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Menu 3 – Family of 4

Featured this week: Blushing Penne Pasta ~ ~ Apricot-Rosemary Pork Medallions ~ ~ Chipotle Chili Sloppy Joes ~ ~ Chinese Chicken Spaghetti ~ ~ Edamame Soup

This is the first sloppy joe recipe I have ever made from scratch and it made me wonder what took me so long. I think the spice level is just right however if you don’t like spice then I would omit the jalapeno pepper. I hope this sways you away from sloppy joe mix as well. 

Rice – 

I prefer the taste of long grain rice, basmati rice or jasmine rice versus minute rice. I know cooking rice can sometimes be tricky but just watch your heat to water ratio and you will be just fine. I bought a rice maker and it has taken away the worry of burning rice on the stovetop and generates perfect rice every time. I highly recommend getting one if you don’t already have one.

Dinners for the week

Grocery List - Store brand (Metro Detroit)

Prep the week!

prep week

I like to gather my storage containers before I start my prep.  I love the look of the table with all of the containers and as I make progress the containers disappear leaving me with a sense of accomplishment and encouragement to keep going. This picture is an example of one of my prep weeks.

Storage containers needed:

  • 2 garlic cloves ( about 1/16 cup)

  • 1 shallot chopped (1/4 cup)

  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced (about a cup)

  • 1 medium onion, ½ green pepper, 1 jalapeno (about 2 cups)

  • 1 bunch of green onions chopped, (about 1 cup)

  • 1 green pepper cut into small pieces (about ½ cup)

  • 1 pound broccoli or two containers (about 6 cups).

  • 24 ounces brussel sprouts, sliced. (about 6 cups)

  • 2 carrots shredded (about 2 cups)

  • 2 adobo peppers (1/8) cup

Let’s start chopping!

  • Peel 2 garlic cloves; store in refrigerator.

  • Chop 1 shallot; store in refrigerator
  • Thinly slice 1 medium onion; store in refrigerator

  • Chop small 1 medium onion; store in refrigerator

  • Chop green onions; store in refrigerator

  • Chop small 1 green pepper. Add ½ cup to the chopped onion. Store the other ½ by itself.

  • Do not wash until ready to cook -chop 6 cups of broccoli into bite size pieces; store in refrigerator

  • Slice brussel sprouts in half; store in refrigerator.

  • Shred two carrots; store in refrigerator.

  • Finely chop 1 jalapeno pepper. Add to the chopped onion and green pepper container.

  • Finely chop 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce; store in refrigerator. 

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Chop the rest of the adobo peppers and put them by the teaspoon into an ice cube tray then freezer for 24 hours. Remove from ice tray and add to a freezer bag for use at another time. This makes it easy to add to dishes and best of all cuts down on waste!  

Tips and Tricks for the weekly meals to go flawlessly!

         Always start by reading the recipe all the way through then read my tips.  Doing this before you start will help prevent “surprises” along the way. 

         If I’ve posted it then I have eaten it and called it good.  Also, I know that the portions should work because I have done it.  No guess work here. 

Blushing Penne Pasta Recipe_ How to Make It  

Before you start the pasta assemble your salad and dressing.

  1. Salad add:
    • 5 ounces romaine lettuce (half the bag)
    • ½ cup baby spinach to a salad bowl (Rinse if directed)
    • Slice cucumber the cucumber in half and place half in the refrigerator then chop the remaining half and add to lettuce
    • Drain artichoke hearts reserving half and placing them in the refrigerator cut the remainder into bite size pieces then add to lettuce.
    • 1/2 green pepper
  2. Divide salad between 4 bowls and set aside until dinner.
  3. Salad dressing:
    • 2/3 cup canola oil
    • Fresh basil (8 – 12 leaves), julienne 
    • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
    • 1 ½ teaspoons ground mustard
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • ½ teaspoon salt
  4. About 1 tablespoon of dressing is a serving.
  5. Follow the blushing penne pasta recipe as directed. Enjoy!
**Be sure to set aside 4 cups of Blushing Penne Pasta for Tuesday night’s dinner.
Apricot-Rosemary Pork Medallions Recipe_ How to Make It
  1. Start by getting 2.5 cups of long grain rice on to cook. Follow package directions for water, heat and timing.
  2. Prep to cook:
    • Mince 2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary and add to a small sauce pan along with apricot preserves, wine (or chicken broth) salt and pepper; set aside.
    • Slice tenderloin crosswise into eight 1 inch slices; set aside. Rinse broccoli in a colander; set aside.
    • Add bread crumbs to a shallow bowl or plate; set aside.
    • Andrew and I like to use egg wash (one egg and 1 teaspoon water) in this recipe. We dip the pork in the egg wash then the bread crumbs.
  3. Follow the apricot-rosemary pork medallion recipe as directed. Enjoy!
**Be sure to set aside 4 tenderloin pieces, half the rice and half the broccoli for Wednesday night’s dinner.
  1. Salad add:
    • 5 ounces romaine lettuce
    • ½ cup baby spinach to a salad bowl (rinse if directed).
    • Chop the remaining half of cucumber then add to lettuce.
    • Cut the remainder artichoke hearts into bite size pieces then add to lettuce.
    • Add 1/4 cup green onions to the lettuce.
  2. Warm pasta and serve with salad. Enjoy!
  1. Wet a paper towel and squeeze out the moisture. Place paper towel over the rice when you reheat in the microwave. 

  2. Reheat apricot-rosemary pork medallions and Broccoli. Enjoy!

Chipotle Chili Sloppy Joes Recipe_ How to Make It
  1. Preheat oven 400° F.

  2. Arrange brussel sprouts on a sheet pan; add 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir to coat evenly. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until they are soft and brown.

  3. Prep to cook:

    • Gather the ingredients.

    • In a small bowl add chili sauce, water, chipotle peppers, brown sugar, and mustard; set aside.

    • Grab the onion and pepper mixture from the refrigerator.

  4. Follow the chipotle chili sloppy joe recipe as directed.

  5. After the brussel sprouts are cooked add them to a bowl and toss them with 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!

**Be sure to set aside 2 servings of brussel sprouts and sloppy joe mixture for Saturday night’s dinner.
Chinese Chicken Spaghetti Recipe_ How to Make It
Silky Edamame Soup _ Love and Olive Oil
  1. Start with the soup. Gather all the ingredients for the soup and chinese chicken spaghetti. Sort them into two sections on the counter keeping them seperate
  2. Prep to cook:
    • Mince 2 garlic cloves and place them in a small prep bowl; set aside for soup.
    • Chop chicken breast into 2 inch pieces
    • In a prep bowl, wisk cornstarch, 1 tablespoon soy sauce until smooth; stir in 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Transfer to a plastic bag or tupperware container and add chicken mix thoroughly. Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
    • In a small bowl add 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce; set aside for spaghetti.
    • Mince fresh ginger root and add to a small bowl with red pepper flakes, and 1/2 cup green onions; set aside for spaghetti.
  3. Start soup follow recipe as directed. After you add the spinach place on low heat until the spaghetti is cooked then finish the soup.
  4. Start chinese chicken spaghetti by bringing a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. I cook the entire 16 ounces of pasta. This does add more calories but I find it stretches to 6 meals better.
  5. Follow the rest of the recipe as directed. Enjoy!
  6. Cover the chinese chicken spaghetti to keep it warm while you finish the soup. I use an immersion blender for the soup.
**Serving size is 1 cup of soup and 1.5 cups of spaghetti mixture. Be sure to set two servings aside for Saturday night’s dinner.
  1. A true leftover night! Choose what you want, warm then enjoy!
  2. Warm:
    • Chipotle Chili Sloppy Joes & Roasted Brussel Sprouts
    • Chinese Chicken Spaghetti & Edamame Soup. 
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Christin Lee


It is fun to think that there might be a short cut but the reality is planning plus diligence equals financial freedom.

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