As I mentioned in the last post, things are starting to look like an episode of Hoarders around here and we really need to get some clutter cleared out. And despite a very conscious effort to keep our activities under control…that little dry erase schedule on our fridge is looking a bit frightening. In the past, this kind of week would have included a lot of take out or ready made, convenience foods. But you really can keep it simple and make it yourself. And I would even bet that the time you spend is not really that much more than you would have spent on take out or pre-packaged foods. You still have to order the food and go to pick it up. Most packaged convenience foods still have to be opened and heated up. This is the time to fall back on meals that you can make without even opening up a cookbook with ingredients that you probably already have. Here are three simple meals…fish, pasta, and chicken. I’ll plan to make these three meals on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday and we’ll eat leftovers on Monday and Wednesday. And on Friday, I’ll post a photo of my empty dining room table!
CODFISH WITH PARMESAN POTATOES AND GREEN BEANS
1 1/2 lbs. codfish (or any other fish that you like)
1 to 2 Tbs butter
Salt & Pepper
Lemon juice (optional)
Green Beans, washed and trimmed
4 potatoes (medium sized, I used red potatoes and butter potatoes) sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Toss potatoe slices with about 1Tbs olive oil and some salt and pepper and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
3. Butter or oil a 13 x 9 inch baking dish and place fish in, skin side down. Place several thin pats of butter on top of the fish, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice if using.
4. Place both the fish and potatoes in the oven and bake uncovered for about 20 minutes. Stir the potatoes half way through the baking time, flipping them over if you have time.
5. While the fish and potatoes are baking, place the green beans in a steamer basket in a saucepan with a couple of inches of water, cover, and bring to a boil. Steam about 10 minutes. When done, drain them and add a bit of salt and butter.
6. Remove the fish and potatoes from oven when done and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on the potatoes.
HOMEMADE TOMATOE SAUCE (based on my Mom’s recipe), WHOLE WHEAT PASTA, ITALIAN BREAD
Tomatoe Sauce (29 oz)
Tomatoe Purée (29 oz)
Small onion, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
16 oz whole wheat pasta of your choice
1. In a dutch oven or large stock pot, sautee the onion in some olive oil until softened.
2. Add all of the remaining ingredients, stir together and bring almost to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
3. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 1 to 2 hours, stir every so often.
4. Cook your pasta according to package directions.
5. Serve pasta with the sauce and bread.
Note: As I’ve mentioned before, my Mother raised 8 of us, and if she had time to make her own sauce…I think we can all give it a try!
LEMON FETA CHICKEN, CRANBERRY RICE and ZUCCHINI
2 cups of brown rice cooked according to package directions
Handful of dried cranberries or cherries
Feta cheese (about 1 cup, crumbled)
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (2 1/2 to 3 lbs)
Dried oregano (about 1 teaspoon)
Lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons)
Pepper to taste
Zucchini (2 to 3), rinsed and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Start the rice if you are not using the quick cooking kind, otherwise start the rice after you’ve put the chicken in the oven.
3. Place the chicken in a buttered or oiled 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of lemon juice over it, then sprinkle it with the oregano and pepper, then about 1/2 cup of feta cheese, then the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.
4. Steam the zucchini in a steamer basket over 1 to 2 inches of water in a saucepan for about 10 minutes. Drain, and add a bit of salt and lemon juice if desired.
5. When the rice is done, mix in the cranberries and about 1/2 cup of feta cheese.
This chicken recipe is adapted from the Six O’ Clock Scramble cookbook, by Aviva Goldfarb.