Monday, October 18, 2010

Menu Monday

This week I did a few Rachel Ray meals from her weekly menu planer.  She has a new feature on her grocery list that allows you to pick which of the 7 meals you'd like to make and it will give you a grocery list for only the ingredients needed for those dinners.  So I picked 4 meals and it made me a shopping list in seconds, with everything I need to make 4 dinners; I printed it out and headed to Trader Joe's...where I found everything I needed.

Monday: Chicken in a Pot with Garlic(Rachel Ray)

One 4 1/2-pound chicken
2 halved lemons
35 unpeeled cloves garlic
4 chopped sprigs rosemary
4 slices crusty bread

Preheat the oven to 325°.
In a large dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add one 4½-pound chicken, breast side down, and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn, then squeeze 2 halved lemons over the bird before stuffing into the cavity; drizzle 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil on top and season with salt and pepper. Cover and roast for 30 minutes. Scatter 35 unpeeled cloves garlic and 4 chopped sprigs rosemary around the chicken, cover and roast for 30 minutes more. Uncover the pot, increase the oven temperature to 375° and roast until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter; using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to the platter as well. Dip 4 slices crusty bread into the pan juices, then toast until crisp. Serve with the chicken and roasted garlic.

Tuesday: Out!  Baja Fresh
With DH out for the evening and a late soccer practice, we went out for burritos!

Wednesday: Gnocchi with Butternut Squash Sauce

To Go

Sauce: Costco Gnocchi: Trader Joe's

I was babysitting tonight, so I went with something easy. I served my kids and then brought food to the kids I babysat. I served it with some green beans.

Thursday: Orange Pork with Roasted Beets Salad  (Rachel Ray) 

1 1/2 pounds medium beets, trimmed (I bought pre-steamed/peeled beets from TJs)
5 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons vegetable oil salt and pepper
2 bone-in pork chops (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2/3 head red-leaf lettuce, torn
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
I added crumbled feta on top

Preheat the oven to 400°.
Wrap the beets in foil and roast until fork-tender, about 45 minutes; let cool slightly. Using your fingers, peel the beets under running water.  I got to skip this step since I bought pre-steamed/peeled!
Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar and mustard. Slowly whisk in the oil; season with salt and pepper. Place the pork chops and half of the orange vinaigrette in a resealable plastic bag and marinate for 1 hour.
Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and grill, turning once, until just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Let rest slightly, remove the bones and thinly slice. 4. Meanwhile, halve the beets lengthwise, then slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick. In a medium bowl, toss the beets with half of the remaining vinaigrette. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the remaining vinaigrette. Divide the lettuce among 4 plates and top with the pork and beets. Sprinkle with the almonds.

 Friday: Zucchini Onion Pizza (Rachel Ray)

2 pounds grated zucchini

1 finely chopped onion
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
1 pound prepared pizza dough

I heart pizza!

Position an inverted baking sheet (I used a pizza stone) in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450°. Toss 2 pounds grated zucchini with 3/4 teaspoon salt in a colander. Let stand for 20 minutes, then squeeze dry. In a large skillet, cook the zucchini and 1 finely chopped onion in 1 tablespoon extra- virgin olive oil until softened, about 7 minutes; transfer to a large bowl, season with pepper and freeze for 15 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup (I used about 3/4 cup of each cheese) each grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese and grated cheese. Divide 1 pound (I used 2 Trader Joe's pizza dough packages, 1 pound each) prepared pizza dough in half. On a parchment-lined (I used parchment to cook my dough for about 10 minutes before putting toppings on) rimless or inverted baking sheet, stretch out 1 piece of dough to a 12-inch round whatever shape you end up with; brush with extra-virgin olive oil. Sprinkle half of the zucchini mixture on top (I added bacon, too!) leaving a 1/2 inch border, and slide onto the hot baking sheet. Bake until golden-brown, 12 to 15 minutes (I bake for about 10 since I already baked the crust). Repeat with 2nd pizza.

And I just had to share these!  My friend, Erin, brought these over to share with the kids at playschool this week.  Our theme was spiders, how cute are these?

Saturday: Trader Joe's Asian Trio

We went on a family bike ride and realized at 6:15pm as we were passing Trader Joe's that we were going to get home at 6:30 with 3 hungry kids and no food on the table.  So we popped into TJ's and picked up some fast and easy things: "Bool Kogi" marinated shortribs, frozen vegetable fried rice, and frozen vegetable goya (pot stickers).  The shortribs BBQ up in a few short minutes, the rice and goya cook up in a little olive oil in a few minutes as well.  A little Asian meal on the table in under 10 minutes.
Sunday: Raviolis, Tortellini, Broccoli
Another busy day, with dinner creeping up on me waaaay too fast.  What's fast?  Made 1 package of raviolis and 1 package of tortellini (it was all I had of each!) and cooked up some broccoli.  The broccoli always gets gobbled down fast when I cook it like this:  TONS of olive oil in frying pan, cook broccoli on med-low for 15-20 minutes, sprinkle with salt.  No pic tonight, sorry.

Monday:  Cheesy Corn and Corn Chip Salad (Rachel Ray)


2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded (I used spinach)
8 ears corn, cooked, kernels sliced off the cob (I used a package of TJ's organic sweet frozen corn)
2 red or orange bell peppers, chopped
2 chopped jalapeño chiles (skipped -em this time)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley (cilantro!)
Salt and pepper
3 cups corn chips (Rachel suggests Fritos, but I suggest TJ's organic corn chips, SO GOOD!  DH thought they were Fritos until he saw me pull the bag out for a photo op)
Try -um

In a large bowl, mix the cheese, lettuce, corn, bell peppers, jalapeños, onion, mayonnaise and cilantro; season with salt and pepper. Put into individual plastic serving containers, cover with a lid and refrigerate for up to 2 days. (I added chopped chicken)  Just before serving, top the salad with the corn chips.

As many of my meals do, this meal got a huge groan from my 6 year old as I served it.  As he started to use the chips as scoopers and actually tasted it, he loved it!  It was also a hit for the younger crowd as well.  The chip scooping was super exciting.  And I will note, it took about 10 minutes total to prepare. This we'll for sure be having again soon.  I wonder if it will taste as good with Greek yogurt instead of the mayo?
Wow, I can't believe it's Monday already.  I didn't even finish my Rachel Ray meals for the week!  Stay tuned for the final meal of that series, Mini Meatloaves Smothered with Onions, tomorrow.

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