Monday, August 6, 2012

This Week's Dinner Menu Planner {week 13}

i am so excited to try the ranch tacos and the pork sliders this week!
my Francesca said the mini pot pies would also make a fun school lunch :)

Impossibly Easy Mini Chicken 'n Broccoli Pies

Chicken-Broccoli Mixture:
1tablespoon vegetable oil
1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1cup Green Giant frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1/2teaspoon salt1/4teaspoon pepper
1cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
Baking Mixture:
1/2cup Original Bisquick mix
1/2cup milk

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.
2. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in center. Add onion; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add broccoli, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until mixture is heated through. Cool 5 minutes; stir in cheese.
3. In medium bowl, stir baking mixture ingredients with whisk or fork until blended. Spoon 1 scant tablespoon baking mixture into each muffin cup. Top with about 1/4 cup chicken-broccoli mixture. Spoon 1 tablespoon baking mixture onto chicken-broccoli mixture in each muffin cup.
4. Bake about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and tops are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. With thin knife, loosen sides of pies from pan; remove from pan and place top sides up on cooling rack. Cool 10 minutes longer, and serve.

Cashew Chicken

2 large chicken breasts
1 Tbsp. (approximately) of corn starch
6 small or 3 large cloves garlic (minced)
8 green onions
1/4 cup Hoisin Sauce
1/4 cup Rice Vinegar (unseasoned)
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup cashews (toasted over medium/low heat in pan)
1 can of mandarin oranges or 1 Sumo orange (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Vegetable Oil

1. Clean and separate green onions into white and green parts.
2. Chop both white and green parts into 1″ sections. If the white part of the green onions is very large around, also slice in half lengthwise.
If you plan to use oranges either used canned mandarin oranges, or if they’re in season Sumo/Suma mandarins which are the sweetest citrus fruit you can buy. If the orange isn’t extremely sweet it will taste too tart against the sweetness of the Hoisin sauce. Sometimes opposites are good in a recipe. This isn’t one of those times.
If you’re using a fresh orange, peel it then cut off all the membranes and section it. Chop into bits.
3. Dice your chicken breasts into even, bite sized pieces.
4. Add cornstarch and salt & pepper to plastic bag.
5. Plunk your chicken into the bag.
6. Blow a little air into the bag, twist it closed and shake the chicken in the cornstarch.
7. Fry your chicken, the WHITE part of the green onions and garlic over medium/high heat in 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil. You may have to do 2 batches to avoid overcrowding (and therefore steaming) the chicken. Add another Tbsp. of oil for the second batch and remove the first batch to a plate.
The cubes take about 3 minute to cook through but I like to cook them for 7-8 hours. Take your pick.
8. Once all the chicken, onions and garlic are cooked, return it all to the pan. Add 1/4 cup of rice vinegar and cook until evaporated. Add 1/4 cup Hoisin Sauce and 1/4 cup of water. Cook and stir until fully combined.
9. Remove from heat and stir in the green bits of the green onion, toasted cashews and oranges (optional).
10. Serve on a bed of rice.

If you’re making this, you can make as much sauce as you want. Just use equal portions of vinegar, Hoisin Sauce and water. If you want it a bit sweeter, add more Hoisin Sauce. If you want it a bit spicier, throw in a few red pepper flakes.

Mini Deep Dish Pizzas

3-4 Whole wheat wraps*
1 (15 oz) Can pizza sauce
3/4 cup Shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
48 Mini turkey pepperonis (or the 12 whole turkey pepperoni’s each cut into 4 even pieces)
1 tsp Basil/oregano mix or Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
Pinch Sweetener (sugar/stevia/splenda)
Pinch Black pepper
Note: Put your own spin on these by adding anything that you would normally like on a pizza just before popping them in the oven!
*Try to find ones with at least 3 grams of fiber or more per wrap
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 12 count muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Start by laying each tortilla out individually on a flat surface, and use an empty can, cup, or cookie cutter to cut 3-4 medium circles out of each wrap. I used the empty pizza sauce can, which worked well! Press firmly enough, using a rocking motion, until it cuts through the wrap.
3. Press each wrap circle into muffin tin using your fingers. Note: it doesn’t have to cover the entire side of the tin, it should just fit snuggly!
4. Meanwhile, pour pizza sauce, parmesan cheese, and the spices into a medium sized bowl. Stir until everything is well combined.
5. Drop about 1-2 tbs of sauce in each wrap, this really varies according to how much sauce you like!
6. Divide mozzarella cheese evenly over each mini pizza.
7. Place 4 mini pepperoni’s on top of each pizza.
8. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
9. Wait for pizzas to cool, and remove from muffin tin using a fork or knife. Pizza’s should pop out with ease!
10. Serve warm and enjoy!

Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Cassarole

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 Tablespoons fresh minced garlic
2 Cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
2 Cups steamed white rice
16 oz prepared wild rice (I get mine at Trader Joes, LOVE it)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Cheese Sauce:
4 Tablespoons butter
1/4 Cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Cups chicken broth
2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese

Top with 1 1/2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil into a medium dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery and carrots until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in chicken, both rices, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Reduce heat to low.

2. To prepare cheese sauce melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper then slowly pour in chicken broth whisking continuously. Whisk until thick and nearly boiling then stir in cheese until melted. Pour cheese sauce into rice mixture then transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with additional cheddar cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted through. Serve.
8-10 servings
Image and recipe source: Picky Palate, September 2011

Pork Belly Sliders

Makes 16

pickled daikon and carrots:
2 carrots, peeled and julienne
1 cup daikon radish, peeled and julienne
2 tablespoons salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup rice wine vinegar
¾ cup water
¼ cup hoisin sauce
1 ½ tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
black pepper to taste
½ lb thinly slice pork belly
green onion mayonnaise:
½ cup mayonnaise
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
½ seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
16 sweet Hawaiian Rolls

1. Place carrots, daikon and salt in a colander over the sink and mix together. Allow to sit for an hour, tossing together every 15 minutes. Thoroughly rinse and
place into a mixing bowl.
2. Place sugar, vinegar and water in a small pot and bring to a simmer until sugar dissolves. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
3. Pour sugar mixture over carrot and daikon and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
4. Place marinade ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk together. Add pork belly and toss together until well marinated. Place in the refrigerator and
allow to sit for 30 minutes.
5. Place 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil into a grill pan and heat over medium-high heat. Sear and cook pork belly on each side for 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside.
6. Place mayonnaise, green onions and garlic into a small bowl and stir together.
7. To assemble: Spread a small amount of the spread onto the tops and bottoms of each bun. Place a couple pieces of pork belly into each bottom bun and top with cucumber slices followed by a small amount of daikon and carrots. Place tops on each slider and gently press. Serve.

Zucchini Boats

  • Just cut a zucchini in half lengthwise and trim a little off the bottom so it sit still in a baking dish
  • Scoop out the center where the seeds are with a spoon
  • Brush the surface with a mixture of crushed garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Arrange halved grape tomatoes into the grooves, sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes
  • Remove and place diced fontina or mozzarella in between the tomatoes, place them back in, but now under the broiler til golden and bubbling
  • Remove and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkling of grated parmesan. You will love this as a side dish!
Image and recipe source: Proud Italian Cook, May 2010

 Chicken Ranch Tacos

Chicken Ranch Tacos:

3 cups cooked chicken, cut up
1 pkt. taco seasoning (chicken or beef)
1/2 cup Ranch dressing
taco shells
Ranch dressing

Heat a skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken & warm it for a few minutes. Sprinkle on the dry taco seasoning. Do not add any water! Heat for 5-7 minuted until all heated through & powder is stuck to the chicken.
Add Ranch dressing, heat an additional 2-3 minutes to warm through.
Serve in taco shells with all the fixings you love - plus an extra squirt of Ranch!
Image and recipe source: Pederson Food, February 2012

so glad you're here.
let me know what you think and if you have any fun dinners you would like to share :)