MENU – October Week 5

Week 5

Sunday Menu

  • Easy Chicken Parm with
  • Sauteed Zucchini and
  • Dippy Bread

Prep

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and drizzle with olive oil. Put your chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag or between 2 sheets of clear plastic wrap and pound them thin. Now slice them into palm-sized pieces and place on baking sheet. Using about 1 Tbsp breadcrumbs & 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan per piece you’re preparing, mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan with pepper and Italian seasoning to taste. Press the crumb/cheese mixture onto to the top of your chicken and pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes (depending on thickness). You can broil them for just a minute or two when finished to crisp up the “crust” if needed. NOTE: Make enough for leftovers.
  • Now for the zucchini. I make 1 small or 1/2 of a medium to large zucchini per person. Wash, slice in half lengthwise and then half moons about half an inch thick. Heat a medium saute pan with olive oil to medium heat. Add salt, pepper, and oregano to taste. Saute about 8-10 minutes or until desired texture is reached.
  • Once your chicken is ready, gently heat your favorite pasta sauce in a microwave-safe dish and top your chicken once it’s plated.
  • Warm your favorite crusty bread and prepare some olive oil for dipping. Sprinkle your zucchini & saucy chicken with extra Parmesan just before serving. What a lovely and tasty meal!

Grocery Items

  • Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless (2 meals)
  • Zucchini
  • Olive Oil
  • Tomato/Pasta Sauce (2 meals)
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Egg
  • Parmesan, grated (2 meals)
  • Crusty Bread
  • Spices: Italian Seasoning & Dried Oregano
  • Gallon-sized Ziploc or clear plastic wrap

Monday Menu

  • Chicken Parm Pita Pockets (using yesterday’s Chicken Parm)

PREP AHEAD: Wash and prepare your potatoes and onion for tomorrow night’s roast.

Prep

  • This is THE easiest meal ever! Take out your leftovers from yesterday. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and warm in the microwave with your desired pasta/tomato sauce (add more if needed).
  • Once warmed up, stuff the mixture into warmed pita pockets. Add lots arugula (or spinach if you prefer) and extra Parmesan. Dinner is served! I like to add a little more warmed sauce on the side in a cup for dipping. Now that’s a delicious meal in a flash!

Grocery Items

  • Pita Pockets (2 meals)
  • Arugula OR Spinach (2 meals)
  • Tomato/Pasta sauce (if you need more)
  • Parmesan (if you need more)

Tuesday Menu

  • Slow Cooker Beef Roast with
  • Smashed Potatoes and
  • Balsamic & Fig Arugula Salad

It’s roast season. I love walking in the house to the smell of a roast in the crock pot. Chuck roast and bottom round are generally the best for slow cooking. Go ahead and get out your Crock Pot.

Prep

  • START THIS IN THE MORNING.
  • Start by searing your roast. Use a medium-large skillet to heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Searing helps lock in moisture in the meat by browning each side (left, right, top, bottom, all of the outer surface). Season generously with salt and pepper. Add 2-3 cloves freshly minced garlic to your crock pot and plop your seared roast right on top. NOTE: We’re making enough for leftovers.
  • Peel and quarter your sweet onion and wedge it in by the roast. Don’t separate them unless you don’t mind them mixed up with your smashed potatoes. NOTE: Save some potatoes as a side for tomorrow night.
  • Wash your potatoes and cut them in half if they’re larger than a tennis ball. Put in the crock pot around your roast.  NOTE: You need to make enough potatoes for leftovers. Mix 2 cups beef stock with 1 tbsp cornstarch and pour over your roast. Put the lid on and let your slow cooker do the job — set on low for about 8-9 hours.
  • Just before dinner, get your salads ready. Place arugula on half of each plate. Quarter your small figs (1-2 per person depending on how much you like them) and put on top of the arugula. Use your favorite balsamic vinaigrette or mix one up yourself – I mix 1/4 cup balsamic with 1/3 cup high-quality olive oil. Add dried oregano and salt & pepper to taste. Whisk, whisk, whisk! Set aside.
  • Now that your roast is ready, it should just fall apart. Pull the potatoes out and put them in a bowl. Add just a bit of milk and butter, dried parsley, and salt & pepper to taste. Smash them with a potato masher or spoons. It smells so good in here, let’s eat!

Grocery Items

  • Beef Roast (2 meals)
  • Garlic, fresh
  • Potatoes of choice (2 meals)
  • Yellow/Sweet Onion
  • Beef Stock
  • Corn Starch
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Arugula (if you need more)
  • Figs
  • Butter
  • Milk, if needed
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette or Balsamic Vinegar
  • Spices: Dried Parsley, Dried Oregano (optional)

Wednesday Menu

  • Oven-Roasted Chicken with
  • Veggies and
  • Creamy Potatoes (leftover potatoes from yesterday)

Prep

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. NOTE: You’ll want to make enough to have extra chicken and veggies leftover for Friday.
  • Get out a large baking dish (9 x 13 or a little larger OR TWO PANS to cook faster) and drizzle with olive oil or melted butter.
  • Place your chicken breasts or thighs (can be skin on) in the pan with room for the veggies to go around them.
  • Wash and chop your veggies into pieces not larger than 1-inch cubes. Get 2 cloves of garlic minced up first and throw it in a large mixing bowl. Put your chopped veggies in the bowl and mix with 2-3 Tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1-2 tsp of dried thyme (less if you’re making a small batch, more if you’re making a bigger batch). Mix it all together to get a good coating of herb and olive oil. Pour over/around chicken breasts. Loosely cover your pan(s) with foil and pop in the oven for about 45 minutes. Remove foil about halfway. IF YOU WANT THIS TO COOK FASTER (about 35 min), put veggies on their own pan or spread out on 2 pans. NOTE: Keep all the leftovers in this pan with the chicken and veggies. We’ll use them Friday. The pan juices will give great flavor later.
  • While everything is roasting, get your potatoes reheated.  Add a bit of milk, shredded cheese, salt, and pepper to jazz them up if you like. This is such a comfy and delicious meal. Enjoy :).

Grocery Items

  • Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless (or thighs if you prefer, 2 meals)
  • Garlic, fresh
  • Carrots (2 meals)
  • Celery (2 meals)
  • Mushrooms (2 meals)
  • Milk, if needed
  • Shredded Cheese of choice
  • Spice: Dried Thyme

Thursday Menu

  • Beef & Cheese Nachos (using leftover roast) with
  • Jalapenos and
  • Side Salad

Prep

  • Using your leftover roast, we’ll get these nachos served up in a snap. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Warm up your shredded roast in the microwave covered with a wet paper towel to keep it moist. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with foil. Place tortilla chips on the baking sheet, about 1 large handful per person. Now top with your heated beef and sprinkle with chili powder to taste. Add a generous amount of shredded cheese and top with jalapenos (if desired). Pop in the oven to get the cheese melted – about 6-8 minutes.
  • Now place your salad greens on half of each plate and top with cherry/grape tomatoes and the dressing of your choice. This meal screams for a Ranch-like dressing.
  • When your nachos are heated, use a large spatula to transfer them to the other half of each plate. Who said nachos can’t be a part of a healthy and balanced meal?!?!?

Grocery Items

  • Tortilla Chips of choice
  • Shredded Cheese of choice
  • Jalapenos, jar or can (optional)
  • Salad Greens (2 meals)
  • Salad Veggies (2 meals) like:
    • Grape/Cherry Tomatoes
    • Carrots
    • Cucumbers
  • Ranch Dressing or Dressing of choice
  • Spice: Chili Powder

Friday Menu

  • Chicken & Veggie Soup (using leftovers) with
  • Garlic Pita Points (using leftover pitas)

I tested this on my family and the foodie pals. It got two thumbs up!

Prep

  • Preheat your oven to-you guessed it-400 degrees.
  • Now start by getting out a big soup pot and chop your leftover roasted chicken and veggies from Wednesday into smaller pieces. Dump it all into your soup pot (including pan juices in the leftover dish) and start heating over medium heat. Add as much stock as you desire (at least 1 cup per serving). Bring to a soft boil.
  • Using a pizza cutter or large knife, quarter your pitas and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and garlic powder to taste. Pop in the oven for about 6-8 minutes to warm/toast.
  • Once soup comes to a gentle boil, reduce heat and add 1 cup milk OR 1/2 cup half and half. You can add more or less depending on the servings. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Yum, yum!

Grocery Items

  • Pita Pockets (if you need more)
  • Olive Oil
  • Chicken Stock, 32 oz +
  • Milk OR Half & Half
  • Spice: Garlic Powder

Saturday Menu

  • Bang Bang Shrimp with
  • Carrot, Cucumber, & Ginger Salad

This is one of my FAV-O-RITE dishes to order out. So, I figured out how to make it at home.

Variation: If you’re not feeling shrimpy, you can do this with chicken cut into small pieces (think popcorn), or even tofu. You’ll just need to cook chicken a bit longer to get it done.

Prep

  • This recipe is for 1 pound of shrimp, but you can do more or less as needed. Once thawed, pat shrimp dry and put in a gallon-size Ziploc bag. Add 2 Tbsp cornstarch and shake, shake, shake to lightly coat the shrimp. Place in the refrigerator until time to cook.
  • Make your sauce. This is the amount to use for 1 pound of shrimp or about 4 servings. 3 tbsp mayo (can be olive oil-based), 1-2 tsp sriracha (up to your spice level), 1 tbsp ketchup, and 1 tsp honey. Mix, mix, mix. Set aside.
  • Now prep your salad. Place your mixed greens on half of each plate and top with sliced cucumber and shredded carrots (I buy the matchstick ones to make it quicker). Just before serving, top with a Ginger Sesame or similar dressing.
  • Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add 2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil. Once heated, start putting your coated shrimp in the pan in a single layer. Let brown on one side and turn (2-3 minutes on each side depending on the size of shrimp). Once cooked, place shrimp on a paper-towel covered plate. Repeat if you have more shrimp to cook. Once all of your shrimp are cooked, toss them in your bang bang sauce and plate next to your salads. Optional garnish: Add a little more sriracha sauce (think drops) and sliced green onion to pretty it up. It’s spicy good!

Grocery Items

  • Shrimp, frozen
  • Cornstarch
  • Mayo
  • Ketchup
  • Honey
  • Sriracha Sauce
  • Green Onion (optional)
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Mixed Greens (if you need more)
  • Salad Veggies (if you need more)
  • Ginger Sesame Salad Dressing
  • Gallon size Ziploc bag
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