Monday, October 15, 2012

Meal Planner Monday

When you read this menu, you may ask yourself, "Self, why does this girl use so much butternut squash?" To that question I have to reply, it's because it's in season! Did you know that one of  the best ways to cut costs on your grocery bill is to eat in season?  Why yes, it is!! Some other Fall Vegetables is season can be found on this nifty website: HERE! Keep this in mind when you are planning your own meals! You'll be glad you did!

Mini Roasted Vegetable Burritos Recipe
Prep Time: 20 min  Total Time: 35 min  Serves: 8

INGREDIENTS
    • $1.99-  8(6-inch) soft flour tortillas
    • 50¢-  1/2 small onion sliced thin
    • $1.50-  1 small red bell pepper, seeded, cored and sliced
    • $1.00-  1 small green bell pepper, seeded, cored and sliced
    • 80¢-  1 cup Spanish or white rice, cooked, kept warm
    • $1.25-  1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
    • 30¢-  1/4 cup sour cream
    • 0-  olive oil, for drizzling
    • 0-  Salt and pepper, for seasoning
    • 30¢-  1 teaspoon cumin
    • hot sauce optional
Total: $7.64


INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
    2. Place the sliced onions and peppers on a sheet pan and lightly toss with olive oil, cumin and salt and pepper. Place in the oven a roast until soft and lightly caramelized (browned on the edges). About 10 minutes.
    3. Evenly distribute the rice and cheese in the center of each tortilla.
    4. Evenly distribute the roasted peppers and onions on top of the rice and cheese. Top with sour cream and a dash of hot sauce.
    5. Fold the top and bottom of each tortilla in towards the middle. Then roll to form mini burritos.

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Quesadillas

Prep Time: 25 min  Total Time: 35 min  Serves: 4
INGREDIENTS
    • $1.99-  8 whole Burrito-sized Flour Tortillas
    • $2.00-  1 cup Butternut Squash Puree (Get a small Butternut squash and cook it in a little water for 15-20 minutes over medium heat, until squishy)
    • $2.50-  2 cups Colby Jack Cheese
    • $1.00-  1 can (15 Oz. Size) Black Beans
    • $1.00-  1 cup Medium Salsa
  • Total: $8.49


INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Spray a large griddle or skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.
    2. Working in batches as necessary, place one tortilla on the griddle and spread with 1/4 cup squash. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Add a quarter of the black beans and drizzle with about 3 tablespoons of salsa. Top with another 1/4 cup cheese and finish with another tortilla.
    3. Heat 5 minutes per side or until browned and crispy as desired. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Transfer to a plate and use a pizza cutter to slice into wedges. Serve hot with sour cream, avocado, and lime.

Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans

Prep Time: 30 min  Total Time: 30 min  Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS

    • 20¢-  1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • $2.99-  1 16-ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi, (see Tip)
    • 60¢-  1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
    • 12¢-   4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 0-  1/2 cup water
    • $2.99-  6 cups chopped chard leaves, (about 1 small bunch) or spinach
    • $1.39-  1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
    • 79¢-  1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
    • 0-  1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • $1.25-  1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
    • $1.00- 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
    • Total: $11.33

INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
    2. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and water. Cover and cook until the onion is soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chard (or spinach) and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans and pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir in the gnocchi and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 3 minutes.
  • Sausage, Pumpkin and Arborio Soup

    Prep Time: 10 min  Total Time: 55 min  Serves: 6

    INGREDIENTS

      • 35¢-  2 tablespoons EVOO, plus more for drizzling
      • $4.99- 1 pound bulk Italian sweet sausage with fennel
      • 12¢-  3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
      • $1.09-  1 onion, chopped
      • 0-  1 large bay leaf
      • $2.00- 1 butternut squash or small pumpkin (2 pounds), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
      • 0-  Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
      • 0-  Freshly grated nutmeg
      • $1.79 ($3.59 a pack)- 6 cups chicken stock (Short cut- buy Knorr Homestyle Chicken stock, it's like getting a Four cartons for a fraction of the price!)
      • $1.28-  2 cups half-and-half
      • $1.13-  1 small bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
      • $1.20-  3/4 cup Arborio rice
      • 0-  A few fresh sage leaves, torn
      • $1.00- Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
    • Total: $14.95


    INSTRUCTIONS

      1. Heat the EVOO in a soup pot or large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling it with a wooden spoon, until browned. Add the garlic and onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the bay leaf and squash and season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. Stir in the stock and half-and-half and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the kale. Simmer until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Add the rice and simmer until just tender, 18-20 minutes, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the sage. Ladle the soup into shallow bowls. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano and a drizzle of EVOO. Cook's Note: The soup, without the rice, can be covered and refrigerated for a make-ahead meal. Add the rice before serving.
    • Broccoli Cheese Soup

      Prep Time: 10 min  Total Time: 30 min  Serves: 14

      INGREDIENTS

        • $1.00-  1 to 1/2 cups chopped onions
        • 21¢-  2 tablespoons butter
        • 0-  6 cups hot water
        • 36¢-  6 chicken bouillon cubes
        • 3¢-  1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
        • 50¢- 8 ounces uncooked pasta
        • 0-  2 teaspoons salt
        • $3.98-  2 crowns of fresh broccoli (can use 4-10 oz bags of frozen)
        • $1.92- 6 cups milk
        • $5.00-  1 pound process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
      • Total: $13.00


      INSTRUCTIONS

        1. In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, saute onion in butter until tender. Add the water, bouillon and garlic powder; bring to a boil. Stir until bouillon is dissolved. Add pasta and salt; cook and stir for 3 minutes.
        2. Add broccoli; cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until pasta is tender. Add milk and cheese; cook and stir over low heat until cheese is melted. Yield: 12-16 servings (4 quarts).
      • Roasted Apple and Butternut Galette

        Prep Time: 25 min  Total Time: 1 hour  Serves: 4


        INGREDIENTS

          • $2.00-  3 cups Diced Butternut Squash (peeled, Seeded, And Cut Into 3/4-inch Cubes - 3 Cups Is About 1/2 Of A Medium Squash)
          • $2.00-  2 whole Large, sweet apples (NOT GRANNY SMITH!!) Peeled,  Cored And Diced Into 3/4-inch Cubes
          • $1.00-  1 whole Medium Onion, Halved, Then Sliced Thinly
          • 7¢- 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
          • 70¢-  2 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup (can substitue with the less expensive Agave Nectar)
          • 1¢-  1/2 teaspoons Djion Mustard
          • $3.00- 1 whole Prepared Pie Crust Dough, Enough For One Crust
          • $1.50- 1/2 cups Fresh Parmesan Or Pecorino-Romano Cheese Shavings, For Garnish
          • 25¢- 1 whole Egg, Beaten, Optional Egg Wash For Crust
        • Total: $10.53


        INSTRUCTIONS

          1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
          2. Place prepared squash, apples, and onion onto a rimmed cookie sheet. Toss with the oil, then spread them out in a single layer. Roast in the center of the oven until everything is tender and beginning to turn golden (and even darker) in spots, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool until room temperature. TIP: You can do this a day ahead of time. Simply store the roasted bits in the fridge, covered, until ready to use.
          3. Preheat (or reduce temperature) to 375 degrees F.
          4. Whisk together the maple syrup and the mustard in a small bowl. Set aside.
          5. Roll out pie crust dough into a circle, roughly 12 inches across. Transfer to a clean, rimmed baking sheet. Spread the roasted vegetables onto the dough circle evenly, leaving a 2-inch border all around. Brush the maple-mustard mixture onto the vegetables. Fold the dough edges toward the center, sealing any cracks or rips. You should have a rustic-looking free-form pie.
          6. Bake in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so before slicing. (It stays together better that way). Cut into slices and sprinkle some Parmesan shavings over top.
          7. Serves 4.
          8. Notes: 1. You could also use frozen butternut squash chunks if you like. I would thaw them first and drain any excess moisture before roasting. 2. You could also whisk an egg and brush it around the edges of the pie crust. That helps it to brown more beautifully.
        Grand Total: $65.94

        Shopping List

        Mini Roasted Vegetable Burritos Recipe

        4 (6-inch) soft flour tortillas
        1/2 small onion sliced thin
        1 small red bell pepper, seeded, cored and sliced
        1 small green bell pepper, seeded, cored and sliced
        3/4 cup Spanish or white rice, cooked, kept warm
        1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
        1/4 cup sour cream
        olive oil, for drizzling
        1 teaspoon cumin
        hot sauce

        Black Bean and Butternut Squash Quesadillas

        8 whole Burrito-sized Flour Tortillas
        1 cup Butternut Squash Puree
        2 cups Colby Jack Cheese
        1 can (15 Oz. Size) Black Beans
        1 cup Medium Salsa

        Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans

        1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
        1 16-ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi, (see Tip)
        1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
        4 cloves garlic, minced
        6 cups chopped chard leaves, (about 1 small bunch) or spinach
        1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
        1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
        1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
        1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
        1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

        Sausage, Pumpkin and Arborio Soup

        2 tablespoons EVOO, plus more for drizzling
        1 pound bulk Italian sweet sausage with fennel
        3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
        1 onion, chopped
        1 large bay leaf
        1 butternut squash or small pumpkin (2 pounds), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
        Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
        Freshly grated nutmeg
        1/2 pack knorr chicken stock (makes 7 cups stock)
        2 cups half-and-half
        1 small bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
        3/4 cup Arborio rice
        Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

        Broccoli Cheese Soup

        1 to 1/2 cups chopped onions
        2 tablespoons butter
        6 chicken bouillon cubes
        1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
        8 ounces uncooked pasta
        2 crowns broccoli, chopped
        6 cups milk
        1 pound process cheese (Velveeta), cubed

        Roasted Apple and Butternut Galette

        3 cups Diced Butternut Squash (peeled, Seeded, And Cut Into 3/4-inch Cubes - 3 Cups Is About 1/2 Of A Medium Squash)
        2 whole Large, Cored And Diced Into 3/4-inch Cubes (DON'T GET GRANNY SMITH!)
        1 whole Medium Onion, Halved, Then Sliced Thinly
        2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
        2 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup or Agave Nectar
        1/2 teaspoons Djion Mustard
        1 whole Prepared Pie Crust Dough, Enough For One Crust
        1/2 cups Fresh Parmesan Or Pecorino-Romano Cheese Shavings, For Garnish
        1 whole Egg, Beaten, Optional Egg Wash For Crust


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