Sunday, January 31, 2010

Weekly Menu Feb. 1

Hi everyone!!! Welcome to this week’s menu!

This is one of my favorite menus!!!!! We are taking advantage of GREAT specials – or specials we took advantage of before (check your freezer) – and we are reinventing our leftovers for a fabulous Friday Night Happy hour at home!!! Some of my favorite recipes and yours too based on your feedback!

Here is a little tip: if you don’t think you are going to use your leftovers this week – like the pork – go ahead and freeze it. Maybe you want to save the lettuce wraps and potato skins for next week during the Super Bowl. Go ahead and freeze the pork and taco meat (not the fish) and keep the potato skins in the fridge. When you plan ahead you will be less stressed and save tons of money! ENJOY!

Here is this week’s menu:


Onion Baked Chicken
Wild Rice
Roasted Asparagus

Onion Baked Chicken

3 lbs. chicken quarters
1 T. olive oil
1 T. onion powder
1 ½ t. Italian seasoning
1 t. salt
½ t. garlic powder
½ t. paprika
¼ t. black pepper

Preheat oven to 375˚.

Brush chicken with olive oil. Mix seasonings in a bowl and coat the chicken evenly with the mixture. Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus
1 T. of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Trim off the bottom inch of the asparagus. Spread out on a jelly-roll pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt (I prefer Kosher) and pepper. Toss so that the asparagus is evenly coated. Lay flat and place under the broiled for about 5 minutes until the asparagus has crisped a little.


Asian Pork Wraps
Stir Fried Broccoli

Asian Pork Wraps

1 – 3 lb. boneless pork roast, or use 8-10 boneless chops depending on their thickness– OR – use 2 pork tenderloins
½ cup of Hoisin sauce
2 T. grated ginger
2 T. sherry cooking wine
1 clove of garlic, minced
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
12 flour tortillas
2 t. sesame oil
4 cups of shredded cabbage
1 bunch of green onions, sliced

Place pork roast in crock-pot. Combine 3 T. of hoisin sauce, ginger, sherry and garlic. Pour over the roast. Discard stems from dried mushrooms and crumble remaining part over the roast. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Remove pork from crock-pot. Stir cabbage into broth in the crock-pot. Heat to high setting, cover and cook an additional 5 minutes or until wilted. Shred pork with two forks and return to crock-pot.

Heat oven to 300˚. Brush tortillas with sesame oil and stack on a sheet of foil. Wrap the tortillas and heat the packet for 10 minutes.

To serve, spread each tortilla with remaining hoisin sauce, top with shredded pork mixture and green onions. Roll-up and enjoy!

Stir Fried Broccoli

One head of broccoli
2 T. of Canola Oil
2 cloves of garlic minced
½ t. of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 T. of soy sauce
Sesame oil

Chop broccoli into florets. Place broccoli in microwave safe covered dish with 2 T. of water and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. This will steam it. Put oil and garlic in a skillet and heat. Once oil is hot, add chopped broccoli and stir frequently for 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and soy sauce. Cook and stir for an additional 3 minutes. Prior to serving, drizzle broccoli with a little sesame oil.


Baked Potato Soup

Baked Potato Soup – this is a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs-kinda-soup

8-10 large baking potatoes
2/3 cup of butter
2/3 cup all purpose flour
7 cups of milk
4 green onions, sliced
1 pkg. of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 ¼ cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (8 oz.) container of sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Bake potatoes at 400˚ for 1 hour. When cool, slice in half and scoop out the middle - leave enough potato on the skin (think restaurant potato skins) and reserve the skins for future use – Friday Night Happy Hour Appetizer Night. Mash the potato scooped from the skin to desired consistency. I like it a little lumpy, which gives a nice texture to the soup.

Melt butter in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over low heat. Add flour and whisk constantly for one minute until smooth. Gradually, add milk and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture has thickened and is bubbly.

Stir in mashed, lumpy potatoes and green onions and bring to a boil. Be careful not to scorch!!! Once soup has been brought to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add bacon, cheese and sour cream. Site until cheese melts. Serve immediately.


Taco Night

Regular Beef or Fish Tacos

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Fish Tacos

¼ cup sour cream
2 T. lime juice
Salt and pepper
¼ small cabbage – red or green – thinly shredded (about 2 ½ cups)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced in half lengthwise, ½ of pepper minced
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. tilapia fillets
8 flour tortillas – taco size
½ cup of fresh cilantro leaves

In a large bowl combine sour cream and lime. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside half of the sour cream mixture for serving. Toss cabbage, scallions and minced jalapeno with the remaining mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil and remaining jalapeno half, swirling around to coat the bottom of the pan. The idea is to infuse the oil with a little heat from the pepper. Season fish with salt and pepper. Cook fish in skillet until golden brown on all sides, about 5-6 minutes. It is ok if the fish falls apart because you are going to stuff the tacos with it. Discard the jalapeno.

Warm tortillas in the microwave covered with paper towels or in the oven wrapped in foil. Fill each tortilla with slaw, fish and top each with fresh cilantro. If cilantro is not your thing you could substitute fresh parsley. Drizzle with reserved sour cream mixture. Serve immediately!

***Time Saving Tip**** Buy pre-shredded angel hair cabbage. This will be found near the bagged salads.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of white corn, drained and rinsed
1 diced avocado
¼ cup of red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
¼ cup of chopped cilantro
Juice of 2 limes
¼ t. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. This can be eaten alone or with tortilla chips.

Regular Tacos

Giant Eagle has a special on Ground Beef – you must buy the 3 lb. value pack to realize the special. Depending on the size of your family brown enough ground beef and add your favorite taco seasonings. Usually, one pound of beef will feed a family of four. Don’t be afraid of leftovers – we will use them again!

Freezing tip – if you do not use all of the ground beef and wish to freeze some, be sure you flatten the meat prior to freezing. Think large raw meat pancake. This will save you space in your freezer because you can stack meat nicely and it will save you time defrosting the same for a future meal. Also, consider browning ALL of the meat and freeze only the beef you won’t use for the tacos. Reheating frozen ground beef that has already been browned is quick and easy. Then you can add it to a jar of sauce for a quick meat sauce or for sloppy joes! There are many possibilities!


Happy Hour at Home

Pork Lettuce Wraps
Non-fried potato skins

Pork Lettuce Wraps

1 T. of Canola oil
Leftover Asian Pork
Slivered carrots (GE special on baby carrots)
Small can of chopped water chestnuts
Head of iceberg lettuce or bibb lettuce

Heat oil in a skillet. Add leftover pork, carrots and water chestnuts. Stir frequently until heated through.

To serve, pile pork mixture into a lettuce leaf, drizzle with dipping sauce, and wrap it up!

Dipping Sauce – you could use a store bought dipping sauce or the recipe below which has been adapted from PF Chang’s

¼ cup of sugar
½ cup of water
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. rice wine vinegar
2 T. of ketchup
1/8 t. of sesame oil
1 T. of Hot mustard (optional – depending on your heat index)
1 – 2 t. of garlic and chili paste

Dissolve the sugar in the water by boiling the same. Set aside. Combine Soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup and sesame oil. Mix together the hot water and the hot mustard. Depending on your taste, you can add some of the mustard mixture with the soy mixture. You can also add the garlic and chili paste to the soy mixture. Keep adding various amounts to the soy sauce mixture until the taste suits you!

Potato skins

Reserved potato skins from soup
Melted butter or Spray oil
Cheddar cheese
Toppings: bacon, sour cream, green onions, taco meat, salsa – you get the idea
Take your potato skins and place them on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with melted butter or spray with oil. Place in a 450˚ oven and bake until crisp. Remove skins and add cheddar cheese and place under the broiler until cheese has melted. Add your toppings – fun for the kids to make their own!


Tortilla chips
Leftover taco meat, refried beans, cheddar cheese.
Toppings: salsa, olives, jalapenos, sour cream, green onions

Spread tortilla chips onto a cookie sheet. Reheat taco meat and beans in the microwave. Layer the beef and beans on top of the chips. Load it up with cheddar cheese. Place the cookie sheet in a 400˚ oven until heated through and cheese has melted. To serve, plate up the nachos and have everyone add their own toppings!

What to drink at Happy Hour???
Serve cold beer and margaritas for the adults and lemonade for the kids!

What an easy, cheap and fun way to use up your leftovers from the week!!! Invite a few friends and spread the cheer!

And now here is your shopping list:


3 Limes
6 shiitake mushrooms – Special on sliced baby bellas – that would work just fine
Head of Cabbage – napa if you can find it
2 Bunches of green onions
2 jalapenos
Head of broccoli or Frozen broccoli florets
Baking potatoes – GE special
Asparagus – GE special
Head of lettuce – iceberg or bibb


Canned Goods/Ethinic Foods/Dry Goods
Hoisin Sauce
Soy Sauce
Taco Seasoning
Salsa – GE special on Chi-Chi’s
Taco shells
Small can of chopped water chestnuts
Hot mustard – Chinese style
Garlic and Chili paste – in the Asian section
Black beans
White corn
Wild Rice

Sherry Cooking Wine
Sesame Oil
Olive Oil
Canola Oil
Red Pepper flakes
Onion powder
Italian Seasoning
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Rice Wine Vinegar
Cayenne Pepper

Frozen Foods
Broccoli florets – if you are not buying fresh

Meat Case/Butcher
3 pounds of pork – GE special on pork roast, boneless chops, or pork loins
3 lbs. chicken quarters – GE $.79/lb
2 pkgs of Bacon – GE Special
1 lb. Tilapia filets – If making fish tacos – GE special
Ground Beef – GE special on 3 lb. value pack of 92% lean

2 pkgs (If you want soft tacos and then one for the pork wraps) Tortillas
Cheddar cheese – GE special on Kraft
Sour Cream – GE special on Breakstone’s

Bread /Cereal

Beer or margaritas or both!

Thanks again to everyone who has passed on my menu! I really appreciate it and am grateful that you are enjoying the recipes and the savings!

Follow the plan so you can save time, money, and a few calories! Remember – cooking our own food is healthier than ordering in and eating out any day!!! Your family, wallet and waistline will thank you!

I hope you all enjoy your week, the recipes and the savings!

No comments:

Post a Comment