Saturday, March 20, 2010

Back In The Saddle Again...

I've been given the green light to use my left hand again, but only a little and only if it's comfortable, which not much is. So with the (limited) use of my left hand, and the opening of the farmers' market, I fully intend to reclaim my kitchen and prepare most of this week's meals myself. I've been absolutely spoiled by my neighbors and friends, and by my doting husband, who tries really hard but doesn't know where anything goes, and while I'm extremely grateful, I'm ready to take care of my family again!

Monday: Beef and Barley Soup, Whole Wheat Crackers

Did I mention that it snowed here this weekend? Well, that put me in the mood for soup, and since I haven't made this one yet this winter, it sounded really good. It's a breeze to throw together, and tastes great. Don't tell anyone that it's healthy; they'll never know!

Beef and Barley Soup

1T. olive oil
1.5 lbs sirloin steak, cut into 1 inch cubes

4 C beef broth
1 C water
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. pearl barley
1 bay leaf
10 oz frozen green beans
1 can diced tomatoes
10 oz frozen peas

In large pot, warm the olive oil. Add beef cubes, and cook about 8 min, or until browned on all sides.

Stir in beef broth, water, onion, celery, carrot, oregano, black pepper, garlic, barley, and bay leaf. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes.

Stir in green beans, tomatoes, and peas. Simmer, covered, until meat and veg are tender, about 15 more minutes. Remove bay leaf.

6 servings of 2 cups each. From Eating For Life

Tuesday: Shrimp Stir Fry, Rice, Egg Rolls

Wednesday: Pasta Primavera, Crusty French Bread

At physical therapy this week, I was browsing a Family Circle magazine. Regular readers know I don't venture much beyond Cooking Light, but in FC, there was this fabulous-looking recipe for Pasta Primavera that I just have to make! I think I can, I think I can....

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday (vegetarian): Black Bean Burgers with Mango Salsa

No I can't chop. Yes I can use a food processor!

Saturday: Pizza Night

Sunday (vegetarian): South of The Border Hashbrown Bake, fresh fruit salad

Breakfast for dinner? ALWAYS good!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dinner Diva Menu Week of 3/15

My new Cooking Light magazine came today. As I eagerly turned the pages, my mouth began to water as the pictures of fabulous food fanned by. I asked the editors nicely, but there was no listing of "meals you can make one-handed" in the table of contents. Oh well, maybe next month...I'm afraid I'll still need it. As far as two handed meals go, this week's are gonna wow you!

Monday: Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Spring Salad, Oven Fries

Simple but different than the every day. If you don't have a knife in your kitchen that you are actually afraid of because it's so sharp, get one. Then use it to pocket chicken breasts. (I love my Wusthof!)

For the oven fries, select 1 to 1 1/2 med sized baking potatoes per person. Wedge each into 8-12 wedges, then toss with about 1/3 cup vegetable oil and 2-4 t. salt (kosher if you have it) in a large ziptop bag. (Optionally add 1 t. black pepper to the bag.) Roast at 400 for 45-60 min, or beginning to brown, and soft when stuck with a fork.

Tuesday: Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Sausage and Peppers, Spring Salad, Fresh Italian Bread

Budget Tip: buy a larger tub of fresh salad and serve it twice or more in one week. Organic is better for a lot of reasons, but the lesser-known bonus is that it stays fresh longer.

Wednesday: Steak and Grilled Vegetable Panini, Sautee'd Zucchini, raw carrots

I like to leave a plate of carrots and sliced peppers out on the counter while I cook. It gives me something to munch, and keeps the munchkins at bay too. Kids won't eat raw veggies? A bowl of grapes works too.

Thursday: Sweet Orange Salmon, Steamed Edamame, Wheat Pilaf (such as Near East)

This is my favorite salmon recipe. I serve it often because it is a quickie to prepare and I never have leftovers. It's one of the ones I know I won't have to encourage the kids to eat; they'll devour it. serve with fresh orange wedges to complete the color palate of the meal. Gorgeous!

Friday: Tacos

Saturday: Pizza

Sunday: Grilled Pork tenderloin, Quick Skillet Asparagus, Buttery Red Potatoes with Parsley

I love the flavor of an unmarinated pork tenderloin on the grill. A dusting of salt and pepper, and the grill does the rest.

Quick Skillet Asparagus
4 t olive oil
1 lb med asparagus spears, trimmed
1/2 t. lemon rind
1 t. lemon juice
1/4 t. salt

Heat large skillet over med-high heat. Add oil, swirl to coat. Add asparagus; cook 3 min. or until crisp tender and browned, stirring frequently. Transfer to a serving platter. Add rind, juice, and salt, tossing to coat.

Buttery Red Potatoes with Parsley
1-2 lb baby red potatoes or small red potatoes, washed
3 T butter
1 T dried parsley

Boil potatoes until done, about 20 minutes. Drain and toss with butter and parsley until butter is melted and potatoes are well-coated with both butter and parsley.