Here's the meal plan for the week of January 9th:
Slow Cooker Cabbage and Pork Stew (adapted from Betty Crocker's Slow Cooker Cookbook), 6-8 servings
1 lb boneless pork (the original recipe called for country style ribs, but I'm just using chops)
4 med carrots, cut into 1/4" slices (2 cups)
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 med potato, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces (I'm using 2 red potatoes and not peeling)
1 med onion, chopped
4 cups chopped cabbage (about 1 med head)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 cups water
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes, undrained
Mix all ingredients in large slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until pork and veggies are tender.
Super-Fast Spinach, Pesto and Cheese Lasagna, 8 servings
3 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 7-ounce package prepared pesto
4 cups bottled chunky pasta sauce
12 no-boil lasagna noodles from one 8-ounce package
2 cups grated Fontina cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend ricotta and Parmesan in medium bowl. Season cheeses with salt and pepper; stir in egg. Blend spinach and pesto in another medium bowl.
Brush 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with oil. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce in prepared dish. Arrange 3 noodles side by side atop sauce. Spread 1 1/4 cups ricotta cheese mixture over in thin layer. Drop 1/3 of spinach mixture over by spoonfuls. Repeat layering with sauce, noodles, ricotta cheese mixture and spinach mixture 2 more times. Top with remaining 3 noodles and 1 cup sauce.
Cover lasagna with foil. Bake 35 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with Fontina cheese. Bake lasagna until heated through, sauce bubbles, and cheese on top is melted, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes for easier slicing and serving.
Slow Cooker Pho
We tried Pho at a Vietnamese restaurant once and did not care for it (likely because we tried it with authentic cow intestines or something). I'm going to give it a shot at home though, using this recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking. I'll probably serve mine w/cilantro, shredded cabbage, green chili rings, and lime wedges, since I'm using those ingredients for some of the other recipes this week. Traditionally I believe you should do bean sprouts, but I hate buying a whole bag of bean sprouts and then not using it all. Next time I will plan better and do a second meal that requires them :)
Stir Fried Pumpkin with Lamb (this comes from The Pumpkin Cookbook) 4-6 servings
2 garlic cloves
1/4" piece fresh ginger
1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted
1 Tbs grated lemon zest
3 Tbs lemon juice
1/2" piece green chili, seeded
1 lb lamb from leg, cut into thin strips
Process above ingredients except lamb to make a paste (in food processor or w/large mortar and pestle). Rub paste on lamb, cover and refrigerate 4-6 hrs.
2-3 Tbs EVOO
1 3/4 lb pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4" thick cubes
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2" piece green chili, seeded
1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 Tbs chopped cilantro
S & P
Stir fry pumpkin, coriander seeds, and green chili in EVOO until browned. Add a little vegetable stock, cover and cook on low about 2 mins.
Heat a wok and add EVOO. Add lamb with marinade and stir fry over high heat 4-5 mins until browned. Add pumpkin mixture and stir fry until heated through, adding more stock if necessary. Stir in the cilantro, add S&P to taste.
Fajitas, about 4 servings, but you can easily add more chicken and peppers
1 clove minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs lime juice (fresh is best)
1 1/2 lbs sliced chicken
marinate in fridge a couple hours
Saute chicken with sliced bell peppers and onions and serve with warm tortillas, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro and salsa or pico de gallo.