Sunday: Orzo Pasta with Sausage, Spinach, Tomatoes, & Bell Peppers with Caesar Salad
Orzo Pasta with Sausage, Spinach, Tomatoes, & Bell Peppers
· My friend Jamie brought this meal over to our house a few years ago, and I’ve loved it ever since! It’s quick, easy, and healthy, which make it a family favorite for me. It’s originally from Giada DeLaurentiis. I used chicken sausage this time and also added some chopped up spinach to ours. The full recipe makes quite a bit; I divided ours and gave half to a family from church who just had a new baby. There was still plenty for us!
3 cups chicken broth
1 pound orzo pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 links (7 ounces total) mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 garlic clove, minced
2 jarred roasted red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1) In a large saucepan, combine 3 cups of water with chicken broth. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, making sure to reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
2) While pasta is boiling, get out a large skillet. Heat oil in it over medium-high heat. Add turkey sausage and cook around 4 minutes, breaking it up with the back of a spoon as you go. (It should be cooked through, but not quite browned.) Add garlic. Cook until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add bell peppers, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes (if using). Saute 2 or 3 minutes, until everything is heated through.
3) Combine pasta, sausage mixture, and 1/2 the parsley in a large serving bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. If you need the pasta water to moisten it up, add it now. Mix well. Sprinkle parmesan and the rest of the parsley on top. Serve.
Monday: Chicken Pot Pie with Salad
Chicken Pot Pie
· This was my mom’s first day of school (she teaches 8th grade), so I made dinner and brought it over to her house so we could all eat together. This is one of the simplest chicken pot pie recipes I have ever seen. It can also be adapted to be as convenient, homemade, or store-bought as you need it to be. For instance, this time I used rotisserie chicken, frozen veggies, and potato soup from the store, but I made my own pie crusts. You could easily make everything from scratch if you wanted to, or find each ingredient on the shelf of your grocery store. It is a great recipe to make ahead of time, freeze, or take to people. J
2 (10.75 oz) cans Cream of Potato Soup
2 cups veggies (frozen, fresh, or canned)
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
½ cup milk
½ tsp thyme
2 (9-inch) deep dish pie crusts
1 egg, slightly beaten
Combine soup, veggies, chicken, milk, thyme, and pepper. Spoon into prepared pie crust, then cover with the top crust. Crimp the edges to seal, slit the top crust, and brush with egg. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.
Tuesday: Dinner on the Road…
· Chad was out of town, and Callen had t-ball practice at 6pm, so I made dinner for Ranger and Payton to eat at practice, and kept one in the cooler for Callen to eat in the car on the way home. Turkey, cheese, zucchini muffins, grapes, and veggie straws!
Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner: Spinach & Cheddar Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, & Biscuits
· Chad was still out of town, so the kids and I had breakfast for dinner on a blanket while watching a movie. J
Thursday: Pasta Bolognese with Angel Hair Spaghetti and Garlic Bread
· This recipe is from our Uncle Jerry and Aunt Suzanne (or Aunt Hosanna, as our kids call her!). It’s a flavorful pasta sauce that also has some veggies in it. The recipe says to chop everything, but in the interest of time (and my sore hands!), I threw all of the veggies in my mini food processor one at a time. So, everything was chopped pretty small, which is actually better for my picky kids anyway. I added some additional spinach to pack in a few more veggies. We needed to run some errands in the late afternoon, so I actually made ours around 3:30 and let it simmer on low until dinner time. This recipe makes quite a bit, so it’s plenty for a large family, or meals for a couple of days.
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Salt and pepper
¼ cups freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
In a large pot, add olive oil. When almost smoking, add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onions become very soft, about 8 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes. Raise heat to high and add the ground beef. Saute, stirring frequently and breaking up any large lumps and cook until meat is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley, and basil and cook over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens, about ½ hour. Finish Bolognese with cheese. Check for seasoning and serve hot.
Friday: Pasta Bolognese Bake and Roasted Broccoli
Pasta Bolognese Bake
· I had so much sauce leftover, that we had it again for dinner on Friday. This time, I boiled some elbow macaroni until it was al dente. I poured the drained pasta in a baking dish and sprinkled freshly grated Parmesan over it. Then I poured over the Bolognese sauce and sprinkled mozzarella on top of that. I baked it in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes until the sauce was warmed through and the cheese was melty and delicious!
Saturday: Basil Pesto Tilapia, Fish Sticks, Roasted Green Beans, and Fries
· Earlier during the day, we celebrated our Callen Ty’s upcoming 4th birthday with a party at our neighborhood pool. I was pretty exhausted by dinner time, and Chad was doing some painting in our house, so it was a freezer/Costco kind of night. I have Basil Pesto Tilapia and fish sticks from Costco that I try to always keep on hand. I also buy Costco’s big bag of organic frozen green beans and whichever “healthy-ish” version of frozen French fries they have. J I threw everything on foil-lined baking sheets and into the oven, and in about 25 minutes, we had a dinner that everyone was happy with! And clean-up was a snap!