Sunday, March 12, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan #3 {March 12, 2017}

Hope you are enjoying having some new ideas for family dinners. If you have any requests for certain types of meals please let me know. I am working on breakfast stuff right now.

Simple Crab cakes with Honey Glazed Roasted Carrots
adapted from Betty Crocker and
2 cans lump crab meat (Chicken of the Sea brand is good from Food City; and Kroger store brand is good too)
1/3 cup mayo
1 egg
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp seafood seasoning such as old bay
1-2 slices soft bread torn into tiny pieces
3 scallions (green onions)
1 cup dry bread crumbs (for the coating)
cooking oil of choice (vegetable oil worls well in the recipe because it produces the best "crisp," but canola/EVOO is totally fine too.
Roasted carrots:
3 cups baby carrots (cut along the length in half if they are fat; slimmer is better here)
cooking oil of choice (I prefer canola/EVOO blend)
salt and pepper
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1-2 tsp dried or fresh chopped parsley

Heat oven to 425°F. Put the carrots in a heap in the middle of a sheet pan. Toss to coat with 1-2 tbsp oil and salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes. *(Start your crab cakes now.)
After 20 minutes, uncover and drizzle with the cider vinegar/honey mixture** and toss again. Roast for about 10 more minutes. Sprinkle with parsley after cooking.

*Tear up the bread and dice the scallions. Drain the cans of crabmeat. Mix all the ingredients except the dry bread crumbs in a small mixing bowl. Form 4-5 patties depending on your size preference. Coat both sides with the dry bread crumbs in a small bowl. Heat about 2 tbsp oil on medium-high heat in a skillet. Cook crab cakes for about 6 minutes each side or until it looks nice and golden. **Mix the vinegar and honey together in a small measuring cup.

Honey Mustard Chicken with Bacon and Avocado Salad
Dressing / Marinade:
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons whole grain mustard (mustard with the seeds in it)
  • 2 tablespoons smooth and mild Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (use your kitchen shears to mince it up)
  • Salt to season
  • 4 skinless and boneless chicken thighs or chicken breasts
For Salad:
  • ¼ cup diced bacon, trimmed of rind and fat (Fry, then cut it up with your kitchen shears)
  • 4 cups Romaine lettuce leaves, washed
  • 1 cup sliced grape or cherry tomatoes (use your kitchen shears to cut in half)
  • 1 large avocado, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 can corn kernels, drained and patted dry (optional)
  • ¼ of a red onion, sliced (optional)
  1. Whisk marinade / dressing ingredients together to combine. Pour half the marinade into a shallow dish to marinade the chicken fillets for two hours if time allows. Refrigerate the reserved untouched marinade to use as a dressing.
  2. Heat a nonstick pan (or grill pan or skillet) over medium heat with about a teaspoon of oil and sear / grill chicken fillets on each side until golden, crispy and cooked through. (Grill in batches to prevent excess water being released.) Once chicken is cooked, set aside and allow to rest.
  3. *Wipe pan over with paper towel; drizzle with another teaspoon of oil and fry the bacon until crispy.
  4. Slice chicken into strips and prepare salad with leaves, tomatoes, avocado slices, corn, onion strips and chicken.
  5. Whisk 2 tablespoons of water into the remaining untouched marinade / dressing and drizzle over the salad. Sprinkle the bacon over the top and season with a little extra salt and cracked pepper (optional).
*Bacon can be fried and chopped ahead of time.

adapted from
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 can corn, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-4 INDIVIDUAL chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced or pureed (not the whole can!)
  • 1 ounce light cream cheese
  • ¼ cup light sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt (+ more to taste)
  • ½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 6 tablespoons shredded cheese (Pepperjack, Cheddar, Colby Jack... anything will work)
  • 1/2 lb cooked, shredded chicken (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the sweet potatoes for 45-60 minutes.
While sweet potatoes are baking, place corn in a heavy cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat with no butter or oil. Sprinkle with salt and other Mexican seasoning (as much as you want). Do not stir! Let corn roast for several minutes before stirring. Let it roast for a few more minutes before stirring again. Continue this for about 10 minutes, until corn is browned and roasted on the outside. Set aside in a small bowl with the black beans.
Saute the onion in the butter over medium heat until soft and translucent. Set aside.
Remove sweet potatoes from the oven when fork-tender. Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Cut the sweet potatoes in half. Scrape the flesh of the sweet potatoes out, leaving the skins intact. Sometimes leaving a thin layer of potato inside of the skins helps them hold together better.
Mix the flesh of the sweet potatoes with the cream cheese, sour cream, chipotle peppers, and salt. You can use a mixer or just a spoon, depending on how soft the potatoes are. When well-mixed, gently stir in the black beans, roasted corn, sauteed onions, and cilantro.Scoop the filling into the skins and top each with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese. Broil for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Eggplant and Zucchini Bake: A One-Dish Meal!
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
  • 8 slices day-old Italian bread (could also used cooked spaghetti, or  do neither and make it low-carb)
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 4 beefsteak tomatoes or 8 plum tomatoes
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 cup basil, torn
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pkg mild Italian sausages* (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.  
Fully grease a baking dish, using the first 2 tablespoons of oil. Line the baking dish with the eight slices of bread. Drizzle another 2 tablespoons of the oil over the bread.
Slice the eggplant into 1/4-1/2-inch thick slices. 
Slice the tomatoes and zucchini the same thickness. 
Line the eggplant over the bread. Next, layer the tomatoes and zucchini. 
*Slice the Italian sausages into rounds and layer them in here if desired.*
Sprinkle the torn basil over the veggies and drizzle the rest of the oil over everything. Sprinkle the cheese over the veggies, followed by the salt and pepper. 
Bake, uncovered, for an hour and serve hot by slicing into squares.

This is a large recipe (8 servings) You can certainly half it or slightly reduce, but the leftovers could be frozen for a quick meal later on. ;)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2-1/2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1/2 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 1 whole Large Green Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder (more To Taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (more To Taste)
  • Worcestershire Sauce, To Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (optional)
  • Tabasco Sauce (optional; To Taste)
  • Salt To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • Kaiser Rolls
  • Butter
  • 1 bag pre-rinsed Brussels sprouts (or green beans- your choice)
  • cooking oil of choice
  • salt and pepper
Heat oven to 425°. Trim ends off of Brussels and then cut in half (or quarters if larger). Toss Brussels with 1-2 tbsp oil and salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes. (Start on Sloppy Joes here.) 
Stir and roast for 10-15 more minutes.

Add butter to a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of the fat and discard.

Add onions, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, or until vegetables begin to get soft. 

Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Also add tomato paste, Worcestershire, and Tabasco if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. 

Spread rolls with butter and brown on a griddle or skillet. Spoon meat mixture over the rolls, topping with a slice of cheese if it makes your skirt fly up. Serve hot with kettle cooked chips!

Shopping List:

Breads/Dry Goods:
4-8 Kaiser rolls from bakery/deli
Italian loaf from bakery/deli
2 pieces bread
bag of kettle-cooked salt and pepper potato chips

1 small can tomato paste (only need 2 tbsp)
Worchestershire sauce
1 small can Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (in Mexican food aisle)
1 can corn (divided for two recipes)
1 can black beans
smooth, mild dijon mustard
whole grain mustard
2 cans lump crabmeat

Baking Supplies/Herbs/Spices:
cooking oil of choice
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes
dry mustard
chili powder
dark brown sugar (light is fine)
apple cider vinegar
dried parsley
seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)
ground mustard
dry bread crumbs

1 1/2-2 1/2 lbs ground beef (depending on how many sloppy Joes you want to make) This would be a great freezer meal!
1 pkg mild Italian sausages
1/2 lb chicken (if desired for stuffed sweet potatoes) (Cook it all at once, and save the other half pound for lunches for the week!)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 bag pre-rinsed Brussels sprouts (or green beans)
1 green bell pepper
1 onion (1/2 for one recipe and 1/2 for another)
 fresh basil
2 zucchini
8 plum tomatoes or 4 large round tomatoes
1 large eggplant
fresh cilantro
3 medium sweet potatoes
4 cups Romaine lettuce (bagged is fine)
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 large avocado
red onion small (optional)
3 cups baby carrots

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
shredded cheese of choice (for stuffed sweet potatoes)
sour cream 1/4 cup
cream cheese 1 oz
1 egg

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