Jan 8, 2009

Week Three: Thursday (Day 12)

I've learned something. If you do as much prep as possible in the mornings it won't matter if you have a last minute change of plans happen for your supper time. Case in point. We have our church service on Thursday nights. Our original plan was for Hubby to come home between work and church to have supper and all drive in together (it's a half hour away). I just got a call that requires my husband to stay in town and me and my son to go in early.

So, what about my dinner plans? I'm going to go ahead and make the dinner anyway, which will provide lunch for tomorrow and contribute to the weekend's leftovers buffet! Before I realized this, I would have just moved today's menu plan to tomorrow. But then we'd deplete our leftover pool and lunch would probably "eat" (ha!) into that as well. That would always cause a deficit that needed to be filled by PIZZA.

Ain't I smart?

So, I'll prep the Minestrone now (original recipe HERE) and cook it now as well. Then refrigerate it. The funny thing is that we'll have to eat out tonight. It breaks one of my rules, but I'm going to see how cheaply we can accomplish that!

The Recipe

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
Leftover cubed steak cut in small pieces
1/2 medium head of cabbage, chopped (3 cups)
2 small zucchini, chopped (2 cups)
2 medium carrots, sliced (1 cup) (Mine died.)
2 stalks celery, chopped (1 cup) (Don't have any of these, either)
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained (Will have to use puree.)
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (Nada)
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (Nada, again)
1 (10 ounce) package spinach, thawed and squeezed to drain
4 cups chicken broth (Freshly made! I told you it's great to have a freezer full!)
46 ounces tomato juice (I'm going to reduce this as I'm using puree.)
1 cup dry white wine (Leaving out as I have no substitution.)
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups pasta, uncooked (small shells, chili mac) (I have only one cup.)
Parmesan cheese, grated, if desired

  • Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook garlic and onion in oil about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients except cheese, breaking up tomatoes.
  • Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1/2-hour.
  • Add pasta and cook an additional 1/2-hour.
  • Serve with Parmesan.

I might get energetic and make some cornbread to go with this since it's so easy!

The Verdict:

Me: OK--that was a lot of TOMATO. Do NOT, I repeat, Do NOT use puree as a substitute for whole tomatoes. Blech! I'm glad I used only about a third of the juice. To have used the whole bottle in the above modification would have sent me into some sort of tomato coma.



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