Monday, January 05, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Well, I've been trying to figure out my menu this whole weekend. Not sure what my problem has been this weekend, I think it's just the fact that I'm tired of food. Does that make any sense? I'm just tired of thinking about it I think - not necessarily in the diet sense or even in the menu planning sense. It's kinda hard to explain really, and I am just not sure how to do it. Anyway...

Last night was pizza night. I made individual-sized pizzas and topped them with all the cheeses I had (2% sharp cheddar, shredded Swiss, LF mozzarella, Parmesan, RF blue, RF feta) and then shredded by hand the prosciutto and put that on top of the pizzas and sprinkled some black pepper on top of them and then baked them. They turned out yummy - but like they wouldn't. :)

Tonight is liver and onions. We're both really looking forward to it. We haven't had it in ages, it's one of those occasionally meals for us, even though we both love it.
You'll notice that Tuesday is a kinda odd day for a menu from me. Hubby requested fish sticks a few weeks ago. It will depend on what the weather does (they are calling for ice to start tonight), and I'll be in town all day tomorrow with doctor appointment, so something quick will be needed. In this quarter's Whole Foods Whole Deal brochure they have a coupon for $1 off breaded fish (including nuggets) so if I can get out, I'll pick some up before I head home and that'll be dinner. I'll have a happy hubby and it'll be better for us than take-out (and cheaper too).

So finally, my menu:

Monday: Liver and Onions (from Julia Child's "The Way To Cook") with mashed or roasted potatoes (haven't figured out which yet) and a salad and maybe roasted tomatoes.
Tuesday: Fish sticks with pierogies and peas
Wednesday: Chili with Chipotle Cheese Toast
Thurs: Wasabi Crusted Tuna with Ginger-Soy Sauce and Sesame Sugar Snap Peas
Homemade Pizza

For more menu ideas visit:

Liver and Onions
Liver and onions - and beautifully browned tender sliced onions they must be - are an unbeatable combination.

Ahead-of-time note: The onions may be browned even a day in advance, or may be frozen and thawed. (Blissful idea: have medium-size packets of browned onions in the freezer, ready to be thawed in the microwave.)

Suggested accompaniments: Your own home-made mashed potatoes would be lovely here, broiled or baked tomatoes, and perhaps a lightly dressed salad of young spinach leaves. You'll want a fairly hearty red wine, like Zinfandel or Beaujolais.
Julia Child “The Way To Cook”
For 4 servings

For Onions:
3 cups sliced onions
2 to 3 Tbsp butter or oil
For Liver:
4 slices or about 1 pound top-quality calf's liver sliced 1/2 inch thick
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup or so flour in a plate
3 Tbs clarified butter, or butter and light olive oil or peanut oil
1/4 cup dry white French vermouth
1/3 cup beef or chicken stock
2 to 3 Tbs minced fresh parsley, optional

For Onions: Slowly sauté sliced onions in butter or oil in a covered pan, stirring frequently, until the onions are very tender - 15 minutes or so. Uncover the pan, salt lightly, raise the heat to moderately high, and let the onions brown nicely, stirring frequently - 5 minutes or more.

The Liver: Season, dredge in flour, and sauté as described in the master recipe, but keep it rarer than usual. [The moment before sautéing, season the liver on both sides with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and dredge in the flour, shaking off excess. Set the frying pan over high heat and film with 1/16 inch of clarified butter or butter and oil. When very hot, lay in the liver and sauté 1 minute on each side. When is it done? It should be barely springy when pressed with your finger, and a deep pinky red when you cut into a piece.]

Finishing the dish.: Scrape the onions over the liver, pour in the vermouth and stock, raise heat, and boil rapidly, basting the liver with the sauce as it thickens lightly. Remove the liver to hot plates or a hot platter, spoon the sauce over, and decorate with the optional parsley.

Lemon-Herb Roasted Tomatoes
From "WW Five ingredient 15 minute Cookbook" Winter 2008

2 pints grape tomatoes
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp grated fresh lemon rind
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven 475.

Rinse tomatoes and pat dry with paper towels; place in a large bowl.

Gently stir in thyme and remaining ingredients. Place tomato mixture in a single layer on a large jelly-roll pan.

Bake at 475 for 5 minutes. Gently shake pan, and bake an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until tomato skins are blistered and beginning to pop.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)

Per serving: Cal 49; (50% from fat); fat 2.7g (sat 0.4g); Pro 1.4g; carb 6.4; fib 2.1g, chol 0mg; iron 0.6mg; sod 153mg; calc 20mg Points 1

Green Peas with Pimiento
From WW Five Ingredient 15 Minute Recipes Winter 2009
There's no need to thaw the frozen peas. Just put them directly into the hot pan with the other ingredients.

1 Tbsp light stick butter
2 tbsp slivered almonds
2 1/4 cups frozen petite green peas
4 oz jar diced pimiento, drained
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add almonds; cook 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Add peas and remaining ingredients; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Yield: 4 servings (serving sizer: 1/2 cup)

Per serving: Cal 79 (38% from fat); Fat 3.3g (sat 1g); pro 4.3g; carb 11.2g; fib 4.2g, chol 4mg, iron 1.4mg, sod 291mg, calc 27mg POINTS 1

MENU: POINTS value per serving- 6
From WW Five Ingredient 15 Minute Recipes Winter 2009
Mexican Chili
Chipotle Cheese Toasts
Game Plan:
1. While oven preheats for Chipotle Cheese Toasts prepare chili.
2. While chili simmers bake cheese toasts
Make-ahead Tip: This dish is one of the best quick chili recipes we've tested. As with most chili and soup recipes, you can make and chill it a day or so ahead; just reheat before serving.

Mexican Chili
Chocolate often is added to savory dishes in Mexican cuisine to cut the heat and enrich the flavor. In this recipe, it provides richness and deepens the color of the chili without making the dish sweet.

1 pound ground round
1 cup prechopped onion
14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with garlic
15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup hot water
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Cook beef and onions in a large pan over medium-high heat until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Drain, if necessary, and return beef mixture to pan. Add remaining ingredients; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Makes 6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)
Per Serving: Cal 215 (31% from fat); Fat 7.5g (sat 2.9g); Pro 17.2g; carb 19.1g, Fib 3.9g; chol 37 mg; iron 3.4mg; sod 934mg; calc 69mg POINTS 4

Chipotle Cheese Toasts

6 (1/4-inch) slices French Toast
3 (1-oz) slices Chipotle Cheddar cheese (such as Sargento), cut in half

Preheat oven to 400F.

Place bread slices on baking sheet and bake at 400 F for 5 minutes or until toasted; remove from oven. Place 1/2 slice cheese on top of each slice of bread. Bake an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese melts.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 slice).

Per Serving: Cal 81 (37% from fat); Fat 3.3g (sat 1.8g); pro 4.2g; carb 8.5g, fib 0.3g; chol 5mg, iron 0.5mg, sod 167mg; calc 81mg POINTS 2

Wasabi-Crusted Tuna with Ginger-Soy Sauce
In this recipes, wasabi powder, the green Japanese version of horseradish, adds a fiery zip to the fish.
From "WW Five ingredient 15 minute Cookbook" Winter 2008

4 teaspoons soy sauce, reduced-sodium
1/4 teaspoon ginger root
1/2 cup bread crumbs, panko (Japanese-style)
1 tablespoon wasabi powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
4 (6 oz) tuna steaks (about 1 inch thick)
cooking spray
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
chopped green onions, optional

Combine soy sauce and ginger in a small bowl; set aside.

Combine panko, wasabi powder, and parsley in a shallow dish.

Coat steaks generously with cooking spray, and dredge in panko mixture. Coat steaks again with cooking spray; dredge in panko mixture.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks; cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness, adding remaining 11/2 teaspoons oil to pan when you turn steaks. Drizzle steaks with soy sauce mixture. Garnish with green onions, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 steak and 1 teaspoon sauce).

Nutritional Info (Per serving): Calories: 237 (21% from fat), Fat: 5.5g, Saturated Fat: 0.8g, Sodium: 292mg, Dietary Fiber: 0.3g, Carbs: 5.5g, Cholesterol: 80mg, Protein: 38.7g, Iron 2.3 mg, Calc 52 mg POINTS: 5

Sesame Sugar Snap Peas
From "WW Five ingredient 15 minute Cookbook" Winter 2008

1 tsp dark sesame oil
cooking spray
2 (8 oz) package frozen sugar snap peas
8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp minced, peeled fresh ginger
2 tsp cornstarch

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add peas and water chestnuts; saute 4 minutes or until peas are crisp-tender.

Combine soy sauce and next 3 ingredients, stirring until smooth. Add to vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil, and cook 2 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size 3/4 cup).

Per serving: Cal 81; (12% from fat); fat 1.1g (sat 0.2g); Pro 2.8g; carb 16g, Fib 3.6g; chol 0mg; iron 1.4mg; sod 369mg; calc 51mg POINTS 1

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