Week of 11.14.11

Here’s this week’s meal plan for around $55:

Day 1
Lunch: Five Layer Greek Dip
Dinner: Tomato Avocado Panini

Day 2
Lunch: Five Layer Greek Dip
Dinner: Tomato Avocado Panini

Day 3
Lunch: Lemon-Spinach Chickpeas
Dinner: Penne with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Day 4
Lunch: Lemon-Spinach Chickpeas
Dinner: Penne with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Day 5
Lunch: Cheese quesadillas with Spanish Lime Rice
Dinner: Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

Day 6
Lunch: Cheese Quesadillas with Spanish Lime Rice
Dinner: Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

Day 7
Lunch: Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup
Dinner: Greek Pasta

And here is the grocery list with approx. pricing:

3 Tomatoes: $3
Avocado: $2.50
Bread: $1.50
Mozzarella: $3
Spinach: $2
Sun dried tomatoes: $3.50
Basil: $2.50
Parmesan: $2.50
Pita bread: $2
Garbanzo beans: $1
Lemon: $.50
Bag of onions: $2
Carrots: $1
Garlic: $.50
Can diced tomatoes: $1
Can white beans: $1
Small pasta (elbows, shells, etc.): $1
Penne: $1
Rice: $1
Black beans: $1
Can corn: $1
Lime: $.50
Cilantro: $2
Cheese: $2
Sour cream: $1
Hummus: $3
Olives (your choice so price may vary): $1.50
Red bell pepper: $2
Cucumber: $1
Feta: $2.50
Fruit: $5
Tortillas: $1

If you need to buy broth, or any spices add a couple of dollars.

The recipes:

Tomato Avocado Panini: We love veggie paninis. This week ours will have sliced mozzarella, tomatoes, a little sauteed spinach, and some pepper on them. Build and grill like a grilled cheese. Easy and yummy.

Penne with Sun-dried Tomatoes: A friend of ours made this for us and it’s super delicious. Cook 12 ounces of penne pasta until tender. Drain but reserve 1 cup of the water. While the pasta is cooking grab your food processor and blend 8.5 oz sun-dried tomatoes with the oil, 2 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, and 1/2-1 cup basil leaves (just make sure to save enough for the minestrone). Put the mixture in a bowl and mix in 1/2 cup parmesan. Add the pasta, stir, and add enough reserved water to moisten.

Lemon-Spinach Chickpeas: Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a skillet, add a can of chickpeas, and cook for a couple of minutes. Add about 10oz spinach, stirring until just wilted. Sprinkle 1tsp salt and the juice of a lemon over the mixture, stir, serve with pita bread. This sounds like a fantastic light lunch to pair with some fruit. Mmm.

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup: In a slow cooker combine 1/2 onion chopped, 1 cup chopped carrots, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 1 can diced tomatoes,  1 can white beans, 2 cups veggie broth, 2 tbsp chopped basil, salt, and pepper. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. 35-40 Minutes before the soup is done add 2-3 cups chopped fresh spinach. On the stove cook 2 cups small pasta. 10 Minutes before the soup is done add the cooked pasta and let cook. Serve and top with parmesan cheese if you’d like!

In some recipes I’ve seen people puree the beans. If you’d like to do that combine them and a cup of your broth in a blender. I think I might try that. Sounds good.

Cheese Quesadillas with Spanish Lime Rice: Cook 1 1/2 cups rice. While the rice is cooking make your cheese quesadillas either on the stove or in the over.

In a bowl combine warm rice, 1 can of corn (warmed), 1 can black beans (warmed), a diced tomato, chopped cilantro to taste, and 1 tbsp lime juice. Serve with quesadillas and sour cream.

Five Layer Greek Dip: This is pretty easy. Finely chop some olives, red bell pepper, and cucumber. On a serving dish spread 1-2 inches deep of hummus. Top the hummus with the veggies. Crumble feta on top. Serve with pita bread. Yuuuum. I think we might make two batches, a small one each day.

Greek Pasta: This is your “use it all up” meal. Cook your left over pasta. Take anything that’s left (spinach, feta, tomatoes, parmesan, olives, bell pepper, etc.) and make a pasta dish out of it. Easy peasy. And not wasteful.


Some photos of recent meals:
Avocado Mozzarella Paninis. These are SO good. And on the menu this week.


Potato Corn Soup – before and after the creamed corn was added.

Chickpeas with sauteed vegetables

Vegetarian broth

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