Some weeks I plan a meal for each night of the week from Saturday to Friday. Some weeks I know we will have leftovers or we will go out for dinner and then I do not plan as many meals. Sometimes I over plan the meals and that just means I carry over our meal plans from the prior week since I probably already have the ingredients.
As I get into the flow with this blog, some weeks I may post the meal plan before we get through the week and some weeks I may post the plan afterward. I just want to be up front and explain why it appears I ramble in this entry. I should be consistent so I’ll see what I can do. This week’s meal plan included:
Lobster Mac and Cheese. I located this recipe in my Pinterest sleuthing and is by MyRecipes. The link is http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/lobster-mac-cheese
I should note that I did modify this recipe slightly due to my Weight Watchers lifestyle. First, we halved the recipe. I love pasta but there is only two of us and we did not need lobster mac & cheese on four occasions! Rarely do I use real butter in recipes. We love Brummel & Brown Butter Spread that is made with Greek Yogurt. The difference is huge for anyone who is counting Smart Points, calories or any nutritional value. I also did not use whole milk. I am a skim milk drinker. I grew up drinking skim and 2% milk so I do not like the taste of whole milk (yes, I have been told, I am crazy but I already knew that) so I usually make this substitute in recipes. Finally, I did not add the extra butter to the oyster crackers before adding them to the top. Admit it, sometimes you have to decide where you want your calories and I prefer my glass of wine over another tablespoon of butter. Otherwise, I followed the recipe as written. Now, having made it and eaten it, I would also recommend cutting down on the amount of oyster crackers. I thought it was too much but to each their own!
Pork Loin and Butternut Squash
This is an oldie and a goodie. Pork Loin. Butternut Squash. Each deserves their own explanation so when you continue to see them in the lineup, you will understand how they made the cut.
Steve loves pork loin. But I grew up eating pork chops and admittedly, it scarred me for life. It wasn’t that I did not like pork but I just remember hating the bones and the fat. So when we were in Costco one day, I was not too keen on buying a two-pack of pork loin. But Steve was enthusiastic so I thought I could be open minded (just this once, of course). I scoured Pinterest, reading, discarding so many recipes. Then I found one that looked good enough to use as a test case. The basics of my pork loin recipe are pulled from this recipe at BudgetBytes https://www.budgetbytes.com/2012/02/herb-roasted-pork-loin/
But this girl did not have time to get out the food processor and I did not want to cut the herbs. Instead, I just started with the 2T of olive oil, added the 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1tsp each of basil, thyme and rosemary and mixed it all together in small ramekin. Then I just spread it over the two pork loins that are in one of the Costco packages. Why use both? LEFTOVERS. Pork Loin reheats beautifully which means two meals from the effort of one! I just followed the recipe for cooking the pork loin: 425 degrees for 45 minutes (or so because you’re cooking two pieces, not one). I check the internal temperature (165 degrees), and let them sit for the 10 minutes after I remove them from the oven. AMAZING.
Butternut Squash. In the Weight Watcher world, this is amazing stuff. It tastes like a carb but it is vegetable of sorts. Butternut squash, however, was not my favorite, primarily because I had yet to find a way to cook it that did not involve using brown sugar to give it taste. Don’t get me wrong, I like brown sugar but I prefer it in cookies, not my vegetables. You can image how thrilled I was when I was surfing Pinterest and saw a recipe that involved butternut squash, balsamic vinegar and rosemary. No brown sugar. I thought this is worth a try. Here was the recipe I found https://kalynskitchen.com/thanksgiving-on-south-beach-diet/
When I tried it, I did a 1:1 ratio of the olive oil to the balsamic vinegar to start as I usually prefer more vinegar to oil and I find that less oil goes a long way. So I did 1T of olive oil and 1T of balsamic vinegar and 1tsp of rosemary for one medium sized butternut squash. I followed the direction for cooking: 400 degrees for 20 minutes, flip the butternut squash and bake for another 20 minutes. It was absolutely delicious. We have made it twice now and it was good enough both times to become a staple in our repertoire.
Crab Cakes, Brussel sprouts and Mushroom
Buy some crab cakes. I have yet to have the time or inclination to make my own crab cakes but we will eventually. I think. Put the crab cakes in the oven at 400 for 10 minutes, flip, go another 10 minutes. Check for doneness. Add any topping desired. Eat. That simple.
Buy some FRESH Brussel sprouts and mushrooms. Do not discriminate against Brussel sprouts. You grew up eating canned, frozen or some other preserved variety which was why they tasted terrible. Trust me on this. Fresh is best! Cut the Brussel sprouts and mushrooms. Season with garlic salt, lemon pepper and olive oil – amounts to your liking. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, check for crispiness/brown to determine if they are done. I prefer mine crispy, Steve does not. It Is just a matter of who is in charge that night as to who wins the doneness duel or who gets to the oven mitt first.