Sunday, May 9, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

Today is Mothers' Day, and so far I've gotten to sleep in (all the way till 8:15- about 3 hours past my usual alarm time!), gotten snuggles from my kids, homemade "pearl" bracelets, and fresh flowers. Not a bad Mothers' Day so far! Now I'm enjoying my coffee (thank you, Keurig) and menu-planning, which is a chore for some, but I actually enjoy pouring over Cooking Light magazines, scouring the internet recipe sites, and leafing through my many cookbooks. I love trying new recipes even more than savoring old favorites. Last week's calzones and beer-battered fish were each new recipes, and we all enjoyed them very much!

Lots of new stuff in store for this week, too!

Sunday: Daniel said he won't allow me to cook today. Sigh. Well, okay then. I guess we're going out!

Monday: Salmon Burgers, fruit salad, green bean fries

Green Bean Fries
1 lb fresh or frozen green beans (if frozen, thaw first)
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1-2 t. kosher salt, less or more to taste
black pepper, to taste, optional

Heat oven to 275. Toss beans, oil, and salt and pepper in a bowl until well coated. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 275 for 1 hour or until crisp. they will be shriveled and ugly but somewhat onion-ring-like.

Tuesday: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Strawberry-Avocado Salsa, cous-cous, steamed edamame

Nothing's easier than a grilled pork tenderloin, and it yields a juicy, flavorful base for the fresh salsa. For easy sides, serve it with commercial cous cous and steam-in-the-bag edamame.

Wednesday: Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers, crusty french bread

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

6 bell peppers, any color (look for boxy looking ones as these make the best stuffing peppers)
1 lb soy crumbles (such as Morning Star)
2 T. chopped onion
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 t. salt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 15oz can tomato sauce
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella

Cut peppers in half through stems, leaving stems in tact. Remove membranes and seeds, and rinse. Cook peppers in boiling water 5 minutes. Drain.

Cook soy crumbles and onion in nonstick skillet 8-10 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in rice, salt, garlic, and 1 cup tomato sauce. Cook until hot.

Heat oven to 350.

Stuff peppers with soy mixture. arrange open side up in baking dish. Pour remaining tomato sauce over peppers.

cover and bake 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 min. Sprinkle with cheese, and serve.

(For variation, add 2 t. italian seasoning when you add the tomato sauce, or substitute commercial bottled marinara for the tomato sauce.)

Thursday: Chicken and Strawberry Salad, Buttery Baguette Slices

This one starts with a rotisserie chicken--easy! I don't have cashews, so I'll probably substitute almonds or sugary pecans. For the side dish, use the leftover french bread from Wednesday and slice. Layer flat on a baking sheet and broil 1.5 minutes. Turn over, lightly butter, and broil 1.5 min longer.

Friday: grilled steaks, baked sweet potatoes, grilled asparagus

I can never get enough steak, and thanks to a very generous neighbor, I have an abundance of my favorite meat in my freezer. (But not for long!)

Saturday: Pizza night