So I am slowly getting back to the land of the meal-planning. It's about time, right?! Baby is just over 12 months so life is finally beginning to tilt back to normal. A few weeks ago, I opened my mailbox to find the latest copy of Cooking Light. I have to be honest, often, this magazine is major hit and miss for me. Well, this copy...total hit. I have marked over 20 recipes for us to try this month and we've already tried 5 of them.
Here's the take-away:
1. Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps --Total hit. Totally keep. The only modification I'd make is to make more of the marinade (to put aside for dressing later) and to make it into more of a salad vs wraps. My kids liked it, husband liked it, I thought it was delish. Couldn't keep my hands off the chicken. And it was so, so, so quick and easy. Seriously. Plop the chicken and marinade stuff into a bag in the AM. (or toss it into the freezer for a quick meal later), cooked it on my cast iron skillet. Made my rice while the chicken was cooking. Chopped up veggies. Dinner is done. 5/5 stars
If you wanted to add a little more "oomph" I think you could add in some mandarin oranges, fried wontons on top and it would be delicious.
2. Chicken and Dumplings Soup--This was not like the best-ever dumplings (but I LOVED that they don't use Bisquick!), but for the amount of time and effort that was put into it, the soup was really, really good. I loved that I didn't have to pre-cook the chicken. The flavor of the broth was light, but strong enough to please me. I doubled up the veggies and increased the amount of dumpling mix by 50%. It barely made enough for our family for 2 nights. We added salad and hearty multigrain bread and fruit. I'd give it 4.5 stars out of 5.
3. Grilled Onion Cheeseburgers--To be honest, I am not sure how they were considered any more fancy or warranted a recipe than your usual burger. They were fine, they were burgers, but nothing about them was, "wow" or "why am I just now eating these!?"...They also required more time than a burger should! Can't say the few shaved-off calories were worth the trouble. We served it with roasted sweet potato wedges (I'll tell you about these below) and roasted carrots. Fresh fruit and added avocado wedges to the burgers. I'd give the burger recipe 1.5/5 stars. Just toss on some grilled onions and fry sauce to your next burger and call it good.
4. Whole-grain Spaghetti with veggi-filled meatsauce--I guess I shouldn't claim that we tried this recipe. It's so similar to my own spaghetti sauce I make, only mine has more veggies. Maybe I'll post it sometime. I add zuch, shrooms, onion, tomatoes and carrots to mine. A mix of italian sausage and beef. Some seasonings. Anyways. I did switch out our usual spaghetti noodles for a mix of the veggie kind and the whole wheat kind. No one seemed to notice or care. I won't rate this recipe since I didn't actually follow it. :)
5. Broiled Grapefruit with Ginger and Maple--I did make this one and it was odd. I LOVE grapefruit. My kids LOVE grapefruit. The whipped topping on this was so light and yummy, I'm considering using it as a filling on cakes, BUT warmed grapefruit was just kind of weird. The flavors were all good, nothing tasted bad, per se...it was just odd to eat hot grapefruit with cold cream. It didn't jive for me. I'd say 2/5
I have plans to try some of the oatmeal recipes (look under the GRAINS section in the first link above) and we have more dinner recipes we will be trying out.
I'll also try to post my weekly or monthly menus as I create them.
As for the Roasted Sweet Potatoes I mentioned above...they're addictive. I would eat them every night if I could. And easy. So easy.
Pre-heat your oven to 425F
You cut your sweet potatoes into quarters length-wise (to create wedges)
Toss them in some melted butter (I use 3Tbsp butter/about 6-8 potatoes)
Lay them out on a lined cookie sheet, in a single layer
Sprinkle them with sea salt, black pepper, and crushed rosemary to your liking.
Bake for 8-10 min, swirl them around, rotate them, flip them, etc to get them roasting evenly, bake for another 8-10 min.
you can eat the skins even. I'm not into that, though, so they peel off so easily.