Thursday, January 10, 2013

Easy Spicy Minestrone & Weekly Meal Plan

Easy Spicy Minestrone

1/2 pound ground beef
1 can (15 ounce size) Great Northern Beans (or red or white kidney beans)
1 can (14-15 ounce size) Hunts diced tomatoes with Basil, Garlic, and Oregano
2 cans (14 ounce size) beef broth
1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil, granulated sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes (*)
3 1/2 to 4 ounces uncooked pasta (I used small shells)
Garnish: grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, cook and crumble the ground beef. When no pink remains, drain the meat. Add in all the remaining ingredients except for the uncooked pasta. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and allow to simmer on low for while pasta cooks.

In an medium sized pot, cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain cooked pasta and add to soup. Spoon into bowls; garnish each bowl with grated Parmesan cheese.

Makes four generous servings.

I inventoried our food before shopping this week and also took a good look at the grocery store's flyer in order to plan meals for the week.  Since we only spent only $70.00 at the grocery store last week, I knew this week would be more expensive. We spent a little over $126.00 this week but the receipt says we saved over $26.00 (17% savings). I guess I won't be featured on the "Extreme Couponing" show any time soon, but we got a ton of groceries for what we paid.  Some of the more expensive items...
10 pounds of grapefruit
1 beef roast
1 pork roast
2 pounds of hamburger
1 pound of Italian sausage
soda and Gatorade (wasteful... I know)
and a bunch of other stuff for the meals for the week and also a lot of canned goods/produce/turkey bacon/dairy items (51 items total). 
Here's the weekly meal plan:
Turkey roast, mashed potatoes, gravy (we did not make this last week)
Pulled Chicken Sandwiches on buns and green salad
Beef roast with Oven Baked Potatoes
Country Style Pork Ribs (I cut country style ribs from a pork loin roast)
Nachos with all the fixin's
Minestrone Soup (see recipe above)
Homemade Pizza (I'll type up this recipe soon)
For breakfast/treat: Banana Muffins
After we got the groceries put away, we did a little yard clean up work. Boy, it was cold out! We came inside and I whipped up this soup.   My husband loved it and I used up items from the freezer and cupboards.  This recipe is a great use for the little bit of leftover pasta from the bottom of the box. 

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