Sunday, April 10, 2011

What's For Dinner? April 11-15, 2011

My online meal planner will briefly highlight breakfast and lunch, but will detail dinner. I typically do not vary my breakfast and lunch. I like to get as much sleep as I can, so I usually grab a yogurt for breakfast and some sandwich meat and veggies for lunch. Sometimes I will grab leftover dinner for lunch, when I have some leftover :)

Monday: Curried Chicken with Mango Rice
I found some beautiful mangoes at the grocery store today. They are my favorite fruit! I found this recipe and I can't wait to try it.

Ingredients
1 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup uncooked cauliflower rice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 cup diced mango

Directions
Combine curry powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Rub mixture into chicken breasts. Saute in a few tablespoons of chicken broth, white wine and olive oil.
In a large, non-stick skillet, combine the rest of the chicken broth, water, and wine with rice. Stir in brown sugar, dried parsley, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in mango. Arrange chicken pieces on top of rice, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for about 5 minutes. The sauce way not thicken completely, because cauliflower rice does not absorb much liquid.
(Modified from a recipe on AllRecipes.com)

Tuesday: Roasted Garlic Marinated Skirt Steak and Steamed Asparagus
This is a very bright dish that's super easy to prepare, and manly enough that the hubby doesn't feel weird eating it lol :)

Ingredients
1 cup roasted garlic vinegarette
1-2 pounds skirt steak
1-2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon rosemary (optional)

Directions
Marinate the skirt steak in a bowl or ziploc bag with the vinegarette for at least 30 minutes (overnight preferred). Grill the steak or cook in a large skillet over high heat. Steam the asparagus with lemon juice and rosemary.

Wednesday: Taco Salad
When I was younger, my grandmother would make lots of taco meat and then serve it to us in a bowl of rice, topped with tomatoes. I LOVED IT. I still do – but PCOS has effectively stopped that love affair… Until now!
I will be replacing traditional rice with grated cauliflower! The directions are at the end of the blog.

Ingredients
2-3 cups grated, cooked cauliflower
1 lb ground turkey
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 romaine heart, chopped – roughly 2 cups (you can use any other lettuce you would like)
Any other taco toppings you choose

Directions
Brown 1 pound of ground turkey with your favorite taco seasoning. I love the Taco Soup seasoning from Homemade Gourmet (link: HMG) Add a heaping ladle-full of cauliflower rice into a bowl. Add a spoonful of cooked turkey. Top with your choice of toppings. If you are like me, mix it all up so you get a little of everything in each bite, then dig in! You can add cheese and sour cream as well - just watch the fat content!

Thursday: MUshroom Spaghetti (Squash!)
I've been dying to try spaghetti squash as a substitute for spaghetti. So tonight I'm going to try a basic spaghetti with some extra veggies!

Ingredients
2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
1 can spaghetti sauce, or homemade - I like Homemade Gourmet's Spaghetti Sauce (link: HMG)
1 small package white mushrooms, sliced (or any other type of mushroom you like!)

Directions
In a large pot, heat spaghetti sauce on low heat. Add sliced mushrooms and spaghetti squash, and heat through. Dish out and top with parmesan cheese!

Friday: Spaghetti Pie
This recipe combines pizza, lasagna and pie. I can't help myself, I have to try it.

Ingredients
6 ounces spaghetti squash, cooked
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 eggs, well beaten
3/4 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese, divided
1 cup Skim Milk Ricotta Cheese
1 cup pasta sauce
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Directions
Toss spaghetti squash with olive oil in large bowl. Stir in eggs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Pour spaghetti mixture into greased 10-inch pie plate; form into a crust.
Spoon ricotta cheese over spaghetti crust. Top with pasta sauce. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F oven 25 minutes. Top with Mozzarella cheese. Bake 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Cool 10 minutes before cutting.
(Modified from a Sargento recipe. Spaghetti Pie)


Cauliflower Rice
The texture of grated cauliflower is very similar to rice and has a very light flavor. Simply shred a head of cauliflower in a food processor or grate it with a cheese grater. This will keep, uncooked, for a few days in the refridgerator. You can use it uncooked or cooked. To cook, pop the amount you need in the microwave, covered, for a few minutes to steam. DO NOT ADD WATER! You don’t need it! Just nuke it until nice and fluffy.

Spaghetti Squash
My plan is to slowcook my spaghetti squash all day on Thursday, and use the leftovers for Friday's dinner.
Buying & Storing
When buying spaghetti squash, look for hard fruit that is heavy for its size, about eight to nine inches in length and four to five inches in diameter and with a pale even color. Avoid any squash with soft spots and green color is a sign of immaturity. The average four-pound spaghetti squash will yield about five cups.

Spaghetti Squash can be stored at room temperature for about a month. After cutting, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days. Spaghetti squash also freezes well. Pack cooked squash into freezer bags, seal, label and freeze. Partially thaw before re-using, then steam until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes.

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash
Bake It -- Pierce the whole shell several times with a large fork or skewer and place in baking dish. Cook squash in preheated 375F oven approximately 1 hour or until flesh is tender.

Boil It -- Heat a pot of water large enough to hold the whole squash. When the water is boiling, drop in the squash and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on its size. When a fork goes easily into the flesh, the squash is done.

Microwave It -- Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Place squash cut sides up in a microwave dish with 1/4 cup water. Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on size of squash. Add more cooking time if necessary. Let stand covered, for 5 minutes. With fork "comb" out the strands.

Slow Cooker or Crock-Pot - Choose a smaller spaghetti squash (unless you have an extra large slow cooker) so that it will fit. Add 2 cups of water to slow cooker. Pierce the whole shell several times with a large fork or skewer, add to Crock Pot, cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours.
Once the squash is cooked, let it cool for 10 to 20 minutes so it will be easier to handle, before cutting in half (if it wasn't already) and removing the seeds. Save the seeds for roasting - just like pumpkin seeds! Pull a fork lengthwise through the flesh to separate it into long strands. You can do these steps ahead of time, then prepare spaghetti squash recipes whenever the mood strikes.
(courtesy of FabulousFoods.com)

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