May 21, 2011

What's cookin' this week? - May 23, 2011

New cookbooks always inspire new menus. This week isn’t any different. I wanted to find a cookbook that encouraged fresh ingredients and were relatively quick to make. The Weight Watchers Cookbook provides just that. I am not a points counter. I just wanted healthy recipes. Here is the menu we are going to try this week. I haven’t made any of these meals before, so it should be fun! Let me know what you think of the recipes. Remember, own what your family eats one meal at a time.

Happy cooking!

Orange-crumbed baked chicken
Mixed vegetables
Wheat rolls

Shrimp Scampi
Wheat pasta
Garlic Bread

Cheese-stuffed manicotti
Fresh fruit

Grilled Sirloin Teriyaki (this one takes a little longer)
Grilled asparagus
Brown rice

Orange-crumbed baked chicken
2 Tbsp. orange juice
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup whole-wheat cracker crumbs
1 Tbsp. grated orange zest
1 shallot, finely chopped
¼ tsp. ground pepper
4 (3-oz) boneless skinless chicken thighs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine orange juice, mustard and salt. On a sheet of wax paper, combine the cracker crumbs, orange zest, shallot, and pepper. Brush the chicken on both sides with the mustard mixture. Dredge in crumbs firmly pressing the crumbs to coat both sides. Place the chicken on baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes and turn over. Bake until cooked through, 15-20 minutes longer.

Shrimp Scampi
4 tsp olive oil
1 ¼ lbs medium shrimp, peeled (tails left on) and deveined
6-8 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup and 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
¼ tsp salt
¼ ground pepper
4 lemon slices

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil. Sauté shrimp until just pink (2-3 minutes). Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly (about 30 seconds). With a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a platter; keep hot.

In the skillet, combine broth, lemon juice, ¼ cup parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Boil uncovered until sauce is reduced by half. Spoon over shrimp. Serve garnished with lemon slices and sprinkled with remaining parsley.

Cheese-stuffed manicotti
1 tsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 ½ oz) can tomato puree
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp finely chopped fresh basil or ½ tsp dried
¼ tsp ground pepper
1 ½ cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1 ¼ cups part-skim mozzarella cheese
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
12 manicotti shells
- I like to add spinach to the mix. Use frozen spinach, wring out excess water and pat dry

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Saute garlic until golden, about 2 min. Stir in tomato puree, oregano, basil and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

In medium bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg and parsley (and spinach – optional). Fill manicotti shells with cheese mixture. Place in baking dish. Pour sauce over shells. Bake until browned and bubbling (30-40 minutes)

NOTE: As a time saver, stuff manicotti shells the night before and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Pour sauce over top and cook as instructed.

Grilled Sirloin Teriyaki (this one takes a little longer)
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
1 lb. boneless sirloin steak (1/2 inch thick and trimmed of visible fat)

Prepare grill for direct heat cooking or heat a grill pan

To make marinade, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, ginger, garlic and red pepper. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely (about 15 minutes). Transfer teriyaki sauce to larger bowl and add steak, turning to coat. Marinade 30 minutes.

Grill the steak directly over the heat or on the grill pan, 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from heat, lightly tent with foil, and let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 12 slices and serve.

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