June 13, 2010

What's cookin' this week? -- June 13, 2010

Last week was a crazy week in our house with swim lessons, Battle of the Businesses, two birthdays and a trip to the zoo. Needless to say, menu planning would have turned into a lot of wasted food. We used up some freezer meals and ate out some last week.

But this week, it's back to reality!

I’m really excited because I received three new cookbooks for my birthday! Apparently my hubby has been enjoying this new cooking adventure as much as I have. This week I created the menu entirely from one of my new books called “The $7 a meal healthy cookbook.”

This also includes some lunch menus. I realize that I waste so much money on lunch that isn’t that tasty and isn’t very good for me. My new goal is to find quick, easy and healthy lunches that are delicious.

So what’s cookin’? I’m trying to keep things light this week and take advantage of the grill since it’s so warm.

Chicken and vegetable skewers (recipe below)
Brown rice

Dijon crusted broiled pork chops (recipe below)
Side salad from the happy box
Baked potatoes

Lime poached mahi mahi (recipe below)

Zucchini and tomatoes with penne pasta (recipe below)
Garlic bread

Leftover day! We’ll eat whatever is left over from the week to take a break and try to not to waste so much.

LUNCHES (stay tuned for recipes later this week!)
Mediterranean salad with kalamata olives and feta
Mixed greens with balsamic vinegrette and dried cranberries
Spinach and salmon salad

Chicken and vegetable skewers
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic chopped
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper seeded and cut into 1-inch squares
2 zucchini cut into 1-inch thick slices
1 yellow onion quartered and quartered again
(You can also use orange peppers, yellow peppers, mushrooms or any other hearty veggie you have around)
8 to 10 8-inch wooden skewers soaked in water

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, water, oil, salt and garlic. Place the chicken in a Ziploc bag and set in a deep bowl. Pour lemon juice mixture into the bag, secure the top and let the chicken stand for 20 minutes turning the bag frequently.

Preheat broiler (or fire up the grill). Drain chicken, reserving marinade. Thread chicken, pepper, zucchini and onion alternately on skewer. Arrange skewers on broiler pan. Slip under broiler 4-5 inches from the heat source. Broil, turning once, and brush with reserved marinade until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Serve immediately.

Dijon-crusted broiled pork chops
2 Tbsp honey
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, leaves chopped
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
4 boneless pork chops

Preheat broiler (or grill). In bowl, combine honey, mustard, thyme and salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Brush over chops and place chops on aluminum foil. Place under broiler and cook about 5 minutes. Turn once, baste with mustard mixture and cook additional 5 minutes or until pork is cooked through.

Lime-poached halibut with cilantro
¾ pound halibut fillet (I am using mahi-mahi instead)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 limes, zested and juiced
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
¼ c. white wine
¼ c. chicken or vegetable broth

Season fish with salt and pepper. In large sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat and add garlic. Saute until fragrant (about 1 min.) Add remaining ingredients including halibut, then cover and cook until fish is flaky (about 8 min.)

Zucchini and tomatoes with penne pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
6 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley chopped
4 scallions (white part and half of green tops, chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ c. unsalted butter, softened
1 Tbsp salt
1 pound penne pasta (try the wheat pasta)

Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, zucchini, parsley and scallions. Add salt and pepper. Bring to boil and reduce over medium high heat (about 5-8 min). Whisk in butter, a little at a time, to thicken sauce. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Fill large pot ¾ with water and bring to boil. Add salt and drizzle of oil. Add pasta and stir to prevent sticking. Cook until al dente (about 8-10 min). Drain. Transfer pasta to serving bowl and toss with sauce.

I hope you enjoy the menu this week and find something you and your family can enjoy!


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