July Meals

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Another month...another set of meals. I am not sure what I would do without freezer cooking!  We would all lose weight! LOL This is only HALF of what we will eat this month as a friend of mine will provide the other half of our meals.  The meals below will be doubled so that I can give her six meals in return.  Such an awesome system! Here is what is on the menu this month:

Spinach Strawberry Salad
{I may use the lettuce from our garden instead and the FREE pecans given to us earlier in the year.  Obviously, this is NOT a freezer meal...just one that can be thrown together at the last minute.}

  • 6 oz (approx 6 cups) baby spinach leaves
  • 1 pint (approx. 16 medium-size) fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered or sliced
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (will probably use a milder onion)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3-4 tablespoons raspberry poppy seed dressing
  • 1/2 cup candied pecan pieces

To make candied pecan pieces put the pecans in a non-stick skillet.  Add about 1/4 cup white sugar (honestly, I eyeball this so I can't tell you the exact amount).  Put over medium heat and stir constantly until sugar melts and caramelizes.  Remove from heat and put pecans on wax paper to cool.

Roasted Vegetable Mac and Cheese
{Recipe Source}

1 cup broccoli florets, chopped into small chunks
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 yellow squash, quartered and diced
10 baby carrots, sliced thinly
2 cups whole wheat pasta (elbow macaroni, rotini, penne, etc.)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. panko breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Set a medium pot of salted water to boil. Prepare a large baking sheet by lining with aluminum foil and coating with a little olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.
Toss broccoli, red pepper, squash and carrots onto the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until vegetables have softened. Remove from oven and set aside.
Once water is boiling, lower heat slightly and add pasta, cooking according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, stirring constantly until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar cheese until well distributed and melted. Add red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Add macaroni and vegetables.
Place mixture in a large casserole dish and sprinkle with panko breadcrumbs. Place under the broiler in your oven (500 degrees) for 3-4 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Mexican Bell Peppers {NOT}

We LOVED this recipe, but my boys are not fond of that much bell pepper.  So I think this time around I am going to chop up extra bell pepper in the meat mixture and put it over a bed of crushed tortilla chips and then bake.  That should do the trick!  Here is the recipe.

Lime and Coconut Chicken

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tbsp oil
zest of 1 lime
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
pinch cayenne
1 small fresh hot chili, such as Thai or Serrano, minced (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Fresh limes, cut into wedges

Trim fat from chicken breasts. Starting on thick side of the breasts slice the chicken breasts almost in half, then open each like a book.
Place each open breast between two pieces of plastic wrap, wax paper or inside a large, open, Ziploc bag.
Using a small heavy pan, bottle or smooth meat mallet lightly pound out each breast into even thickness.
Mix all remaining ingredients except fresh cilantro and limes.
Add chicken and marinade to a large bowl or ziploc bag and chill in the refrigerator for up to two hours.
Your chicken doesn’t take long to cook so you can use this time to get your dishes prepped and ready.
Once you are ready to cook the chicken, remove each breast from the marinade.
Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Boil continuously for at least 2 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn.
In a heavy skillet or grill pan, heat a splash of oil over high heat.
Cook the chicken in batches to prevent over crowding the pan.
Place the breasts in the hot pan and cook without turning for a couple minutes
Flip the breasts over and cook until the other side is golden, it shouldn’t take long depending on the thickness of your chicken.
Place cooked breasts on a plate in a warm oven or under foil while cooking the remaining chicken.
Sprinkle with fresh lime juice and cilantro. Serve with sauce on the side.

Summer Meal Pouches
No recipe here.  And I don't think this will be a freezer meal per se. I will just hand over the ingredients to my friend.  Basically, cut up kielbasa, onion, peppers, potatoes (that I might partially cook before putting in the pouch) put into aluminum foil and then grilled.
Turkey Basil Meatballs 
{Served with sauce and over pasta.  Hoping to use some of  the basil growing in my garden!}

  • 2 pounds ground turkey breast (99% lean)
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • ½ cup egg substitute or egg whites
Mix all the above ingredients.  Shape the meatballs.  I then bake them in the oven at about 350 until they are cooked through.  I then let them cool and bag them for the freezer.

What's on your menu this month?

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