Jun 20, 2012

mid-week meal plan

I intended to do this on Monday but, fact is, I'm tired, grumpy, itchy and, in short, lazy. So, I opted to pull the "guest post" card which required me to do nothing except do a little blabbering beforehand. Blabbering is easy. Coming up with something logical and useful to share is my most difficult challenge these days.

So, after many requests, I think I'm going to TRY to share my weekly meal plans with y'all each week, with a few disclaimers:

(1) I am NOT a chef. My objectives in cooking supper are as follows (and ranked): QUICK, healthy, tasty (yes, this is third) and cheap-ish (I try to do one-two meat-free dishes each week to save on $$ cause meat is darn expensive!!).

(2) I do repeats. If a meal is a winner - which basically means Dan and I think it tastes half-decent and Jane will actually eat it, it's stays.

(3) I half-ass veggies. We always have them, especially Jane, with every meal. But I'm more of a throw some carrot sticks or fresh snap peas on the plate vs. cook special veggies, kind of girl. I am not a cooked veggie fan and Jane LOVES fresh, uncooked carrots and peas, so this is my go-to veg side dish.

(4) Sometimes I am TOO LAZY to even cook the quick meal I've planned and I end up serving, what I like to call, "platters". Thankfully, I know that I also was raised on "platters" back in the good ol' 80's that often included vienna sausages... :p YUCK! My platters have been upped a little since the 80's and usually include a nice aged cheddar (yes, Jane loves expensive cheese), some pre-cooked chicken, baguette, grapes, veggies, etc.

So, here goes... this is what we have had/are having this week for dinner... recipes will be below. :) Eventually, I won't have to include EVERY recipe as you will surely be able to resource previous posts for repeat recipes.

Monday - BBQ Chicken Souvlaki with Oven-roasted Oregano Potatoes

Tuesday - Swanson Creamy Cheddar Chicken Skillet Meal - I make this for Dan and Jane because they both love it and chow it down. It's good because the chicken is actually white-meat and good quality (I'm anal about textures and meat) and Jane actually eats the carrots and the corn. I am not a fan. I made a "platter" for me because the platter is actually my favourite ever meal. :)

Wednesday - BBQ Chicken Pizza and Asparagus Goat Cheese Pizza - I could literally live off of goat cheese, 100%.

Thursday - Marinated BBQ Flank Steak with Oven-roasted fries and fresh-boiled corn

Friday - Going to "Monkeytown"... we last minute planned a little "vacay" (you'll understand why I put it in quotes if you know where/what Moncton, NB is - maybe not the sexiest vacay spot). So, we'll be eating out Friday night, woot woot!

Saturday - No idea. Usually there's at least one night per week where I have no idea what I planned to have or I just don't plan for. This is the night where Dan says "what's for dinner?" and I whine and say I have no idea, I'm so tired, and we end up doing something insanely easy like platters. :) tee hee hee.

So here are your recipes - remember, easy is my cooking priority and servings tend to be for 2.5 people! :) I'll try to include rough estimates of cost as well - for key ingredients - assuming you have a fairly well stocked pantry.

BBQ Chicken Souvlaki Skewers
This is one of my favourite meals! SO yummy. Say $15-$20 depending on whether you can get chicken on sale or not.

Step 1: A few hours before cooking (or in the AM before work), throw some wooden cooking skewers into water to soak so they don't burn. Mine burn always, regardless of doing this, so I'm not really sure what the point is... :p

2-3 Chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
Wooden cooking skewers
1 medium red onion
4 medium-large white or red potatoes

Marinade for chicken:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup parts red wine vinegar
2-3 cloves minced fresh garlic - I always use fresh garlic, I find it tastes SO much better
1.5 tsp of dried oregano (I actually have no idea how much I really use because I don't measure anything) but in my head this seems about right, it's definitely not significantly more or less! Season as desired! :p
Salt and Pepper

Also, FYI, the above marinade also makes a perfect dressing for greek salad, if you choose.

(1) Mix together marinade. Pour and mix with chicken breast. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours (or throughout the day if you're doing in the AM).
(2) Cut red onion into 1"-ish pieces
(3) Cut potatoes, I leave the skin on, into 1/2" thick fries.
(4) Preheat oven to 425. Toss potato with olive oil, s&p and tons of dried oregano (I probably use 1 tbsp or more). Cook for 45 mins or so on bottom rack until crispy (turning as many times as you want).
(5) Make your skewers. I do one piece of red onion, followed by one piece of chicken, and so on - putting 5 pieces of chicken on per skewer.
(6) Preheat BBQ to med-high.
(7) Toss chicken skewers on BBQ when the potatoes have 15-20 mins left. After they sear a little, turn the heat down to medium and turn regularly until cooked through.

Serve with store-bought tzatziki for dipping (for chicken and potatoes). YUMMO!

BBQ Chicken Pizza
$11 for one pizza

Store bought whole-wheat pizza crust
BBQ Sauce
Store bought pre-cooked rotisserie chicken breast
Red onion
Mozza cheese

(1) Spread pizza sauce (which is included with my two-pack of pizza crusts from Sobeys) on pizza crust
(2) Toss chopped chicken in a ton of BBQ sauce so it's really saucy
(3) Finely chopped red onion
(4) Spread toppings on pizza and cook as directed. Rocket science. :p
* It's also great with canned, pineapple tidbits added for sweetness but I forgot to think about this until now! :p

Asparagus & Goat Cheese Pizza
$11 for one pizza

5-6 spears of thin asparagus - you don't want the giant, costco ones for this recipe or they'll never cook
One small package of light (I use PC Blue Menu) goat cheese or goat cheese crumbles
2 roma tomatoes, slices thinly
Olive oil
1 store bought pizza crust
Mozza cheese

(1) Using hands, pour 1 tbsp olive oil onto crust and spread
(2) Place sliced tomatoes all over crust as if this were your sauce
(3) Place asparagus on pizza randomly - I leave them as spears, you can cut them up if you like
(4) Break up goat cheese with your hands and sprinkle all over pizza
(5) I generally use a TINY bit of mozza on top as well, like literally maybe a 1/2 cup for the entire pizza, just to hold everything together
(6) Bake as directed for pizza crust - usually 425 for 10-15 mins or until goat cheese is browned and asparagus is wilted.

I love this goat cheese pizza - I often make little individual ones for myself for lunch on a piece of naan bread.
I make the two pizza because I find that one is not enough for Dan, Jane and I. I usually eat 1/3 of the pizza myself and Dan could probably eat a whole one, so we make two. :)

Marinated BBQ Flank Steak & fries
$15-$20 Depending on size of steak/sale, etc.

1.5lb Flank Steak
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1.5 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 cloves fresh minced garlic
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

4-5 red or white potatoes, cut into 0.5" fries
Olive Oil

(1) Mix together marinade and pour over steak in large tuperware container. Marinate overnight or as long as possible.
(2) Preheat oven to 425. Toss potatoes with olive oil, 1 tbsp of paprika and s&p. Bake on bottom rack for 45-1 hour until browned and yummy.
(3) Preheat BBQ to med-high.
(4) Place steak on HOT BBQ and close lid, let sear for 1-2 mins on each side to seal in juices. Grill meat for 5 mins per side after searing for medium steak (obviously depends on thickness). I like mine well-done, so I usually cut off a separate piece for myself and char the f outta it. :)
I made this flank steak for the first time a few weeks ago (used to use another marinade/recipe) and Dan said it was my best steak yet. Jane is not a big fan, however, so she'll likely be having KD with cut up tofu added (she thinks it's chicken and when combined with the veggie KD makes me feel a lot less guilty)! :p My daddy-o's in town so I'm making a "special" father's day meal for him. :)

That's it folks! That's what we're having for dins this week! Feel free to share some recipes yourself!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Jenny! Sounds delicious! A quick note. Flank steak is ,y fav cut and the best marinade I have ever found is kraft Russian salad dressing. If you ever want a change just use that. It's terrific! Thanks for sharing :)