Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dinner Diva Menu Week of 6/21

Happy Fathers' Day, to all who are fathers and who have fathers. I guess that covers everybody. (wink wink) See previous post for a yummy fathers' day menu. This week is going to be a busy one for us, so I probably won't cook much, but I'm happy to provide a delicious menu for those who want one:

Monday: Grilled Pork Chops, cornbread, steamed green beans

I buy the thick-cut, boneless skinless pork chops from Sam's. If you can find them, the ones that are over an inch thick are the best for grilling, as they retain their tenderness and juiciness. I season only with salt and pepper...they taste fantastic!

For the cornbread, I buy the white cornmeal from Quaker, and follow the directions on the box for easy cornbread. Ask if you'd like the recipe. It's the best we've ever had. Try it with farmer's market honey or pure maple syrup. mmmmm.

Tuesday: we'll be hosting a birthday party Tuesday night for an almost 7 year old! So our meal will be, um, chips, fruit salad, peanut butter and jelly with the crusts cut off, and cake. For those whose tastes are more sophisticated, I suggest:

tortellini (refrigerated, such as Digiorno), garlic bread, salad

Wednesday: ZADEN's 7th BIRTHDAY! I can't believe my firstborn will be 7. In honor of his birthday, I'm posting all his favorite recipes:

Breakfast: pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes, fresh fruit, juice OR fruit smoothie and a granola bar

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups 2 percent milk
1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Whisk in the milk, pumpkin and melted butter until blended. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring just until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Ladle the batter onto a hot buttered griddle and cook until golden brown on both sides.

TIP: since it calls for 1 cup pumpkin, and 1 can is 14 oz, I usually double the batch and use 1 full can and double all the other ingredients. It's not exact, but it's not wasteful either. If I make a single batch I freeze the leftover pumpkin for later.


Every smoothie is different, but I always start with the same base:

1 cup vanilla lowfat yogurt (I use Stonyfield Farm organic)
1/2 cup milk (organic, 2 percent)
1 Tablespoon flax oil

Zaden likes Strawberry-banana:

add to the base:
1 ripe banana
1 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour leftover smoothie into popsicle molds for smoothie pops.

He also likes Chocolate-peanut butter:

add to the base:
1 envelope carnation instant breakfast, chocolate flavored
1/3 cup natural peanut butter

blend until smooth.

Lunch: Zaden's favorite is ham and cheese lunchables. :)

Dinner: chicken nuggets, broccoli, pillsbury buttermilk biscuits with honey

Thursday: we'll be in Missouri this night, not sure what we'll eat. My suggestion:
Mom's Enchiladas (this recipe is from the Eating For Life cookbook, and is my all-time favorite enchilada recipe):

4 chicken breasts, boneless-skinless
4 green onions, sliced
2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalepeno, seeded and minced
3 10 oz cans green enchilada sauce
8 corn tortillas
1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups shredded lettuce
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 tomato, diced
1 2 oz can ripe olives, sliced

Preheat oven to 350. Coat 9X13 inch pan with cooking spray.

Place chicken breasts in a large pot and cover wtih water. Boil 15 minutes or until no longer pink in center. Drain and let cool slightly. Shred cooked chicken with 2 forks, set aside.

Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over med-high heat. Add green onion, jalepno, and cilantro; saute' for 2 minutes. Add shredded chicken and 1 can enchilada sauce. COok, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or until heated through.

Pour the remaining two cans ench. sauce in a med. bowl and microwave until warm, about 2 minutes. Dip each tortilla into the heated sauce and fill with about 1/8 of the chicken mixture. Roll up and place, seam side down, in the prepared pan.

Pour remaining heated sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until enchiladas are heated through and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

Divde lettuce onto four plates and place 2 enchiladas on top. top with a spoonful of salsa, a dollop of sour cream, tomatoes and olives. Serve and enjoy.

Friday: will be in Wisconsin tonight with family and extended family. Here is my suggestion for a meal, though I personally won't be cooking!:

Blackened Tilapia, red beans and red beans and rice, steamed pea pods. I've never made this, but I got the idea from my friend Cori's blog. If I were to cook it I'd use this recipe for the seasoning on the tilapia:

Rub above seasoning on both sides of the tilapia fillets. Grill on an indoor grill or in a grill basket on an outdoor grill.

then I'd make some pre packaged version of red beans and rice, and I'd serve it with a fresh salad.

Saturday: as always, saturday is my night off. Go out, serve leftovers, or have a frozen pizza

Sunday: I owe you a vegetarian menu: I've been waiting for my home-grown basil to be ready before I posted this one...I think it's ready!

Caprese Melts, creamy herbed mashed potatoes, fresh salad (try a bag of Italian blend if you're looking to simplify!)