Cooking Light’s Veggie Fried Rice

We’ve been iced/snowed-in since Monday night. It is now Friday. Luckily, I stocked up on food over the weekend to make the hubs a menu of meals as his Valentine’s present. Well, my planned meals ended last night. What to make tonight?!? It’s Friday in Lent…so, it can’t have meat. I have some rice from Monday’s red beans and a bunch of random veggies leftover…Oh, and some eggs. I’m going to make fried rice!

Unlike usual, I stayed pretty true to Cooking Light’s Fried Rice Recipe. Really the only changes I made were not using chicken and adding different veggies. To the mix of green onion and carrots the recipe called for I added a stalk of chopped celery and half a green bell pepper. The rest was all Cooking Light and the ruling was yum!!

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Recipe Kneads’ Meatball Sub Casserole

Looking for a quick, throw-it-together meal for a weeknight? Then, Recipe Kneads’ Meatball Sub Casserole is for you! Everything you need can easily be kept on hand for a delicious and satisfying meal the family will love.

In my usual fashion, I made a few adjustments according to what I had on hand and to make it a meal for just two. I had some Texas toast in the freezer, defrosted 4 pieces, and used that as my bread. I found another ingredient I didn’t have…mayo. So, I just mixed 1/2 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt with 4 oz of Neufchâtel cheese (subbed for cream cheese). To make a quick substitute for the Italian seasoning, I added a shake of garlic powder, dried oregano, and dried basil into the cheese-yogurt mixture. FYI, this made a little too much for the 4 pieces of bread. Then, I used 8 defrosted, turkey meatballs from Trader Joe’s to make it a bit more heart healthy. The rest of the recipe was smooth sailing: about 1/2 the cheese, 1/2 the sauce. I followed the cooking instructions, but would have let stay in the oven for an extra 10-15 minutes as it was still a bit cool in the middle. Nothing a few secs in the microwave couldn’t solve before we devoured it!

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Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese

As a Catholic during Lent, I am looking for a meatless meal that my husband will enjoy. Kale and sweet potatoes aren’t really his thing. I pinned a picture of a jalapeño grilled cheese a while ago under my “for Morgan” board and thought it would be ideal for Ash Wednesday. Only problem was when I clicked the picture, the webpage had been taken down. Thank goodness for the pictures on the pin – they made it simple to recreate this recipe!

Ingredients
4 slices white bread
4 slices American cheese (I used 2% cheese)
1 Tbsp cream cheese (I used Neufchâtel cheese)
Jarred pickled jalapeños
Spreadable butter (I used Land ‘o Lakes reduced fat)

Makes two sandwiches.

Warm a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Butter one side of two of the slices of bread. Take one of the pieces of American cheese. Spread half of the cream cheese on the American slice (the bread is too delicate for spreading the cream cheese). Lay the slice of American cheese cream cheese side up on a piece of bread (buttered side down). Put as many jalapeños as desired on top of the cream cheese. Place another slice of American cheese on top of the jalapeños. Finish with the other piece of bread. Place in the hot pan for about 2 minutes on until brown on each side. Repeat for the second sandwich.

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SCA Moms’ Shrimp and Grits

After nine years at McGavock High School, I started a new teaching job at my alma mater, St. Cecilia Academy. It has been an amazing change! I love the school culture, the girls, my colleagues, and the parents, too. Morgan says it is my milieu. For Catholic Schools Week, the SCA moms held a delightful luncheon for all the faculty/staff with cloth tablecloths and all. They served salad, cornbread, shrimp and grits, and homemade cakes. It is refreshing to feel valued, appreciated, and a little spoiled!!

Flash forward a month. I needed an idea for Morgan’s Valentine’s present. I haven’t felt like cooking since the fall, as I am five months pregnant, started a new job, and in grad school. I know that Morgan misses the home cooking and stress relief cooking brings me. So, I decided to give him a menu of meals for the week. I decided to try out the SCA Moms’ Shrimp and Grits recipe (see pic below)

Of course, I changed a few things. For example, I added chopped mushrooms since I had some in the fridge. Also, I added a healthy dash of Louisiana hot sauce. For the cheese, I used a mixture of 2% cheddar and an Italian blend (what I had on hand), but I love Monterey Jack and would totally use that instead. Morgan loved the yummy start to his week of meals and I’ll definitely make it again!

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Slow Cooker White Bean Soup from Budget Bytes

I love a good CrockPot recipe!! Throw together the night before and just transfer from the fridge to the heating mechanism in the AM before work. Easy, delish, and this recipe was cheap, too!!!

As it had been a super cold winter in Nashville, I’ve been craving a hearty soup we can eat on for a few days. Enter Budget Bytes Slow Cooker White Bean Soup. I only made a few slight changes to this recipe. First, I added a ham jowl for some extra smoky, bacon-y flavor. Ham jowls are super cheap and rich in flavor! Next, I cut out the dried thyme because I didn’t have any at home. Then, I subbed chicken stock for 4 of the cups of water to deepen the flavor. Serve with cornbread or a baguette and you’ve got a perfect bowl to cozy up with.

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Diethood’s Garlic Parm Zucchini Chips

My husband, Morgan, and I treat ourselves to dinners out often. When it comes to Valentine’s day, we skip the crowded restaurants and stay in. For the past two years, we have picked up some dough, toppings, sauce, and had make-your-own pizza❤ night. It is a blast and super simple!!

This year, Morgan is watching his weight and I am pregnant/eating everything in sight. I decided to add a healthy appetizer. After trolling Pinterest for inspiration, I found Diethood’s Garlic Parmesan Yellow Squash Chips. The original recipe calls for yellow squash, but the zucchini looked better at the grocery and I subbed. The outcome was delish! The perfect, healthy munchie while we created our pizzas!

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Spruced-Up Baked Beans

Whether it be black, pinto, kidney, garbanzo, or baked, sometimes I need a little help in the “homemade” department and I find that in a can. A friend who used to teach with us and his family (wife and 2 toddlers) stayed with us last weekend. To celebrate their visit, we decided to have a cookout at our house. I knew that with company in town all weekend and two little ones running around our un-child-proofed house that I wouldn’t have tons of time to cook. So, I decided to spruce-up some canned baked beans in my trusty CrockPot for the party!

4 strips of bacon, cut into lardons
1/2 onion, finely diced
3 cans of baked beans (I used Aldi brand)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup ketchup
1 squirt sriracha sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Fry up the bacon lardons in a skillet on medium high heat. As they just begin to brown, throw in the onion. Cook the onion is the bacon fat for about 5 minutes or until they begin to brown/become translucent. Pour the fat, bacon lardons, and onion into the CrockPot. Combine the remaining ingredients, stir, and turn the CP to high. Let it cook on high for a couple hours, stirring every 30 min or so. Turn down to warm and serve.

I was having so much fun at the party and playing with the kiddos that I didn’t even take a pic of the beans!