Cucumber Shell Salad

16 oz pkg of medium shell pastaphoto (9)

16 oz pkg of frozen peas

Cucumber

Red onion

Ranch salad dressing

  1. Thaw peas
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, halve and slice cucumber and chop red onion.
  4. Drain and rinse pasta in cold water. In a large bowl, combine pasta, peas, cucumber, and onion. Add 1 cup of ranch salad dressing. Toss to coast. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

http://youtu.be/0URAQo7KnzU

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Tortellini Alfredo $3.98/serving

Butter

Heavy whipping cream

Nutmeg

Parmesan cheese (shredded is best)

Package of cheese tortellini (19 oz) – I use fresh, but frozen would work too. Just make sure to follow the instructions listed.

 

  1. Melt 1/2 cup of butter over medium-low heat in a saucepan. Add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and 1/8 tsp of nutmeg. Heat through but DO NOT BOIL. Stir in 1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese until melted.
  2. Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the cheese sauce and toss to coat. It’s better fresh – leftovers don’t taste quite as good with this one.

Green Eggs and Ham (Dinner for Two Week 22)

Breakfast: Green ‘n’ Gold Egg Bake, Yogurt with Toasted Quinoa, Almonds and Apricots

Lunch: Leftovers + banana, pear, orange, cherries

Dinner: Breaded Pork Chops, Spaghetti Carbonara, Easy and Elegant Ham, red potatoes, sauteed red peppers and red onion

Dessert: Yogurt Tartlet

Breaded Pork Chops

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine 1 cup of Italian-seasoned bread crumbs and 2 Tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese in a shallow dish (like a pie plate). Place 1/3 cup of ranch salad dressing in another shallow dish. Dip 6 pork chops in ranch dressing, then coat in the crumb mixture.

Place in an ungreased baking pan. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a jar of red sauce in a small pot. Pour over pork chops and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese to serve.

Green ‘n’ Gold Egg Bake

Thaw 2 packages of frozen spinach and squeeze dry. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs into a greased baking dish. Bake for 3-5 minutes. Combine spinach, 3 cups of cottage cheese, 1/4 cup of grated Romano cheese, 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 3 eggs, and 3/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs in a bowl. Spread over the baked crumbs. Beat 2 more eggs. Pour over spinach mixture.

Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Yogurt Tartlets

I’ve featured this recipe before on Week 21 in my Year as a Single College Student Series. You can view the recipe here:

https://theshortchef.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/week-21-special-week-5-recipes-for-50/

 I decorated mine with dates, nectarine, and peach slices this time.

Yogurt with Toasted Quinoa, Almonds, and Apricots

To toast the red quinoa, add 1 Tbsp to a medium saute pan and cook over medium/low heat about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.

Add 1 Tbsp of sliced almonds to the saute pan, and toast over low heat, moving around the pan constantly. Almonds will toast in 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Add 1 Tbsp of coconut chips to the saute pan, and toast over low heat, moving around the pan constantly. When coconut is toasted, transfer to a bowl to cool.

Add 6 oz of Greek yogurt to a small bowl. Top with toasted quinoa, almonds, 3 roughly chopped dried apricots and coconut chips. Drizzle with honey and a small sprinkle of sea salt. Flaky sea salt, like fleur de sel works best.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Cook a package of thin spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, dice 10 strips of bacon, and cook over medium heat in a skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Add 1/3 cup of butter to the drippings. Heat until melted.

Drain spaghetti. Toss with 2 lightly beaten eggs and 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Add to the skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon.

Easy and Elegant Ham

Drain 2 cans of sliced pineapple, reserving the juice and setting aside. Place half of the pineapple in an ungreased slow cooker. Top with a 6 lb fully cooked boneless ham. Drain a jar of maraschino cherries well. Add cherries, remaining pineapple, and reserved pineapple juice on top of the ham. Spoon a jar of orange marmalade on top as well. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Remove to a warm serving platter. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Serve pineapple and cherries with sliced ham.

SHOPPING LIST:

Parmesan cheese (at least 2.5 cups worth grated)

Romano cheese (1/4 cup worth)

Cottage cheese (24 oz)

Greek yogurt

Plain lowfat vanilla yogurt

Eggs

Italian-seasoned dry bread crumbs

Red chili pepper

Red onion

Bag of red potatoes

3 red peppers

Bananas

6 pears

Dates

Nectarine

Peach

6 oranges

Cherries

6 lb fully cooked boneless ham

6 pork chops

Bacon

2 pkgs of frozen chopped spinach

Jar of maraschino cherries (6 oz)

Jar of orange marmalade (12 oz)

Jar of red pasta sauce

Pkg of thin spaghetti (7 oz)

Red quinoa

Dried apricots

Coconut chips

Natural cane sugar

[Also needed: butter, sliced almonds, honey, sea salt, all-purpose flour, oats, salt, maple syrup, lemon juice, seasoned bread crumbs, ranch salad dressing]

When Things Get Blue (Dinner for Two Week 16)

Breakfast: Pancakes or Waffles with Blueberry Sauce Supreme

Lunch: Green salad with Thousand Island or French Salad Dressing or Broccoli Waldorf Salad, pear or watermelon

Dinner: Savory Roast Chicken with rice and Sauteed Mushrooms or Sausage Spaghetti Spirals with salad, sugar snap peas/watercress

Sauteed Mushrooms

Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a skillet. Add 1 lb of sliced fresh mushrooms, 1 Tbsp of lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp of soy sauce. Saute for 6-8 minutes.

Waffles

  1. Preheat waffle iron. Beat 2 eggs in a large bowl with a hand beater until fluffy. Beat in 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 3/4 cups of milk, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 1 Tbsp of sugar, 4 tsp of baking powder, 1/4 tsp of salt, and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.
  2. Spray preheated waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot.

Foolproof Pancakes

  • STEP 1

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Have a baking sheet or heatproof platter ready to keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 2 Tbsp of sugar, 2 tsp of baking powder, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Set aside.

  • STEP 2

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of milk, 2 Tbsp of melted unsalted butter (or oil), and 1 egg. Add dry ingredients to milk mixture. Whisk until just moistened. The key is to not overmix. A few small lumps here and there are fine.

  • STEP 3

Heat a large skillet (nonstick or cast-iron) or griddle over medium. Fold a sheet of paper towel in half, and moisten with oil; carefully rub skillet with oiled paper towel.

  • STEP 4

For each pancake, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto skillet, using the back of the spoon to spread batter into a round (you should be able to fit 2 to 3 in a large skillet).

  • STEP 5

Cook 1-2 minutes. Flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook 1-2 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter; cover loosely with aluminum foil, and keep warm in oven. Continue with more oil and remaining batter. (You’ll have 12-15 pancakes.) Serve warm, with desired toppings.

Blueberry Sauce Supreme

Combine 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of orange juice concentrate, and 2 Tbsp of cornstarch in a pot. Stir until smooth. Add 3 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Serve on top of pancakes, waffles, ice cream, granola/yogurt, muffins, pies, cheesecake, desserts…

Thousand Island Dressing

Combine 2 cups of mayonnaise, 1/4 cup of chili sauce, and 1/4 cup of pickle relish in a bowl. Store in the refrigerator.

Salad Suggestion: Lettuce, leeks, okra, persimmons, pineapple, and roasted pumpkin seeds. Leftover nuts, seeds, cheese, dried fruit

Salad Suggestion: Lettuce, spinach, snow peas, apple, tangerine, and figs. Leftover nuts, seeds, cheese, dried fruit.

Broccoli Waldorf Salad

Combine 6 cups of broccoli florets, a large chopped red apple, 1/2 cup of raisins, and 1/4 cup of chopped pecans in a large serving bowl. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of coleslaw dressing. Toss to coat. Refrigerate leftovers.

Savory Roast Chicken

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a broiler/fryer chicken breast side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Combine 2 Tbsp of melted butter, 3 Tbsp of lemon juice, and either 1 Tbsp of minced fresh savory or 1 tsp of dried savory. Brush over chicken. Bake, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally with the pan dripping.

Sausage Spaghetti Spirals

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 1 lb bulk Italian sausage and a chopped green pepper over medium heat in a skillet. Drain. Stir in 5 cup of cooked spiral pasta and a jar of meatless spaghetti sauce. Mix well.

Transfer to a greased baking dish. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer.

SHOPPING LIST:

Mozzarella cheese (6 oz)

Green pepper

LOTS of lettuce (like 3 bundles or 3 mixed boxes), plus a bag/box of spinach

Leeks

Okra

Broccoli florets (enough for 6 cups)

Snow peas and sugar snap peas

1 lb mushrooms

Watercress

6 pears

Watermelon

2 persimmons

Pineapple

2 red apples

Tangerine

2-3 figs

Blueberries (3 cups worth – fresh or frozen)

1 lb bulk Italian sausage

Broiler/fryer chicken (2.5 – 3 lbs)

Frozen peas

Orange juice concentrate

Jar of meatless spaghetti sauce (28 oz)

Coleslaw dressing

Chili sauce

Spiral pasta

Old-fashioned rolled oats

Wheat germ

Raw pumpkin seeds

Raw pistachios

Fresh or dried savory

[Also needed: butter, lemon juice, pecans, raisins, mayonnaise, relish, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce]

Corn State Broccoli Bake (Dinner for Two Week 14)

Lunch: Salad with honey poppy seed dressing, Watermelon cups, Nectarine or Orange

Dinner: Crispy chicken strips or Cheesy beef macaroni, Corn state broccoli bake or Citrus carrots, Cabbage

Corn State Broccoli Bake

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Crush a package of Chicken in a Bisket crackers. Combine with 1/2 cup of melted butter. Reserve 1/2 cup for topping. Combine a thawed package of chopped broccoli, a drained can of whole kernel corn, a can of cream-style corn, and remaining crumbs in a bowl.

Transfer to a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.

Citrus Carrots

Combine 3 Tbsp of orange juice, 1 tsp of melted butter, and 1/2 tsp of cumin. Set aside. Cut carrots into 3 inch chunks, then into matchstick strips. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add carrots. Cook for about 2 minutes. Drain. Place in a serving bowl. Drizzle with orange juice mixture.

They taste great served straight out of the serving bowl, but for extra presentation/style points, cut a bundle of green onions lengthwise into ribbon-like strips and tie up a serving-sized bundle of carrots. It should kind of look like a bundle of firewood. So cute!

Honey Poppy Seed Dressing

Combine 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, 1/4 cup of honey, 2 Tbsp of cider vinegar, 2 tsp of poppy seeds, and 1/2 tsp of salt in a small bowl or jar with tight-fitting lid. Mix or shake well. Store in the fridge.

Serve over a plain lettuce salad or fresh fruit.

Salad suggestion: Lettuce, endive, cucumber, green beans, green onions, grapefruit, and mango. Squeeze a lemon and grate a little zest over the whole thing. Also add any leftover dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and cheese you have kickin’ around.

Watermelon Cups

Dissolve a package of watermelon gelatin in 1 cup of boiling water in a bowl. Stir in 1 cup of cold water. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, slice 4 limes in half lengthwise. With small scissors or a sharp knife, cut the membrane at each end to loosen pulp from shell. Using fingertips, pull membrane and pulp away from shell. Discard pulp or save for another use.

Fold 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips into the gelatin. Spoon into lime shells. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Crispy Chicken Strips

Flatten 3/4 lb of chicken breasts to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into 1 inch strips. Combine 1/2 cup of mashed potato flakes and 1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Dip chicken in egg substitute equivalent to one egg, then in potato mixture. Cook chicken in 2 Tbsp of olive oil for 4-5 minutes in a skillet.

Cheesy Beef Macaroni

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 1 lb of ground beef over medium heat in a large skillet. Drain. Add a drained can of whole kernel corn and a can of cream of chicken soup. Shred 8 oz of Velveeta and set aside 1/2 cup for topping. Stir remaining cheese into meat mixture until melted. Cook elbow macaroni according to package directions. Gently stir in 2 1/2 cups of macaroni until coated.

Transfer to a greased baking dish. Top with reserved cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes.

SHOPPING LIST:

Egg substitute

8 oz process cheese (like Velveeta)

Orange juice

4 limes

Lemon

Grapefruit

Mango

6 nectarines

6 oranges

Lettuce

Cucumber

Endive

Cabbage

Green beans

2 bundles of green onions

1 lb carrots

1 lb ground beef

3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

Frozen chopped broccoli

Can of whole kernel corn (15 oz)

Can of cream-style corn (15 oz)

Cider vinegar

Elbow macaroni

Chicken in a Bisket crackers

Mashed potato flakes

Pkg of watermelon gelatin

Mini chocolate chips

Poppy seeds

Ground cumin

Gluten-Free Corn Flour

[Also needed: seasoned bread crumbs, olive oil, vegetable oil, honey, salt, butter]

Cinnamon, Spice, and Everything Nice Fruit Dip (Dinner for Two Week 13)

Breakfast: Coconut granola and strawberries

Lunch: Pasta bean or French bean salad, Fruit dip with apples, pears, strawberries, pineapple slices, apricots, and watermelon

Dinner: Ravioli casserole or Oven-roasted potatoes, Chayote squash or Chinese cabbage

Dessert: Cake

 

Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake

  1. Place 10 egg whites in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 1/4 cup of white rice flour, 1/4 cup of tapioca flour, and 1/4 cup of potato starch together twice. Set aside.
  2. Add 1 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar, 3/4 tsp of salt and 3/4 tsp of vanilla to egg whites. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold in flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.
  3. Gently spoon into an ungreased tube pan. Cut through the batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake on the lowest oven rack for 45-50 minutes. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.
  4. Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate. Top with fresh fruit. I recommend balls of cantaloupe, cape gooseberries, and kiwi as it makes the cake look more interesting that your typical berry mix. 

 

Coconut Granola

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine 3 cups of whole-rolled oats, 1/4 cup of chia seeds, 1/2 cup of raw sliced almonds, 1/2 cup of unsalted sunflower seeds, and 1/4 tsp of salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup of coconut oil, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and 1/4 cup of honey.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry , and mix well so the oat mixture is fully coated.
  5. Spread mixture in an even, single layer on the prepared baking sheet. (Work in batches or on multiple sheets if necessary!)
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  7. After removing the granola from the oven, stir in 1/2 cup of coconut flakes. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

 

Pasta Bean Salad

Cook a package of tricolor spiral pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, place a package of frozen California-blend vegetables in a glass dish. Cover and microwave for 7-8 minutes. Drain. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water.

Drain a can of sliced ripe olives and drain and rinse a can of your favorite beans. Combine pasta, vegetables, olives, and beans in a bowl. Combine 1 1/3 cups of Italian salad dressing and 1/2 tsp of garlic salt. Pour over salt and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

 

Ravioli Casserole                              I usually double the recipe using a second kind of ravioli for variety throughout the week

Preheat oven to to 350 degrees. Cook and drain a package of cheese ravioli. Spread 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce in an ungreased baking dish. Layer with half of the ravioli, 1 1/4 cups of spaghetti sauce, 1 cup of cottage cheese, and 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

[8-10 cups of cooked ravioli may be used instead]

 

Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice 2 lbs of red potatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Combine potatoes, 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, and an envelope of dry onion soup mix in a large Ziplock bag. Shake until well coated. Empty bag into an ungreased baking pan.

Cover and bake for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer.

 

Cinnamon ‘n’ Spice Fruit Dip

Combine 2 cups of whipped topping, 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg in a small bowl. Store in the fridge. Serve with fresh fruit – apples, pears, pineapple slices, and strawberries are best.

 

French Bean Salad

Cook and crumble 3 bacon strips. Combine 2 cups of thawed French-style green beans, 2 Tbsp of chopped onion, and bacon in a serving bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup of ranch salad dressing. Refrigerate until serving.

 

SHOPPING LIST:

Cottage cheese (16 oz)

Mozzarella cheese (16 oz)

Parmesan cheese

2 apples

2 pears

6 apricots

5 cape gooseberries

Kiwi

Pineapple

Watermelon

Cantaloupe

Chinese cabbage

3 chayote squash

2 pkgs of strawberries

2 lbs red potatoes

Onion

Bacon

Whipped topping

Frozen French-style green beans

Pkg of frozen cheese ravioli and pkg your favorite frozen ravioli other than cheese (28 oz ea)

Pkg of frozen California-blend vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)

Can of sliced ripe olives (2 oz)

Can of your favorite kind of beans

Can of whole kernel corn (15 oz)

Can of condensed cream of chicken soup (11 oz)

Ranch salad dressing

Spaghetti sauce (28 oz)

Coconut oil

Dry onion soup mix

Pkg of tricolor spiral pasta

[Also needed: brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vegetable oil, Italian salad dressing, garlic salt, salt, maple syrup, honey, coconut flakes, vanilla extract]

Chow Mein (Dinner for Two Week 12)

Lunch: Pasta salad, Pear or Rhubarb, Peanut butter popcorn bars

Dinner: Chicken and broccoli chow mein or Turkey and stuffing pie, Cooler

 

Tricolor Pasta Salad                              I usually double this one and sometimes add chickpeas

Cook a package of tricolor spiral pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, place a package of frozen California-blend vegetables in a glass dish. Cover and microwave for 7-8 minutes. Drain. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water.

Combine the pasta, vegetables, and a drained can of sliced ripe olives in a bowl. [Add chickpeas if using them.] Combine 1 – 1 1/3 cups of Italian salad dressing and 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of garlic salt. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving. 

 

Turkey and Stuffing Pie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If using raw turkey, cook 2 cups worth. If using deli, cube 2 cups worth. If using leftovers, shred 2 cups worth. Prepare 3 cups worth of stuffing (or use leftovers). Press stuffing onto the bottom and up the sides of a well-greased pie plate. Top with turkey and 1 cup of shredded Swiss cheese. Beat 3 eggs and 1/2 cup of milk. Pour over cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. 

 

Chicken and Broccoli Chow Mein

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook and cube 2 chicken breasts. Chop up broccoli. Combine a can of cream of chicken soup, a can of chicken with rice soup, and a can of evaporated milk in a bowl. Stir in chicken and broccoli. Transfer to a greased baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Stir. Sprinkle with chow mein noodles. Bake 5-10 minutes. 

 

Peanut Butter Popcorn Bars

Pop 3 bags of popcorn. Place in a large bowl. Set aside. Bring 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of light corn syrup to a boil in a pot over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. 

Stir in 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. Mix well. Pour over popcorn and mix under well coated. Press into a buttered pan. Cool slightly before cutting. 

 

Sunny Citrus Cooler

Combine a can of pineapple juice, 2 cans of thawed orange juice concentrate, and 3/4 cup of lemonade concentrate in a pitcher. Add 6 cups of ginger ale or white soda and mix well. Serve over ice. Garnish with orange slices. Refrigerate leftovers. 

 

SHOPPING LIST:

Swiss cheese

Eggs

Orange

6 pears

Rhubarb

Broccoli

Brussel sprouts

Celery

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Turkey (Leftovers, deli, or cook enough to get 2 cups worth)

2 pkgs of frozen California-blend vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots) [16 oz ea]

2 cans of frozen orange juice concentrate

Lemonade concentrate

Can of pineapple juice (46 oz)

Can of condensed cream of chicken soup

Can of condensed chicken with rice soup

Can of evaporated milk

Can of chow mein noodles

Can of chickpeas

2 cans of sliced ripe olives

Ginger ale or white soda

Light corn syrup

Popcorn

Stuffing

2 pkgs of tricolor spiral pasta (16 oz ea)

Whole-rolled oats

Chia seeds

Raw sliced almonds

Sunflower seeds

Garlic salt

[Also needed: sugar, vanilla, creamy peanut butter, milk, Italian salad dressing]

Week 51 – Turned into Italian week somehow…

Shopping List:

Pkg of frozen corn dogs (16 oz)

Pizza sauce

Ripe olives (Buy a small can or 3-6 loose olives if your grocery store has that option – Safeway does, which is where I shopped in college. You’ll be chopping them up anyway so it doesn’t matter if they are whole or sliced)

Jar of sliced mushrooms (4.5 oz)

Mozzarella cheese

2 pkgs of angel hair pasta with Parmesan cheese dinner mix (5 oz each) [If you can’t find these, see recipe below]

Can of tuna (12 oz)

Butter-flavored crackers

Pkg of mixed green salad

Garlic bread (or make your own – see below)

Blueberries

Butternut squash

Whole wheat pastry flour

Vanilla whey protein powder

Ground cloves

[Also needed: Italian seasoning, butter]

 

Lunch: Pizza corn dogs and blueberries

Dinner: Pasta, garlic bread, mixed green salad, and butternut squash

 

Butternut squash: They are so good for you, but so big that it’s hard to know what to do with all of it. I divided mine into quarter portions and cubed to eat differently over 4 nights. The first night I roasted it with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. The second night, I sauteed and adding it to my green salad with some blueberries as well. The third night I boil the cubes for 15(ish) minutes and then mashed with butter, salt, and pepper. The forth night I folded it into the pasta to switch it up. I don’t remember if I steamed it or sauted it before I did that though. I wouldn’t put it in the pasta the first night as it’s not the most ideal pairing. It was fine since it was towards the end of the week when I was getting a little bored leftover pasta anyway.  You could also make butternut squash soup out of it – one of my favorite things in the world, but you’ll need a few more ingredients for that and I couldn’t afford them at the time. Another grab option is folded into risotto – but again, this is something I usually only indulge in when my parents take me out to dinner…

 

Angel Hair Tuna

Prepare 2 packages of angel hair pasta with Parmesan cheese dinner mix according to package directions (or see guideline below). Drain and flake a can of tuna. Stir tuna and 1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning into pasta. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes to thicken. Crush 15 butter-flavored crackers (about 3/4 cup) and toss with 1/4 cup of melted butter. Sprinkle over top of pasta.

 

Pizza Corn Dogs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove sticks from a thawed package of corn dogs. Cut doughy ends off so that both ends are flat and then cut into 1 inch slices. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Spread with 1/2 cup of pizza sauce. Top with 3 Tbsp of chopped olives, a drained jar of sliced mushrooms, and 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

 

Homemade Angel Hair Pasta with Parmesan Cheese Guide

Prepare angel hair pasta according to package directions, except do not add butter, margarine, or salt to the water. After draining and rinsing the pasta, toss with either: 1 Tbsp of melted butter and 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese OR heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a small saucepan and add a dash of salt, a Tbsp of finely chopped fresh herbs or 1/2 Tbsp of dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, 2 Tbsp of chopped fresh parsley or 1/2 Tbsp of dried parsley, 2 cloves of sliced or minced garlic, and a dash of chili pepper flakes, heat for 1 minute, toss with pasta, and top with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper. You can leave out anything you don’t have. There isn’t really a right and wrong – just use this as a guideline!

 

Homemade Garlic Bread Guide

Slice a loaf of French or Italian bread (only slice off what you are going to eat that night). Mix together the following ratio – 2:1:1:0.5 of butter, olive oil, finely chopped fresh parsley (or dried parsley, but then only use a third), finely chopped garlic. So for example, mix together 1 Tbsp of butter, 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 Tbsp of fresh parsley or 1/8 Tbsp of dried parsley, and 1/4 Tbsp of garlic. Use a pastry brush to spread on bread. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (going with the ratios – Parmesan cheese would be a 4 – so if using 1 Tbsp of butter, use 2 Tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese). Wrap loaf in foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Then open foil and bake for 5 more minutes. OR, if you are only doing a couple slices, place on a baking sheet and broil. Every oven is different. Mine only takes a minute on each side so turn the light on in the oven and literally keep your eyes on it.

Week 40

Shopping List:

1 lb of uncooked medium shrimp (peeled and deveined preferably)

Pasta (Your choice)

1 1/2 lbs of turkey parts (breasts, legs, wings, whatever you want)

2 jars of apricot preserves (12 oz ea)

Envelope of onion soup mix

Rice

2 10-oz cans of diced tomatoes and chilies (you may have to buy tomatoes and green chilies separately if you can’t find together)

2 cans of whole kernel corn

Can of black beans

Cheddar cheese

Sour cream

5 peaches

Raisins

Eggs (Save 1 whole egg and 4 egg whites for next week)

Unsweetened applesauce (Save 1/2 cup for next week)

[Also needed: soy sauce, lemon juice, chili sauce, ginger root]

 

Breakfast: Eggs and applesauce

Lunch: Soup and a peach

Dinner: Turkey casserole or shrimp pasta

 

Fast Fiesta Soup

Combine 2 10 oz cans of diced tomatoes and chilies, a can of drained whole kernel corn, and a can of drained and rinsed black beans in a pot. Heat through. Garnish bowl with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream, if you want.

 

Apricot Turkey Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook rice according to package directions. Place in an ungreased baking dish. Place 1 1/2 lbs of turkey parts in a hot skillet with a bit of oil or butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and any other spices you like with poultry. Sear for 5 minutes on each side. Place on top of rice. Drain a can of whole kernel corn and pour on top of turkey. Combine 2 jars of apricot preserves and an envelope of onion soup mix. Pour on top of turkey and rice. Bake for 15-30 minutes or until turkey is fully cooked. (Time will vary depending on what kind of turkey pieces you chose. Breasts take longer than wings, for example)

 

Shrimp Pasta

Combine 3 Tbsp of soy sauce, 2 Tbsp of lemon juice, 1 Tbsp of chili sauce, and 1 Tbsp of minced ginger root in a bowl. Mix well. Pour half the mixture into a Ziplock and add 1 lb of uncooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp. Seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Saute shrimp in a skillet until almost finished. Add remaining marinade and heat through. Pour on top of pasta and toss.

 

Week 29

Shopping List:

24 mushrooms

Bacon

1 1/4 lbs of Italian sausage links

1 or 2 small zucchinis

Yellow summer squash

Onion

Can of stewed tomatoes

Rice

Your favorite pasta

1 lb ground beef

Can of tomato soup

Can of chili beans in gravy

Watercress

5 apricots

[Also needed: BBQ sauce, chili powder]

 

Lunch: Chili, mushroom bites, and an apricot

Dinner: Italian sausage skillet and watercress

 

Quick Chili

Cook 1 lb ground beef over medium heat in a pot. Drain. Add can of condensed tomato soup, a can of chili beans in gravy, and 3 tsp of chili powder. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water if you like your chili thinner.

 

Italian Sausage Skillet

Brown 1 1/4 lbs of Italian sausage links in a skillet over medium heat. Drain. Cut sausage into 1/4-inch slices. Return to the skillet to brown completely.

Add 1 or 2 small cubed zucchinis, a cubed yellow summer squash, and 1/2 a chopped onion. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in a 14 1/2 oz can of stewed tomatoes. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve over rice or pasta.

 

Mushroom Bacon Bites

Wash 24 mushrooms. Never submerge mushrooms in water – they’ll absorb too much water and become mushy. Just rinse in cold water and dry with paper towel just before using. Cut 12 bacon strips in half. Wrap each mushroom with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Thread onto metal or soaked bamboo skewers. Brush with 1 cup of BBQ sauce.

Grill, uncovered, over indirect medium heat for 10-15 minutes, turning and basting occasionally with remaining BBQ sauce.