What's Cooking This Week?

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Last week's Red Chicken Chili hit the spot. I'm still not sure which way I liked it better; in a bowl topped with a dollop of low-fat sour cream or in a whole wheat soft taco with some homemade guacamole. Either way, I felt good eating it knowing exactly what was in it. I'll be continuing on my journey of mindful, healthy cooking this week. Here's to the new year!

Here's what I'm making:

  • Broiled Tilapia w/ Mustard Chive Sauce & Basamati Rice
  • Whole Wheat Spaghetti & Meatballs (w/ Oats!)
  • Spinach Burgers w/ Baked Sweet Potato Fries & Yogurt Dip
  • Spicy Meatball Pita Pockets w/ Mixed Greens
  • Spicy Lentil Soup w/ Toasted Garlic Pita

    Pantry Items Olive oil (regular and extra virgin) Cooking spray Balsamic vinegar Low sodium chicken stock Parmesan cheese Plain low-fat Greek Yogurt Dijon mustard Hot sauce Eggs Honey Sugar Salt Pepper Garlic powder Cayenne pepper Crushed red pepper Dried basil Dried oregano Dried thyme Ground turmeric

    Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers 2 4-6 oz tilapia filets (can substitute catfish or flounder) 1 lb lean ground sirloin or turkey breast 2 slices muenster cheese 2 medium yellow onions 1 medium red onion 1 package leafy mixed greens 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes 1 red bell pepper 1-2 heads garlic 1 bulb ginger 1 small bunch fresh chives 1 bunch parsley 1-2 lemons 2 plum tomatoes 1 serrano chile pepper 1 package frozen chopped spinach 1 large can crushed tomatoes 1 package red lentils (check dried goods or international section, if you can't find red, any will do, just check cooking time on package ) Quick cooking oats Whole wheat spaghetti Basamati Rice Whole wheat pita or flatbread 2 whole wheat sandwich rolls (or serve on pita)

    Day 1 - Broiled Tilapia w/ Mustard Chive Sauce & Basamati Rice recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis *Makes leftover Mustard Chive Sauce for Yogurt Dip

    Preheat broiler and coat a baking dish with cooking spray.

    Drizzle tilapia filets with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Broil until cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.

    Meanwhile, cook basamati rice according to instructions.

    Prepare mustard chive sauce by mixing together ¼ cup yogurt, 2 tsp honey, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 tbsp chopped chives, salt and pepper. *Reserve ½ the sauce for day 3.

    Serve broiled filets over rice topped with mustard chive sauce.

    Day 2 - Whole Wheat Spaghetti & Meatballs (w/ Oats!) *Makes leftover Meatballs for Spicy Meatball Pockets

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

    Combine ½ diced onion, 3-5 cloves minced garlic, 1 egg, and 1 lb lean ground sirloin or turkey breast in a large mixing bowl. Mix in chopped fresh parsley, 1/4 cup quick cooking oats, ¼ cup grated parmesan, garlic powder, salt, and crushed red pepper. Make a test patty, cook and taste before continuing. Adjust seasoning if needed.

    Roll the mixture into meatballs of desired size and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.

    Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 diced onion and and ½ seeded and diced red bell pepper. Sauté until softened, then add minced garlic and cook about 1 minute more. Add 1 can of crushed tomatoes, salt, crushed red pepper, basil, oregano, and a pinch of sugar. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender or serve chunky. Add meatballs to sauce.

    Cook pasta to al dente according to instructions.

    Toss with grated parm and toss with sauce. Serve topped with meatballs.

    Day 3 - Spinach Burgers w/ Baked Sweet Potato Fries & Yogurt Dip *Uses leftover Mustard Chive Sauce for Yogurt Dip *Recipe makes extra burgers to freeze

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    Thaw and drain bag of frozen spinach.

    Wash sweet potatoes and with skin on, cut into long, thin fries. In a large bowl, toss with ½ tbsp olive oil and a pinch of cayenne pepper and dried thyme. Season with salt, and pepper.

    Place in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet and cook 5-8 minutes. Turn over and bake until crisp, about another 5-8 minutes depending on thickness of fries. Be careful not to burn.

    Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together spinach, ¼ cup diced onion, 1-2 cloves minced garlic, ½ cup breadcrumbs, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, 1 whole egg + 2 egg whites, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, ½ tsp garlic powder, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Form into patties.

    Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Cook until cooked through and browned, about 4-6 minutes per side. Top with a slice of muenster cheese during last few minutes to melt.

    Mix leftover chive-mustard sauce with another tbsp Greek yogurt and a splash of hot sauce.

    Lightly toast buns and stuff with spinach burgers w/ melted cheese and slices of tomato and red onion. Serve with sweet potato "fries" and yogurt dipping sauce.

    Day 4 - Spicy Meatball Pita Pockets w/ Mixed Greens *Uses leftover Meatballs for Pita Sandwiches

    Reheat leftover sauce and meatballs, adding extra crushed red pepper if needed.

    Lightly toast pita pockets or flat bread and stuff with meatballs and sauce.

    Make a quick vinaigrette by combining ¼ tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

    Top sandwiches with grated parmesan and serve with mixed greens, wedges of tomato, red pepper and sliced red onion tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.

    Day 5 - Spicy Lentil Soup w/ Toasted Garlic Pita recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine

    Add 1 cup lentils, 2 cups water and 1 ½ cups chicken stock to a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil.

    Add ½ chopped Serrano chile pepper (remove seeds for less heat), 1 chopped plum tomato, ½ inch piece ginger, peeled and grated, 2 cloves chopped garlic, 1/8 tsp turmeric, and salt to taste. Partially cover and simmer until thickened, about 15-20 minutes. Blend lightly with an immersion blender and thin soup out with water if needed.

    Meanwhile, top pita or flatbread with olive oil, fresh chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Wrap in foil and bake until lightly toasted. Cut into wedges.

    Serve soup topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and toasted garlic pita wedges.

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