So I did a little snooping around the web and planned this week's menu. The nice thing about planning a menu in advance, is that you don't have to think, every day, what am I going to make for dinner tonight?!?!? You've already done that part! Plus, you can make sure you have what you need, and pick up what you don't, so there are no nasty surprises midway through preparing a meal! It also saves money too, because you will actually USE and EAT what you buy, instead of having it get lost in the fridge and becoming a nasty science experiment! #winning
Sunday: Lasagna Rollups & fresh green beans
This isn't my photo, but they turned out just as good! I made the lasagna noodles from scratch too. There were a lot of steps in this recipe and it was a bit of a stressful time, but that was more me, than the recipe. I will definitely make this again, because it's easier than "regular" lasagna!! Loved the different taste of the artichokes and fresh basil. You could easily swap out ingredients if you wanted meat in there, or have spinach instead of basil. This really tasted like real Italian fare. The fresh green beans were a perfect side! You can find the recipe for this HERE.
Monday: Pork loin roast with sauerkraut, roasted seasoned potatoes and corn
Time for an easy crockpot meal!! I put my roasts in completely frozen! Just take it from the freezer and pop 'em in! I cook on low for 8 hours, and it tastes like you've been slaving away all day in the kitchen, lol! I put the roast in, and covered it with about 1 cup or so of warm water. I then sprinkled on some paprika and ground cloves. Then I topped with German sauerkraut, which I can get here anytime I want!!!! (Love that!) And no, that stuff in the States is NOT the same. At all. For the potatoes, I chop up a bunch into small cubes. We like leftovers of these, so I'm guessing around 9-10 medium potatoes. I put the cubes into a one gallon freezer ziplock bag, with some olive oil, minced onions, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Shake, shake, shake and put them in a sprayed baking or casserole pan. Bake at 450 for 30 minutes, stir well, pop back in for another 30 minutes. Easy peasy!
Tuesday: Baked flounder fillets with wild rice and salad
We all love fish, but I rarely make it. Weird huh? There's no place to get fresh fish here, but frozen is always a good alternative. The commissary will sometimes carry a nice range, and then sometimes not. Luckily we have a large chest freezer and I buy things like this when I see it and have it on hand later. I was originally going to bake it with seasonings and lemon, but I forgot to buy lemons (oops!). So I dipped them into beaten eggs and lightly coated it with seasoned bread crumbs instead. Bake on a sprayed cookie sheet at 375 for about 25 minutes. These were pretty large fillets, so adjust cooking time as needed. I've also found that spraying the tops of the fillets with cooking spray really helps to make a crispy, delicious crust on your fish! I paired it with Uncle Ben's long grain and wild rice, which is a longtime family favorite! Finish off with a fresh garden salad.
Wednesday: Bacon Asparagus Pasta
Best meal so far this week!!!! Crazy good, crazy easy! You don't have to use fresh pasta like I did, but it really adds that extra boost of deliciousness. Plus it's really fun to make your own pasta!!! I used more bacon than it called for, and added halved cherry tomatoes to my plate. Thomas & Bella hate tomatoes - weirdos!! I think if you had sun-dried tomatoes they would also be great in this. I should have taken my own photo, but my camera was upstairs and I was downstairs...with the pasta. So yeah, no photos of my own! But it did really look just like this...
Recipe can be found HERE.
Thursday: Beef tips and gravy over rice, with stir fry snow peas and mushrooms
I used to make this all the time. As in ALL the time, all the time! In fact, when we flew to Florida to spend Christmas with Alex, this was one meal she specifically asked for!! And honestly, I don't think I've made it since then, lol! So time to pull out an oldie-but-a-goodie. Simply cut a large steak (usually a cheaper cut like a round steak) into strips and then cubes. Brown cubes with a bit of oil and then reduce heat, cover with beef broth (I usually use bouillon), seasonings and put lid on pan to simmer. I never did learn to make gravy, so I "cheat" and use the brown gravy packets. Then it's just a matter of draining the beef, stirring in the gravy and topping the rice. It tastes really great and is even better the next day for lunch! And a stir fry is always a nice, crispy side to any meal.
Friday: Speisbraten and German Potato Salad
I learned how to make this the first time I was in Germany. So easy, so delicious!! The longer you allow the pork to marinate - the better! I usually use boneless pork chops, but it doesn't really matter. Try to use nice, thick meaty ones though. Cut a large onion into slices, and separate the rings. Get a large, plastic container that has a lid that seals well. Put a layer of onion rings on the bottom. Coat BOTH sides of the pork chops with salt, pepper and paprika. Don't be skimpy with the paprika!! Place over the onions, and put another layer of onions on top. If you have a smaller container, you can use two layers of pork chops, just make sure there are onions on the top and bottom of each chop. This needs to marinate at least 8 hours in the fridge, preferably overnight. When ready to cook, it tastes best to grill them!!! The flavor is out of this world!
I found an amazing recipe for the potato salad online HERE. I do add 2-3 diced hard boiled eggs to it and halve the amount of vinegar though!! It is important to use the cider vinegar, so if you don't have that kind be sure to pick some up. This tastes every bit as good as any of the potato salads I've had at the fests here, so you are really getting true, Bavarian flavor! :D
Saturday: Chicken Marsala and garden salad
Not something new, but we haven't had it in a long time! Sadly we can't get yummy Italian Marsala wine here, so I use this seasoning packet. Naturally the commissary stopped carrying it, so now I order it in bulk from Amazon. Thank goodness we still have that as a resource for many of our shopping needs! Be sure to look for it in your grocery store!
Made with fresh pasta, of course!