I know, I know. I missed last week’s Monday Meal Planning, but I have a good excuse. Gabbie. In fact, babies are the best excuse for anything. Wedding I don’t want to go to? Baby. At a party and I want to leave? Baby. Grocery shopping during the after-work rush? Why don’t you go honey, so I don’t have to drag along the baby in that crowded store. It’s just one of the millions of things I love about my baby. There’s no one else I’d rather have as an excuse for everything.
So, yes, with the holiday weekend and all that extra time, I still didn’t have time to meal plan last week because I was too busy playing and snuggling with the baby. This weekend, however, she was being a pill and so I handed her off to her dad and took an hour-long break in the bedroom, with thirty minutes of meal planning and then thirty minutes starting Twilight. Then, I held Gabbie while she napped, and read some more. That book is addictive!
Anyway, here is a mixture of what we tried last week and some tried and true recipes were eating this week:
Monday: Stuffed Zucchini (see recipe at the bottom of this post) and Garlic Bread
Aaron has only a few recipes from his youth that he loves. Chili is one of them. His mom’s meatballs are another. He loves potato sausage, but I forbid that grossness from entering my house. Finally, he loves stuffed zucchini and every year around this time he requests that I make it. However, he doesn’t give me any direction as to what his mom put into her stuffed zucchini so I’m flying blind as I try to recreate this childhood favorite. Every year I make it, and every year I fail to “make it as good as Mom’s”.
This year, though, I finally succeeded! It wasn’t exactly like his mom’s recipe, but it was so good that he didn’t mind. Plus, the older he gets the less he likes processed foods; the basis of much of his mom’s cooking back then. This one is full of fresh veggies, sausage, and cheese, and I have to agree that it’s delicious! The garlic bread was a perfect accompaniment and even though I stuffed one large zucchini there didn’t seem to be nearly enough for the two of us.
Tuesday: Chicken Cobb Salad, French Bread
I absolutely love (LOVE!) this salad. I just grill an extra chicken breast or two whenever we have chicken and use that (I don’t bother with the marinade unless I’m using one on the rest of the chicken, otherwise I just salt and pepper it or use a poultry grill seasoning). I also sometimes add chopped hard boiled eggs or whatever veggies I have that I need to use up. It’s really hard to mess up this salad, and I could eat it every day. I think it’s the warm, crumbled bacon that really makes it as wonderful as it is, and I’m okay with that.
Wednesday: Skirt Steak with Crispy Garlic Potatoes and Steamed Green Beans
This meal is perfect for when you’re craving a meat and potatoes kind of night. It makes it feel a little lighter than steak with a baked potato, and is super fast and easy to pull together. The steamed green beans really round out the meal.
Thursday: Chicken Fajitas and Mexican Rice
We follow the recipe from this post, and lately I’ve been adding corn to my Mexican rice, just to give it a little something extra. (And because we have a boatload of corn from my parents’ garden.)
Friday: Mozzarella and Ham Panini with Cherry Tomato Salad
I just remembered! I can eat fresh mozzarella again! It’s one of those things I avoided while pregnant (the whole soft cheese thing) that I also love to eat whenever possible. I cut so many things like that out of my diet, that I keep rediscovering things like this that I can eat again. Like medium rare steak. And bleu cheese! Man, do I love bleu cheese! I also love tomatoes, so this salad is one of my absolute favorite. I pry apart the sandwich when it gets the table and pile on some of the salad. It totally makes the meal. I’m drooling already, and I have until Friday to wait before I get to eat this. I can’t wait!
Also, I just noticed that it's a rather meat-filled week! Usually we try for at least one or two vegetarian meals, but this week is meat, meat, and more meat. I guess the weekend will have to be meat-free.
Recipes from this post:
One large zucchini
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 T. butter
½ a green pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 oz. mushrooms, chopped
½ lb. bulk sausage
1 small tomato, diced
1 c. cheddar cheese
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cut the ends of the zucchini and cut it in half length-wise. Hollow out the middle of each half with a spoon or melon-baller, making sure to leave about a quarter to a half inch of zucchini on the bottoms and sides, reserving about a quarter of what you remove from the inside of the zucchini. Carefully drop the hollowed out zucchini halves into the boiling water and cook for five to seven minutes, or until zucchini is crisp-tender. Drizzle 1 T. olive oil on a cookie sheet or baking pan, and place zucchini on the pan, cut side up. Chop up the reserved zucchini.
2. In a large sauté pan add remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the tablespoon of butter. Place the pan over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted and the pan is hot, add the green pepper, onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Add in the chopped zucchini. Cook until green peppers are tender and onion is nearly translucent. Add sausage and cook, breaking up with a spoon. When sausage is completely cooked through, remove the pan from the heat, and add the tomato and ¾ of the cheddar cheese.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fill the prepared zucchini with the sausage mixture. Top off with the remaining cheddar cheese. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and starting to brown.