Week Summary for 10/13

Here the list of all the groceries that are needed for the recipes during the week of October 13th, 2013.  I have also included the link to the recipes below:

Cuban Baked Chicken and Yellow Rice

Greek Pasta Bake

Teriyaki Salmon and Rice Noodles

Produce

  • baby spinach – 2 bags
  • cherry tomatoes – 2 pints
  • crimini mushrooms – 16 ounces
  • garlic cloves – 5
  • leek – 2
  • mushrooms – 16 ounces
  • onion – 2
  • red pepper – 1
  • yellow pepper – 1

Dairy

  • butter – just over 1/2 cup
  • eggs – 3
  • milk – 4 cups
  • parmesan cheese – 1 1/4 cup

Herbs/spices

  • allspice – 1/2 tsp
  • cinnamon – 1 tbsp
  • cumin – 1/2 tsp
  • nutmeg – sprinkle
  • oregano – 2 tsp
  • pepper
  • salt
  • turmeric – 1/2 tsp

Frozen goods

  • peas 1 1/2 cups
  • sugar snap peas – 2 pounds

Pantry Items

  • flour – 1 cup
  • mirin – 4 tbsp
  • olive oil
  • red wine, dry – 1/2 cup
  • rice – 1 1/2 cups
  • rice noodles – 3 packages
  • soy sauce – 1 cup
  • sugar – 4 tsp
  • tomato paste – 1/4 cup
  • veggie stock – 3 cups
  • tomatoes, whole – 1 can
  • ziti – 1 pound

Meat (optional)

  • ground turkey – 2 pounds
  • salmon – 2 pounds
  • whole chicken – 1

Feel free to leave me your feedback about the recipes or let me know if you have any questions.

Here’s to easy cooking!

Stacy

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*Greek Pasta Bake recipe

This recipe was such a great way to make lots of food all at once.  The pound of pasta easily makes 10 servings when you serve a vegetable on the side.  It is rich and delicious and is sure to be a family favorite.  The bechamel sauce on tops makes for a beautiful, brown topping over the pasta.

It might look like a complicated recipe, but it is really just 3 sections…the meat sauce, the bechamel and the pasta itself.  Don’t let the multiple parts overwhelm you as you can do them all very quickly.

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the meat sauce:

  • olive oil
  • ground turkey – 2 lbs (you can use ground lamb or beef, but I used turkey for a healthier option)
  • onion, chopped – 1
  • garlic, minced – 3 cloves
  • red wine, dry – 1/2 cup
  • tomato paste – 1/4 cup
  • cinnamon – 1 tbsp
  • allspice – 1/2 tsp
  • whole tomatoes, canned – 1 (14 oz)
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the bechamel

  • butter, unsalted – 1/2 cup
  • flour – 1 cup
  • milk, 1% – 5 cups
  • parmesan, grated – 1 cup
  • egg yolks – 3
  • nutmeg – 1 pinch
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the pasta

  • ziti – 1 lb
  • olive oil – drizzle
  • egg whites – 3
  • parmesan – 1/4 cup

The first step is to start heating your pasta water.  Be sure to add plenty of salt!

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Put your five cups of milk in a pot and begin to heat over medium-high heat.  Be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t scorch!

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add a drizzle of olive oil.  Once the oil is hot, add the onions.

photo 1

Cook onions for about 5 minutes until they start to become translucent.

Add the ground turkey and garlic to the pan.

photo 2

Cook until turkey is browned.

photo 3

Add the red wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, cinnamon and allspice.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 25 minutes.

photo 4

While the sauce is cooking, start your bechamel.

Tip:  Your water should be close to boiling now.  Once it is, add your pasta and cook as directed.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Add the flour and whisk.

photo 5

Add the scalded milk and whisk until smooth.

photo 11

Remove sauce from heat and add parmesan, egg yolks, nutmeg and salt and pepper.  Stir to incorporate.

Tip:  Sauce should be thick enough that it covers the back of a spoon.

Pasta should be done by now.  Drain.

Add egg whites, a drizzle of olive oil and parmesan to pasta.  Stir to incorporate.

photo 21

Now you are ready to bake it:

Layer the sauce on the bottom of a large casserole dish.

photo 31

Add the noodles on top of the sauce.

photo 41

Cover the noodles with the bechamel sauce.

photo 51

Bake this in the oven for 45 minutes until top is golden brown.

photo

Can you even handle how good that looks!  The bechamel looks beautiful on top!  I was able to cut this into 10 pieces and serve alongside some snap peas.  The recipe can be found here:

Italian Snap Peas with Tomatoes

photo 46

Enjoy!  This was a hit in our household all around!

September 22, 2013: Full week recipes and grocery list

As promised, here is the summary for this past week of food, including our final recipe for Mac and Veggies!  Just to recap, this week we made Thai Noodles (with tofu or chicken), Zucchini Lou and Mac and Veggies!

photo 41Thai Chicken with Rice Noodles

photo 4

Zucchini Lou

photoMac and Veggies

Here is the corresponding grocery list!

Produce

  • broccoli – 2 cups
  • carrot – 8
  • garlic cloves – 4
  • green pepper – 2
  • lime – 4
  • mushrooms – 24 ounces
  • onion – 4
  • tomatoes – 3
  • zucchini – 6

Herbs/Spices

  • basil (dried) – 1 tsp
  • black pepper – to taste
  • cilantro (fresh) – 1/4 cup
  • crushed red pepper – 2 pinches
  • cumin – 2 tsp
  • marjoram (dried) – 1 tsp
  • oregano (dried) – 1 tsp
  • parsley (fresh) – 3/4 cup
  • salt – to taste

Dairy

  • cheddar cheese – 3 cups
  • cottage cheese – 1 cup
  • eggs – 2
  • feta cheese – 1 cup
  • heavy cream – 1/4 cup

Pantry

  • brown sugar – 4 tbsp
  • light coconut milk – 1 cup
  • diced tomatoes – 1 can
  • fish sauce – 2 tbsp
  • flour – 2 tbsp
  • macaroni noodles – 1 lb (16 ounces)
  • olive oil
  • red curry paste – 4 tsp
  • rice (brown or white) – 2 cups
  • rice noodles – 2 packages (6.75 ounces each)
  • rice vinegar – 1/2 cup
  • soy sauce – 1 tbsp
  • tomato paste – 2 tbsp
  • veggie stock – 1/2 cup

Meat (optional)

  • chicken breast – 4
  • ground beef – 1 lb
  • ground turkey – 1 lb

*If you are vegetarian, get one package of tofu this week!

I hope you enjoyed all the recipes from this week!  As usual, if you have any questions, feel free to ask through comments and I will be quick to answer!  I hope you are finding this system useful for creating hearty and healthy meals for you and your family.  With my help, cooking as never been healthier and planning has never been easier!

Here’s to easy cooking!

-The Left Brain Chef

September 11, 2013: Mid-week recipes and grocery list

So here we are….it’s Wednesday and some of you might be wondering what you are going to do to feed your family for the rest of the week.

The middle of the week is always a challenge with food.  It’s easy to be motivated at the beginning of the week, but once the week really starts picking up, it gets harder to make time for a home-cooked meal.

For those of you who are looking for a healthy, cost effective way to feed your family for the next 5 days, I have the perfect two recipes for you.  Both of these recipes are so simple and are packed with nutrition and flavor.  They are guaranteed to please the whole family.

Pot Roast Pot Pie

Spicy Chicken Penne

photo6photo1

Not only will I give you the recipes, but here is an organized grocery list to help you out at the store!

Produce

  • Baby carrots – 1 bag
  • Baby spinach – 2 bags
  • Garlic – 4 cloves
  • Mushrooms – 6
  • Onion – 2
  • Red potatoes – 1 bag
  • Shallot – 1

Freezer/Cans

  • Artichoke hearts, quartered – 2
  • Corn, frozen – 1 cup
  • Peas, frozen – 1/2 cup
  • Pie crust, refrigerated (quantity of 2 per box)

Herbs/spices

  • Cilantro – 1/4 cup
  • Crushed red pepper – to taste

Diary

  • Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Egg – 1
  • Milk, skim – 2 cups
  • Mozzarella, grated – 1/2 cup
  • Parmesan, grated – 1/8 cup

Pantry

  • Flour – 3 cups
  • Penne – 16 ounces
  • Stock – 6 cups (48 ounces)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Meat (optional)

  • Chicken – 4 breasts
  • Pot roast – 10 ounces (or any leftover amount)

These recipes together yield 22 servings of food.  For a family of 4, that’s over 5 dinners!  These recipes are so simple that you could throw them together in under an hour…5 nights of food for under a hour of work….you just can’t beat that rate of return!

Both of these recipes can easily be made vegetarian by eliminating the meat.  Even without the meat, the flavor will still be wonderful.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do.  Feel free to cook right along with me or ask me any questions you like.  I love to talk food.  Trust me, this method of cooking in bulk has saved me so much time without sacrificing health and flavor.  I do the planning, you cook the food…it’s that simple.

Here’s to easy cooking!

-The Left Brain Chef