Monday, February 6, 2012

This Week's Dinner Menu {week 1}

welcome to my first ever weekly menu planner!
i wanted to plan my recipes to make family life easier and
i decided to share each week's dinner menu with you.
these are recipes from old magazines and recipes from all around the internet.
this week includes lots of veggies + 3 meals with meat.
we usually eat turkey, fish, and chicken we rarely eat beef or pork.
i usually substitute beef and pork with chicken or turkey.
lots of these are family favorites, others are new for us to try.
i would love to hear how your family liked them.
if you use cozi menu planner click here for instructions
(you will want to click on the link to each individual recipe to be able to add it to cozi)
and if you're an email subscriber to my blog you just got a week's worth of
meals delivered to your inbox! yay!!

Lasagna Soup

for the soup:
2 tsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
3 c. chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 c. chicken stock
8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the cheesy yum:
8 oz. ricotta
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, as the pasta will get mushy and absorb all the soup broth. You may even want to consider cooking the noodles separately, and then adding some to individual bowls before ladling the soup over them. This would be an especially smart move if you are anticipating any leftovers. Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.

Servings: 8
Serve with a salad and garlic bread

image and recipe source: A Farm Girl Dabbles adapted from 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds, as seen in the February-April 2011 edition of At Home with Kowalski’s magazine

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

6 Tbsp honey
5 Tbsp fresh lime juice (1-2 limes)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2-3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
8 – 10 flour tortillas (depending on size)
1 lb of a Mexican blend cheese (monterey jack, colby, cheddar), shredded
1 large can of green enchilada sauce

Mix the honey, lime juice, chili powder and garlic powder together with the shredded chicken. Allow it to sit for at least 1/2 hour or you could do it hours before and just cover and refrigerate.

Pour 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce into bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Place chicken and cheese into middle of a tortilla and spoon about 1 tablespoon of enchilada sauce over it and roll up. Place seam down in the pan. Reserve about 1-2 cups of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas. Pour enchilada sauce over the top of rolled enchiladas (reserve a little bit to add after they are baked) and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.
Serve with a salad and spanish rice
image and recipe source: Your Homebased Mom

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 small onion, diced
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    Coarse salt and ground pepper
    2 zucchini (about 1 pound total), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
    2 carrots, thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    2 cans (19 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
    1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • fun toppings: avocado slices, halved cherry tomatoes, Monterey jack cheese, sour cream (or plain yogurt), green onions, and tortilla chips

  • Directions

    In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.
    Add zucchini, carrots, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, corn, and 1 cup water. Simmer until slightly thickened and carrots are soft, 8 to 10 minutes more.
  • image and recipe source: Martha Stewart

  • Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas

  • Olive oil, for muffin pan
    All-purpose flour, for rolling
    1/2 pound homemade or store-bought pizza dough, in 6 pieces
    Coarse salt and ground pepper
    1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (4 ounces)
    1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
    Desired toppings, such as cooked vegetables, pineapple and ham, or pepperoni

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly brush 6 standard muffin cups with oil. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each dough piece to a 6-inch round. Fill each cup with 1 round, gently pressing dough into bottom and sides of cup. Season with salt and pepper.
    Sprinkle each dough cup with 1 tablespoon each cheese and tomato. Add desired toppings and another tablespoon each cheese and tomato. Bake until dough is golden brown and crisp, 12 minutes. Let cool 2 minutes before removing from cups.

    Cook's Note:
    Standard muffin pans come in 6- or 12-cup size; if baking 6 items in a 12-cup pan, leave empty space in between. Nonstick pans are nice but not essential. Beware of very thin pans, which often lead to b
    urning. Place pans on a baking sheet to make them easier to get in and out of the oven.

  • Serve with sliced veggies and a salad
    image and recipe source: Martha Stewart

Grilled Veggie Kabobs

1 zucchini
1/2 of an eggplant
1 small onion, diced into large chunks
1 medium tomato, diced into large chunks
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder

Slice the zucchini into 1/2" coins and then cut in half. Slice the eggplant into 1/2" coins and then cut into triangles. Toss all veggies together in a large bowl.

Mix the oil, garlic salt, pepper and onion powder in a small bowl. Drizzle over veggies and toss thoroughly, so that all veggies are coated.

Put veggies on skewers. Cook on grill 5-7 minutes or until tender.

Serve as individual skewers or pull veggies off skewers and put into a large bowl and serve.
(i like it with pita bread and hummus -krystina)
image and recipe source: The Creative Place

Portabella Mushroom Burgers
image by cooking 4 carnivores

3/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 onion rolls, split
6 large portabella mushrooms (1-1/2 pounds total), stems removed
6 slices (1/2 inch thick) tomatoes, from 2 large tomatoes
1 bunch arugula, cleaned


1. In food processor, blend mayonnaise, basil, 1 tablespoon vinegar and garlic powder. In small bowl, whisk together remaining vinegar, the olive oil, salt and pepper.

2. Heat grill. Grill onion rolls, cut side down, until toasted, about 1-1/2 minutes. Brush mushrooms and tomato slices with balsamic-oil mixture. Grill mushrooms 8 to 10 minutes per side and tomatoes 2 minutes per side, brushing with additional balsamic-oil dressing, or until tender.

3. Spread generous 1 tablespoon basil-mayonnaise mixture on each cut side of onion rolls. Evenly divide arugula among 6 onion roll bottoms. Top with a portabella mushroom, a tomato slice and onion roll top. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Serve with sweet potato fries

recipe source: Parenting Magazine 2002

Sweet Potato Fries
Olive Oil, for tossing
5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch long slices, then 1/4-wide inch strips, using a crinkle cut knife
1 tablespoon House Seasoning (recipe follows)
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Line a sheet tray with parchment. In a large bowl toss sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat. Sprinkle with House Seasoning and paprika. Spread sweet potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

For the House Seasoning:
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

recipe source: Paula Deen

Chicken Stir-Fry Wraps

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally and thinly sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
12 to 16 Boston lettuce leaves (about 2 heads)

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Add half the chicken; cook, stirring constantly, until opaque throughout, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken.
Add remaining tablespoon oil to pan, along with the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender and golden, about 4 minutes (reduce heat if browning too quickly).
Reduce heat to medium; add garlic, ginger, and red-pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.
Stir in soy sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch mixture; remove from heat. Add chicken and any accumulated juices; toss to coat. Serve in lettuce cups.

image and recipe source: Martha Stewart