Monday, May 9, 2011

Cooking: the food of our family

It is no secret I love to cook. That is a lie. I love to cook fun things. 

Dinner six days a week is really monotonous.  However, I do it  because A: it is cheaper than going out and B: it is healthier than going out.  Most of the time, I have six things we eat and I rotate it. Since the new year though, I have tried to do one new ethnic food a week. Sometimes, I fall short and we have tacos. No one complains. We are really boring!

All of my personal obligations have cleared the calendar. I have nothing to train for, no soccer to drive to, no plays to review ( last one was lacking, but a few of the actors, mine included were fabulous and showed their Bolden training) and most of all, no parties to plan or attend.  Now I can get back to the business of looking for a job and working on my home. Notice I said " home" not "house".  I am working on the house side doing such things as cleaning and painting baseboards and rehanging art, etc.  But, I am also working on the home things. Better planned meals, back to sitting down as a family and watching movies and hanging out in the yard playing cornhole and hopefully putting up a tether ball stand. Fun stuff that make our house a home.

 So, on the meals is our menu for the week and a recipe for super easy, super yummy soup.

Casa Swann 15 days til summer countdown menu

  • Ravioli soup
  • BBQ chicken in the crockpot, strawberry and greens salad, baked sweet potatoes
  • Coconut curried shrimp
  • Fish tacos with slaw
  • Grilled chicken/vegetable pita sandwiches with tzatziki sauce
  • Grilled chicken salad
Recipe of the week (new thing I am starting). This recipe was originally a weight watchers diet recipe that I lost the recipe for and then just made up. It is easy because it takes very little time and the ingredients can be found in your pantry/freezer for something quick and yummy. Also really, really good the next day, but the broth is absorbed so it is more like pasta with spinach. Also, I don't measure, so this is all ballpark...especially the garlic!

Ravioli Soup
1 large or 2 small onions, diced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 package frozen chopped spinach or 1 large container fresh, chopped
1 container of vegetable broth (I think it is 4 cups)
2 packages frozen ravioli or tortellini (you can also use the shelf stable kind, it is delicious) *
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
 2 tbl. dried Italian seasoning (I use Alchemy Mediterranean or Italian)

heat about 1 tbl. olive oil in a pan. Add onion and cook until softened and turning desired shade of doneness.  Add garlic and seasoning and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and broth and  reduce heat to medium/low and cook about 10 minutes or until tomatoes start to break up. Add spinach and cook an additional 10 minutes. Reduce heat and add pasta and cook about 3 minutes or according to package directions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Yum.

*We don't eat much cheese and try to eat really low calorie, so I usually get the vegan ravioli. However, I have made it with cheese and it is great as well. The beauty of this recipe is that it is easy to change up. Chicken broth, beef ravioli, etc. can be substituted for a delicious change. I think black bean ravioli and Mexican seasoning would be good as well!

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