Saturday, January 12, 2013

NEW Themed Menu Ideas and Recipes

Happy New Year!
It has been a while since I posted a regular weekly schedule and if you remember from the last post I told you we would have NEW menu themes.  This process was very difficult because the first themes we came up with were perfect and its hard to improve on perfect...HA!!!  We did it though and I think they are great!  The themes are more loosely made so options for dishes are endless. 
NEW Weekly themes are as follows:
  • Mediterranean Monday - We will mostly do Italian or Greek dishes but this day opens you up to try almost any dish. 
  • Tokyo Tuesday - Asian inspired dishes 
  • Wrap it Up Wednesday - Wraps, Sandwiches, Burgers, Salads, etc... 
  • Taco Thursday - Spanish inspired dishes 
  • Free for All Friday - This day is used for leftovers, dining out, or pot luck 
  • Slow Cooker/Simmer Saturday
  • Seafood Sunday  
***Saturday and Sunday are interchangeable depending on your families schedule that week.

As always, at the end of each recipe there will be a link to direct you to the site where I found these meals. You can print from the blog page or from the link that I provided.

  1. My daughter has a peanut allergy so we substitute and/or omit items that may be in a particular recipe, please do the same if you or anyone in your family has any allergies/dietary needs/personal preference (vegetarian).
  2. Some meals that I put on the menu will be my first time making them as well. So feedback is always appreciated
  3. If there is a meal that I know my kids will not eat I will make a "kid friendly" version of it for them, I will make note of this within the recipe.
  4. All families grocery budgets vary so please adjust ingredients or brands to fit the needs of your family.
  5. The majority of the meals are 30 minutes or less. Meals that do take longer will have steps to help you prepare ahead of time. We all have busy schedules!!!
Monday - 4-Step Rustic Lemon-Onion Chicken
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced in half crossways (butterflied, cut all the way through)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, plus 1 small bunch fresh thyme, leaves chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup white wine, optional
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter
  • Spinach "bed", recipe follows
  • Box of Near East rice pilaf, prepared (optional)
  1. Season chicken with dried thyme and salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the oil. Dredge the chicken in flour, add to the hot oil and saute until cooked through. Set chicken aside to rest on plate tented with foil.
  2. In same saute pan, over low heat, add onions and fresh thyme and cook until aromatic.
  3. In a measuring cup, measure out wine, if using, and broth, and add the lemon juice. Turn the heat up to high, and deglaze the pan with the broth mixture until starting to reduce.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and finish the sauce by whisking in butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Place a bed of cooked spinach on a plates, top with the chicken. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.  If using rice serve with this also.
  6. Spinach "bed":
  • 1 bag pre-washed fresh spinach
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
      7.  Microwave spinach in a microwave-proof dish with a few tablespoons of water on high for 5 to 6 minutes, or until hot. Drain, and toss with butter, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, to taste.
Serves 4-6, Ready in 1 hour
Food Network 4steplemonchicken
Tuesday - Pork and Noodle Stir-Fry
  • 8 ounces rice noodles (you can substitute thin spaghetti)
  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 4 scallions, sliced (white and green parts separated)
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups precut stir-fry vegetables (about 9 ounces)
  • Grated zest of 1 lime, plus wedges for serving
  • Soy sauce to taste
  1. Cook the noodles as the label directs, then drain and rinse under cold water. Meanwhile, toss the pork with 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a bowl. Whisk the chicken broth and the remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch in another bowl.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, then add the pork and stir-fry until lightly browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining 3 teaspoons vegetable oil to the pan, then add the scallion whites, ginger and garlic; reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Stir in the vegetables and 3 tablespoons water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add the broth mixture to the pan and bring to a boil; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Return the pork to the skillet along with the noodles, lime zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir to heat through. Stir in the scallion greens. Divide among bowls and serve with lime wedges.  Serve with soy sauce and add to taste
Serves 4, Ready in 35 minutes
Food Network and Rachael Ray porkandnoodlestirfry
Wednesday - BBQ Roast Beef & Cheddar Sandwiches 
  •  8 slices of country white bread
  • 4 tablespoons
  • 8 slices of cheddar cheese
  • 8-12 slices of deli roast beef
  • Butter
  • Fresh green beans, steamed and seasoned
  • Bag of french fries, prepared (optional)
  1. Preheat a griddle or pan.
  2. Butter slices of bread and 4 slices butter side down.
  3. Top with BBQ sauce, 2 slices of cheddar for each sandwich, and then roast beef.  Top with the other slice of bread.  Cook on each side until golden brown.
  4. Serve sandwiches with green beans and french fries.
Serves 4, Ready in 25 minutes
Thursday - Crock Pot Flank Steak w/Spanish Rice
  • 1 Flank Steak - 1 3/4 lbs to albs (cut in half)
  • 1 small can of green chiles
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic minced (depending on taste)
  • Box of Spanish rice, prepared
  • Tortillas, warmed (optional)

1. In a small pan, brown flank steak in olive oil on both sides.
2. Add all ingredients to slow cooker.
3. Cook on low for 4-5 hours if you prefer it sliced, cook 5-6 hours if you prefer it shredded.
4. Serve shredded over Spanish rice, in a tortilla, or even plain.
5. Add sour cream and/or cheese (optional)

Serves 4, Ready in 5-6 hours
Lifetime Mom's crockpotflanksteak

Friday - Grilled Pierogies and Kielbasa
  • 1 pound kielbasa (pork or turkey), cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 pound frozen potato-and-cheddar pierogies (do not thaw)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  1. Preheat a grill to medium. Grill the kielbasa, turning, until marked, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the mustard and vinegar in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil until smooth.
  3. Toss the onion and pierogies with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, covered, until the pierogies thaw and the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Turn the pierogies and onion and continue to grill, covered, until the pierogies are cooked through and the onion is tender, 4 to 6 more minutes. Transfer to the baking sheet or platter.
  4. Slice the kielbasa into pieces and add to the bowl with the mustard dressing. Roughly chop the onion and add to the bowl along with the pierogies and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Divide among shallow bowls.
Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
Saturday - Slow Cooker Bacon Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast
    • 1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon
    • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
    • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
    • 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
    • 3/4 tablespoon dried basil
    • Egg Noodles, cooked (or couscous)
    • Small salad, your choice
  1. In a small bowl, lightly mix bacon and cheese together.
  2. Cut a pocket in the thicker side of each chicken breast.
  3. Fill each with 1/4 of the bacon/cheese mixture. Pinch shut and secure with a toothpick.
  4. Place chicken in slow cooker, and top with tomatoes, and sprinkle with basil.
  5. Cover and cook on high 2-3 hours or until chicken is tender, but not dry or mushy.
  6. Serve over prepared egg noodles (or couscous) and salad.
Serves 4, Ready in 2-3 hours
Sunday - Grilled Fish Sammies w/Garlic Tartar Sauce & Baked Waffle Fries and a Slaw Salad
  • 1 pound store-bought waffle fries (optional)
  • 4 (6-ounce) fillets white fish, such as halibut, skinless
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 crusty rolls, split
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup pitted chopped green olives
  • Handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • Celery salt, to season fries
  • 1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 8 green or red leaf lettuce leaves
  • Slaw Salad, recipe follows
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and bake fries 20 minutes, or according to package directions, turning once.
  2. Heat skillet or grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Season the fish with salt and pepper and coat with about 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. 
  4. Toast rolls on grill or heat broiler and set them in the middle of the oven to brown, then reserve.
  5. Combine mayonnaise with grated garlic, capers, olives, parsley.
  6. Cook fish 3 to 4 minutes on each side until firm, opaque and cooked through. Squeeze lemon over cooked fish.
  7. Remove fries from oven and season with celery salt and pepper.
  8. Place fish on rolls with lettuce, red onion and tartar sauce. Serve with fries.

Slaw Salad:

1 bulb fennel with tops, thinly sliced plus 1/4 cup fennel tops
1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons grill seasoning (recommended: McCormick's)
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, combine the fennel, fennel tops and red cabbage. In a separate small bowl, combine the honey, cider vinegar, grill seasoning, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together.
Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
Food Network & Rachael Ray grilledfishsammiewithgarlictartarsauce
Hope you enjoy and have a SUPER week!!!

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