Posts tagged ‘spinach’

April 24, 2013

Meal plan week of 4/21

I was inspired by Deriving Mommyhood’s meal plan post to put ours up. I put together a meal plan every week, since otherwise it would be way too easy to just order pizza or go out.

Several days have to be fast and easy since we have plenty of evening activities, but that’s the case pretty much every week. We usually have sandwiches of some kind on Girl Scout night, since I’ve got an extra kid to feed (one of the Scouts) and we all have to be fed and at the meeting on time (well, I like to be there early to set up).

So here’s this week’s plan, which we’ve stuck to so far, along with recipe links:

Sunday: Italian wedding soup, bread

(Meatless!) Monday: hummus, pita, carrots, celery

Tuesday: crock pot mac & cheese, sausage, salad

Wednesday: baked potato soup, roasted broccoli (my modifications: toss florets with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice; roast at 425 for 20 mins)

Thursday: BLTs, fruit

Friday: Chicago-style hot dogs, fries, salad

Saturday: caprese pasta skillet, sausage, salad (this may become a pizza night due to schedule demands, and we’ll push everything back a day)

Sunday: Italian tilapia, pasta, salad (we use about 2 tbsps oil and add dried basil and oregano to the panko for the fish). This is a great emergency meal since everything for the main course can come from the pantry or freezer, it takes less than 20 minutes to make, and you can sub in frozen green veggies for the salad.)

The baked potato soup and caprese skillet are new this week, from Iowa Girl Eats, which is my new favorite food blog. Everything I’ve tried from her site has been great, including the Italian wedding soup, which is a semi-permanent fixture in our meal plans because we love it so much.

I’m looking forward to the baked potato soup tonight, despite the fact that it is 70 degrees here in CNY today! Guess I’m going to have to stop planning so many soup dinners soon… but we should also be able to pull the grill back out soon.

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December 6, 2012

Recipe review: Italian sausage soup

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I found this recipe for Italian sausage soup on my friend Eulalia’s blog. Like E, I  used pork sausage (my reason was b/c that’s what I could get without casings at the store and I only had a limited amount of time to make dinner). I also used plain diced tomatoes and added some garlic and oregano, so that I could use the no salt tomatoes. I didn’t really measure the spinach, I used most of a bag. We did use fresh basil – my transplanted herbs are doing pretty well inside! The parsley is actually doing better inside than out.

J and I thought the soup was awesome, although it was more of a stew (could have used more broth). The kids rejected the tomatoes and spinach, but thought the broth, pasta and sausage were good. Typical. We’ll still make it again – got to keep making the kids eat their veggies (and fruit). I’d probably double the recipe next time, this made just enough for the four of us.

October 23, 2012

Recipe review: Sauteed Shrimp with Baby Spinach and Tomatoes – Food on the Table

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Tonight for dinner we made Sauteed shrimp with baby spinach and tomatoes from Food on the Table. I used some of the heirloom tomatoes from the garden instead of cherry tomatoes. We had this over some spinach fettucini.

This was a delicious, super-fast, easy and healthy dinner! Sadly, the kids didn’t enjoy it as much as I did, so I don’t think we will be making it again for a while. I’m liking the ease of these Food on the Table recipes – short ingredient lists, but all “real food.”

October 20, 2012

Recipe review: Food on the Table’s Sausage and Tortellini Soup

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We’ve been continuing to try out the recipes on Food on the Table. Up for today: Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup. This dish cost a bit more than we normally spend on a dinner (I think it was about $20 all told, including the bread we had on the side) but we all ate until we were full at dinner and had about 2 quarts left over, so it was decent (although not great) on the price. It was, however, 20 minutes from start to table – which is awesome in my book.

W ate the sausage and pasta; KG did as well, plus a little bit of the broth. We did the veggies as “add your own” – you’ll note we modified the recipe a bit and used mixed frozen veggies instead of green beans. We also added some fresh spinach, chopped roughly to make it more spoon-sized; used the 20-ounce package of fresh tortellini from the refrigerator section of the grocery store; and added about 4 cups water plus 3 teaspoons chicken broth granules. Oh, and we used poultry sausage instead of pork (although that wasn’t specified in the recipe).

Will we make this again? Definitely. Will we probably swap out some ingredients to make it a little more budget-friendly? Absolutely.

August 31, 2012

Healthy breakfasts on the go

This post is for a friend of mine, who is looking for quick, easy breakfast options.

I’ve posted a few different muffin recipes on here before:

PB&J muffins – not the easiest to make, but very filling and lots of protein.

Low-fat banana muffins – pretty easy, this is my twist on a banana bread recipe

Chocolate Chip Zucchini muffins – the kids and I loved these!

Here are some others that I have made, and my substitutions.

Chef Meg’s Zucchini muffins – I omitted the pecans and flax meal, and used orange juice concentrate instead of pineapple (couldn’t find pineapple). I also got 24 muffins out of the batter instead of 18, so these were less than 90 calories each – score. My “makeover” is here.

Lemon-Zucchini Loaf  – I made this as muffins, so they are easier to serve for breakfast on school days. I used applesauce instead of oil. If possible, zest two lemons, for even more lemony flavor – and don’t skimp on the glaze, which really keeps these moist and adds to the lemony goodness. These come out to about 108 calories, 1 g fat, 23.1 g carbs, 2.2 g protein each.

Banana Oatmeal muffins – I dropped the sugar to 1/4 cup, and have made this with both regular and Greek yogurt. Greek is good for the extra protein, but regular will work if it’s all you have on hand. I’ve also made this same recipe with blueberries and nectarines instead of bananas – you want about 1.5 cups of pureed fruit. These come out to about 117 calories, 2.2 g fat, 21g carbs, 4.8 g protein each (with the 1/4c sugar and Greek yogurt).

Non-muffin ideas

Breakfast cookies – These are just as good as the Quaker ones! There are lots of options on this blog, we did ours with fresh blueberries and they were sooo good. I’ve been wanting to try the carrot ones, but am waiting until I can get carrots at the farmer’s market again.

Another breakfast option is baked eggs – combo those with a slice of low-fat cheese and put them on an English muffin, and you’ve got a McDonald’s-esque Egg McMuffin without having to stop at the drive-thru. You can make enough for the week and store them, just like hard-boiled eggs but less mess.

Fruit or fruit and yogurt smoothies are a popular in our house – we tried this Mixed Fruit Smoothie today and it was a HUGE hit – can’t argue with getting the kids to drink their spinach! Can easily be made the night before, poured into a shake-able drink container, and you’re out the door.

Finally, you can make a crustless quiche – good for Sunday breakfast, then leftovers for the rest of the week (although these do require a fork, but since they are pre-made, it’s just a matter of a quick 30-second zap in the microwave, so they might be able to be snuck into a morning routine). Link goes to my makeover of another SparkRecipe – I used real eggs instead of eggbeaters and 1% milk instead of fat-free, because that’s what we buy, then divided it into eight pieces instead of six because that’s just easier.

April 6, 2011

Italian Wedding Soup

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Last week was cold and rainy – so we made soup several times. This was our favorite – note the kids’ spinach in yet another dish!

I adapted this recipe from Slow Cooker Favorites Made Healthy. The recipe instructions were to make your own meatballs – I cheated and bought frozen turkey meatballs. I just threw the frozen meatballs in the bottom of the slow cooker, topped them with chopped fennel & onion, minced garlic, dried basil & oregano, and chicken broth. Then turned the cooker to low and left it for 10 hours. The orzo cooked for about 5 minutes at the end, and I put the fresh spinach in the bottom of everyone’s bowls before serving, so it wouldn’t overcook.

Delish! I don’t normally cook with fennel and I loved it in this soup. I sold it to the kids as “meatball soup” and they dug in. Made great leftovers, too.

March 22, 2011

Sneaky Chef: P B & J muffins; Hi-Fi Fish Sticks

I am very behind on updating this blog – my apologies! We have now made four different Sneaky Chef recipes, and here are reviews of two:

1) PB&J muffins

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I used almond butter instead of peanut butter, as we haven’t introduced W (age 2) to peanuts yet. I also used what I thought was fairly thick jam (Polaner All Fruit), but as you can see, it still melted into the muffins quite a lot. I also made 12 muffins instead of the 8 the recipe called for, since that’s what’s in a normal muffin pan.  These were pretty darn yummy. KG loved making them – she helped stir, put the batter in the muffin pan, and put the jelly, too.

These muffins are (not surprisingly) super-filling. We had them for breakfast before church and no one complained about being hungry until lunch – a definite win in my book!

2) Hi-Fi Fish Sticks

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I owe this meal to In the Kitchen with Audrey – I liked her idea so much I had to try it. I did, however, switch things around. I baked the fish and fried the hush puppies. The fish sticks were good – everyone really liked the breading, which contains ground almonds. The hush puppies, which I made with chopped spinach, were a huge hit.

The surprise win of the meal was the salad – the kids went nuts for baby spinach. KG thinks it’s basil, which she loves, and really likes that each leaf has a “handle.” We’ve had spinach several times since, and both kids still are enjoying it!