Sunday, July 18, 2010

Menu Plan and Spanish Rice Casserole

While I originally wanted to write about something else entirely, I first want to tell you (read: brag) about my husband's bread baking abilities. Bryant just made bread today using my dad's recipe for loaf bread. He started in the morning before church and by the time we got home, it had completely risen (almost bursting out of the bowl). He did a second rise in the bread pans and FINALLY (patience is clearly a virtue I need to work on) baked it. And this bread turned out delicious! We're always looking for ways to make foods healthier so Bryant used white whole wheat flour (which is a new staple in our household), ground rolled oats and some King Arthur all-purpose flour. It was incredibly light and didn't taste at all like there was wheat in it. In short, it was bread that rivals my dad's. Excuse me for a second while I go back to the kitchen for my third slice.

However, I didn't want to just brag about what a lucky wife I am but I also wanted to share this week's menu plan and a Spanish rice casserole recipe we had last week. I'll try to include links to any recipes that are online in case you're interested. I typically make my menu plan from Saturday-Friday; I plan it on Thursday or Friday which allows me to be prepared to do most of the produce shopping at the Farmers Market on Saturday.

Yesterday (the real beginning of my list of this week's meals), I made Chicago-style pizza for the first time. The recipe needs a few tweaks but did get rave reviews from Bryant both yesterday for dinner and today for lunch. However, I've only had real Chicago pizza once so I'm not sure whether I was even close to the real deal. I need to find a Chi-town resident who can test this recipe. But whatever it was, it was tasty. Especially after a couple of changes, this recipe will probably be a future post!


Sunday: Vegetable Linguine (

Monday: Jalapeno Lime chicken (, crisp roasted potatoes (**ASCA00), and steamed green beans

Tuesday: steak tacos

Wednesday: Vietnamese summer rolls with shrimp (

Thursday & Friday: Out of town!


Spanish Rice Casserole

Spanish rice casserole was dinner a few days ago. I actually switched around the week's menu plan but I knew we needed to have an early dinner that day to allow Bryant to brave traffic and make it to his ER shift at 7 pm. This recipe looked both easy and easy to make-ahead. Also what was nice is that it was pretty versatile. I had a lone zucchini so I just chopped it up and added it to the casserole. I didn't have any green peppers only red, so that was an easy switch (for anyone looking to add more vegetables, you could probably a couple more vegetables in here and it wouldn't be noticed). Also, for extra fiber and protein, I added half of a can of black beans. This serves 4 but would be easy to double.

Taken from

  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey breast (could also use ground beef)
  • 1/2 of 14.5 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped (could use other vegetables instead, like a green bell pepper)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped (could also use a 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes)
  • 3/4 cup brown rice (Cook according to package directions)
  • 1/2 cup chile sauce or prepared salsa
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2-4 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped (we like a lot of cilantro)
-Cook brown rice according to package directions (you could do this a day or two in advance).
-Preheat oven to 375 F.

-In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook onions, peppers, zucchini and garlic until onions are translucent. Add ground turkey, salt and pepper and cook until brown. Drain excess fat and return skillet to the stove top over medium low heat. Stir in the tomatoes, water, rice, salsa, cumin and Worcestershire sauce.
-Cook for about 5-10 minutes over medium-low heat until heated through. Put mixture in a 9x9 baking pan and press down firmly. (You could do up to this step a day in advance and then just bring the casserole to room temperature right before cooking).
Sprinkle with the shredded Cheddar cheese.
-Bake at 375 F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with chopped fresh cilantro.

No comments:

Post a Comment