This week I’m mixing new recipes with some old standbys. I’ve been making a lighter version of chicken enchiladas for years now (I’ll reveal the recipe at a later date) so that’s my choice for our Mexican food night.
In honor of our crockpot giveaway, I’m going to make pork tenderloin in the slow cooker using a recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking. I’ve been meaning to try more meat-type dishes. I’m not very comfortable cooking meat and think that the slow cooker is the ideal way to start. The boys in my family really like meat — and my youngest just switched to whole milk so I’m seeking out iron sources.
I’ll let you know how it turns out. For more meal ideas check out Menu Plan Monday at Org Junkie.
What’s Cooking This Week
Monday: Chicken Enchiladas and Black Beans. Will make a side of guacamole.
Tuesday: Spinach and Mushroom Pizza using Whole Wheat Boboli Crust. Will serve with a salad.
Wednesday: Pineapple Pork Tenderloin in the Slow Cooker (made with green and orange peppers). Side of fruit and bread.
Friday: Oven Roasted Cod, lentils, and carrots.
Last Week’s Recap
Last week I tried making two new items from scratch: turkey meatballs and salsa.
The meatballs turned out good but were somewhat high maintenance. My kids were playing in the living room while I immersed both of my hands in the ground meat mixing everything (very gross, very gross).
After some kneading, I stuck my head in to check on David and saw him chewing on something (he just turned one). I rushed over with my hands all covered in raw meat and removed a small battery from his mouth without cross-contaminating. After quickly washing my hands and checking the area, I saw that he finagled the battery out of the remote control.
Little ones never cease to amaze.
Thankfully the salsa was drama-free. It was decent but way too “oniony.” I’ll keep trying and will post it when I get it right. I really, really love fresh salsa and want to get good at making it.
So I’m slowly learning my limits for cooking at this stage of the game. With really young children, I need my attention on them and may not be able to spend as much time in the kitchen. But I’m hoping that will get easier as they get older and I become a more confident cook.
I’m always on the lookout for nutritious recipes but I am going to really focus on ones that take very little time. I’m going to start timing how long it takes me to prepare items. If I can make it fast you KNOW it’s easy. My goal is 10 minutes or less.
Let me know if you have a super-fast easy and nutritious recipe that you’d like to share.
I have a confession to make: I’ve been getting sloppy with my meal planning.
Last week I forgot a few items and had to run back to the store. Our printer hasn’t been working so I’m back to writing out my list on random pieces of paper. No Bueno.
I’m going to add a food prep day for those little annoying items I never feel like making during the week. For the last three weeks, I’ve been meaning to make tuna. I buy the red onions and celery but the whole week goes by and nothing.
So I’ve decided to make Sunday “food day” around here. I’m going to get up early, start my meal plan and grocery list and get to the store before my kids’ naps. During their afternoon nap I will make the little things I need for the week like muffins, tuna/chicken salad, and salsa.
I’m going to remind myself that the more I get done this one itty bitty day of the week, the better the whole week will go. When the food part of the week goes smoothly, everything else seems to follow.
Well, that’s it for now. Let me know how meal planning is going for you (or not). Do you have a food prep day?
Want a better way to meal plan? Get step-by-step help in Maryann’s book The Family Dinner Solution.
Lori H says
About salsa, I was trying to perfect a recipe until I made the Restaurant Style Salsa from the Pioneer Womans blog. It is perfect!
Kathleen Cuneo says
I too hate the feeling of mix ground meat for meatballs! Now that my daughter is old enough, I often enlist her help for that task. And I just wanted to pass along a tip I learned from a friend. When you try a new recipe and then feel like you need to make adjustments for the future (e.g., less onion, more pepper, cook longer, etc.), make sure you write it down! Jot down some notes on your recipes/cookbooks so you don’t forget for next time.
I agree with you 100% about the food part of the week making everything else flow better. Even an hour of prep on the weekends makes a HUGE difference in our week.
I’m not sure what’s wrong with my site but I can’t seem to reply to comments.
Lori, that is exactly the recipe I intend to try. That is too funny!!
Kathleen, thanks for the tip. I know I can’t rely on my memory any longer!
Michelle, you are so right!
Off to fix this problem…
Katja Rowell says
tuna salad pantry-style:
tuna, miracle whip, sweet pickle relish, touch of dijon…
Experiment with what works in terms of amounts for you. Can use mayo instead of miracle whip…
I happen to be married to a man who doesn’t like crunchy things in his tuna, so this is what we do. It’s pretty good and we have all the items in the pantry-no grocery stop needed! It works great in M’s lunches in a little tupperware container with some whole wheat crackers.