What it's all about:

Each week I will put together an easy, kid friendly menu for a week's worth of meals, cooking tips and a shopping list so all you have to do is go to the store. It's an online support system to help you eat better and easier.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Week 8 - Meat loaf pie, chicken stroganoff, tomato casserole

It's been a few weeks, but the time has come to get back to meal planning.

I'm really happy with how everything turned out this week and think they're all very easy and repeatable meals. I didn't get my own photo of the chicken stroganoff because that one went straight into the fridge. We had the meatloaf pie the first night and then everything else as leftovers.

Take pie crust out of fridge and set time for 15 minutes. Once ready, place in pie pan and set aside.

Peel & Slice three large potatoes and set to boil. Mash and set aside.

Slice three chicken breasts, place in large bowl with half a bottle of sundried tomato marinade.

Chicken Stroganoff
Chop four chicken breasts into bite sized pieces and place in crockpot along with 2 tbs butter (I cut that up into small pieces first) and a packet of dry Italian dressing. Cook on low for 4 hours.

After 4 hours, add 8 oz of cream cheese and a can of cream of mushroom soup. Keep cooking on low for another 30 minutes or until chicken is done.

The first time I made this recipe I used the full 8 oz of cream cheese. It was really, really good…and really, really thick. This time I only used about ¾ of the package and it was just as good, not quite as rich but probably a little less fatty if you’re concerned about that.

Serve with a ‘Super-fast Salad’ (Bag o’Greens, cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta and green onions).

Meatloaf Pie
Chop an onion and toss in into a skillet with the pound of ground beef. Cook until brown and drain.

In a large bowl mix the beef & onion with:
1 egg
1 tbs ketchup (plus a really healthy squirt, I didn’t think one tbs was enough)
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce (plus another quick pour, see above)
1 Can corn
½ cup cheddar cheese (healthy ½ a cup)

Pour this mixture into the pie crust and top with the mashed potatoes. I realize the actual recipe calls for layering corn, beef, potato and cheese, but I prefer to toss it all into together and go for it. If you want to top with cheese also that’s good too.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until the potato peaks start to turn golden. This one can also be refrigerated and baked later. Add 10 minutes or so to the cook time and cover with foil at the end so the crust doesn't burn.

Tomato Casserole
This might be one of my new favorites. Everyone has loved it, even the baby, although she’s not at all picky. I initially thought about trying to add chicken into the casserole and decided that would change the cook time and make the pan a little overfull, so I baked chicken to go along with it.

Bake marinated chicken at 350 for 18-10 minutes or until done.

While that’s cooking:
Heat 3 tbs olive oil in a large skillet. Chop fresh bread into 3 cups worth of cubes and ‘toast’ in the skillet. Mine didn't brown so well and after almost 10 minutes, I kind of gave up and moved on to the rest of the recipe.

While bread is toasting, chop tomatoes and into a large bowl add:
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt (or just salt)
1 tsp pepper

I also added some chopped onion which is not in the recipe but sounded like a good idea. Once you decide the bread is as toasty as you’re going to get it, toss in the tomato bowl.

Cook & stir for 5 minutes or so until it’s all heated and mixed together. Add:
1 Can great northern beans (drained & rinsed)
½ cup fresh basil sliced.
1 bag of spinach. The recipe calls for frozen but I find I like fresh so much better than I typically don’t use the frozen anymore. Add the spinach in large fistfuls and stir until incorporated, then add more.

If your large skillet is oven proof top this mixture with ½ cup Parmesan and drizzle with 2 tbs of olive oil. I moved everything into a large casserole dish, the easier to store leftovers in, and then added the cheese and oil.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is brown & bubbly. Serve with chicken, or on its own for a great vegetarian dish (not allowed in my house).


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