Touch of Nectar

Meatballs are one staple thing I keep in the freezer. I often add shredded zucchini or yellow squash to them in an attempt to healthy them up.

Then I was sent this sample.

Mostly made of soy. One of the suggestions on the label said it could be mixed with ground beef for a healthier burger.  Well now. Ground turkey was on sale this week for buy one get one free and I intended to make meatballs anyway… Perfect.

It certainly doesn’t look like much right out of the package.

I added two pounds of ground turkey and one egg. It made lots of meatballs!  I put 5 packages of 10 each in the freezer. Yay me!

The meatballs turned out very nicely. You can’t tell I added anything to them and they have a nice dense texture.


The Menu this Week. April 16-22 2011

As usual, these are not in the order that I will make them. Fruit/dessert on the menu this week is pineapple, bananas, pears and oranges.  Do you see a theme with this week’s menu? Hubby brought the barbecue back from our property. It is one way I can get him to help me cook dinner. Shhh… don’t tell him I said that!

I’m super excited because the farmer’s market near my house is now open. You can expect to see lots of fresh fruit and veggies in the upcoming menus. I have asparagus to use but I haven’t decided what I want to make yet. Maybe a white bean and asparagus salad?

I bought half a ham for the kebabs, and only need a small portion of it, so I will make a ham and bean soup in the crock pot to freeze. I will also freeze a portion of diced ham for quick omelets or quiches. I love having a well-stocked freezer!

Sat – CORN/Leftovers Night

Sun – Olympic Burgers #   from 365 Grilling Recipes

Mon – Ham and Pineapple Kebabs #445833 from 365 Grilling Recipes

Tues – Chicken Sandwich with Lemon Basil Mayo #451586 from Eat Well Stay Well

Wed – Pork chops (TBD),  Dijon Parsley Potatoes from George Foreman

Thurs – Grilled Chicken Fajitas from 365 20 Minutes Meals (make double and freeze half), Salsa Fresca Mexicana from 365 Mexican Recipes, Rice

Fri – Watercress and Cucumber Salad with Fresh Tuna from George Foreman, sliced tomatoes

Breakfasts – Sunday, unless we go out to breakfast. Almond Pancakes from Beyond the Moon (didn’t get made last week) and fresh fruit
Muffins (TBD)

Lunches – (smaller portions of the recipes) Grilled Pear Salad with Parmesan from 365 Grilling Recipes
Shredded Carrot Salad # from 365 Grilling Recipes
Dessert – Applesauce Cake #451271 from Spices of the World (didn’t get made last week)

{March 29, 2011}   Quick and Delicious Dinner

My menu plan for last night more or less got thrown out the window for various reasons. I keep plain chicken breast in the freezer for just that sort of occurance.

I thawed the chicken and found a simple and fast recipe in my 365 Great 20 Minute Recipes cookbook (out of print? I can’t find a link)

The recipe is called Ginger Chicken Saute and it really did take me only 20 minutes to get dinner on the table.  This is recipe #106 of Project 365I had rice already cooked in the fridge, so I heated that up with a tiny bit of water in the microwave. Meanwhile I also sauteed some snap peas and yellow squash.

Dinner is served! Yum! Very gingery.

This could also be done as a make-ahead or OAMC meal if you make the marinade and freeze the chicken. Just cook and eat in that case. Easy Peasy! I will make this again for sure. Hubby inhaled it too, which is always a bonus.

Restocking the freezer this week.  Some doubling up on recipes throughout the week.   Ground turkey is on sale at Safeway for buy one get one free, so I’ll be making a HUGE batch of meatballs to freeze. I also want to restock my freezer with roasted red bell pepper and tomato soup.  I might throw some beans in the crockpot for some sort of freezable stew later this week too. I bought a giant package of chicken breasts, so those will go in the freezer in at least 3 different marinades. (to be determined)

As of today, I am at 99/365 recipes. As always, these are in no particular order.  (Already changing the menu since I forgot a few things at the store last night…)

Sat 26 Shrimp and Snow Pea Stir Fry – Cooking Light 04
Steamed rice, dumplings (freezer)

Sun 27 – Mini Meatloaves – Cooking Light 2004 (make double) and Twice Baked Potatoes (make at least double. hubby loves these)

Mon 28 Pork Chili with Greens – 1001 Slow Cooker  and Sweet Corn Cheddar Pancakes From Asparagus to Zucchini

Tue 29Sage Stuffed Chicken Breasts – George Foreman Green Beans (wondering if this would freeze well?)

Wed 30 – CORN/Leftovers night (might change since I won’t be around this weekend to cook)

Thur 31 Pork and Fennel Ragu – Cooking Light 2004 Rice, Bread, Salad

Fri 1 – Off to Canada! I’m teaching a 4 hour backcountry cooking class. So not ready! Hubby and kidling to eat leftovers or eat pizza.

BreakfastsStrawberry Cinnamon Muffins – Cooking Light 2005 and Ginger Dessert Waffles – Spices of the World

LunchesGreen Apple Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette – Cooking Light 2004 and  Tarragon Tuna Salad – Spices of the World and and Potato Salad with Parsley and Chives – Cooking Light 2004 (for hubby. Didn’t get made from previous menu) Slaw of some sort? I have green cabbage to use up.

Dessert Applesauce Cake Spices of the World (made with home canned applesauce) I also picked up an angelfood cake at the store – to be served topped with Cool Whip and home-canned berries.

The Menu this Week. March 19-25 2011

It’s official! I am ¼ of the way through Project 365. I have made 92 recipes. Only 273 left to go! I am about 2 weeks ahead of schedule, but I’m anticipating a lot of days in April and later this summer when I will not be cooking at all.

Dinners this week are mostly from the pantry. Pretty much the only things I need from the store this week is a pound of hamburger and a large package of chicken.

As usual, these are most likely not in the order that I will make them. I’ve been trying to get the husband and kidling to eat more fruits and vegetables so I will also serve melon, grapes, pineapple and/or oranges with dinner. And bread. Always with the bread.

SatCanton Chicken and Rice  from 1001 Low Fat

Sun – Chicken Stew with Parsley Dumplings (my own stew from the freezer) from 1001 Low Fat

Mon – Pork Schnitzel from Rachael Ray’s 365 No Repeats and Rice Pilaf with Shallots and Parmesan from Cooking Light 2004

TuesPasta Shells with Tuscan Tuna from Cooking Light 2004

Wed – Beef and Been Burritos from 1001 Low Fat and Zucchini with Oregano and Sun dried tomatoes from Asparagus to Zucchini and Herbed Polenta from 1001 More Low Fat

Thurs – Knit night. Hubby and kidling to eat leftovers or order pizza.

Fri – Fettuccini with Chicken Piccata from 1001 More Low Fat

Breakfasts – Almond Pancakes from Beyond the Moon and Muffins (undecided. Strawberry?)

Lunches – (also doubles as side dishes) Potato Salad with Parsley and Chives from Cooking Light 2004, Macaroni Salad from 1001 More Low Fat, Armenian Bean Salad from Asparagus to Zucchini and Egg Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes from Beyond the Moon.

Dessert – Double Crust Blueberry Pie from 1001 Low Fat (made with home-canned blueberries)

What’s in your pantry? Do you keep it well stocked so that you can make dinner in minutes?

Basic things I keep in my pantry are a wide variety herbs and spices, canned beans (garbanzo, white and kidney), chicken and beef broth, canned tuna, cream of xx soups, canned corn and tomatoes, dried pasta, rice, lentils, barley, quinoa, olives, sun dried tomatoes and jars of pasta sauce. In addition, I almost always have macaroni and cheese mixes, as well as Bisquick and corn muffin mix.

In the freezer is lots of frozen fruit and vegetables. I usually have a couple of pounds of hamburger and bacon as well has home made soups – especially chicken. We love the fish in marinades that I can find at Trader Joes.

What can I make from all this stuff? Here’s two ideas for you. Both use pantry items and take less than 30 minutes to make. Add some bread and salad or fruit and dinner is done in no time.

First, Chunky Beef Chili from my Eat Well Stay Well cookbook.

This serves 4 and has 443 calories per serving. I served it with some corn bread muffins and sliced oranges. I made the muffins first and let them bake while I assembled the rest of dinner.

Sauté 3 minced scallions, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and ½ teaspoon oregano in 2 teaspoons oil for one minute.

Add 1 pound of ground beef and stir until browned.

Add 1 cup of corn, a 16 oz can of red kidney beans and a 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes.

Simmer for 5 minutes and serve.

Another good pantry meal is Fusilli with Tomatoes, Spinach and Prosciutto (Zaar Link).  Serve this with some crusty bread and fresh melon.

I have made lots of variations of this same dish, switching out the prosciutto for bacon or pancetta and the spinach for arugula or kale. Use whatever tomatoes you have on hand. I used canned and fresh this time around.

Finally! I’m back to my blog and back bento-ing! It has been too long. I spent the last couple of days looking at all of the fabulous bentos on Flickr.

Got inspired.

 The back contains miso chicken, lentil-tomato-basil salad abd applesauce. The front contains rice pilaf and veggies. More lentil salad under the rice.The flowers are made of purple potato and japanese yam. Pomegranite centers. Fun! I think the dragonfly needs a head though, don’t you?

Yesterday’s bento was a mish-mash of stuff out of the refrigerator. Usually my bentos are dinner leftovers, but there were no dinner leftovers!

I always have  lots of fruits and veggies in the fridge, so there’s always something to eat and/or put inmy lunch. I like my rabbit food!

Cottage cheese, cherries and quail eggs. Strawberry jello, lichis and blueberries.

In the front: Teriyaki tofu, veggies and rice with vegetable furikake. There is Green Goddess Dressing in the little container.

I didn’t end up eating the rice. It was a bit dry. Would have been good to make fried rice out of though. Oh well.

I swear I wasn’t going for any sort of theme here. It is so bright and yellow! The Sunshine Bento! lol.  Once again, I had no dinner leftovers (except the peas) so I was winging it for lunch.

I pulled the pesto turkey patties out of the freezer. Even the paper liner they are in is yellow gingham. Tucked behind them are a couple of cheese wedges.

Pineapple, raspberries (I bought WAY too many!) and fresh mango. Dang it! I forgot my cut e picks yet again.

A big salad in the back. Nothing spectacular. Just greens and veggies. Green Goddess dressing in the little cup. Again, I didn’t pick the yellow one on purpose! That was the one that was clean!

I also have some wasabi rice crackers for a snack. After eating one last night, I don’t know if I will be able to eat them. They are eye-wateringly spicy! Might have to have chocolate instead. Oh, poor me. lol.

{June 5, 2009}   Bento #39 – Leftovers

a homemade hamburger helper type dish with hamburger, rice, onions, garlic, tomatoes, corn and taco seasoning
carrots, zucchini and grape tomatoes

not shown: bread and ranch dressing for dipping. I also have a bowl of strawberries and watermelon for breakfast/snack

{May 31, 2009}   A Buncha Bentos #33, 34, 35

I’ve been doing the bento thing for lunch. I’ve even been taking photos. Getting them posted on the blog is a whole other story! Here are three recent ones.  Lots of salad! It’s summertime! 🙂

The first, #33, is a tossed green salad, topped with a lentil and corn salad (in a red wine vinaigrette), leftover honey mustard pork tenderloin and fresh strawberries and watermelon.

The second, #34, is another tossed salad, topped with leftover peas, cottage cheese topped with canned diced peaches, a leftover chicken leg and dressing for the salad. I stuck a few mango gummy candies in this one after I had taken the photo.

The last, #35, has more salad, with sliced radishes, canned peaches, three bean salad (from the deli – it was a little on the sweet side), and leftover (homemade) fake hamburger helper.

et cetera