Sunday, April 7, 2013

making dinner ahead of time, take 1.

As a working adult, we all face the same problem when getting off work: What do I make for dinner?!  Most of the time we want something quick, easy and something that produces hardly any mess.  Well I have been talking about trying to make meals ahead of time, so all hubbs or I have to do is one or two things and we're good to go.  Sometimes I get the motivation to do it, and other times, the couch and my Kindle, or snuggle time with buddy win the battle of motivation.  Well today I finally got off my butt to make dinner, and made dinner for another night.  I have it to the point where I have to add cheese and put it in the oven to heat, melt the cheese and Viola!  Homemade dinner!  Here's the recipe:

From KRAFT Velveeta Incredibly Easy Recipes, pg. 46 "Cheesy red beans & rice"

Ingredients:
1 can (15.5oz) kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (10oz) diced tomatoes & green chilies, undrained
2c instant white rice, uncooked
2c water
7oz turkey smoked sausage, sliced, halved
6oz Velveeta cheese cut into 1/2in cubes
1 small onion
2tsp chili powder

Directions:
Heat oven to 350F.  Combine all ingredients. Spoon into 13x9in dish sprayed with cooking spray.  bake 45-50min or until rice is tender and mixture is heated through.


I have made this recipe before, and it has been a hit with the hubbs.  It reheats well, too, as I have taken it in for lunch at work. (Yay multiple meal yielding dishes!)  The hubbs likes eating it with tortilla chips rather than alone.  One major thing I change is that I have a rice cooker and cook the rice beforehand, as I don't want the rice to be undercooked, so I nix the 2c water.  It tends to cut down on the baking time as well.  And as I mentioned on a previous post, I add more cheese, because who doesn't love MORE CHEESE?!.  Also, rather than using a fresh onion, I'll use the dried, minced onion and just dump some in there.  We aren't huge onion fans, so I tend to substitute that.  It still adds the flavor, but saves money and having to cry during chopping, and smelling like an onion for days afterwards.   

When I made it tonight, instead of using the smoked sausage, I decided to use a different meat.  Sometimes the smoked sausage (I have used kielbasa in the past) can upset the hubb's and my bellies, so I purchased seasoned ground turkey instead.  I could get the unseasoned, but the smoked sausage is flavored, so I thought I'd try that to keep some flavor in the meat.  I browned it and broke it up into small pieces before adding it to the mixture.  It is now in the fridge waiting to have the cheese added, and be popped in the oven one of the next few nights.  I hope that it turns out alright with a different meat in it... I'll let you know later on in the week...


Well it's time for me to enjoy a few more quiet moments before heading to bed, and getting another week started.  Have a good week everyone, and enjoy the lovely weather!

~KB~

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