Monday, April 9, 2012

Weekly Menu - Week of April 9

Since the sun has started shining, my youngest wakes up from her naps and says, "Outside. Boots." And there it is. The latter part of our day is spent entirely outside. While this is good for the kids, it has made cooking (and blogging) more challenging. It is becoming more and more apparent that if I want to keep up with this blogging world, I will need to get a laptop of some variety. Fences. Greenhouses. Laptops. Geesh.

Well the cooking this week has been all about fast meals. Do you have some quick, healthy and delicious meals you would like to share? Tell me about them!

On to this week's menu...

:: Monday - Angel Hair Pasta with Pesto and green salad ::

I wasn't in charge of dinner this night. If I had been, there would have been some roasted veggies of a non-tuberous nature in the mix. Let it be known, I am not complaining or critiquing, just editorializing. I came home from my meeting and the kids, were happy and fed and the kitchen was clean. Yes, I am keeping him.

:: Tuesday - Kalua Pork Tacos from La Fuji Mama (recipe) ::

This is so easy, it is embarrassing. On Monday night, after doing the dishes, I stabbed a pork roast, rubbed it with Kosher salt, threw it in the slow cooker on warm and then poured a 1/4 cup of liquid smoke over it. The next morning I turned it on low for 8 hours and then back to warm. Right before dinner, I pulled it out of the slow cooker, threw it in a skillet, tore it apart, crisped it up a bit and then I served it with tortillas, salsa, guacamole, beans, hot sauce and sour cream. Done. I had some over greens with a little balsamic. A wee bit healthier.

:: Wednesday - Meatloaf, sweet potato fries and a green salad::

Americana baby. Our local beef makes everything taste better. I add in an egg from a friend's coop, Panko, worcester sauce, ketchup (HFCS free), some diced onion and a dash of soy sauce. I mix it all together and throw it in a bread pan and then into a preheated 375 oven for 40 minutes. Lil Miss eats this like she will never eat again. The next day at lunch, she ate her portion and half of mine. Yes, she is a good little carnivore.

:: Thursday - Pineapple Chicken Teriyaki Bowls ::

Soy Vay's Veri Veri Teriyaki is causing a bit of a stir in my house. I promise I will go more than two days without incorporating it into a meal and then BAM, there it is again. I just love the stuff. This was so fast and simple, I am almost embarrassed to write it up.

3 chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces, one pineapple cut into bite-sized pieces, two red bell peppers cut into bite-sized pieces. Heat up one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add everything. After 3 minutes, add a 1/4 cup of SV VVT, keep adding it as needed. Stir frequently and cook until chicken is cooked completely. Serve over brown rice and with a green salad. Yum.

:: Friday - Pizza Night with BBQ Chicken Pizza by Mental Chew ::

Friday nights are pizza and movie nights in our house. This week, we went for our favorite flavors and a new favorite flick, "Lady and the Tramp". The pizza is just so darn easy to make. It is perfect for the end of the week when you want something quick. I am going to start changing up the toppings and pretty soon we will be able to grill them! At the end of last summer, this became a family favorite. What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Pizza crust recipe (adpated from the Bread Bible).
Makes 1- 16" pizza
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon active, dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups of organic bread flour
  • cornmeal for dusting
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 c Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup mozzarella

1) In mixer bowl, pour in warm water and sprinkle yeast over the top. Mix in until it dissolves and then mix in honey. Wait 10 minutes or until it is frothy.
2) Add in salt, olive oil and 1/2 cup of flour. Using the paddle attachment on level 2, gently mix and gradually add flour until it forms a ball that clears the side of the bowl.
3) Switch to hook attachment and knead for 3 minutes on level 5. The dough should be elastic and keep a finger imprint when touched.
4) Remove the dough from the bowl. Lightly grease the bowl with olive oil. Place the dough back in a and cover for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until it has tripled in size.
5) Preheat oven to 500, 20 minutes prior to bake time. If you are using a stone, warm it in the oven.
6) Remove the dough from bowl and stretch it into a circle. I like to sprinkle a little cornmeal on my marble slab and use a rolling pin to get it started. Place on a cornmeal sprinkled paddle or cutting board and brush with olive oil.
7) Add toppings. In this case, Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce, thinly sliced red onion and 2 previously cooked chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces. Sprinkly 1 cup of mozzarella over the top. Place on hot pizza stone for 10-15 minutes. Watch it carefully.

I like to make my crust diameter a little wider than necessary. I brush the sauce out to the end and then fold it back over like a galette.

*Sweet Baby Ray's has high fructose corn syrup in it and is one of the only places HFCS lives in our house. I am always looking for an alternative. Any suggestions?

:: Saturday - Ham, Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Green Salad ::

I gave in. The Good Apple wanted ham. There isn't a single local one available on the island, but sometimes you just have to compromise. It was a simple, yet wonderful dinner for four and we will be eating ham sandwiches for days!

:: Sunday - Ham Sandwiches and Potato Salad ala the Good Apple ::
We (that is the Royal "We") decided that we were going to start spending Easter night on the boat. This was our first night on this boat. We lost our previous boat to a fire over 2 years ago and the family just purchased a replacement in the late Fall. I know it wasn't going to be flawless, but I have to hand it to the Good Apple, he REALLY worked hard to make sure everyone was comfortable and happy. What a dad. I know I am bragging a bit about him this week, but like most couples, we have our real life moments where we drive each other nuts, and he was SO on this weekend. He deserves every bit of the bragging. I am not an easy person to live with, I know this, but we have been together for 16 years and we still love each other. Pretty amazing stuff.

Good night sweet island

Part of our boat tradition will be ham sandwiches and the Good Apple's potato salad. It is soooo good and he won't share the recipe. I am ok with that, because HE makes it. I am big on traditions and I am starting to attach one wherever I can.
Lil Miss appreciates the morning view

If nothing hits your fancy, try perusing these menus from previous weeks!

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.

To vote, click on the badge and then click "vote" over Mental Chew.

I hope to see you around on Tuesday for "How Does Your Garden Grow?" See you then!



  1. You can't mess with tradition Val, there was ham in my home too! :)
    Happy Easter.

  2. Husband would be so envious of your new Easter tradition. We have a sailboat that he is dying for me to get into - actually, I have been on it, and I like sailing alright, but I'm not passionate about it. We could actually sleep on it, but it's been through the wringer with the previous owner and down below is kind of smelly. Oh, I'm negative Nelly, aren't I? He just joined this sailing club, so maybe this summer will be the year I convert.

  3. Love your weekly menus! Especially this one, since there's pizza! :D

  4. You got my vote! Delicious menu!

  5. i have to admit i'm always a tad bit envious of people who can get their act together and have a weekly menu (and stick to it, of course)... :)
    everything sounds fantastic!


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