Every week I will share our meal plan for the coming week. Making your own food is a great way to save money, explore new cuisine, and eat healthy (if you choose to make healthy foods). A good meal helps bring people together and as you improve your cooking skills you will impress more and more people! I generally use recipes as a starting off point and then experiment with different proportions or ingredients. Leftovers make great lunches for the 9-5 crowd who might otherwise have to decide between a sandwich or a pricey cafeteria.
This Week For Dinner…
Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
I’m trying out this recipe with some substitutions. I personally love crockpot recipes but I know there are some doubters out there who claim it isn’t “real” cooking. Think whatever you want, I will continue to enjoy hearty meals that are ready when I’m hungry even if I spent the entire day working.
The changes that I made to the recipe include using dried beans instead of canned (we talked about the benefits of using dried last week). I also used a small bottle of wine instead of beer because neither of us drink beer and Kroger apparently doesn’t sell single bottles anymore. I made my own taco seasoning instead of using a packet. If you read the ingredients list on the packet you’ll see that it is usually just chili powder, cumin, and preservatives. Those spices are super cheap and as an added benefit you don’t have to worry about MSG or any other weirdo ingredient. Finally, instead of using chicken breasts, I used boneless chicken thighs. Thighs are a dark meat. White meat, like breasts, tend to dry out faster and in my opinion have less flavor than dark meat.
If you’ve never made a stir fry before, you might want to find a recipe, otherwise just throw together the usual ingredients (rice, veggies, chopped up meat, & sauce) for a super easy meal. We have a small oriental grocer within walking distance and they carry all kinds of sauces at prices that put the big chain stores to shame. Check around and see if you have any ethnic grocers. The owner/clerks are usually happy to help you pick out some items to try.
Pot Roast & Mashed Potatoes
Here is another slow cooker recipe. Throw a pot roast (or really any kind of beef roast), potatoes, carrots, onion soup mix, and cream of mushroom soup into a crockpot and set for low for 7-8 hours or put in the over at 350 for 5 hours.
Crab Stuffed Flounder
I like to include fish into our diet at least once a week if I can. There is a tremendous variety of seafood to tickle your tastebuds and there are some health benefits such as omega 3 fatty acids (good for your brain), low cholesterol (good for your heart and circulatory system), and it is an excellent source of protein.
Living in the Midwest makes it difficult/expensive to get fresh seafood so much of what we eat has been frozen. Regardless I still think the benefits are worth the slight loss in flavor and available variety!
Did you know that a banana can set off a highly sensitive radiation detector? It’s true! Bananas are loaded with potassium, a naturally occurring radioactive element. Don’t worry though, and don’t stop eating bananas! You would have to eat nearly 4 million bananas in a year before you succumbed to radiation poisoning.