Saturday, September 4, 2010

Weekly Menu for the week of Sept. 6

Hey everyone! Welcome to my weekly menu!

Well, we survived the first week of school! There was only one casualty and that was dinner on Wednesday night! If you follow the Menu on Facebook you would have seen my post where I admitted that I was human … I enjoyed a conversation with a friend and forgot to pull the roasted tomatoes out of the oven. Yep – the burnt tomatoes and garlic went right into the trash! I was so happy that I had frozen batches of my Wedding Soup from the other week. I quickly pulled some soup out, warmed it up and dinner was saved in a flash! Which got me thinking … We should have a few more meals on the menu to make ahead and freeze! So this week I am sharing a recipe for sauce that has been passed down via my in-laws – Mama Rosa’s Sauce. This will make a large batch of sauce and you will easily be able to freeze it. Add hot or sweet Italian sausage or your favorite meatballs for an amazing Italian pasta dinner. The holiday weekend is a good time to whip this up! And it always tastes better the next day.

We are also going to have a favorite of yours and mine – Grilled Caesar Chicken. This is one of my “go to” meals. If all else fails I can easily marinate the chicken for as little as an hour (the flavors will be better if you can marinate longer) and I always make extra to throw in my salads at lunch or wrap it up with hummus and cucumbers. Consider freezing raw chicken breasts in the dressing. This will be super quick and easy to prepare for those extra busy weeks. This week we will make extra and use the leftovers for later in the week. How does an Antipasto Chicken Panini sound? We will pair this incredible sandwich with the most amazing Gazpacho I have ever had! This is a great recipe to use up all of those red ripe tomatoes and sweet green peppers you have from your garden, your neighbor’s garden or from your CSA.

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!


HAPPY LABOR DAY … enjoy the day off!


Grilled Caesar Chicken
Sautéed Spinach with Feta
Roasted Red Peppers or sautéed
Steamed Rice

Grilled Caesar Chicken – Double this recipe for sandwiches later in the week!

1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded out
¾ cup of Caesar salad dressing – preferably Ken’s Light Caesar Dressing

Marinate the chicken in the salad dressing at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove chicken and grill about 6-8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chicken, over medium heat. Discard marinade. Remove from the grill, cover with foil and let rest while you prepare the spinach.

Sautéed Spinach with Feta

1 -2 pkgs. of fresh baby spinach or 1-2 boxes of frozen (this depends on how many Popeyes you have in your house)
1 T. of olive oil
1 -2 t. of fresh, minced garlic (depends on how much spinach)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 T. of crumbled feta cheese

Heat oil and garlic in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and toss until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Just prior to serving add the feta cheese and stir just until it begins to melt.

***Time-Saving Tip*** I buy roasted red peppers in the jar that are pre-sliced. I just warm them a little in the microwave or serve at room temperature. They are very good!


Mama Rosa’s Sauce
Italian Bread

Mama Rosa’s Sauce

1 lb. ground beef
3 cans of tomato paste (6oz.)
1 (19 oz.) can of tomato sauce
2 cans of diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
2 heads of garlic
½ cup of olive oil
1 T. of basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T. of sugar
1 large onion

Brown the ground beef in a large stock pot. Drain the fat and set aside. Add the olive oil and sauté the garlic for a few minutes. Add the beef back to the pot and add the tomatoes, the sauce and the tomato paste. Add about 6 cans of water using the tomato paste can. Add the onion – leave it whole with the skin peeled. Add the sugar and then salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low for several hours and add additional water if the sauce is too thick. Once the sauce has simmered and thickened, remove the onion before serving.

We also add browned Italian sausage – hot and sweet. If we use sweet sausage I am sure to add red pepper flakes … I like it with a kick! You could also use this sauce as a base for lasagna and many other pasta favorites!


Antipasto Chicken Panini

Antipasto Chicken Panini – adapted from Cooking Light

8 slices of Italian Bread
2 T. mayo
1 T. chopped black olives
1 T. chopped sun-dried tomatoes
½ cup of coarsely chopped marinated artichoke hearts
½ cup of coarsely chopped roasted red peppers
12 slices of prosciutto (this is very thin)
4 slices of provolone
Sliced leftover grilled Caesar Chicken

Combine the mayo, olives and sun-dried tomatoes together. Spread on one side of each slice of bread. Arrange the sliced chicken on top, followed by the artichoke hearts, red peppers, prosciutto and provolone cheese. Top with the other slice of bread.

Place the sandwich in your Panini press if you have one or place the sandwich in a skillet with a little melted butter. Place an iron skillet on top and press (the homemade Panini press). You want to cook the sandwich on both sides for a few minutes until the bread is toasty and the cheese has melted. Be careful not to burn the butter. The butter helps to crisp up the bread.

Gazpacho – originally published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as “Miriam’s Garden Gazpacho”

6-8 large ripe tomatoes
2 medium cucumbers
1 red bell pepper
3-4 small green sweet peppers
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium red onion
1 carrot
Sherry Vinegar (balsamic would be a fine substitute)
Juice of 2 limes, freshly squeezed
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional garnish – sliced avocados or a couple large cooked and chilled shrimp (hubby’s suggestion)

Roughly chop about half the tomatoes, 1 cucumber, half the bell pepper, 2 of the sweet peppers, both cloves of garlic, half the red onion and the entire carrot. Puree (in batches, if necessary) in blender until completely smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Dice the remaining tomatoes, the cucumber and the other half of the bell pepper. Add to the puree. Mince the remaining sweet peppers and the remaining half of the red onion. Add to the bowl. Stir gently to combine.
Add the sherry vinegar, the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. You may want to add a little more or a little less vinegar or lime juice, depending on the acidity of your tomatoes, and your personal taste.
Cover and chill for at least 6 hours or overnight. The gazpacho will keep well for 3 or 4 days in the fridge. Before serving check seasoning 1 more time. Serve garnished with diced avocado. Or per my hubby – a couple large cooked and chilled shrimp!


Shrimp Tacos with Tropical Salsa
Tossed Salad

Shrimp Tacos with Tropical Salsa - adapted from Cooking Light – these are great with or without the salsa

1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon canned chopped green chilies
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
1 (8-ounce) can pineapple tidbits in juice, drained

Cooking spray
1 cup yellow bell pepper strips
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 t. of minced garlic
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tomato, chopped and seeded
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
8 (6-inch – soft taco size) flour tortillas
1 1/4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

To prepare the salsa, combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill.
To prepare tacos, place a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add shrimp, tomato, cumin, and chili powder; sauté 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Stir in cilantro. Spoon 1/2 cup shrimp mixture over one half of each tortilla, and top with about 3 tablespoons cheese and 2 tablespoons salsa; fold tortillas in half.
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!


Spinach – one or two bags – depends on how many little Popeyes you have – GE special
Garlic – need 3 heads
Salad – GE special
Large onion – GE special
5-9 large ripe tomatoes
2 medium cucumbers
1 red bell pepper – GE special
3-4 green bell peppers – small
2 Medium red onions
2 limes
Avocado – optional
Green onions
Yellow bell pepper

Italian Bread – may need 2 loaves
12 slices of prosciutto
4 slices of provolone – or more if you like it cheesy – GE special on Sargento in Dairy

Ken’s Light Caesar Dressing
Olive oil
Sherry vinegar – balsamic will be a fine substitute
Chili powder

Canned Goods/Ethnic Foods/Dry Goods
White or brown rice
Roasted red peppers
3 cans of tomato paste (6 oz.)
1 can of tomato sauce (19 oz.)
2 cans of diced tomatoes (14.5 oz.) – GE special
Black olives – chopped preferred
Sun-dried tomatoes
Marinated artichoke hearts
Chopped green chilies
Mandarin oranges (11 oz.)
Pineapple tidbits (8 oz.) – GE special on Dole
Pasta – GE special

Seafood/Meat Case/Butcher
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts – GE special
1 lb. of ground beef – GE special
1 lb. of shrimp – GE special and be sure to check your freezer from last week’s special!!!

Frozen Foods

Flour tortillas – GE special on Mission – also look for coupon!!!
Monterey Jack cheese – GE special on Kraft



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