Friday, February 15, 2013

Planning Ahead

I'm trying to do a better job of planning ahead when it comes to cooking.  The last two weeks, I have successfully made at least a couple of meals in advance on the weekend so we could reheat them during the week and spend more time as a family and less time stressing out during that ridiculous 5-7pm time after work and before Sophie's bedtime. 

Last week, I made this Rustic Tomato Rice Kale Stew (courtesy of Happy Healthy Life), modified slightly, on Sunday.  The only change I made was omitting the frozen pea and carrot blend and instead starting with sauteeing a frozen mirepoix blend before following the rest of the recipe.   

I made some quick cheddar biscuits along with the stew, and we had enough leftover for a couple of lunches.  My picky little eater loved the cheddar biscuits and even agreed to try a few bites of the stew.  I call that a victory!

Photo courtesy of Happy Healthy Life
I also made ahead what I intended to be a black bean enchilada dish, but after the tortillas kept breaking apart as I rolled them, I improvised and it turned into a mexican lasagna of sorts.  Sophie and I had dinner with one of my girlfriends Monday night while Jason was in session and we all devoured the dish - Sophie had two helpings.  I need to work on food photography or at least taking pictures before diving in to the finished product! 

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:  small corn tortillas, 1/4 onion, shredded light Mexican cheese, 2 cans black beans, 1 can light cream of mushroom soup, 1 8oz container light sour cream, one small can chopped green chiles, cilantro, cumin, lime juice

Saute 1/4 chopped onion of choice until it softens. Add 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed and 1 can of real crab meat (I used Trader Joe's and this could easily be omitted) drained and rinsed and take the pan off the heat. Have several ounces of light Mexican cheese ready to add to the dish once you begin layering.

Mix 8 ounces of sour cream with a small can of reduced fat cream of mushroom soup and one small can of diced chiles.  Add chopped cilantro, cumin, salt, pepper and lime juice to taste.

Coat a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil from a mister and spread a few spoonfuls of the sauce, enough just to coat the pan.  Place small corn tortillas along the bottom of the pan (mine were already torn in half, but you could place them whole), followed by a layer of the black bean and crab mixture, and a light layer of light Mexican cheese.  Repeat 2-3 times, depending on how hearty you want the dish to be.  Spread another layer of the sauce over the top layer and add additional shredded Mexican cheese.  

We'll see if I can keep up the make-ahead meals.  I know not every weekend will allow enough time, but it's so much easier on our family when we're not running around quite as crazed after work and we can enjoy being together.  

Speaking of being together, we celebrated Valentine's Day as a family with a fun dinner out with Sophie's daycare BFF's family followed by the Preds game last night.  It was so fun seeing Sophie and her friend interact and be crazy together.  We couldn't keep them still long enough for a good photo, so this is the best I could do. 

Sophie and her BFF

Watching her with her friend takes me back to my best friend when I was not much older than Sophie is now, Megan.  I'm happy to say she is still one of my best friends and I can only hope that Sophie will be lucky enough to have lifelong friends like her.  Until next week!

No comments:

Post a Comment