Sunday, May 31, 2009

Week of May 31, 2009

This week is shaping up to be incredibly busy. We are heading out of town on Friday morning for a wedding in Toronto, and our weeknights are jam-packed with activities.

I received leeks this week in my produce box, and after searching I found this great recipe for Grilled Leeks (Tuesday). I'm hoping it's good as I am usually fairly mundane when I cook with Leeks . . . we are die-hard fans of the most-unhealthy Potato Leek Soup recipe in the world. I have a hunch grilling the leeks will be better for our longevity than the soup!

My mom arrives on Thursday (to generously watch the boys for us while we are away in Toronto) and I'm hoping to make my Indian Chicken recipe for her that night. I didn't get a chance to make it when I posted a few weeks ago, and I'm certain it's going to be delicious.

Sunday: Baked Spaghetti
Monday: Pasta with Shrimp and Broccoli
Tuesday: Grilled Leeks and Grilled Salmon on BBQ, Salad
Wednesday: Out at Elementary School BBQ
Thursday: Indian Chicken in Light Sauce
Friday: Out of town
Saturday: Out of town
Sunday: Out of town

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Home-made Granola

I became addicted to this granola about a year ago when I started making Beth's recipe. Our family loves it, and I really enjoy mixing up the ingredients and adding new things each time I make it. It's so easy, SO delicious, and so much cheaper than buying pre-made granola.

5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds or other nuts (I often use pecans)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1 cup dried fruit or raisins
1-2 T ground flax seed
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl combine the oats, coconut, flax seed, oil and honey.

Pour onto a large baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is golden.

Allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Add the dried fruit or raisins if using. Mix well and enjoy as a cereal, on top of yogurt, or with a bowl of fruit.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Week of May 24, 2009

Sunday: Linguine with Clams and Bacon
Monday: Quick and Easy Stir fry (to use up veggies)
Tuesday: Chicken and Bacon Shish Kabobs
Wednesday: Roast Chicken with Lemons and Fennel
Thursday: Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad, sandwiches
Friday: Pizza - daddy is out of town
Saturday: Something easy and fun while daddy is away

Looking for some good sweet potato recipes? We've had a lot lately so I've been searching for some good and fun recipes. Ontario Sweet Potato growers offer a huge list on their web site.

I also found this recipe for Turkey sliders with avocado and tomato when I was browsing this weekend, and I hope to try it one night soon.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Savoury Sweet Potato Sticks

For more What's Cooking Wednesday, visit Shan at Tales from the Fairy Blogmother . . .

I found this recipe on the back of a box of Rice Krispies . . . oh, yes I did!! I made them spur of the moment last week, and what a hit.

They were FABULOUS. Tasty, crisp and melt-in-your-mouth good. They will definitely be frequenting our dinner table in the future.

Savoury Sweet Potato Sticks
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups KELLOGG'S RICE KRISPIES cereal, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons water
  1. Wash sweet potatoes (or peel if desired). Cut lengthwise into 1 cm (1/2-inch) slices. Cut slices into 1 cm (1/2-inch) sticks.
  2. In large plate or shallow pan, mix together crushed cereal and seasonings. Place flour on second plate. In medium bowl, beat egg whites and water.
  3. Coat potatoes with flour, shaking off excess. Next dip in egg mixture, then coat with cereal mixture. Place in single layer on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve hot with salsa or roasted garlic mayonnaise if desired.

Week of May 18, 2009

I'm late with this week's menu . . . a long weekend always blows me out of the water and messes up my entire weekly schedule!!

Sunday: Take Out
Monday: Barbecued steaks, potatoes
Tuesday: Grilled Chicken Breasts, fries
Wednesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs, salad
Thursday: Yellow String Beans and Tomatoes (below), Home-made burgers
Friday: Spicy, Sauteed Chickpeas, Beef and Cilantro
Saturday: Pork Carnitas

I found this recipe for yellow string beans in my weekly newsletter e-mail from Life Organic, the company that delivers our weekly box of fresh organic food. I'm excited to try it because I have no originality when it comes to cooking beans . . . I usually just boil them slightly and serve them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Kinda boring.

Yellow String Beans and Tomatoes

1 lb. yellow string beans, trimmed of blossom ends and cut in half horizontally
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 fat cloves garlic, peeled and chopped finely
1/2 large onion, peeled and sliced thinly
1 (14.5 oz.) can of diced tomatoes
Splash of white wine
Splash of rice or cider vinegar
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a vigorous boil. Add beans and cook 6-8 minutes, just until they are crisp-tender. Drain and plunge into cold water to stop beans from cooking.

Heat oil in large skillet. Add garlic and stir constantly for one minute. Add onion and cook another 4-5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add tomatoes and white wine and cook until heated through. Add beans back to skillet, along with vinegar, thyme and salt and pepper. Heat through and serve warm or cold.

Serve over salad greens for 4 dinner servings or as a side salad to 6 people.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Warm Spinach Salad with Bacon, Tomato, and Pecans

I'm participating in What's Cooking Wednesday at Tales from the Fairy Blogmother!!

This is a favourite of ours that we've been eating for months. It's a great way to get lots of spinach in our diet, because we eat the salad by heaping bowlfuls! The kids love the bacon and the pecans, although don't always eat the entire salad.

- adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 3/4 cup pecan halves (smaller pieces work fine too)
  • 10 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 pint (2 cups) grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 to 3 bunches (1 1/2 pounds total) flat-leaf spinach, trimmed, cleaned, and dried
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast in oven 5-10 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons fat from skillet.
  3. Add onion to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, vinegar, and sugar; simmer until liquid thickens slightly and tomatoes are heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Don't overcook the tomatoes or they will quickly become soggy and "wet".
  4. Place spinach in a large bowl, and pour hot tomato-onion mixture over; toss quickly to coat and wilt spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with reserved pecans and bacon.
  5. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Week of May 10, 2009

Last week's meals were all fantastic, something must have been right in the universe because all seemed to work out well. With the nice weather upon us meal construction is extremely difficult - we are often outside playing at the park across the street until 5:30, so it's imperative that I have most of the prep done ahead of time. If we eat supper much past 6:00 the kids are just too hungry, and that quickly becomes not fun for anyone.

Also, Mondays and Wednesdays are going to be busy nights for the next few months. Thing 1 has T-ball Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:00, and Paul has softball on Mondays as well, so I need to somehow have dinner on the table by 5:30 on each of those nights.

Sunday: Out for dinner, bringing Easy Arugula Salad
Monday: Soup and Sandwiches
Tuesday: Chicken with Goat Cheese and Arugula
Wednesday: Refried Bean Quesadillas
Thursday: Linguine with Clams and Bacon
Friday: Home-made pizza
Saturday: Chicken in Light Sauce

We're enjoying trying new Indian dishes lately, so I'm going to give this one a whirl this week from the number one expert in Indian cooking herself.

Chicken in Light Sauce - from An Invitation to Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey

3 T tomato sauce
3 T plain yogurt
4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
A piece of fresh ginger, 1-inch cube, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 chicken legs
1 whole chicken breast
6 T vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
5 whole cardamom pods
5 whole cloves
2 hot dried red peppers (optional)
1 t ground turmeric
1 t salt
1/8 t freshly ground pepper
1 T lemon juice

In a small bowl, combine tomato sauce, yogurt, and 1 cup of water. Mix well and set aside.

Put chopped garlic and ginger into the container of an electric blender, along with 2 T of water. Blend until you have a smooth paste. Cut chicken into serving portions: divide legs into drumstick and thigh, and quarter the breast. Remove skin from pieces of chicken and pat dry.

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed 10-12 inch casserole-type pot over medium-high heat. Put in chicken pieces, a few at a time, and brown on all sides. When each batch turns a golden brown, remove with slotted spoon and do the next batch. When all chicken pieces have been done, put the cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom, cloves and red pepper into the same oil. Stir once. The spices will darken immediately. Now pour in the paste from the blender and add the turmeric. Stir and fry about one minute.

Next, put in the browned chicken pieces, the mixture of tomato sauce, yogurt and water, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes, turning chicken pieces a few at a time.

Uncover pot, raise flame to medium, and cook 5-7 minutes or until sauce is reduced to half, turning chicken pieces over gently.

Serve with rice.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Week of May 3, 2009

After a couple weeks of possibly the worst flu ever hitting our entire household, I am back on the menu planning bandwagon and am ready and able to eat real food again. Looking forward to a week of delicious meals again!!

Sunday: Pasta with Shrimp and Broccoli
Monday: Leftovers/Freezer Meal while daddy is out
Tuesday: Fresh Pear and Curry Pasta
Wednesday: Indian-Spiced Braised Chicken
Thursday: Quick Meat Sauce
Friday: Home-made Pizza
Saturday: Cinnamon-Oat Pancakes - a new twist on our regular pancakes

I'm also looking forward to trying out this Blueberry-Almond Granola this week too. It's very similar to the regular recipe that I already use, so hopefully the family will love it.

Indian-spiced Braised Chicken

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
2 T tomato paste
1 T grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t ground coriander
1/4 t cayenne pepper
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 t garam masala
cooked white rice, for serving

In a 5-6 quart slow cooker, stir together chicken, onion, tomatoes, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, coriander, and cayenne pepper; season with salt and pepper.

Cook on high four hours or on low eight hours until fork-tender. Stir in yogurt, cilantro, and garam masala. Serve with rice.