Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 4/26/10

Here it is! This week's menu:

Monday: Best Italian Sausage Soup & German Rye Bread
Tuesday: Mini-Meatloaves, Baked Sweet Potatoes, & Peas
Wednesday: Pesto Chicken, Roasted Asparagus & Cheesy Bread
Thursday: Grilled Salmon & Green Salad
Friday: Pork Spring Rolls (using my pak choi in place of the cabbage), Egg Drop Soup

Monday, April 19, 2010

Strawberries and Asparagus

I don't really have any recipes to go with the title of this post. Perhaps I should dig some up but I do want to let you all know that Strawberries & Asparagus are joining my great outdoor fresh market - you know, the one the bunnies and I share outside my patio door?

The asparagus went in March 30th and has yet to make an appearance....maybe I'll go check again, hold on.....WAIT...they are up and I'm "doing the happy dance." Use your imagination as to what that may look like. I won't be able to harvest this year.... sad, I know. But next year I should be able to pick sparingly. Roasted asparagus is my favorite way to eat this gem of a vegetable. Simply take fresh asparagus spears whose bottom ends have been trimmed (or cut off), toss with extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt & pepper. Place them on a baking sheet in one even layer and roast at 425 degrees F for 10-20 minutes - it all depends on the thickness. Yum!

Now for the strawberries. I bought them today because I really can't stop thinking about strawberries and how good backyard ones are to the mammoth sized ones in the grocery store. Now, I really don't know where I'm going to plant these. I know where I want to plant them but Mike informs me the kids will smoosh them there. Anyway, I bought June bearing ones as opposed to the ever bearing. That way, I'll get all my crop at once instead of it being spread out over the course of the summer.

Oh, and mint also went into the herb section of my perennial bed. I planted it inside a sunken pot to hopefully stop it from dominating the world. We'll see. But with all the Greek & Thai recipes I've been cranking out lately, mint is definitely going to be used.

This week's menu:

Monday: Spatchcocked Roasted Chicken with Fresh Sage & Cobb Salad
Tuesday: Pork Milanese, Green Beans, & Brown Rice
Wednesday: Chicken Enchiladas, Black Beans, Chips & Salsa
Thursday: ??????
Friday: Thai Beef Salad

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pork Souvlaki

This is an awesome recipe from Everyday Food for a pork "kebab-like" dish. I have to admit, I was hesitant because I felt the flavors would not quite be there. I did one modification that I'll add here. I used dried oregano (2 tsp) as opposed to the fresh chopped oregano. The rest is perfect as is. We have started to keep tahini on hand as we use it making Mike's new favorite dip - hummus. It is a little pricey, so I recommend trying it with out first if you don't keep it on hand. Or, if you are going by an ethnic grocer that may carry it - check their prices. I picked up our tahini at Hy-Vee. But I'm guessing that the Aladdin restaurant on the south side that also sells Greek ingredients probably has it for a better price. Just a guess. I know that it is definitely the case for Kalamata olives! You can also use cubed lamb, chicken, turkey or extra-firm tofu in place of the pork.

Pork Souvlaki (from the April Everyday Food magazine)

1 pound pork shoulder, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (I used a pork loin end roast from a 10 pound loin I bought)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt (you can commonly buy the Yoplait Greek yogurt in most stores now, I've noticed)
1/4 cup tahini (optional; if not using, substitute Greek yogurt).

In a medium bowl, combine pork, oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic and oregano. Season with salt an pepper and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to 8 hours.).

In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, 1/4 cup lemon juice, tahini (if using), and 1 to 2 tablespoons water (sauce should have the consistency of heavy cream. I omitted the water, I liked it a bit thicker.

Heat a grill or grill pan to high. Thread pork cubes onto 8 metal skewers. Grill until brown on all sides and cooked through, about 12 minutes. Serve souvlaki with yogurt sauce and lemon wedges.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Getting Back Into It....

Alright, time to try some new recipes! The week promises to be warm so I'm going to do some grilling. Also, we'll be having chili one last time before the cold weather comes again in the fall. ....Okay, now that I say that and see it is only the middle of April, I do think there is a chance that we may indeed have it again....

Monday: Chili & Cornbread (use you cast iron skillet! It makes the best cornbread...)
Tuesday: Crab Cakes & Quinoa Salad With Toasted Almonds
Wednesday: Pork Souvlaki & Chopped Greek Salad (these recipes are from my Everyday Food April magazine - yes, it is a Martha Stewart owned magazine....)
Thursday: Greek Burgers & T's Sweet Potato Fries
Friday: Roast Chicken, Broccoli, & Cheddar Rice

So the new recipes come on Tuesday & Wednesday. Thursday's Greek burgers, I'm just going to wing it. What I think I'll do is add dried oregano, minced garlic, and feta cheese to the hamburger. I'll probably top it with some of the left over sauce that goes with the Pork Souvlaki. The sweet potato fry recipe is one that I submitted. I can NOT believe it has gotten as many reviews as it has and when I see the amount of people that have it saved to their recipe box my mind is really blown! Thankfully, it is still at four stars. A lot does depend on your microwave and your oven and how thickly you slice your fries. I've long since stopped microwaving them but that is mainly because our oven here in Iowa rocks compared to our oven in California.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Laziness in April :)

It must have been my birthday or something but this week's menu is pretty pitiful. In fact, I'm doing some last minute change-ups because I don't feel like cooking. Actually, that's not entirely true. I don't feel like cooking a big, up-to-the-last-minute meal and driving to go get Mike from work (we're working on finding him a new car). So tonight we are going out to eat. Perkins - here we come!

Monday: Impromptu Taco Salad
Tuesday: Pot Roast, Carrots, (crockpot) & Green Salad
Wednesday: 13 Bean Ham Soup (pressure cooker)
Thursday: Out to Eat
Friday: Thai Peanut Chicken with Glass Noodles & Salad
Saturday: Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches (topped with peppers & onions) & Chips

Have you ever tried glass noodles? They are made with mung bean flour so they are good alternative for a gluten free diet. I'm not really worried about gluten but my husband is trying to cut down on carbs so I figured these would be a better bet for us than some other types of noodles.