Friday and Weeknight Meals Meals

Oh good, the Giants won.  (Sarcasm).  I guess I should be happy since I live most of the year in Northern California (totally Giant’s territory) but I will forever be a Dodgers fan.  True Blue for LIFE! Maybe they will kick it into gear next year.  I can only hope.  So, since things are not looking to good for the boys in blue, let’s move onto the next subject.  FOOD.  Are you surprised?

I’m confident to say this week I could consider myself a baking and cooking machine. This domestic gal (sad that I categorize myself that, but its nice to feel important) plans to continue into the weekend and maybe into next week when my schedule is packed between birthday celebrations  and Halloween.  I’ve been spinning quite a few fun recipes in my head for these occasions, so you will just have to stay tuned 🙂

Yesterday I was simply exhausted.  I must have been skimping on sleep for the past week because when I went down for a 20 minute power nap, which turned into almost an hour nap. I guess I was just that tired.  Let me also mention that naps are unheard of in my world.  In the past, when I have attempted to nap, I get settled and then find myself wide awake, antsy, and worried about wasting time. Yeah, naps aren’t usually my thing.

So, because I napped, worked the women’s volleyball game (“bringing in the dough” as my boss said), and attended a group meeting, I had no time to make a new dinner.  No fear, there was mac&cheese leftover and combined with an extra spoonful of pumpkin and side salad, I was good to go.  I know, I usually complain that I don’t like leftovers, but my options were mac&cheese, yogurt, or banana and PB2.  I was feeling something more filling, especially so I didn’t eat a bunch of crud later on.

Anyways, here are a couple of recipes that I did make this week, were well received (even by our pickier friends) and could even be used for multiple meals.

“Homemade” Pizza Pies
(Compliments of Trader Joe’s Products)

Ingredients
1 bag of pizza dough (select from plain, wheat, or garlic&herb)
1 container/jar of marinara sauce (we use the TJ jar at home, but the plastic tub was just as tasty and there was just enough
1.5 cup mozerella
Toppings of your choice:  Peppers, onions, chicken sausage, BBQ sauce, pepperoni, marinara, cheese, garlic, etc.

Directions
1. Set the oven to 350F. Take the dough out of the bag, place on a flat surface and top with some flour.  Let it rise for about 10-15 minutes. (If you are using a pizza stone, allow stone to heat up for about 20 minutes)
2. Spread the dough over a hot pizza stone or baking sheet.
3. Add marinara sauce (or BBQ) and top with your choice of toppings
4. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the crust is crispy and starts to look golden.  Of course, the longer you cook it, the crispier it gets.

*Another trick is to take the TJ pizza dough and break it up to make individual calzones.  Spread the dough out as if you were making a pizza, but allow each person to choose their toppings.
**I’ve also heard about placing the pizza on the grill, which make for an extra crunchy crust.  We must try this.

Garlic Bread
1 loaf sourdough/french bread/baguette
Lawry’s Garlic Salt
Lawry’s Garlic Spread

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (good if you are making pizza at the same time)
2. Slice bread and spread garlic spread on each side of the bread. Sprinkle with garlic salt and place in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the top turns brown (continue to check for crispy texture)

Here is a Quinoa-Spinach Bake off of Whole Living (Martha Stewart’s doing) from Pinterest. It is used as a side dish, but cut the portion sizes and made it into a main course (lunch for the week!)

Quinoa Spinach Bake
Makes ~8 servings (side dish)

Ingredients

  • Olive-oil cooking spray
  • Breadcrumbs, for baking dish
  • 1 pound spinach leaves, picked and washed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 zucchini (or any other vegetables to pump the dish up)
  • 1 tablespoon picked fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (about 1 cup uncooked quinoa), made according to package directions
  • 1 cup nonfat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-by-8-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with olive-oil spray. Coat with breadcrumbs; set aside.
  2. Blanch the spinach (medium pot of water to boil and drop spinach in for about 10 seconds, then douse in ice water) I used frozen spinach, so this wasn’t a problem.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and red-pepper flakes, and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; transfer to a medium bowl.
  4. Add spinach, quinoa, cottage cheese, pepper, and eggs to the onion mixture, and stir until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and place in the oven. Bake until set and edges are brown, 60 to 70 minutes. Slice, and serve warm or at room temperature.* I wasn’t great about portioning out my ingredients, so I think I used a tad bit too much water.  Because of this, the quinoa didn’t adhere together as well as I would have liked or as well as the picture on the website.  Of course, it is Martha Stewart’s website and for some reason all of her recipes and projects need to be 10x more difficult than they should be.

    I decided to divide the quinoa up for lunches, along with some edamame, cherry tomatoes and my new favorite – TJ Teriyaki Tofu

That’s all for this week 🙂 Are you getting excited about Halloween? I don’t like the scary aspect as much but am excited to dress up in my different costumes! That’s right, I have TWO costumes and both are quite legit.  I even have my own makeup and hair artist, my gal Liz 🙂 Pictures will be fabulous!
“Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.”
– George S. Patton
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4 thoughts on “Friday and Weeknight Meals Meals

    • I know, naps seem like a good idea, but they just never work out! I have found that I have issues sleeping in general 🙂 Such an odd ball. I’m so excited for Halloween! Although, not the scary aspect. My friends and I watched Pretty Little Liars last night and I was freaked out most of it!

  1. Love all the meals! I like going out and making my own pizza dough when I make homemade pizza, but my roomie swears by TJ’s dough! Also, I’ve never been a napper either! I always feel worse when I wake up (if I ever fall asleep!)

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