Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekly menu for the week of June 14

Hey everyone! Welcome to my weekly menu!

It is officially summer in my house!!! Kids are finished with school and we have already hit the pool! Now if I could get them to sleep in a little bit … a mom can hope right?

In our CSA pick-up this week were garlic scapes. They are the long curly green stems that are actually the top of the garlic bulb. So what do you do with them? A lot of people like to make pesto with them. Here is a recipe:  We tried this. Although it was delicious, it was way too strong for us to serve over pasta! Rather than serving over pasta, I put a spoonful into each cube of an ice cube tray, put a little oil on top and then put the whole thing in the freezer! Each cube is about 1 Tablespoon so you can pop out whatever you need for future recipes. I plan on adding the pesto to mayo for sandwiches this summer! I will pop out all of the cubes and transfer them to a zip-lock bag for easier storage … and because I only have one tray. I also did this with chipotle chilies. A few weeks ago we had recipes that called for the chilies. You buy a 7 oz. can but each recipe only called for a tablespoon here or one chili minced there. A little chipotle goes a long way don’t you think? Freeze the leftovers in cubes!!! It worked perfect! Want to add zing to your burger or chicken sandwich this summer? Mix one of the chipotle cubes with mayo and WOW!!! You just took your sandwich to a whole new level!

This week’s menu has a definite Mediterranean feel to it. The Greek Pita Pockets are amazing!!! My kids like to call them Greek Tacos and in fact like them better than regular tacos. Let me know what your kids think! And the Balsamic Grilled chicken is a HUGE fan favorite. Be sure to make extra – we will reinvent it later in the week and you could also slice up the leftovers and add to a salad for a healthy lunch to take to work or poolside.

We have an “Un-burger” recipe this week – The Blue Cheese Buffalo Chicken Burger. One of my faithful readers passed this one on. It was featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and she said her family LOVED them. The recipe will make about 7 big burgers so adjust accordingly.

Don’t forget - you can now follow the menu on Facebook and Twitter!!! Go to Kristen Kill Reisinger’s Menus That Save on Facebook and click like!!!!/pages/Pittsburgh-PA/Menus-That-Save-by-Kristen-Kill-Reisinger/106417509405020?ref=sgm&ajaxpipe=1&__a=11 You will receive updates and pics throughout the week. Also follow the menu on Twitter - @menusthatsave.

ALWAYS check your coupons!!! Not only the ones we receive in our newspapers and mid-week mailers but also online! Check out

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!


Broiled Tilapia Parmesan
Steamed Broccoli

Broiled Tilapia – adapted from

½ cup of parmesan cheese
¼ cup of butter softened
3 T. mayo
Juice of one lemon
¼ t. of basil
¼ t. pepper
1/8 t. onion powder
1/8 t. celery salt
Old Bay Seasoning
2 lbs. of tilapia fillets

Preheat your oven's broiler. Line pan with aluminum foil = Easy Cleanup! And spray the foil with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.

Season both sides of each fillet with Old Bay Seasoning. Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to overcook the fish.


Balsamic Grilled Chicken
Roasted Potatoes
Tossed Salad

Balsamic Grilled Chicken – Double this recipe!!! We need leftovers later in the week!

¼ cup of olive oil
1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
¼ cup of soy sauce
1 T. of Worcestershire Sauce
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients together with a whisk and pour over chicken. Marinate for 1 to 8 hours. And then place chicken on a hot grill for about 5 minutes per side – depending on the size of each breast.

*** Time and money saving tip *** This chicken is soooo versatile that you may want to grill extra pieces of chicken and use the leftovers for lunches during the week. Slice the leftover chicken and top a salad with it or wrap it up in a tortilla for a quick healthy lunch!

This marinade also works on pork!


Greek Pita Pockets with Yogurt Sauce

Greek Pita Pockets

½ lb. of ground beef
½ lb. of ground lamb
¼ cup of finely chopped onion
1 t. of minced garlic
½ t. of cumin
½ t. oregano
¼ t. of red pepper flakes
1 T. of chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
4 pita pockets, warmed and sliced in half to create a pocket

Brown the beef, lamb, and onion in a large skillet. Drain the grease and add the garlic and the remaining seasonings. Stuff each pocket with the lamb and beef mixture, top with roasted red peppers and yogurt sauce.

Yogurt Sauce

1 cup seedless cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 cup plain yogurt
1 t. lemon juice
½ t. garlic, minced
¼ t. of cumin
Dash of red pepper
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh mint

Combine all of the ingredients and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.


2 cups of chopped lettuce (Romaine or Iceberg)
1 cucumber, diced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
½ cup of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
¼ cup of fresh mint leaves, chopped
½ green pepper, diced
1 bunch of green onions, finely sliced
2 pieces of pita bread, toasted and broken into bite-size pieces
¼ cup of crumbled feta

¼ cup of lemon juice
¼ cup of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Pinch of salt and pepper

Mix dressing ingredients together. Put all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve immediately.


Chicken and Onion Sandwiches
Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Chicken and Onion Sandwiches

Leftover Balsamic Chicken, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 T. olive oil
1 t. balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
Ciabatta Rolls
Sliced Provolone Cheese
Fresh Spinach Leaves

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic, onion and red pepper. Sauté until the pepper and onions caramelize. Add the vinegar and keep warm.

Split the ciabatta rolls. Warm the leftover sliced chicken in the micro. Place a slice of cheese on one side and place the sliced chicken on top. Add the onion and pepper mixture and pop under the broiler until

Mediterranean Orzo Salad – Adapted from Cooking Light

1 cup uncooked orzo
2 cups prewashed spinach, chopped
½ cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves
3 T. chopped red onion
3 T. chopped pitted kalamata olives
½ t. freshly ground black pepper
¼ t. salt
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, undrained
¾ cup feta cheese, crumbled and divided

Cook the orzo according to package directions. Drain; rinse with cold water. Combine orzo, spinach, and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl.
Drain artichokes, reserving marinade. Coarsely chop artichokes, and add artichokes, reserved marinade, and 1/2 cup feta cheese to orzo mixture, tossing gently to coat. Sprinkle each serving with remaining feta cheese.


Blue Cheese Buffalo Chicken Burger
Carrots and Ranch Dressing
Fresh Fruit

Blue Cheese Buffalo Chicken Burger – “BBQ Makes Everything Better” by Aaron Chronister and Jason Day (Scribner, 2010, $30) as printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

2 pounds of ground chicken
1 cup of plain bread crumbs
½ cup of crumbled blue cheese
¾ cup of hot sauce, divided (Frank’s is best)
¼ t. garlic powder
2 T. butter, room temperature
Salt and pepper
Hamburger buns

Combine the ground chicken, bread crumbs, blue cheese ad ½ cup of the hot sauce in a mixing bowl. (if you can’t find ground chicken or would prefer to take advantage of chicken that is on special, just cut the chicken breasts into chunks and then pulse in a food processor) Refrigerate for at least 1 hour – this helps the bread crumbs absorb the moisture from the meat and hot sauce and bind everything together. Remove from the fridge and form into patties. The number of patties will depend on how big you like your burgers. For some this may be 7 or 8 and for others maybe 4!

Place the patties on a grill over direct medium-high heat for approximately 7-8 minutes per side until the burgers are well done – this is chicken folks – no medium rare burgers here! Baste the burgers with the remaining hot sauce – you may want to skip this step for the little, tender mouths in your house.

Combine the butter and the garlic powder and spread on the buns. Toast the buttered buns face down on the grill for a couple of minutes. Place the burgers on the buns and assemble with the lettuce and tomato.

*** A wonderful condiment to put on top of the burgers would be some homemade ranch dressing!!!

And now for the shopping list. As always, double check your pantry, fridge and freezer to see if you already have any of the items listed below. This will reduce your spending and create less waste!


2 Lemons
Red potatoes – GE special – do not need to buy both bags
Salad – GE special on bagged salads
2 Onions
Fresh parsley
Fresh mint
Cucumber – large seedless – GE special – do not need to buy both
Romaine lettuce
2 tomatoes – 3 if you want slices on the burger
Green pepper
Red pepper
Green onions
Spinach – GE special on bagged spinach
Sun-dried tomatoes
Red onion
Kalamata olives
Fresh fruit – GE special on strawberries, grapes and other fruit

Parmesan cheese
Pita pockets
Blue cheese
Ciabatta Rolls
Hamburger buns

Mayo – GE special on GE brand
Onion powder
Celery salt
Old Bay Seasoning
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Worcestershire Sauce
Red pepper flakes
Cayenne pepper
Hot sauce – Frank’s
Garlic powder
Ranch dressing

Canned Goods/Ethnic Foods/Dry Goods
Soy sauce
Marinated artichoke hearts (6 oz. jar)

Seafood/Meat Case/Butcher
2 lbs. of Tilapia fillets – GE special
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – about 4 lbs needed – GE special
½ lb. of ground beef
½ lb. of ground lamb

Frozen Foods

Plain yogurt – GE special on Dannon Greek yogurt
Provolone cheese slices

Plain bread crumbs


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