Monday, October 4, 2010

Menu Monday

I have to start off by apologizing that this week's Menu Monday is rather short! I got away for a relaxing girls-only weekend with my 3 bridesmaids (and friends for the last 30 years)! So Friday-Sunday nights I did not cook for my family. I enjoyed meals cooked with friends, take-out, and cozy favorite restaurants (in addition to chatting, dancing, chatting, shopping, chatting, drinking wine, did I mention chatting?) But here are a few nights of dinner at home this last week.

Wednesday dinner: Summer squash, black bean burritos with tomatoes and "sour cream"

Saute in EVOO (extra virgin olive oil, thanks Rachel Ray) until soft/translucent.
Add chopped summer squash and cook for about 10 minutes until squash is soft. Add tomatillos and fire roasted green chilies (TJ's), s/p too.

Meanwhile, heat black beans and grate some cheese (I use TJ's grated Mexican blend).

I use these wonderful uncooked tortillas from Costco's refrigerated section- Tortilla Land Uncooked Flour tortillas. Cook on one side for 30 ish seconds and then flip. Sprinkle on cheese, spoon on beans and squash mixture. Cook another 30 seconds or so. Remove from heat and roll. Top with tomatoes and "sour cream". I discovered this great yogurt at Trader Joe's that we use as sour cream and everyone loves it! It's Trader Joe's Greek Style plain low fat 2% yogurt. We'll never go back to sour cream! It's creamy and tart, like sour cream, but super healthy.

Thursday dinner: Garlic Chicken Paninis

picture courtesy of Panini Happy
I got this wonderful recipe from Kathy over at Panini Happy! Served with some broccoli rabe on the side, easy peasy!
Garlic Chicken Panini Brine adapted from Chowhound with Basil Garlic Mayonnaise from Epicurious
1 quart water

1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons honey
1 bay leaf
1 crushed garlic clove (I put in 5)
6 whole black peppercorns (I put in about 10)
A dash of dried thyme
A dash of dried parsley
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets (thin-sliced)
1 baguette, cut into 4 pieces (I used Trader Joe's Tuscan Pane, sliced, YUM!)
Basil Garlic Mayonnaise (see recipe below)
1 small jar of marinated artichoke hearts, sliced about 1/4″ thick
1 small jar of roasted red peppers ( used tomatoes instead)
4 slices Swiss cheese (I used Gouda instead)

In a large bowl, combine water, salt, honey, bay leaf, garlic, peppercorns, thyme, parsley and lemon juice. Add chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes.
Preheat the panini grill (I use a George Foreman) to medium-high heat.
Grill the chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Set chicken aside. Turn off the grill, wipe it clean and preheat it again to medium-high heat.
For each sandwich: Spread Basil Garlic Mayonnaise inside two baguette halves. Place a chicken breast cutlet on the bottom bread half. Arrange layers of artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers on top of the chicken. Add a slice of cheese and close the sandwich with the top bread half.
Grill the sandwich for 4-5 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Slice in half, serve immediately and enjoy!

Basil Garlic Mayonnaise
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 garlic clove, smashed (I used 3)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 cup mayonnaise (I used half regular TJ's mayo and half TJ's reduced fat mayo)

Pulse basil, garlic, salt, and cayenne in a food processor until finely chopped. Add mayonnaise and blend until smooth. Chill, covered, 1 hour (for flavors to develop).


Monday dinner- Left over burritos (aka: anything in the refrigerator that is still good, stuffed into a tortilla with cheese)

Here's what I had:
-some of the summer squash from burritos a few days ago
-some chicken from the paninis
-some rice from last night
-a can of black beans
-sour cream (aka Greek yogurt)

A glimpse into the coming week:

With fall upon us, I'm dragging out the crock pot. I have three meals planned in it:
-Curried Chickpeas with Couscous
-Chicken Sausage & Tortellini Stew
-Latin-style pork
All adapted from Family Circle, Sept. 2010

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