15 November 2010

Menu Monday!!

Hello BlogWorld, Today is Menu Monday... If you have any menu plans, recipes or grocery shopping tips you would like to share, please post them and leave a comment so I/we can check out your post :)
Here is what's going on in the Smith kitchen this week:

Monday: Chicken & Cheese Manicotti, Caesar Salad & Garlic Bread

1 box Manicotti Shells, cooked & rinsed with cold water
10 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed
2 eggs
2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 26-32 oz jar pasta/marinara sauce (or homemade sauce of your choice)
1 small jar of alfredo sauce (I used alfredo with roasted red peppers)
3 chicken breasts (give or take, depending on the size), cut into bite size pieces
Garlic (fresh & powdered), Italian seasoning, Pepper, Olive Oil (sorry, I didn't measure)

In a large pan heat olive oil and fresh garlic, add chicken, sprinkle with Italian seasoning & Pepper to your taste, cook thoroughly and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs. Stir in Spinach, 1 1/2 cups Italian cheese blend, ricotta, and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Stir in chicken.
Spread light layer of marinara in 9x13 pan.
Stuff shells, I found the easiest way to fill them was to throw on a pair of gloves and use my fingers. Place shells in pan, cover with marinara, drizzle with alfredo, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese blend.
Bake covered, in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
Tuesday: Tiffany's Burritos
My sister introduced me to these burritos, so I thought the name fitting :)

Flour Tortillas (I like mine warmed up)
Cooked white rice
Can of Black Beans heated on up
Sliced Avocado
Sour Cream
Favorite Salsa

Spread Sour Cream on your tortilla, add rice, beans, avocado and salsa, or save the salsa for dipping. This burritos are so simple, yet super tasty!

Wednesday: Paula Dean's Italian Soup
This recipe was posted in our HOA newsletter last month, titled Fabulous Fall Recipe. Kelly and I would agree that it was oh so Fabulous.
Instead of sliced carrots, I used 1 cup of Italian Veggies (the seasoned ones in the glass jar). I also added Italian Seasoning and cooked the chicken with fresh garlic. I definitely think the soup needed the seasonings. Also, I do not have a dutch oven, so I just used a large pot and cooked it a bit longer.

2 tablespoon olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut
into bite-sized pieces (about 1 3/4 pound)
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup sliced carrots (about 3 small)
2 1/2 cup sliced zucchini (about 2 medium)
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with
basil, garlic, and oregano
2 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth
Grated Parmesan, optional
Page 2Directions:
In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-
high heat. Add chicken, and cook for 10
minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion and
carrot, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini,
diced tomatoes, and chicken broth. Bring to a
boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for
30 minutes. Top each serving with grated Parmesan
cheese, if desired.
Recipe Courtesy
of Paula Deen
Servings: 6 to 8
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 45 min

Thursday: Halloween Chili & Cornbread
I made a big ol' crockpot of chili on Halloween and froze the leftovers so we wouldn't have to eat them for a week.

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
2 cups chopped onion (I used less)
1 Lg chopped green sweet pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced (I probably used more, I'm a bit of a garlic girl)
1 can each, rinsed and drained, red kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, white kidney beans (you can add more or less and create your own bean combo)
3 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained (I used one with diced chilis)
1 15 oz can tomato sauce (I apologize, I just used the recipe as a guide and was filling up my crockpot, I may have added more of this too...)
2 cups water
1/4 cup chili powder
Italian Seasoning, or dried basil & oregano to your taste
1 tsp black pepper

Other things I add:
diced apple (I used a gala and cut it super small)
sprinkle of granulated sugar (I was once told to add a dash of sugar anytime you have a tomato base, you can't taste it, it just helps with the acidity)

This was another dutch oven recipe, but I just cooked the ground beef, onion, sweet pepper and garlic in a pan, drained the fat and then cooked up the rest in the crockpot on low. It basically just has to heat through, and the longer it simmers the more the flavors combine.

As for Corn Bread, I like to use the Marie Callendar's just add water mix.

Friday: Costco Salmon, Box of favorite Rice Pilaf & Salad, and maybe some Costco Molasses bread (it's the same bread served at The Cheesecake Factory and The Outback, yum!)

Costco sells frozen marinated salmon fillets, 6 pieces for only $16.00. It is gluten & msg free, and cooks from frozen to table ready in just 25 minutes. This is another easy dinner staple around our house. The rice and salmon cook for about the same time, and I mix up the salad, 25 minutes later voila!

Spinach Salad:
Fresh Spinach Leaves
Real Bacon Bits
Diced hard boiled egg
Dried Cranberries
Cracked Pepper
Diced Roma Tomato
Favorite Dressing, I've tried and enjoyed Poppy seed, Ranch, Caesar, Italian.

Saturday: Taco Salads
I use Taco Salad Shell pans to bake the tortillas, or you can buy fried shells from Taco Time for a tasty treat!

This is a simple one, that is easily changed up depending on what we have on hand.
I like to use Romaine Lettuce.
Lg Tortillas baked in shell pans.
Refried Beans.
Ground Turkey with Taco Seasoning.
Sour Cream (sometimes I mix in a bit of taco seasoning for a little zest)
diced tomatoes
sliced olives
shredded cheese, Mexican blend

Layer to your heart's desire.
More recipes, ideas and Menu Monday posts:
If you're not linked above, please leave a comment so us fellow bloggers can check out your yummy post :)
Off to REI with the fam, hope you enjoy your Monday, and I look forward to see/hear what's cookin' in your kitchen!


Stefanie said...

I don't do a whole lot of special stuff for dinner, especially while I'm working. I do like to buy chicken in bulk, throw it in a marinade, then throw it in the freezer in "couple-sized" amounts. This way, I can set it out in the morning and Matt can cook it while waiting for me to come home :) We typically have salad or roasted veggies each night. Your taco salad is sounding awfully delicious right now!

Melissa said...

Great Nicole! We should definately get together. I am doing the same thing! I just won 40 lbs. of chicken so I'm experimenting with different recipes to freeze. Also one of my favorite blogs is www.thepioneerwoman.com Her recipes are to die for in her cooking section.

Anonymous said...

Use brown rice in your burritos instead for better bang for your calorie buck!

If the speed is what attracts you to the white rice, grab some pre-cooked frozen brown rice from Trader Joes. Or cook your own big batch from scratch at the beginning of the week to use throughout the week! Maybe serve your chili over rice, or add some to your soup.

Kirsten said...

This sounds amazing! Way more detailed than mine, but I blogged my meal for tonight: http://www.kirstenleahphotography.com/2010/11/menu-monday/

Thank you for the idea!

Jessica said...

Wowsa, thanks! I'm currently eating fast food, something I generally never do...and I can feel the tummy ache coming on... but it was a long day and I went for it. Tomorrow: Pepto-Bismol, lots of water, and Paula Dean meets Jessica's Kitchen.

Robin said...

I LOOOOVE that Costco salmon- just discovered it. Such a great deal, too and we love the marinade on it! Glad to know other households are enjoying it! =)