Sunday, January 30, 2011

this week's plan (on a soapbox): 1/31 - 2/6

It's high time I bring back the "dine in, not out" lo-goal, don't you think?  Well, I do :)  Now, don't get me wrong... I LOVE eating out.  It's seriously my favorite thing to do!  No joke.  But, I believe eating at home is more important.  And I believe meal planning is VERY important.  If you want to strengthen family relationships, you eat meals together.  If you want to lose weight, and make your wallets fat, you plan your meals.  I believe food has the power to bring people together, and to bring out the best in them!

I used to plan an entire month's worth of meals.  I know people who plan a year's worth of meals!  I've found that planning a week at a time work's best for me nowadays.  And I've been really happy with my meal themes.  Because it works.  For me.  But that doesn't mean it'll work for you.  Plan according to your goals and needs.  Make it work for you!  And then try to follow said plan.  Sometimes that's the hardest part...

With that being said, here's my menu:

Mexican Monday: Salmon Fish Tacos
Oriental Tuesday:  Healthier General Tso Chicken with brown rice
Twisted Wednesday: leftovers
Authentic Thursday:  butternut squash mac & cheese with veggie meatballs
TGIFriday: hamburgers with potato salad and applesauce
Super Saturday:  DATE NIGHT
Special Sunday: vegetable shepherd's pie and apple slices with yogurt dip

Now link-up and see if you can get anyone else on the meal planning bandwagon ;)

<div align="center"><a href="" title="Beth's Mess"><img src="" alt="Beth's Mess" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

how to cook tofu, part III

Last week I prepped my tofu, and then I boiled it.  And then I simmered it in a super yummy coconut curry (recipe coming soon)!  Current verdict: frozen tofu is best.  My husband even said something like, "I don't mind this tofu, but you should have cooked it like you did last time.  I liked it then.  It tasted better and was... meatier."  So there you have it folks!  From the voice of a convicted meat-lover ;)  I have one more tofu experiment before I declare frozen tofu the winner.  Next up: marinated tofu.

And so our tofu series continues!  I'll keep you posted.  *B

Sunday, January 23, 2011

this week's plan: 1/24 - 1/30

I think I figured out how to set up a link list, huzzah!  Thanks to Candra for participating, and thanks to Jessica for suggesting such a yummy recipe :)  Now, here's my menu:

Mexican Monday: Nachos with wannabe taco meat
Oriental Tuesday: curried tofu with veggies and brown rice
Twisted Wednesday: pancakes with fried eggs and bacon
Authentic Thursday: Minestrone soup with roasted garlic crostinis
TGIFriday: Sloppy Joe Schmoe's with spiced fries and applesauce
Super Saturday: DATE NIGHT
Special Sunday: tortilla crusted Tilapia, roasted asparagus, and wild rice with mushrooms

Sunday, January 16, 2011

this week's plan: 1/17 - 1/23

My goal this week is to find a new recipe to try next week.  I think I get too comfortable making my own recipes...  Let me know if there's something I just HAVE to try!  Especially if it's a recipe in need of a little healthification ;)

Mexican Monday: burritos with wannabe taco meat
Oriental Tuesday: fancy Ramen
Twisted Wednesday: scrambled eggs and apple cinnamon french toast made with better bread
Authentic Thursday:  Pesto Alfredo fettuccine with grilled chicken and roasted broccoli and mushrooms
TGIFriday: tuna melts with carrot sticks and apple slices
Super Saturday: DATE NIGHT
Special Sunday: BBQ Chicken with twice baked potatoes and sweet mustard green beans

All right Candra et al., time to link up :) Thanks for sharing and happy eating!  *B

Pesto Alfredo Sauce

We made this the other night, with grilled chicken and roasted broccoli and mushrooms.  Boy howdy, it's good!  I'm proud to be an Italian ;)

  • 2 cans of evaporated milk
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 12 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (the real stuff)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • a dash or two of nutmeg
  • 1/4 c. pesto
  • 1 package fettuccine, cooked
  1. Heat milk and butter over medium heat until butter is melted and it starts to boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low.  Add cheese a handful at a time, stirring until smooth.
  3. Add seasoning and allow sauce to thicken.  Stir in pesto and remove from heat.  Blend with a handmixer if sauce isn't smooth.
  4. Add a cup of sauce to fettuccine.  Spoon additional sauce over pasta, chicken, broccoli and mushrooms when served.
This isn't the healthiest recipe out there, by any means.  Your traditional Alfredo sauce calls for cream...  I opt for evaporated milk instead.  This makes enough for five people, plus seconds AND leftovers!  So feel free to cut the recipe in half.  Enjoy!  *B

Sunday, January 09, 2011

this week's plan: 1/10 - 1/16

A couple/few years ago when I started this blog, I had a meal plan contest.  That was FUN.  I want to do it again!  I'll have to figure out how set up a link program... but I think it would be FUN to motivate each other to be more consistent in our meal planning and to plan more healthy meals.  Shoot, we could be crazy and vow to never eat out for one month (I did that once, remember?)!  Because I think that would kinda be FUN, too.  Seriously though.  FUN stuff.  We should brainstorm further.

Mexican Monday: Enchilada soup with avocado chunks and tortilla strips.
Oriental Tuesday: Kung Pow tofu with veggies and brown jasmine rice
Twisted Wednesday: leftovers that I pulled out of the freezer and have no idea what it is (please tell me I'm not the only one this happens to)
Authentic Thursdays: butternut squash mac & cheese with veggie meatballs
TGIFridays: Chicken Salad sandwiches with Veggie Straws and Blueberry Smoothies
Super Saturday:  DATE NIGHT!!!
Special Sunday:  dinner at the folks :)

For those who want to participate this week (so far I have two, yay!), leave a link to your meal plan in the comments.  I need to be better about perusing through cooking blogs, because it's FUN.  And I really would love to see what you've got cooking.  And I'd really love to tell other people what you've got cooking.  So we can all have FUN planning and healthifying our meals together.  Feedback is FUN for everyone!  Don't you think?  Happy eating  *B

how to cook tofu, part II

I did it!!!  I discovered the secret to making tofu taste less like.... tofu.  And I simultaneously figured out how to make it more firm, and.... meaty.  Total tofu success, my friends :)  The last time I prepped tofu, I squished it flat.  And then I cut it all up into little tiny (cute?) cubes.  Half of it I browned in a skillet with butter.  The other half I froze.  Fast forward to last Tuesday: I threw in my frozen cubes of tofu alongside my frozen veggies and cooked up your basic stir fry.  And then I topped it all with peanut sauce.  You can never go wrong with peanut sauce.  And you know, it tasted better than the last time I smothered tofu in peanut sauce!  The only difference was that I used frozen tofu this time around.  So that's the secret: frozen tofu.  Press it.  Cube it.  Freeze it.  Cook it.  Eat it.  The end.

I'm going to try boiling it next.  But I am so pleased with the results a la freezer, I'm tempted to forego the boiling and call it good.  Nonetheless, I will prevail!  And as always, I'll keep you posted.  *B

Sunday, January 02, 2011

this week's plan: 1/3 - 1/9

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  I hope 2011 is full of good food :)

Mexican Monday: Awesome Meatless Chili with Rockin' Corn Muffins
Oriental Tuesday: tofu and veggie stir fry with spicy yogurt peanut sauce
Twisted Wednesday: garden veggie quiche with better bread and sweet cran-raspberry "jam"
Authentic Thursday: butternut squash soup with mushroom and spinach paninis
TGIFriday: veggie/chicken burgers with spiced fries and apple slices with almond butter
Super Saturday: DATE NIGHT!!!
Special Sunday:  roasted chicken with sweet mustard green beans and savory rosemary sweet potatoes

And I'm just going to throw this out there, but anyone interested in linking up meal plans?  I know I brainstorm best off of others' ideas ;)  I've never done a link party... But if you're interested in sharing (please say yes), then leave a link to your plan.  Come on, it's a new year.  Let's make it a yummy one!  *B