Friday, February 10, 2012

Our Menu: Week of February 4-10

Fajitas and Steamed Asparagus
Chicken breasts, peppers, onions, a fajita “kit” if you like, and there’s dinner.  I make my own fajita seasoning, use corn tortillas and add salsa, sour cream and grated cheddar for toppings.  Steam some asparagus on the side and there you have it!

“Schlop” and Salad
This is something I’ve been making for Brayden since he was really young and it’s still one of his favourites.  It started as kind of my own version of “Hamburger Helper” since I prefer not to buy packaged, processed foods like that and it’s really simple.  Brown some ground chicken (or beef if you like) in a large pan on the stove with some olive oil.  Sprinkle in some dried oregano, basil, and salt and pepper, all to taste.  Mince a couple of fresh garlic cloves and add to the mix.  When the chicken is cooked, add 2 cans of diced tomatoes then grate a bunch of fresh parmesan into it.  Sometimes I add mozzarella too, if I have some.  I don’t know measurements, I just keep grating until it looks cheesy enough! Cook a bag of pasta (penne or rotini) and when it’s done, drain it, add it to the mixture and stir it up. Let it all simmer for a bit to let the cheese melt and that’s it.   A note:  I use brown rice penne or rotini, which honestly doesn’t hold up as well in this particular recipe as wheat pasta does, but I use it anyway.  Served with a salad.

Butter Chicken and Cauliflower with Basmati Rice and Salad
See this post!  I skipped the Chana Masala this time as I didn’t have time to make it.

Pork Stir Fry
Jason likes to make a stir fry, so he cooked this one.  He used a pork tenderloin sliced really thin and whatever veggies we had on hand.  A little sesame oil, fresh garlic and an onion for seasoning, along with a splash of Teriyaki sauce and you have a delicious stir fry. Served over sticky rice.

Baked Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese and Salad
Love this!  See this post

Baked Chicken, Mushroom and Rice Casserole and Salad
This is a new one out of a cookbook I borrowed from the library called Not Your Mother’s Casseroles.  We really enjoyed this and I would make it again.  The recipe calls for 1 cup of rice, but I used 1 ½ cups and it was just enough to cover the bottom of my casserole dish.  I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but I’d try it with chicken breasts next time.  I should also mention that this isn’t that quick to make so it would be best saved for a weekend or a day when you have more time. 

Casserole Dish:  9-13 inch baking dish or 3-quart casserole
Bake time: 1 hour

1 cup cooked rice (white or brown, see my note above)
1 small sprig fresh rosemary (I used dried and just sprinkled a bit in the bottom of the dish)
2 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil
½ pound white mushrooms, sliced
1 small white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 2/3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (I used regular paprika)
¾ cup plain yogurt (I think sour cream would work well too, but NOT light – too runny)

Preheat the oven to 350.  Lightly grease the baking dish with olive oil.  Spread the rice in an even layer in the dish, place the sprig of rosemary in the centre (or sprinkle a bit of dried over the rice).

Cut the chicken in bite-sized pieces, season with S and P, and cook in a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Sauté until brown, remove from pan and place on top of rice in the baking dish.

Add the mushrooms to the skillet and let them cook until they are nice and golden brown.  The longer you let them cook, the better and the more flavourful they will become.  If necessary, add another drizzle of olive oil to the pan and add the onion and garlic.  Cook till he onion is translucent (approx 5 mins).

Raise the heat to high and add the broth.  Bring to a simmer scraping brown bits from the pan.  Remove from heat and stir in the paprika, 1 ½ tsp of salt and the yogurt.

Pour the broth and mushroom mixture over the rice and chicken. Cover the dish tightly with foil or a lid and bake for 55 minutes.  Remove the foil or lid and bake for an additional 5 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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