Mama's Meal Plan 2015 Week Five

One month down, eleven to go!  The first month went really well, only once or twice did things get changed on the fly.  The second month took me a little while to get going on, I'll admit.  My first week of February journal pages are full of scribbles, crossed out ideas, and a lot of question marks.  However, once I really sat and thought about the busy week to come, and was honest with myself about the amount of time I'd have to prepare things, it got a lot easier.   We are only actually cooking three meals, but they'll get us through dinner (and Mark's and my lunches) for the week!

This week's plan has to start on Saturday, because I'm actually making Wednesday night's dinner that day.  Usually, Saturday doesn't show up on my meal planning, but with Sundays getting busier, I need to do more prep the day before.


Prep the butternut squash: clean, peel, and cut all three into cubes.  One and a quarter go into the soup, three quarters of one gets roasted with onions, cooled, and bagged, to wait until Monday's dinner.  The final one will be roasted and thrown into the chili tomorrow.

The Butternut Squash Soup with Thai Gremolata comes from March 2014 Skinny Slow Cooker Magazine.  Now, I know, it seems silly to make ahead a crockpot meal, but here's the deal.  I leave the house around 8:30, and do not return until close to 4:30.  That's 8 hours.  This meal, even on the low setting, goes 5 hours.  This is where I fall down on crockpot meals.  Last week's was over-cooked, which I think contributed to the bitter taste.  SO, that was the long way of saying, I'm making this soup on Saturday, then throwing it in the refrigerator until we have it later in the week.  I'll make the gremolata and dressing for the salad on Wednesday. 

Set up black beans for soaking overnight, in prep for tomorrow's chili.


Handsome man, cookin' some chili

Daddy's Black Bean Chili

Baby bella mushrooms 
3 chilies chopped, plus 1 tbsp of sauce from can of chipotles in adobo
Poblano peppers (they had been blanched and frozen from our summer garden)
Re-hydrated Ancho chilies
28oz can crushed tomatoes (2)
Black beans (cooked in slow cooker 4 hours on high, with water, salt, and bay leaves)
frozen corn (thawed)
porter beer (1 bottle...we used Bell's Porter)
1 small butternut squash, peeled, sliced, roasted with salt and cumin

Sweat onions, garlic, mushrooms, poblanos, bell peppers, and chilies.   Dust with some healthy shakes of cumin. Deglaze pot with porter beer.  Bring to boil, add cans of crushed tomatoes.  Add cooked black beans and thawed frozen corn.

Corn bread, out of the oven.  YUM

Serve with corn bread (Mama's specialty), plus garnishes: cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheddar.  NOTE: before the garnishes and corn bread, this meal is vegan. 


Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta
"Miss Laura's Famous Pasta" or "Claire's favorite" or "Wheel pasta!"...all three titles of the same dish, according to Miss Evie.  A friend of mine (an actual, real baker and chef) gave us this recipe for Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta, and we've used it quite a few times!  It is rich, so we'll have it with a salad with vinaigrette, but it is DELICIOUS. 

Vinaigrette recipe
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon chopped sage
1/2 teaspoon capers
pinch of kosher salt



Leftovers, Daddy's chili.



Butternut Squash Soup and Thai Gremolata + Salad with soy vinaigrette

Vinaigrette recipe
1/4 cup White Rice Vinegar 
2 Tbs. Sesame Seed Oil 
1 Tbs. Low Sodium Soy Sauce 
1 tsp. Organic Brown Sugar



Leftovers, Squash Pasta



Breakfast for Dinner - Poached eggs over corn bread.  (I made another cornbread on Thursday to go with the leftovers...this was how we used it up)

I have found, for me, that doing the major cooking in the beginning of the week is what really makes this plan work for me.  As the week goes on, and we get tired, it is nice to fall back on reheated, yummy foods.  


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