Shortcuts and Time Savers: Weekend Meals

Happy Hump Day! It may be Wednesday, but Ms. Foodie is already working for the weekend…

Ms. Foodie prefers quick and dirty for the weekend–that’s meals, not… get your mind out of the gutter!

As much as Ms. Foodie loves food, and loves the kitchen, I don’t want to spend all weekend there. So easy, one-dish meals, particularly ones that can be planned ahead of time, are always on the list. And as always, I’m not opposed to using other recipes as my launch pad.

My friend Terri Gibson posted this Pizza Casserole recipe on her Facebook page, and I immediately snagged it so that I could make it on Saturday. It looks complex, but like Pizza, it is sooo easy to prepare, and can even be prepared the night before, placed in the refrigerator, and cooked the next day. That might even be preferred, as the flavors get to merge and meld to make this already flavorful dish even better!

Pizza Casserole Collage

The original recipe is from Jinkyfer on her WordPress blog, “Recipes that Look and Sound Good“.  Jinkyfer doesn’t play, and all the recipes had me drooling. The only thing Ms. Foodie adjusted was the cook time. The recipe calls for 25 minutes, but I like my pizza and cheese crispy, yet gooey, so 45 minutes was a better measure.

For Sunday, AllRecipes.com was my go-to site, and Cheesy Pork Chop Casserole was on the menu. No measuring, no mixing, just real easy fixing, as the commercial goes. The most time took was peeling and slicing the potatoes–otherwise, gravy!

Desserts are also packaged into my weekend (unless I get a particular craving during the week), and this Banana Bread Bars with Brown Butter Frosting from “Life’s Simple Measures” Blog could not be resisted.  Like the Pizza Casserole, it is extremely easy, even down to the Browned Butter Frosting. Ms. Foodie miscalculated on the Powdered Sugar, so I just added a bit of cornstarch to help the thickening.

Banana Bars Collage

Turned out beautiful, and the taste was scrumptious! It was moist and light, yet had that denseness that I love in Banana breads.

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What’s for Dinner: Salmon Stir Fry in Sweet Chili Sauce

In a quest to find different things to do with Salmon fillet, Ms. Foodie decided to try a stir fry. After combing a few recipes, and coming up empty, Ms. Foodie decided to play around with what was in the Store.

After foraging in the refrigerator, I discovered Mushrooms, Baby Carrots, Snow Peas, and Kale. Ms. Foodie chopped those up, along with Onions and Garlic, then sauteed the lot in a base of Sesame Oil and dried Basil. Ms. Foodie then chopped up the Salmon fillet, and added it to the veggie mix. Then I added a tablespoon or so of Soy Sauce, and a cup of Sweet Chili Sauce to complete the transformation.

Served over a bed of Jasmine Rice, this quickie meal was just the ticket!

Simple Fare: Pan-fried Salmon with Onions, Garlic, and Kale accompanied by Cilantro-Jasmine Rice

Ms. Foodie is finding that it is often the simple things that turn out to be the best. This would be especially true of tonight’s dinner.

Ms. Foodie took less than 45 minutes (thank you, Rice Cooker!) to make this meal, and if I put my foot in it, if I must say so myself!

Ms. Foodie rubbed down a large Salmon Fillet with Sea Salt and Red Pepper Flakes then let it sit for about 20 minutes.

While the Salmon was marinating, Ms. Foodie added chicken boullion and Cilantro to the Jasmine Rice to create a flavorful and refreshing rice dish in the Rice Cooker. I added equal parts water to the cups of rice (I did two), hit the “Cook” button, and forget about it.

Ms. Foodie then chopped a bit of White Onion (about 1/4 cup), 2 cloves of Garlic (sliced), and some Kale leaves (about a 1/2 cup) and sauteed the mix in a tablespoon butter until the onion was clear and the Kale was vibrant and a bit tender. I removed this mix from the skillet, added another tablespoon of butter, and threw on the Salmon Fillet, skin side down. Ms. Foodie cooked it for about 5 minutes, or until the skin was crisp, then flipped the Fillet and cooked it for another 5 minutes until it was cooked through.

Mr. Foodie gave it the thumbs up and said “It was delicious!” I’m inclined to agree with him. 😉

What’s for Dinner: Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup

Happy New Year! Ms. Foodie is winding down the holiday excess with some lighter fare, and then a cleanse. Yes, even Ms. Foodie believes in resetting the system every once in a while in order to keep it working at its optimum. My enjoyment of food and its blessings are even more attuned after a cleanse–but I digress….

In preparation for the cleanse, Ms. Foodie whipped up three soups: a green vegetable soup, and vegan potato soup for the three days of strictly liquid, then one for tonight’s dinner.

Delish was the go-to site for the recipe, as Ms. Foodie doesn’t always feel inspired on her own. The ingredients were simple, and in store, and save for having to puree in a food processor, took little effort to prepare.

With a garnish of bacon and a dollop of sour cream, Mr. Foodie and my night was made.

Here’s to a year of good eating!

Soup is Good Food: Green Soup, with a few variations…

Mr. Foodie had a bit of a relapse with this cold/flu creeping crud that’s floating around, So, Ms. Foodie needed to go back to the antioxidant-rich fare that helped to get him back on his feet a few weeks ago.

I asked my fellow Yogi mini-Milena Sarian what she does when she has a cold, and she told me about a Green Soup she makes with LOTS of garlic. She had Ms. Foodie at “hello”…

The Mr. and I are carnivores, so even though we love the veggies, protein is what gives us the best energy. Along with antioxidant and vitamin C-rich Cabbage, Kale, and Zucchini, I boiled a chicken breast with some red Chile flakes, Sea Salt, and a bit of Black Pepper. Once it was fully cooked, I chopped it up, and added it to the mix.

Using a base of two cups chicken broth (including the broth from the boiled chicken breast), and a cup of water, I added an entire Garlic bulb (she did say LOTS), chopped fresh Ginger root, added two Bay leaves, and a medley of wild dried Porcini, Shitake, Black, and Oyster Mushrooms.

Sprinkled generously with Sea Salt, Black Pepper, and Basil, and polished with two eggs stirred into the hot broth, this soup is definitely the hit!

Ms. Foodie approves this message.

Sunday Dinner: Prosciutto and Artichoke Heart Pizza

Ms. Foodie decided to experiment with a more dignified version of the Hawaiian pizza.

Trader Joe’s pizza dough makes for a wonderful crust, and Ms. Foodie used their Garlic and Herb flavor.

Instead of tomato sauce as a base, I used Olive Oil, Red Onion, and Parmesan. Then covered it with roughly chopped Artichoke Hearts, and dotted the crust with rolled slices of thin Prosciutto.

Once that was done, Ms. Foodie blanketed the base with Mozzarella, and a sprinkling of Basil and Parmesan.

image

The results: Very light, extremely delicious.

Comfort Breakfast: Grits with Parmesan Rock Fish and Seaweed

Ms. Foodie has been feeling a bit under the weather, so comfort foods are in order not only for nourishment, but for pampering.

Grits are my go-to breakfast comfort food. Ms. Foodie had some leftover Parmesan Rock Fish, so that added some protein and flavor, while Seaweed flakes added some chew and spice.

Along with some Peppermint Tea with LOTS of honey, and Ms. Foodie is feeling better already!

What’s for Dinner?

Ground Beef Casserole is tonight’s selection, from a recipe on About.com (http://southernfood.about.com/od/hamburgcasseroles/r/bl30426e.htm). Ms. Foodie made some variations, but the end result was still yum!

#foodie #ieatthereforeiam #fallmenu

Ground Pork, Orzo, Artichoke Hearts, and Carrots tossed with Gorgonzola Cheese. Sometimes, I impress myself… #foodie #ieatthereforeiam #kitchencabinetcooking

Ms. Foodie surprised herself with some Kitchen Cabinet Cooking magic.

I Eat, therefore I Am: Spaghetti with Kale and Lemon

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God
had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity
.”
— Voltaire

Spaghetti with Kale and Lemon

After all the SuperBowl food, Ms. Foodie needed a change of pace. Something light, yet filling. Thus, the perfect moment to try out this Spaghetti with Lemon and Kale recipe!

Ms. Foodie has been haunting the boards of Pinterest–next to food, it’s my latest obsession. So this gem from BevCooks looked appetizing, and more important, easy!

It was both, and with the touches of Lemon and Sunflower Seeds, made for a refreshing and stimulating meal.