I hope all of you had a splendid first week of the new year and as you may have noticed, I took two weeks off of Week At A Time – Meal Ideas for a couple of reasons. First, I needed a break to rest and think about the year ahead and secondly, I figured right after the holidays either people had some leftovers to heat up, or they started a special diet. That being said, I’m ready to kick-off another scrumptious week of tasty recipes that will definitely make you want to cook.
It’s been a pretty chilly start to the year, even in Los Angeles and Santa Ynez. This nice change breeds dishes that are hardy, yet healthy – food I can really get my brain around. I love a big bowl of soup, or stew, and anything that takes a little longer to cook. This doesn’t mean I want to spend more time in the kitchen, but possibly utilize those tools that help me out from time to time like an Instant Pot, or Slow Cooker. Most of us have either one, or the other, or both, so if you haven’t indulged lately, it’s time to dust it off and get warmed up for the week.
I thought we would start the week off green with my Instant Pot Spinach Potato Soup. It may sound a little odd to some, but it’s green hue tastes mild, and the spinach adds a sweet, yet acidic note to the potatoes. Tuesday is a fine day to whip out the slow-cooker before you start your day to prepare this mostly pantry ingredient Slow-Cooker Soy Braised Chicken Thighs. There’s nothing like tender juicy chicken in a rich sauce that practically falls apart in your mouth. For hump day, we need something super tasty, so I went with my Baked Eggplant Parmesan. I don’t fry the eggplant slices beforehand, but bake them until tender with crispy edges right in the oven. You’re gonna love it. Thursday is my Instant Pot Creole Red Beans and Rice. I thought it might be fun to start Mardi Gras a few weeks early, and not only that, but these beans and rice are really really good on a cold winter’s night. Friday’s are all about simplicity after a along week, and my Skillet Chicken Stroganoff is both delicious and easy to prepare. The lightly creamy taste isn’t heavy, but satisfying and truly heart-warming. Saturday’s are for baking, and my Honey Rye Loaf Cake is made with whole grains like whole-wheat and rye flours, and sweetened with honey. I like to slice it and enjoy it for breakfast or brunch, and it does hit the spot in the afternoon with tea, or a hot beverage. Have a healthy, happy and enjoyable week ahead. Stay Warm!
Monday – This combination of spinach and potatoes is quite luxurious, while still feeling light and healthy. I just the love the color too! Come to think of it, I should of made it for Halloween as well.
Tuesday – A simple and tasty way to enjoy a meal on a Tuesday. This chicken recipe has just a handful of ingredients that mostly come from your pantry. I like to serve it with brown rice and roasted broccoli in big bowls.
Wednesday – This eggplant parm is baked, not fried and you will definitely enjoy it. The baked slices of eggplant are tender with slightly crispy edges that drink up that marinara and bits of cheese when layered together. It’s a family-style meal that’s fun and fabulous.
Thursday – These are not just any beans and rice, but Creole style. The flavors are reminiscent of Louisiana and if you’ve haven’t had a chance to visit, you can taste it right in your own kitchen. Beans and rice are a hardy and healthful meal that reheats nicely for lunch, or another dinner.
Friday – It’s a one-skillet meal night, especially after a long week. This chicken stroganoff is delightfully tasty and loaded with shredded chicken and sliced mushrooms in a creamy sauce. The whole family will enjoy it.
Saturday – This loaf cake is loaded with whole grains. It’s light, yet hardy in flavor and the honey adds just the right amount of sweetness. I think you’ll love a slice with coffee or tea in the morning or afternoon.