Monday, May 04, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - Hubby's Off

Yes, hubby is on vacation this week. We aren't going anywhere and from the weather report, most of its going to be rainy. Great vacation for him, huh? Actually it is, just not for me. He's more of a homebody so he'll love it.

Here's the planned dinners for this week with the recipes to follow. For more menu ideas visit I'm an Organizing Junkie:

Monday: Au Gratin Potatoes (From Weight Watchers)
Tuesday: Braised Chicken with Chickpeas and Tomatoes (from Cooking Light)
Wednesday: Herbed Baked Tilapia, Lemony Rice Pilaf and Steamed Broccoli (from MomAdvice: )
Thursday: Southern Slowcoooked Chicken & Grits with greens (From Weight Watchers)
Friday: Homemade Pizza

Au Gratin Potatoes
Our cheesy potato dish is the perfect crowd pleaser—rich enough for your spouse and kids, yet light enough to keep your waistline slim.
POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 8

1 spray cooking spray
1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups fat-free skim milk
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 2-quart covered baking dish with cooking spray.

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour; add milk slowly, stirring. Add potatoes and stir to mix. Bring to a boil. Stir in 3/4 cup of cheese, salt and pepper.

Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and level out surface. Bake for 1 hour, uncovered. Cover and bake until potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes more.

Change oven temperature to broil. Sprinkle remaining cheese over potatoes. Broil 6 inches from the heating element until the cheese is golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes.

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

Herb Baked Tilapia (or “Fish with Sprinkles”)

4 (4 to 6 ounce) tilapia fillets
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs (I prefer the Italian breadcrumbs & I skip the dried seasonings)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place tilapia on nonstick foil. In a small bowl, combine cheese and mayonnaise. Spread evenly over fish. In another bowl, combine bread crumbs, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.Sprinkle over fish. Coat fish lightly with cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.

Serve with steamed broccoli and rice.

Lemony Rice Pilaf
Courtesy of Recipezaar
This reheats very well so you can make a double batch for another night, if you like!

1 teaspoon vegetable oil, preferably canola oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
3 cups chicken stock
1 grated lemon, rind of
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
fresh ground pepper

In a heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion for 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in rice, then stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover; let simmer for 20 minutes, or until rice is tender. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and parsley; taste and add pepper if you wish.

Southern Slow Cooker Chicken and Grits

POINTS® Value: 5
Servings: 4
Works with Simply Filling
Like cooking short-cuts? Cut back on prep time and add a spicy, smoked flavor to this recipe by using one (14.5-ounce) can of drained, diced, roasted tomatoes with chiles in place of the fresh tomatoes. This dish will be soupy so serve in bowls.

1 3/4 cups fat-free chicken broth
6 tbsp uncooked corn grits
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (do not touch seeds with bare hands)
1 medium sweet red pepper, or yellow pepper, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks

Place broth in a 3- to 5-quart slow cooker. Slowly add grits, stirring constantly, to avoid lumps; set slow cooker aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, jalapeno and red pepper; sauté, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add vegetables to slow cooker. Place tomatoes, cumin, salt and black pepper in slow cooker; stir to mix. Add chicken thighs; cover and cook at medium setting for 5 to 6 hours. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.


Wheeler's Crew said...

I haven't had au gratin potatoes in so long and your recipe looked great! Just one thing though, is there a way to make it vegan? I would love to try it!!

JJ (Lady Di) said...

I will admit that I have not tried them as vegan. You could try them using soy milk - or which ever milk you prefer. I have not tried any of the newer "cheeses" lately. When I was making them I was wondering how the Follow your Heart's Vegan Gourmet Cheddar-style would work in it. I didn't have any or I would have used it to see. Especially since I think it works better when covered up and in something anyway. I would love to see how the newer style cheeses would work in this. I would also use which ever style "parmesan" you like in it too. I like adding in a bit of that to my au gratin potatoes normally anyway. If you try it before I do, let me know. We're probably not going to have au gratin potatoes again until fall. :)