Menu Plan Monday #2

It’s that day of the week! Now, as you look at our menu below, you may be a bit confounded by Thursday. Leftover pork and beans on Thanksgiving?! Rest assured, we will indeed be eating turkey. As a point of clarification, I actually post my meal plan from the previous week. I don’t plan my meals and go grocery shopping until Tuesday, so to partake in “Menu Plan Monday,” I just use my past meal plan!

That being said, we had many leftovers from last week. The pork and beans I cooked made a gargantuan amount. So much so, in fact, that we had it for three nights…and I froze another whole container of it! So, if you are also cooking for two, you may want to halve the recipe.

Parsnips were on sale last week, so I tried them as a new side dish. I cooked them like I would carrots, by simply peeling and cutting them, then boiling them until soft. After that, I mashed them like I would potatoes, while adding a little butter, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. I enjoyed them, but I think my husband wasn’t such a fan.

One big highlight from the week: pumpkin bagels! I never thought I could bake bagels, but it’s actually pretty easy! That’s the beauty of my favorite cooking blog—SnoWhite takes what is seemingly impossible and makes it quite doable!

Also, I used a recipe for the salmon from a Cooking Light cookbook, which is rare for me because I find almost all of my recipes online. I linked to a similar recipe, but it’s not exactly what I used. As for the butternut squash soup, my Mom made this for my bridal shower, so it’s extra-special to me.  I’ve included it at the end of this post and I highly recommend it for a cold, blustery autumn day!

Oh, and one more point of clarification—my husband and I only have sweets on Sunday (unless it’s a special occasion). So during the week we tend to have fruit, pudding, or yogurt as a dessert. It’s healthier that way, plus it makes Sunday extra-special!

I’m in charge of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, so I’ll let you know how that goes next Menu Plan Monday!

Monday: l/o (tofu fried rice, store-bought veggie egg rolls)

Tuesday: country style pork with beans and sausage, frozen mixed veggies

Wednesday: maple salmon, dinner rolls, asparagus

Thursday: l/o (pork with beans and sausage, parsnips, blueberry yogurt)

Friday: l/o (salmon, asparagus), butternut squash soup (see below for recipe)

Saturday: l/o (butternut squash soup, pork, frozen veggies)

Sunday: orzo with tofu & tomatoes (I added mushrooms to the recipe), butternut squash, cinnamon apple cake with caramel gelatto
Breakfast:pumpkin spice bagels, pumpkin granola
Sunday breakfast:eggs, bacon, apple cranberry oatmeal

Butternut Squash Soup

3.5-4 lbs butternut squash

1 small onion

1 tbsp. butter

1/2 cup roasted walnuts (place walnuts loosely on a cookie sheet & bake in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes)

1 qt. chicken broth

1 cup whipping cream

pepper, salt to taste

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

Halve squash lengthwise, remove seeds. Place cut side up in shallow baking dish.  Bake in 400 degree oven for 1 hour or until soft. Do not add water.  Scoop out pulp; set aside.  In large saucepan, cook onion and butter until tender.  Stir in squash and 1/2 cup of nuts.  Stir in broth. Cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes.  Transfer about 1/4 of the soup to a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Repeat with remaining soup.  Return all the soup to the saucepan.  Stir in cream and season with cinnamon, salt, and pepper.  Bring just to boiling.  Ladle into bowls & garnish with walnuts or croutons.

***Note: after blending the soup, some of the broth mixture can be eliminated, depending on how thick you want the soup.  I never put the full amount of the broth in initially to avoid a thin soup.  Also, for a less creamy soup, add only as much cream as desired (I find a little cream is just fine).

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