Thursday, August 20, 2009

This week's menu

So no menu posted last week, I know, but we had a lot of left overs from the weekend prior that held us over for the first part of the week and the latter part of the one starved and some weeks that's all that counts, right?

Ok, this week's menu....

Baked Chicken Nuggets and 1 Pot Mac n Cheese

Baked Chicken Nuggets
Five starts - delicious and nutritious and SUPER kid friendly!!! Definitely will make again and again and again. If you don't have wheat germ, you can use all bread crumbs, but wheat germ is a staple at our house. It's great in smoothies and you can add it to pancake mix for a tasteless nutritional boost!
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 pinch ground red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs vegetable or canola oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 13x9" baking dish w/ non-stick cooking spray (for the record it took me TWO baking dishes to spread out all the chicken pieces). Trim any fat from chicken and cut into 1 inch cubes. In a bowl beat eggs w/ water. Add the chicken and toss to coat. In another bowl combine the bread crumbs, wheat germs, herbs and spices. Stir in the oil with a fork and mix well. Pour seasoning mixture into a re-sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces, seal and shake well to coat (tip: seal all but a corner of the bag and blow some air into the bag to inflate then finish completely sealing. With bag completely sealed and puffed, shake vigorously...the added air gives the meat room to move away from the sides of the bag making for more even coating). Spread the chicken pieces out in the prepared baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. Turn pieces and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

1 Pot Mac n Cheese
Time consuming and comes out kind of mushy, but was a HUGE hit with the munchkin. Plus I love the freedom of being able to use his organic milk w/ DHA and whole grain pasta.
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbs all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cup elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a med saucepan over med-low heat. Add chopped onion sand cook stirring until tender but not brown (approx 5-7 minutes). Stir in the flour and salt and stir. Then pour in the milk and the macaroni all at once. Increase the heat to med and bring mixture to a boil stirring often to keep macaroni from clumping together and sticking to the bottom (takes a while 15-20 minutes). When the milk reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until noddles are tender. Remove pan from heat and add cheese stirring until it melts smoothly into sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Eggplant Parmesan
Maybe not the healthiest dish ever, but very tasty, and so quick and easy...I love dishes where all the ingredients live in our pantry and/or freezer!
  • Pkg whole wheat pasta
  • 1 lb box of frozen eggplant slices (breaded Italian style)
  • 1 Jar of Spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese, shredded mozzarella or 4 slices of provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta according to pkg directions. While pasta is cooking, put the frozen eggplant into a baking dish. Cover with spaghetti sauce and bake for 10 minutes. Top with cheese and bake for another 10-15 minutes until eggplant is cooked and cheese is completely melted. Serve over pasta. We ate this with a salad.

Mustard Crusted Salmon
This recipe was alright. Nothing special. I doubt I'll do it again, I much prefer this salmon recipe or for broiling fish, this tilapia recipe. Little C wanted nothing to do with this entree and since I've learned from experience not to push him when he's throwing $8/lb meat on the floor, we just gave him some left over 1 pot mac n cheese mixed with tuna and peas. He loved it.
  • 4 4-6oz salmon fillets
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Season salmon w/ salt and pepper. Spread mustard evenly over tops of fillets. Sprinkle breadcrumbs generously over fillets (approx 2 tbs/fillet) and pat to stick. Bake approx 7 min or until fish just begins to flake. Turn on broiler (low) and broil about 6 inches from source to toast crumbs. We had this with steamed broccoli.

C.Y.O. Stir Fry
C.Y.O. stands for 'create your own'. LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe because it is super versatile (perfect for picky eaters and/or cleaning out the produce drawer in your frige!), but requires some serious prep work. You have to pretty much have everything ready to go because once you start, it all goes really fast. Also, and I can not stress this enough, use a REALLY big pan or you'll run out of room by the end.
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil, divided
  • 3/4 - 1 lb protein possibilities (choose one or more)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
  • 4 cups vegetable possibilities (choose at least three)
  • 1/4 cup chicken, beef or vegetable broth
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup extra bonus ingredient (choose one), optional
Protein possibilities:
  • Boneless, skinless chicken, cut into strips
  • Boneless beef stir-fry strips (flank steak, sirloin, top round)
  • Boneless pork, cut into strips
  • Raw peeled shrimp
  • Firm tofu, cut into cubes
Vegetable possibilities
  • Green or red peppers, cut into strips
  • Carrots, thinly sliced
  • Broccoli, broken into florets (stems sliced)
  • Zucchini, sliced
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Cabbage (regular or Chinese), sliced
  • Bean sprouts, rinsed
  • Celery, sliced
  • Snow peas, cut in half
Extra bonus ingredients (optional):
  • Peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • Cashews, whole
  • Sesame seeds, toasted (don't use more than 1 tbsp.)
  • Crispy Chinese noodles
In large skillet or wok, heat 1 tbs of the vegetable oil over high heat. Add your protein choice and stir-fry for 3 or 4 minutes until just cooked through. The amount of time will depend a little on what you're cooking. Remove to a clean bowl.
Add remaining 1 tbs oil to the pan. Throw in onion, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for about 1 min. Add the vegetable possibilities to the pan, beginning with the ones that take the longest to cook (carrots, broccoli stems, etc.) and ending with the ones that cook most quickly (bean sprouts, snow peas). Cook, stirring and tossing for about 2 minutes, then pour in the broth, cover the pan with a lid and let everything steam for 1 or 2 minutes. CAUTION: do not over cook veggies, skip the steaming step if you are using tender veggies such as zuccini, sprouts, etc or your'll end up with a soggy mess by the end!!
In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce and cornstarch.
When the vegetables are crisp tender, return the meat (or whatever) to the pan, along with the soy sauce mixture and your bonus ingredients (if using) and continue to stir-fry for 1 or 2 minutes or until the sauce is glossy. Serve with rice or noodles.

Note: if you are not dealing with kiddos and want to give this recipe a nice kick of flavor, use 4 tbs of a spicy bottled stirfry sauce instead of the soy sauce/corn starch mixture.

1 comment:

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