Saturday, October 26, 2013

Week 35 Menu and Recipes

For the past two weeks I have offered you tons of wonderful make ahead meal options.  This week we are back to our regular format, which are just as wonderfully easy and flavorful. 

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 & Bacon Mac 'n Cheese
  • 6 slices good-quality smoky bacon, such as applewood-smoked
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound whole wheat short-cut pasta
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, lightly pounded
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, quartered lengthwise and very thinly sliced
  • 2 rounded tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup cloudy apple cider or chicken stock
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded (or swiss cheese)
  • Chopped flat leaf parsley or celery greens, for garnish
  • Carrots, steamed and seasoned
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Arrange the bacon on a slotted broiler pan or on a rack placed over a baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Chop and reserve. Switch on the broiler and position the rack in the center of the oven.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook 1 minute less than the instructions indicate, or until just shy of al dente. Drain and return to the pot.
  4. While the pasta is working, heat a grill pan or cast iron griddle over medium-high heat. Drizzle the chicken with EVOO to coat lightly, then season evenly with the paprika, salt and pepper. Grill the chicken for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer to a cutting board and halve the pieces lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.
  5. While the chicken cooks, melt the butter in a medium size saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until light golden and very soft, 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in the cider (or stock), then the milk. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, 3-4 minutes. Add the thyme and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the cheeses until melted.
  6. Add the chicken, bacon and sauce to the pasta and transfer to a casserole. Broil until bubbling and browned, about 5 minutes. Garnish with the parsley (or celery greens) and serve with carrots.
Serves 4, Ready in 30 minutes
Rachael Ray grilledchickenbaconmacandcheese

Tuesday - Stir-Fry Frittata
  • 1 12-to-16-ounce bag frozen stir-fry vegetables
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems), plus more for topping
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 3 teaspoons hoisin sauce, plus more for topping
  • 10 large eggs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the vegetables in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap; microwave until warmed through, about 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Combine the cilantro, lime zest and juice, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon peanut oil, the ginger, garlic, jalapeno and 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce in a blender; puree until smooth. Whisk the eggs, 2 tablespoons water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a large bowl.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil in a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork, the remaining 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until browned, 4 minutes. Stir in the vegetables, half of the cilantro-ginger sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour in the eggs, increase the heat to high and cook 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until set, 20 to 25 minutes. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Top with the remaining cilantro-ginger sauce, more hoisin sauce and cilantro.

Serves 4, Ready in 35 minutes
Food Network Magazine stirfryfrittata

Wednesday - Pulled Chicken Sandwiches w/Apple Slaw
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider, divided
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cajun spice blend
  • 1 pound of chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of baby carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 large apple
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (or plain greek yogurt)
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 5 poppy seed rolls, split in half and toasted
  • French fries baked to package directions
  1. Slice the onion.  In a large saucepan, or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent stirring often. 
  2. Add 1 cup apple cider, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, brown sugar, mustard, and cajun seasoning.  Let the mixture come to a boil over high heat. 
  3. Turn the heat to medium-high.  Add the chicken breasts and the remaining cup of apple cider, so the mixture is covering the chicken.  Cook for 30-40 minutes, until chicken breasts are cooked through. 
  4. Meanwhile, make the slaw.  Julienne the carrots, celery, and apple. 
  5. In a separate bowl, combine remaining apple cider vinegar, sour cream, dijon mustard, honey, salt, and poppy seeds.  Add this to the veggies and toss well. 
  6. When the chicken is cooked through, shred it with two forks returning it to the sauce.  Stir it so the sauce gets soaked up by the chicken shreds. 
  7. Top each poppy seed roll with pulled chicken and then apple slaw, top with remaining roll half. 
  8. Serve with French fries.
Serves 4, Ready in 30 - 40 minutes
The Growing Foodie pulledchickenandappleslawsandwich

Thursday - Slow Cooker Carne Guisada

  • 2 1/2 pounds beef chuck roast or bottom round, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced medium
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced medium
  • 1 large jalapeno, seeded and diced small (optional)     
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Flour tortillas, warmed, grated cheddar, and cilantro, for serving
  • Spanish Rice, prepared
  1. Season beef with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over high. In two batches, cook beef until browned on all sides, 5 minutes per batch (add 2 teaspoons more oil for second batch). Transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. In same skillet, cook 2 teaspoons oil, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic over medium, stirring and scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, until vegetables are tender, 5 minutes. Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, and flour and cook 1 minute. Slowly pour broth into skillet, stirring until liquid is smooth. Simmer 2 minutes, then transfer mixture to slow cooker, along with tomatoes and bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high 6 hours.
  3. Serve in tortillas with cheese and cilantro alongside the Spanish rice.
*Kid Friendly Note: I omit the jalapeno.
*Freeze leftovers for another make ahead meal.
Serves 10, Ready in 6 hours on low
Martha Stewart slowcookercarneguisada
Friday - Free for All

Use this day for whatever you want!!! 
Leftovers, go out, breakfast for dinner, etc...
  • 1 (2-3 pound) boneless pork roast
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp dried basil
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 lb of potatoes, mashed and seasoned
  1. Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place roast in slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, honey, soy sauce, basil, garlic, oil and salt; pour over pork. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°.
  2. Remove meat to a serving platter; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking juices; transfer to a small saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Slice roast; serve with gravy and mashed potatoes.
Serves 4-6, Ready in 6-7 hours on low
Sunday - Trout with Lemon and Herbs
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 skin-on trout fillets (6 to 8 oz. each)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 small lemons, 1 thinly sliced and 1 juiced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Rice pilaf/couscous, prepared to package directions
  1. In a large (10- to 12-inch) cast-iron skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Season the trout with 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. Place the trout, skin side down, in the skillet. Scatter with the thyme and lemon slices.
  2. Cook the trout, spooning the butter from the bottom of the skillet over the fish often, until just cooked through (do not flip), about 5 minutes. Transfer the fish and lemon slices to a serving plate.
  3. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Spoon the pan sauce over the fish. Top with the parsley.
  4. Serve with rice pilaf and/or couscous.

Serves 4, Ready in 20 minutes
Rachael Ray Magazine troutwithlemonandherbs

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