Sunday, February 22, 2009

Three Cheese Calzones


1 pound refrigerated pizza dough
1 cup ricotta
1 cup grated mozzarella
1/4 cup parmesean
1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed and chopped (or 1 box frozen, chopped spinach thawed & squeezed dry)
1/4 pound pepperoni
2 Tbl olive oil
1 cup warmed marinara sauce


1. Heat oven to 400
2. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 4 equal parts. Roll them into 8" rounds
3. In large bowl combine cheeses, spinach, and some pepper
4. Layer pepperoni on on side of each round and top with cheese. Fold dough over and pinch to seal.
5. Brush tops with oil. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and bake until golden. 12-15 minutes. Serve with sauce.

Maple Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes


3.5 - 4 lb chicken cut up
1 yellow onion cut into wedges
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 Tbl olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 Tbl maple syrup


1. Heat oven to 400
2. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Arrange chicken, onion, & sweet potato in 9x13 pan. Drizzle oil over chicken and vegetables. Season with salt & pepper. Toss to coat.
3. Drizzle with maple syrup.
4. Roast, stirring once, about 1 hour (or until chicken is done). Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Asian Beef & Broccoli Slaw Wraps


1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 cups packaged broccoli slaw mix (I think I use more, I don't measure)
1/2 cup hoisin sauce (or more if you need it)
warmed flour tortillas


1. In large non-stick skillet brown beef & onion until meat is not pink - break up meat as you cook
2. Drain fat and season with salt & pepper.
3. Stir in slaw mix and hoisin sauce. Heat through. Serve on warmed tortillas. You can spread some extra hoisin sauce on the tortilla before topping.

Note: These kind of taste like mo-shu pork in a Chinese restaurant

Turkey Sloppy Joes


1 Tbl olive oil
4 carrots, coarsely grated (2 cups)
1 medium onion, minced
1 minced garlic clove
salt & pepper
3 Tbl tomato paste
3/4 - 1 pound ground turkey (93% lean)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbl dark brown sugar
1 Tbl cider vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1. In large saucepan, heat oil; add carrots, onion, & garlic. Season w/ salt & pepper. Cook until softened about 4-5 minutes
2, Add tomato paste and cook stirring - 1 minute. Add turkey, cook until done.
3. Add tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
4. Serve on buns

Tilapia Piccata and Orzo


8 oz uncooked orzo
3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 tsp salt, divided
3 Tbl chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp black pepper, divided
3 Tbl flour
4 tilaplia fillets (about 6 oz each)
3 Tbl butter, divided
1/4 cup white wine
3 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1 Tbl drained capers

1. Cook pasta, drain, stir in tomatoes, 1/4 tsp salt, parsley, 1/8 tsp pepper. Set aside & keep warm
2. Combine remaining salt, pepper, and flour in large shallow dish. Dredge fish in flour.
3. Melt 1 Tbl butter in large non-stick pan. Add fish, cook 1.5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove fish from pan and keep warm
4. Add wine, lemon juice, and capers to pan. Cook 30 seconds. Add 2 Tbl butter. Stir until melted. Serve over fish.

Week 5 Menu

This week is back to normal. I will actually be here to cook dinner, so you get the benefit of a whole weeks worth of 'real food'.

Here's the week for you:

Sunday - Tilapia Picatta, orzo, asparagus
Monday - Maple Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, green beans
Tuesday - Turkey Sloppy Joes, fries, cole slaw
Wednesday - Mac and Cheese, salad
Thursday - Asian Beef & Brococoli Slaw Wraps, brown rice
Friday - Three Cheese Calzones, salad

Friday, February 20, 2009

Trader Joe's Chile Lime Chicken Burger Tacos

Here's what you do...

Buy a package of Trader Joe's Chile Lime Chicken Burgers.


Break up the burger while you are cooking it to form a taco filling.... it is already seasoned so you don't have to do anything but cook it and crumble the meat while it cooks.

Serve on heated corn tortillas with roasted red peppers, guacamole, salsa, etc.

week 4

It's been one of those weeks. Not too much cooking going on around here...

Here are some ideas from our crazy week...

1. Trader Joe's Chili Lime Chicken Burger Tacos, mexican rice, black beans

2. Bisquick Oven Fried Chicken (recipe is on the box) - make sure you exactly follow the directions - use a pyrex dish to cook it in

3. Mediterrean Tuna Casserole (If you'll eat 'hot' tuna, this is great. One of my kids top requested meals)

The rest of the week was filled with chili (using McCormack Chili seasoning) and Dino nuggets!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Eggplant Lasagna


1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into thin slices
2 eggs, beaten
italian seasoned bread crumbs
15 oz. ricotta cheese
Jar of pasta sauce of your choice
8 oz mozzarella cheese

1. Heat oven to 400
2. Line cookie sheet with foil and spray w/ cooking spray
3. Dip each slice of eggplant in egg, then in bread crumbs to coat, place on cookie sheet
4. Spray eggplant slices lightly with cooking spray.
5. Bake 10 minutes (or until brown), turn and cook other side 10 minutes or until brown

You will now layer this like a lasagna using the eggplant to replace the noodles. The size of the pan you pick will depend on how much eggplant you end up with.

Cover bottom of pan with sauce.

Your layers should be:

1/3 eggplant
1/2 ricotta
1/3 of the pkg of mozzarella
1/3 eggplant
1/2 ricotta
1/3 of the pkg of mozzarella
1/3 eggplant

Cover and bake 35 minutes at 400
Uncover add remaining 1/3 of mozzarella cheese
Bake and additional 10 minutes or until cheese melts and is heated through

Let stand 15 minutes before cutting

Chicken Shawarma & Chopped Veg. Salad

This is a Middle Eastern flavored dish... my kids love this too. Make sure you make the sauce.

2 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
3 cloves garlic minced
1 - 1.5 pounds bonless skiness chicken breasts cut into 3" strips (I buy tenderlion cuts from Wegmans)

1/2 cup plain 2% GREEK yogurt (I use Fage, the Greek yogurt is much thicker)
2 Tbl tahini
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 garlic cloved minced

4 pitas (I use gyro bread, you want it to be softer then a regular pita. Nan even works)

Preheat Grill ti medium high heat
1. Combine 1st six ingredients in bowl. Add chicken, toss to coat. Let stand at room temp for 20 minutes.
2. Combine all sauce ingredients, stir with whisk
3. Grill until cooked
4. Serve on pita with sauce

Serve w/ Chopped Vegetable Salad:

Combine 2 cups chopped cucumber, 1 cup chopped red pepper, 1 cup chopped tomato, 1/2 cup chopped green pepper, 1/2 cup chopped red onion, 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, 2 Tbl red wine vinegar, 1 Tbl olive oil, salt & pepper to taste.

Apple Butter Pork Loin & Coconut Rice


1.5 - 2 pound pork roast or tenderloin
1 1/2 cups apple butter
1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 cup long grain white rice
1 1/2 cup coconut milk

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Season pork with salt
3. In large OVEN PROOF Skillet, heat 1 Tbl olive oil, brown pork
4. In bowl combine apple butter & cayenne. Spread on pork
5. Roast until internal temp is about 160 - 165 degrees

Combine rice, coconut milk, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 tsp salt.
Bring to a boil
Cover and cook over low about 25 minutes

Beef Stew

OK - another thing I just make. Hopefully this is enough instructions for you....


stew meat cut into chunks
14 oz can tomato sauce
1-2 cloves minced garlic (or garlic powder)
salt & pepper
onion, chopped
carrots (cut in chunks)
red potatoes (cut up)
green beans

1. Brown meat in oil. Place in crock pot
2. Combine tomato sauce, about a half a can full of water, garlic, salt, pepper, & sugar to taste in a bowl, then pour over meat
3. Place potatoes & carrots & onions in crock pot
4. Cook 5-6 hours on low
5. Add green beans & mushrooms. Cook 2 hours more on low.

Broccoli, Spaghetti & Shrimp


uncooked peeled shrimp
garlic, minced
olive oil
broccoli, cut into flowerettes
parmesan cheese

1. Into large pot of salted boiling water, add spaghetti, let it cook for about 2 -3 minutes, then add the broccoli. Cook until pasta is done. Drain
2. In same pot you used for pasta, heat enough olive oil to form 'sauce' for pasta. Add minced garlic and shrimp. Cook until the shrimp are cooked.
3. Add pasta & brocolli back to pot, toss with olive oil and shrimp mixture. Add lots of parmesan cheese. Toss well.

Hope this is enough direction to get you started!

Orange Glazed Salmon


3 Tbl cajun seasoning
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
boneless, skinless salmon fillets
2 Tbl veg. oil
1/4 cup Seville orange marmalade
1 Tbl lime juice

1. Combine cajun spice, brown sugar & salt in small bowl and rub over all surfaces of fish
2. Saute fillets in oil in large non-stick skillet for 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook additional 2-3 minutes.
3. Blend marmalade & lime juice, melt in pan. Carefully turn fish to coat on all sides. Fish is done when it flakes easily.

Week 3

Here's what we're planning for this week. Some of these things are meals I "just make" - no recipe, so I'll do my best to explain what I do. Hopefully it will work out for you.

Sunday - Orange Glazed Salmon, rice pilaf (Near East brand), sauteed spinach
Monday - Spaghetti with shrimp and broccoli
Tuesday - Beef Stew (in crock pot)
Wednesday - Pork Loin with Apple Butter and coconut rice, with green beans
Thursday - Chicken Shawarma, Chopped Vegetable Salad, Fries
Friday - Eggplant Lasagna

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Turkey Burgers & Sauce

My girls really, really love these!


1/4 cup chopped green onion
2 Tbl orange juice
1 Tbl low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1 garlic clove minced
1 - 1 1/4 pound ground turkey (I buy the pkg that is about 20 oz )

Make into 4 patties
Grill 6 minutes per side

Sauce - Make sure you make this too!

3/4 cup reduced fat mayo
1 1/2 Tbl finely chopped green onion
2 Tbl dijon mustard
1 Tbl honey
1 tsp orange juice
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp chopped fresh ginger

Combine it all - serve on burgers


1 - 1.5 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbl worcestershire sauce

2 Tbl brown sugar
3/4 cup ketchup

sliced onions

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Combine, beef through worcestershire sauce
3. Shape into loaf, place in pan lined w/ foil
4. Put sliced onions around edges. Combine brown sugar & ketchup and pour over meat
5. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes until cooked

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup


2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in small pieces
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth - LOW SODIUM
1 cup frozen corn kernels

1 can black beans, drained & rinsed

1 can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup chopped onion

1 red pepper chopped
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup chunky salsa

8 ounces corn tortilla chips
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)

chopped avacado (optional)

Combine everything from chicken to salsa in crock pot. Cook on low 6-8 hours.


Break up some tortilla chips into individual bowls and pour soup over chips. Top with the Monterey Jack cheese, chopped avacado, and a little sour cream.

Cornflake Crusted Tilapia with Chile-Cilantro Aioli

2 Tbl minced fresh cilantro
3 Tbl mayonaise
1 serrano chile, seeded & minced
1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 cups cornflake crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbl olive oil
4 tilapia fillets

lemon wedges

1. Comine all aioli ingredients, stir well, set aside
2. To prepare fish, combine milk and egg white in shallow dish, stir with wisk. Combine cornflakes, flour, salt & pepper in another shallow dish
3. Heat 2 Tbl oil in large non stick skillet. Dip fish in milk mixture, and dredge in cornflake mixture. Add fish to pan, and cook about 3-4 mintues per side until cooked through. Serve with aioli and lemon wedges.

To make rice tossed with red pepper & cilantro:
Cook desired amount of white rice. When done, stir in red pepper diced very small and a bit of chopped cilantro. That's all!

Buffalo Wings


20 chicken wings, split
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup red pepper sauce
1/2 cup + 1 Tblsp tomato sauce
1 Tbl chili powder
1 tsp cayenne (or to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Bake wings in oven for 45 minutes, or until cooked & crispy
3. While baking, combine all sauce ingredients
4. When wings are baked, dip in sauce to coat, shake off extra, put on clean baking sheet.
5. Reduce oven to 250 and bake for another 15 minutes

Week #2

It seems like a few of you took advantage and actually tried some of my ideas. Last week I made the panang curry. It was good, but I probably won't make it again. The restaurant version of this is MUCH better. Too high of an effort for just "ok".

Anyway - here's the plan for this week. Let me know what you think.


Sunday - Super Bowl - we're having wings & pigs in the blanket and other junk food
Monday - Cornflake Crusted Tilapia with Chile-Cilantro Aioli, rice tossed w/ red pepper & cilantro, green beans
Tuesday - Chicken Tortilla Soup
Wednesday - Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Frozen Creamed Spinach
Thursday - Asian Flavored Turkey Burgers (with a great sauce), roasted vegetables & potatoes
Friday - Chicken Biryani (new recipe - haven't tried this yet)