Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Weekly Dinner Menu for your Family

My friends and I were just talking about how, now that we have kids, are lives center around food.  We are so concerned with feeding our kids 3 healthy meals and 2 snacks per day.  I wish that I was a snake and could eat a mouse or two a month!  But it is very important for me to sit down as a family and eat a balanced dinner, most evenings.

In light of that recent conversation, I have put together a manageable weekly dinner menu for my readers!

Night #1:
Turkey Tacos.  See recipe below.

Night #2:

Night #3:
Breakfast for dinner!  Make eggs, bacon and toast OR check out the delicious cinnamon wheat raisin waffle recipe below.

Night #4:
Frozen Ravioli and Tomato Sauce from a Jar: I always buy the chicken ravioli from Whole Foods because I don't like my family to eat a lot of preservatives.  And I buy the organic tomato sauce.  I saut√© some onions in olive oil, and maybe a couple of cloves of garlic (just smash the cloves in the olive oil for 3 minutes and them throw them away.)  Then, add the sauce and let simmer for 10-15 mintues.

Buy a bag of spinach and sprinkle with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  This is your side veggie.

Night #5:
Fish with couscous or rice pilaf and steamed broccoli.  Our local grocery store has terrific tilapia that is breaded with a chipotle crust.  It couldn’t be any easier to cook.  You just throw it in a pan and bake it on 350 for 20 minutes.  I also like to buy fresh trout or salmon and bake it the same way, but I add a little butter, thyme or rosemary, sea salt and ground pepper.  I buy the rice or couscous that is already in a box with herbs.  Couscous cooks really fast, but if you buy any type of rice, get that started on the stove before the fish goes in the oven.

Night #6:
Quesadillas.  This was one of my son’s favorites when he was just learning to eat big people food.  Lightly butter some burrito-sized tortillas (just one side of each.)  Add one to a non-stick pan and turn stove to medium.  Add cheddar cheese (I buy the bags that are already grated) and then add any ingredients you like.  We always add canned/chopped black olives, freshly chopped mushrooms and then we hide diced green beans out of the can!  Top with a second tortilla.  Cook like a grilled cheese (5-7 minutes each side.)

And then I add some of the extra canned green beans on the side of everyone’s plates.

Night #7:
Make your own pizzas.  I like to buy pre-made mini crusts by Mama’s (better than the competitor.)  Add Contadina Pizza Sauce, top with shredded mozzarella cheese, pizza herbs if you so desire and favorite ingredients.  I like to hide chopped veggies in my kid’s pizza too!

Here are a few other ideas.  I have found a delicious store bought Indian sauce made by Patak’s.  My favorite is the Korma Curry which is mustard yellow in color.  I cook some diced onions in olive oil, then add diced, raw some chicken breasts.  Cook until no longer pink, about 15 minutes, then add the sauce.  Mix it every few minutes until ready to serve (I try and let it sit in the sauce for about 15-20 minutes.)

Annie’s Homegrown makes some OK boxed meals (like Hamburger Helper.)  I like the tuna noodle one the best.  I have yet to try the chicken option, but it is in my cabinet as we speak.

I am a huge lover of chicken, so we cook a lot of it.  We like to make our own chicken strips.  Cut chicken breasts into strips, dip in egg, then in bread crumbs (I buy Italian seasoned OR Panko) and cook on the stove with some olive oil.  That’s it!  (You can also bake...)

Please enjoy these recipes below.  There are a couple of extra for you to try!

Turkey Tacos

Saute some chopped yellow onions in PAM or Olive Oil for 5-10 minutes. 

Add ground white turkey.  Cook on medium until no longer pink.

Add 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder and 1 tsp. Cumin.  Mix well.

Add half large jar of prepared salsa and about 3 Tbsp. water.  Mix well.

Simmer on low 2-4 hours.  Mix every 30-45 minutes.

About 30 minutes before serving, add chopped mushrooms, red or green peppers, or any other veggies that you enjoy.

Cinnamon-Raisin Whole-Wheat Waffles

¾ cup raisins
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 ¾ cup buttermilk
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Melt the butter in microwave and set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until combined.
  4. In another bowl, beat together the buttermilk, vanilla and eggs with the whisk until mixed.
  5. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry and whisk until just combined.
  6. Fold the raisins and melted butter into the batter.
  7. Lightly butter or spray the grids of your iron, if needed.  Pour batter into iron!
Chicken fajitas
  1. 1 teaspoon pure chile powder
  2. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  4. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  5. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  7. 1/4 cup water
  8. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  9. 1 whole skinless, boneless chicken breast (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch strips
  10. 1 green bell pepper—cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
  11. 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  12. 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  13. 8 flour tortillas, warmed in the microwave
  14. Shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, salsa and sour cream, for serving
1.      In a resealable plastic bag, combine the chile powder with the salt, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, cornstarch, water and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken, bell pepper and onion, seal and knead gently to coat. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
2.      Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet until shimmering. Empty the contents of the bag into the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice.
3.      Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a large bowl and serve with the warmed tortillas, lettuce, cheese, salsa, sour cream and lime wedges.

Let me know if you have any questions OR if there is something you want to see mentioned.  I love to bake too, so stay tuned.

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