Rees menu for week of 10/11/10
- Monday: Mahi mahi in parchment
- Tuesday: Curried chicken thighs
- Wednesday: Pintos
- Thursday: Cream of tomato soup
- Friday: Pizza or pasta
I make a lot of things from scratch. I do have a thing about mostly avoiding processed foods, but I mainly do it because I really enjoy cooking and because I think it tastes better. My children do not agree. They would much prefer canned pudding,* Oreos**, and Little Caesars to most of my creations. This also includes mac and cheese. Mostly, they like Kraft. In attempt to at least make it a little less laden with processed ingredients, I created this version, which serves one. My daughter actually likes it very much. It has the added bonus of being super fast to make.
Mac and Cheese for Cheaters
Cook pasta according to package directions. We are big fans of Barilla Piccolini, which cook in only 7 minutes. Put one teaspoon or so of cooking water into your bowl. Drain pasta, and add that. Top with cheese slice and microwave for 15 seconds to melt the cheese. Mix it up with the cooking liquid til it’s creamy and coats all the noodles.
*I once made the world’s most amazingly decadent chocolate pudding from scratch. It had real cream and dark chocolate and egg yolks in it. The kids hated it.
**At the start of the school year, in order to be a “good mom,” I made homemade cookies for my son to take in his lunch each day. After a few weeks, he asked for Oreos. ???? Don’t you get it?! I’m trying to make memories here, buddy! Here are your d#m@ Oreos. <frown>
This is very similar to my Stuffed Shells. It’s an example of what I like to do to make things easy, but avoid having the same old thing all the time: Take one recipe that you like and tweak it so it’s just a little different, based on your mood, availability of ingredients, or whatever.
You can make one big 9×13 pan of this, but I made two 9x9s and popped one in the freezer for next week. This one has a few steps, but a lot of them you can do simultaneously (brown the meat while the pasta is cooking, mix the cheese filling in between stirring the meat, etc).
Swiss Chard Lasagna
Boil your pasta. Wash your swiss chard and separate the leaves from the stems. Blanch the leaves, then squeeze all the moisture from them that you can (wait until they’re cool!). Chop the leaves finely, and place in a mixing bowl. Trim the stems and chop. Add these to a skillet with the ground sirloin and cook them together over medium heat until the meat is browned and the stems are softened. To the mixing bowl with the chopped chard leaves, add the ricotta, cottage cheese, eggs, romano, salt and pepper. Mix well. Now, layer it all in a pan. First some sauce, then noodles, then cheese, then meat, then sauce, and keep going. Layer up to the top of the dish, finishing with sauce at the end. Bake at 350 for about an hour. If you’re going to freeze it, freeze before baking.