Saturday, June 1, 2013

Week 28 Themed Menu & Recipes

We went from 3 posts last week to only 1 this week.  I probably should have paced myself, but I was on a roll last week.  Plus, this was the first full week of the kids being home for the summer and we have been working on finding our groove. 

Anyway, I hope you all had a great Memorial Day with family/friends and had some time to reflect on what the day truly means.

Now onto this weeks meals.

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 - Mango Chicken Salad w/Couscous


  • 1/4 cup Moroccan couscous
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3 ounces each)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup Japanese rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 head romaine
  • 1/2 head frisée
  • 1/2 head hydro Bibb lettuce
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1/2 mango, thinly sliced
  1. In a bowl, combine couscous, bell peppers, onion, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/3 cup water. Season with salt. 
  2. Refrigerate until couscous is tender, about 2 hours.            
  3. In a large skillet over high heat, heat canola oil. Cook chicken until golden brown on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Flip chicken and cook through, 6 to 8 minutes.          
  4. Cool chicken; cut into 1/2-inch dice.            
  5. In a blender set to medium, blend lime juice, vinegar, mustard, honey and soy sauce. Slowly add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt.         
  6. Break up lettuce heads and combine leaves with arugula in a bowl. Divide lettuce, couscous, chicken and mango among 4 plates. Dress salad with mustard vinaigrette.
Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
Tuesday - Garlic Beef and Asparagus Stir-fry

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil
  • 1 pound flank steak, cut against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/2 cup Soy Vay Hoisin Garlic Sauce (or plain Hoisin sauce and chopped garlic)
  • 1 pound asparagus, ends removed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews (optional)
  • Rice or noodles, prepared

  • Directions
    1. In a medium bowl, combine the flank steak and 2 tablespoons of the Hoisin Garlic sauce. Allow the steak to marinate for 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature.
    2. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the flank steak and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until mostly brown but not fully cooked. Remove and set aside.
    3. Add the asparagus to the wok. Stir-fry for about 1 minute, then add 1/2 cup water and cover with a lid. Allow the asparagus to steam for another 1 to 2 minutes until tender-crisp and the water is gone.
    4. Return the beef to the wok. Add the remaining amount of hoisin garlic sauce and stir until everything is well-mixed and the beef is cooked through, about 1 minute more. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir in the cashews, if using. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with rice or noodles.  We used rice.
    Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
    Appetite for China garlicbeefandasparagusstirfry
    Wednesday - Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese
    • 1 cup cooked shredded chicken, warm (I used store bought rotisserie chicken)
    • 2-4 tablespoon hot sauce
    • 1/2 tablespoon mayo (optional)
    • 2 tablespoon carrot, grated
    • 2 tablespoon celery, sliced
    • 2 tablespoon green or red onion, sliced or diced
    • 4 tablespoon blue cheese, room temperature, crumbled
    • 2 cup cheddar cheese, room temperature, grated
    • 8-10 slices bread
    • 4 tablespoon butter, room temperature
    1. Mix the chicken, hot sauce, mayo, carrot, celery and onion in a small bowl.
    2. Butter the outside of each slice of bread, sprinkle half of the cheeses on the inside of one slice of bread, top with the buffalo chicken salad, the remaining cheese and finally the other slice of bread.
    3. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.
    4. Add the sandwich and grill until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.
    5. Serve with your choice of side.  I believe we had a steamed carrots.
    *Kid Friendly Note: I make the kids sandwiches the same exact way and only omit the hot sauce to their sandwiches.

    Serves 4, Ready in 20 minutes
    Closet Cooking /buffalochickengrilledcheesesandwich

    Thursday - Enchilada Pasta Casserole
    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
    • 1/4 tsp. cumin
    • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
    • 5 ounces cream cheese
    • 1/4 cup light sour cream
    • 1 can (10 oz.) enchilada sauce (I used the green sauce)
    • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
    • 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
    • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed (optional)
    • 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
    • 12 ounces egg noodles
    • Salt & pepper, to taste
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. In a large pot, bring water to boil and cook egg noodles according to package instructions.
    3. In the meantime, in a very large skillet, brown your ground beef then drain the fat. Then add the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine.
    4. Add in the cream cheese until melted and combined.
    5. In a large bowl, combine sour cream, enchilada sauce, half the cheddar cheese, half the monterey jack cheese, corn kernels, and diced green chiles. Stir to combine.
    6. Pour mixture over the beef and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
    7. In the meantime, drain your pasta. After you've drained it, add the pasta to the beef mixture. Make sure everything is coated in the sauce.
    8. In a large casserole dish, pour in the pasta mixture and top with the remaining cheese.
    9. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese has completely melted.  Serve Hot.
    Serves 6, Ready in 30-40 minutes
    Friday - Butter Bacon Burgers
    w/Sweet Potato Fries


    • Oil, for brushing
    • 2 pounds lean ground beef
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 stick cold butter, cut into small cubes
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 4 hamburger buns, split
    • 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp
    • Lettuce, for serving
    • Red onion slices, for serving
    • Tomato slices, for serving
    • Ketchup, for serving
    • Mayonnaise, for serving
    • 1 bag of frozen sweet potato fries, baked


    1. Grease the grill grate by brushing it with oil. Preheat the grill to medium and preheat oven for the fries.
    2. Mix together the beef, salt, black pepper and butter in a large bowl. Form the beef into 5 patties about 1-inch thick. Place on a baking sheet.
    3. Place the burgers on the grill, cover and cook, turning once, until the burgers reach the doneness you like, 7 to 9 minutes for medium-rare. Just before the burgers are done, put the buns on toward the back of the grill to toast.
    4. Sandwich the burgers in the buns and top with the bacon, some lettuce, onion, tomato, ketchup and mayonnaise.
    5. Serve burgers alongside the fries.
    Serves 4-5, Ready in 30 minutes
    Food Network/Paula Dean butterbaconburgers
    Saturday - Slow Cooker Italian Sausage & Pasta
    • 1 pound Italian Sausage links (halved)
    • 1 jar 25.6 ounce Italian sausage spaghetti sauce
    • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (10 ounces undrained)
    • 1 package fresh mushrooms (8 0z sliced)
    • 1 large green pepper (sliced)
    • 1 medium onion (diced)
    • 4 cloves garlic (sliced or diced)
    • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    • 2 cups uncooked spiral pasta

    1. In a large nonstick skillet, brown the sausage links; then cut them in half, and place in the slow cooker.
    2. Add all the other ingredients to the slow cooker- except for the pasta.
    3. Cook on low for 6 hours
    4. Add the pasta and cook on high for 30-40 minutes until pasta is tender-Enjoy (if you would rather cook the pasta separately-just cook it on top of the stove, then mix it into the slow cooker. (This recipe is very saucy; so you could easily use 1 pound of pasta without it being too dry.)
    Serves 4, Ready in 7 hours
    Sunday - Panko-Crusted Fishwiches
    w/Wasabi Tartar Sauce
    Wasabi Tartar Sauce
    • 2 egg yolk    (See Note Below)
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
    • 1/2- 2/3cup grapeseed oil
    • Fine sea salt
    • 2 tablespoons ponzu sauce or tamari (dark soy sauce)
    • 1 teaspoon lime juice
    • 1 teaspoon wasabi paste (or to taste)                       
    • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
    • 4- 6 ounces fillets white fish, preferably a sustainable variety such as tilapia or pollock
    • Salt and pepper (or seafood seasoning)                       
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2cups panko
    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
    • Canola oil, for shallow frying
    • Wedges of lime or lemon
    • Optional toppings: sliced cucumbers, daikon or radish, shredded iceberg lettuce or white cabbage, chopped shiso or cilantro leaves
    1. For the wasabi tartar sauce, make a mayonnaise: In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, lemon juice, vinegar and mustard. Whisk in the oil in a steady, thin stream until emulsified. Season with sea salt to taste. (Alternatively, use 1 cup store-bought mayo.) Stir in the ponzu sauce (or tamari) and lime juice; mix well. Add wasabi and relish to taste.
    2. Season the fish liberally on both sides. Place the flour in a medium dish; beat the eggs and a splash of water in a second medium dish; and combine the panko with the chives, ginger and garlic in a third medium dish. Coat the fish evenly in flour, then egg, then panko mixture.
    3. In a large skillet, heat a shallow layer of oil, about 1/4 inch, over medium to medium-high heat. Fry the fish until golden, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and squeeze a wedge of lime or lemon over the fish.
    4. Serve fish with veggie of choice.

    *Kid Friendly Note:  Instead of wasabi tarter the kids used ranch dressing or plain mayo.
    *Side Note: Note that you can you store-bought mayo instead of making it from scratch.

    Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
    Rachael Ray Magazine pankocrustedfishwicheswithwasabitartarsauce
    Hope you enjoy and have a SUPER week!!!


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