Sunday, July 31, 2011

Another Week...

So here we are, another week's menu planned.  We are settling into a routine here in our new house, with PJ's new job, and me only babysitting a couple days  - so it's been great to have some time to cook real food!  Though the boys still seem drawn to the kitchen while I'm cooking, I usually let them play with the water in the sink so I can dice and chop without little fingers in the way!

Monday: PJ is missing dinner, so we'll just have grilled chicken strips and fruit salad - so kind of plain! Liam will no doubt smother the chicken in ranch.  He usually end up rubbing it all over himself - maybe he's on to the next deep moisturizer! 

Tuesday: Breakfast Dinner.  You may have to do a few extra sit-ups after this, but they are soooo good! "Cinnamon Roll French Toast" and fruit smoothies.  For the Cinnamon Roll French Toast, buy pre-made or bake pilsbury cinnamon rolls - slice in half or into 3rds depending on thickness - dip into wisked egg - spray pan and cook.  And, ALL of my boys love these smoothies; blend 1 banana, 3/4 c. frozen strawberries and 3/4 c. frozen blueberries, about 1/2 c. lemonade and 1/2 c. milk

Wednesday: Yummy Cayenne Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa and simple salad

Thursday: Fish Cakes and fresh Pineapple and Grapes

Friday: California Gilled Veggie Sandwich and Sweet Potato Fries 


My favorite Salmon recipe I've ever found "Honey and Mustard Crusted Salmon and Trader Joe got me with this recipe sample "Brown Rice with Edemame" (recipes below) 

Sunday: Probably dinner at our Mom's - or we'll order a pizza!

"Honey and Mustard Crusted Salmon"

2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 TB Butter (I use Smart Balance)
2 TB Dijon Mustard
1 TB honey
2 to 3 pieces of Salmon (depending on size)

In fry pan, heat oil and butter till butter melts.  Stir in mustard, heat for 1 min.  Add Salmon - cook for about 4 mins  Add TB of honey and flip salmon to cook other side - again about 4 mins, but may be less. 

"Brown Rice with Edemame"
- TJ's steamable Organice Brown Rice
-TJ's frozen edemame or "Soycutash" (a mix or corn, edemame, red pepper)
- TJ's Sesame Soy Ginger Viniagratte

**Steam 1 whole bag of Rice, Boil about 1/2 of edemame/'soycutash' - or more if you like more - mix together.  Stir in about 1/4 to 1/2 bottle of dressing - up to youFish Cakes

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rookie + 1 week

Last week was a success, though we are not used to eating that heavy every night.  So I looked for some fun salads and other lighter meals this week- I've got to fit into my total-mom skirted-bottom bathing suit after all!  Aaaand last week was missing one thing... dessert! So I did make this delicious "Peach and raspberry Cobbler" last week - recipe is below.  And I have a couple planned for this week that I'll make when the mood strikes - probably both first thing Monday.

Monday: Wild Rice Salad with Yogurt Vinaigrette and watermelon

Tuesday: This is kind of a hodge-podge day. "Corn and Potato Hash" and "Shrek Soup" - it is a very healthy version of Broccoli Soup that Shawn renamed and requested for this week.  I know it is July and it's soup, but I can't resist that child and it is sooo good for you!!
Wednesday: Simple Bruchetta and Zucchini Fries and Grilled Nectarines. For bruchetta, I'll just chop tomatoes, add some fresh mozzarella, basil and vinaigrette; pick up a french loaf and drizzle a little olive oil and put that on the grill a few mins to toast.  See Zucchini recipe below - but I am excited for that one! For the nectarines, I leave the skin on and cut them up into big pieces, sprinkle a little brown sugar and grill just one side for about 5 mins
Thursday: Chopped Salad - portillos knock off style!  Chop some iceburg lettuce, I'll throw in some romaine too.  Crumble Gorgonzola, chopped chicken, fresh salsa from Jewel, little noodles (ditalini?).  That's all we add! Use a favorite dressing! 
Saturday: Our 6th anniversary - night out on the town! 
Sunday: Fancy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches - you will notice that I find every opportunity to use goat cheese.  Plus Shawn digs sandwiches - he can devour an entire Jimmy John sub in record time - he's like Joey from Friends
"Zucchini Fries" with Vinaigrette
6 small zucchinis, 1 TB olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, 2 TB crumbled feta, 2 TB sliced basil - cut zucchinis lengthwise into 4ths. Brush olive oil and sprinkle salt n peppa. Grill.  Add feta, basil, and drizzle vinaigrette afterwards.
Vinaigrette - whisk 2TB extra virgin olive oil, 1 TB Dijon mustard, zest and juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper
"Shrek Soup"aka Broccoli Soup

2 pkg of frozen broccoli (I sometimes substitute one of the pkgs with broccoli/cauliflower mix)
1/2 yellow or white onion
1 cup of carrots (frozen or fresh)
3 cups of chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp powdered garlic

1. Bring broth to boil
2. Add frozen broccoli, chop up onion and add, carrots, salt, pepper, garlic
3. Bring back to boil, them simmer for about 10 mins or until you have tender veggies
4. Then blend or puree 1/2 at a time 
5. Then eat!   
"Corn and Potato Hash"
1/2 to 1 pound potatoes, cut into chunks  (as many as you and your guest would like to eat)
olive oil, salt, and pepper
1 small or 1/2 of a large onion, diced
2 fresh ears of sweet corn
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place potatoes on baking sheet, and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tender and cooked through.
While the potatoes are cooking, saute onions in a cast iron skillet, over medium heat until tender and browned.  Turn off heat and set aside until potatoes are done baking.
Slice corn off the cob and chop parsley.
When potatoes are done baking, remove from the oven and place in the cast iron skillet with the onions.  Cook over low heat.  Add corn and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, salt, and pepper.  Toss until butter is melted and corn is just warm.
Remove from heat.  Toss in parsley and serve.
This hash lasts, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.

"Peach and Raspberry Cobbler" - makes 1 8x8 in pan
5-6 medium ripe peaches, sliced
1 cup fresh raspberries (if using frozen, just thaw and drain)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Place sliced peaches and raspberries in a square 8×8-inch baking dish and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, oats, spices, and salt.  Add the butter and toss the mixture together with your hands.  Break the butter up into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of small pebbles and oat flakes.  This took me about 4 minutes.
Toss a generous handful (about 1 cup) of crumble topping into the peach and raspberry mixture.  Toss loosely with your hands.  Spread fruit evenly in the pan and top with the remaining crumble mixture.  Bake until fruit is juicy and bubbling, and the top of the crumble is slightly browned and crisp, about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and serve with vanilla ice cream.  Crumble is delicious served warm and can be stored, covered, in the fridge and reheated in the oven or microwave for serving.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Time to Get Serious!

At about 4:45 p.m. I wil start to think, "Hmm, what do I have in my cabinets that could somehow resemble some sort of dinner for my family?" Hey, we never go hungry!  Though I think if my poor children and husband have to eat buttered noodles again, they will turn on me.

In my attempts to take steps toward the organized mother I dream to someday become, this blog is my vow to find and plan new, yummy, healthy meals for the week and have the ingredients ready! Ha, take that buttered noodles.

Here is my plan for this week:

Monday: well, this was a little weak because I made this vow afterwards!  But... we had "Open Face Tuna Sandwiches" I was inspired by Ina Garten.  See below.

Tuesday: Portobello Burgers with Hummus and Feta with simple salad.  Just brush mushrooms with a favorite dressing, I'll use Greek Vinaigrette and grill.

Wednesday: Goat Cheese Burgers with Grilled Mushrooms.  Make a traditional burger.  We'll add a thin slice of goat cheese, slice of tomato, and lettuce.  De-stem little mushrooms, rub a little vinaigrette type of dressing inside and if you want drop a little goat cheese in too before you put them on the grill

Thursday: Chicken Fajitas with Brown Rice

Friday: Crock Pot Chicken Dip.  I stole this recipe from a friend's blog! It sounds very good :)

Saturday: We usually score dinner at one of our mom's houses :)

Sunday: Chicken Avacado Pizza with Smoothies

"Open Face Tuna Sandwich"
Drain 3 cans of tuna. Add chopped celery, chopped pickle, and as much or little (fat free) mayo as you like.  Lightly toast some yummy bread.  I ran out and got a bit fat french loaf and cut 1 inch thick pieces.  Put a slice of provolone cheese while bread is still warm so it gets a bit melty.  Spread some store bought hummus and scoop on some of the tuna mixture.  Pretty good!

"Chicken Fajitas"

-1/4 c. oil
-1/2 c. vinegar
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 jalepeno pepper, finely chopped
-2 TBLSP snipped cilantro
-2 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. ground cumin

-2 whole chicken breasts, skinned, boned and cut into strips
-1 red pepper, 1green pepper, 1 yellow pepper (all cut into strips)
-1 purple onion (cut into strips)
-flour tortillas

"Crock Pot Chicken Dip"

Throw chicken breasts, a can of black beans, can of corn, 1 c. salsa and 1 package taco seasoning in the crock pot for 4-5 hours until the chicken is cooked through. Then, remove the chicken, shred it with a fork and place back with bean/corn mixture. Serve over chips with cheese and sour cream. You could also put it over lettuce to make a chicken taco salad.