Weekly Menu for 2-2-14 and Chil Verde recipe

You will notice the reappearance of Chili Verde on the menu this week as it got scratched last week. I’d done a fairly hard session of weight that day after working and by the time I hit dinner it was all down hill, or is that up hill? I realized I had to go out the garage and get more stuff and than the pot I needed wasn’t clean. The pot pushed me over the edge. We had quesadillas instead.
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So it is back this week. Its kind of nice when you can roll a dinner over to the next week one less meal to think about. This Chili Verde recipe comes from the Joy of Cooking, it originally uses chicken. We didn’t care for it with chicken but overall liked it. I made it with pork and loved it that way. I usually use pork tenderloin or chops for this. You can use a tougher cut just make sure to adjust cooking times for the meat.

This recipe makes enough for a dinner and lunch. It freezes well so feel free to big batch it if you want to. A friend in Canada won a chili cook off with this recipe.

Sunday – Lamb Ragu, garlic bread
Monday – Steak, baked potato, and asparagus
Tuesday – Chili Verde
Wednesday – meatball sandwiches
Thursday- Karcho, bread sticks, Freezer soup
Friday – Easy night
Saturday – White Turkey (from freezer) enchiladas

Chili Verde – adapted from The Joy of Cooking
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup celery
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Cook on medium heat until vegetable are tender about 5 minutes, Sprinkle with:

2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cook about 1 minute. Meanwhile cut up:
2 pound pork tenderloin

Add to pot and cook for 3 minutes. While pork is cooking drain and cut up

1 cup canned tomatillo ( you can use fresh if you want to)
1 large bunch of cilantro (reserved the leaves for later)
Finely chop cilantro stems and leaves separately.
Add stems to pot with 3 cups chicken stock (use two cups if you wan less sauce.)

4 oz. green chilis chopped (I use canned)
2 fresh jalapeños (optional)
Add to pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cilantro leaves and cook for 10 more minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons lime juice at the end and correct seasons. Serve with tortillas and rice or just eat by itself.

Note: I bump up the chilis and drop the jalapeños as a member of our family does not tolerate hot/spicy food well. The recipe still turns out great.

Home Cooking: Pictures

I am a huge advocate for cooking your own food and having it be fabulous. Who wants to eat out when the fare at home is better. Here are a few pics of of food I have prepared at home.

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Easy Roasted Winter Squash Recipe

Winter squash or pumpkin is an easy way to change up your veggies and make them more seasonal. Once fall hits I start looking forward to this addition into dinners. I like to roast a big batch and than I have leftover pumpkin for lunches. You can stuff it, roast it, bake with it, smoothie it, eat it sweet or savory. It is a very versatile veggie.
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This is my favorite way to cook pumpkin and how we eat it most often. It adds such a bright cheeriness to a fall or winter meal. Cooking it this way also brings out the natural sweetness in the pumpkin and you can get some nice caramelization depending on the type of winter squash you picked.

Easy Roasted Winter Squash
1 pumpkin sliced
1 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice you pumpkin and toss in oil and salt and pepper. I do that on the baking sheet, makes life easier. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The thicker your slices the longer it will take.

The Lunch Strategy

Today is one of those days where you stare out the window and watch the aspens fluttering in the breeze and wonder what the frell am I going to blog about.  I am having a distinct lack of blogspiration today. Part of me is just begging to skip blogging and go work out.

Today’s lunch turkey pot pie leftover from Father’s Day and some sticks.
Lunch for me is a difficult meal, it is in the middle of my day, I’m busy doing stuff and it just is a pain. If I could I would skip it I would.  But it usually comes after my workout and I am hungry, so I don’t.  A couple of years ago I started a lunch strategy after getting sick of getting to the fridge and everyone else had ate all the edible leftovers.  One should not have to cook at lunch time, reheating I can deal with, making a side of sauteed greens is sometimes doable.  Lunch and cooking forget that.

The Lunch Strategy

1. Make a big salad enough for two or three lunches.  I do the veg and add in what I am feeling that day.  Pine nuts are my current in thing.

2. Soup in the freezer.  2 cup packets they defrost easily and make a nice lunch.

3. Cook extra steak or chicken and freeze it.  This one has saved me so many times.  I freeze in portion sizes of about 3 to 4 ounces. It gets cut up and tossed into salads and soups.

4. Leftovers from last night’s dinner.  I’ve been known to stake my claim and write my name on tape and attach it to containers.

5. Sticks! Carrots and celery sticks make for a quick veg to pair with the protein lurking in the fridge.

What are your lunch strategies?