Monday, September 14, 2009

menu planning monday: eat your spinach

i did something this week that i don't ever do. i bought a magazine for myself. i'm so in the mood for the Fall season and for Halloween that i couldn't resist the latest issue of All You mag with the adorable Pumpkin Kitty on the cover.

and now i'm kicking myself because, well, don't judge a book by it's cover, right? even though the magazine has a ton of coupons in it, they are all useless to me. and none of the Halloween decorating ideas were good either; not at all kids-in-costume-friendly. but i did find some easy & tasty-looking recipes {that i could have gotten for free on their website, doh!} i tore out the recipes and let Big Girl shred make a craft with the rest of the mag.

note: i realized when making my grocery list that both of these new recipes call for spinach. it just so happens that spinach is in season and at its peak in flavor right now! if you're afraid of the leafy green stuff, maybe these facts about how nutritious it is will make it easier to eat. or watch Popeye, that'll for sure make you want to eat some spinach.

here's the menu:

monday: Crockpot Creamy Italian Chicken (didn't make it last week, perfect for this rainy weather)
tuesday: Spinach and Cheese Quiche (from AllYou magazine)
wednesday: Sloppy Eryn Jo's (recipe here)
thursday: family night, dining out
friday: Spinach Stuffed Shells (from AllYou magazine)

Spinach and Cheese Quiche
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyère
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
Salt and pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer, stirring. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.
Sprinkle onion mixture, spinach and Gruyère over bottom of pie shell. Beat eggs and milk together, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Gently pour into crust.
Bake quiche for 40 to 45 minutes, until set and nicely browned. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

Spinach Stuffed Shells
24 jumbo pasta shells
1 15-oz. container ricotta
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 26-oz. jar spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Mist a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cook pasta shells according to package label directions; drain and set aside to cool. While pasta cooks, in a large bowl, stir together ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan, spinach, egg, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and nutmeg.
Spread 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce over bottom of baking dish. Stuff shells with cheese-and-spinach mixture and place in dish. Spoon remaining sauce over shells and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella.
Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 10 minutes longer, until bubbly and cheese begins to brown.

for more recipes and menus, go over to Menu Planning Monday at