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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Marinara, veggie lasagna and soup



My life has to be all about planning these days. Planning meals, planning lessons, planning what errands I'll run on what day, planning when I'll work out, planning the boys' activities, planning when not to cook, etc. I like to try to spend some time on Sunday each week making my plans for the week. I need to plan on two decent cooked at home meals this week. Why just two? Well, thanks to the baptist church down the road, our boys attend AWANA on Wednesday night and we have a date night each week. Wednesdays are my night off from cooking and eating at home. Out of the other 4 nights (I'm counting weeknights here), I know we'll be heading out of town on Friday, so that leaves Mon., Tues., and Thurs. I'll plan on cooking two nights and having leftovers the other. Of course, good planning requires a big trip to the grocery, which I took care of this afternoon.

So..what to make. I've already gotten a head start on that one. As I type, my house smells amazing thanks to the big pot of homemade marinara I have simmering on the stove. There's enough in there for several meals, so I'll freeze most of it. Let me just say that I don't always make a homemade marinara. There are plenty of good ones out there at the store, so I usually start with a jarred variety and add to it. However, I got inspired this time and decided to make it from scratch. It's really quite simple and not too time consuming. Plus, it leaves you with so much that you can just freeze it in one or two cup batches and have plenty on hand for next time.

So...here is the Basic Marinara recipe from Cooking light.

On our menu for tomorrow night...Vegetable Lasagna inspired by Heather. Actually, that's probably not the most accurate title. It's not technically veggie, I do add meat to it, but there's sure a lot of veggies used. I'll utilize the veggies I have on hand and add some sweet Italian chicken sausage to the marinara. This lasagna is amazing and I'm convinced it's due in part to the addition of pumpkin. It adds such a subtle sweetness. I also love the fact that the veggies are all buzzed up in the food processor so the kids don't really notice them. It's a great way to slip some veggies into their mouths with them even knowing it.

For later in the week, I'm trying a soup I've never made before. Sweet Potato and White Bean Soup with Sage Walnut Pesto.
I just love making soup. I love the versatility of it. It can satisfy lunch or dinner, it will freeze well (usually), and I enjoy the process of making it. It may be a bit ambitious to serve this to the kids, but we'll give it a try. Of course, I'll have bread, fruit and salad to satisfy them if they turn their little noses up at the soup.

1 comment:

Joy said...

Great meal ideas! I am assisting in helping Baxter with some healthful lifestyle changes this year and one thing we're doing is going back to our one night a week vegatarian dinner. Make sure you let us know how the soup turns out - I'd like to try it. My next entry will be my recipe for homemade chicken noodle. My favorite part of Winter is the soup!