Monday, November 28, 2011

Menu Plan 11/28 - 12/03

Dinner: Turkey chili with cornbread

Dinner: Curried cabbage with naan

Dinner: Homemade calzones with turkey sausage and spinach


Dinner: Black bean and cheese burritos


Dinner: Homemade tomato soup with Parmesan rolls

Dinner: Sheppard's pie

Monday, November 21, 2011

Menu Plan 11/21 - 11/27

I've barely cooked in days.

Dinner: Penne with vodka sauce

Dinner: Fried Rice

Dinner: Leftovers and/or homemade pizza


Dinner: Thanksgiving Day


Dinner: Turkey Sandwiches


Dinner: Lentil Loaf


Dinner: Burgers

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Nice Surpise

Like many women out there, I am always struggling with my weight. I've been thin and I've been large and I am never happy with my body. I have the motivation, but I guess not the drive. I know I have to do something, but don't. It's a never ending cycle.

Anyway, today I weighed myself. Good God, it was not pretty, but I was down 3 pounds from the last time I stepped on the scale. That might be the little shove I need to actually do something.

Menu Plan 11/14 -- 11/19

Another week, another batch of meals.

Dinner: Black beans and rice

Dinner: Hummus pizza

Dinner: Masala burgers with potato salad


Dinner: Black bean and cheese burgers

Dinner: Zucchini and Feta Fritters

Dinner: Baked chicken with rice

Friday, November 11, 2011

Potato Taquitos

This dish took a little longer than expected. I've made flautas and chimichangas before, but these seemed to take forever!! Nonetheless, they are delicious!

3 russet potatoes -- peeled and cubed
1/2 C sour cream -- I used light
1 jalapeno -- seeded and chopped
1 onion -- chopped
handful of shredded cheese -- I used sharp cheddar
19 corn tortillas - approximately 6 inch diameters
oil for frying
Salt to taste

Boil cubed potatoes in salted water until fork tender. Drain and mash with sour cream until desired consistency. Add onion, jalapeno, cheese, and salt. Mix well.

Heat a skillet with about 1/2 inch of oil. Warm the tortillas so they are just pliable, but not crisp. Put approximately one tablespoon of potato filling and roll up as tightly as possible. Secure with a toothpick. Start frying the taquitos for approximately 3 minutes on each side. Once lightly browned and crisp, remove. I place mine in a large mixing bowl stuffed with paper towels. I put the hot taquitos in the bowl standing up so the oil drips out of it.

I served these with black refried beans.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ridiculously Easy Bean and Cheese Burritos

I made these last night and they were a hit! I made them a couple of weeks ago and although the taste was great, the texture was off. This girl likes her crunch and the burritos just didn't have any. When I made them last night, I added raw onions and jalapenos right before baking. It made such a difference in taste and texture!

1 can refried black beans (I got mine from Trader Joe's)
4 Burrito size flour tortillas
1 onion -- chopped
Shredded cheese -- I used sharp cheddar
1 fresh jalapeno -- seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
Olive Oil
Water as needed

Heat a tiny bit of oil in a skillet. Add the refried beans and warm them up. They loosen up when they start getting warm. If the beans are still too thick, add a bit of water until the desired consistency. I did have to add about three tablespoons of water. Add spices and cook until hot.

Place some of the mixture in the middle of a tortilla. Add some raw onions and jalapenos. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll up burrito style and brush lightly with oil. Lightly sprinkle burritos with salt and bake in a 350 oven for 25 minutes.

That's it! B ate three of them!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Creamy Bean Stew

Los Angeles had a bit of rain this weekend. I loved it. This soup was perfect for a rainy weekend.

3 cans of white kidney beans (cannelli beans) -- drained and rinsed
1 large onion -- chopped
2 cloves garlic -- minsed
1 can diced tomatoes -- drained
2 cups water
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a pot. Add 3/4 of the onion and all of the garlic. Stir until onions just start to become soft. Add all of the spices and stir until fragrant. Add tomatoes and water and bring to boil. Add two cans of beans and simmer for a couple of minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend mixture to preferred smoothness. I blending until there were still chunks of tomatoes, but the beans were perfectly smooth. Put back on heat and add salt, pepper, and remaining can of whole beans. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Once the stew is done cooking, add the remaining 1/4 of the chopped onion. I like the slight crunch in the stew.

I served this with homemade croutons on top. Very hearty, very nutritious, and very easy.

Spending Like Crazy

Well, I'm still struggling with spending. I need to find that happy medium where I don't feel deprived of anything and still be able to put the maximum amount in my savings. I've done it before and I can do it again.

This Thursday is payday and after a quick summary of the upcoming bills, I've realized that I will have to put $100 less in my savings to cover everything and give myself a bit of a cushion. I know, it's not much, but it pains me nonetheless.

I guess, I'm being hard on myself because all of my unexpected spending could be prevented. About 98% of all of this spending is on eating out. That is inexcusable and yet I find myself with this same issue time and time again.

I currently have $11,461 in liquid savings. At the end of March, I take $5K and put it into an IRA. My goal is always to have at least $10K after that deduction and it looks like I will have it. That's a good thing.

I'm a spender by nature and in recent years have forced myself to become a saver. Whenever I allow myself some flexibility, my true self comes out and it is harder and harder to reign myself in and become the person I need to be.

Meal Plan 11/07 -- 11/12

I'm slowing getting back to the swing of cooking. I realized that although I do love to cook, I also love NOT to cook. There are very few things as decadent of going to an establishment, ordering whatever food your heart desires, and having it served and cleared for you.

Dinner: Kobi Bhaji (curried cabbage) with naan

Dinner: Bean and Cheese Burritos


Dinner: Baked rigatoni with chicken

Dinner: Potato taquitos with refried black beans


Dinner: Homemade pizza


Dinner: Lentil loaf with mashed potatoes

Friday, November 4, 2011

Corn Cakes

This was another easy dish that came together in absolutely no time. I served this with some black bean relish.

2 cans of sweet corn, drained thoroughly
1 small onion -- chopped
1 jalapeno -- seeded and chopped finely
1 C flour
1/2 C corn meal
2 eggs -- beaten
2-3 Tbls milk
2 Tbls butter -- melted
Salt and Pepper to taste
Oil for frying

Take one and half cans of the corn and lightly pulse in blender or food processor until slightly pureed, but still mostly chunky. Add that mixture to the remaining whole corn kernels. Add flour, onions, corn meal, jalapeno and mix. Once incorporated add the milk, butter, and eggs. Mix until combined.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and pour enough oil to barely cover the surface. I also used a nonstick pan to prevent any sticking and not having to use a ton of oil. Once the oil is VERY hot, spoon the mixture into the pan and slightly flatten. I used a small pan and only cooked 3 at a time. Once the top of the corn cake sets and the bottom is a nice brown color, flip and cook until done.

Black Bean Relish:

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tomato -- diced
2 green onions -- chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

Mix everything together. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Pour relish on top of corn cake and eat!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vegetable Curry -- Vegan

I made this over the weekend without much expectation. I was wrong. This is easy and very tasty!

1 onion -- chopped
2 cloves garlic -- minced
2 Tbls oil
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can of coconut milk (I used light)
A bag of frozen mixed vegetables (or whatever fresh kind you have on hand)
2 potatoes -- cubed and boiled until tender
1 14.5 can of garbanzo beans -- drained and rinsed
Water -- as needed
1 Tbls garam masala
1 Tbls curry powder
1 Tbls ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste

In a large pot heat the oil. Add onion and garlic. Cook for five minutes and then add, garam masala, curry powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt. Stir until the mixture is fragrant. Add a bit of water, maybe about half a cup. Bring to a simmer and then add the tomatoes, potatoes, garbanzo beans, and vegetables. If consistency is still too thick, add more water. If not, then add the coconut milk and salt to taste. Simmer for ten minutes.

I served this over rice.

Meal Plan 10/31 - 11/05

I'm going to start posting my meal plans again. I've realized it also helps me to remember the dishes I have made. Sometimes I fall into a rut and can't see past the three dishes that keep popping into my head.

I'm also cooking vegetarian now. I'm not sure how long this will last, but we'll see how it goes.

Dinner: Zucchini and feta cheese fritters with salad

Dinner: Potato Tacos


Dinner: Polenta with black bean salsa

Dinner: Corn cakes with salad

Dinner: Cheese tortellini with pesto

Dinner: Ecuadorian bean stew with French bread