Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sneaking Veggies in Menu Post

Good morning to you all! Apologies for falling off the face of the blogosphere this past week. The past two weeks have been a little hectic. After years of hard work in the field of special education, my dedication has paid off. I was nominated by my building peers for teacher of the year! I am so honored, but at the same time have been putting some of my writing energy into the application process for the district wide teacher of the year process. I sort of had a case of writer's block combined with a lack of recipe creativity when it came to this dear, sweet blog. So, I took a technology break from Facebook, Pinterest, and blogging. It helped. Over the week, ideas streamed in and I am back at it with an awesome menu to share this week!

This week's menu is a combination of all my sneaky ways I get the Bear to eat more vegetables. When Justin and I first started dating, he was not the biggest veggie eater. He was pretty much disgusted when I would plan a meal which included either salad, veggies sticks, or veggie side dishes that did not come from a can. I decided I needed to be stealth like. Instead of jumping into the pool, I needed to ease him in and also add more flavor to our dishes. Over the eight years we've been together, it worked. I can now serve what he used to call "girly" salad as an entree. I learned that it is all in how I prepare and bring out the best flavors in my veg and combine it with all the manly things he loves. For example, he hates beets. I was not the biggest fan either; however, I had only tried beets pickled or canned. When you roast a fresh beet, it reduces some of the earthy flavor which turned us away from beets. The sugars condense and bring out the best flavors of this earthly super food. Combine with some kind of manly protein and ta da! Now days we love beets in dishes such as my Roasted Chicken, Cranberry, and Beet Salad which is included in this week's menu. I am so excited to share! Here is the rundown:

Sunday 1/20          Roasted Chicken, Cranberry, & Beet Salad with Herb Cheese Toast

Monday 1/21         Make Ahead Sun Dried Tomato Mac'n'Cheese with Lemony Roasted Broccoli

Tuesday 1/22         Leftovers

Wednesday 1/23    Slow Cooker Black Bean & Quinoa Soup with Baked Tortilla Chips & Guacamole

Thursday 1/24        Leftovers

Friday 1/25 or        Chicken, Bean, & Bacon Burrito Bowls
Saturday 1/26  

Groceries you will need include:

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package center cut bacon
1 bag baby carrots
1 bunch celery
1 red pepper
1 lemon
1 lime
1 bunch broccoli
3 yellow or white onions
2 shallots
1 bunch cilantro
1 bulb garlic (if you do not have any from previous lists)
1 bunch golden beets (these usually come in bunches of 3-4)
1 bag spinach
1 bag lettuce mix (such as spring greens)
1 package prepared guacamole (such as Wholy Quacamole)
1 bag sun dried tomatoes or 1 jar packed in water
1 bag dried cranberries
1 bag quinoa (if you are buying from any bulk bins, you will need 1 cup)
1 bag black beans
1 bag pinto beans
1 bag brown rice (if you do not have any in your pantry from previous lists)
2 cans no salt added diced tomatoes
1 can chipolte peppers (if you do not have any stored away in the freezer from previous lists)
1 box reduced sodium chicken broth
1 bag or box gluten-free elbow noodles
1 bag gluten-free ciabatta rolls (such as Schar brand)
1 bag corn tortillas
4 oz. goat cheese (or 1/3 less fat cream cheese if you are not a fan of goat cheese)
2 bags shredded 2% cheddar cheese
1 brick 2% Velveeta cheese
1 quart 2% milk
Unsalted butter (if you do not have any from previous lists)

Pantry items you will need:

Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Poultry seasoning
Dried Italian herbs or herbs de Provence
Ground cumin
Chili powder
Cayenne pepper

* Tips to get you started and prepping: To give you all a head start on this week's preparation, I wanted to include a few notes. When I get home from the grocery store I wash all of my veggies, chop, and store them in resealable containers or plastic baggies so they are ready to use throughout the week. Onions, I chop, bag, and store in resealable containers so they do not stink up my refrigerator. For the beets, I will wash, trim, and peal them with a veggie peeler. Then roast the beets at 350 degrees in the oven for 30-40 minutes. After letting them cool, I will slice them and store them until I am ready to assemble the salad. Any leftover salad will be used for my lunches throughout the week and tossed with some extra quinoa I plan to prepare to add an a whole grain to my lunch. I plan to prepare all of my bagged beans over the weekend by giving them an overnight soak. The pinto beans will be boiled and stored in my fridge so they are ready for Friday night's meal. The black beans will be soaked overnight and then cooked in the soup which will be prepared this weekend in my slow cooker. The mac'n'cheese will be prepared as well, so all I have to do on Monday is pop it in the oven. I hope this helps you get started! Have a great weekend!

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