This week, I was inspired by Rachel Ray’s brand new show, A Week in a Day. The show consists preparing five meals in one day for the following week. Only a few steps are saved until the day of where about ten minutes are spent finishing the dish. As I watched, I had a duh moment. I work several days in a row (more than five), and I work many hours. Why had I never thought of this before? My mother always had casseroles in the freezer waiting for a day when she was too tired to whip something up for us four children; why I had never really planned something out like this before, I will never know. For some reason, during my work weeks the past few months, I have had no desire to cook. I would do a little of this and that, but all in all, I was perfectly content ordering pizza twice a week and snacking on it all week long. (We love pizza.) So after I planned my entire week out, I ventured out in the pouring rain and bought everything I needed. The weather was in sync with my plans because what better thing to do than cook on a rainy day. Then relax with a glass a wine reading a lovely book or watching a TV show. I cooked for three hours! Around about. I watched the entire movie Julie and Julia during my cooking, (which is very inspiring as well), and listened to the radio for the remainder of the time. The menu was as follows in no specific order:
Impossibly Easy Chili Pie
Chicken Ceaser Salad
Mac and Cheese (with Califlower)
Meatballs in BBQ sauce
Chicken Pot Pie
Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Veggies
Everything was not completely finished, but the majority of the “cooking” was done. Even if you do not like all of the dishes Rachel Ray prepares on the show, watch it. She gives you tips on how to cut things in time and inspires you to take your favorite dishes and prepare them a head of time. The only recipe from the above list that was hers is the Mac and Cheese. (To come later.)
Today’s recipe is the Chili Pie. This was morfed from the Cheeseburger Pie featured on the back of a Bisquick box. I cut the meat about in half and added kidney beans, chili powder, and red pepper. The key is to mix in the cheese and spices with the meat. Originally I had placed the cheese on top, and it did not have the gooey factor that all cheese should have!!! The red pepper amount is to taste. We like our chili and other meals spicy!!! I pared it with a side salad that was quick to prepare while the pie was baking in the oven. I really enjoyed sitting down and reading a chapter or two of my book before going to work instead of running around the kitchen with my head cut off. Not that I don’t mind it, but the meals in the fridge allow me not to HAVE to cook every night. As you can see, I have a couple of meals that I can cook completely on the day of. I hope you enjoy!
To make this recipe a bit lighter, use fat free cheese, ground turkey, and heart healthy Bisquick, as well as skim milk. Enjoy!!!
Impossibly Easy Chili Pie
Adapted from Betty Crocker
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 lb ground sausage or beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can red beans, drained
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 reason red pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Bisquick
1 teaspoon salt (plus more for seasoning)
Heat the olive oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Sweat the onions until they are softened. Add the meat and brown. Drain completely. Mix in the chili powder, red pepper, and cumin. Add the drained beans and 3/4 cup cheese.
Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a pie plate with cooking spray. Cover the pie plate with the meat mixture. Sprinkle the tomato on top In a separate bowl, mix the Bisquick, milk, eggs, and 1 teaspoon salt together. Pour evenly over the meat mixture. Bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese on top and bake for 5 more minutes.
This photo was taken at work! The recipe makes great leftovers!!!