Saturday, March 29, 2014

What's for dinner?

Here are some ideas to get you started with your menu:

Saturday:  Maple Glazed Salmon with Pesto Spaghetti Squash and Long Grain & Wild Rice
Sounds fancy, but it's a snap to put together and you feel so good after eating it.
  • Salmon:  Heat a skillet with a bit of olive oil, sear your salmon that's been covered in your favorite maple syrup (or rubbed with brown sugar) until you see a nice crisp.  Remove from the pan, transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375 until done to your liking.  

  • Squash:  Cut your spaghetti squash in half, place cut-side down on a baking pan and bake for 45 minutes at 350 until soft.  Scrape the squash out with a fork and toss with your favorite pesto sauce.   Serve with a Long Grain & Wild Rice side (I like Near East brand).

Sunday:  Baked "fried" Chicken and Waffles with a Side Salad

Sunday's are "long-run" days, so you need to refuel from today's effort.  I've been hearing so much about Chicken and Waffle dishes lately that I'm trying one out this week.

  • Waffles:  You can use your favorite waffle recipe (or even a mix!).  This week, I'm going to try one that folds in beaten egg whites for extra fluffiness.  I'll let you know how it turns out.  

Serve the Chicken on the waffle with a side salad.

Monday:  Home-made Pizza with your choice of toppings, served with a Side Salad

I've been meaning to try out a whole-wheat version of the Pizza Dough recipe posted in the Wall Street Journal from years ago.  Here's what I'll do:  dissolve 3 teaspoons of yeast, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 2 teaspoons of sugar into 1 and 1/4 cup warm (not boiling) water.

Mix and knead in about 3 cups of flour (I'm going to use half whole-wheat and half unbleached all-purpose.  Let rise and when you roll it out, baste with olive oil.

Top with your favorite pizza toppings.  We're going with a basic red sauce, pizza-blend cheese, turkey pepperoni, pineapple bits and sauteed onions and peppers.  Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.

Tuesday:  Pork & Broccoli over Brown Rice
  1. Saute some large cut-up pieces of ginger and garlic in olive oil in a wok (or large skillet if you don't have a wok).  Remove (and discard) the large pieces just before they turn too brown.  Add in bite-size pork chop bites (buy the thinnest pork chops your store offers, you don't need much meat in this dish) and stir fry until done.  Remove the meat from the pan.
  2. In the same wok or pan, add 2 heads of broccoli (chopped up into bite sizes) and saute until they turn a beautiful bright green.
  3. Add this mixed mixture to the broccoli in the wok:
    • 3/4 cup chicken broth
    • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
    • several shakes of soy sauce
    • 1 Tablespoon of corn starch (be sure this is dissolved completely)
  4. Add back in the cooked pork.  Stir fry until sauce has thickened slightly.  Simmer until you're ready to serve.
  5. Serve over brown rice.
  6. So good.

Wednesday:  Minestrone Soup with Crusty Bread and Salad
I loosely follow Ellie Krieger's Minestrone Soup Recipe and hopefully I'll have time to make a loaf of crusty bread to go along with it.  Last week I made a loaf following the recipe found at this link and it was a hit.

I'll serve this with a side salad.

Thursday:  Chicken Parm with Salad
  • Tenderize the chicken:  The trick here is pounding out your chicken so that it's as thin as possible but still manageable.  I coat the chicken in whole-wheat flour, egg, then bread crumbs.  Fry both sides in a hot olive-oil pan and then transfer to a baking dish that has a thin layer of your favorite red sauce on the bottom.
  • Add the cheese:  Top the chicken pieces with a 50/50 mixture of shredded mozzarella cheese and Parmesan.
  • Finish the cooking:  Finish cooking the chicken dish in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
  • Serve:  Serve the chicken pieces over a bed of al-dente whole-wheat fettuccine and top with as much additional red sauce per your taste.
  • Side:  Your favorite salad and a lovely Chianti.

Friday: Shepard's Pie
(We made this on Sunday, popped it in the freezer, and here, at the end of the week, a hearty meal to fuel us into the weekend!)
Here's how we make it:
  1. Brown ground beef with chopped onion and garlic.  Place cooked mixture at the bottom of an oven-safe deep dish or bowl.
  2. Mix one can of corn kernels with one can of creamed corn.  Spread this mixture over the meat mixture.
  3. Top those layers with your favorite mashed potatoes.  Sprinkle some paprika over and a bit of butter.
  4. Bake at 350 until the center is bubbly.
  5. Happy Weekend!
What's on your menu?

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