Sunday, September 6, 2009

Recipes For a Week From A Busy, Doesn't Like to Cook, Mom's Kitchen

Because two of my loyal blog readers requested that I share my menu for the week, I will because I just so much appreciate them coming back to the site!

I don't like to cook and I don't enjoy being in the kitchen (just being honest-no pretending here), but I want to eat healthy and teach my kids how to eat a well balanced meal too. I cook simply and make sure the recipes are as easy and healthy as the two can be together. Growing up, the four sisters each had a day of the week where we cooked and I was notorious for making a meal with Bisquick. I still use those recipes, but I have grown up a bit, but not much more.

Here is this week's menu:

Monday - Labor Day
  • BBQ Chicken
  • Corn on the cob
  • Festive Macaroni Salad

My mom's recipe and I bring this dish to picnics and it is usually hit.
Cook 12 oz pasta (e.g. 6 oz. elbow macaroni)
Add 1/2 cup sweet pickle juice
1 cup pickles, cut up
1/2-1 cup celery, cut up
1 can sliced olives
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts & marinade
2 tsp garlic salt;
pepper; paprika
green onions, chopped
6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Italian dressing
Mix well and chill several hours.

Tuesday - First Day of School

  • Green Salad
  • Casbah CousCous Chicken
Found on the side of the CousCous box
1 1/2 lb. chicken
1 c. onion, chopped
1 c. carrot, chopped
1 c. mushrooms, halved
1 c. celery, sliced
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped (very optional & I don't add)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs curry powder
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
Then add:
1 1/2 c. cooked garbanzo beans
1 1/2 c. tomato sauce
1/2 c. raisins
1 c. water
1/2 c. wine
Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 40 minutes. Serve over prepared couscous as package directs.
Wednesday - Soccer practice and Youth group

  • Wheat rolls
  • Chicken & Salsa Soup

8 ounces cut up chicken
1 3/4 cups water
1 3/4 cups (14 1/2-ounce can)
reduced sodium chicken broth
1 to 2 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 cups loose-pack frozen while-kernel corn
1 cup salsa, mild
1/2 cups (2 ounces)
shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
3 cups (about 3 ounces) Tortilla Chips (optional, but really necessary to make it delicious)

Combine chicken, water, broth, and chili powder in large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, covered, for 8 minutes. Add corn; cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Stir in salsa; heat through. Sprinkle each serving with cheese. Serve with chips (crumble and mix in individual soup bowls). Makes 4 servings. (190 calories a serving)

Thursday - Drama Class @ 6:30pm
  • Potato salad from Monday
  • Fruit salad
  • Hamburgers (using low fat hamburger or turkey)
Friday - Special meal request from my husband
  • broccoli
  • Dressed Chicken Breasts with Angel Hair Pasta

1 c. ranch dressing
1/3 c Dijon-style mustard
4 whole chicken breasts, boned
1/2 cup butter or margarine (sorry, it is a lot of butter - so maybe cut back to 1/4 c.)
1/3 cup dry white wine
10 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked and drained
Chopped parsley

In small bowl, whisk together salad dressing and mustard; set aside. In medium skillet, saute chicken in butter until browned; transfer to dish. Keep warm. Pour wine into skillet; cook over medium-high heat, scraping up and browned bits from bottom of skillet, about 5 minutes. Whisk in dressing mixture; blend well. Serve chicken with sauce over pasta; sprinkle with parsley.

Saturday - day of play
  • Fish tacos
Tilapia, cabbage, sauce, crushed pineapple, chopped tomato. For recipe, click here.
That's it folks. Not too fancy, but my best effort for the first week of school. After reviewing my recipes, I thought maybe I will make a "Recipe Friday" here at Let's Get Real-About Life. That is until I run out of tried and true recipes.

If you have a favorite, simple recipe or other dinner ideas, please share it with us! If you tried one of the above recipes, please let me know what you thought of it! Happy Labor Day and first week of school!

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  1. ooh, these sound delish! and not all that simple! i was thinking you were going to write: Costco Rotisserie Chicken & pre-made salad bag. :)

    I'm going to def. try Friday's meal, and the Chicken Salsa soup!

    My cooking recipes def. need a re-vamping. You know when you kinda get in the same cycle?. :)

    Let's spice it up! :)
    Happy 1st week of school!

  2. Cooking isn't a priority for me either. I would rather just have a sandwich, cereal, eggs or tacos (something quick). However, I recently decided with a friend that we would try to expand the number of things we can cook and last week was our first kick-off recipe. We made Roasted Tomato Soup. It was fairly quick and really yummy. Here is the recipe: - Enjoy!
    Roasted Tomato Soup


    * 2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (mix of fresh heirlooms, cherry, vine and plum tomatoes)
    * 6 cloves garlic, peeled
    * 2 small yellow onions, sliced
    * Vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, optional
    * 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    * Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    * 1 quart chicken stock
    * 2 bay leaves
    * 4 tablespoons butter
    * 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, optional
    * 3/4 cup heavy cream, optional


    Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

    Wash, core and cut the tomatoes into halves. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves and onions onto a baking tray. If using vine cherry tomatoes for garnish, add them as well, leaving them whole and on the vine. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until caramelized.

    Remove roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion from the oven and transfer to a large stock pot (set aside the roasted vine tomatoes for later). Add 3/4 of the chicken stock, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a third.

    Wash and dry basil leaves, if using, and add to the pot. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Return soup to low heat, add cream and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish in bowl with 3 or 4 roasted vine cherry tomatoes and a splash of heavy cream.

  3. Well as the Father of two boys, my advice to them when they get a little older will be to learn how to cook three recipes well. Once they're in High School the'll each have a night of the week that will be their's to cook for the family. So after four years of that they should have three recipes that they can cook to impress. Because if you can't impress a girl by the third meal, then she's probably not the one for you.

  4. Thank you thank you thank you! I am so excited to try these recipies! I am totally impressed too, but inspired, because if you can do it I can too, right? I hope so. Thanks for sharing, and I think a recipe friday sounds great!

  5. This is FUN! Menus help so much...but alas, I haven't done one in awhile. Likely because I no longer work. Sharon, thanks so much for your recipes and thanks to everyone else too. Here is a recipe my neighbor gave me and it's SIMPLE! Not sure what it's called so I just call it Green Salsa Chicken Soup

    Green Salsa Chicken Soup

    2 boxes chicken broth (32 oz. each)
    1 jar La Victoria Thick and Chunky Salsa Verde
    - add as much as you want - it can be spicy
    so go slow and taste
    1/2 to 1 tsp. cumin (to taste)
    1 rotisserie chicken boned and cut into bite size pieces
    1/2 to 1 c mini shell noodles ( I just dump, sorry)
    Sour Cream as garnish

    Bring 2 boxes of chicken broth to boil, add noodles and cook till done. Add cumin, salsa and chicken. Heat through. Serve with dollop of sour cream in each bowl. It's delicious :-)

    Also, this has been a no fail recipe I've used for years, esp. when I forget to take something out of the freezer.

    Tuna Casserole

    * I usually double the ingredients
    1 small can tuna (I use albacore)
    1 can cream of chicken soup (lowfat, low salt)
    1/4 cup mayonnaise (light)
    1/2 soup can full of milk
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    2 cups rotelle noodles, uncooked
    1 small can Durkee onion rings (optional - my kids don't like them)
    Mix everything together but onion rings. Bake in a casserole dish at 350* for 30 min. Stir, then sprinkle onions on top, if using. Put back in oven and bake 10 - 15 min. more until noodles are cooked through (here in high elevation this takes almost an hour to cook but in San Diego I used the times I typed out).

  6. We revolve our meals around our BeWise Box of local/organic veges and it's "barbeque, salads and stir fry" over and over and over.... :) But, I can't complain since I am "conveniently" always working during dinner prep. I'd much rather do dishes.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes! I know there are so many magazines, website, and other references on simple recipes, but isn't it great when you know somebody who really has tried them before and found that yes (1) it was simple and (2) it was good! Thanks for joining me on this post - even though I am not much of a cook - I think we all agree we want to instill healthy eating habits in our kids!