This week I began trying to go easy on carbs. I am trying to lose a little weight, and that always helps. Also, two of the meals are meatless. I was really surprised at how full I felt with all of them, even the spaghetti squash dinner, which I was skeptical about. Best of all, it actually turned out to be my favorite dinner of the week, followed by the salad.
There are a couple of ingredients that aren’t common, goat cheese being one of them. I know a lot of people don’t like it. Hell, I didn’t like it until about a three years ago. If you want a substitute, cream cheese is great. You still get that “fatty” feeling that I’m pretty sure is the reason the squash dish became filling, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try the goat cheese. It was really awesome in there.
Pancetta is another ingredient in that meal that is uncommon. It’s basically Italian bacon, but like
everything the Italian’s do, it’s way better. You can find it with the fancy cheese and salami in your grocery store and I promise, it’s worth finding. However, if you can’t find it, bacon wouldn’t be terrible.
I hope you enjoy the menu’s this week!
For those of you that ordered shirts, I’m officially going to pick them up tomorrow (also, thank you for ordering them!) Should you still want to order them, they’ll be on sale until Saturday, so snatch them up while they’re still cheap. I have about 9 more left!
Shopping List 11-13
Zuppa Toscana (Potato & Kale Soup with Italian Sausage)
This is a lot like that soup at Olive Garden but sooo much better. The whole family loves this one!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound italian sausage
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3 small russet potatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 cups kale, finely chopped
- 1 cup half and half
- salt and pepper to taste
- To a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. Brown the sausage until no longer pink. Add the red pepper flakes, garlic, and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onions a translucent and the garlic is fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth, potatoes, and kale. Bring the broth to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat, stir in the half and half, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.
Pork and Broccoli Slaw Stir Fry
This was really easy and the boys loved it. They love Asian food, so I know it's going to be an easy night when I make something like this. I served Chris and the boys white rice with this, but I left it out, since I'm going easy on the carbs. It was really great and filling even without.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean pork, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 (12oz) bag broccoli slaw
- 1 cup red bell pepper, cut in thin sticks
- 1 cup scallions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated or chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
- ½ teaspoon chili garlic powder
- ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce, optional
- ½ cups white rice, optional
- If you are making rice with this, cook 1 ½ cups of rice following package directions. Set aside.
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a skillet or wok. Add pork and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until completely cooked, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from pan and add to a plate. Set aside.
- Heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil in pan. Add all the veggies. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Stir in ginger, garlic and chili garlic sauce. Continue to cook and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add chicken back in, add soy sauce, vinegar, hoisin, and fish sauce. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
- To serve, if you are having rice, place in the bottom of the bowl and top with stir fry. If you are not having rice, just serve the stir fry in bowls.
Spaghetti Squash with Bacon, Spinach, and Goat Cheese
Chris and I ate this for a date night the other night. It is so tasty! And best of all it's healthy, but really filling. I'm definitely making this again.
- 2 medium spaghetti squash
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- 6 oz pancetta, diced
- 2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 10 ounces of spinach
- 4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
- Cut both squash in half, clean them out. Salt and pepper the cavities and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave 2 halves at a time for 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your microwave. Test doneness by piercing the flesh with a fork. Once done, set it aside on the counter while you cook the pancetta and spinach. It’ll be easier to handle if you let it cool for 10 minutes before taking it apart.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the walnuts. Toast for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the pancetta. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, just until the very edges of the pancetta start to brown slightly, about 2 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and continue to cook until the pancetta is crispy and the fat has rendered out, about 5 more minutes.
- When the pancetta is done, turn the heat up to medium and add the red wine vinegar while stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet. This will deglaze your pan, so that all of the caramelized bits of pancetta end up in your food and not stuck to the bottom of your pan. After about 20 seconds, turn the heat back down to low and add the spinach, one handful at a time, stirring after every addition so that the spinach wilts and there’s room in your skillet for more. When all of the spinach is wilted, turn the burner off under the skillet and let everything sit in there while you finish the squash.
- Use a fork to pull the strands of the spaghetti squash apart, adding them to the skillet as you go. When all of the squash is in the skillet, add the goat cheese and walnuts and toss everything together just to combine.
- Divide between two plates and serve immediately.
Harvest Turkey Salad
This was really tasty
- 1 lb turkey cutlets
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 pears, diced
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
- For the poppy seed dressing
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- To make the poppy seed dressing, whisk together mayonnaise, milk, sugar, apple cider vinegar and poppy seeds in a small bowl; set aside.
- Season turkey cutlets with salt, pepper, thyme and garlic powder. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and place turkey cutlets in skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until fully cooked. Set aside.
- Wash skillet out, reheat and add pecans, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Let the butter and brown sugar melt, stirring constantly to make sure the pecans don't burn. Continue to cook 3-4 minutes until all the sugar is melted and the pecans are covered. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Place eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Drain hot water and fill pan with ice and water. Set aside for 8-10 minutes. Drain well before peeling and dicing.
- To assemble the salad, slice turkey in long strips, combine sliced turkey, chopped romaine, eggs, pear, strawberries, pecans, cranberries and goat cheese. Serve immediately with poppy seed dressing.
Veggie Sheppard's Pie
This is a guest post by my mommy. She made it on Monday and it looked fabulous. I told her I would share it with you guys! Can't wait to make it myself.
- 4 Potatoes, diced into 1" chunks
- ½ Onion, diced
- 3 Carrots, diced
- 3 Celery Stalks, diced
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 Cups of Mushrooms, quartered
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 cups of stock of your choice
- ¼ cup red wine
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tbsp butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Boil potatoes until tender. Saute onion, carrot and celery in 1 tbsp oil for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add in tomato paste, flour, spices, stock, red wine, salt and pepper. Simmer until thickened.
- Mash potatoes with milk, butter, salt and pepper.
- To assemble, place the veggie mixture in a pie plate. Cover with mashed potatoes. Spray the top with cooking spray and broil for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy.
Pumpkin Chocolate Cake
This was really good. I love the combination of chocolate and pumpkin!
- 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup baking cocoa
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- Combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a small mixing bowl. Whisk until fully combined and then set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a 9x13-in. baking dish with cooking spray.
- In another larger mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Add in the oil, eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix just until combined - Do NOT overmix. Spread into the prepared baking dish. Drop spoonfuls of your pumpkin mixture on top of the chocolate mixture, run a knife horizontally back and forth in about 1" intervals. Go back and run the knife vertically in 1" intervals.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center tests clean.
Chunky Monkey Muffins
My favourite ice cream is Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey. I love the flavor combination of chocolate, walnut and banana. While I don't have the ice cream very often, these have become a staple breakfast muffin in our house. A little chocolate never hurt anyone!
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup plain or Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1/4 cup oil
- 3 Tablespoons milk or buttermilk
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin tin and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt until combined. Add in the mashed bananas, egg, yogurt/sour cream, oil, milk and vanilla. Whisk everything together, just until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts. Do not overmix.
- Fill muffin tins ⅔'s of the way up and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are a deep golden-brown and they spring back when you gently press the tops.