Cooking · Months

September 2016 ~ The Meals ~ Week 2

The cookbook I used this month is Recipes for Healthy Kids – Cookbook for Homes.  It was a fun book and we made some nice dinners.  Overall, the recipes were easy to follow so you need not be an expert in the kitchen to have these dishes turn out.   The cookbook is available for download by clicking here.


September 11- Tuscan Smoked Turkey and Bean Soup


This is a wonderful soup that warms you from the inside, even in the middle of a Florida summer.  Aside from the upfront prep work the meal cooks itself.  There are four steps, two of which are adding ingredients.  After a 30 minute preparation time you can fix it and forget about it until the timer goes off.

The recipe includes onions, celery, carrots, kale, and Navy beans, and smoked turkey breast.  I used chicken stock that I made and froze as the base.

Everyone at the table enjoyed the soup.  This is going to make a nice soup on one of the three cold Florida winter days.

September 12 – Red Beans and Rice

It must be Monday if we are eating rice and beans!

September 13 – Central Valley Harvest Bake or The Harper Valley PTA Dish

The name of this dish makes me think of the song Harper Valley PTA sung by Jeannie C. Riley in 1968. The songs popularity put it on the top of the Billboard and County Charts making her the first female singer to be simultaneously on both charts.

The cookbook refers to this as a side dish but with the ingredients it could be a main course which is how I served it.  This dish is centered around butternut squash (a fall squash that is oh so difficult to cut and peel and cube) with red onions, red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper (omitted for fear the heat would be too much), red quinoa, and black beans.  Holding it all together is applesauce and it is topped with granola.

This did not go over well with the little one because he does not like squash.  If I were to make this again it would be as a side instead of the main dish.

September 14 – Chic’- Penne

This was an easy to make dish.  And it is even easier if you have pre-cooked chicken.  I have seen this in the grocery store but have not bought it because I prefer to cook at home.  However, if you are pressed for time and need a dish that is put together in 20 minutes and cook in the oven for 10 minutes this is a great dish.

While the pasta is boiling you can prep the other items such as the broccoli (or you can buy pre-cut florets) and shred the cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.  The recipe teaches you an easy way of making a cheese sauce which, in my opinion, is easy and better tasting than the store bought sauces.

We enjoyed this meal.  If I were to make it again I would add some fresh basil and oregano to give it more flavor.

September 15 – Roasted Fish Crispy Slaw Wrap

This recipe is from a middle school in Orlando, Florida and the chef who assisted in the creation is the Executive Sous Chef at Universal Studios.

This is a really good wrap that includes a mix of shredded red and white cabbage, carrots and bok choy.  Instead of buying heads of cabbage I took the easy way and purchased cole slaw mix from Whole Foods.  This mix includes the cabbage and the carrots ready to go.  Finding good bok choy in this part of Florida has been a challenge since moving here so  I left it out.

The fish is brushed with olive oil and covered with a chili-lime seasoning. I made the chili-lime seasoning at home and it was so, so, so good, the recipe is here.  I would make this to sprinkle on anything from french fries to chicken or pork.

The directions state you should cook the fish for 12 minutes or until the internal temperature is 145 degrees.

Instead of making the wraps in the kitchen and serving on the plate, I placed everything on the table and let the family pick and choose what they wanted.  The fish was delicious and everyone like it.

September 16 – Eagle Pizza

This was fun to make.  It is a tostada topped with spinach, lettuce, carrots, sour cream, corn and cheese.  The “pizza sauce” is refried beans that have been flavor enhanced with chili-lime seasoning (see above for my favorite recipe).

Instead of buying tostadas you can buy corn or flour tortilla and fry them at home.  Or you can bake them in the oven at 375 until crispy.

To make it a family meal everyone made their own pizza and we baked them in the oven and put on our favorite toppings.  In addition to the spinach, lettuce, carrots, corn, and cheese I included salsa and black olives.

This is making me hungry writing about it.

September 17 – Vegetable Chili Boat

I will jump at any opportunity to make chili.  This is one of my favorite dishes to make and find it as my go-to Saturday or Sunday lunch meal.  My love of chili cannot be conveyed over the internet.  There is a section of this blog dedicated to chili.

As many recipes for chili are their the “right” way of making chili.  There is the traditional way and interpretations of chili.  I enjoy a traditional bowl of chili but will not shut the door on an chance to make or try a different version.

This is a no-meat chili and if vegetable stock was used in place of the chicken stock it could be a vegetarian dish.  The beans used include pinto, kidney an black beans.  And if you wanted some extra chili flavor you could use the Bush’s Chili Beans instead of the plain Jane canned ones.  Or if you are going all out you could make your beans at home.  I used plain Jane canned ones and seasoned following the recipe.

This was a good chili.




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