Friday, January 18, 2008

meal planning made easy--and fun!

I stumbled across this great meal planning chart while reading a post on Tales From the Crib (another recent find). The post, Food Finds, mentioned a great meal planner from Future Girl that was not only easy and fun but "good lookin'" as well. I had to check it out and when I did I immediately printed it out to help me get better organized. (I'm planning to start next week...wait, where have I heard that before?) Anyway, I wanted to share Future Girl's meal planning chart with you; you might have set a New Year's resolution to cook a meal or two a week as well (and yes, pancakes count).

A goal without a plan is just a wish.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944)

To get you started, here's a family favorite for food for thought friday!
Cajun Chicken Pasta
1 lb. farfalle (or your choice)
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 - 2 T. Cajun seasoning
4 T. olive oil
2 red bell peppers, sliced
16-20 mushrooms, sliced (1-2 packages fresh sliced mushrooms)
3 green onions, chopped
2 c. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

Place the chicken and the Cajun seasoning in a plastic bag. Shake to coat. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente; drain.

While the pasta is cooking, saute the chicken and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink (7 to 10 minutes). Add the red bell pepper, mushrooms, and green onions. Saute and stir for 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat.

Add the cream, basil, lemon pepper, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Simmer on low heat for about 3 to 5 minutes until heated through. Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve. Serves 6 to 8. --Emily

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