Monday, April 20, 2009

Dinner Diva Menu Week of 4/26

I'm working ahead of myself because I'm both excited and nervous about the upcoming events. My mom is coming into town, my neice is turning 5, and I'm running my first 1/2 marathon. I have some ideas for meals for next week, and I want to jot them down before I forget or get too busy to menu plan at the end of the week.

Sunday: MARATHON DAY! I plan to be completely exhausted and exhilerated today, so I'm pulling something out of the freezer that I can time-bake. If your oven is fairly recent, it likely has this feature. You set it to come on at a certain time at a certain temperature, and go off at a certain time. This is a good way to avoid the dinner time rush, as you can set it in the morning. It works great for frozen casseroles and baked potatoes! Check your manual for how to set it. Can't find your manual? Google it. Many manuals are now posted online.

I've had a request for more vegetarian options. I have to confess this is not my forte', but I will try to start including at least one vegetarian meal or some versatile meals that could swing either way.

Monday: Southwest Shrimp and Corn Chowder, quesadillas

Vegetarian version: Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and replace the shrimp with tofu, or skip it altogether.

Tuesday: grilled steak, potato-stuffed grilled bell peppers, caesar salad

Wednesday: grilled pork chops, roasted applesauce, corn bread, roasted asparagus

(Buy thick cuts of boneless pork chops for best grilling results. I like the ones from Sam's Club.)

Corn Bread:

1 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup white corn meal (I use quaker)

1/4 cup sugar

2 t. baking powder

combine above ingredients, then add:

1 cup skim milk

1/4 cup veg. oil

1 beaten egg

mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Oven to 400. Grease 8 or 9 inch pan (I use an iron skillet). add batter to greased pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm. 9 servings.

Roasted Asparagus:

Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 lb trimmed asparagus on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray; toss gently. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes or until asp. is crisp-tender. Place asparagus in large bowl, toss with 1 T. butter and 1 T. fresh chives.

Thursday: Taking a break today and taking mom out for dinner! serve leftovers if you don't want to go out.

Friday: Sniff. Mom left. Tonight we'll have our start-the-weekend alfresco meal: grilled burgers, broccoli slaw, potato chips

Vegetarian option: grilled portobello mushroom burgers

Try this recipe for homemade buns from the bread machine:

1 C. water

1 large egg

4 T. butter, cut into pieces

2 T. sugar

3 C. bread flour

1/4 C. nonfat milk (I use powdered buttermilk)

1 T. gluten

1 1/2 t. salt

2 1/4 t. bread machine yeast

Combine all ingredients in bread pan; set for dough and press start. When machine beeps at end of cycle, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a tight round and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten each round slightly with the palm of your hand. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375. Brush rolls with an egg glaze made from 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 T. water. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake 15-22 minutes, until lightly browned.

Saturday: leftovers or pizza