I had a great plan this week. I needed quick and easy meals because I had something to do after work each day. I had chicken from all the sales to use. I had turkey and shrimp in the freezer. I was good to go. I even had a banana chocolate chip bread in the freezer to thaw and munch on throughout the week.


Sunday: Tortilla Pie
Monday: Chicken Enchiladas
Tuesday: Turkey Chili (from the freezer)
Wednesday: Parma Rosa Shrimp
Thursday: Leftovers or Tacos
Friday: Spice Rubbed Turkey Breast

On Sunday afternoon, I made the tortilla pie and put it aside to heat up for dinner. Then I made a double batch of chicken enchiladas. I froze 4 of them for another week and put 4 in the fridge for Monday's dinner. Then I made a huge batch of chicken gumbo...because, well, I got a little excited with all the chicken sales and bought quite a bit. Plus, gumbo would be perfect to grab from the freezer during a busy week.

Fast forward to Tuesday night. I am in class and I get a text from my husband saying that he's quite sick and needs to go to the ER. He's OK now, but needless to say...we weren't eating chili that night. In fact, I believe I ate fruit snacks and potato chips for dinner.

Due to his illness, Sonny is on the BRAT diet for a few days (Banana, Rice, Applesauce, Toast). Lucky for him, I've had an infatuation with homemade applesauce recently and had plenty in the fridge.

So I decided to skip the Parma Rosa Shrimp (so simple...will post on it when I make it) and eat leftovers on Wednesday instead. I'm going to use the chili I thawed for my lunch on Thursday and Friday. I'm going to cook the turkey I thawed to make taco meat and then stick it in the fridge until Saturday (when Sonny will likely be OK to eat it). I'm still going to make the spice rubbed turkey breast even if Sonny's not ready to eat it...because I love it.

Ready for the recipes? I thought you might be.

Tortilla Pie*
~We find this hearty enough to stand alone without side dishes~

4 flour tortillas ( 10 inch)
Olive Oil

1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

salt and pepper (I use Kosher salt)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 lb ground beef sirloin (I use ground turkey)

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 package (10 oz) frozen corn kernels
3 cups loose baby spinach (about 5 oz) torn into pieces
2 cups Monterery Jack cheese
cilantro and sour cream to garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use a paring knife to cut the tortillas to fit a 9-inch springform pan (use the removable bottom as a guide). Oil the bottom and sides of pan. Put tortillas aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion has softened, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Stir in tomato paste. Raise heat to medium high and add beef (or turkey) and garlic. Cook, breaking up meat, until no longer pink - 4-6 minutes.
  4. Add corn and spinach, stir until spinach as wilted, about 2 minutes.
  5. Place on tortilla in the prepared pan, top with 1.5 cups meat mixture, then with 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat with two more layers.
  6. Top with last tortilla and a sprinkle of cheese. Bake until top is lightly browned, 15-20 minutes. Run a knife along the edge of the pan and then take the sides off. Cut like a pie and serve.
*Sometimes I make the meat mixture ahead of time, put it in a plastic bag in the fridge and then assemble the pie before dinner to bake. It's also great as leftovers.

Recipe taken from Everyday Food Magazine

Chicken Enchiladas
~Make these ahead and refrigerate/freeze for a great meal on a busy night~

Olive Oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch strips
15 oz. can refried beans
4 oz. can diced green chiles, drained if necessary (typically found near taco fixings)
1/4 cup salsa
Chopped fresh cilantro (or, if you hate cilantro like I do, you can use Italian parsley)
4 (8 inch) flour tortillas (sometimes I use the bigger ones instead)
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (or any kind of cheese that excites you)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and cook, stirring a few times, until golden brown on all sides (about 5 minutes).
  4. Stir in the refried beans, chiles, and salsa and simmer for 3 minutes to heat through. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro (or parsley).
  5. Arrange tortillas on a flat surface and top each one with an equal amount of the chicken mixture. Roll up the tortillas and place side by side in a shallow baking dish.
  6. Top them with cheese and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and gooey.
Recipe taken from Robin Miller's Quick Fix Meals

Chicken Gumbo
~You probably have many of these herbs and spices in your pantry~

Olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 black pepper
1 (10 oz) package frozen sliced okra, thawed
2 links andouille sausage or any seasoned cooked sausage, diced
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups tomato juice
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until softened (about 3 minutes).
  2. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the thyme, oregano, salt, bay leaves, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard, cayenne, and black pepper. Stir to coat.
  4. Cook for a minute until spices are fragrant. Add okra, sausage, broth, and tomato juice and bring to a simmer.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze.
Recipe taken from Robin Miller's Robin to the Rescue

Spice Rubbed Turkey Breast*

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small boneless, skinless turkey breast half (about 2 pounds)
¼ tsp ground cinnamon (or more)
¾ tsp ground cumin (or more)
Course salt and pepper
½ cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place turkey on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Rub turkey with oil and then sprinkle with the cinnamon and cumin. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast until instant read thermometer inserted in thickest part of turkey registers 165 degrees (30 to 35 minutes). If you don’t have a thermometer, just poke a knife into the turkey and see if the juices run clear.
  4. Let turkey rest 10 minutes (covered with foil to let the juices go back into the meat).
  5. In a small bowl, mix yogurt, lime juice, and a little bit of cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Serve turkey with the sauce.**
*You can easily serve this with roasted vegetables. Just toss the vegetables (carrots, potatoes, zucchini, onions…whatever you like) with some olive oil and minced garlic. Place the turkey breast in the middle of the vegetables and toss them halfway through the cooking process.
**I've actually forgotten to make the sauce before and the turkey is just fine without it. It's a nice thing to serve it with, though.

Recipe taken from Jan/Feb 2009 edition of Everyday Food Magazine


  1. Uh oh - as soon as I saw the title, I knew what it was about. Did he really have to go to the ER, or was it just the equivalent of a Man Cold? (Do you know what a Man Cold is? If not, check out http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DrXLHWmjA5IE . It's hilarious! :)

    I want to make that first one, but don't have a springform pan. Do you think I could do it in a souffle-like corningware dish?

  2. Ha! He's had "man colds" before...but this time, it was more serious. He was having severe abdominal pain, but the Dr. at the ER did some tests and figured out what it was and is treating him for it now. He's following up with a specialist next week.

    I would assume that a souffle dish would work fine...it might not come out as neatly as it does in a springform pan, but it will taste just as good!! Make sure you spray the dish really well so that you have a better chance at getting it out in one piece :)