Saturday, January 31, 2009

Week 4, Hunger Pangs.....

As I figure out what meals to blog about for the week, it occurs to me that although these meals are intended as a means to being "thrifty" during the week, how incredibly fortunate we are that we can at least provide a hot dinner every night for our families when millions of Americans cannot. However, even with rising food costs, breakfast, lunch and dinner can be had for less then 10 dollars a day. The United States Department of Agriculture's Recipe Finder Database, is a useful tool in order to do this. Use this website if you need it, or pass it along to someone who might. There are also some great tips on how to get your kids to help out in the kitchen!

This weeks recipes are: Smoked Turkey Wraps and Spicy Tomato Soup, Chicken Divan, Fish Veracruz, Farfelle with Watercress and Cherry Tomatoes and Feta.

Enjoy this week's recipes, and let me know what you think! Also, check out this week's dessert recipe. Hot Date, Hot Chocolate Cake.....perfect for a Valentine's Date with your sweetie!!

Items already in the pantry or fridge:

black pepper
olive oil
orange juice
Tabasco sauce
dried dill weed
chili powder
dried basil
white wine

Shopping List:**

8 oz farfalle pasta
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 pints of cherry tomatoes
2 bunches of watercress
2 onions
1 bulb of garlic
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1/4 cup pimento-stuffed green olives
4 6oz white fish fillets
1 290z can tomato sauce
1 29 oz can diced tomatoes
1 bag of croutons (optional)
6 10" sun-dried tomato basil or spinach herb tortillas
1 7oz container or roasted red pepper hummus, or regular hummus
3/4 lb thinly sliced smoked turkey
1 head Boston bibb lettuce
1 red onion
2 tomatoes
12 slices of bacon
2 10z bags of frozen chopped broccoli
6 chicken breasts (about 4lbs)
1 10 3/4 cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 8oz container of sour cream
1 16oz bag of shredded cheddar cheese
1 lemon
Parmesan cheese
bread crumbs
3 cups chicken broth

**Most recipes are for 4-6 servings. If you are making more, or less, you will need to adjust the shopping list accordingly**

Smoked Turkey Wraps with Spicy Tomato Soup (serves 4-6)

Spicy Tomato Soup:
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 3 tbsp of butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
3 cups of chicken broth
1 29 oz can tomato sauce
1 29 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
2 dashes of favorite hot sauce
1/4 cup of honey
1 tbsp dried dill weed
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried basil
Croutons (optional)

In a heavy saucepan, melt 5 1/2 tbsp of the butter. When melted add the flour and stir until very smooth. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, until thick and smooth.

In a small skillet, melt the remaining butter. Add the garlic and onion, cook on low heat until translucent-about 3-4 minutes.

Add the onion and garlic mixture to the flour mixture and combine. Slowly add the chicken broth, 1 cup at a time. Stir well after each addition, allowing the mixture to thicken before you add the next cup. When all the broth has been added, begin to add all of the tomato sauce and diced tomato sauce one cup at a time, allowing the mixture to thicken before you add the next cup.

Season the soup with the hot sauce, honey, dill weed, pepper, chili powder and basil. Ladle into bowls and serve with croutons on top.

Smoked Turkey Wraps:
6 10" tortilla wraps (dried tomato, basil or spinach-herb)
1 7oz container hummus (roasted red pepper or original)
3/4 lb very thinly sliced smoked turkey breast
Bibb lettuce leaves
1/4 red onion, slivered
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
12 slices bacon, cooked crisp**
salt and pepper

Heat each wrap for about 10 seconds in a hot skillet or the microwave.

Spread each wrap with hummus. In the center of each wrap, place some smoked turkey, a lettuce leaf, 2-3 onion slivers, and 2 tomato slices. Top with two slices of bacon and sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired. Fold in each side and roll tightly. You can anchor with toothpicks and cut the wrap into halves or thirds.

**In most stores you can find bacon that is already cooked. Simply place the desired amount onto a microwave safe plate and reheat to desired crispiness.

Chicken Divan (serves 6-8)

2 10-oz packages frozen chopped broccoli
6 chicken breast halves, cooked, boned and shredded*
2 10 3/4-oz cans of condensed mushroom soup
1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp curry powder
salt and pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp butter

Thaw the broccoli according to package directions. Drain, combine in a large bowl with the shredded chicken.

In a medium bowl, combine the soup, mayo, sour cream, cheddar cheese, lemon juice, curry powder, salt and pepper to taste, and wine. Whisk together to make a sauce. Pour the sauce over the broccoli and chicken. Mix well.

Place the mixture into an 11 by 7 inch casserole pan or two 9 inch disposable casserole dishes that have been sprayed with vegetable cooking spray.

Combine Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs and spread over the casserole. Dot with butter. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, until bubbly.

Fish Veracruz (serves 4)

1 tbsp of olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves minced
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with jalapeno
1/4 cup chopped pimiento stuffed green olives
2 tbsp orange juice
4 6-oz white fish fillets

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. coat a baking dish with nonstick spray. heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook for 4 minutes or until softened. Add the tomatoes, olives and orange juice; cook 5 minutes. Place the fish in a the baking dish and top with tomato mixture. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until fish is no longer translucent. Serve with a green salad.

Farfelle with Watercress, Cherry Tomatoes and Feta (serves 4)

8 oz farfelle pasta
1cup crumbled feta cheese
2 pints of cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cups watercress leaves (from 2 small bunches)
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Place the cheese in a large bowl; top with the watercress. Before draining the pasta, take 1/4 cup of the cooking water from the pot and pour it over the watercress. (Watercress will wilt slightly, and the cheese will get soft.) To blanch the tomatoes; place into a colander and drain the pasta on top. Add olive oil to the watercress and cheese, toss with pasta and tomatoes; sprinkle with pepper and serve.

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