Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Easy Menu Week!

So, I'm fully aware that some of the stuff I make isn't exactly what a lot of people have time/energy for after a long day. But a lot of it is. As anyone who knows me real well is aware, I'm a big lobbyist for "real food". When I say real food, I mean minimal processing. I prefer to eat food that I've cooked myself, without having to worry about what other extra crap I'm eating. So to that end, I'm a lot more willing than a lot of people to put the extra effort into a meal at the end of the day. But it almost drives me nuts to hear people say, "Well, I just don't have the time/energy to cook like you do". Yes, you do! Cooking healthy food doesn't have to be time consuming or laborious, and in a lot of cases, it's actually cheaper than all of the pre-packaged processed crap that so many people eat out of convenience. So this week, I'm focusing on easy-to-prepare, yet still (mostly) healthy food that doesn't take hours to make, and I'll be including recipes.

Tuesday - Stewed Tomato Pasta (Recipe to follow)

Wednesday - Soy sauce chicken wings and fried rice (Ok, maybe a little bit of a sodium overload, but we don't eat like this very often, and for the most part, it's not horrible for you. If anyone wants the fried rice recipe I use, I'll post it.)

Thursday - Mexican Chicken (Literally, just chicken breasts and salsa. Put the chicken in a baking dish, pour salsa over the top and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve over rice. It's deceptively simple and really tasty.)

Friday - Broccoli Pasta Toss (Recipe to follow. I haven't made this one before, but it looks really good.)

Saturday - Hamburger Hotdish

Sunday - Pasta Alfredo (Homemade alfredo sauce is SO easy to make. Fattening, but easy, delicious, and nasty stuff-free. I'll be making the pasta from scratch, which if you have the time, makes this recipe SO much better, but it's still great with store-bought pasta as well. Recipe to follow.)

I spent about $35 on groceries for all of this, but the only reason it was that much is because I was out of a lot of staples. I had to get minute rice, to keep with the "easy" theme of the week, and apparently, Target does not have a store brand of the minute rice anymore. :( I also had to get another 2 pound block of cheddar (we go through a lot of cheddar), so that added $8, and another block of Parmesan cheese was $2.49 (I never, ever buy green can grated Parmesan cheese.) So it did add up, but mostly because I needed to buy damn near everything.

Stewed Tomato Pasta
(This recipe serves 8-10, I usually do a half recipe)
2 14.5 ounce cans stewed tomatoes with juice
1 3/4 cups of chicken broth (this is equivalent to one 14 oz can)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 12 ounce package of spiral pasta

In a Dutch oven, combine everything except the pasta. Bring to a boil and add pasta. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 16-18 minutes, until pasta is tender. Stir occasionally.

My notes on this recipe: I mash the tomatoes with a potato masher before adding the pasta. I also add garlic salt and onion powder with the Italian seasoning, and I top with fresh grated Parmesan for serving. It's delish! :)

I will get additional recipes up in the next couple days!

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