What do most people think of when they think of Mom?
I’d like to think that my Mom was the role model for the person I was to become. By watching and learning from her I could decide who I wanted to be. My Mom taught me many things but working in the kitchen was not one of them. It has, however, come to be one of my favorite things. Because I work full time and still have one child still in high school, (A senior…woohoo!…its almost over!) did anyone hear cheering? Finding time to make healthy meals and maintain semblance in the main room where we gather can be a real challenge.
One of the best tips that has worked out for me is to purchase as many of the “staples” I will need for the upcoming week on Friday evening or Saturday morning. This includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Then I spend Saturday night or Sunday afternoon preparing them so that I can use them to pack our lunches all week. This has worked very well for us and allows us to not only save money by packing our lunches, we are enjoying healthy lunches at the same time. Our main course is prepared each evening with enough enjoy at the next days lunch.
This weekend for example, we purchased apples, pears, a papaya, oranges, etc…We also got brussel sprouts, cauliflower, salad makings, and a few extra things I needed for recipes I wanted to try. One good way to prepare vegetables in a large quantity is to roast them. Tonight we roasted the brussels and cauliflower. We sprinkled them with some balsamic vinegar (or you can use any oil based salad dressing) and popped them in the oven at 375 for about 45 minutes. YUMMY. Make sure your fork goes into the largest sprout easily to make sure everything else is done. The cauliflower will actually be done before the sprouts but it can stay in with them. They can be used as a side dish all week long!
This week I also tried a low calorie healthy casserole, and it came out Deeeelicious!
Beef and Vegetable Cheese Casserole
2 medium tomatos sliced
2 medium zucchini sliced
12 oz uncooked lean ground beef
1 large onion finely chopped
2 medium cloves garlic minced
1 cup canned tomato sauce
2 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 large uncooked egg yolk
½ cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese
1TBSP parsley, oregano, or rosemary chopped( I combined all 3)
1/8 tsp salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray and spread tomato and zuchini over sheet. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes only. Saute beef in garlic and onion, stir in tomato sauce and simmer. Spread beef mixture in 9×13 dish and top with veggies. Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Whisk cottage cheese, egg yolk, cheddar cheese, and herbs in a bowl. Spoon over veggies and smoothe. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately. Cut into 6 pieces to equal weight watchers 5 points.
Tomorrow night we will grill chicken breasts, enjoy them and have enough left to use for the remaining week. Planning ahead can be such a time saver and allow you to eat healthy. One last thing, clean your space while you go. No one wants to enjoy a great meal only to have to get up and wash dishes and clean the kitchen. Of course there will always be some of that left to do but if you keep ahead of it while you go, the task is far less daunting.