Monday, March 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday now with Cleaner Teeth!

I had a dental cleaning scheduled this morning, with a new to me dentist - hubby had been there a few times already. It went ok, found out that my dentist had put in a temporary filling in the root canal and I either had to get a "real" filling or a crown on it now. This dentist is an endodontist, my other one wasn't (the reason hubby ended up going to him in the first place was because he needed a crown and he ended up staying). The old dentist was nice enough, but he just felt like he catered more to kids, and anything major he needed to send you to an endo anyway. So now I'm at one. :) So now the small bit of money from my grandmother's estate will be going for a new tooth, some glasses, some tennis shoes, and probably a dental for Miko too. At least it's getting used.

I finally made the Cheeseburger Soup I posted ages ago. It was great! Instead of making the white sauce, I just thickened with cornstarch instead (didn't feel like dirtying up another pan). I also stirred in some mustard. I had a jar of mustard that was almost done, so I rinsed it with some water and threw it in, since I felt like it needed it. It reminded me a lot of the Beer Cheese Soup I make (the mustard was a grainy mustard with Killian's Red in it) and I can imagine it'd be awesome with brat's in it!. I also told hubby if I was serving it to others, it'd be nice to garnish with some onion rings. I didn't make the bread bowls though, I ran out of time.

This weeks menu in no particular order (except the fact that I will save 1/4 pound of the ground beef of the Keema matar to use in the Dan Dan Noodles). The last two meals are more pantry style meals in that I have the ingredients to make and if I want to they can be subbed in if I have the time or feel ok since they take more time. Recipes will follow.

Keema Matar
Dan Dan Noodles
Aloo Gobi
Cuban Chicken
Braised Chicken with Chickpeas
Mediterranean Baked Lima Beans

For more menu ideas visit: I'm an Organizing Junkie

Keema Matar (Chopped Meat with Peas)
Adapted from Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery p. 939 AND"Great Curries" by Manisha Kanani"
Serving Size : 4-6
1 Tablespoon oil or butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 Tablespoons curry powder (or to taste)
2 green chiles, finely chopped (can use canned)
1 pound extra lean ground beef, or lamb
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon minced ginger OR 1/3 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups water
1 (10 ounces) package frozen peas
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Heat oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion for 5 minutes, until golden brown. Add the garlic, curry powder, ginger and chilies and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the ground beef or lamb and stir fry for about 5 minutes, chopping and turning to break it up. Stir in the ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, ground cinnamon, ginger, and salt with water. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes. Add the peas and lemon juice. Cook for another 10 minutes, uncovered or until the meat is tender. Serve with naan bread and plain yogurt.

Variation: Substitute for green peas 1/2 cup split peas soaked in 1 cup water. Add peas and water to meat at beginning of cooking, cover, and cook until peas are tender.

Dandan Mian (Spicy Peanut Noodles)
Dandan are wooden buckets, one on each end of a pole carried across the shoulders, from which vendors used to sell this snack in the streets of Chengdu. Yield: 2 servings

1/2 pound Chinese flat wheat noodles, or linguine
2 Tablespoons tahini, or peanut butter
1 Tablespoon ground Szechuan red peppercorn
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons Chinese or white vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 Tablespoon crushed roasted peanuts

Boil the noodles. Meanwhile, combine the tahini, Szechuan pepper, garlic, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. When the noodles are done, drain and toss them with the tahini mixture. Sprinkle the peanuts on top before serving.

Aloo Gobi (Curried Cauliflower and Potatoes)
From “Bend It Like Beckham”
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and cut into small pieces
Large bunch of fresh cilantro, separated into stalks and leaves and roughly chopped
Small green chilies, chopped into small pieces (or one teaspoon chili powder)
1 large cauliflower, leaves removed and cut evenly into eighths
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into even pieces
28 ounce can of diced tomatoes with juice (or two 15 ounce cans)
Fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 teaspoon, or to taste)
Fresh garlic, chopped (about 1 teaspoon, or to taste)
1 Teaspoon Cumin seeds
2 Teaspoons Turmeric
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Garam Masala

Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan (I use a dutch oven, this makes A LOT.) Add the chopped onion and one teaspoon of cumin seeds to the oil. Stir together and cook until onions become creamy, golden, and translucent.

Add chopped cilantro stalks, two teaspoons of turmeric, and one teaspoon of salt. Add chopped chilis (according to taste). Stir tomatoes into onion mixture. Add ginger and garlic; mix thoroughly. Add potatoes and cauliflower to the sauce plus a few Tablespoons of water (ensuring that the mixture doesn't stick to the saucepan). Ensure that the potatoes and cauliflower are coated with the curry sauce. Cover and allow to simmer for twenty minutes (or until potatoes are cooked).

Add two teaspoons of Garam Masala and stir. Sprinkle chopped cilantro leaves on top of the curry. Turn off the heat, cover, and leave for as long as possible before serving.

Cuban Chicken and Rice

From: Tom & Riva Serving Size: 6

1 (2 to 3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 can tomato sauce, (15 ounce)
1 pinch saffron
Salt, to taste
2 cubes chicken bouillon
1 1/2 cups White Rice, uncooked
1 cup beer
15 Ounces Canned Peas, drained
1/2 red bell pepper, roasted and sliced

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute chicken until lightly browned; remove from skillet and set aside.

Saute onion, garlic and green bell pepper until soft; stir in tomato sauce, saffron, salt and bouillon and return chicken pieces to skillet. Cook for 10 minutes, then add rice and reduce heat to low.

Add beer and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender. Finally, stir in peas with liquid and garnish with roasted red bell pepper.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 813 Calories; 42g Fat (48.1% calories from fat); 50g Protein; 52g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 226mg Cholesterol; 975mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 6 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 4 1/2 Fat.

Mediterranean-Style Baked Lima Beans
Serves 6-8 From “Veganomicon”
You may have lima bean baggage but this recipe will help you work through it. Please set your issues aside and for a moment imagine large, mild, tender beans with a creamy interior and a slightly tangy tomato sauce. (If you must, you can substitute navy or cannellini beans for the limas. But be sure to try it at least once with large lima beans.) This is a delightful spin-off of a traditional Greek home-style dish and is hearty meal alongside rice, potatoes and steamed greens. Or, serve them the traditional Mediterranean way, just slightly warmed, as part of a meze spread with olives, hummus, Cashew-Cucumber Dip, pickles, pita, and the like.

TIP: During the soaking, the beans will appear slip and their skins wrinkled; this is normal, so don't be alarmed.

1 pound dried, large lima beans, soaked for at least 8 hours
2 quarts water
2 bay leaves
Vegetable bouillon cube
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped finely
1 small carrot, shredded
28 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup or agave nectar
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground nutmeg
black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
3 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

Drain and rinse the beans and place them in a large pot with the 2 quarts of cold water and the bay leaves. Cover, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium. Simmer the beans for 30 minutes, until tender but not fully cooked (the interior of the beans will still be grainy). Skim off any foam that may collect while beans are cooking. Drain the beans, reserving 1 cup of bean liquid, and set aside (leave the bay leaves with beans). Dissolve the vegetable bouillon cube in the reserved 1 cup of hot bean liquid; set aside.

While the beans are cooking, preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly oil a 4-quart Dutch oven or casserole dish (you can also prepare the beans in two batches in two 2-quart casseroles or Dutch ovens).

Prepare the sauce in either the prepared Dutch oven, if using, or a separate large saucepan. Heat the garlic and olive oil over medium heat until the garlic starts to sizzle. Add the onion, and stir until translucent and softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrot, stir and cook for another minute, and add the tomatoes, reserved vegetable bouillon, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, maple syrup, oregano, thyme, salt, and nutmeg. Stir and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, to reduce the sauce a little. Taste the sauce and season with black pepper and more salt if necessary. Stir in the beans, parsley, and mint.

Place in the prepared casserole dish (if not already in the Dutch oven), cover the dish, and bake the beans, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until they are tender and the interior of the beans is creamy. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, to reduce the sauce a little bit and give the beans a slightly dry finish. Remove from the oven, remove the bay leaves, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Braised Chicken with Chickpeas and Tomatoes
Total cost: $9.33/Cost per serving: $1.17. This dish uses dark meat chicken parts, which are cheaper and more flavorful than breast meat. Purchase leg quarters, if available, and split them into drumstick and thigh portions before cooking to save even more.
Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2007
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 chicken leg or thigh and 3/4 cup bean mixture)
1 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
4 cups water
1 cup thinly sliced onion (about 1), divided
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 chicken drumsticks, skinned (about 1 1/4 pounds)
4 chicken thighs, skinned (about 1 3/4 pounds)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 cups chopped plum tomato (about 5)
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Lemon wedges (optional)

Sort and wash chickpeas; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above chickpeas; cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain chickpeas.

Place 1 1/2 cups chickpeas, 4 cups water, 1/2 cup onion, garlic, and bay leaf in pan; bring to a boil. (Reserve leftover chickpeas for another use.) Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until beans are just tender. Drain chickpea mixture in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Set chickpea mixture aside.

Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Dredge chicken in flour. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan.

Add remaining 1/2 cup onion to pan. Sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add vinegar, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates.

Add 2 cups tomato, Chicken Stock, and reserved cooking liquid to pan. Add chickpea mixture, and bring to a boil. Place chicken on top of chickpeas, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 40 minutes or until chicken is done and chickpeas are tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

CALORIES 261 (34% from fat); FAT 9.8g (sat 2.4g,mono 3.9g,poly 2.3g); IRON 2.6mg; CHOLESTEROL 82mg; CALCIUM 36mg; CARBOHYDRATE 14.8g; SODIUM 244mg; PROTEIN 27.7g; FIBER 3.2g

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