Sunday, Funday…

Just a typical Sunday… snack, work-out, breakfast, church, lunch at Tita’s, play in the kitchen, dinner, blog, done!
Snack: Greek Yogurt and Blackberry Parfait

Green Monster- 1/2 banana, frozen mango, frozen grapes, one piece of kale, one handful of spinach 3/4 cup skim milk

Lunch: Chicken and Yellow Rice, Chicken and White Bean Soup, Salad, Watermelon and Cantalope (not picture)

Dinner: 2 Bowls of Rice Chex and more watermelon (again not pictured)

Two fun things happened in my kitchen today. This morning, I used what was left over in the blender from GF Guy and my Green Monsters to make popsicles! I am so excited about them!

Tonight’s kitchen playtime was my favorite kind! A family in my parent’s church is going through a very difficult time. I volunteered to cook a meal for them this week. Since I work both Monday and Tuesday and will be out of town Wednesday through Saturday for a friends wedding, I decided to make a casserole, Cozy Autumn Rice Bake with Beef and Cranberries. I borrowed this recipe from Karina’s Kitchen. This is the perfect make-ahead meal for a large family.

Cozy Autumn Rice Bake with Beef and Cranberries

– 2 cups of long grain brown rice
– 2 pounds organic grass-fed ground beef
– 1 onion, peeled, roughly chopped
– 5 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 green bell pepper, cored, sliced
– 2 cups Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
– Italian dried herbs, to taste- basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary
– A dash of nutmeg
– A dash of cumin
– 1 14-0z can fire roasted diced tomatoes
– A good splash of balsamic vinegar
– 3/4 cup whole frozen cranberries, thawed
– 1/2 cup sliced kalamata black olives
– 2 tablespoons rinsed capers
– 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
– salt and pepper, to taste
– A splash of extra virgin olive oil
– feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a large lasagna pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Begin by cooking the 2 cups of brown rice according to package instructions.
Prep the vegetables and herbs.

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain the excess fat and set meat aside.
In another large skillet, saute the onions, garlic, pepper, and mushrooms until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the dried herbs and spices to taste.
Add the tomatoes, vinegar, cranberries, olives, capers, fresh parsley, salt, and pepper. Combine and simmer until heated through.

Spoon the cooked brown rice into the prepared lasagna pan, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and fluff with a fork.

Layer meat on top of rice.

Pour vegetable mixture on top of meat layer and sprinkle with feta cheese.

Cover with foil and bake about 1 hour until the center is hot.
***If you are making your casserole ahead of time and refrigerating it, like me, add an extra 20-30 minutes to the cooking time.***

Cooking for those in need is such a fun, fulfilling way to spend the evening. I hope they are as blessed eating this meal as I was to be able to prepare it for them.

Like I said earlier, I work all day tomorrow. GF Guy and I are planning on a simple supper of Homemade Pizza tomorrow night. Wait one minute! I just realized what I said… pizza with a homemade crust is considered simple. HAHAHAHAHA! Wow… we have a really strange view of “simple”! Well, putting that aside, pizza is our plan for tomorrow night. I hope everyone has a stress free Monday. I approach Mondays with this in mind:
It’s the start of a new week. You haven’t messed up or gotten in trouble for anything yet. You have a clean slate. What will you do to make the most of this opportunity?
Have a happy, blessed week!


8 thoughts on “Sunday, Funday…

  1. Wow! You had such a very productive Sunday! And bless your heart for such a wonderful thing you do by cooking for people who are going through a difficult time, WONDERFUL!!!I love the casserole recipe and will try it without beef soon. It sounds so delicious, thanks for sharing.I'll keep smiling, being happy and positive to make the most of it!

  2. Green Monster Popcicles?! YUM!Rice Chex used to be my favorite cereal! I hater sugary cereal and would pick the marshmallows out of the lucky charms to eat the plain stuff. haha

  3. Wow, you are one prolific cook! First off, that parfait is making my mouth water it looks so good. And I agree, with Judy, that's a great idea about freezing the extra smoothie. Also, very nice that you're helping out a family in need. Good for you and they are going to love that cozy casserole. It looks delicious. Great blog — I've never been here before. Melissa

  4. Wow, all your meals looks fantastic! I have just begun working towards a gluten-free lifestyle and am looking forward to reading your updates in the future 🙂

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