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Fall is such a busy time for our family. With horseback riding, flag football, and homework, every afternoon and evening is filled with somewhere to be or something to do. For a hectic fall schedule, leftover makeovers are a must. With a little planning, I am able to feed my family healthy, home-cooked meals every night.
First, I noted the nights we would be eating early in order to get to practice on time. On those nights (Wednesday & Thursday), I needed extra-quick meals. So, those nights had to be leftover makeover nights. With that in mind, here’s what the menu looked like:
Cooking a little extra of the main dish at the beginning of the week provided me with the leftovers I needed to throw together quick meals in the middle of the week when we are the busiest. The leftover roast beef, green beans, and butter beans became veggie beef soup. The leftover pork chops became pork fried rice.
Give this method a try the next time you know you have a harried week coming up. Sit down for a couple minutes and plan out your meals. It will save you time and frustration on the nights that you really don’t have time to think about “What’s for supper?”
Combine first 8 ingredients in Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes. Add sugar and pepper to taste. Simmer 5 minutes more. Serve with apple slices and crostini*.
Crostini…for a fun “topper” to this or other soups, thinly slice a stale French baguette. Spread in an even layer onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt. Toast in a 350 degree oven 8-10 minutes or until browned.
Read our tips on How to Soup Swap
Also try our other soup recipes:
As I’ve mentioned before, I looooove Mexican food. I try to experiment with my favorite dishes making them leaner and healthier. I’ve been on an enchilada kick lately and decided to take a stab at making my own enchilada sauce since canned enchilada sauce has lots of sodium. This sauce turned out great and it freezes well, too. So, double the sauce and freeze some for next time. Be sure to use the fire-roasted tomatoes and fresh cilantro (as much as you want), as these are the ingredients that add such a unique, robust flavor. Leftover cooked chicken (about 1 ½ cups) and leftover corn work well in this recipe. If your family likes spice, add crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté onion in oil for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more, being careful not to let garlic brown. Add the tomatoes, coriander, cumin, oregano, and pepper; cook for a few minutes longer. This enchilada sauce will be slightly chunky. Stir in cilantro and remove from heat.
Meanwhile, cook chicken in a large skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain and stir in black beans and corn; season with salt and pepper. Warm the tortillas in the oven for about 5 minutes to make them easier to roll; remove from oven. Spread ½ cup sauce into a rectangular baking dish. Divide the chicken mixture and ¾ c. of cheese among tortillas. Fold over tortilla sides, place seam side down in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over enchiladas and bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, and bake 5 minutes more or until cheese melts. Serve atop a bed of lettuce, if desired.
Growing up, my mother would strive to make each and every birthday special for my sister and myself. On your birthday, you could pick any dinner you want, and Mama would prepare it for the Birthday Girl. My birthday dinner was always lasagna. This was probably because the classic dish was not something Mama prepared very often. And, it can be a pricey dish. However, it feeds a lot of hungry folks, so it is a favorite in many families. I decided to recreate my favorite lasagna recipe.Continue reading
Thanks to Connie for this recipe. Check out Cook with Connie for more fantastic recipes!
There are so many variations for Taco Soup. My dear friend, Laura, introduced this Taco Soup Recipe to me years ago as a quick convenience meal, made by opening seven cans, one envelope and combining the ingredients with browned ground beef. Very, very easy……but full of sodium and MSG. So, I tinkered with the recipe until I made it as cost-effective and healthy as possible. One thing I’ve noticed in convenience foods…you pay more for convenience items and those items aren’t always healthy. Cutting costs from your food budget may mean a little more time and effort in preparation. That’s the trade-off. But, I find it challenging and rewarding to create a family favorite in the most budget-friendly way I know how.Continue reading
Eggs are an inexpensive staple. In many grocery stores, you can get a dozen for less than $2. Fresh eggs usually sell for between $2 and $3 per dozen depending on the size and breed of the laying hen. If you are lucky enough to know a farmer with chickens, you can enjoy flavorful and healthy eggs gathered at the peak of freshness. These farm fresh eggs are usually light to medium brown in color and have larger egg whites and yolks than white, grocery store eggs. Farm eggs are richer and tastier because they are fresh, and the chickens’ diet is more natural. If you can get your hands on farm fresh eggs, give them a try and you’ll discover a delicious, all-natural “brain food” that is a healthy source of protein.