Sunday, April 1, 2012

Weekly Menu - Week of April 2

I can tell we are heading into the longer days. Friends are gathering more often. Dinners are becoming quick, so we can return outside on the days when the sun's warmth still shines. Daily trips out to the garden bed's edge to look for late spring treats whose sprouts are just starting to emerge. Spring. I have to admit that it is getting harder and harder to sit down and blog. I want to be outside with the kids as much as possible and drink up that Vitamin D that the sun has to offer, when it appears. As I sit here typing, Lil Miss just rolled over during her nap to reveal a damp mat of curls on the side of her head. It is actually sunny and warm today.

On to this week's menu...

:: Monday - Chicken Teriyaki Bowls by Mental Chew and green salad ::

This is one of my favorite quick dinners and it has just improved. I used to make my own teriyaki sauce, but since a friend introduced me to Veri Veri Teriyaki by Soy Vay, I am completely hooked! Now this teriyaki sauce has been around since '82 and I don't know how I haven't crossed paths with it before now. Perhaps we have, we just weren't properly introduced. There is a version sold at Trader Joe's as well.

I usually avoid buying pre-made sauces because of all of the additives and HFCS and such, however, check out this ingredient list: preservative free soy sauce, fresh ginger and garlic, onions, expeller pressed soy and sesame oils and bursting with sesame seeds. Did you see how easily you read that list? No Googling or Wikipedia or needed! Straightforward and tasty, too!

As I was sharing this dinner concept with a friend, she asked me to post it. So here it is...

Chicken Teriyaki Bowls

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup Veri Veri Teriyaki by Soy Vay
  • Head of organic broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 5 organic carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups organic long grain brown jasmine rice
  • 5 cups of water

  1. Cook rice according to package directions. You can start this before your prep work. It takes awhile.
  2. Steam veggies until the color brightens. Remove from heat and slide lid to the side to let the steam escape.
  3. While the veggies are steaming and the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook for two minutes. Add sauce. Cook until chicken is done, approximately 5 more minutes.
  4. When rice is ready, assemble bowls: rice, chicken on one side, veggies on the other. Add more sauce for the sauce lovers.
:: Tuesday - Organic Chicken and Mozzarella Ravioli (pre-made) with steamed veggies and pesto and spinach salad ::
Thank goodness for pre-made organic food. This isn't something I do every day, but it IS incredibly handy to have in the freezer on those days when you realize at 10 AM that you were supposed to take the beef roast out of the freezer on SUNDAY! Oops. I took the leftover veggies from Monday's dinner and threw them in with the ravioli and then made a quick spinach salad. Instant dinner.

Our spinach salad went a little something like this: spinach, craisins, feta, red onion and balsamic vinegar. Yup. Done.

:: Wednesday - COMMUNITY DINNER ::
To say that we are incredibly fortunate to have a healthy and delicious lunch program at our schools is the understatement of the year. The San Juan Prevention Coalition and the school district's "Food for Thought" program join up during the school year to have community dinners that help fund the lunch program. The food is always through-the-roof tasty and made by high school students who are in the cooking program. Enough already, you want to know what they made?
Cost? $10 for adults and $5 for kids under 12. It is the best deal you will EVER get. A big thank you to all of the community members, teachers and students who make this program happen. It makes my heart so happy to see how school lunches have metamorphosed since they took over.

:: Thursday - Nicaraguan Dinner by Abu ::
Now see, I made it, but it wasn't as good as her's. Everyone loved it, but it didn't have that little umph she puts into it.

Beans in the slow cooker. Rice in the rice cooker. Cut up pork into 1" cubes. Mix tbsp of achiote with 2 tbsp lemon juice. Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil in skillet. Add achiote / lemon mixture and stir until pork is cooked thoroughly. Done.


Throw some beans and rice in the skillet with a little evoo and sliced up onions. Bam. Crazy tasty dinner, just like that.


:: Friday - Pizza Night by Mental Chew and friends ::

Last week I shared the recipe for my BBQ Chicken Pizza, so darn good. This week we were heading over to a friend's house for a dinner / movie / popcorn night and I offered to bring the pizza dough. They offered to supply the toppings and I have since found a new favorite! Chicken, red peppers, pineapple and turkey pepperoni. It was fast and tasty. A little spice. A little sweet. Nice color combo. The whole crowd chowed down and Lil Miss even tried to steal some off of her friend's plate after she ate all of hers. The Lil Man gave it two thumbs up and told me to put it on the repeater list. I would say that is a pretty awesome review.

:: Saturday - Pasta and Pie ::

One of my favorite people celebrated her birthday this week and so...she invited US over for dinner. How does that work out? Well, her parents were visiting, so it just worked out that way. Her husband is a great cook and we had a smorgasbord of incredibly palate pleasing choices. Caesar Salad with croutons, artichoke hearts and cherry tomatoes. Angel hair pasta with red sauce, kale and meatballs. Angel hair pasta wait for it...Nettle Pesto. You read that right. I have been wanting to make this and MAN was it good. Very fresh tasting. Super Spring-y. Recipe coming soon. I think I am going to try to make some with pecans this week. After we ate the pasta, he came out with a lamb pie. I am not even kidding. He added brussel sprouts to the pie and overall, it was savory goodness. I would have gone in for seconds, but I was so full and the kids were ready to leave the table to go play. Great night with great friends.

:: Sunday - Turkey Burgers, roasted carrot "fries" and spinach salad ::

My burger will have a little Soy Vay on it. So hooked. The fries are just roasted carrots that I cut in long strips. Don't forget to sprinkle a little kosher salt on top.


Remember Michelle's Bang Bang Cauliflower that I have been chatting up? When I made it last weekend, I made a little extra sauce. The Lil Man and I ate about 20 pieces of raw cauliflower dipped in that sauce for a snack. Now I crave it! I think I just might have to keep a jar of that sauce in the fridge.

Also, two quick clicks would be really sweet. Please click on the badge below if Mental Chew has helped you plan a meal or start growing some of your own food or think about what you are offering your family. I grow it, plan it, cook it, write about it. Trying to anyways!

My blogger mama friend, Becky, is also in the running. Stop by her blog and give her some voting love as well. I mean you can vote for 5 blogs, but we would appreciate your votes.

To vote, click on the badge and then click "vote" over Mental Chew and Not Your Ordinary Recipes.

I hope to see you around on Tuesday for "How Does Your Garden Grow?" We had a great turn out last week and I learned a lot from my readers! I am incredibly impressed with the gardening goals everyone is setting for themselves. We had some excitement pop in our garden this week. See you then!


  1. Wonderful recipes! I love Soy Vey. I think it's available at Costco - haven't used it for a while because I was trying to go gluten-free. I think I'll try it again!

  2. Wow--carrot fries are a great idea. I'm definitely going to try that soon. Everything looks delicious!

  3. Carrot fries are a really neat idea.. Lovely yummy food you had the whole week.

  4. Love the menu this week! I am going to try the teriaki chicken bowls, I have two veggie loving children and for the non veggie eater he would be happy with the chicken, rice and sauce. Yea! I have been desperately in need of a new meal for the rotation! Thanks!!! Nettle pesto, very interesting, I will have to pass that one on to my dad! Much love my dear friend!!

  5. What a great menu! My husband would love the Nicaraguan Dinner, thanks for sharing this and all your great ideas!

  6. Awesome reciepes! I LOVE Soy Vey Teriyaki sauce too. Isn't great when you can find a sauce WITHOUT HFCS? I found HFCS in a can of tomaotes yesterday. Crazy right?


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