Sunday, July 22, 2012

This Week's Dinner Menu Planner {week 11}

this is a super fun week of dinners!
i am  having a great time planning and cooking, i hope you are too!

Food Truck Veggie Gyros

serves 2

2 pieces of white or wheat round flat-bread
olive oil
6 falafel balls (you could also use seitan, tempeh or veggie burgers)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 small tomato, sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced – tossed in lemon juice
2 dill pickles
tahini sauce

secret sauce:
2 tsp harissa OR non-spicy option: 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp vegan mayo

To Make:
1. Thinly slice the onions and toss in rice vinegar. I like to let mine chill over night in the fridge to pickle a bit – but this step is optional.
2. Brush your flat-bread with olive oil and grill on until charred – I used a panini press.
3. Mix up your secret sauce
4. Prep your veggies: tomato, avocado, pickles.
5. Grill to warm your falafel balls – I pressed mine on the panini press with the flat-bread.
6. Assemble! Lay out a square sheet of tinfoil. Add the avocado, onions, falafel, pickles, tomato – drizzle some secret sauce over the filling as well as some tahini (or serve tahini on side) and close the flat-bread – wrap tightly in foil to secure. Serve!

Sassy Wonton Tacos

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

8 small square wonton wrappers (usually stocked with the tofu in the refrigerated section of the market)
1 cup dry coleslaw mix
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. Newman's Own Lite Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing (or another low-fat sesame ginger dressing)
4 oz. cooked and shredded (or finely chopped) skinless lean chicken breast
2 tbsp. BBQ sauce with about 45 calories per 2-tbsp. serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray the inside and outside walls of a deep square or rectangular baking pan with nonstick spray. Evenly drape the wonton wrappers over the pan's walls on a diagonal, making triangle-shaped "shells." (Use two pans, if needed, to keep wontons from overlapping.) Bake until just crispy enough to hold their shape, about 3 minutes.

Remove pan from the oven, but leave oven on. Carefully remove wontons and gently open to form "taco shells." Set aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine coleslaw mix, cilantro, and dressing. Mix well. Cover and microwave for about 1 minute, until slightly softened. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine chicken with BBQ sauce; mix well and set aside.

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute the BBQ chicken among the shells, followed by the slaw, about 1 tbsp. of each per shell. Lay the filled shells gently on their sides on the baking sheet.

Spray the shells lightly with nonstick spray. Bake until warm and crunchy, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly and then serve!

No-Bake Summer Lasagna

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4


1/2 cup ricotta
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 lasagna noodles, broken in half crosswise
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
2 zucchini (about 1 pound total), halved if large and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon torn fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving


In a small bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, and 2 teaspoons oil; season with salt and pepper. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles according to package instructions; drain.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add garlic and tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until slightly broken down, about 3 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil and zucchini to skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to another bowl and stir in basil.
Place some tomatoes on four plates; top with a noodle and small spoonfuls ricotta, zucchini, and more tomatoes. Repeat layering twice, then top with remaining noodles and tomatoes. Garnish with basil.

Avocado Pita Pizza with Cilantro Sauce

Yield: 2 pita pizzas
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Pita bread topped with cilantro sauce, cheese, and avocado slices! This pita pizza is easy and great for lunch or dinner.

To make the Cilantro Sauce:

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 tablespoon minced and seeded jalapeño pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the pizza:

2 pieces whole wheat pita bread
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. To make the cilantro sauce: In the bowl of a food processor or a blender, combine cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, green onion, and lime juice. Pulse until combined and roughly chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Divide the sauce and spread evenly on pita bread pieces. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Place pita pizzas on a large baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove from the oven. Top pizzas with avocado slices. Sprinkle with salt. Cut into pieces and serve warm.

Image and recipe source: Two Peas & Their Pod, April 2012

Flash-Roasted Vegetables and Pasta

2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as chanterelles, cremini, and/or oyster, cut into chunks
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into wedges (about 1 lb. trimmed)
1 large red onion, cut into 6 or 8 wedges
8 ounces baby carrots with tops, trimmed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Fennel-Spice Mix (see recipe below)
8 ounces pappardelle or mafalda pasta
3/4 cup dry white wine
Freshly shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degree F. Place mushrooms, fennel, onion, and carrots in a large roasting pan. Combine oil and Fennel-Spice Mix. Drizzle over vegetables; toss to coat.

2. Roast, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring twice. Remove roasted vegetables to a very large bowl.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta. Add pasta to bowl with roasted vegetables. Add wine to roasting pan. Cook and stir over medium-high heat, scraping up any browned bits, about 3 minutes or until wine is slightly reduced. Pour wine over pasta mixture and toss well to coat. Top with cheese. Makes 6 to 8 main-dish servings.
4. Fennel Spice Mix:  In a small skillet over medium heat toast 1/4 cup fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon cracked peppercorns for 1 minute or until fragrant, shaking the pan occasionally. Cool thoroughly. When completely cool, grind in a spice grinder or blender with 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt. 

Pizza Grilled Cheese

4 slices of bread
butter or margarine
4 slices of mozzarella cheese
pepperoni (I used reg and cut in half but mini size would be good too)
Italian seasoning or basil
Parmesan cheese (opt)
pizza sauce for dipping

Warm a medium/large skillet over medium heat. Butter each piece of bread on one side. When skillet is hot place a piece of bread butter side down on the skillet then add one slice of cheese and small shake of Italian seasoning or basil (add a small shake of parmesan cheese here too if desired). Top with a desired amount of pepperonis (I used about 8 -10 whole regular pepperonis per sandwich) If any other toppings are desired, add now. Add another slice of mozzarella and top with slice bread butter side up. Repeat with second sandwich. When bottom slice is golden brown then flip over carefully. Once both sides are brown remove from pan cut and serve with pizza sauce if desired. Makes 2 sandwiches.

Image and recipe source: Forkful of Comfort, November 2011

Greek Salad With Baked Pita

Serves: 4
Hands-on time: 12 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS:2 6-inch whole-wheat pitas
1 English cucumber, unpeeled and chopped
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 15-oz can low-sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 oz low-fat feta cheese, crumbled
Paprika for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut each pita into 4 strips and cut each strip into 1-inch triangles, splitting apart the 2 “sides” of the pita as you cut. Spread on a baking sheet and toast in oven until pita is crispy, about 10 minutes, tossing once.
In a large bowl, combine cucumber, tomatoes, onion, chickpeas and parsley. Add oil, lemon juice and pepper; toss well. Add feta and toasted pita and toss again. Garnish with a dash of paprika and serve immediately.

i hope your family enjoys this supper fun week of dinners!