Monday, April 30, 2012

Meal Planning Monday

I LOVE menu planning...it's the actual COOKING that gets me...but I have found, when I have a plan...I am much more successful with getting dinner on the table and avoiding the 4:00 pm panic on how on earth can I make tomatoes, chicken soup and tuna into a delectable meal...and let me tell you...that Alpo is looking better than my options...

So, in an effort to work a good habit into myself, from time to time, I am going to share a recipe we love...While I call this Meal Planning Monday...most likely, I will not be posting a NEW recipe EVERY Monday...just as I think of it...or we make something that I think others would like...etc...

So tonight, we are having one of my favorite meals...I love it for MANY reasons...it is a tasty recipe that everyone likes (we had to tweak it to get it that way), it freezes well and I can make many at one time (this recipe comes from Don't Panic, More Dinner's in the Freezer by Susie Martinez, Vanda Howell and Bonnie Garcia...I LOVE this book!!!), it is fairly easy to make too!

Four Cheese Italian Minestrone


serves 4-6

1/4 cup olive oil
1 c. onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 carrots, sliced
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
* 5 c. canned tomatoes (diced or pureed)
2 c. beef broth
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
* 15 oz can green beans, undrained
15 oz can cannelloni beans, undrained
*1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage, cooked, crumbled and drained
1/3 c. Italian cheese blend, shredded

SERVING DAY...
1 c. small tube or elbow pasta...I ALMOST ALWAYS FORGET THIS...

* I use pureed tomatoes...we use frozen corn instead of green beans...one of my boys DESPISES GREEN BEANS...I can only find the sausage in links...so I cut the casings...the crumble and brown...

In a stockpot, heat oil on medium heat and saute onions, garlic, parsley, celery, carrots, and mushrooms until crisp tender. Add remaining ingredients...except cheese. Simmer 30 minutes or so...Add cheese and stir until melted. Serve (read below for adding pasta...I ALWAYS forget about this)OR put into freezer bags when cooled and freeze.

To Serve after freezing...thaw...reheat...
Cook pasta in a separate pan (if you remember it!!!) according to package directions. Drain and add to soup. Serve with more cheese if you like (I am sure you do!!!) and bread if desired.

Other recipes we LOVE from this book:
Santa Fe Chicken Nachos (we put the finished filling into tortillas and make burritos), Cinnamon Bread Souffle, Monterey Jack Stuffed Chicken, Asian Flank Steak, Poppy Seed Ham and Cheese Melts, & Soft Steak Tacos.

1 comment:

foodfunfamily said...

That's the recipe you shared with me a while back, I think. Looks SO GOOD!
Jada