May 31, 2013

Week 22 - 6 Ingredient or Less Meals

Printable Version of Meal Plan and Grocery List

I gave myself a challenge this week – 5 Ingredient or less meals.  And I was thinking complete meals.  The problem was we were super busy last weekend so I had to rush putting the plan together and didn’t have as much time to hunt down recipes as I would have liked.  As a result I was feeling a bit disorganized.  I managed to pull something together but I’m going to admit defeat and hence this week is themed “6 Ingredient or Less Meals”.

Recipe Quick Links

Mexican Stuffed Shells,  Blogchef.net
Mexican Spice Blend, Chatelaine
Asparagus and Gruyere Pizza, Marin Mama Cooks
Whole Wheat Pizza Crust, 100 Days of Real Food
Overnight Oatmeal, The Yummy Life

Week in Review

Carry over from last week... I picked up some Steel Cut Oats so I could try overnight oatmeal as a breakfast on the go.  I'm in love.  I went with a Banana/Blueberry combo topped with almonds and maple syrup.  I can't wait to try different flavor combos! 

Overnight No-Cook Steel Cut Oats



Monday

Lunch – Egg Salad Sandwich.  I actually really enjoy egg salad and this was a perfect Monday lunch after a busy Sunday because it takes little effort.  I mixed mayo and diced celery in with my boiled eggs and added slices of cheddar and avocado for a pretty filling sandwich.
Supper – Lemon Dill Salmon with Broccoli.  (Ingredients - Salmon, Lemon, Dried Dill, Broccoli & Parmesan Cheese).  This was a complete meal in 5 ingredients.   I poured the juice from ½ a lemon on the fish, sprinkled with dill and baked at 375F until done.  At the same time I steamed some broccoli and topped that with lemon zest and Parmesan cheese before serving.   I did make Marin a potato as well – so I guess that was 6 ingredients.

Tuesday

Lunch – Veggie Burgers.  I got this recipe from a friend many years ago and it’s one of those "anything goes" kind of recipes. My sister would argue that it’s not a recipe at all!  Mine always come out different because it varies based on what I have on hand.  It goes something like this:
  • Drain a can of beans (6 Bean Blend, Chickpeas, Black beans, etc…) reserving liquid.  Mix using a stand mixer until beans are mostly mashed.  Before I had the KitchenAid I would use a pastry cutter to do this by hand – doable but much easier with the KitchenAid.
  • Add in veggies of choice, finely chopped.  I like mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, broccoli, onion…
  • Add in a scoop (heaping tablespoon) of tahini, Peanut Butter or hummus.  This will make it a bit sticky
  • Add in any seasonings you’d like and amounts are to taste
  • Mix in a dry ingredient (bread crumbs or oatmeal) until mixture is dry enough to form patties… but not too dry.  If it gets too dry add a little of the reserved liquid from the beans.
This is all a bit of an experiment and I tend to just throw everything into the stand mixer and just keep adding wet and dry ingredients until I get the consistency and flavor I want.  Don’t over think it!  I always pan fry the patties, I don’t think they would hold together well enough for the BBQ.  I assembled the burgers on multigrain buns with mayo, cheese, lettuce and avocado.  I heated mine just a little at work so that I wasn’t eating it cold out of the fridge.
Supper – Pork Chops with Broccoli & Carrots (Ingredients – Pork Chops, Mustard, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Basil, Vegetables).   This recipe came from a cookbook “Life’s on Fire” which is a great meal planning cookbook.  It’s 12 weeks of complete dinners (mains and sides), organized by week, and includes grocery lists.  The full meal is written out step by step, so that you know exactly what to do to ensure everything is ready at the same time.  The perfect cookbook for a young person living on their own and cooking for themselves for the first time!  This is the one and only cookbook I own that I have made every single meal.  I still love the idea of it although I find most of the recipes not as appealing as they once were.  Lots of canned soup, ketchup and sugar based sauces, etc…  And this recipe did disappoint me a bit – not as yummy as I had remembered.  If I could have a do-over I would have simply barbecued the chops.

Wednesday

Lunch – Pork Fried Rice.  The chops were huge so I set some aside to throw in a fried rice.  I find this is a great way to use up leftover meat when supper portions are too much for one meal but not enough for two meals.  I just saute onion and whatever other veggies I happen to have and then add in the leftovers (diced into small bite sizes).  I add the rice to the frying pan with a little soya sauce and cook that a bit.  Then I move the rice to one side, crack an egg directly in the pan and scramble it up a bit, stir it in with the rice and then dish it up.  Easy peasy.
Supper – Marinated Chicken and Greek Salsa.  (Ingredients – Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Greek Salad Dressing, Tomato, Cucumber, Red Onion & Feta).  I marinated the chicken overnight with Greek dressing (I made my own but store bought would work) and cooked them on the BBQ.  The salad was diced tomato, cucumber, red onion and feta with Greek dressing.  This was a super easy meal and oh so tasty! 

Thursday

Lunch – Greek Tofu Pita.  I marinated some diced tofu in the Greek dressing and fried it until the tofu was crisped up a bit.  I mixed the tofu with leftover Greek Salsa from Wednesday's supper and had it on a pita.  Note: I packed my pita separately and assembled on site. 
Ground beef with Mexican Spice Blend and Cream Cheese

Supper --  Mexican Stuffed Shells.  (Ingredients – Ground Beef, Pasta Shells, Mexican Spice Mix, Cream Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, Salsa).  I make a simplified version of this recipe.  I brown the ground beef and use my own Mexican Spice Mix instead of taco seasoning, then melt in the cream cheese.  My beef isn't as soupy as you can see...

Then I stuff the shells and cover with salsa.  I got this far Wednesday night.  Thursday I popped them in the oven @400F for about 20 minutes to heat up, covered them with cheese and put them back in the over until the cheese melted.  I broiled for a minute at the end because I like crispy cheese.  So no taco sauce or chips in my version either.  It was a really easy meal, similar to lasagna or Ricotta Stuffed shells but with a Mexican twist.

Mexican Stuffed Shells - ready for the oven (prep the night before)
 

Mexican Stuffed Shells - hot out of the oven!


Friday

Lunch – Leftover Stuffed Shells.  Yum.
Supper – Asparagus Pizza.  (Ingredients – Pizza dough, Olive Oil, Garlic, Asparagus, Cheese).  I was insprired my a Marin Mama Cooks post to have white pizza for our Convenience Food Friday.  I made my own crust on Thursday night (only because I couldn't find pizza dough at the store and didn't want a pre-baked crust).  I also skipped the Gruyere because we had an abundance of different cheese in the fridge and I didn't want to add yet another.  I chopped up a few other toppings and we had a bit of a family pizza party with everyone personalizing thier own.  We all loved our pizzas!!  I did white pizza with aspargus, portobello mushrooms and goat cheese - I hate to toot my own horn (well actually, no I don't) but it was delicious!  And I was really glad I made my own crust.  And the best part... we ate on the back deck for the first time this year.  So nice to be enjoying warm weather!


 Happy weekend everyone!

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