leftovers.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

  • leftover salsa verde roast, shredded
  • can of no salt added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • can of diced green chilies
  • 2 red bell peppers, halved and seeds removed
  • 1 can of green enchilada sauce
  • shredded Pepper jack cheese

Mix together shredded meat, green chilies, and black beans.  Stuff meat mixture inside bell pepper halves and place in a baking dish.  Top the stuffed peppers with enchilada sauce cover with foil and cook on 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove the dish from the oven, remove the foil, and cover the peppers with pepper jack cheese. Place dish uncovered  in the oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Mexican Zucchini

  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 small zucchini, quartered and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced, seeds removed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of half of a lime

Heat oil in a skillet.  Add zucchini and cook for about 10 minutes, until tender.  Add tomatoes and garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, and lime juice.

Week 7 Grocery List

20160316_150357

Produce

  • onion
  • cilantro
  • garlic
  • zucchini (5)
  • asparagus
  • red bell pepper (2)

Meat

  • bottom round roast
  • ground  meat
  • chicken

Refrigerated/ Deli

  • basil pesto
  • provolone cheese
  • butter
  • pepper jack cheese

Baking/ Spices

  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

Canned Goods

  • no salt added diced tomatoes
  • no salt added black beans

Soup

  • no salt added beef broth

Mexican Food

  • Salsa Verde
  • diced green chilies
  • green enchilada sauce

Asian Food

  • reduced sodium soy sauce

 

Week 6 Grocery List

aceProduce

  • onion (3)
  • garlic
  • turnip greens
  • Roma tomatoes (4)
  • jalapeno (2)
  • green beans
  • cilantro
  • lime (3)
  • cucumber
  • cabbage
  • green onion
  • lettuce leaves

Meat

  • pork chops
  • bottom round steak
  • ground meat

Refrigerated

  • pepper jack cheese, shredded

Baking/ Spices

  • pork rub/ marinade
  • olive oil
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • sugar/ splenda

Asian

  • reduced sodium soy sauce
  • sesame oil

Soup

  • no salt added chicken broth
  • no salt added beef broth

Sauces/ dressing

  • Dijon mustard

Week 6 Meals

aceMarch isn’t the only thing that is mad this week around the ranch. With the college kid coming home, I plan for a  busy weekend spoiling her by preparing some of her favorites.  Then on Sunday, the family will head to my mother in laws for an Easter celebration.  An easy crock pot carne asada with revamped leftovers, pork chops on the grill, and a cabbage stir fry will help ease the recovery process of a busy weekend.

Monday:  Pork Chops with Turnip Greens

chopI am not a big fan of pork chops, but my rancher loves them.  I think his secret goal in life is to try to convince me to fry them, but I don’t fry things.  I don’t like the mess!  So since I have managed to stay strong to his charms, a grilled pork chop will just have to do.  Plus the clean up is so much easier. My inner southern girl comes out with these delicious turnip greens.

Pork Chops

I found these pork chops on sale at my local grocery store, and  I simply drizzle with a little olive oil so my favorite pork seasoning will stick really well and stick them on the grill.  Use a marinade if you prefer, my grocery store did not have my favorite so I opted for the rub.  I am not a master on the grill, but somehow they manage to turn out really well. I have included a link for some tips on how to grill a pork chop if they are needed.   Grill tips for a pork chop

Turnip Greens

The recipe for these came from the food network and the Neely’s cooking show.  I have made just a few changes to the recipe, but this is my favorite way to prepare turnip greens.

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion (or a whole shallot)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 pounds turnip greens, washed, stemmed, and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and saute until tender.  Add turnip greens.  Mix together and cook until wilted.  Add pepper.

In a bowl mix together Dijon mustard and chicken broth.  Add to the greens and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.

*I used already washed, stemmed, and chopped turnip greens(it was a mix with mustard and collard greens) in the produce department in my grocery store.  I like convenience products!

The Neely’s recipe

Tuesday:  Carne Asada with Cilantro Green Beans and Cucumber Pico de Gallo

asadaThis is one of my favorite recipes. I found this recipe on a blog called, Mom, What’s for Dinner, and made a few changes to make this not so spicy for the kiddos. Simple, tasty, Mexican, and enough to revamp leftovers later in the week paired with cilantro green beans and a little pico de gallo with a little cucumber, What is not to like?

Carne Asada

  • 1 1/4 cup unsalted beef broth
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • jalepeno, seeded, veins removed, and chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • bottom round steak
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Prepare all the vegetables and place in the bottom of the crock pot.  Mix together the cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper and sprinkle over the meat.  Plave the meat in the crock pot.  Pour the beef broth in the crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.  When the meat is finished cooking, cut meat into the desired portion size.  Serve with a little of the cooking liquid over the top and sprinkle with shredded pepper jack cheese.

*I used bottom round steak, but any cut would work.  I have used all kinds.  The family packs of meat tend to be less expensive, especially when my local grocery store places them on sale.  I freeze what I do not use, cooking about 3 pieces of the meat for this recipe.

*Shred any leftover meat with 2 forks for revamped leftovers later in the week.

Mom, What’s for Dinner link

 

Cilantro-Garlic Green Beans

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 oz raw green beans
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • juice of half a lime

In a pot, bring some salted water to a boil.  Add green beans and cook for about 3-5 minutes.  Drain.

In a skillet heat olive oil.  Add garlic and cook until tender(about 2 minutes).  Add green beans and saute for 5 minutes.  Add cilantro and lime juice.  Mix well

Cucumber Pico De Gallo

  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined, and chopped
  • cilantro, chopped, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • fresh lime juice, to taste( I use about 2 limes)

Mix together all ingredients and chill for about 30 minutes.

Wednesday:  Cabbage Stir Fry

cabbageThe rancher was not crazy about this recipe, but every now and then, I want something with an Asian twist, and this recipe from Low Carb Layla was just right.  This stir fry was a great way to use up some cabbage I found on sale.  Even though my rancher wasn’t crazy about this, the kids ate it up.

Cabbage Stir Fry

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • cabbage, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
  • 1 tsp splenda or sugar
  • 2 green onions, or more (my kids don’t like them!)

Heat oil in a skillet.  Add onion and cook until tender then add ground meat.  Sprinkle the meat with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and cook meat until done.  Drain fat off the meat.

In the same skillet, heat the other teaspoon of oil.  Add cabbage and stir fry until crisp-tender.  Add all the other ingredients and heat through.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

*I always brown extra hamburger meat.  I like to have some in the freezer to make an easy meal at a later date or for the days I am out of leftovers and bread and need to make something for lunch!

Low Carb Layla recipe

Thursday:  Dance Night!!

Friday:  Carne Asada Lettuce Wraps

wrapsBy Friday, I am ready for the simplest recipe.  I revamp leftovers by using the leftover carne asada from Tuesday night.  Since I shredded the meat before storing in the refrigerator, the prep work for this meal is little to none.

  • Shredded carne asada, heated
  • cucumber pico de gallo
  • shredded pepper jack cheese
  • lettuce leaves

Simply put the lettuce on a plate and layer the meat, cheese, and pico.

*I also served with a boxed Mexican rice that I cooked according to package directions adding some green peas.  The kids love this rice!

Even though it seems like the weeks are another team in March Madness, my meals are not with this simple meal plan.  With everything going on, I am able to sit here with a humbled and content heart.  As I have been helping the rancher exercise horses looking across the pasture at the beautiful landscape, I am so grateful for the gifts that the Lord has given me.  The love and support friends, family, and even strangers that are now friends has been overwhelming.  This week call the kids to dinner, pull up a chair, ring the dinner bell, and say a little prayer because life is great.  Its time for dinner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 5 Grocery list

riding

Produce

  • onion
  • cilantro
  • zucchini (4)
  • Roma tomato
  • lime
  • garlic
  • broccoli florets
  • red bell pepper (2)
  • green bell pepper
  • asparagus
  • Southwestern salad kit

Meat

  • ground meat
  • Italian sausage

Refrigerated

  • cottage cheese
  • Mexican cheese, shredded
  • sliced cheese
  • eggs

Baking/Spices

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • cumin
  • chili powder

Canned Goods

  • diced tomatoes with green chilies, mild
  • fire roasted tomatoes
  • no salt added black beans
  • no salt added diced tomatoes

Sauces/ Seasonings

  • taco seasoning
  • ketchup
  • Worcestershire sauce

Mexican Food

  • salsa
  • diced green chilies (2)
  • green enchilada sauce

Bread

  • low carb tortillas

Week 5 Meals

ridingInspiration and motivation are lacking lately.  Just like everyone else, I have had a hard time getting inspired as to what to cook and trouble staying motivated to eat healthy.  Scrolling through recipes has only brought responses in my head like that doesn’t sound good, what real person would make that, and that has too many ingredients.  What can I say other than I share your struggles!  So with torment in my head like a 3 year old temper tantrum, I have decided on a low carb Mexican lasagna, a recipe for the grill (weather permitting), an Italian sausage stir fry, and some zucchini boats that I know will not disappoint.

Monday:  Low Carb Mexican Lasagna with Mexican Zucchinilasagna

This recipe was great since I haven’t made a casserole in a while.  My family loves casseroles and using low carb tortillas helped fit this recipe in my lower carb lifestyle.  The original link is included from Kalyn’s Kitchen, however I found this was very easy not using a crock pot.  Also, I will decrease the amount of salsa for next time.

Mexican Low Carb Lasagna

  • 2 lbs ground meat
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, mild
  • about 6 low carb tortillas
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 can diced green chilies, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups Mexican blend cheese

Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion.  When translucent, add the ground meat seasoning with salt, pepper, and garlic powder; brown, breaking apart until fully cooked.  Drain the meat after cooked and add back to the skillet with taco seasoning, salsa, and can of tomatoes with green chilies.  Simmer over low heat until most of liquid is gone.

While the meat mixture is simmering, mix together the cottage cheese, drained green chilies, eggs, and chopped cilantro.  Cut the tortillas in half.

Spray an 8 1/2X11 casserole dish with non stick spray.  Add a layer of tortillas(use the straight side of the tortilla on the side of the dish and use as few tortillas as possible) rto cover the bottom.  Make a layer of half the meat mixture, half the cottage cheese mixture, and one cup of the grated cheese.  Then make a second layer of tortillas, meat mixture, cheese mixture, and grated cheese.

Cover with foil and cook in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minute.  Uncover and cook for about 15 minutes more.

*This makes a huge casserole so get ready for lunch made easy!  I wonder how this would freeze?!

*Brown extra hamburger meat for a recipe on Friday to make meal prep at the end of the week a little less stressful.

Kalyn’s Kitchen Slow Cooker Low Carb Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Zucchini

  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 small zucchini, quartered and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced, seeds removed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of half of a lime

Heat oil in a skillet.  Add zucchini and cook for about 10 minutes, until tender.  Add tomatoes and garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, and lime juice.

Tuesday:  Italian Sausage and Broccoli Stir Fry

I have this amazing friend who has been on every step of my blogging journey with me ask for a sausage recipe.  I found this recipe and immediately thought of her and tried it.  And who doesn’t love a one skillet supper?!

Italian Sausage Stir Fry

  • Bag of broccoli florets (or 2 small heads of broccoli)
  • 5 links of Italian Sausage
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Italian seasoning, to taste
  • salt and pepper

Heat oil in a skillet.  Add sausage and cook fully, flipping to make sure all sides get brown. (about 15 minutes)  Remove sausage from skillet and add broccoli and peppers stirring frequently until tender.  Add fire roasted tomatoes and seasoning.  While the peppers and broccoli are cooking, cut the sausage into 1/2 inch slices.  Add to the tomatoes and seasoning.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Wednesday:  Grilled Hamburger Patties with Grilled Asparagushamburger

This is one of those recipes, you know the kind that there really isn’t a recipe.  Just add whatever sounds good to you!  And then the toppings could be limitless. I wish I could provide great instructions on how to grill the perfect hamburger patty, but I have found they are so tricky (Yet another reason this is a meal planning blog)!   Prepare the asparagus on the grill and this meal makes clean up a piece of cake. However, if the weather is uncooperative or not up for the grill challenge this can be prepared inside, the meat in a skillet and asparagus roasted in the oven.

Grilled Hamburger Patties

  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • ketchup
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • egg
  • ground meat

Mix all ingredients together and patties.  I have found that if I prepare the patties ahead of time and put them in the refrigerator, the patties stay together better on the grill.  Hint: the colder the patty the better they stay together.  Cook until they are done!  For toppings anything is a go.  I just topped with cheese of everyone choice but some sauted onions or roasted green chilies with the cheese on the top would be AMAZING!

*I used about 2 1/2 pounds of hamburger meat making plenty of patties for my rancher and kids to have hamburgers for lunch during the week.

Grilling tips

Grilled Asparagus

  • bunch of asparagus
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Wash the asparagus and remove the ends.  I like to take foil and make a little pouch to grill my asparagus in.  Drizzle the asparagus in the pouch with olive oil and add salt and pepper.  Cook on the grill in the foil pouch until tender.

Thursday: Dance Night!

Friday:  Green Chile Zucchini Boats with Southwestern Saladzucchini

Zucchini boats are a popular item that comes across my pinterest feed.  For some reason, they all are chicken and made the same.  Here is a different twist to the chicken enchilada zucchini boat that keep coming across my feed! With a simple salad, this will be a great finale to an uninspired week!

Green Chile Zucchini Boats

  • Browned ground meat from Monday night
  • can of no salt added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • can of no salt added diced tomatoes
  • can of diced green chilies
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 zucchini
  • small can of green enchilada sauce
  • shredded Mexican cheese

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and spoon out the inside of the zucchini.  (if you have a melon baller that would work great.  I don’t so I use a spoon.)  In a towel over the sink, squeeze out any excess liquid from the spooned out part of the zucchini and chop up.  Add a little of the enchilada sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish and place the zucchini halves in the dish.

In a skillet heat the precooked ground meat, chopped zucchini, black beans, diced tomatoes, diced green chilies, cumin, and chili powder.  Reduce heat and simmer until any liquid is evaporated(about 5 minutes).

Spoon the meat mixture into the zucchini halves, top with enchilada sauce, and shredded cheese.  Top with foil and cook on 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until zucchini is tender.  Remover foil and cook for another 10 minutes.

Southwestern Salad

Get ready because I don’t know if you will be able to handle the complexity of this recipe.  Go to the produce section, find a salad kit that sounds like it fits in this category and prepare according to the directions on the bag.  Usually this entails opening a couple of plastic bags, dumping in a bowl, and mixing.

Just when I think I am lacking motivation, I manage to pull off a week of meals that my rancher and kids loved with enough excitement to get me ready for next week’s meal planning.  What more could a girl want than a happy healthy rancher and kids?  So, gather the family, ring the dinner bell, and pull up a chair.  It’s time for dinner!

Week 4 Grocery List

horse

Produce

  • onion (3)
  • garlic
  • thyme
  • carrots
  • Anaheim pepper (4)
  • zucchini (4)
  • Roma tomato
  • lime
  • green bell pepper
  • red bell pepper (2)
  • lemon

Meat

  • chuck roast
  • boneless skinless chicken breast

Frozen Food

  • green beans
  • corn

Soups/ Sauces

  • unsalted beef broth
  • unsalted chicken broth
  • pasta sauce

Baking/ Spices

  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • cumin
  • onion powder
  • Italian seasoning

Refrigerated/ Dairy

  • pepper jack cheese, sliced
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded