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Sunday, June 22, 2014

What's on Our Plates?

I am not the best at coming up with or writing recipes, but I told Lizzy maybe I would post some meal plans on here, as I do enjoy finding recipes that work well here or can easily be adapted and making a plan for the week.  I put my original plan here and noted a few changes that I ended up making.  Seems that the end of the week usually brings some changes in plans!

Monday
Breakfast--cereal
Lunch--Office
Dinner--Moroccan Chickpea Stew (with leftover chicken pieces, green beans, and carrots added in and no greens)

Tuesday
Breakfast--oatmeal with bananas
Lunch--egg salad and crackers, cucumbers, fruit
Dinner--One Pot Spaghetti, roasted vegetables
peach crumble

Wednesday
Breakfast--cereal
Lunch--Cheesy Beans, fruit
Dinner--leftovers
apple muffins
On Wednesday evenings, we meet up with our team, and we bring a snack to share and pack dinner for the kids and then eat a quick dinner of leftovers when we get home because my husband has to jump into work calls.

Thursday
Breakfast--pancakes
Lunch--office
We had to wait on a plumber and ended up at home with leftovers instead.
Dinner--Spanish Bean and Rice Casserole with a can of corn added in, served with tortilla chips and some leftover roasted veggies.  I cooked a bigger batch of black beans earlier in the week to use for the cheesy beans and for this.

Friday
Breakfast--eggs and toast
Lunch--leftovers
Dinner--miso-glazed tofu with udon noodles and veggies (with different veggies subbed than the original recipe)
Friday got a little strange for us.  Our kitchen wasn't really available at lunch, so we ended up eating cereal!  :)  And, we didn't make it to get the miso paste I had hoped to use, so for dinner, I cobbled together some bacon, veggie, cheese skillet stuff and made some quick biscuits.  If I had the ingredients around, I had been meaning to put together a batch of Lizzy's bisquick mix, which would have made the biscuits even easier, but this biscuit recipe was fairly quick and easy to pull together as well.

Saturday
Breakfast--Cereal
Lunch--out
Dinner--leftovers

Sunday
Breakfast--french toast
Lunch--out
Dinner--macaroni and cheese--the Kraft stuff from a care package! :), salad

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cheesy Beans

Lizzy asked me if I would post this, as it is an easy fix for a meal like lunch, and I really didn't know what I did before, so I made them again today and now have a rather rough "recipe."  I originally saw something like this in my More with Less cookbook, which is a great one for life overseas or just simple and frugal living anywhere.  I actually gave my copy to someone, but I think the recipe in there was called Monterey Beans.
This is one of those foods that really was just a matter of trying to give a little variety to the amount of beans we eat!  So, here is the basic run-down of what I did and a quick photo (clearly, food photography is not my calling) of the cheesy beans over some rice with some leftover veggies and olives for an easy lunch.

Cheesy Beans
You could use canned beans or dried and really any variety of beans.  I like black beans, but kidney beans work well with it as well.  Once the beans are cooked (or if you use canned ones), put them with a little bit of liquid.  I just kept some of the cooking water with mine right in the pressure cooker, but if you like to drain that off (especially if you are a bit prone to gassiness--ha, the things you say freely from life overseas!), just add in a bit of water until you can see liquid among the beans but they are not totally covered.  Kind of a preference thing on how liquidy you want them.  I probably had about 1 1/2 cups of beans and maybe 1/2 to 3/4 cup water today.
I added 1/2 of a bouillon cube and some seasonings.  This is pretty flexible, but I put in a dash of onion powder and garlic powder (though, if you don't have them, I sometimes skip these, and I don't actually like having chunks of onions or garlic in beans this way, but you could put in fresh garlic and onions), and about 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.  If your family has a higher threshold for spiciness than mine, a dash of chili powder or sauce is nice in these.  
I then added...ugh, not loving admitting this...processed cheese!  You could try it with actual cheese, but I think it would get a bit stringy, and what I like about these is the smooth, sort of creamy texture.  So, yeah, I did it.  I tend to use whatever is available.  The slices actually work really well and melt much faster.  Despite one of the only actual advantages of processed cheese being that it melts well, some of it here really takes a long time.  Today I used 3 of the Britannia brand of cheese cubes.  Anything would work (think Velveeta or Amul or whatever you have available).  If you have something that melts faster, though, wait a bit to add it.
I brought the liquid to a boil and then simmered it all together, stirring occasionally because the cheese starts to burn before it actually melts!, for about 10 minutes.

That's it.  My super gourmet dish. :)  It's nice to have as a quick lunch to add a smidge of variety to the parade of beans and lentils that we have, though, so there you have it.