In the interest of saving money (our first mortgage payment is due July 1st, hooray) and being vaguely healthy again, I made a structured meal plan for this week that unfortunately had two giant failures and both can be attributed to Rachael Ray. I loathe her voice, I detest her show, yet I still am intrigued by her mish-mashy concoctions and can’t resist trying them. I believe this week has been the universe’s intervention between us and I.AM.DONE.
We have bourbon in the house that nobody drinks, and the organic extra lean ground beef (I don’t typically do ground turkey) was half off at the grocery store so this seemed to be a perfect place to start. I don’t know if my taste buds were just accustomed to the bottled barbecue sugar bombs, but this sauce was just disgusting and I made it exactly how the recipe called for. It was pointless and ridiculous to egg wash and bread the patties because they didn’t end up crispy at all. This meal was overly superfluous, but cost us next to nothing, so the sauce went in the garbage and the leftover patties were had traditionally with cheese and on plain buns.
Attempt 2: Monte Cristo-Stuffed Chicken Cutlets
I guess if you read the recipe it sounds delicious. Well I don’t have the patience to pound chicken thinner than the friggen paper the recipe was printed on, and the stupid chicken didn’t cook evenly so I ended up burning almost all of it (there is so much I can do, but I SUCK at pan-frying chicken). I didn’t bother with the gravy because the whole pan was black and smelled like burnt grease so I threw a PMS tantrum and had a meltdown which caused my husband to seriously (and very nervously) ask if I was pregnant. If you are good at cooking chicken I’m sure you would like this.
I FINALLY found success last night with a simple spring/summer veggie pasta dish. It’s fresh, easy, and definitely perfect for a weeknight meal you don’t need to feel guilty about just because it is pasta. I think I found it on fitness.com, but I don’t know what to call it because all of the wordings are awkward. Also, I cannot find my camera charger anywhere in the mess of office boxes I shoved in the closet, so a phone picture it is. Lucky you. It’s so light, flavorful and just fresh tasting. Perfect for summer.
Whole Wheat Ricotta Pasta with Vegetables
- 8 ounces dried whole wheat or whole-grain penne pasta (Alma’s brand is my favorite)
- 2 1/2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 1/2 cups asparagus or green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup snipped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed
- 4 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
- 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Boil the pasta according to the package directions and in the last 4 minutes, add your green vegetables. Drain pasta and vegetables and put to the side. Mix the spices, oil, vinegar, garlic (**grate it into the cheese with a microplane or very fine cheese grater- since it is raw you do not want chunks), and salt and pepper in a large serving bowl. Add pasta and veggies and mix together. Finally, add the chopped tomatoes and serve with Parmesan cheese.
Damage (the best part is I even used whole milk ricotta): 414 calories//53g carbs//14g fat//17g protein//10g fiber
Do you like trying new recipes or do you take more pleasure in throwing things together to see how they come out?
To what extent do you meal plan every week? I don’t think I would eat anything from home if I didn’t actually plan my meals, I am so meticulous like that.