Do you have a trick to help you through busy times? Do you apply the “budget” process to other areas of your life besides money?
I certainly do. My students (and the other teaching fellows) think I have such a crazy, impossible life. They don’t even know about the blogging. I have to budget my time, generally up to each half hour (and sometimes by minutes) in order to get through the day/week/month/semester, accomplish all I need to do, and make sure to maximize the time I have with Martin and the children.
I cook dinner from scratch almost every day of the week. The biggest challenge to making dinner, for most people, is deciding what to make. This big challenge… I give to Braden. On Friday afternoons, Braden is in charge of creating the meal calendar for the week, giving me the chance to for ingredients on Saturday and making me prepared to cook as soon as I get home from teaching.
Fridays are easy – we almost always have pizza. It’s the one weekday that I will most likely have time to make pizza and the children are always home for dinner (and no after school activities). Spaghetti, taco salad, taco soup, meatloaf, and lasagna (or lasagna casserole) are often in the rotation, because I always know if I have those ingredients or not. A couple of weeks ago, upon finding our menu had basically been the same two weeks in a row, I charged Braden with actually using a cookbook and finding some new recipes.
Braden did a great job. One of the recipes he chose was the Turkey Chili with Quinoa from The Complete Idiot’s Guide: Quinoa Cookbook, which we had recently received from the publisher.
It turned out to be a great choice! Everybody loved it, though the children had a bit of a difficult time with the spice heat after a bit (Braden had eaten a third of his bowl before he noticed it). Martin, however, was adding red pepper flakes. It had a great flavor, and was extremely healthy. The quinoa and the kidney beans worked together to provide over 13 grams of fiber in each cup!
Quinoa is a great ancient grain, bursting with iron, folate and protein (it has all of the essential amino acids).
Even though not all of the recipes in the cookbook are gluten-free, many of them are and many more can easily be converted with just a slight change of an ingredient or two.
Turkey Chili with Quinoa
From The Complete Idiot’s Guide: Quinoa Cookbook, reprinted with permission
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 1 1/2 Tbs. chopped garlic
- 1 lb. lean ground turkey
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1 (16-oz.) can dark red kidney beans, with liquid
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat olive oi. Add white onion and garlic, and saute for about 1 minutes.
2. Add ground turkey, and cook for about 5 minutes or until cooked through and very lightly browned.
3. Stir in tomato sauce, cayenne, paprika, chili powder, and cumin. Add dark red kidney beans, vegetable broth, quinoa, and water, and stir to combine. Stir in sea salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer about 25 minutes.
4. Ladle soup into bowls, and sprinkle each with 1 or 2 teaspoons fresh cilantro leaves.
Yields: 6 cups