At the beginning of the week I had written up a menu plan for dinner each night. I have to say I pretty much stuck to it with the exception of Saturday (3/29). We were supposed to make shrimp fra diavolo but we decided to go to the mall and out to dinner at Cantina Laredo instead. I ate healthy for the most part sans a skinny margarita or two 🙂
Anyway, here are the recipes (or descriptions for some rather), for our dinners from Sunday through Friday 🙂
Homemade Chicken Soup
This was actually made by my husband and to tell you the truth, I’m not entirely sure how he makes it. I know that he uses a whole organic chicken and cooks it in chicken broth with fresh cut up carrots, onions, garlic and escarole. Once the chicken has cooked thoroughly, he takes it out and shreds it then discards the unusable parts and puts all the meat back in the soup and lets it cook for a bit more before we eat it. It’s really quite delicious and I swear it’s our cure to any cold or ailment!
Chili Rubbed Wild Caught Cod served with Rainbow Swiss Chard
To prepare the fish, I squeezed fresh lemon then seasoned it with salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder, thyme and chili powder. To give it a bit more lemon flavor I grated fresh lemon over the top and drizzled with a tiny bit of olive oil. I baked the fish at 375 degrees for about a half hour (I think). I honestly wasn’t paying that close of attention to the time and this was a HUGE piece of fish so if I recall it took a bit longer than normal.
For the Swiss chard, I chopped up a bunch including the stems. I then sautéed it in a large pan with olive oil, lemon juice, a little bit of water, lemon zest, salt, pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes.
I served the fish over a bed of brown rice (at the request of my husband) alongside the Swiss chard!
Chicken Stir Fry
I realize this isn’t the best photo but really this dish is not only simple but it’s super tasty. To prepare, I just cut up a few chicken breasts so that they were bite sized and cooked it in a large wok style pan. Once the chicken was cooked I added fresh broccoli, carrots, snap peas, onions and garlic and let that cook until the vegetables were soft. For the sauce we used a tiny bit of soy, tiny bit of sesame oil, some red pepper flakes, ground ginger, salt & pepper. My husband had his with some brown rice, I chose not to have any with mine. This meal is kind of our “I’m too lazy to be fancy, lets cook something quick and yummy” dinner. Nothing crazy or complicated about it but it’s pretty satisfying!
Pot Roast with Kale and Roasted Golden Beets
Ok, I really disliked the picture I took for the stir fry but this is just plain ugly and doesn’t do the meal any justice. I tried my hardest to make this look pretty but there was not getting around it. I slow cooked this meat along with the kale in the crockpot and this is just how it came out.
It was really easy to prepare, I just threw the roast in the crockpot with onions, salt, pepper, garlic powder and about a third cup of dry red wine. I added the kale later but it still managed to get a bit mushy because we ate a lot later than I had intended. Oh well, it was still pretty yummy in my tummy.
The golden beets were a lot easier to prepare than the red beets that we ate last week. Since they don’t bleed red everywhere you can just simply peel them, dice them and toss them in olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Then you roast them in the oven for about 20 mins or so (depending on the size you dice them) at 400 degrees.
Roasted Pork Loin with Dandelion Greens and Roasted Sweet Potatoes
To prepare the pork loin I just seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and topped with sliced onions and baked at 400 degrees for about an hour, took it out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes then sliced it thin.
For the sweet potatoes, I just cut them up into small wedges, tossed them in olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in the oven for the last 20 minutes while the pork was cooking.
While the pork and sweet potatoes were cooking I prepared the dandelion greens. First I boiled the greens in some salted water for about 10 minutes then drained and cooled them by running under cold water. I then sauteed them in with olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. I just cooked them long enough to take on the flavor. They can be really bitter but I actually enjoy that flavor and think it paired well with the pork and sweet potatoes.
Quinoa, Mushroom & Black Eyed Pea Stuffed Collard Greens with BBQ infused Tomato Sauce
Ok, so this wasn’t exactly dinner for my family but it was a dish that I brought for dinner with my book club and it took me like an hour to make but it was totally worth it. I found the original recipe here. It called for just the black eyed peas, mushrooms and collards with a homemade bbq sauce. I thought it could use something like quinoa to bulk it up a bit and who the heck has liquid smoke lying around to make their own bbq sauce anyway?!?
I will give you a quick recap of what I used to make the recipe but for exact measurements refer to the recipe above. I started with two bunches of collard greens. I picked out 15 of the biggest and whole leaves that I could find and gently rinsed them. I then chopped the remainder of the greens to be used in the stuffing. I sliced up roughly six cremini mushrooms and had about a cup of quinoa that I had prepared beforehand to use for the stuffing as well.
While the water was boiling to soften the collard leaves to be used for the wraps, I cooked the mushrooms and greens until they were soft then added the can of rinsed and drained black eyed peas. Once the water was boiling, I submerged the whole collard leaves and let boil for about six minutes or so. While they were boiling I took an chopped onion that I had prepped while cutting up the mushrooms and greens and cooked them in a sauce pan. Once they were no longer opaque, I added a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes and seasoned with some salt, pepper and garlic powder ( I could have added real chopped garlic but at this point in the game I was running late and I was short on time). I then added maybe 2 tablespoons of bottled bbq sauce to the tomato sauce and let that simmer while I removed the collard leaves, rinsed and let cool.
While they were cooling I stirred in some of my sauce to the stuffing mixture (just enough to give it some flavor, not so much that it was saturated). Once the leaves were cooled it was time to stuff and roll these bad boys. You have to be delicate because the leaves are fragile but somehow I pulled it off, made it look pretty and used the rest of the sauce to pour over the leaves.
Phew! It was a process then and that just took me way to long to type up since I provided the original recipe anyway. I just wanted to give you a true idea of how much of a process this dish was. It looks easy but it takes a lot of prep work and I think I probably dirtied 5 pots in the process!
Ok, that’s it for and I probably have a variety of spelling and grammar errors but I’m too tired to care 🙂 Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!!