I have two full time jobs- I’m an elementary teacher AND I’m a full time wife and Mom. Both jobs are pretty busy! I have found that the week days go much smoother if I spend a little time in the kitchen on the weekends precooking some of our weekday lunches and supper. I want to share two meal ideas you can make this weekend so next week you aren’t left scrambling for a quick and healthy meals.
It’s been so cold lately so it’s the perfect time to make a big pot of chili, I started craving chili last Sunday during the Super Bowl. My boys were away for a basketball tournament so we didn’t make a big deal about the football game (actually my daughter and I only watched Katy Perry lol). Even though I’m not a big football fan, I am a fan of “football food”! Sunday night I made this Pumpkin Chili in the crockpot and it made a few great lunches in the thermos and a quick dinner with a salad. You will need:
2 tsp olive oil
1 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion
1 bell pepper (I used yellow)
1 tbsp of minced garlic
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp Ancho chile pepper
2 tsp dried cilantro or 3 tbsp fresh cilantro
1 tsp dried oregano
2-4 oz can of green chile peppers
3 cups beef broth
1 can red kidney bean (drained and rinsed)
2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
*the recipe calls for a garnish of cheese and sour cream but since I avoid dairy I omitted both and did not miss the garnish at all!
You can find the directions at Kalyn’s Kitchen.
The pumpkin in the chili gives the chili and nice creaminess but you don’t really taste it. I really loved it. I was actually pretty sad when it was all gone! 🙂
Okay, so this next recipe is a little more challenging but totally yummy! My kids LOVE Lebanese Meat Pies in their lunches instead of sandwiches. Lebanese Meat Pies are ground beef (or ground lamb), spices and tomato wrapped in a pita like dough and baked. I often buy huge stacks of meat pies at my local Lebanese bakery (our favourite is Yella Yella in Riverside South). Middle Eastern food is quite healthy- so I’m always happy to feed my kids this kind of takeout. This is what the takeout meat pies look like (there are two styles of pies- flat or folded- Yella Yella makes the flat ones).
Since we love these pies so much, I thought I’d try to make some from scratch (I prefer to eat homemade food since then I know exactly what is in it!). I found a few recipes on Pinterest and decided on this one from Maureen Abood for the dough.
For the dough:
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil (the recipe calls for Canola- please please please don’t use canola! Super super bad for you!!!)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil, to coat the dough
You can find the directions here.
I used a different website for the filling. Most of the ingredients can be found a your local grocery store.
For the filling:
2 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
1 large onion, chopped
3 tomatoes, diced
1 lb. ground beef or lamb
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon all spice
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons sumac powder (can be found at a Middle East Market)
6 tablespoons tahini paste (it’s the stuff you use to make hummus)
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
*** pomegranate molasses can be bought at a Middle East Market or you can easily make your own! There are lots of recipes but I used this one.
I like the Meat Pies with an open top.
You can also make them flat like the ones from Yella Yella.
These meat pies are great snacks/appetizer or a sandwich replacer in the lunch box.
A little time on a Sunday will make a huge difference during the week!
Choose happy 🙂
Mmmm, pumpkin in chili? Never tried that! Will give this a go!
Made the pumpkin chili this weekend – delicious!! What Middle Eastern market do you shop at? Would Yella Yella have spices and stuff, or is it just a bakery?
I usually shop for spices at the Mid East Market on St Laurent blvd near Cora’s and Red Lobster 🙂 I also have some spices I can bring to class :$