My dear friend, Kerri Schlenker, is a new working mom whose resolution this year is to be a more efficient meal planner. Of course, I was more than willing to help her out. In her freezer right now are chicken breasts, ground beef, pork chops and a roast. Below are a few recipes to help her get started on her 2012 meal planning. And, there should be some leftovers so her and KC can have a healthy lunch during the week.
Chicken Taco Soup (from allrecipes.com)
Serves 8: This is one of my favorite recipes, plus it's just Kerri and KC who are eating, so there will be plenty of leftovers for lunch or to freeze for dinner later this winter.
-1 onion, chopped
-1 can chili beans, undrained
-1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 can whole kernel corn, drained
-1 can tomato sauce, 8 ounce
-1 can or bottle beer
-2 cans diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
-3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
-1 tablespoon chili powder
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/4 teaspoon onion powder
-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
-1/4 teaspoon oregano
-1/2 teaspoon paprika
-1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
-1 teaspoon sea salt
-1 teaspoon black pepper
1. Place onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer and diced tomatoes in slow cooker.
2. Stir in chili powder, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.
3. Add chicken and submerge.
4. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
5. Towards the end, remove chicken, shred and return to soup until heated through.
Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa and tortilla chips!
Pierogies and Meatballs (meatball recipe from allrecipes.com)
This is a quick and easy recipe for any night of the week, plus for Kerri and KC there will be enough meatballs leftover to freeze and use later this winter. Or, they can take the leftovers for lunch during the week. Either way, it's a win-win for this busy family!
-1 box frozen Pierogies
-1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
-1 pound ground beef
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1 tablespoon onion powder
-1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
-1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
-3/4 teaspoons dried oregano
-3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
-1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
-1/3 cup skim milk
-1/4 cup grated parmeson cheese
-1/2 cup bread crumbs
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine ground beef, sea salt, onion powder, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, oregano, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, milk, parmeson cheese and bread crumbs in mixing bowl
3. Form into 16 meatballs.
4. Place on baking sheet (I placed mine on cookie drying rack on top of baking sheet) and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until no longer pink.
5. Meanwhile, cook Pierogies and pasta sauce as directed.
Add a tossed salad and some garlic bread for a satisfying meal. If there are leftover meatballs, I suggest freezing them to use later in the winter.
Pork Chops for the Slow Cooker (adapted from allrecipes.com)
-3 pork chops
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-1/4 cup ketchup
-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
-1 teaspoon minced garlic
-Salt and pepper to taste
1. Mix brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, ground ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in the slow cooker.
2. Add pork chops and stir to cover.
3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Serve with white or brown rice, steamed broccoli, snap peas or green beans sauteed in olive oil and garlic.
Pot Roast (from Weight Watchers Best Eats cookbook)
This is my favorite pot roast recipe. I typically am not a big fan of "meat" leftovers, but even I'll eat this the next day...it is that good. And what a great way to start (on Sunday) or end (on Friday) the week for this busy family!
-2.5 lbs boneless bottom round roast
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-2 large onions (sliced)
-1 3/4 cups water or beef broth
-1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic or red-wine vinegar
-1 envelope dry onion soup mix
-1 tsp dried thyme
-1 3/4 lbs red potatoes (quartered)
-1 pound baby carrots
1. Sprinkle the roast with pepper and salt; add to the slow cooker.
2. Add the onions, carrots and potatoes.
3. Mix together the remaining ingredients and add to the slow cooker.
4. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
-Serve with your favorite dinner roll.
Note: Kerri, I hope this helps you get the ball rolling with meal planning for you beautiful family. I know how hard it can be!