Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weekly Menu for September 28th - October 4th

Monday - Pizza Casserole Leftovers (recipe from last week)
Tuesday - Fry Bread Tacos (new)
Wednesday - Good Old Fashioned Pancakes
Thursday - Chicken Stir Fry
Friday - OFF
Saturday - Chicken Tortilla Soup (new)
Sunday - Mexican Meal

Notes about last week's new dishes:

Lazy Day Cheeseburgers
- I made the recipe allowing enough time for the meat and cheese to cook for about 6 hours. I scaled the recipe down, so it was about 1/2 lb of ground beef and 4 ounces of Velveeta. The cheese was melted in about 1 1/2 hours. After cooking for 2 hours, I spooned the meat and cheese mixture into a tubberware container, and refrigerated until dinner. I thought it turned out ok...nothing amazing...but still a really easy and quick recipe! My husband really liked it, and thought that bacon might be a good addition to the mixture. He thought the parts of the meat that were crispy and cooked longer were the best - so maybe next time I'll keep it in the slow cooker longer. If I made the full recipe, I think I would let it cook closer to the full 6-7 hours.

I hosted a play date at my house this past week, and served the BBQ Chicken from a previous weekly menu. I had enough leftovers of the chicken to make BBQ Chicken Pizzas that night for dinner (another previous weekly menu item). The Pizza Casserole got bumped to Sunday and Monday night meals.

Monday - Pizza Casserole - 7 Servings

  • 2 cups uncooked egg noodles
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced pepperoni sausage
  • 16 ounces pizza sauce
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cook noodles according to package directions.
  3. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef with the onion, garlic and green bell pepper. Drain excess fat. Stir in the noodles, pepperoni, pizza sauce and milk, and mix well. Pour this mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes, top with the cheese, then bake for 5 to 10 more minutes.

Tuesday - Fry Bread Tacos - 4 Servings

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can pinto beans, with liquid
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup picante sauce
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups oil for frying, or as needed
  1. Combine beans and 2 tablespoons of picante sauce in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until heated through. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef with taco seasoning mix according to seasoning mix package directions. Cover, and keep warm while you prepare the fry bread.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in milk, and mix until the dough comes together. Add more flour if necessary to be able to handle the dough. On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth, at least 5 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a large, deep heavy skillet to 365 degrees F (180 degrees C). Oil should be about 1 1/2 inches deep. Break off 3/4 cup sized pieces of dough, and shape into round discs 1/4 inch in thickness, making a thinner depressed area in the center. Fry breads in the hot oil until golden on both sides, turning only once. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Top fry bread with beans, ground beef, lettuce and cheese. Spoon picante sauce over. You can also top with other of your favorite taco toppings, such as onion, sour cream or guacamole.
**The recipe also mentions using any leftover fry bread as a dessert. Just coat with cinnamon and sugar; drizzle with honey.

Wednesday - Good Old Fashioned Pancakes - 8 Servings
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
I've made this recipe several times, and really enjoy it! I love having breakfast for dinner!

Thursday - Chicken Stir Fry - 2 servings
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cooking sherry
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 pound broccoli
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), sliced
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili paste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
**The hot chili paste and peanuts make the dish taste like Kung Pao Chicken! If you don't have hot chili paste, you could add 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.

Combine soy sauce, sherry, cornstarch, garlic and 1/4 cup water in small bowl; set aside. In wok (or skillet), stir fry chicken in hot oil for 2 minutes. Add broccoli, onion, and bell pepper; stir fry for 4 minutes. Add soy mixture; cook and stir until thickened. At this time, I add the hot chili paste as well as the peanuts.

After prep, the entire dish is ready in about 10 minutes. I serve this with a 10 minute bag of brown rice - so I'll get the water boiling while I'm cutting the chicken and veggies. Once I'm ready to start cooking, the water is usually boiling for the rice. I can throw the bag of rice into the pot, and have an entire meal ready at the same time!

Friday - OFF

Saturday - Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup - 8 servings
  • 1 pound frozen chicken breasts OR shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 7 corn tortillas; tortilla chips work great too
  • vegetable oil
  1. Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  3. Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup.
*Other reviews said that they used frozen chicken breasts instead of having to cook and shred prior to starting the recipe. They shredded the meat towards the end of the cook time. Also, they said that using tortilla chips rather than making your own helped save some time.

I'm going to try and create my own bread bowls for the soup. I'll just look around the bakery section, and see what would work best to carve out the center for the bowl.

Sunday - Mexican Meal

We love Mexican food so there are several ingredients I always have at the house: tortillas, tortilla chips, cheddar or Mexican Blend shredded cheese, a can of diced jalapenos, salsa and a can of red enchilada sauce.

I'll put together a meal depending on what sounds best. Sometimes it's an appetizer of nachos with a meal of soft tacos, enchiladas or quesadillas. Depending on how much chicken I buy, I may reserve a breast to use for this meal. We'll also have leftover chicken tortilla soup.

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