Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Making Time to Grill

Here's the Week's Menu: 

MON 8/27 - Brandy Orange Chicken with baked sweet potatoes, leftover Zucchini Rice Gratin, and some corn.

TUE 8/28  - Brown Rice Chicken and Cilantro Salad.  I was just making this for the week's lunches, but then realized the leftover Lasagna Rolls had not finished defrosting, so it became dinner. Turns out it is pretty soy-sauce-heavy, so I'll adjust that next time.

WED 8/29  - Lasagna Rolls.  Last time I made these, I made twice as many as needed, to ensure an easy dinner in the future. The future is here! Serve with salad and garlic bread.  

THU 8/30 - Grilled Achiote Chicken with Zucchini Rice Gratin and a fruit salad.

FRI 8/31  - Plans.  I'll be away with the girls, so my beloved husband is on his own for dinner. Wish him well!

SAT 9/1  - Steak!  Grilled ribeye with Charred Pepper Steak Sauce, baked potatoes, grilled veggies, Cucumber Salad, wine.

SUN 9/2  - Pork Souvlaki grilled on skewers, served with Tzatsiki Sauce, brown rice, and leftover Cucumber Salad.

Sunday night, I plan to make Shrimp & Orzo Salad (idea #8 on the linked page) to have for lunch the following few days.

MON 9/3 - Plans. We'll be hanging out with the neighbors!

I'm cooking for 2 adults and one toddler, so the grocery list below may need a bit of adjustment for you.

Grocery List
2 sweet potatoes
1.5 lb zucchini
1/2 lb plum tomatoes
1 onion
4 cucumbers
cherry tomatoes
salad (lettuce, cucumber, carrot, tomato)
red bell pepper
veggies to grill (peppers? asparagus? mushrooms? onions?)
fruit salad items (melon? grapes? apples?)
tomato puree

chicken breast (3 nights)
lasagna rolls

greek yogurt
soy sauce
orange juice
lime juice
lemon juice
Grated Parmesan cheese

brown rice
white rice
orzo pasta
sesame oil
olive oil
vegetable oil
white vinegar
balsamic vinegar
sesame seeds
table salt
black pepper
ground mustard
ground ginger
onion powder
fresh mint (I have a plant outside)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Baby Bok Choy + Lemon + Fish = Heaven!

Fresh, Quality Ingredients Make for Better Meals

Yesterday, I received my second delivery of the season from The Produce Box, a local Community Supported Agriculture group that provides a box of farm-fresh, local fruits and vegetables right to my door. To find a CSA near you, check out LocalHarvest.org.

I was pretty excited to see baby bok choy and scallions inside!

Fish with Lemon, Mushroom, and Baby Bok Choy

  • 2 bunches baby bok choy, trimmed, leaves separated
  • 2 scallions or spring onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 4" sections
  • 2 shiitake (or any other kind) mushrooms, halved if large
  • 2 servings of fish - tonight, I'm using flounder
  • coarse salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 thin lemon slices
  • 1 TB extra-virgin olive oil
  • parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Tear off 2 pieces of parchment paper, each just over a foot long. You'll need to fit half of the ingredients inside each... too big is better than too small!

On each piece, layer 1/2 the listed ingredients. Put the vegetables on the bottom, the fish (sprinkled with salt & pepper) in the middle, and the lemon on top. 

Drizzle 1/2 TB olive oil over each of the stacks of vegetables & fish. 

Folding:  Hold the long sides of one of the parchment paper pieces, and bring them together. Fold the ends together a few times to be sure no moisture can escape during the cooking process. Fold the short ends underneath the packet, and place the packet in a baking pan. Repeat process for the other parchment packet. 

Bake for about 12-15 minutes... Serve immediately. 

When you open each packet, the fish should be opaque (i.e. not transparent) throughout and flake easily. If it doesn't quite seem done, just fold the packet back together and give it a few more minutes in the oven. 

I served this dish by placing the packets directly on dinner plates, but you may find it's easier to just dump the contents out onto plates. 

 - - I'll add pictures soon!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

MENU Sun 1/2 to Sat 1/8 2011

A Winter Menu
New Recipes for the New Year

I received a subscription to Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine, so this week's menu features many new recipes from the Jan/Feb 2011 issue. Also, I received the most wonderful gift of Michael Ruhlman's Ratio, so hopefully my culinary skills and knowledge will increase as a result. Did you receive any fun kitchen related gifts this year? 

SUN 1/2 - Cold Weather Classic: Beef Stew.  I'm using Paula Deen's recipe, sort of. I had 3 or 4 cups of beef broth in the freezer (left over from my recent adventure making Boeuf Bourguignon), so I (a) replaced the water in the recipe with beef broth, and (b) left out many of the spices.
Serve with rolls and salad.
MON 1/3 - Asian Night: Potstickers!  I've never made them before, so wish me luck! I'm planning to use Alton Brown's recipe, served with Honey Soy Dipping Sauce. I also picked up a package of Thai Kitchen Pad Thai to try out.

TUE 1/4 - Italian Night: Calzones.  Pepperoni Calzones, Salad. Later in the week we're having another recipe that needs ricotta, so I'll separate out how much I need for that recipe & use the rest this night.

WED 1/5 - We Love Shrimp!  Spiced Shrimp with Ginger Rice and Peas (Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2011 p.70). I'll be using brown rice instead of white. I've actually run out of white rice, and I'm not buying more until I really need it. It's become our new default... and I'd rather brown be the default. Much healthier! 

Have you ever heard of a passive barrier? It's like what I'm doing with the rice. Oh, we could have white rice. But I'd have to stop at the store and pick some up. Or maybe I'll buy some and put it up on a high kitchen shelf. You're more likely to do the right thing if the wrong thing is that much harder to do... so put the TV remote on the other side of the room (instead of on the arm of the couch) and don't keep your phone right in your pocket. The Simple Dollar had a neat article about passive barriers, as did Get Rich Slowly (referenced in TSD's post).

THU 1/6 - More Seafood!  One of the easiest things you can do to eat healthier is to eat more fish. No, it doesn't count if you fry it! We're having Seared Fish with Beets and Broccoli (Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2011 p.76). Okay, I'm making it with just broccoli, no beets, but you get the idea.

FRI 1/7 - Canning Day.  I'm planning to can minestrone soup today - I'll keep some separate to have for dinner this night. Serve with ham steak and potatoes. 

Snack:  Strawberry Banana Smoothies.  While hunting around in the freezer, I found one last package of last year's strawberries - hooray! Just add some yoghurt, milk, banana, and honey, and you've got a smoothie. There's endless recipes online for smoothies. It's definitely the sort of thing you can play with - no exact recipe required. 

SAT 1/8 - 
Breakfast:  Ham and Egg Crepe Squares. I've made crepes before, but this time I'll be getting instruction from Ratio. Otherwise. the recipe is from Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2011 p. 56.
Dinner: Easy Night.  Parmesan Chicken with Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts (Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2011 p.76).

SUN 1/9 -
Lunch: Super-Easy Meal! I canned some chili a couple weeks ago, and I also have a bunch in the freezer. It's easy to make and freezes really well. I highly recommend making a big batch and freezing a bunch for future easy meals. 
Dinner: Eggstatic about Eggs! Potato-Leek Frittata (Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2011 p.41).

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

MENU Wed 9/28 through Tue 10/5

Back in the Saddle Again 
Life is so much easier when meals are planned!

So, I skipped one week of The Produce Box, and now they're on fall break - no boxes for two weeks. Then I'm skipping one more week b/c the baby and I are heading to Buffalo (Dinah will still be here - feel free to feed him good food on my behalf). After 4 weeks off, I can't wait to see what will be in the fall boxes from The Produce Box, though! Alas, I have to wait a while yet. There's still all kinds of good stuff at the Farmers' Market

Here's the Week's Menu: 

WED 9/29 - Birthday Meal.  My birthday's not 'til next Wednesday, but we're celebrating early for convenience. Not sure yet what we're having, but I know it will be good! 

THU 9/30 - I <3 Lamb!  Roast Leg of Lamb served with Tzatsiki Sauce, Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes, and Steamed Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce.    

FRI 10/1 - Shrimp + Pasta.  Grilled Shrimp Mediterranean over Pasta.
Cool Shrimp Salad
Last time I made granola, I made way too much. So, I'm trying out Fudgy Granola Brownies to use some of it.   

SAT 10/2 - I Still <3 Lamb!  Lamb Pitas with Mint Yogurt Dressing
Lunch: Cool Shrimp Salad 

SUN 10/3 - Grilling.  Grilled Achiote Chicken, mashed sweet potatoes, and peas. I'm thinking about Vanilla Roasted Pears for dessert, too.
On the subject of achiote (aka annatto), if you've never tried Puerco Pibil, give it a try! The leftovers are fabulous, too. Hmm. Going to have to fit that one in the menu sometime soon.  

Breakfast for the week:  I have plenty of bagels frozen for me, and I'll make Zucchini Bread for Dinah, subbing applesauce for the oil. I just used this Recipe Calculator to find out that recipe's nutrition facts... eek. I'll be working on that one. Tasty as the original recipe is, it's not the healthiest breakfast.

MON 10/4 - Trying out Jamaican Flavors.  Jamaican Jerk Chicken served with Cuban Black Beans and rice. I'll freeze the extra beans for help with easy meals later on. I'll broil some pineapple to go with it as well.  

TUE 10/5 - Easy Meal!  Asparagus with Chorizo and Croutons, with green beans subbed in for the asparagus, since they are in season.  

And it turns out that chocolate souffle is not nearly as difficult as it's made out to be. Check it out at Cooking for Engineers. It was puffier, but the first photo ops didn't work out as well. Very tasty, though. The key most certainly is to use good chocolate. Really good chocolate. It's like cooking with wine - if you wouldn't drink the wine, don't cook with it. If you wouldn't eat the chocolate (provided you like dark chocolate), don't cook with it.

The only thing that will make a souffle fall is if it knows you are afraid of it. 
 - - James Beard