Sunday, July 18, 2010

Weekly Menu for the week of July 19

Hey everyone! Welcome to my weekly menu!

I cannot believe how fast summer is flying by! We just returned from vacation and now there are school supplies on the shelves! The other sign that summer is flying by is that the zucchini is coming in!!! This week we have one recipe featuring it but be prepared for the coming weeks – there will be lots! Sooooo – if you have a recipe that you would like to share using zucchini please pass it on!

There are so many wonderful flavors of summer but I think my favorite is fresh basil. We are whipping up fresh pesto this week and then later in the week we will use the fresh leaves on my favorite summer sandwich – The Red, White and Green (tomato mozzarella and basil)! If you like a Caprese Salad you will love this sandwich. If you don’t already grow this wonderful herb you should! We left for two weeks, there was very little rain and the plant keeps growing like crazy!!! I have freezer tips below for storing fresh pesto.

This week we are also having a Fan Favorite – Asian Pork Wraps! And as usual we are turning the leftovers into Friday Night fun by creating a Chinese Take-out night at home with Pork-Lettuce Wraps. You know those wonderful lettuce wraps at that little chain called PF Chang’s? Yeah – these are pretty close.

So many great flavors this week that my mouth is watering already!!! We are also saving lots of time this week by grilling once for two meals, using the crock-pot once for two meals and preparing sandwiches for a nice quick, cool summer meal.

For the kids this week check out the Octopus Dogs!!! They are the best!

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!!! 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!


Bow-ties with Pesto, Tomatoes and Grilled Chicken
Tossed Salad

Bow-ties with Pesto, Tomatoes and Grilled Chicken

1 lb. of bow-tie pasta
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – double the amount so you have enough for Wednesday’s dinner!
½ - ¾ cup of pesto – homemade or purchased
1 large tomato, chopped
Parmesan cheese

Prepare pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place on a hot grill for about 4 minutes per side or until done. Remove chicken from the grill and let rest until the pasta is finished. Save the extra chicken for later in the week!

When the pasta is finished, toss the pasta with the pesto until coated. Slice the grilled chicken into strips. To serve, place pasta on a plate and top with sliced grilled chicken, chopped tomatoes and parmesan cheese.


3 cups of fresh basil leaves
¼ cup pines nuts
4 cloves of garlic
¾ cup of parmesan cheese
½ cup of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Place basil, pine nuts, garlic and parmesan cheese in a blender or food processor and pulse or blend. Continue to process the mixture and slowly add the olive oil. Once combined, season with salt and pepper to taste.

*** Freezer tip *** if you have extra pesto, freeze the leftovers. You can either freeze it in 1 cup servings or freeze in an ice-cube tray – easy to pop out a cube and combine with mayo for a tasty spread on sandwiches. Either way, be sure to top the pesto with a little olive oil so when the pesto is thawing, the basil will not turn brown!


Asian Pork Wraps
Sesame Cucumber Salad

Asian Pork Wraps

1 – 2 or 3 lb. boneless pork roast, or use 8-10 boneless chops depending on their thickness OR – use 2 pork tenderloins
½ cup of Hoisin
2 T. grated ginger
2 T. sherry cooking wine
1 clove of garlic, minced
6 shiitake mushrooms – other mushrooms will do but will not have the same woodsy flavor
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 mushrooms and chop 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!

Sesame Cucumber Salad

1 large English Cucumber or regular cucumber seeded, cut into 2-3 inch strips
¼ t. kosher salt
1 cup of red bell pepper strips
2 T. rice vinegar
2t. grated peeled fresh ginger
2 t. dark sesame oil
¼ t. crushed red pepper flakes
¼ t. black pepper

Place cucumber in a colander; sprinkle with the salt and toss well. Drain for 20 minutes.
Combine cucumber and bell pepper in a bowl.

Combine vinegar, ginger, and oil, stirring with a whisk. Pour over cucumber mixture and toss gently to coat. Stir in red and black pepper.

This can be made early in the day so it is ready when you wrap up dinner!


Grilled Chicken and Veggie Tostadas

Grilled Chicken and Veggie Tostadas (adapted from Cooking Light)

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons canola oil
2-3 grilled, boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup chopped red onion (about 1)
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 cup chopped zucchini, usually one small one
1/2 cup green salsa
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
4 taco size flour tortillas
Cooking spray
1 cup shredded Mexican Blend cheese

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 3 ingredients, stirring well. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over chicken. Add chicken to pan; sauté for a few minutes. Add onion, corn, and zucchini to pan; sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in salsa and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently.

Working with 2 tortillas at a time, arrange tortillas in a single layer on a baking sheet; lightly coat tortillas with cooking spray. Broil 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Spoon about 3/4 cup chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla; sprinkle each serving with 1/4 cup cheese. Broil an additional 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, chicken mixture, and cheese. Sprinkle each serving with about 3/4 teaspoon of remaining cilantro. Serve immediately.

*** If you don’t have time to broil the tortillas and make tostadas just use the mixture as a soft taco filling. They are fabulous either way!!!


Sandwich Night

Red, White and Green
Kids – Octopus Dogs
Fruit Salad

Red, White and Green (aka Tomato-Mozzarella Sandwich)

1 large tomato, sliced
Fresh mozzarella slices
Fresh basil – cut into strips or left whole depending on preference
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Fresh cracked pepper
Ciabatta Rolls

Cut the rolls horizontally. Brush olive oil on the cut sides and place under the broiler until the bread is nice and toasty. Remove bread from the oven and assemble the sandwiches – place slices of tomato, mozzarella cheese and basil on one half of the sandwich. Drizzle balsamic vinegar on top and fresh ground pepper.

If you would prefer to have your sandwich heated through, switch the broiler to 400˚ after you have broiled the bread. Assemble your sandwich and then wrap with foil. Place in the hot oven for about 5-8 minutes or until heated through and the cheese has melted.

Octopus Dogs

My kids and their cousins LOVE these! They are so much fun! My nieces’ taught me this one!

Hot dogs
Ketchup – for the ink

Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove. Take each hot dog and begin by cutting strips for the legs about 2 inches down from the top of the dog. This 2 inch piece is the head. You will need 8 legs so cut into quarters and then each quarter in half. Once the legs are finished, put a smile on the face. Take a sharp knife and pierce two eyes and draw a mouth – these are just slits – once the dog is placed in the boiling water the face will come to life! This is the best part for my kids!!!

Once your dog is finished and the water has begun to boil, place each hot dog in the water. You will want to have your kids nearby to see the before and after! Once the legs have curled your dog is finished. This takes a couple of minutes.

To serve, squirt ketchup onto a plate and place the octopus dog on top of the ketchup! Make sure he is perched on top of the ketchup, head up and legs sprawled out! If serving two at a time, make sure each octopus has their own “ink” aka ketchup!


Chinese Take-out Night

Pork Lettuce Wraps
Fortune cookies

Pork Lettuce Wraps

1 T. of Canola oil
Leftover Asian Pork
Slivered 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!

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!


Salad – GE special on bagged salad
2 large Tomatoes – GE special
3 cups of fresh basil – if making homemade – plus enough for sandwiches – GE special
6 Shiitake mushrooms – or whatever is on special – GE special on whole sno-white
Green onions – GE special 2 for $1
Large seedless cucumber – GE special 2 for $3
Red bell pepper
Red onion
2 ears of corn – or use 1 cup of frozen
Small zucchini
Fresh fruit for fruit salad – GE specials on peaches, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries
Slivered carrots
Head of Bibb or iceberg lettuce for wraps – GE special on Romaine

Parmesan cheese
Fresh mozzarella - GE special on BelGioioso save $4!!!!
Ciabatta Rolls

Olive oil – GE special on GE brand
Sherry cooking wine
Kosher salt
Crushed red pepper flakes
Canola oil
Balsamic vinegar – GE special on GE brand
Sugar – GE special

Canned Goods/Ethnic Foods/Dry Goods
Bow-tie pasta – Farfalle – GE special on GE brand
Pesto – or homemade
Pine nuts – if making homemade pesto
Sesame oil
Rice vinegar
Green salsa
Water chestnuts – chopped
Soy sauce
Chinese Hot Mustard
Garlic and chili paste
Fortune cookies

Seafood/Meat Case/Butcher
Boneless, skinless, chicken breast – 4-6 depending on the size of your family – GE special
Center cut pork loin – need a 2-3 lb. roast - GE special
Hot dogs for the kids – GE special on Kahn’s or Oscar Mayer

Frozen Foods

Flour tortillas – taco size – need 16
Mexi-blend cheese – Monterey Jack and Cheddar blend – GE special on GE brand




  1. Your menu ideas are great!
    My grandson is going to love the octopus hot dogs, can't wait to make them for him.
    Hope you don't mind I have copied quite a few of your recipes for myself and daughter, thanks.

  2. Your grandson will LOVE the octopus dogs! Every kid I have made these for loved them! Let me know what he thinks! Glad you are enjoying the recipes!!!