What We Ate This Week: Week 4

I am glad this week is OVER. Right on the heels of the last virus we came down with what I now suspect to be the flu. It produced temperatures as high as 107 in some of my children and knocked me out for a day as well. (On that day, we listened to Peter Pan narrated by Jim Dale while we all slumped about the family room like congested, feverish chrysalises in our blankets.) Anyway, this week was about fast, easy meals.

You can view previous weeks of meals here, with the WWATW tag.

Sunday - Turkey Tex-Mex Skillet

Turkey Tex-Mex Skillet 
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sweet bell peppers, diced
2-3 T. taco seasoning
1 T. powdered Ranch dressing mix
1 15.5 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15.5 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15.25 oz. can corn, drained
1 c. salsa
1/3 c. sour cream
tortilla chips (for topping, optional)
shredded cheddar (for topping, optional)
pickled jalapeno slices (for serving, optional)

Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium high heat. Brown the turkey with the onion, garlic, and peppers, breaking up the turkey as it cooks. Season with taco seasoning and Ranch mix. Stir and cook 1-2 minutes. Add the salsa, black beans, pinto beans, and corn. Cook together for 5-7 minutes, stirring. Turn the heat down, stir in the sour cream, and heat through.* You can serve at this point, or top with crushed tortilla chips. On top of the crushed chips, add cheddar cheese, then throw under the broiler for a minute or two to melt the cheese. Serve over rice with jalapeno slices, if desired.

*At this point, I would recommend tasting to see if you need additional salt, pepper, or chili powder for heat or flavor. Results will vary depending on the spiciness of your salsa and taco seasoning mix. I didn't need to add anything extra.

Monday - Untidy Josephs (aka Sloppy Joes)

My alternate name for these sandwiches makes my older children roll their eyes, but it's a kid pleasing meal and easy to whip up on a busy weeknight.

Sloppy Joes

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 sweet bell peppers, diced
8 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 c. ketchup
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. spicy brown mustard

Brown the ground beef with the onion and peppers in a pot, breaking up the ground beef. (I use 90% lean beef and don't add any extra oil.) When the meat is cooked through, season with salt and pepper and add the rest of the sauce ingredients. Stir and simmer until everything is heated through and the vegetables are soft. Serve on hamburger rolls.

Tuesday - Pasta with Meat Sauce

Mark Bittman's Spaghetti and Drop Meatballs with Tomato Sauce  is a good place to start if you don't have a red sauce recipe you love. It's perfect for tinkering and faster than the simmer-all-day Sunday Sauce recipe we like. In his book How to Cook Everything, Bittman says that you can use Italian sausage for even faster sauce with flavor that's just as good. That's what I did on this particular evening. I browned 6 Italian sausage links, cut in half, a small amount of ground beef (maybe 1/3 lb.), a chopped onion, and a few cloves of chopped garlic in olive oil. When the meats were well browned and the onions were soft I deglazed the pan with 1/4 c. Cabernet Sauvignon and a splash of good balsamic vinegar, then added the tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano, and simmered for about 45 minutes.

Wednesday - Coconut Dhal/Dal

By Wednesday I was feeling like the week's meals had been too meat heavy. It's so easy to plan meals around meat (Have you gone on Pinterest lately? Every other dinner idea is chicken or beef dripping with cheese.), but I try to make at least two meals a week that are either completely vegetarian or in which meat is only present in a very small amount for flavor. Lentils are filling and can be prepared so many delicious ways, they often end up being featured on these nights. A friend gave me a dhal recipe that I've known only as "Spicy Coconut Dhal." I assumed it was Indian, and we've always eaten it over rice with a vegetable prepared with Indian spices (beans, in this case). I found that it's more likely Sri Lankan thanks to a comment on this recipe, which appears to have a nearly identical ingredients list but calls for slightly different proportions of spices. My recipe also adds a 1/2 tsp. of ground fenugreek, which this recipe has as well. 

Thursday - Leftovers

This was the feverish chrysalis day. I was not butterfly-ready by dinnertime and was grateful we had enough food left in the fridge for my husband to warm up for dinner. 

Friday - Egg Burritos with Poblanos

I bake the eggs in the oven (I cut down on the butter and salt) while preparing the peppers and onions on the stove.  This became our second meat-free dinner of the week.

Saturday - Sweet & Sour Chicken

Take-out fare made at home, served over jasmine rice with steamed broccoli. I posted the recipe here, but I now add chopped bell peppers and onions as the chicken is about done with the frying step. I also add some fresh minced garlic to the sauce, cut down the sugar even more to 3/4 cup total (which is still a LOT of sugar) and split it 50/50 white and brown sugars, and split the vinegars 50/50 white and apple cider.


Popular Posts