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, May 7, 2015

week 9 - Veggie Mac & Cheese, Breakfast for dinner and Fish Tacos

Yes, fish tacos. A favorite of ours, although I have to admit Alice was not impressed. I think it was the sour cream that she didn't care for, so that one may not be as family friendly as I had hoped. The quiche (i.e. Breakfast for dinner) is a new favorite.

I also have to admit that the amount of prep time for the Mac & Cheese and the quiche made it hard to get both done in the same afternoon. I got the Mac & Cheese together and cooked, but not the chicken, and I got the quiche prepped and it spent a night in a bowl in the fridge before I finally cooked it. Fish tacos are clearly best the same day and they take no time to make, which is one of the reasons we love it so much! I did not get a photo of then though. I was hungry, and I just ate it.

Veggie Mac & Cheese with oven fried chicken

Fish Tacos
This recipe originally came from a healthy cookbook that I've had for years but have managed to rearrange and adapt to the point that it doesn't actually resemble that original recipe much at all, so I'm calling it my own.

Drain a 16 oz jar of salsa verde in a colander for five minutes. Put tilapia fillets in a large skillet and pour salsa verde over the fish. Cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until fish is done and flakes easily.

While the fish is cooking, slice an avocado, open a bag of greens, open bag of tortillas, open container of sour cream.

Yeah...this is a tough one...I think you can figure out the rest.

Veggie Macaroni and Cheese with Chicken
This one, in theory, was supposed to be a Greek version of Macaroni and Cheese, but, my red onion ended up being rotten in the middle (hate it when than happens! I used a regular yellow onion.) and I didn't buy olives because of the kids. This one is also, in theory, supposed to be a 'skinny' Mac & Cheese but with the amount of actual cheese in it, I can't imagine it's really that healthy, other than all the veggies.

Put a large pot of water on to boil and cook 12 oz of whole wheat macaroni. Set aside.

In a large skillet heat 1 tbs olive oil and add:
1/2 a red onion sliced (or chopped if you have eaters who get offended at long pieces of onion)
1 large green bell pepper sliced
1 large red bell pepper sliced

Saute for 5 minutes or so and add:
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large heavy saucepan, heat 1 3/4 cups milk over medium-high heat until steaming (do not boil). Whisk together 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup flour until smooth and add to the milk in the saucepan and cook for 3-5 more minutes until it thickness slightly, whisking the whole time.

Remove from heat (I had to move to a large mixing bowl also) and add:
1 1/2 cups cheddar (recipe calls for white cheddar, which I couldn't find)
1 1/2 cups low fat cottage cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes rinsed and chopped
10 oz fresh spinach (I know it calls for frozen, but I like fresh) a hand full at a time, stir until incorporated and then add more.

Grease a 3 qt backing dish and pour entire mixture into dish. Either refrigerate for baking later or top the mixture with:

1 cup crushed pita chips mixed with 1/2 tsp oregano and 1 tbs olive oil.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-35 minutes depending on if it was refrigerated previously.

In all honesty, we thought this was only ok. It seemed like a lot of prep and the end result was not as amazing as I feel it should be after boiling milk, which I hate to do because I always scorch it. It tasted fine and both girls ate it willingly, but there will likely not be a repeat on this one.

Dip the chicken thighs in a mix of two eggs & a dash of milk and then press into a plate of Panko Italian Bread crumbs. Bake at 400 for 35-45 minutes, or until done.

If you put both Chicken and Mac & Cheese in together the cook time will be closer to 45-50 minutes for all, just watch the top of the casserole and cover if it starts to brown too early.

Broccoli, Cheddar, Bacon Quiche
Cook 8 oz of bacon, approx half a package, crumble and set aside (who are we kidding, cook the whole pound, eat half and crumble the rest).

Steam 2 large heads of broccoli.

In 2 Tbsp butter sautee:
3 sliced green onions (I used 1/2 a yellow onion instead)
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
2 gloves of garlic

Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk:
6 large eggs
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 1/2 cups half and half
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp dry ground mustard
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper

Sauteed veggies
1 1/2 cups finely chopped broccoli
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
1 1/4 cup Bisquick mix

The cook time is 40 minutes at 375 degrees. You're supposed to sprinkle the top with 1/2 cup cheddar, but I had a little issue with the pie plate and forgot that part.

The recipe calls for a greased 9" pie plate, but I had some overflow issues. It ended up looking like this, batter slowly creeping toward the edge of the plate:

So I moved it to two 8" pie plates and kept the cook time the same.

And they came out beautiful!! And super tasty!! Highly recommend this one.

That's it for this week!


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