I am sharing our menu for this week. As I mentioned before, I have been planning our meals for quite some time now. It is something I have to have in order, at least partially, because I just don’t have the mental energy and extra time to figure out each day what to cook.
I will cover this in more detail in future posts, but I wanted to describe our basic approach to eating at home so it makes more sense to you and you can adjust it to the way YOUR family eats.
- We do not cut out any food groups or ingredients. We eat pretty much everything BUT we do limit carbs. I usually cook carbs as a side dish for those who want them. Brian and I usually skip them or have a small serving.
- I do not cook separate meals for kids– for the most part. Unless I am cooking something very spicy, the kids are served the same food as Brian and I. Often, I will separate a part of the dish for the younger kids before adding spices when I know it will be too much for them.
- I like to “cook once, eat twice”: for example, roasting or grilling a big batch of chicken breast early in the week and using it in different dishes throughout the week as I did this week.
Here is what is on our menu this week. I will include recipes and my notes below.
Monday: Shrimp with bell peppers and cheddar grits.
Tuesday: Pork tenderloin with sauteed cabbage.
Wednesday: Chicken Caprese, salad, pasta.
Thursday: Spinach & artichoke frittata, scalloped tomatoes.
Friday: Beef keema with homemade naan.
Saturday: Caeser salad with oven roasted salmon.
Sunday: Going Out- Ethan’s birthday.
Shrimp With Bell Peppers And Cheddar grits
1 lb of shrimp (can use kielbasa or Italian sausage instead)
2 bell peppers, any color, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dry oregano
1/2 tsp dry thyme (or use 1 tsp Italian herb blend)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grits (I used quick)
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
Start by sauteing the onion and bell peppers until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and seasoning, saute for 30 seconds then push the vegetable mixture to a side of the pan. Add the shrimp and cook it, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Shrimp cooks very fast. Add more seasoning to taste.
For the grits, follow package directions which is essentially bringing water/broth to a boil, adding the grits and cooking for 5 minutes. Off the heat add the cheese and stir to incorporate. Add salt if needed.
Pork Tenderloin With Sauteed Cabbage
The week before I made pork tenderloin (I used this recipe) with sweet potatoes and cauliflower. Pork tenderloin came in a pack of two so I used the other piece for this week’s pork tenderloin with sauteed cabbage. It was a very quick meal as the pork was already done and the cabbage doesn’t take long to cook at all.
To saute the cabbage I sliced one medium head and cooked it on medium heat for about 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring from time to time. I added salt, black pepper and dill weed to it. I then covered it and cooked additional 5-7 minutes.
For this Chicken Caprese dish, I first marinated chicken breast in a simple mixture of red wine vinegar, canola oil, salt and Italian herb mix for a couple of hours. I then grilled it on my stove-top grill pan for 3 minutes per side. I grilled more chicken then needed for this caprese recipe to use in a frittata on Thursday.
The chicken can also be baked in the oven for 20- 30 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken breast) at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the chicken was cooked, I put it on a baking sheet, topped each piece with a slice or two of tomato and a slice of fresh mozzarella and broiled for 3 minutes or so (don’t go away and keep an eye on it). Out of the oven, I sprinkled the chicken with some chopped basil and drizzled balsamic vinegar.
We ate this Caprese Chicken with a simple salad. The kids had some whole wheat penne pasta with it as well.
Spinach & artichoke frittata
I used this recipe with the following modifications: left out yogurt (forgot to use it), added one chopped chicken breast left from my Chicken Caprese (I grilled extra to use in this frittata). Since it is a light dish, I also made this scalloped tomato recipe. I could it eat every day, it’s so good! I forgot to add sugar this time ( I guess it was an extra busy night as I kept forgetting things!). I realized that just as I was putting it in the oven so I drizzled a bit of honey over the top. I know honey works well with tomatoes from this tomato goat cheese tart recipe which I make a lot and everyone loves and goes for seconds, including the kids.
Beef keema with homemade naan
Keema is a sort of curry made with ground beef. I started with this recipe but made a few changes: I used 1 tsp garam masala, 1 t curry powder, 1 tsp tomato paste. I also added one sweet potato, 2 carrots, 1 cup of frozen peas, and about 5 oz fresh spinach. This beef keema dish came together fast.
I used my vegetable chopper to chop onion, garlic, and ginger and it took only a few seconds.
I made naan dough in my trusted bread machine and cooked it on the griddle pan. It was very easy and quick. It took a couple minutes to put the ingredients in the bread machine and then a few minutes to make six naans. I didn’t roll them out, just used my hands to pat down into disks. It was my first attempt at making naan. I think next time I will double the recipe and will make flatbreads.
Caeser salad with oven roasted salmon
This is what we are having tonight and it is also very easy and quick to put together. I drizzle salmon with some olive or canola oil, sprinkle lemon pepper and dill (fresh chopped or dill weed) and roast in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10- 12 minutes.
For the Caesar salad, I usually make my own dressing but I it includes a raw egg yolk and I have been having a hard time finding pasteurized eggs at my grocery store lately and I don’t feel comfortable using regular eggs.
On Sunday we are going out to for sushi to celebrate Ethan’s birthday. He had recently tried sushi and really liked it. For dessert I will be making his favorite chocolate cake, Julia Child’s Queen of Sheba. Love J. C. and love this cake!
I am going to post more menus, some menu planning tips that work for me, and how I adjust recipes for the kids. Let me know in the comments if you would like me to cover anything in particular.