Monday, February 27, 2012

This Week's Dinner Menu {week 4}

yay! week 4 of the weekly dinner planner :) i am having so much fun trying new recipes and sharing them with you! i also have noticed we are saving a lot of money at the grocery store, because we're planning ahead. i hope your family is enjoying it too!
this week is an easy week with tasty family dishes that are healthy too :)

Minestrone with Collard Greens and White Beans
Instead of the usual escarole or kale, use hearty collards in this familiar soup. The greens' slight bitterness plays nicely against the creamy beans and sweet tomatoes.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound (about 2 bunches) collard greens, stalks removed, leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 cans (19 ounces each) white beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, in juice
Grated Parmesan, for serving (optional)

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring, until onion is coated, about 30 seconds. Add collard greens, thyme, and red-pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until collards start to wilt, 2 to 4 minutes.
Place 1/4 of beans in a bowl, and mash them with the back of a spoon (this will help thicken soup). Add all the beans to the pan, as well as tomatoes with juice and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer, until collards are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; serve with grated Parmesan, if desired.

Image and recipe source: Everyday Food, October 2007

Sloppy Joe Casserole

15 min       50 min                     4

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1/2cup sliced green onions (8 medium)
1 can (15.5 oz) sloppy joe sauce
1 can (11 oz) Green Giant® Mexicorn® whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, undrained
1 can (6 oz) Pillsbury® Golden Layers® refrigerated flaky biscuits (5 biscuits)

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In 12-inch skillet, cook ground beef and onions over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain.

2. Stir in sloppy joe sauce and corn. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated. Spoon mixture into ungreased 1- to 1 1/2-quart casserole.
3. Separate dough into 5 biscuits; cut each in half. Arrange, cut side down, around outside edge of hot mixture with sides of biscuits touching.
4. Bake uncovered 15 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are deep golden brown.

This family favorite casserole comes together in a snap, so keep the ingredients on hand for those nights when you need to get dinner on the table quickly.
You can use 1 1/2 cups thawed Green Giant® frozen corn in place of the canned corn.
When the casserole is done, sprinkle it with 1/4 cup of finely shredded Cheddar cheese and return it to the oven for 3 minutes to melt the cheese.

Image and Recipe Source: Betty Crocker, January 2011

Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas
This recipe is easily doubled; you can bake one batch tonight and freeze another for a no-fuss weeknight meal.

Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 small chipotle chile in adobo, minced, plus 1 tablespoon sauce (from a small can)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 pound lean ground beef
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 corn tortillas (6-inch)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Make sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium. Add flour and cook, whisking occasionally, 1 minute. Add broth, chili powder, chipotle and adobo sauce, and 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer until lightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Make filling: In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, and beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until cooked through, about 8 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (If freezing, don't place any sauce in baking dish.) Spoon 1/4 cup sauce in bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish. Set aside. Make enchiladas: Stack tortillas; wrap in foil, and warm in oven, 10 minutes. Fill each with a heaping 1/4 cup beef mixture and 2 tablespoons cheese; tightly roll up.
Raise oven heat to 450 degrees. Arrange enchiladas, seam side down, in baking dish. Top with remaining sauce; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve garnished with cilantro and, if desired, a green salad.

Easy Flatbread Pizza
Any flatbread can be used—I used packaged Naan, which is a traditional Indian flatbread, and which I happened to have in my fridge after a huge trip to a huge supermarket in Tulsa a couple of weeks earlier, and which makes splendid pizza. Which, which, which.

This is one of those throw-together things you can do when your daughter has a slumber party, your mother-in-law drops by for a glass of wine, or you feel like eating pizza and you don’t want to make pizza dough. Dress ‘em up or dress ‘em down as required.

(Flatbreads like these keep really well in the freezer. I just stick the unopened packages in large Ziplocs to give them extra protection. They don’t take long to thaw—easy as pie!)

Jarred marinara sauce
Jarred olives
Jarred pesto
Roasted vegetables
Sliced Mozzarella

And you can add as many other toppings as your heart leads you.
Sliced pepperoni
Crumbled cooked Italian sausage
Slices of roasted bell peppers: red, green, yellow
Grilled pineapple
Canadian bacon
Thinly sliced red onion
Crumbled Feta cheese
Arugula or other greens (sprinkle on after removing pizza from oven)
Parmesan shavings
Then everybody just builds the pizza to their soul’s content. This had a bunch of pesto on the crust as the sauce, then the veggies and cheese on top.

Stick ‘em back into the oven just long enough for the toppings to bubble up and the flatbread to crisp just a bit.

Images and recipe source: Pioneer Woman, February 2012

Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Each baking dish serves four; bake one tonight, and freeze the other for a ready-made dinner later on. When ready to cook, bake it straight from the freezer.

Prep Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Serves 8

6 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dishes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound penne rigate
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (8 ounces each), halved horizontally
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups whole milk
10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded provolone (6 ounces)
1 cup finely grated Parmesan (4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400. Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta, and return to pot.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.
In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Off heat, gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.
Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes; sprinkle each with cup Parmesan.
Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Image and recipe source: Everyday Food, March 2009

Fish Tacos
Adding beer to the batter will help the fish for these tacos fry up golden brown.
1 1⁄2 cups shredded green cabbage
2 limes (1 cut into wedges)
1 1⁄2 tbsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 cups flour
1⁄2 cup cornstarch
1 12-oz. bottle dark beer
1 egg
Canola oil, for frying
1 lb. boneless, skinless red snapper, cut into 1 1⁄2" strips
2 tsp. chili powder
16 corn tortillas
1⁄4 red onion, thinly sliced
4 sprigs cilantro, chopped
1 tomato, cored and chopped
Sour cream or crema
Mexican hot sauce

1. In a bowl, combine cabbage and juice of 1 lime; season with salt, to taste; chill. In another bowl, whisk together 1 1⁄2 tbsp. salt, 1 1⁄2 cups flour, cornstarch, beer, and egg to make a batter.

2. Pour oil into a 5-qt. Dutch oven to a depth of 2"; heat until a thermometer reads 375˚. Sprinkle fish with chili powder and salt. Put remaining flour on a plate. Dredge fish in flour; shake off excess. Working in batches, dip fish in batter and fry until crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a rack set inside a sheet pan; keep warm in 200˚ oven.

3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add tortillas; cook, flipping, until warmed. To serve, layer 2 tortillas together, fill with some of the fish and cabbage, squeeze with a lime wedge, and garnish with onion, cilantro, tomato, sour cream, and hot sauce. Repeat.


Spaghetti Carbonara
A carbonara sauce is typically made with bacon, eggs, and cheese. We've added a little half-and-half for a silky texture.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Serves 4

1 pound spaghetti
8 ounces (8 slices) bacon, cut 1 inch thick crosswise
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 large eggs
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup half-and-half

Set a large pot of water to boil (for pasta). In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 12 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
Salt boiling water generously; add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan, and half-and-half. Set aside.
Drain pasta, leaving some water clinging to it. Working quickly, add hot pasta to egg mixture. Add bacon; season with salt and pepper, and toss all to combine (heat from pasta will cook eggs). Serve immediately, sprinkled with additional Parmesan cheese.

have a lovely week!