Sunday: We had some leftover sausage and penne from last Saturday. I cannot get enough of this stuff.
Monday: Cauliflower Fried Rice. I’ve never heard a single person try this recipe and not love it. It is so good. I used coconut oil instead of grapeseed.
Tuesday: We had roasted brussels sprouts, corn, and sweet potatoes. To prepare I removed the brussels sprouts from the stalk and gave them a little olive oil drizzle with salt and pepper. For the corn I remove the husks [and set aside], throw out the silks, rinse the corn, and wrap it back in the husks. I tie a wet [to keep it from burning] string around it. For the sweet potatoes I chopped them into half wedges, drizzled with olive oil, chipotle chili powder, salt, and pepper. I had a cookie sheet for brussels sprouts, one for sweet potatoes, and the corn was on it’s own [right on the oven rack]. I preheated the oven to 425 and put the sweet potatoes in first. I let them go for about 10 minutes and then turned them and added the corn and brussels sprouts to the oven. I left everything else in for about 15 minutes until the corn smells good and the other veggies are fork tender. [Your cooking times might vary quite a bit from this. My oven usually cooks slow but when I do a cookie sheet on each rack the air doesn’t circulate as well and it cooks everything faster. Keep the light on and check on them often.]
People always wonder what a veggie dinner looks like. That was way too much butter on the corn, btdubs.
Wednesday: Broccoli & Rice. I doubled the rice in the pressure cooker when I made cauliflower fried rice and put some in the fridge for later, making this a 5 minute meal. I steamed the broccoli in my dutch oven with salt and pepper. After a few minutes I added the rice in and left it on the heat for a couple more minutes. That’s it! Who says real food can’t be fast food?! It was really great.
Thursday: Chuck got home really late on Thursday so we had some toasted pita bread with salads. He put his salad in the pita but I kept mine separate.
Friday: Stuffed acorn squash. I used quinoa instead of wild rice to save myself some time but I didn’t like it as much. Lesson learned. I also made Joy the Baker’s Broiled Grapefruit for dessert. It apparently smelled quite good because Lucy tried to swipe it from the cookie sheet fresh out of the oven and gave herself three look-like-they-hurt-a-lot blisters. After a three hour urgent care visit I still haven’t had my grapefruit. Poor kid. I asked her if she knew why she got hurt and she said, “Because I touched Mommy’s dinner.” Well. Sort of.
Saturday: Sausage & Kale Penne. Let me tell you how I make this, starting with a disclaimer: Not the healthiest meal I’ll ever share- but I don’t think you’ll mind.
1 package Chicken Sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jar artichoke hearts
1/2 bunch kale, chopped with stems removed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
16 oz whole wheat penne
1 package neufchatel cheese
1/4 cup sun dried tomato salad dressing
1/2 cup white wine
1 can chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 cup fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
In a dutch oven heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When it’s hot add the sausages and turn to brown each side. Meanwhile chop your onion, garlic, artichokes, kale, and tomatoes. When the sausages are browned set them aside, reduce the heat, and add your onion to the pan. As it begins to turn translucent add the garlic.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook as the package suggests.
Add the artichokes to the onions and cook for a couple more minutes. Next add the white wine and use a spoon to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer this until the white wine is reduced by half. When that happens add the chicken broth and bring the sauce back to a simmer.
When it begins to simmer add the kale and stir it in*. Cook it until it begins to wilt. Then add in the package of neufchatel cheese [for a healthier option sub this for a ball of mozzarella]. Break up the cheese and stir until it is melted in. Add the sun dried tomato dressing and the basil and parsley. Taste the sauce to see if it needs more salt or pepper. Add in the cherry tomatoes [I used sweet golden because it’s what I had]. Grate in the parmesan now or over each individual serving.
*I tried to add my kale in earlier and it cooked a little more than I would like. You want to hold off on it so that when you serve this dish the kale is a nice bright green. Also, to bump up the nutrients I added in about 1 cup of chopped button mushrooms when I added the artichokes. Not necessary for the dish [you can hardly taste them] but I love mushrooms and they’re good for you.
This is a crowd pleaser every time. It’s not Lucy friendly so she gets a side of brown rice pasta with her own sausage.