Your " Work" Pantry – Healthy Snacks

Keep these on hand in a drawer or box in your office and you won’t have to resort to fast food or expensive lunch delivery on a day you don’t have time to pack a lunch.

Oatmeal
Natural peanut butter
Tuna, salmon or chicken in foil pouches
Low sodium soups
Healthy crackers
Nuts
Dried fruit – (mix with nuts protein powder and oatmeal, assuming you have a microwave to cook the oatmeal)
Protein powder
Laughing Cow cheese
Applesauce cups
Rice cakes ( top with peanut butter or Laughing Cow cheese)
Apples – they will keep for a few days.  Slice and dip in peanut butter or top with Laughing Cow cheese.
Healthy protein bars – check the labels carefully for sugars
Canned olives ( dice them up and make a tapenade to spread on crackers)  You could also mix this with the cheese and tuna.
Pita Crisps ( top with PB and sliced apple)
Mini packs of mustard and mayo
English muffins ( toast and top with PB)
Canned white beans ( rinse and mix with tuna, salmon or chicken) for a quick salad,
Can of chick peas ( you can mash them, add some olives and use for a topping on whole grain crackers)

Sunday Dinner

Today felt like a comfort food day.  After playing around on Pinterest, I wandered over to the Pioneer Woman’s blog.  Her Pot Roast caught my eye.    Something about simmering good smells put me in the mood to make this.

The menu today:  Serves 4

Pot Roast
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Apple Pie

Here are your recipes:

Pot Roast

2.5 lb chuck roast, well marbled
1 yellow onion -remove skin and chop into 4 pieces.
12 baby carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary and/ or thyme
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2- 3 C beef stock
1 C red wine

Season the roast with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a dutch oven.  When it’s very hot, sear the roast on each side – about 1-2 mins per side.  Once the meat is nice and browned, remove it from the pot.  Add the garlic, onions and carrots and just brown them. You are not cooking the veggies at this point – just browning a bit to add flavor to the juices. Add a little more olive oil if needed.
Once the veggies are browned, remove them from the pot. 

Add about 1/2 cup  of broth and deglaze the pan.  Using a whisk, scrape the pan and get all those good brown bits incorporated.  Return the meat and veggies to the pan, add the wine, herbs and  enough broth to almost cover the meat.  Add the garlic,  rosemary and thyme sprigs.   Cover and simmer for about 2.5 hours.   Alternately, if you are using an ovenproof pot, you could place the roast and veggies in the oven at 325 for the same amount of time.
The roast is done when the meat falls apart when you cut it.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes – peeled and quartered.  These are really the best for mashing – so please get the Yukons.
1/2 stick of butter – sliced 1/4″ thick
1/2 heavy cream

Peel potatoes and place in a bowl of cold water until ready to cook.  Get some boiling salted water going and cook the potatoes for about 30 minutes.  You’ll know they’re done when you can pierce them easily with a fork.  Drain the cooked potatoes in a colander.  Turn the heat on the stove down low and return the potatoes to the pan.  Mash them with a hand masher.  This will let steam escape and get rid of any excess water.  Next, add the butter and heavy cream and mash until silky smooth.  This should not take long at all and you will have creamy potatoes with no lumps 🙂 And yes, this is with a hand masher.
Add more butter if you like.

Apple Pie

Ok, I’m telling you ahead of time that I cheat with frozen pie dough.  I do have a couple of tricks to make it flaky and golden…if you and pie dough are friends, feel free to make a homemade dough.  One of these days I will practice, but for now my kitchen is not equipped with a rolling pin.  Sigh

Ingredients:

2 9-inch pie crusts (one for the top crust, one for the bottom crust)
 Scant 1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 T (seperated to sprinkle on the top of the crust.)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash of salt
2 tablespoons butter – cut into 6-8 small cubes.
6 cups thinly sliced and cored apple
Healthy squirt of lemon juice
1 egg, beaten ( you could also use 1/4 C egg beaters, which I did since I had no eggs on hand)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Peel, core and slice the apples.  Drop them into a bowl of cold water and add the lemon juice to prevent browning while you are working.
Mix sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cornstarch, and salt. Drain the apples and add to the dry mixture.  Toss until the apples are evenly coated.  Place apple mixture into the crust and dot with the cubed butter. Cover with top crust, and make 2-3 slits to let steam escape. Seal the top crust to the bottom by pinching the edges together.

Using a pastry brush, coat the top crust with the beaten egg.  Use a paper towel to soak up any egg that pools on the crust. Sprinkle the sugar on top.
Cover edge of the crust with a strips of aluminum foil – don’t skip this step or you will end up with burnt edges… Bake 40-50 minutes, until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through top.

Tricks:  The butter cubes will help make the crust flaky and the egg wash and sugar will reward you with a nice golden crust.  Looks and tastes homemade 🙂

Serving

Slice the roast to your preference.  Heap some mashed potatoes on a plate and top with the beef and veggies.  Ladle some of the wonderful juice on top and enjoy.