I figured I might as well align my blogging with my weekly responsibilities, and in this case I review my weekly meal plans on Monday so I can go shopping on Tuesday.
I say review instead of create because I actually create my meal plans monthly. I sit down with a calendar and a piece of paper and some cookbooks and map out a month of meals. It's really not as hard as it sounds, especially when you factor in at least one leftover dinner a week to clean out the fridge.
I also try to do a couple meals a month that I can make a big batch of and freeze for an easy meal the next month. I think this month is more on the freezer cleaning out than the stocking, however.
Our busy nights (Monday and Wednesday right now) I try to use the slow-cooker to make my life that much easier in the hectic afternoons. Okay, enough preamble, onto the menu:
Monday:Slow-cooker Mushroom-Sauced Pot Roast (click for a link to the recipe)
I got this recipe from an impulse purchase of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine "All-time Favorites Slow-cooker". It's from 2004, but I think they do something similar fairly frequently. Of course, I think you can get most of their recipes online now, anyhow, if you know what to look for.
In this recipe I replace the packaged veggies with fresh, and as I am out of cream of mushroom soup, I'll use this little beauty I found on Pinterest.
Tuesday:Another Pinterest find: Lentil Soup with Chickpeas & Quinoa
Wednesday:Slow-cooker Chicken Stew with Rosmary Dumplings from the cookbook 300 Slow-cooker Favorites. I picked it up a couple of years ago in the bargain book section and get some good inspiration from it.
This is my first time making this recipe, the usual Chicken and Dumpling one I use is from the Better Homes and Gardens, so we'll see how it goes.
Chicken Stew with Rosemary Dumpling
adapted slightly from 300 Slow-cooker Favorites
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. fresh ground pepper
1 whole chicken cut into pieces (about 3 lbs)
1 T. vegetable oil
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1" pieces
2 stalks of celery, sliced into 1/2" pieces
1 onion thinly sliced (for our family I cut the onions really small so they can add flavour
without the kids freaking out that there are onions in their meal)
1 t. dried rosemary
2 c. chicken stock, divided
1 c. frozen peas
1 c. all purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t dried rosemary
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
Fresh rosemary sprigs (garnish)
1. In a heavy plastic bag combine flour, salt and pepper. Add chicken in batches, tossing to coat.
2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and brown on all sides (about 8-10 mins). Set aside.
3. Add vegetables and rosemary to slow cooker and set chicken pieces on top.
4. Pour 1/2 c. stock into skillet and cook over medium high heat, scraping to deglaze the pan. Pour pan juices and remaining stock over the chicken.
5. Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours or High 4-6 hours until vegetables are tender and stew is bubbling. Add peas and stir to combine.
6. Dumplings: in a bowl sift the dry ingredients together. In another dish combine mils and egg, mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir with a fork to make a lumpy dough. Do not over mix, you want some lumps left. Drop dumpling mixture over chicken pieces by the spoonful. Cover and cook on High for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the dumpling comes out clean.
Garnish dishes with fresh rosemary and Serve. (Serves 4-6)
Pork Tenderloin (probably done in soy, ginger and garlic) with a side of rice and our standard steamed broccoli and cauliflower.
Turkey soup from the freezer (thank you Christmas leftovers!) possibly with some baking powder biscuits, if I'm feeling ambitious.
Saturdayis our leftover/Fridge clean out meal
Lamb Shanks (from Jamie Oliver's Naked Chef cookbook that we got as a wedding gift) with mashed potatoes and roasted zucchini.
And there you have it, my week in food. You may notice that the more intensive meals happen early in the week, with the quicker, easier stuff later. Let's face it, first week back to school, I'm going to be wiped by Friday, so I worked it into my plan! Enjoy your food this week!