Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lots of cooking and a new study unit

Since Spring Break ended, I have been trying to do a bit of cooking, freezing food, and preparing some lunch foods for Mark and for Jaymi.  I like to try to make preparing meals a bit easier, for those days when I haven't planned well, and need easy things to just grab.  But keeping it healthy, you know?

So, here are the things I have made this week:

Black-Eyed Pea Stew
4 cups vegetable broth
8 ounces collard greens, chopped (8 cups)
1 14.5-oz can chopped tomatoes
12 ounces potatoes, diced (2 cups)
15.5 ounces black-eyed peas (either canned, or if they're raw...boil for 5 minutes, then soak for an hour, then drain)

Bring broth and 2 cups water to a boil over high. Add greens, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
Add tomatoes and potatoes and return to a simmer. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, 10-12 minutes. Stir in peas and simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.
Season with pepper to taste.

Crockpot Vegetable Pasta Sauce
1 small zucchini, cut up
1 yellow squash, cut up
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 can tomatoes, whole
2 cans tomatoes, diced
1 can tomato paste

Put everything in the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Powerballs (I made these for Jaymi's lunches and breakfasts...she loves them!)
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup honey
3 cups oats
1/2 cup flax, ground
2 cups any combination of dried fruit and nuts
(If you want, you can change the dried fruit and nuts for chocolate chips, coconut, or anything you can think of)
Mix together peanut butter and honey until smooth.  Gradually add oats and flax.  Add nuts and fruit and mix gently.  Roll into spheres and put in paper mini muffin cups.  They freeze well, layered on wax paper in an airtight container.

Seasoned Broiled Pork Chops, Brown Rice, and Green Beans
freshly ground pepper
4 loin pork chops, 1" thick
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsps parsley, minced
3 tbsps onion, minced
1-1/2 tsps paprika
3 tbsps olive oil

Cook brown rice (1 cup of rice for every 2 cups of water) in a rice cooker, and steam the green beans.

Salt and pepper the chops. In a small bowl mix the garlic, parsley, onion, paprika and olive oil. heat the broiler, grease the broiler pan, and arrange the chops. Spread half the garlic mixture over the chops and place the pan 4-5" from the heat. Broil the chops about 5 minutes. Turn, spread with the remaining mixture and broil 5 minutes more, or until the chops are cooked through but still juicy. 

I also made a fresh batch of yogurt this week, and some jello for Jaymi, so that she could squish it through her new tooth hole.  ;)
And tonight, Mark wasn't here for dinner (he was at a charity golf event) so Jaymi and I had a special Mommy-Daughter dinner (pasta) with a few heart sprinkles on top.

Besides cooking this week, Jaymi and I have started a new study unit, which I will tell you about very soon.  

And she is very proud of the fact that she has learned (thanks to one of her friends at school) how to hang upside from the monkey bars, with NO hands now!  She could hang there all day. ;)

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