Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Menu Check-In

We started out our new menu system last night. I really enjoy already knowing what I'll be making when I get home in the evenings. We are also debuting a new cleaning system at the same time (these are my "mid-year resolutions"!!) so I had the kids get started on their bedroom while I got dinner going.

The menu said beans and rice, so I had cooked some rice in the rice cooker that morning and had Ken put it in the fridge. I had a recipe that I looked at, but didn't really follow, but dinner turned out really good, so I want to write down what I did do so I can do it again! Please note that I tend to not measure things when cooking, so these are my guess-timates.

Meatless Monday: Beans and Rice

Prepare your favorite rice ahead of time. I cooked two cups.

In your large saute pan, melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter. Add about 1/4 cup chopped onion, one chopped bell pepper, and one chopped clove of garlic.  Saute until pepper and onions are translucent (or as long as it takes to go get the kids started on stripping their beds).

Add 2 cans of beans (undrained) and a bullion cube. I used kidney beans and great Northern beans, mainly because that's what I had. Also when I think of "beans and rice" I always think of kidney beans. As a lucky kind of coincidence, when Henry saw the Northern beans he got a huge smile on his face and said, "Mommy! These are my most favorite kind of beans ever!!"  As for the bullion, I used chicken.  My goal isn't really a vegetarian meal, just a general meatless-ness.  If you want vegetarian, use vegetable broth. Put a lid on it and let it simmer on low for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, go finish helping the kids strip the beds and put new sheets on them*.  Grumble and groan repeatedly about what a pain-in-the-@$$ bunk beds are!

Next I added in the cooked rice. I didn't add all of it initially because it didn't all fit in the pan.  I just added as much as would fit and stirred it around. I let this sit long enough to pull Benjamin off the top bunk and set the table.

I served the beans and rice (straight out of the pan, of course) with applesauce and cherry tomatoes.  Frances and Henry LOVED it. Benjamin ate the rice and applesauce, but wouldn't touch the beans and tomatoes.  He's not been eating real well lately, so I didn't take it personally.

Ken wasn't home, so we had a good bit of leftovers. When I put them away, I just added in the rice that hadn't fit in the pan earlier. I also added "Beans and Rice" to the menu print out on Sunday where it says "leftovers."  Hopefully that will help me remember what is in the fridge, so nothing goes to waste.

Two other notes: There is a lot of space at the bottom of the menu page when I printed it out. Since this is our trial period, I have been taking notes in that space.  I also made a list of all the fruits and veggies that need to be eaten so we can be sure to use them.

* When I make Frances' bed, I double it up, meaning that on top of the mattress I put a vinyl mattress pad, then a fitted sheet, then another vinyl fitted sheet and a fun fitted sheet. Then comes the tops sheet, blanket and quilt.  Next time her sheets need to be changed, all she has to do it take off the top layer and add the corresponding top sheet.  It just makes sense to me to do it twice one time and save time the second.

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