Mar 5-8 Weekly Menu and Shopping List – Tested Feb 27-Mar 1

Menu

Monday – Teriyaki Chicken With Snow Peas, Bell Pepper and Quinoa

Tuesday – Pasta and Vegetable Gratin and Side Salad – Tomatoes, Cucumber, Cuties

Wednesday – Baked Lemon-Garlic Tilapia, Yam Rounds, Zucchini

Thursday – Chicken Stir Fry with Vegetables (Broccoli, Yellow Squash, Carrots, Onions) and Peanuts over Brown Rice and Side Salad

Recipes

Teriyaki Chicken With Snow Peas, Bell Pepper and Quinoa

Serves 2 Adults and 2 Kids

Teriyaki Chicken with Snow Peas and Bell Pepper

Ingredients

1.75 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast – Use 3.5 lbs. if you are going to prep the chicken for the chicken stir fry later in the week.

1 C teriyaki sauce – look for low sodium and no preservatives

3/4 C Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids, divided

1 C Quinoa

1 bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1/2 lbs. snow peas, rinsed

1 pinch brown sugar

Instructions

Pre Heat Oven 375

1. Rinse and cut chicken into 2 -3″ chunks. Ideally prepare an additional 1.75 lbs. of chicken for the chicken stir fry later in the week – you can store it in the refrigerator until you need it later in the week.

2.  Put into a lightly sprayed baking/ roasting pan.

3.  Combine teriyaki and 1/2 C of Braggs Liquid Amino Acids and pour over chicken.

4.  Pop in oven for 20 minutes or until chicken springs back to the touch and is not pink inside.

5. Follow package directions and make Quinoa.

6. Place bell pepper strips and snow peas in a lightly sprayed skillet over medium heat.  Pour in 1/4 C Braggs Liquid Amino Acids and a pinch of brown sugar and sauté 3-4 minutes until just tender. Set aside.

7. When Quinoa is done, remove from heat.  Let sit with lid on until you are ready to serve.

8. Serve by placing a serving of quinoa in the bottom of wide shallow bowl or plate.  Top with chicken and vegetables.

9. Make sure to drip some teriyaki-Braggs sauce on top for an extra juicy meal!

10. Save all leftovers for the chicken stir fry night.  You should have some bell peppers and snow peas left. Save them in the Braggs sauce in the refrigerator.

Pre Prep Opportunities

1. Rinse and cut chicken ahead of time and store in refrigerator.

2. Cut bell pepper ahead of time and store in refrigerator.

3. Make entire meal ahead of time. Store components separately in the refrigerator.  Warm when ready, put together, and serve!

Recipe 

Pasta and Vegetable Gratin and Side Salad

Serves 2 Adults and 2 Kids for 2 meals or 1 meal and lunches

Kid's Portion, Pasta and Vegetable Gratin with Side Salad

Ingredients

16 oz. penne pasta

1 yellow squash, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

2 scallions, finely diced

1 C frozen peas

1.5 C fresh or frozen broccoli

1-2 cloves garlic

1 C sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 T butter or plant-based margarine

1 T unbleached flour

2 1/4 C milk or 2 C coconut milk drink (original flavor)

1/4 C grated parmesan (cow’s milk) or manchenga (sheep’s milk) cheese

1/8 t nutmeg

1/4 t dill

1/2 t salt

1/4 t paprika

pinch cayenne pepper

pepper to taste

2 T bread crumbs

Instructions

1. Cook pasta al dente. Pour into shallow baking dish.

2. Stir all vegetables, including garlic. into pasta.

3. Sprinkle cheese on top and lightly mix in.

4.  Melt butter in sauce pan.  Stir in flour, let bubble and whisk until it turns beige.  Stir for about a minute.

5.  Add milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

5. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and spices.

6. Pour sauce over pasta mixture and stir slightly.  Sprinkle on bread crumbs.

7. Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly and brown on top. Consider baking the yams for tomorrow at the same time.

8. Serve and see if you miss the meat in this hearty vegetarian dish!

Pre Prep Opportunities

1.  Cook pasta ahead of time and store in refrigerator.

2. Dice all vegetables ahead and store in the refrigerator or buy pre chopped.

3. Prepare recipe through step 3 and store in refrigerator until ready to make the sauce.

Recipe

Baked Lemon-Garlic Tilapia, Yam Rounds, Zucchini

Serves 2 Adults and 2 Kids

Baked Lemon Garlic Tilapia, Yam Rounds and Zucchini

Ingredients

2 yams

1.75 lbs. tilapia fillets

3 T fresh lemon juice

1 t basil

1 t dried parsley flakes

1 t paprika

1 t dried thyme

1/2 t salt

2 zucchini

pepper to taste

Make Ahead

1. Bake yams in 350 oven for 45 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. If time has passed you by on this one, and that has happened to me more than once, pull a frozen vegetable out of the freezer and cook that in the microwave.

Instructions

Pre heat oven to 375
1. Lightly spray a roasting pan.

2. Measure out and combine spices.

3. Place tilapia in pan, and pour lemon juice on top, followed by spices.

4. Place in oven for 20-30 minutes or until tilapia cracks and springs back to the touch.

5. Consider making the brown rice for tomorrow…

6. While tilapia is cooking, slice zucchini, place in a sauté pan lightly sprayed with canola oil and sauté until just tender. Add 1/2 T butter or vegetable based margarine on zucchini and sprinkle one pinch of salt.

7. Cut yams into 1/2″ rounds.  sprinkle two pinches of cinnamon sugar on top – just enough to catch the taste buds, and warm in the microwave for 45 seconds – 1 minute or until just cooked through.

8.  Plate yams, zucchini and fish and serve!


Pre Prep Opportunities

1. Make the yams earlier in the week and store in the refrigerator.

2. Cut zucchini and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

3. Pre-measure spices and store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Recipe

Chicken Stir Fry with Vegetables over Brown Rice and Side Salad

Serves 2 Adults and 2 Kids + 2 Lunches

Chicken Stir Fry and Side Salad

Ingredients

1.75 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked – baked in teriyaki sauce.

1.5 C broccoli, cut into small pieces

2 carrots, cut into thin rounds

1 yellow squash, diced

1 onion, diced (or buy pre-chopped)

1/4 C Braggs Liquid Amino Acids

left over snow peas and bell pepper and left over sauce

1 C peanuts, roasted, unsalted


Make Ahead:

1. Make brown rice according to package directions.

Instructions

1. If you weren’t able to make brown rice ahead of time (and this is often the case with me), make white rice or quinoa according to package directions. You can make this a day ahead of time – you just have to be organized… Not always my strong suit…

2. Pull cooked chicken out of the refrigerator. Hopefully chicken was cooked when you made the teriyaki chicken earlier in the week. If not, see Teriyaki Chicken recipe to make chicken.

2. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.

3.  Portion a small salad on each plate, and top with some of the squash, carrots, and some cucumber and a tomato.  Drizzle no oil or low fat salad dressing.

3. Put broccoli, carrots, squash, and onion in a Wok or large sauté pan, lightly sprayed with canola oil spray. Pour in Braggs Liquid Amino Acids. Cook until just tender.

3.  Add chicken to warm.

4. Add bell peppers and snow peas with their sauce to warm.

5. Serve stir fry mixture over brown rice and top with peanuts (optional).

Pre Prep Opportunities

1. Make brown rice ahead of time. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

2. Make and cut the chicken ahead of time. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

3. Prepare all vegetables ahead of time and store in refrigerator so they are ready to go into the Wok or large sauté pan.

Shopping List

Entrees

3.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast

1.75 lbs. tilapia

Veggies

2 yellow squash

2 medium zucchini

1 large carrots, thinly sliced

2 bell peppers

1/2 lb snow peas

1 bunch broccoli (or pkg of frozen broccoli)

2 scallions

1 onion

4 cloves garlic

1 yam

8 C salad greens

1 cucumber

2 tomatoes

Fruit

2 cuties

1 lemon

Frozen

1 C frozen peas

Dairy (substitute as needed)

1 C cheddar cheese, grated

2 T unsalted butter/ or plant-based margarine

2 1/4 C low-fat milk

1/4 C grated parmesan or manchenga cheese

Dry Goods

1 box penne pasta

1 T unbleached flour

1/8 t grated nutmeg

1/4 t cinnamon

1/4 t dried dill

salt and pepper

2 pinches brown sugar

2 T bread crumbs 2

1 C teriyaki sauce

1 C Braggs Liquid Amino Acids

1 C Quinoa

1 C Brown Rice

1 C dry, unsalted peanuts (optional for stir fry meal)

1/4 C pumpkin seeds


Chicken Chile Bake and Side Salad

Chicken Chile Bake

Vintage Dinner Reinvented

I was smiling to myself as I was making the Chicken Chile Bake last night, (which is basically a casserole), because I couldn’t bring myself to type the word “casserole” on Monday’s “Weekly Menu” blog…

When I think of casseroles, I think of canned cream of “something” soup, (with way too much salt), and the cooking genre of the 60’s and 70’s.  Remember the tuna casserole? Tuna, noodles and peas?  My mom didn’t use canned soup very often in her cooking, (She was actually ahead of her time), but I had more than my fair share of tuna, and hamburger casseroles at parties, friend’s houses and relative gatherings  (remember?) …

This recipe is not vintage, but it is a casserole.  I got it from a cooking class my daughter took at her school about 6 years ago.  I modified it to make it more healthy and added veggies.

Getting Dinner Together

It was 4:40 and I had to get dinner prepped and cooked before 5:25. Earlier in the day I had realized that I forgot to cook tonight’s chicken on Monday when I cooked the Southwestern Chicken.  That would have been a time saver… Note to self…

So I began by preheating the oven to 375 and turning the grill on high.  Luckily, I had already washed and cut the chicken on Sunday, so it was just a matter of putting the chicken on the grill.  You can also bake the chicken at 350 for about 20 minutes– but the real time saver is if you cook this chicken earlier in the week when you make the Southwest Chicken.

While the chicken was cooking, I mixed the following in a large bowl:

1 Diced onion

2 Bell peppers, (which I had diced on Sunday – score!!)

1 Can of black beans, drained

1 Jar of salsa (I mixed 2 kinds together to make “one jar”)

1 Cup of plain yogurt (Consider using instead of sour cream.  I use goat’s milk yogurt because of my daughter’s allergy to cow’s milk.)

The other half of the cilantro from Monday, chopped.

In the middle of getting all these ingredients into the bowl, I flipped the chicken (after about 3-4 minutes).  3 minutes later, I tested the chicken, pulled it off the grill, diced it and mixed it in the large bowl with the other ingredients.

Mixing Ingredients for the Chicken Chile Bake

Then I lightly sprayed the bottom and sides of a 9X13 and 8X8 pan with canola oil spray, placing one layer of whole-wheat tortillas on the bottom of the pan.  I followed up with a portion of the chicken mixture, and another tortilla layer.  I repeated the layering, ending with a layer of tortillas on top.

Building the "Casserole"

I topped the casserole (OK, now this word is coming out easier…:)) with cheddar cheese and popped the casseroles in the oven at 5:00. (Not being able to use cheddar cheese derived from cow’s milk, I used goat’s milk cheddar cheese, which, even the harshest critics in the family says tastes amazing!)

Putting the "Casserole" in the oven

After 20 minutes, I pulled the casseroles out of the oven and went to my second evening school meeting this week.

An hour later, I was home, preheated the oven to 375 and put the casseroles in for 10 minutes – just enough to heat through.

I laid out the plates, split an avocado among the four of us, and made a small side salad with figs, tomatoes, and mangoes, topped with the no oil balsamic vinaigrette. I pulled the casseroles out of the oven and served.

4 portions of Chicken Chile Bake

The Verdict

A 9!  Everyone loved the dinner.  My husband had a small second portion, but everyone else was full.  It was really great to have most of my nutrition in one dish.  You really don’t even need the salad, because you have a great variety of vegetables in the casserole, but if you like salad like I do, it is always nice to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.

I will be looking for more “casserole” recipes for the fall and winter sans the canned soup. The one dish meal – so easy!  …History repeats itself – with a healthy twist!

Recipe

Chicken Chile Bake

For 2 Adults and 2 Kids

Chicken Chile Bake

Ingredients For the “Casserole”

1.75 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast

1  15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 bell peppers diced

1 onion, diced

1 jar salsa (you can mix a few together)

1 C plain yogurt

1/2 C cilantro, chopped

Canola oil spray

8 Whole-wheat tortillas

Ingredients For the side salad

4 C salad greens

1 avocado

1 tomato

sunflower seeds to sprinkle on salad

Instructions

Pre heat oven to 375

1.  Cook chicken – bake or grill.  Hopefully you cooked this with the chicken you made earlier in the week which will save you a lot of time.

2.  In a large bowl mix all casserole ingredients, except the tortillas, in a large bowl

3.  Lightly spray bottoms and sides of a 9 X 13 and 8 X 8 baking pan

4. Place one layer of whole-wheat tortillas on the bottom of the pan, followed by some of the chicken mixture.

5. Repeat step 4, alternating a layer of tortillas and a layer of chicken mixture.

6.  Top with a final layer of tortilla and lightly sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.

7. Place in 375 oven for 20 minutes to heat through

8. While Chicken Chile Bake is heating, divide the avocado across the 4 plates and lightly sprinkle salt if desired.  Portion some greens and salad fixin’s on each plate.

9.  Once Chicken Chile Bake is hot, pull out and serve with salsa on the side.  Ol´e!

Pre-Prep Opportunities

1.  Cook chicken ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.

2. Prepare step 2 ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.

Asian Lettuce Wraps, Tomato-Avocado Salsa, and Green Beans

Asian Lettuce Wraps, Tomato-Avocado Salsa, Green Beans

It’s a good night when things go as planned.  It’s a great night when someone says they want to drive your leg of the carpool!  Bonus!!!

I found tonight’s recipe on allrecipes.com.  It sounded easy, delicious, and fast.  Right up my alley.  The recipe estimated 20 minutes of prep time and 15 minutes of cook time, which was about how long it took me.  I entered the kitchen at 6:10 and began by cooking the ground beef.  I should have washed the Bibb lettuce first and let it dry, but I was too excited to start the meal to think in the right order…

Once the beef was done, I put it on the side and cooked the onion, adding the Hoisin sauce, soy sauce (I used the Bragg’s Liquid Aminos), garlic and rice wine vinegar when the onion was tender. Then I added the beef back to the onion mixture with sliced water chestnuts and chopped green onions.

Making Ground Turkey with Onions and Seasonings

I laid out the plates adding pineapple, a sliced peach and the last of the strawberries.  And while the menu shows green beans for tonight, we had them the last two nights, so I made a tomato – avocado “salsa” mixture.  It was a nice change from a side salad since we were already using lettuce for our wraps.

At 6:25 I had to run and pick up my son’s carpool and at 6:45 when I was back home again, I washed the lettuce (should have done earlier so it would dry), and patted it dry.  I warmed up the ground turkey mixture and spooned a bit on each lettuce leaf. I thought we would probably eat more than one wrap, but I wanted to make sure everyone liked them before I loaded them up on their plate.  We sat down to eat at 7:05.

Asian Lettuce Wraps, Tomato-Avocado Salsa, Fresh Fruit

Two Thumbs Up!

Everyone liked dinner and I even got points for creativity (using lettuce instead of a tortilla)!  We used the sweet chili sauce (you may still have extra from a couple of weeks ago) and that added another level of flavor.  My son and husband really enjoyed the wraps, had seconds, and gave the dinner a 9 and 9+ respectively.  This is a huge win as my son is not a huge turkey eater… My daughter was a little less enthusiastic, had a small second wrap, and gave the meal a 7, although I am not sure why and I am not sure she knows exactly why…

Recipe

Asian Lettuce Wraps, Tomato-Avocado Salsa, and Green Beans

For 2 Adults and 2 Kids

Asian Lettuce Wraps, Tomato-Avocado Salsa, Green Beans

Ingredients

12-16 Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves

1.75 lbs. ground turkey

1 T cooking oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1T plus a little bit, soy sauce (or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)

1/4 C Hoisin sauce

1 T plus a little bit, rice wine vinegar

Asian chile pepper sauce or sweet chili sauce

1 8 oz can water chestnuts, sliced or finely chopped

¼ C chopped green onions

2 t Asian dark sesame oil

For the sides:

4 C green beans, fresh or frozen

1 avocado

2 medium tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Rinse lettuce leaves and set aside to dry
  2. Brown the ground turkey.  Remove from pan
  3. In same pan, sautee onion.
  4. Add garlic, soy sauce (Bragg’s), Hoisin sauce, vinegar, and chili pepper sauce (or sweet chili sauce) to the onions and stir.
  5. Stir in water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked ground turkey
  6. Lay out plates and one or two lettuce leaves
  7. Place green beans in microwave-safe container and cook accordingly.
  8. Dice a tomato and avocado and mix them together with a touch of salt.  (for those kids who have strong preferences, add avocado, tomato or both separately on the plate (see the four settings: the adults got the mixture, and one had no tomatoes and one had avocado and tomato separate on the plate…)
  9. Make sure turkey mixture is still warm.  Spoon the mixture into center of leaves, making sure not to put too much in as it will be difficult to wrap.
  10. Serve!
  11. Show the kids how to “wrap” the lettuce like a tortilla – see how many points you get for creativity
Pre-Prep Opportunities
1. Prepare steps 2-5 ahead of time.  Simple warm up ground turkey mixture when you are ready to eat.