Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Meal Plan: Leftovers

For the first time in a long time - we didn't go shopping on the weekend. I've always got a few weeks of food stored, so we shouldn't starve. Choosing to do this does, however, greatly limit my experimentation. It also means I'm using a some prepared foods (Hamburger helper, and the taco mix) that have sat in the house for a long time. The funny thing is - after this week I'll still have plenty of food in the house.

Chicken FajitasTake out: BBQ chicken, french fries & cold slawMarinated butcher-block steak, romaine salad with red wine vinagretteHamburger helper, carrots & celery sticksChicken provincial and steamed green beans over brown riceChicken fried riceVegetarian cassoulet for 6

Lunch: Chicken and hummus sandwich with romaine lettuce on a whole-wheat bagel.

Dinner: I went to a friend's house to cook. Fortunately (for me) he had olive oil as I forgot to bring mine. I fried up the trimmed chicken thighs in a bit of olive oil, then added the strips of bell pepper and 1/2 the onion to the pan. When the onion was translucent I added the seasoning and 1/4 cup of water. When the mix was incorporated, I added 3 tablespoons of medium salsa and stirred well. Then I took the pan off the heat. The mix was served on flat-bread with more medium salsa, cheese and sour cream.

Lunch: Leftover Chicken Soba soup.

Dinner: It was a quiet day and neither of us felt like making dinner - so we ordered in. A local place does an amazing rotisserie chicken and it's almost as cheap as buying it from the grocery store. The meal was good, and as I said - we were lazy.

Lunch: Out with a friend.

Dinner: The butcher-block steak had been marinating since last night. It was sitting in a mix of 1 cup red wine, 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons steak spice and 1 tablespoon thyme. We barbecued it until it was no longer red in the middle. It was served with a salad of romaine lettuce, a yellow bell pepper, and 2 oz cheese. The dressing was 3 tablespoons red wine vinagrette, 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 shakes of pepper.

Surprisingly there's enough steak left for a sandwich or two.

Lunch: Lentil-barely stew (from the freezer)

Dinner: Hamburger helper.
Other than a few minor changes (smaller portions, extra-lean ground beef, more careful in removing the fat) -- this is the same orange box I cooked from when I first moved out. I served it with a crisp spinach and romaine salad and a tart vinagrette to try and round out the meal.

Lunch: Lentil-barely stew (from the freezer)

Dinner: Chicken provincial and steamed green beans over brown rice.
This recipe is surprisingly simple and quick. Other than taking a pulsing hand blender to the sauce (to make it creamy instead of chunky), I make no changes to the recipe. Often the main course is done just before the rice. If I have enough, I like to cook the brown rice in homemade fat-free chicken broth as I find it greatly improves the taste.

Lunch: 1/2 Chicken breast Parmesan with extra sauce (from the freezer) and small salad

Dinner:Chicken fried rice
This, for me, is the penultimate way to get rid of leftover cooked chicken. I often double the amount of chicken that the recipe calls for. My frying man is an absolute mess when I'm done, but it tastes so good. We miss the salt, so I've begun adding a bit of Chinese 5-spice powder on top.

Lunch: PBJ, yogurt, and fruit

Dinner: Vegetarian cassoulet
There wasn't much left of this one - so I'm calling it a success. It's not quite a cassoulet (no meat, and it took only a bit over an hour to cook); but it is easy and very tasty. We served it with fresh belgian bread and additional paremsan cheese. I've got some garlic crutons left over; wo I'll have good things for salads next week.


This is a list of all the groceries required for dinners. I've left out the lunches just to keep the list a reasonable size.
  • 2 red bell peppers (Chicken Fajitas)

  • 1 yellow bell pepper

  • 1 vidalia onion (Chicken Fajitas)

  • 1 head romaine lettuce

  • 3 medium leeks (Vegetarian Cassoulet)

  • 7 medium carrots, (Vegetarian Cassoulet, chicken fried rice, Hamburger Helper)

  • 5 celery ribs, (Vegetarian Cassoulet, Hamburger Helper)

  • 6 garlic cloves, (Vegetarian Cassoulet, chicken fried rice)

  • 1 small yellow onion (Chicken fried rice)

  • 1 baguette (Vegetarian Cassoulet)

  • 1 pk flat bread (Chicken fajitas)

  • 1 jar medium salsa (Chicken fajitas)

  • 1/4 lb cheese(Chicken fajitas)

  • No-fat sour cream(Chicken fajitas)

  • 4 large egg white(s) (Chicken fried rice)

  • 1 butcher's block steak (Marinated steak)

  • 1 lb extra-lean hamburger meat (Hamburger helper)

  • 1 lb chicken breasts (Chicken provincial)

  • 1 lb cooked chicken (Chicken fried rice)

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs (Chicken fajitas)

  • low-sodium soy sauce (Chicken fried rice)

  • olive oil (All recipes)

  • Frozen green beans (Marinated butcher's block steak)

  • Frozen green peas (chicken fried rice)

  • 1 bag brown rice (Sauted chicken, chicken fried rice)

  • 4 thyme sprigs (Vegetarian Cassoulet)

  • 2 parsley sprigs (Vegetarian Cassoulet)

  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf (Vegetarian Cassoulet)

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (Vegetarian Cassoulet)

  • 3 (19-oz) cans white kidney beans (Vegetarian Cassoulet)

  • Steak spice (Marinated steak)

  • Basil (Marinated steak)

  • red wine (Marinated steak)

  • 1 pk fajita mix

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