Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Meals for the Week of June 25, 2012

Last year around this time, I chose to not focus my post on the July 4th holiday.  This year I decided that I will provide some recipes that I think would be great for the holiday, but mixed in with other everyday recipes you might like for this season.
So I'm keeping this post short and sweet and getting down to the business at hand with the list of recipes for this week.  You can view the Pinterest board for these recipes here.  Have a fun and safe July 4th!

Meals for the Week of June 25, 2012

Chicken and Sun Dried Tomato Orzo- Orzo is like rice in shape, but pasta that is very quick cooking so this is a good meal you can have ready in 30 minutes. 

Grilled Lime Shrimp- Simple and delicious.  Use them as a basis for tacos or in a salad.  Eat them with brown rice and grilled veggies. 

Southwest Flank Steak Pinwheels- This is something you can make ahead; assemble and then freeze until you are ready to cook it.  The recipe provides instructions for cooking in a crock pot.  I have also grilled stuffed flank steaks before if you wanted to try that.

Hawaiian Pork Burger- A yummy change of pace from a beef burger. Topped with a pineapple ring and a slice of ham; such a great flavor combination.

Spinach and Chicken Tortilla Bake- This is spicy; it has salsa verde in it, but you can use less than it calls for if you need to.  It’s a quick and easy meal for a weeknight and leftovers are good for packing in your lunch. 

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers- Very easy and adaptable recipe for stuffed peppers.  A good thing you can bake ahead and re-heat if you need to. 

Crunchy Coconut Chicken- I have another recipe for coconut chicken tenders that I almost chose instead of this one, as it’s delicious.  But it’s fried, not baked like this one and the coating has a lot more fat and sugar in it.  So, this version is far better for something you can make on a more regular basis and it requires less active work to prepare.

Grilled Veggie Tostadas- This is great if you are going to have a taco bar for the holiday.  Grill up some chicken and veggies and then set it all out for everyone to build their own tacos or tostadas.
Turkey Burgers with Zucchini- Healthy burgers with some added nutrition with finely grated zucchini mixed in. 

Honey Lime Chicken Skewers- These grilled chicken skewers are sweet and spicy and are great to prep and marinate ahead of time.  Then all you do is thread them on skewers and grill. 

Peanut Noodle Salad- You can use a whole grain or brown rice pasta if you want, you could also add julienne carrot and chopped broccoli to increase the veggies.  A great side dish with grilled chicken.  Bring this to a bbq. 

Pasta Salad with Grilled Summer Vegetables- Take this healthy option to a bbq party or make this for a weeknight dinner when you want to keep things cool.  You can grill the veggies ahead of time, or use leftovers from a previous meal. 

Red, White and Blueberry Trifle- This is a festive lower fat and lower sugar dessert for the July 4th holiday. 

Vanilla Raspberry Sundaes- Most of this recipe is for making the spoon-shaped cookies you can top the sundae with, so if you want to skip that, it’s simply a recipe to give you inspiration for making a patriotic sundae.  I love the combo of vanilla ice cream with the tangy raspberry sorbet. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Meals for the Week of June 18, 2012

Another school year has come to an end.  For some reason I always think that it's easier when we're out of school to manage breakfast and lunches; in our house there's not the constant rush in the morning and having breakfast meals that is fast and portable and I don't have to pack lunches.  That means needing less food.  WRONG.  Finally, this summer, I feel like I've got a handle on stocking my kitchen for the summer.  It's early so I could still face some challenges, but I thought I would share what I've got started along with some ideas I found and hope to try.
If you are now faced with children at home all day or more often, get organized with snacks and lunch food and make it fun for them.  
  • If they are old enough, get sandwich thins bread or bagel thins and use those for making their own toaster oven pizzas.  
  • Quesadillas are so quick and versatile.  Keep tortillas and cheese stocked in the fridge.  
  • Grill or poach chicken that can be used for topping pizza or in quesadillas or just for eating with some fruit and cheese.   
  • We also love to make nachos for lunch.  It’s the perfect use for leftovers from a taco dinner.  Layer the chips and shredded cheese, add leftover meat, beans and rice, more cheese and pop it in the microwave for a few minutes.  It’s nice to take a break from working to sit at the table with the kids sharing a big pile of nachos.
  • Make or have older kids make No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls.  A protein packed snack that satisfies the sweet tooth but also provides energy, perfect for late afternoon or before sports.
  • Make the Double Grape Slushies.  Or come up with your own slushies.
  • Make popsicles- simply puree fruit and juice together.  Save your 8oz yogurt containers to use as popsicle molds.  Pour in the puree, cover with plastic wrap or foil, then poke popsicle sticks through and freeze.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Meals for the Week of June 11, 2012

Hello!  I know, long time since I posted.  It's amazing how the time flies, blah, blah.  Anyway, I'm here and posting and I have a couple things to share.

Awhile ago I shared that I planned to train with Mama Bootcamp to participate in a sprint distance triathlon.  This past weekend, I completed the triathlon.  I won't lie, it was really, really hard.  I'm proud to have gone through the training and to have finished the race and I'm alive to tell the tale.  I waver back and forth between thinking that I never want to do the swim portion ever again and wanting to enter another race and improve my time.  So I'm semi-crazy at this point. But there is something very satisfying to have completed a big goal like that.  In a life where I'm operating in organized chaos; children, dogs, constant driving all over the place, the stress of everyday life, I had something that was for me.  Training with a wonderful group of women, fantastic coaches, but also the quiet time of running or biking outdoors, somewhat alone with my thoughts has been so important to not only my physical but my mental health.  I've formed ideas for this blog, and for growing my business, as any busy mom knows, just the opportunity to have time for yourself is invaluable.  So I am VERY grateful to have the experience.

Now- onward and upward!  Finally a new set of recipes for you to use for planning your next meals.  The list is varied between some seasonal recipes perfect for summer grilling and easy meals to make ahead for the weeknight. 

Meals for the Week of June 11, 2012

*NEW* I decided I should utilize Pinterest to create a visual of the recipes each week.  So below is my usual list with my comments/tips and the link to the recipe, but then I have a board too so you can have a visual with the link and can easily re-pin for your own board or add to your Ziplist shopping list.  June 11 Board

Cheesy Skillet Chicken and Rice with Green Beans- This is a great one-pot meal.  It does instruct you to leave the chicken whole for serving, but I like slicing it up and mixing it back into the rice just before serving.  I think you stretch it to serve more people that way too. 

Cashew Chicken- Cheaper and faster than take out.  This is a great recipe that uses some very standard ingredients you don’t have to go to a special market for.  

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad- A copy cat recipe that is filling, but also fairly low calorie and low fat. 
Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter- Enjoy asparagus while it’s in season!  This can be a great side dish with grilled or roasted chicken or a meatless meal.  

Crock Pot Sausage, Beans and Greens- I know this seems odd for the summer, but the crock pot keeps the kitchen cool.  There is some initial prep on the stove for this recipe, but then you can get it the crock pot and get on with you day!  

Halal Cart-Style Chicken and Rice- This recipe is a replica of what popular Halal food carts found in Manhattan serve.  It’s a delicious comfort food and something you can make ahead and re-heat. 

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps- If you have a food processor, it’s easy to take boneless chicken and grind it up. If you need to cut the prep time, use ground turkey.  As the recipe suggests, make this a more filling meal with rice and combine the chicken with rice in your wrap. 

Thai Style Chicken Legs- Great recipe for grilled chicken.  Use a food processor or a chopper to blend up the marinade; it might be easier than pulling out your blender.

Cilantro Thai Grilled Chicken Breasts- Here is another option for a Thai-style chicken using lean breasts.  The marinade imparts a lot of flavor and moisture. 

Blood Orange Salad with Pecans, Gorgonzola and Baby Greens- This is actually a spring salad, but you can use naval oranges if you no longer have blood oranges in your market.  I love salads like these, and it includes a delicious dressing made with orange juice. 

Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Syrup- I just love asparagus and just like she mentions in this recipe, I love the tips the most.  I especially love when they are slightly grilled and have the sweet tang of balsamic vinegar.