• If you're a new visitor to this blog, please read "how to use this blog" off to the right-hand-side.
• Check NOTES under each meal for ahead-of-time preps.
• By clicking on “older posts” at the bottom of this page, you can look back at previous week’s recipes.
• If you are looking for a particular recipe, use the search box at the right-hand-side then scroll to the top of the page to see search results.
• I will be taking a few weeks off from blogging over the holidays…see you back here in January (but check the blog once in awhile as I will be posting single recipes now and then).
• Tastes like lasagna but a lot less work! I made the beef mixture (through step 2) the night before. I also cooked the pasta the night before as well. Before dinner, all I did was mix cheeses and then assemble and bake. You could also completely preassemble, put in fridge then bake when ready.
• 3 c. penne, rotini or other large pasta (I had shells on hand so we used that)
• 2 tsp olive oil
• 12 oz lean ground beef
• ½ c. chopped onions
• 1 c. finely chopped or grated carrots
• 1 jar pasta sauce
• 1 small can diced tomatoes, drained
• 1 tsp Italian seasoning
• 1 small container (15-17 oz) ricotta cheese
• 1 egg
• 5-7 leaves fresh basil, chopped (optional)
• 1 ½ c. grated mozzarella cheese
• ¼ c. Parmesan cheese
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Toss with olive oil, set aside.
2. In a large skillet, cook beef over meidum0high heat until browned. Add onions and carrots; cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in pasta sauce and Italian seasoning. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg, and 1 c. of the mozzarella cheese. Set aside.
4. To assemble: spread half of the meat mixture on bottom of 13x9 inch baking dish. Top with all of pasta. Top with remaining meat mixture. Sprinkle with remaining ½ c. mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.
5. Bake in a preheated oven, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes or until bubbling and brown on top. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
• Make this up to a day ahead and re-heat for dinnner or leftovers.
• Pie crust (make your own or buy frozen or refrigerated)
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 shallots, thinly sliced
• 1 lb assorted mushrooms, sliced
• salt and freshly ground pepper
• ½ c. milk
• ½ c. heavy cream
• ¼ tsp pepper
• 6 large eggs
• 6 oz Gruyere cheese (or use a pre-shredded Italian blend)
1. If using a pre-made crust, pre-bake according to package directions (if any). If making your own crust, once rolled and place in pie plates, cover with double thickness of foil and bake for 8 minutes covered. Remove foil and bake 4-5 minutes longer or until dry. Turn oven heat to 350.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until translucent but not brown, about 1 minutes. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until mushrooms first release their liquid and then liquid has evaporated, about 8-10 minutes.
3. Place pie pan on a baking sheet (to prevent run-off from burning in the bottom of your oven) and sprinkle half of the cheese evenly over the bottom of the crust. Spread mushrooms over the cheese and then top with remaining cheese. In a medium bowl, whisk togehte rmilok, cream, and eggs. Season with salt and pepper and pour over cheese. Bake at 350 until just set in the center, about 30-45 minutes.
4. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before slicking.
• Yum! This made great leftovers for a few lunches after we had it for dinner on Sunday night. Keep in mind the stew requires 1 ½ hours of simmering on the stove top so it would also work well in the crock pot on low…when you get home or when you’re ready to prep dinner, add veggies, tomatoes, and quick-cooking barley (step 2) and cook on high until tender.
• 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
• 12 oz beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
• 4 14-oz cans low-sodium beef broth
• 1 c. chopped onion
• ½ c. chopped celery
• 1 tsp dried oregano or basil
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• ½ tsp ground black pepper
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
• 1-2 c. frozen mixed veggies
• 2/3 c. barley (quick-cooking if you have it)
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add meat and cook, turning occasionally, until meat is browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth, onion, celery, oregano, garlic, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours.
2. Stir in frozen veggies tomatoes with juice and return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until barley is cooked (15 minutes for quick-cooking, 30-1 hour for regular). Discard bay leaf before serving.
• I pre-cut chicken and veggies the night before to make for an easy prep after work. We also did not have tortellini so I used pasta but I think tortellini would be better.
• 1 9 oz pkg refrigerated spinach or cheese tortellini
• 2 c. fresh broccoli florets
• 1 c. fresh baby carrots, sliced thin
• 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
• 2 c. fresh sliced mushrooms
• 1 large onion, cut into wedges
• 1 ½ tsp minced garlic
• ¾ boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
• 1 jar (15 oz) Alfredo sauce (or make your own white sauce – see Recipe 5 from http://weeknightmeals.blogspot.com/2010/03/week-8-recipes-shopping-list.html for directions)
• 1 tsp Italian seasoning
1. Cook tortellini according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté broccoli and carrots in 2 tbsp oil for 5-6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in the mushrooms onion and garlic; sauté vegetables 3-4 minutes longer or until veggies are tender. Remove veggies and keep warm.
2. In the same skillet, cook chicken seasoned with salt and pepper in remaining oil over medium heat for 4-6 minutes or until no longer pink. Return veggies to skillet and stir in Alfredo/white sauce and seasonings; heat through. Drain tortellini; add to chicken mixture. Toss to coat.
• ½ c. bread crumbs (use high-quality panko crumbs)
• 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
• salt and pepper
• 5 tbsp olive oil
• 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 19-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
• 2 bunches arugula or spinach, trimmed
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the bread crumbs, rosemary, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper and 3 tbsp of oil in a large bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Transfer shrimp and any excess crumbs to a baking sheet. Bake until the shrimp are cooked through and the bread crumbs are crispy about 10-15 minutes.
2. Heat remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the beans, ¼ c. water, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add spinach or arugula and toss to combine.
3. Divide the beans among individual plates and serve with crispy shrimp. Sprinkle with any extra bread crumbs from the pan over the top.
• The shopping list is organized by category and then within each category by meal. After each item you’ll see a number in parenthesis which corresponds to the meal number. That way you can easily pick which recipes you want to try and then find those items (or cross items out) on the list.
• Under Veggies/Fruit I have italicized anything that is a veggie or fruit but NOT found in the fresh fruits and veggie area of the supermarket.
• 12 oz lean ground beef (1)
• 12 oz beef stew meat (3)
• ¾ lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips (4)
• 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (5)
• Onions – ½ c. chopped (1), 1 c. chopped (3), 1 (4)
• Carrots – 1 c. chopped or grated (1), 1 c. sliced thin (4)
• Tomatoes – 1 small can, diced (1), 1 14.5 oz can diced (3)
• 1 jar pasta sauce (1)
• Fresh basil – 5-7 leaves (1) (optional)
• Mushrooms – 1 lb assorted (2), 2 c. sliced (4)
• Shallots (small purple onion, usually found near the garlic) – 2 (2)
• 1-2 c. frozen mixed veggies (3)
• Celery – ½ c. chopped (3)
• Garlic – 2 cloves minced (3), 1 ½ tsp (4), 1 clove (5)
• Fresh broccoli florets – 2 c. (4)
• 2 bunches arugula or spinach (5)
• Fresh rosemary – 2 tsp chopped (5)
Breads & starches
• 3 c. penne, rotini or other large pasta (I used shells b/c that’s what we had)
• Pie crust (buy frozen, refrigerated or make your own)
• 2/3 c. quick-cooking barley (or regular, just be aware it will take about twice as long to cook)
• 1 pkg refrigerated spinach or cheese tortellini (4)
• High quality panko bread crumbs – ½ c. (5)
• Black pepper
• Olive oil
• Canola or vegetable oil
• Italian seasoning – 1 tsp (1), 1 tsp (4)
• Bay leaf – 1 (3)
• Dried basil (or oregano) – 1 tsp (3)
• Mozzarella cheese – 1 ½ c. grated (1)
• Parmesan cheese – ¼ c. grated (1)
• Ricotta – 1 15-17 oz container (1)
• Milk – ½ c. (2)
• Heavy cream – ½ c. (2)
• Gruyere cheese – 6 oz (or use a pre-shredded Italian blend) (2)
• 6 large eggs (2)
• 4 14-oz cans low-sodium beef broth (3)
• 1 jar Alfredo sauce (4) (or make your own! See the link to my recipe in Recipe 4 this week)
• 1 19-oz can cannellini beans (5)