Busy, busy, busy is all I can say.  It can be hard to think up something healthy to eat for our families now days with so much going on in our lives. Baseball practice, soccer practice, taking care of a loved one. Work, work for most of you, and  here I do not even work full time, but I wonder so often where does all the time go? Lets see, spaghetti and meatballs seems to be a favorite for most families. Chicken nuggets one night, maybe pork chops and gravy the next night.  Then it is back to picking up pizza, or whatever your favorite fast food. All I can say is we tend to get into our little ways day in and day out. 
Today, I thought I would step up to the plate and tell you just how important it is to plan ahead. Yes, make your menu ahead of time. Then make a trip to the store with your grocery list of things you need to buy in order to cook healthy. It is so helpful to have those items on hand when your ready to pull something out and cook it. 

Crock pots are great if you work all day. Just brown your meat on the stove, and then put it in the crock pot along with your gravy, soup or whatever the ingredients.  Throw in some potatoes and carrots, and it is so amazing to come home to a really good meal just waiting for you. 

Next week, I want to tell you about a new recipe book I discovered recently called five ingredients or less. I think you will really like this one. Don’t forget to plan those meals ahead and go to the store with your list to make it happen. With so many people not having time to cook healthy I am happy to announce we will start our, “Casseroles to Go,” for all you who want a home cooked meal, but just do not have the time to cook. You will now be able to fax in your order or call in your casserole order by noon, and viola, you will have a wonderful home cooked meal or side ready to pick up when you get off work.  
For instance, you may want to order the Broccoli/cheese casserole or perhaps our Potato au gratin casserole. The puff pastry spinach and feta pie can be eaten hot or cold. We will also offer our crawfish pies to go. The guys that work in the Chemical plants will want to buy their customers these little delights! Don’t forget about our Crawfish Fettuccini or Shrimp and Chicken Fettuccini.  Call for details. Happy eating!

1 large onion, diced
1 cup baby carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 rib celery, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2-3 cloves garlic chopped
1 boneless chuck roast (about 3 pounds)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups sliced white button mushrooms OR:  1 package (8oz) sliced white mushrooms
4 sprigs fresh thyme (can get at grocery store in produce section)
1 bay leaf
1 cup of beef broth
1/2 cup of dry red wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound egg noodles or rice
1.  In 5 to 5 1/2 quart slow cooker, layer onion, carrots, celery and garlic.  Rub the roast all over with the 1 teaspoon olive oil; season the roast with the salt and pepper.  Scatter the mushrooms over the vegetables in the slow cooker, and place the chuck roast on top.  ( I prefer to brown first on top of stove, but not necessary)  Tuck thyme sprigs and bay leaf into mixture.
2.  In medium-size bowl, whisk together beef broth, wine and tomato paste; pour over meat.
3.  Cover slow cooker; cook on high heat for 6 hours.
4.  Remove chuck roast from slow cooker; keep warm.
5.  Pour the liquid with the vegetable mixture from the slow cooker into a medium-size saucepan; remove and discard the  bay leaf and thyme sprigs.  Bring to a boil.
6.  In a small cup, stir together the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and flour until well blended and smooth.  Sir the flour mixture into the liquid in the saucepan.  Boil, stirring, until liquid is slightly thickened, about one minute.
7.  Meanwhile, cook Rice OR Noodles in large pot of lightly salted boiling water following package directions.  If cooking noodles drain well.
8.  Slice pot roast.  Serve with gravy and cooked noodles, or your choice of rice.
Katherine Aras
Look Who’s Cooking Now