Cooking

Meals for the Week (or More)

Meals for the Week (or More)
Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

Meals for the Week (or More)

Hot on the heels of yesterdays post, these are my Meals for the Week (or More).  As I clean out my food areas, I do some “spring cleaning.”  This is where I make my spice mixes, if I am running low.  I make “cream of” soup mixes (mushroom, chicken, etc).  Also, I make packet mixes.  This can be Lipton Onion Soup Mix, Spaghetti, Chili, Taco, Fajita, Stir-fry, Ranch, or Italian mix.  I store all of these either in baggies or small mason jar.

More Upon More

Combining condiment jars is always fun (enter sarcasm) because my kids cannot seem to see an already open thing of ketchup.  So irritating.  I fill up the cereal canister, the snack cracker canister (we occasionally have mice so I try to keep things in airtight areas).  When I do this, I also make my grocery list.  This method just works for me.

Finding Suppers

I cook 5 nights a week, most weeks.  Sundays, I do not cook and Thursdays my husband makes me pizza. The rest of the time is me cooking.  Occasionally, my husband and son in law will grill, make steaks, or chicken strips.  Let me tell you, I do not complain.  So for the next week or so, this is what I have already on hand when checking my food areas.

Menus

Thursday (writing this on the 21st):  Pizza

Friday:  Hamburgers/hotdogs/fries (it is treatment day for Hunter, so I don’t cook)

Saturday:  My son in law is making his chicken strips and we will probably have leftover vegetables and mashed potatoes

Sunday:  I don’t cook

Monday: The men are grilling out.

Tuesday:  Brunzi Baseball Casserole, corn, green bean Casserole

Wednesday:  Chicken Alfredo Soup and Minestrone

Thursday:  Pizza

Friday:  Baked Spaghetti and french bread

Saturday:  Tenderloin, mac and cheese, Italian potatoes, and Lima beans

Sunday:  I don’t cook

Monday:  Parmesan Crusted Round Steak, baked potatoes, green beans, corn

Tuesday:  Martha’s Tacos and probably Shiro Wot

Wednesday:  Baked Penne with spinach, bread, and salad

Thursday:  Pizza

Friday:  Freezer meal, broccoli casserole, corn pudding, green beans

Saturday:  White Chicken Chili and Chicken Noodle Soup

Grocery Run

I will need very few things to complete these meals, so in reality, I’m saving money by not going to the grocery store!  This makes me so happy because that “extra” money can be spent stockpiling on something or house repairs…which we need many.

I challenge you to cook with what you have!  Limit your grocery budget to  $100 or less per week.  Save the leftover money and then either put it in the bank, use it to had to a debt to help reduce that bill, or do repairs.  You can do it!

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Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style

Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style

Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Shelf-Cooking Co-Vid19 Style.  With Co-Vid19 rearing its ugly head, I have not been out of the house.  I lied.  Twice.  I have been out twice.  Both of these times has been to take Hunter to treatment in Nashville.  So, grocery shopping is through pick-up, when my son works (at a grocery store), or my husband picks it up.  Also, the school has been bringing food, for the week, for 3 kids.  That helps tremendously.

Yet

There are some things my kids will not eat, by itself.  Now, they are not picky eaters, but they prefer it to be cooked in something.  So, what I’ve been doing is separating out the breakfast foods, lunch foods, snacks, and fruit.  They eat all the breakfast stuff throughout the week.  Also, they eat most of the lunch food throughout the week.  Yet, there are things like raw broccoli and cherry tomatoes that they will not eat unless I use it another way.

I do not waste food.

Plain and simple.  I am not a short order cook and I do not throw things away.  That is how I was raised and that is how I raise my kids.  With all that being said, I stockpile the carrots.  For one, my kids do eat those. Secondly, I can cut those suckers up and put them in any casserole.  Thirdly, carrot bread or carrot cake.  Yes, please.  Fourthly, soup.  Put them in any soup.  Fifthly (I’m starting to giggle now because what do I do when I get up to tenthly?  Is that even a word?), put them in a saute pan with some butter and brown sugar.  It’s a good thing.

Next up, cherry tomatoes.  Once I have a baggie full, I either give them to one of my older daughters who both love them.  Also, I juice them for chili or soup.  I chop them up and saute them in any pasta dish.  You can do a multitude of things with those things.

Now, onto this recipe and broccoli.  My big girls love raw broccoli.  Sadly, my other 5 kids do not.  My son-in-law calls them “the trees of the devil.”  He is a bit extra.  You can make broccoli soup or Chicken and Broccoli Braid.  Also, you can use it to make beef and broccoli stir fry.  Lots of things.

Odds and Ends

Today, however, I had a 1/2 bag of a lot of things.  Noah had brought home some leftover hamburgers and cooked bacon from work.  I had a couple of bags of this and a bag of that.  Then there was a 1/2 a bag of another thing.  I put all those together and I made 2 casseroles.  Honestly, I didn’t think it would make that much.  I’m cooking one casserole for tonight and I’m freezing the other for another night.  We also have leftover breadsticks from the pizza we ordered last night, so that is a side dish.  I think I have a couple of cans of corn.  Voila.  Dinner is served.

Beef, Broccoli, & Extras Casserole

2# ground beef

onion

garlic

seasoning mix

worcestershire sauce

Brown all of this together, drain if needed.

In 13×9 dish, grease it (preheat oven to 350).  On the bottom of the dish, place the meat mixture.

Step 2

**Now, this is what I had, on hand.  Tweak this to what you have.  Just have fun with it.  If it sucks, you will remember what not to add!**

2 c. chopped fresh spinach

carton of fresh mushrooms, chopped

fresh broccoli, chopped

cooked bacon, chopped

Cheddar cheese

Layer each of these components on your meat mixture.

Step 3

In bowl, add 2 cans cream of mushroom (can use chicken or celery) and 16 oz. sour cream.  Once combined, spread over casserole.

Next up, add cheddar cheese (any cheese will do, this is what I had).

Lastly, I had a 1/2 bag of leftover tater tots.  I lined them on top.  Mainly because I wanted to get rid of the bag.  Another reason was because I had no potatoes to cook up.

Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, covered and then another 12 minutes or so, uncovered.  Really until your tater tots are done.  Now, I did not pre-blanch or steam my broccoli.  I was afraid it would get mushy.

On freezing this dish, I did not cook it first…again, the broccoli issue.

Other Options

Now, you can change up your cheese.  Also, you can add in zucchini, squash, cauliflower, or carrots.  You can change up your soups.  Instead of tater tots, use instant or regular mashed potatoes to put on top.  If you don’t want to do that, on the bottom of the dish, add egg noodles or rice.  The sky really is the limit.

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