Sunday, June 16, 2013

June 9-16, 2013

Sunday:  Leftovers
·          We had eaten out for lunch that afternoon, and we had the leftovers for dinner.  J

Monday:  Citrus & Soy Grilled Chicken with Roasted Zucchini Sticks and Sweet Potato Fries

Citrus & Soy Grilled Chicken
·          I marinated chicken breasts in soy sauce, garlic powder, olive oil, red wine vinegar, & fresh squeezed oranges.  Chad grilled it for us, and it was delicious! 

Roasted Zucchini & Sweet Potato Fries
·          Cut up zucchini and sweet potatoes into small “sticks.”  Toss the zucchini with a little olive oil and season salt.  Use quite a bit more oil for the potatoes, making sure they are mostly covered.  I used Season All seasoning.  Roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.  The zucchini will be soft, but the sweet potatoes usually crisp up quite nicely, and are a great healthy “French fry” for the kids!

Tuesday:  Tomato, Mushroom, Beef &Bowtie Pasta with Salad & Bread

Tomato, Mushroom, Beef & Bowtie Pasta
1/2 lb lean ground beef
minced garlic
fresh, sliced mushrooms
salt & pepper
garlic salt
1 chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
bowtie pasta
parmesan cheese

Brown beef, garlic, & mushrooms in olive oil.  Once browned, drain off any fat and return beef to pan.  Season with salt, pepper, basil, & garlic salt.  Add the chopped tomato and sun-dried tomatoes and keep over low heat.  Meanwhile, make pasta as directed.  Combine cooked pasta with beef and tomatoes.  Top with fresh parmesan and enjoy!  This recipe makes a great leftover too.  It's so adaptable that you can toss in any vegetables you have on hand.

Wednesday:  Pizza Night!

Thursday:  Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce, Spanish Rice, & Salad

·          I’ve looked at this recipe before and knew we would like it, but I never took the time to attempt it.  It’s not a difficult recipe, especially if you use a rotisserie chicken, but for a busy mom, it’s definitely easier to prep it ahead of time.  Making the sauce, sautéing the vegetables, and assembling the enchiladas is a little much all at once if you have children nipping at your heels.  But, after eating it, I will absolutely make them again!  I will just assemble them earlier.  They are delicious!  The avocado cream sauce really puts them over the top, and the extra sauce is good on all kinds of other foods – hot or cold!  I actually only made a half recipe of the enchiladas, but a full recipe of the sauce.  (

Friday:  Grilled “Kickin’ Chicken,” Thin-sliced Roasted Potatoes, Sautéed Rainbow Chard, & Warm Garlic Bread

·          The boys were staying the night at my mom’s house J, and Payton went to bed early, so really it felt like a date night in for Chad and me!  This marinade is RIDICULOUSLY DELICIOUS!   Seriously, if you like foods with a little kick, try this.  It is so easy to prep (like, 4 ingredients!), and the payoff is so yummy.  It would have been a little too spicy for the boys, but it was perfect for us!  (

Thin-sliced Roasted Potatoes
·          I think I should call these “Grumpy’s Potatoes,” because they were some of his favorites.  I love cooking things that remind me of my Daddy.  For many foods, the browner and crispier the better for Daddy, and these are at the top of that list.  Wash, peel, & slice baking potatoes as thinly as you can.  Place one layer on the bottom of a greased baking dish.  Top with several pats of butter – enough to get good coverage.  Then sprinkle with salt & pepper, or your choice of seasonings (I used a little dry Ranch dressing mix this time too).  Repeat the layers until you’ve used all your potatoes.  Cover with foil and bake at 425 for 30-45 minutes, depending on how many potatoes you use and their size.  You’ll know it’s done when the bottom layer starts getting brown and crispy.  That bottom layer was Daddy’s absolute favorite.

Saturday:  Cream Cheese Grilled Chicken, Oven-Baked French Fries, & Roasted Peas

Cream Cheese Grilled Chicken
·          I had initially planned to make this Cream Cheese Filled Chicken, which looks delicious and I know I will make sometime soon.  (  But, Chad said he was happy to grill, and I’m never going to pass on that offer.  However, I already had cream cheese at room temperature on the counter that we didn’t want to waste.  So, we adapted the recipe.  He pounded the chicken to tenderize it, then seasoned it simply with salt & pepper.  After he had grilled the chicken on one side and flipped it, he added the cream cheese mixture from the above recipe to the top of the chicken.  The cream cheese warmed nicely over the chicken while it finished cooking!  It was really a fun, new way to eat grilled chicken!  The boys ate their chicken with no complaints!

·          I’ve made these in the past, but I’m not sure why I don’t make them more often!  They are a wonderful alternative to frozen French fries…much healthier and tastier!  We all loved them.  I think I should have pulled them out of the oven about 4 minutes sooner, as some of the really thin fries were quite brown.  But, it didn’t stop us from eating all of them!  (

I remembered reading somewhere to soak your cut potatoes in salted water before cooking them because it helps take some of the moisture out of the potato.  I love any chance to prep food early, so I cut our potatoes into thin strips and put them in cold, salted water in the fridge for a few hours.  When I was ready to cook them, I drained and rinsed them, then I dried them off with a towel.  I seasoned ours with olive oil and Season All.  As a bonus, we had extra cream cheese sauce from our chicken that made an amazing dipping sauce for our fries!!

Roasted Peas
·          Yes, that’s right.  Roasted peas.  It’s like a whole new world of vegetable greatness has entered our household.  My sister-in-law mentioned once that she roasted peas, and her kids loved them.  I had forgotten about it until I realized that frozen peas were the only green vegetable we had in our house for dinner.  So, I pulled out the peas from the freezer.  I cooked them in the microwave for only a minute or two to take the chill off, then I dried them off a bit.  I placed them in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet and sprayed them with a little olive oil.  Then I sprinkled them with salt & pepper.  I roasted them at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes, stirring them around a few times during roasting.
 These were so good!  I’m not a huge pea fan myself…they can come off a little slimy to me.  But having peas this way is something completely different.  The kids ate them (after a little prodding J), as did Chad & I.  After making them and enjoying them, I plan to try them again as a snack option too!

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