Monday, April 25, 2011

The Menu

Sunday: Cobb Nicoise Salad
Yeah - I totally confused these two salads in my head and came up with my own version. 

Monday: BLT & Egg Salad "Sandwich Bar"
A DIY Sandwich Bar with leftovers from Easter. 

Tuesday: David Sedaris & Dinner Out
Super excited to go see David Sedaris (Author of "Me Talk Pretty One Day" and others) so we'll be eating out.

Wednesday: Pork Chops, Broccoli & Sweet Potato Fries
Rain in the forecast all week (we need it, so I'm not complaining) so this may get pushed back or get made indoors.

Thursday: Taco Night
Who doesn't love Taco Night?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chicken Ranch Salad

The most exciting thing about this staple tonight was that all the cilantro and a tiny bit of the lettuce came from my garden.  I wasn't this proud when I gave birth!

1-2 Cups of chopped, cooked chicken (we used a leftover boneless/skinless breast we cooked on Monday)
BBQ Sauce (to taste)
Chop the chicken and pop in microwave with sauce for 30 seconds jut to take off the chill.

1 Bag salad greens (and a little bit of homegrown lettuce... I'm beyond excited about this gardening thing)
1 avocado, peeled/diced
1 can black beans, rinsed & well drained
1 can corn niblets well drained
Ranch Dressing
1/4 Cup fresh cilantro - chopped

That is it.  Simple Simon and everybody finishes it up.  Great with a tortilla but it's not necessary.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pork Stir Fry

A staple at our house. 

1 pkg boneless/thin-cut Pork Loin Chops

2-3 small zucchini, cut into half-moons
1 each red & yellow pepper, cut into small strips
1/2 red onion, sliced into half-moons

1 tsp crushed garlic (2-3 cloves minced)
1 tsp crushed ginger
2 TB soy sauce
2 TB brown sugar
a few drops Asian Fish Sauce (don't spill it on anything - stinks like you would NOT believe!)
2 tsp rice vinegar

Cooked rice for serving.

In a large skillet, heat 2 TB Peanut Oil until shimmering & hot.  Add the pork and saute for about 2-3 minutes (until all pink is gone).  You can do this in a couple of batches if needed.  You don't want to crowd the pan because it will cool down and you'll wind up boiling the meat.  Gross.  When the meat is just done (and it doesn't have to be totally done - it's going back in the pan), pull it out and set aside.

Reheat the pan and add a bit more oil if needed.  Add the onion, cook for 1 min then add the peppers and cook one more minute and then add the zucchini.  Saute another 3-4 min (depending on how big you cut it, maybe a minute or so longer).  Add back in the pork and get everything hot then pour in the sauce mix.  Cook about 2 min then add the thickener if desired.  It will come together really fast so just pull it off the heat and serve over rice. 

** Put about 1 tsp corn starch into 1 tsp cold water and use to thicken at the end - if desired **

We serve this alongside some sriracha (rooster sauce) and sprinkle it with toasted sesame seeds.

The color is off on my Blackberry so I may need to figure out a new way to take my photos... but here you go:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sausage & Peppers Pasta

The weather has a few stormy days possible this week so we took advantage of a nice (albeit HOT) evening to grill out tonight in case we can't do it later in the week.

This is my husbands invention and couldn't be easier - especially if you have someone else manning the grill!

2 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts (use 1 tonight, save the other for a salad later in the week)
2 links Italian Sausage (we do 1 hot and 1 mild to appease the kid - your choice)
1/2 Yellow Onion, sliced in half moons
1 Yellow Pepper, cut into strips
1 Green Pepper, cut into strips
2 cans diced tomatoes (don't drain) - we like the fire roasted
2 cloves of garlic - peel/smash but don't chop (EASY!)
Oregano, Basil & Thyme to taste (I grabbed it out of our garden - but a 1/2 tsp each of dried would be good)
Parmesan Cheese - to taste

Brush the chicken with olive oil and season with salt & pepper then grill it alongside the sausage until each is just cooked through. 

Cook the pasta (we used penne) to package directions.

In a disposable aluminium pan combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic and peppers.  Set this on the grill next to the meat and allow to cook the whole time.

When the chicken & sausage are cooked, slice them and toss into the sauce and cook another 5 minutes to combine the flavors.  Toss with the drained pasta (I do this right in the pot I cooked the pasta in - so it's still hot, and the pasta will soak up the juice/sauce).   If using fresh herbs, toss them in now along with a generous amount of parmesan cheese. 


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Salmon in Lemon Brodetto with Pea Puree

This was recommended to my by my friend Dorea and I LOVE it.  It's a Giada De Laurentis recipe and it's incredibly simple.  This, to me, tastes like Spring.  The only difference from the way she does it is that we grill the fish because I hate the way fish makes my house smell and because, frankly, it's beautiful out, grilled tastes great AND that means my husband does it so it's less work for me.  Win.  Win.  Win.  (I'm like Charlie freakin' Sheen here today! )

Here's the link to Giada's recipe:

I really hope you will try this.  It's so good and much easier than the name makes you think.

The Menu

Sunday: Salmon in Lemon Brodetto with Pea Puree
This one sounds weird and complicated but is actually simple, tastes amazing and looks SO fancy you will not believe it. 

Monday: Pork Stir Fry
Easy, standard to kick off a long week.  You could sub in chicken or tofu

Tuesday:  Chicken & Sausage Pepper Pasta
Bob made a variant of this last week and liked it so much he wanted me to try it. 

Wednesday: Asian Turkey Burgers
My whole family just LOVES these burgers.

Thursday: Chicken Ranch Salad
Another standby - Using the extra chicken from Tuesday means this is on the table in about 10 minutes.  Woot!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Greek Turkey Burgers

These were inspired by my cousin Whitney's comment about some Greek themed turkey burgers she had.  I felt inspired ... so here we go... THANKS WHIT!

1 pkg Ground Turkey Breast
1 Egg
2 TB bread crumbs
1 6 oz pkg fat free crumbled feta
1/4 tsp Thyme, Oregano, Salt & Pepper (or to taste)
Mix all together, mold into patties, spray with PAM and grill until juice runs clear (about 6 min/side).  Don't overcook or it'll get really dry.

1 English cucumber, washed and sliced as thin as you can do it
1/4 of a red onion, sliced super thin
1/4 C Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 TB sugar
2 sprigs of fresh dill, if you have it.
Mix all together in a ziploc bag and set aside for 20 or so minutes. 

1/3 C Fat Free Greek Yogurt
1/4 C sundried tomatoes (julienne cut means you don't have to chop)
1/4 C Kalamata Olives - rough chop (just to ensure no pits - my husband ALWAYS finds a pit!)
1/2 tsp each thyme, oregano (use more if fresh - I happen to have these growing in my garden and fresh is really nice)
Mix all together and serve as a condiment on the burgers.

Serve on thin whole wheat buns (Like Deli Flats - We love the Orowheat ones) .

Spread the sauce over the bun, top with the burger and the put a BUNCH of pickles on top. 

NOTE: the pickles are pretty intense and are not to be eaten alone - they'll make you cough! - but they're really good with the rest of it - adding moisture to the burgers and cutting the yogurt sauce.   I thought these were super tasty and they have all those Greek flavors that we love. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chicken Poblano Tacos

There are a few steps to this so it kinda seems like a lot - but you can skip whatever you like and make it your own.  This is how we do it:

2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
Cover liberally with rub and set aside for a half hour or so while you do other stuff. 
1/2 tsp each: chile powder, garlic, paprika, salt
1/4 tsp each: coriander, cumin, pepper

When the grill is hot, roast the two poblanos until black & blistered all over.  Put them into a paper bag, seal it up and wait 10 min.  Then peel off the charred skin and slice the soft peppers into strips.  Set aside.

1 can refried beans
Heat these up on top of the stove with about a TB of bacon grease.  It's worth it.  Really.

1/2 Cup Chopped tomatoes
Sour Cream (stir in some chili powder & lime juice if you want to "fancy it up")
Other terrific toppings:
Roasted corn (grill it then slice it off the cob)

Fill your tortillas & enjoy. 

The Menu

Sunday:  Chicken Poblano Tacos
Kind of like fajitas at home.  Grilled/sliced chicken breasts, roasted poblano peppers, guacamole and sour cream

Monday:  Greek Turkey Burgers
Got this idea from my cousin Whitney.  Ground Turkey with feta, olives and a red wine vinegar "pickle"

Tuesday:  Dinner Out
My daughter is in her "Spring Program" on Tuesday night so we'll be eating out after the late performance

Wednesday: Italian Sausages with peppers/onions and pasta
Sausages cooked on the grill then sliced and tossed with peppers/onions/tomatoes and pasta. 

Thursday:  Breakfast for Dinner
Soccer practice and Mommy out of town.... I"ll be lucky if they don't just go to Red Robin!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cajun Fried Rice

You can use leftover rice or you can make fresh - it'll work with anywhere from a cup or two to more -- very flexible recipe.

Cooked Rice (1-3 cups)
Chicken (leftover grilled or 1-2 boneless/skinless cut into bite sized pieces)
Ham - chopped (I use deli slices and cut them into ribbons)
1 red pepper cut into bite sized pieces
5-6 green onions, cut into little bits (white/green parts)
Paprika - 1 TB
Cayenne - a dash or to taste
Cajun seasoning - to taste

In a large skillet, over med-high heat saute the chicken/pepper in a pan (bacon fat is tasty but olive oil is healthier.. your call).  Add the green onions and cook for 1 min.  Then add the spices - if you're doing it right you'll probably cough a bit - the spices may smoke a bit.  Just cook it for maybe a minute then add in the chicken/ham and rice and stir until well combined.  Remove from heat and let rest for about 5 minutes. 

Terrific with some Cholula hot sauce sprinkled over top with the rest of the green onion. 

OH - you could add in some shrimp or sausage if you like.  Again - it's SUPER easy...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pepper Jelly Glazed Chicken Salad

You could probably use a firm tofu to make this vegetarian or shrimp if you're so inclined.  But I glazed boneless skinless chicken breasts with a mixture of red wine vinegar and red jalapeno pepper jelly.  This produces a smoky/spicy/sweet glaze.   I am totally ripping this idea off of Kent Rathbun a chef here in Dallas whom I absolutely ADORE.   My salad is decidedly less fancy but has that same zingy, fun flavor.  My husband and daughter both asked for seconds.

Glaze & Dressing:
1/3 Cup Pepper Jelly
1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

Save 1/2 of this for the dressing.  Put the other half in a separate bowl and use that for the glaze.  The dressing is just the glaze whisked with about 1/4 C olive oil.

2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts

Salt & pepper the chicken and grill it until almost done then coat liberally with the glaze.  This is a sticky mess on the grill and makes a bit of smoke.  But I don't man the grill so that's kind of "not my problem"  ;)

The salad:
1 pkg of baby spinach, washed & crisped in the fridge
1 handful golden raisins or Craisins
1 8 oz pkg of Goat Cheese (or blue or feta - whatever is handy)
1/2 C Kalamata olives
1 apple, sliced into matchsticks

The dressing is similar to the glaze from the chicken but I whisk in about 1/4 C olive oil to cut the intensity.  

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Menu

Sunday: Bacon wrapped filet, Grilled Asparagus & Rosemary PotatoesIt's my husbands birthday week so he gets a bit spoiled with his favorite dinner on Sunday.

Monday:  Jungle SaladCooked an extra steak on Sunday for use in Monday's salad

Tuesday: Pepper Jelly Glazed Chicken Salad
Using jalapeno jelly to glaze chicken before we grill it then topping a yummy salad with it. 

Wednesday: Bob's Dirty Rice
I don't think this is anything to do with "real" dirty rice.  But it's a Cajun themed fried rice with chicken, red peppers and leftover rice. 

Thursday:  Grilled Pork Chops, Sweet Potato Fries, Grilled Zucchini
Super basic for late in a long week