MENU – December Week 4

Week 4

Sunday Menu

  • White Chicken Chili
  • Avocado & Peppers

FLAVOR/INGREDIENT NOTE: Sometimes using a convenience product not only saves time but adds flavor with ingredients I’m cool with. This McCormick White Chicken Chili Mix does just that with its yummy blend of spices.

Prep

  • This makes about 4 servings. Tweak amounts as needed.
  • Cut up about 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. Heat a large soup pot to medium heat with 2 tbsp olive oil. Add chicken and cook thoroughly.
  • Now add a can of diced tomatoes (drained), one can of white beans, 1 cup of water and your spice mix packet.
  • Bring to a boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes. While the chili is simmering, slice your avocado and red bell pepper for your topping.
  • Top chili with a dollop of sour cream and avocado and red bell pepper to taste. If you’d like you could serve with crackers of your choice.

Grocery Items

  • Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless
  • White Beans, canned
  • Diced Tomatoes, canned
  • Avocado
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Sour Cream
  • Olive Oil
  • Crackers of choice (optional)
  • Spice Mix: McCormick White Chicken Chili Mix or similar

Monday Menu

It’s Christmas Eve Eve and we’re having Hors d’oeuvres for Dinner

  • Assorted Cheese Cubes
  • Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Olive Oil Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cranberry BBQ Meatballs

COOK AHEAD: Use a slow cooker to cook the meatballs. When I’m cooking them in a sauce this way, I don’t mind buying premade meatballs that have ingredients I feel good about.

Prep

  • START in the morning. Put the meatballs in your slow cooker on low. Add 1 cup smooth (canned) cranberry sauce and 1 cup barbecue sauce of choice. Set for 6-8 hours. It’ll be ready when you are.
  • Let’s do the stuffed mushrooms. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking dish or line it with foil. Place your washed and dried mushroom caps in the dish with the top sides down. Pinch stems out leaving an opening to put your stuffing.
  • These amounts will cover a dozen to a dozen and half medium to large mushrooms. Finely chop the stems and mix with 1/2 c mayo or sour cream, 1/2 c shredded cheddar, and 4-6 slices of chopped bacon. Mix together with fresh cracked pepper to taste. Stuff this mixture into your mushroom caps and pop in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • While your mushrooms are cooking, slice up your favorite cheese into cubes.
  • Now rinse and dry some cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with high-quality olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. They’re ready to go!
  • Serve it all up with little appetizer plates and forks. Cheers!

Grocery Items

  • Cheese of choice
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms, whole
  • Bacon
  • Shredded Cheese (like cheddar)
  • Mayo/Sour Cream
  • Cranberry Sauce, 1 can
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Prepared Meatballs of choice (frozen)
  • Spice: Kosher Salt, Cracked Pepper.

Tuesday Menu

We’re sooo over turkey. This is our Christmas Eve Meal.

  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Petite Filet Mignon
  • Boursin Mashed Potatoes
  • Tossed Salad

Prep

  • I like to start with shrimp cocktail so everyone can munch on those while the meal is cooking. Use fresh or thawed frozen shrimp that have been peeled and deveined. You can get some meat departments to steam them for you. I quickly boil them about 3-4 minutes until done, chill, peel, and generously season with Old Bay Seasoning.
  • Since this is a special meal, I garnish a bit more than normal. Place lettuce on a plate or platter. Place your shrimp on top with your favorite cocktail sauce in a bowl in the middle of the plate. Add fresh lemon wedges on the side. Pretty and delish!
  • Wash and cut the small to medium red potatoes in half. I use about 3 pounds for 4-6 servings. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Put on the stove and bring to a boil. Boil about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Get out your special steaks and season as desired. I like to just add salt, pepper, and a bit of Worcestershire sauce. Set aside. Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium-high.
  • Get your salad ready. I like to serve this in a large bowl for everyone to take what they want after you toss. I’ll be topping with cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, and olives. It’ll be tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Now get your steaks on the grill. I cook on the grill for about 5-6 minutes on each side and let rest for about 5. This yields a medium to medium-rare ~1.5-inch filet, so adjust as needed.
  • Next, drain your potatoes. Put the potatoes back in the pot with 5 oz (a whole package) of Boursin cheese or similar and 1/2 c cream or milk (add more as needed). Mash with a potato masher or use an immersion blender to achieve desired texture. Load your plates. Cheers!

Grocery Items

  • Salad Greens/Lettuce
  • Veggies for salad
  • Lemons
  • Shrimp (fresh or frozen large)
  • Red Potatoes
  • Boursin Cheese or similar
  • Heavy Cream/Whole Milk
  • Dressing of choice
  • Cocktail Sauce
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Spice: Old Bay Seasoning

Wednesday Menu

  • Beef Tacos or Taco Salad
  • Topping Bar

Prep

  • Let’s work on our taco meat. I use at least two pounds of ground beef because I always use it as a leftover.
  • Get your large skillet heated to medium heat. Put your ground beef in the pan and use your spatula to break it up into little pieces.
  • While the meat is cooking, get your toppings or salad ready. I like to put out some sliced avocado, lettuce, sour cream, shredded cheese, and salsa.
  • Now add 1 tbsp cornstarch to your taco meat and mix in completely. Mix in 1/2 tbsp each chili powder & cumin. You can add more if you like, but that’s the starting amount. Stir it up and serve with your taco shells/tortillas.

Grocery Items

  • Ground Beef
  • Tortillas (2 meals)
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Salsa
  • Avocado
  • Lettuce/Salad Greens
  • Sour Cream
  • Corn Starch
  • Spices: Cumin, Chili Powder

Thursday Menu

  • Basic Chicken Curry
  • Naan Flatbread
  • Side Salad with Ginger Dressing

Once upon a time, I thought I didn’t like curry… until my neighbor made this basic recipe for me. I also just buy a premade ginger dressing for the salad.

Prep

  • Start by cutting up your boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1.5-2 pounds) into bite-sized cubes. This recipe serves about 4-5. NOTE: You’ll need extra cubed chicken for Wednesday so go ahead and cook it now as well. You can cook in the same pan and remove before you add your curry or just cook it up in a separate pan.
  • Add 2 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter to a large skillet and heat it to medium heat. Get your chicken cooking. Once it’s starting to turn white, add your diced onion (if you like onion).
  • Once your chicken and onions are cooked, add 2 tbsp curry, 2 tsp cumin, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Mix it well. Now add 1/4 c flour and mix thoroughly to get flour dispersed. Add about 1- 1.25 c chicken stock and stir. Turn heat to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Now get your salad ready. Place your salad greens and carrots on half the plate. Add ginger dressing.
  • Heat your naan either by quickly broiling or microwaving.
  • Turn heat off on your curry and stir in 1/4 c cream. Serve with naan as your “scoop.”

Grocery Items

  • Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless  (2 meals)
  • Naan Flatbread
  • Heavy Cream
  • Chicken Stock
  • Butter
  • Salad Greens
  • Yellow Onion, small
  • Shredded/Matchstick Carrots
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Ginger Dressing
  • Spices: Curry Powder, Ground Cumin, Ground Cinnamon

Friday Menu

  • Chicken Caesar Wraps (leftover chicken)

Prep

  • This is easy peasy and yummy! Lay out your tortillas. Spread ~ 2 tbsp of your Caesar dressing and load with your cubed leftover chicken and lettuce.
  • Add shredded Parmesan and sun-dried tomatoes (if desired). Wrap it up. 😉

Grocery Items

  • Tortillas, large
  • Romaine Lettuce/Salad Greens
  • Caesar Dressing of choice
  • Parmesan, shredded
  • Sun-dried Tomatoes (optional)

Saturday Menu

  • Spaghetti Pie (using Spaghetti Squash)
  • Garlic Bread

You don’t need to tell anyone it’s not actual pasta. The eggs give this a great texture and help it set. This is a go-to recipe for one of my buddies who’s gluten-free.

If cutting open a spaghetti squash is scary to you, watch THIS.

Prep

  • This recipe will make one pie plate or small casserole dish (plus extra sauce) and will serve 4. Slice your spaghetti squash from stem to end and use a fork to scrape out the seeds. Place in a baking dish cut-side down with about 1/2 inch of water. Steam in the microwave for about 10 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Start making your sauce. Brown your ground beef and/or ground Italian sausage if desired. I like the flavor of both and use 1 pound of each. Once browned, add in your pasta sauce of choice.
  • Now your spaghetti squash should be tender and ready to scrape out with a fork. CAUTION: The spaghetti squash is very hot so you use a pot holder or dish towel to hold the skin while you scrape the “spaghetti” out into a mixing bowl. NOTE: If your squash seems a bit watery, place it in a colander and press out excess water before mixing with your eggs.
  • Beat four eggs together and pour over spaghetti squash. Add 1 tsp dried oregano and mix thoroughly.
  • Spray your pie plate or dish with cooking spray. Put half of your “spaghetti” mixture into the dish and cover with sauce (1.5-2 c) and then shredded mozzarella cheese (~1 c). Repeat. IF you have extra sauce, put it in a freezer bag and freeze for later use.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes. If you don’t like the cheese to get too brown, you can loosely cover with foil until the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  • Serve with garlic bread/bread of choice.

Grocery Items

  • Spaghetti Squash (medium)
  • Jarred Pasta Sauce
  • Ground Beef
  • Italian Sausage, ground
  • Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
  • Eggs
  • Bread of choice
  • Olive Oil
  • Spice: Dried Oregano
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