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Friday, August 21, 2009

Sunday - 5 Day Meal Planner + Vegetarian Options 8/23

Monday: Tacozagna and Banana Cheesecakes
Tuesday: Chicken with Vegetable Ragout and Polenta
Wednesday: Ham-and-Spinach Spuds
Thursday: Orecchiette with Mixed Greens and Goat Cheese
Friday: Beef Fajita Pie

This week I have also taken into account the vegetarians out there with three meatless options. One of them is included in the 5 day meal planner (Thursday) and the other two can be found on the bottom of Sunday’s post. I am starting to feel lonely since nobody is posting any comments. Please post comments on what you think about the recipes! I, and the other people considering the recipes, would love to hear what you think! BTW, on Monday I am going to have you make dessert which you can have a little of all week long…

So, this week I will assume you have vegetable oil, chili powder, ground cumin, Salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, Grated Parmesan, extra-virgin olive oil, taco seasoning mix, all-purpose flour, milk, cayenne pepper, grated nutmeg, Kosher salt, ground cinnamon, dry sherry, white wine vinegar (V), honey (V), red wine (V), red wine vinegar (V), balsamic vinegar (V). The things with the “(V)” are needed for the two vebetarien dishes on the end of the Sunday post.

From the store you will need:
2 and1/2 pounds ground turkey
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 thin slices ham (about 3 ounces), cut into strips
1/2 pound stir-fry beef strips
1 zucchini
2 carrots
1 onion
7 cloves garlic
4 scallions
2 very ripe bananas
3 plum tomatoes
2 hearts romaine lettuce
1 (24-ounce) tube pre-made polenta
2 cups Mediterranean-style mixed salad greens
Refrigerated guacamole
Fresh cilantro
1 bunch spinach
5 cups 3/4-inch cauliflower florets (about 1 to 1 1/4 pounds)
1 large shallot
1 sprig fresh thyme
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 medium-large red onions
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Lettuce leaves
4 large portobello mushrooms (V)
3 cups shredded Chihuahua cheese or Monterey Jack
3 cups philedalphia cream cheese
Whipped cream
3 cups frozen primavera vegetable medley (recommended: Birds Eye)
1 tablespoon goat cheese
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 pound frozen pepper stir-fry
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano (V)
3 ounces gruyere or gouda cheese , finely shredded
coriander
beef stock
1 (14-ounce) jar pasta sauce
tomato paste
sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil)
1/2 cup lime-garlic salsa (recommended: Pace)
golden raisins (V)
capers (V)
bay leaf (V)
fennel seeds (V)
3 tablespoons pine nuts (V)
prepared horseradish
6 individual graham cracker crusts
1 cup dried orecchiette pasta (I used elbow macaroni)
1 (12-inch thin ) pizza crust (recommended: Boboli)
Sour cream
3/4 pound whole-wheat penne (V)
4 whole grain buns, or whole wheat English muffins
2/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt

**"(V)" indicates this is needed for the vegetarian options on the "Sunday" page**

On Sunday night before chop are grate all vegetables! I know, you don’t want to but you will thank me for this when the week starts and you are coming home from work with everything ready to be cooked. Also, keep in mind that Tuesday is in the crock pot. I know it says 4-5 hours on low so turn it on right before you step out the door and let it go a little over. That won’t hurt it! Have a great week!

2 Recipes for vegetarians:

Sicilian-Style Cauliflower with Whole Wheat Pasta
From Food Network Kitchens

Ingredients:
Kosher salt, as needed, plus 2 teaspoons
3/4 pound whole-wheat penne
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
5 cups 3/4-inch cauliflower florets (about 1 to 1 1/4 pounds)
1 large shallot, sliced into thin rings
2 cloves garlic, smashed
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons golden raisins
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon capers
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, optional
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus more as needed

Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, then salt it generously. Add the penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente (tender but not mushy). Drain the pasta in a colander set in the sink. Transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower, shallots, and garlic, and cook, stirring, until the cauliflower is well browned, about 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 2 teaspoons salt, water, vinegar, raisins, honey, capers, thyme, bay leaf, fennel seeds, if using, and season with black pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until cauliflower is fork tender, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the pine nuts and parsley. Remove and discard the thyme and bay leaf. Toss vegetables and pasta together along with the pecorino. Drizzle with additional olive oil, if desired. Serve immediately, passing more cheese at the table.

Grilled Portobello Burger with Onion Jam
From Food Network Kitchens

Ingredients:
2/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium-large red onions, thinly sliced (about 2 pounds)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 large portobello mushrooms, (about 1 pound) stemmed
Lettuce leaves
4 whole grain buns, or whole wheat English muffins , split and toasted

Directions:
Put the yogurt in a paper towel-lined strainer set over a bowl, set aside to drain and thicken, about 60 minutes. Discard the watery liquid. Whisk the horseradish into the thickened yogurt.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium skillet, over medium heat. Add the onions, 1 thyme sprig, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, covered, until the onions have wilted, about 10 to 15 minutes, (give them a stir every now and then with a wooden spoon to prevent them from sticking). Add the red wine, and simmer over high heat until most of the wine gets absorbed into the onions. Add the honey and red wine vinegar and simmer gently until the onions get jam-like, about, about 15 minutes.

Preheat a stove top grill pan over medium-high heat. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Strip and add the leaves from the remaining sprig of thyme. Coat the mushroom caps all over with the flavored olive oil. Grill the mushrooms, turning as needed, until tender but not mushy about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Season with the salt and pepper.

Sandwich the mushroom between the buns, top with some of the onion jam, some lettuce, and a dollop of the horseradish cream. Serve warm.

Monday - Tacozagna and Banana Cheesecakes 8/24

Tacozagna and Banana Cheesecakes
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray, 2007

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 1/2 pounds ground turkey or ground sirloin (I used turkey but NOT Buterball!)
1 zucchini
2 carrots, peeled
1 onion, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons chili powder, 3 palm fulls
2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2/3 palm full
1 tablespoon coriander, a palm full
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup beef stock
6 (8-inch) flour tortillas
3 cups shredded Chihuahua cheese or Monterey Jack
4 scallions, chopped
2 hearts romaine lettuce, chopped
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 cups prepared cheesecake filling (recommended: Philly brand)
2 very ripe bananas with spotty skins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey
6 individual graham cracker crusts
Whipped cream

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat a large high sided skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add the meat and brown, 5 minutes. While meat browns, grate the zucchini and carrots with a box grater. Add the vegetables to the meat and grate in the onion and garlic. Season the meat with chili, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and cook 7 to 8 minutes more to soften vegetables. Stir in beef stock. Grease a 8 by 13-inch baking pan with vegetable oil. Layer in 3 overlapping flour tortillas and top with 1/3 meat, 1/3 cheese. Repeat the layers twice and bake 10 to 12 minutes to brown cheese. Top with scallions, lettuce and tomatoes, cut into squares and serve.

While Tacosagna cooks, make dessert. Place cheesecake filling in bowl and mash in 2 really ripe bananas, season with cinnamon and stir in honey. Fill the crust tins and when you are ready to serve top with a swirl of whipped cream.

Tuesday - Chicken with Vegetable Ragout and Polenta 8/25

Chicken with Vegetable Ragout and Polenta
Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee, 2008

Ingredients:
3 cups frozen primavera vegetable medley (recommended: Birds Eye)
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (recommended: McCormick)
1 (14-ounce) jar pasta sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon crushed garlic (I put a clove of garlic in a garlic press for this)
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 (24-ounce) tube pre-made polenta, sliced 1/2-inch thick (recommended: Gennaro)
Grated Parmesan, for garnish

Directions:
Combine frozen vegetable medley in the bottom of a 5-quart slow cooker. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Place chicken on top of vegetables.
In a large bowl, stir together pasta sauce, tomato paste, garlic and sherry. Pour 2/3 of the sauce over chicken and vegetables. Top the chicken with polenta slices and cover with remaining sauce. Cover and cook on the LOW setting for 4 to 5 hours.
Serve hot with Parmesan.

Wednesday - Ham-and-Spinach Spuds 8/26

Ham-and-Spinach Spuds
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine

Ingredients:
4 large russet potatoes
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped
4 thin slices ham (about 3 ounces), cut into strips
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt
4 ounces gruyere or gouda cheese , finely shredded (about 1 1/4 cups)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pierce the potatoes with a fork; microwave for 15 minutes. Remove and brush with olive oil; transfer to the oven rack and bake until fully tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook until slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 6 minutes. Stir in the spinach and ham and cook until the greens wilt and the mixture is about as thick as sour cream, 3 to 4 more minutes. Season with the cayenne and nutmeg and add salt to taste.
Slice the cooked potatoes lengthwise down the middle (but not all the way through); press in on the ends to open the slit. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon oil into each potato; fluff the flesh with a fork and season with salt. Divide the spinach mixture among the potatoes and top with the shredded cheese while still hot.

Per serving: Calories 560; Fat 28 g (Sat. 10 g; Mono. 14 g; Poly. 2.3 g); Cholesterol 49 mg; Sodium 445 mg; Carbohydrate 57 g; Fiber 5 g; Protein 23 g

Thursday - Orecchiette with Mixed Greens and Goat Cheese 8/27

Orecchiette with Mixed Greens and Goat Cheese
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients:
1 cup dried orecchiette pasta
2 cups Mediterranean-style mixed salad greens
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil), chopped
1 tablespoon goat cheese , crumbled
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
Pinch salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

**you can always add chicken breast strips or bacon to this if you are like me and need a meat**

Directions:
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the water.
In medium bowl, mix the salad greens with the sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and Parmesan. Top with warm pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Toss to combine and wilt the greens. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper, or to taste. Garnish with additional Parmesan, if desired, and serve.

Friday - Beef Fajita Pie 8/28

Beef Fajita Pie
Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee, 2008

Ingredients:
1/2 pound stir-fry beef strips
1 pound frozen pepper stir-fry, thawed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1 (12-inch thin ) pizza crust (recommended: Boboli)
1/2 cup lime-garlic salsa (recommended: Pace)
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
Sour cream, for serving
Refrigerated guacamole, for serving
Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:
Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking.
In a bowl, combine beef strips, pepper stir-fry, oil and taco seasoning. Grill beef and pepper strips on hot oiled grill about 5 minutes total.
Remove pizza crust from package and place on grill. Top with salsa, cheese, beef and pepper strips.
Turn heat down to medium and cook pizza covered for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese has melted and starts to bubble.
Serve hot garnished with sour cream, guacamole, and cilantro. OR
INDOOR: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Combine and season beef and pepper strips as directed. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan. When oil is hot, saute beef and pepper strips for 5 minutes. Remove from pan; set aside. Remove pizza crusts from package and top with salsa and cheese. Top with beef and peppers and bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and begun to bubble. Garnish as directed