Saturday, May 18, 2013

Week 27 Themed Menu & Recipes

Only one more week until school is out for the summer.  I am excited because we can cook out on the grill more often (making less of a mess in the kitchen) and I can take more time out to make a number of make ahead meals so we can be outside enjoying the weather!!!  Plus...I am just dying to organize something;)


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 - Grilled Chicken Parmesan
w/Grilled Vegetables
  • 4 large chicken breast (around 350g to 400g)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, pepper and dried thyme, to taste
  • 2 oz. low fat mozzerella cheese, grated
  • 2 oz. fresh parmesan cheese, grated
    For the tomato sauce
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery rib, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 small can (410g) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 12-18 fresh basil leaves
  1. Rub each chicken breast with olive oil and sprinkle salt, pepper and dried thyme all over it. Transfer to a plate and set to rest in the refrigerator while you work on the tomato sauce. 
  2. Coat a large saucepan with a little bit of olive oil and heat over medium high heat. When pan is hot enough, add the onion, celery, salt, pepper and oregano and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant and onion becomes translucent. Stir in garlic and continue cooking for another minute. Add tomatoes and tomato paste, stir well and bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat your outdoor grill to medium high heat. Place the half chicken breasts on the grill and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until cooked all the way through.
  4. Transfer the chicken breasts to individual oven safe dishes or a 8x8 glass dish. Top each breast with half the tomato sauce, then sprinkle the cheeses overtop the dishes.
  5. Place on the higher rack of your oven and set to broil, just until cheeses melt and start to bubble and turn golden brown.
  6. Serve with a side of greens or better yet, grilled vegetables (such as, bell peppers, zucchinis, eggplants, radicchio or endives) brush with a little olive oil and s&p and grill next to the chicken.
*This meal served 2, I made adjustments to the original recipe.
Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
The Healthy Foodie grilledchickenparmesan
Tuesday - Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli
  • 1 lb. boneless, beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 cup beef consumme or beef broth
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp. sauce (from the crockpot after dish is cooked)
  • Frozen broccoli florets (as many as desired, I believe I used almost 2 cups)
  • White rice, cooked
  1. In the insert of the crockpot, whisk together beef consume, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic.
  2. Gently place your slices of beef in the liquid and toss to coat.
  3. Turn crockpot on low and cook for 6 hours.
  4. When done, in a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and cooking liquid to create a slurry, pour into crockpot, stir to mix well. Cook on low for an additional 30 minutes to thicken up the sauce.
  5. Toss in your broccoli florets then serve hot over white rice.
*Note about cooking time: Your crockpot may differ in temperature than mine, I suggest cooking this for 4 hours on your first go-round of this dish. 6 hours in the crockpot seems to be giving a lot of people "shredded" beef instead of slices, so decrease cooking time by 2 hours and go from there. Mine turned out fine with 6 hours.
Serves 4, Ready in 4-6 hours
Wednesday - Grilled Garlic Skirt Steak w/Bread Salad
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 large tomatoes, cored
  • 2 pounds skirt steak (I sometimes use flank steak if that is all I have)                        
  • 2 kaiser rolls, split
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced (optional)
  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and the cayenne. (split the steak and add cayenne only to half, so the kids will not get the heat from it)                    
  2. Brush the tomatoes with some of the garlic oil. Grill, covered, turning once, until lightly charred, about 12 minutes; transfer to a plate.
  3. Meanwhile, brush the steak and the rolls with garlic oil. Grill the rolls, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes; grill the steak, turning once, about 6 minutes total for medium. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes, then thinly slice.
  4. Coarsely chop the rolls and tomatoes (and cucumbers, if using) and toss in a medium bowl; add the rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Divide the steak slices among 4 plates and top with the bread salad.

Serves 4, Ready in 20 minutes
Rachael Ray Magazine grilledgarlicskirtsteakwithbreadsalad

Thursday - Mexican Chicken Taco Casserole
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large Anaheim pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (I prefer green)
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, shredded (SHORTCUT: Store bought Rotisserie)
  • 1/2 cup sliced California black olives
  • 1 can (14 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 oz. queso fresco cheese, crumbled (plus more for garnish) (you can sub Feta)
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro, plus more for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add onion, and Anaheim and bell peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Coat a 7- by 11-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of the dish.
  5. Lay 4 tortillas over the sauce, tearing the tortillas as necessary to make them fit properly.
  6. Spread 1/3 each of the pepper mixture, chicken, olives, black beans, queso fresco cheese and cilantro over the tortillas.
  7. Top with 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce and 4 additional tortillas. Repeat the layers two more times, ending with corn tortillas, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce and queso fresco cheese.
  8. Cover the baking dish with foil and place it on a baking sheet.
  9. Bake until the casserole is bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes.
  10. Remove the foil and cook for additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
  11. Let the casserole cool for about 15 minutes to allow it to set. Cut and serve.
Note:  You can make this ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to bake OR freeze and label for a make ahead meal.
Serves 8, Ready in 1hr 30minutes

Friday - Breakfast Pizza
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 (8-inch) pizza crusts 
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups shredded jack cheese blend (recommended: Colby)
  • 4 fully cooked sausage patties, crumbled 
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  1. Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking. 
  2. In a medium pan over medium heat, scramble eggs in butter; set aside. 
  3. Lay out pizza crusts and brush each with oil. Top with eggs, cheese, crumbled sausage, Parmesan, tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. 
  4. Slide onto hot oiled grill and cook, covered, 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese has melted and begins to bubble. 
  5. Serve hot, cut into wedges. 
  6. Serve with freshly sliced fruit or hash browns.

INDOOR: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare pizza as directed. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and begins to bubble.

Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
Food Network breakfastpizza

Saturday - Slow Cooker BBQ Ranch Country Ribs
w/Potato of Choice

  • 2 1/2-3 pounds boneless Country Ribs
  • 1.25 ounce packet Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
*Note: You can also use your favorite bottle of BBQ Sauce if you choose.  I used the Ranch packet and Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce.


1.  Preheat crock pot to high heat. Place ribs into crock pot and season with Ranch dressing packet. Place ketchup, mustard, worcestershire sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, pepper and salt into a large bowl, mixing until combined.
2.  Pour BBQ sauce over ribs spreading evenly. Close crock pot lid and cook 4-5 hours on high heat. 3.  Serve with baked, mashed, or French fries.  You can also serve corn on the cob.

Serves 6, Ready in 4-5 Hours on High
Picky Palate slowcookerbbqranchcountryribs

Sunday - Mojito Grilled Fish Tacos w/Strawberry Salsa
& Rice Pilaf
  • 1 pound white fish such as tilapia, cod, etc.
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 2 tablespoons rum (optional)
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 green onion, finely sliced
  • 1 handful mint, chopped
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 (4 inch) tortillas
  • 2 cups strawberry and avocado salsa
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco or feta, crumbled
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 box of Rice Pilaf (I prefer Near East)

Strawberry Avocado Salsa
  • 1 1/4 cups strawberries, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup avocado, cut into small pieces
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

  •  ***Combine everything and set aside.
    1. Marinate the fish in the oil, lime juice and zest, rum, jalapeno, garlic, green onion, mint, cumin, salt and pepper for 10-20 minutes.
    2. Grill the fish over medium-high heat until cooked, about 4-6 minutes per side. The fish will be cooked when it flakes easily and it is no longer translucent.
    3. Flake the fish and serve in tortillas garnished with strawberry and avocado salsa, crumbled strawberry and avocado salsa and cilantro or your favorite taco toppings.
    4. Serve alongside prepared rice pilaf.
    *Kid Friendly Note: I made a separate salsa for the kids minus the jalapeno. 
    *Note:  Marinate Fish in the morning so it is less time for prep in the evening.
    Serves 4, Ready in 40 minutes
    Hope you enjoy and have a SUPER week!!!

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