Sunday Meal Planning Series {Simple Comfort Foods}


Hectic work schedules. Hectic holiday shopping. Hectic school programs to attend.

Where is the time these days to sit down, enjoy family time, and consume a hearty meal?

Meal Planning

It is possible. All you need is a little meal planning with a great recipe and a smile.

Once upon a time, there was a city girl who yearned to live in the country. She moved from the suburbs of Orange County, California, to the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona. The country was still far away, so she decided that all it would take to make her dream come true was to have the right attitude and put in a whole lot of effort! So this city girl began experimenting with country-comfort recipes. Some recipes were winners, and some were not. Despite the challenges of self-taught cooking, these recipes have passed the test and make for a Sunday Supper Success!

Recipe #1: Garlic Swiss Steak

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 lbs of beef round steak, cut into small cubes or long strips
  • 2 Tbsp oil (I use olive oil)
  • 14oz can of diced or stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh, diced onion
  • 1/2 fresh green pepper, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a seal-able bag, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the cut steak, seal the bag, and shake until well coated. Use a large skillet, and heat the oil on medium to medium-high heat. Brown the steak and turn on all sides to ensure searing. Transfer the meat to a lightly greased 13×9 pan. Add the tomatoes, onions, green pepper, and garlic on top of the meat. Cook in the oven for at least one to one-and-one-half hours. Serve over rice! (I double the recipe for my family of 6, but the listed ingredients are supposed to serve 6).

Meat SauceRecipe #2: Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

  • 1 lb ground beef (no substitutes)
  • 1/2 cup fresh, diced onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh, diced green pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 – 14oz cans of diced tomatoes (I have substituted tomato sauce in a pinch)
  • 1 – 6oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried basil, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme, ground is best
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 box of spaghetti noodles, cooked separately

In a medium sized dutch oven, cook the ground beef with the onion, green pepper, and garlic. Drain excess fat. Stir in the canned tomatoes, sugar, spices, and 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, if desired. Bring to a small boil, reduce heat to cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Uncover the pan, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until done. Discard the bay leaf. Serve over spaghetti noodles with Parmesan cheese. Serves 6. (Again, I double the recipe for my family, and I’ll triple the recipe for parties!)

IMG_1691 copyRecipe #3: Divine Chicken Parmesan

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 1- 28oz can marinara sauce
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (mozzarella or cheddar)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place the mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and Italian seasoning in a flattened bowl. Place the bread crumbs in another bowl. First, dip the chicken breasts into the mayonnaise mixture. Second, dip the coated chicken into the bread crumbs. Heat up a large skillet, and melt the butter (my favorite) or olive oil on medium to medium-high heat. Brown the coated chicken pieces until golden crispy on each side (about 5-10 minutes). Place semi-cooked chicken into a lightly greased 13×9 pan. Cover the chicken with the marinara sauce. Bake lightly sealed with foil for at least 25 minutes. Pull out of the oven, add the cheese on top, then continue to cook uncovered until the cheese is melted. (Makes 6 servings.)




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