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TGIFwithKelmember since September 2009

January 28, 2012, 9:22 am
updated Jan 28, 2012, 4:18 pm

TGIF with Kel 1/27/2012: I am Using You

Every week on Saturday morning, I do my meal planning.

I go through the hundreds of recipes that I have bookmarked, or I head over to Tastespotting.com to see what everyone else has been cooking for ideas.

I was faced with a challenge today.

I had not written TGIF with Kel on the regularly scheduled Friday, and knew that was a priority today. Let's face it, though; a girl has got to eat, and eat well. When I say eat well, I mean go for green.

So, today, I am combining column writing with my weekly meal planning. Really, I am using you to stay green; I hope we both can benefit from this!

Part of this green life I pursue is to know ahead of time what is for dinner. Ideally, if it is a recipe, that recipe is already logged and calculated, so I can plug it into my day ahead of time. This allows me to adjust for it during my day. If a recipe has a lot of sodium, for example, I know that in order for my day to be green, I am going to have to limit my sodium intake. If the recipe is high in cholesterol, well, then no egg with breakfast!

I record the recipe as is; once it is prepared, I may have to go back and tweak it. I say that as my official disclaimer; what you see here today in the recipe stats may actually change once the recipe is made.

I generally only like to share recipes once I have tried them to be sure they are actually good! For these recipes this week, we are all going in blind.

Planning ahead allows me to deal with unforeseen circumstances. I had such a circumstance on Thursday this week, when a silver minivan decided to test Newton's First Law of Motion, which states An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. In this case, my car was the object at rest, and the minivan was the object in motion, and it was the unbalanced force that moved my car crashing into the car in front of me. This is my way of letting you know, I had a lot of crap to deal with on Thursday; meal planning was not one of them. On a side note, I am completely fine. My car was squished like a little ol' cricket bug, but did exceptionally well at protecting me. Always wear your seatbelt!

Anyways, back to planning. I was able to get home that day and simply pull out a few pantry items, and get a good dinner on the table, despite the current days issues.

Since it is just Ben and I here, I plan some meals that we can freeze leftovers. Knowing a green meal is already sitting in your freezer helps a LOT!

This is what's cooking at my house this week.

Chickpea Pot Pie with Gouda Biscuit Topping This one just screams comfort!

Edit: These stats are a perfect example of stats changing once a recipe is made. I weighed the vegetables, reduced the gouda that I had included (not that was in the recipe!) and added the carrot that I had forgotten. It is now 100 calories less than when I had posted this morning!

And NOW I had to add an additional 1/2 cup flour for the biscuit to actually become a dough. Sigh. 50 calories back in! This is how it works, folks!

Filipino Shrimp and Coconut Milk Served with some brown rice, this will be a quick and easy dinner.

Spicy Chorizo Chickpea Stew I will likely prepare this one tomorrow, so that I can put half in the freezer right away, and have half in the refrigerator ready to go. I bet this one tastes better after sitting a couple of days. Recipe note in advance; these stats are only for 1/2 pound of chorizo. I knew that one pound would simply be too much!

Mongolian Beef Who needs take out when you can make your own in less time? I have been craving these flavors and this is going to hit the spot. Remember the brown rice from the Filipino Shrimp? I will make enough for two nights, so the rice will be ready to go.

I have my good old standby recipes that will fill in any gaps. Friday night is always pizza night around here, and then there is always Pasta e ceci. Yes, I love chickpeas and always keep the pantry full of them!

The weekends do get kind of crazy around here. Between the bagel making, the salad making, and additional meals for the week, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. But, it is what I love to do. For you, maybe you will look for meals that can always be put together in less than 30 minutes. The key is to be well prepared. Plan ahead! and always wear your seatbelt!

Thank Goodness It's Friday (really Saturday)!

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