Saturday, March 23, 2013

Week 22 Themed Menu & Recipes

The kids are off school this coming week and we are going to relax and enjoy.  I will not be posting next week.  Make sure to go back through all the menus I have posted over the past 6 months and pick some meals out that you have not tried yet. 
This week we are moving a fish dish to Friday and having Easter Ham on Sunday.
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 - Mediterranean Chicken & Saffron CousCous


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 (6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 pinch saffron (you can substitute Tumeric, but use less)
  • 4 garlic cloves: 1 crushed, 3 chopped
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 (15 oz) can of quartered artichoke hearts drained
  • 1 cup dry white wine (3-4 glugs)
  • 10 kalamata olives pitted and cut in half
  • 1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (a couple of generous handfuls)
  • coarsely chopped 20 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

    1. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat with olive oil. Place flour in a dish and season the chicken with salt pepper and cayenne pepper, then transfer the chicken in the dish with the flour.
    2. Cook the chicken in the skillet for 5-6 minutes on each side. While chicken is cooking start the couscous.
    3. In a sauce pot bring two cups of chicken stock up to a boil with saffron, the crushed clove of garlic, salt and pepper. When the stock is at a boil add the couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
    4. Once the chicken is done, remove it and put it on a plate with foil to keep it warm.
    5. Add more olive oil to the skillet, add onions, 3 cloves chopped garlic, thyme, salt and pepper cook stirring frequently.
    6. Add the artichokes and wine to the pan, bring it to a simmer and add the remaining cup of chicken stock, olives, and grape tomatoes.
    7. Return the liquids to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the tomatoes start to burst. Add the chicken back to the pan. Add the parsley and basil to the dish and stir.
    8. To serve, fluff the couscous with a fork, remove and discard the crushed garlic clove. Serve the chicken and sauce over the couscous.
    Serves 4, Ready in 30 Minutes
    Rachael Ray (Courtesy of KomoNews) mediterraneanchickenandsaffroncouscous

    Tuesday - Beef Hekka

    Hekka is a plantation days dish and it has been made for generations by my family.  This dish can be made with Chicken or Beef.  Some recipes also call for Tofu, but I omit that from mine.  


    • 1/2 to 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon mirin, sake or dry sherry

  • 2-inch piece ginger, peeled, sliced, smashed

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • Vegetable Oil for cooking

  • 1 pound tender, well-marbled steak, thinly sliced (or pre-cut stir-fry beef)

  • 1 medium or 2 small sweet onions, sliced

  • 1/2 bunch green onions, sliced into 1-inch length

  • 1 can shirataki noodles (yam threads), drained and rinsed OR rice, prepared

  •  1 small can of water chestnuts, drained

  • 1/4 cup sliced bamboo shoots (found in Asian isle of grocery store)

  • Directions

    1. In a bowl, combine soy sauce, sugar, liquor, ginger and garlic. Stir and set aside.
    2. Heat a little oil in a wok or frying pan over high heat. Stir-fry beef until it turns color and begins to release juices. Push the beef to one side and stir-fry sweet onions until limp and slightly caramelized. (Reduce heat to medium-high if onions begin to brown too fast.)
    3. Add green onions, shirataki (if using), water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots. Stir-fry briefly. Add sauce and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until flavors have permeated the ingredients.
    4. Serve immediately over hot rice.

    Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
    My G'Rock but I found this similar recipe on Honolulu Advertiser beefhekka

    Wednesday - Pan-Seared Ravioli
    w/Peas, Bacon, and Mint

    • 3 slices hickory-smoked bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    • 1 20 ounce package fresh or frozen cheese ravioli
    • 1 1/2 cups (8 oz) frozen peas
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 ounces arugula (3 packed cups)
    • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh mint
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp finely shredded parmesan
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
    • Salt and pepper
    1. In a large, heavy nonstick skillet, crisp the bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Discard all but 2 tbsp. of the fat.
    2. In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the ravioli until just tender, 1 to 2 minutes (see package if using frozen). Drain; reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Heat the reserved bacon fat in the skillet over high heat; add the ravioli and cook, tossing, until golden-brown in spots, 2 to 3 minutes.
    3. In a saucepan, bring the peas, cream and garlic to a simmer over medium heat, stirring. Pour into the pan with the ravioli. Toss in the arugula to wilt. Mix in half of the bacon, half of the mint and 1/4 cup cheese. Add 1 tbsp. reserved pasta water at a time to thin the sauce as desired. Fold in the zest; season.
    4. Sprinkle with the remaining bacon, mint and cheese.
    Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
    Rachael Ray Everyday pansearedravioliwithpeasbaconmint

    Thursday - Beef Tacos w/Refried Black Beans


    • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
    • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules or powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

    • 1 pound lean ground beef
    • 6-8 Corn or Flour Tortillas, flash fired on stove top
    • 1 can of refried BLACK beans, seasoned with salt, olive oil, and lime juice
    Suggested Condiment Toppings
    • Cheddar cheese, shredded
    • Iceberg or romaine lettuce, cut into thin shreds
    • Tomatoes, chopped
    • White or red onion, chopped **
    • Ripe olives, sliced or chopped
    • Fresh jalapenos, seeded and chopped
    • Salsa fresca and/or a variety of bottled hot sauces
    • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
    • Sour cream
    • Lime wedges
    1. For Seasoning: Pre-measure in a small bowl the chili powder, salt, oregano leaves, cumin powder, garlic granules, onion powder and pepper.
    2. In large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook and crumble the ground beef until nicely browned. Drain off excess fat, if needed.
    3. Add the pre-measured spices to the ground beef and cook, stirring constantly, for a few seconds add a small amount of water, if needed.
    4. Cover skillet and keep warm until ready to serve. It's now time to prepare the taco shells.
    5. To Make a Taco: Fill a prepared taco shell with seasoned beef filling and desired toppings in no particular order, then squeeze some lime juice over the top and enjoy!
    6. Serve with warmed refried black beans and chips and salsa.
    Serves 4, Ready in 25 minutes beeftacos

    Friday - Barbecued Mahi-mahi
    w/Yellow Pepper-Cilantro Pesto
    "Barbecue" Rub
    • 2 tablespoons Spanish paprika
    • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon chile powder
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
    Yellow Pepper-Cilantro Pesto
    • 2 large yellow bell peppers, grilled, peeled, seeded and chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (I leave these out because of a food allergy)
    • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
    • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon freshly grated pepper
    Mahi mahi
    • 4 mahi mahi fillets, 8 ounces each
    • 4 teaspoons olive oil
    • "Barbecue" Rub
    • Cilantro leaves
    1. Combine all the rub ingredients in a small bowl.
    2. Place peppers, garlic, pine nuts (if using), cilantro and cheese in a food processor and process until combined. With the motor running, add the oil and process until emulsified and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
    3. Heat grill to high. Brush each fillet on both sides with oil. Rub 1 side of each fillet with 1 tablespoon of the barbecue rub and place on the grill rub side down and cook until slightly charred and a crust has formed, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the fish over and grill for 3 to 4 minutes longer or until cooked to medium doneness. Top each fillet with a few tablespoons of the pesto and garnish with cilantro leaves.
    4. Serve with your choice of side...rice pilaf or mashed potato (free for all Friday)
    Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
    Saturday - Crockpot Lemon Chicken
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    •  4-5 boneless chicken breast halves
    •  1 tbls. butter
    •  2 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons water
    •  2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    •  2 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
    • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
    1. In a bowl, mix the oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture into chicken. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in butter for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Place chicken in a slow cooker.
    2. In the same skillet, mix the water, lemon juice, garlic, and bouillon. Bring the mixture to boil. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.
    3. Cover, and cook on High for 3 hours, or Low for 6 hours. Add the parsley to the slow cooker 15 to 30 minutes before the end of the cook time.
    4. Serve with a mixed baby green salad and your favorite dressing. 
    Serves 4, Ready in 6 hours (original recipe served 2, I doubled it for you)
    Cooking with Tricia crockpotlemonchicken
    Sunday - Easter Brunch
    This day is probably filled with your families favorite ham recipe and side dishes.  
    Here is a helpful link... How Long to Bake a Ham

     Hope you enjoy and have a SUPER week!!!

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