Monday, June 16, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

While blog browsing recently I stumbled across (a site I NEED in my life). She (Laura) advocates meal planning (something I used to be better at) - in fact she feels menu planning is one of the best places to start in your "quest to get organized". Hmmmm. I am not looking forward to multiple weekly trips to the grocer with 3 kids in tow so the idea of being organized to do one run does sound appealing. Plus, I will admit despite my coupon skills (to lower the bills -heehee-) I do have a tendency to try to persuade Mr. J to take us out to eat (with coupon of course!) when summer stir crazies set in or Yummo to pick up Chinese take-out (a thing of the past now that does not have $10 Wok coupons) when I forget to thaw out meat. The facts are more high dollar meals out mean less summer date nights and weekend family fun... and that will not do! So you have probably guessed where this post is heading... this is my 1st addition of what will hopefully be my weekly participation in Menu Plan Monday!
This week the Dickey Diet will include:

Breakfast - Do your own thing - Choices include:
cereal/cereal bars, bacon
egg & cheese sandwich(s)
oatmeal (only the princess and I willing eat this choice)
cheese toast, strawberries
yogurt smoothies

Lunch - with Mom-:
cheese quesadillas, grapes
chicken salad, strawberries
hoagies, carrots
corn dogs, apple sauce
egg salad, chips

Monday Dinner
WAS honey teriyaki chicken, rice and broccoli but hubby scored Cure tickets for tonight so NOW the kids and I are eating a homemade cheese pizza and field greens from MY garden (my 1st!)
Tuesday Dinner
we are invited to a cook-out if we do not attend (Mr J's work schedule and princess EB is in ALL day camp this week) we will have chicken salad, egg salad and tuna salad on lettuce with cantaloupe
Wednesday Dinner
"UnCut Heidi"'s child friendly taco puffs (yummO), corn on the cob
Thursday Dinner
Outback (Free Gift Card Baby! Thanks Mr J's work!)
Friday Dinner
spaghetti with Italian sausage, salad (hopefully from MY garden again)
Saturday Dinner
pork chops (need recipe! drop me a comment if you have one), potatoes and green beans
Sunday Lunch/Brunch
I am thinking Quiche... Mr J says ick, lets eat out... we will see
Sunday Dinner
shrimp & noodle stir-fry, maybe even eggrolls?

Does menu planning sound interesting to you? Want to hear more? Laura explains the WHY and HOW as well as providing aweseome links to recipes sites and various menu planning resources.


Bobbie said...

Welcome to MPM. I know you will enjoy yourself. It is a great place for ideas and organizational tips!! Menu sounds great. I love pork chops- but it is something I dont cook much, and I usually ask Husband to do it since he does it so much better. We fry them. Salt and pepper the chop (I also like garlic salt), dredge in one beaten egg, then in flour and put in hot oil for 8-9 minutes or so on each side. Its a little messy and a not so healthy but oh so tasty.

Kelly said...

Welcome to MPM! I love quiche, unfortunately, only myself and my middle child like it, so we rarely have it. I say - go for the quiche.

ADDAmy said...

Got this from a yahoo list I am on ...thought it was good to share....

25 Ways To Recycle Chicken

Coming up with dinner every day can be a pain in the neck, especially if you are a single cook. Just thinking about going to the store is discouraging enough, much less having to cook after a day's work. Many of us take the easy way out and throw something together from the leftover dishes in the refrigerator. and more often than not, that leftover is chicken. Not that there's anything wrong with chicken. It's quick, easy and economical. It tastes good and it's good for you. But chicken is boring if you always make the same old thing in the same old way. Depending on the size of your cooking audience, and with a little imagination, you can keep a roasted chicken going for a day or a week.
Start with a whole roasted or rotisserie-broiled chicken from the supermarket or a take-out restaurant. After your first meal, the rest of the bird looms as leftovers.

Here are 25 ways to recycle leftover chicken without actually cooking. With most of them, you could round out the meal by serving a salad, a good piece of bread or a hard roll, a piece of fresh fruit and a couple of cookies. Most of the suggestions are quickie versions of more complicated dishes. Assemble here, heat up there. So who's telling?

Dip It
1. International "Ketchup": Heat up a hefty portion of leftover chicken and serve with an international dipping sauce, found in the ethnic sections of supermarkets. Try Thai dipping sauce, Szechuan dipping sauce, Indian chutney, and a smoky cowboy barbecue sauce.

Do it with Eggs
2. Chicken Deviled Eggs: Mash six hard cooked egg yolks with mayonnaise, grated onion, mustard and salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce to taste. Stir in about a half-cup of finely chopped cooked chicken.

3. Omelet or Scrambled Eggs: Combine small cubes of chicken, cubes of cream cheese and some chopped herbs (parsley, chives and tarragon make a good combination). Toss into an omelet or scrambled eggs and let heat through until the chicken is warm and the cream cheese is oozy.

Match it with Breads
4. Pita Sandwich: Spread pita pocket bread (whole wheat or sesame) with mayonnaise to which you've added a pinch of curry and a few drops of fresh lemon juice. Add slices of cooked chicken. Stuff in a few slices of mango or avocado for a surprise and finish with a good spray of watercress or crisp lettuce. If you have some chopped nuts handy, toss them in.

5. Another Pita Sandwich: Spread pita pocket bread with mayonnaise. Stuff it with slices of leftover chicken, sweet cabbage relish, and a slice of tomato. Sprinkle generously with pepper. The crisp-sweet relish is the flavor secret here.

6. Cheese Melt: Spread a split and partly toasted English muffin with pesto or mayonnaise, top with slices of leftover chicken and grated or sliced cheese. Heat under the broiler until brown and bubbly.

7. White Pizza: Brush a small round of focaccia bread or Boboli with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder. Scatter with pieces of leftover chicken, chopped fresh herbs and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Run under the broiler to brown.

8. Red Pizza: Slice a piece of French bread in half lengthwise. Brush it with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder. Spoon on a little canned pizza sauce and scatter shreds of leftover chicken over all. Add chopped fresh basil and oregano if you have some. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Run under the broiler to brown.

9. Mexican Pizza: Scatter shredded leftover chicken on a flour tortilla to within a half inch of the edge. Generously shake mild or hot pepper sauce onto the chicken. Top with some shredded mozzarella or jack cheese. Run under the broiler until the cheese melts and browns and the
edges of the tortilla turn up like a saucer. Reach for additional hot pepper sauce.

10. Rancher Pizza: Scatter shredded leftover chicken on a flour tortilla. Douse with smoked barbecue sauce. Top with grated cheddar cheese if you like. Run under the broiler until cheese melts and browns and the edges of the tortilla turn up like a saucer.

Wrap it up
11. Peking Chicken: Steam a flour tortilla to warm and soften it. Spread the tortilla with a teaspoon of hoisin sauce, or more to taste (you can boost the flavor with a drop of sesame oil), add thin shreds of leftover chicken and small chopped pieces of chicken skin. The skin won't be very crisp, but it adds a ton of flavor. Snip a scallion into rings and scatter them over the chicken. Wrap up into a package. As an alternative, spread the hoisin sauce in a pita pocket and stuff with chicken, chicken skin and scallions.

12. Fajitas: Saute a little sliced onion and green pepper in olive oil. Place on a warm flour tortilla. Add strips of warm cooked leftover chicken. Spritz with lime juice. Top with a dollop of sour cream, shredded lettuce and a spoonful of salsa. Roll up into a package.

Warm it up
13. Stir Fry: You don't need a wok. A skillet will work just as well. Toss sliced onion, garlic, red pepper, yellow squash and zucchini, broccoli buds and bean sprouts with olive oil until soft. Toss in cubes of leftover cooked chicken to heat. Douse with stir-fry sauce and heat through.

14. Fried Rice: Saute onion and garlic. Add a portion of leftover rice. Add chopped scrambled egg, minced leftover vegetables and diced leftover chicken. If there's a little piece of ham or shrimp in the fridge, chop it and add. Season with soy sauce, heat and serve.

15. Kebabs: Alternate cubes of leftover chicken, pineapple and red pepper on a skewer. Brush with melted butter or spritz with olive oil cooking spray and heat briefly under the broiler to brown.

16. Soup Helper: Reinforce any canned vegetable or chicken soup with real pieces of chicken.

17. Variations on a theme: Toss leftover chicken pieces with almost anything: apples, olives, mandarin oranges, avocado, ham, pesto. Add celery or nuts for crunch, onions or shallots for bite and lemon juice for zest. Bind with mayonnaise, a little yogurt or sour cream. Serve on
lettuce or in a sandwich.

18. Chicken Caesar Salad: Toss pieces of romaine lettuce in a bowl. Add chopped anchovies, chopped hard cooked egg and croutons. Toss with bottled Caesar salad dressing. Top with strips of grilled chicken and grated Parmesan cheese.

19. Cobb Salad: Top salad greens with strips of julienne of leftover chicken, ham and cheese. Make other strips of red onion, crumbled bacon, bleu cheese and diced tomatoes. Add avocado and hard cooked eggs if you like.

20. Pasta Salad: Bolster almost any homemade or store-bought pasta salad with chunks of chicken.

21. Oriental Chicken Salad: Mix diced or shredded leftover chicken, sliced water chestnuts, diced celery and a sliced scallion. Toss with mayonnaise to which you've added a pinch each of ginger and mustard and a tablespoon or so of chopped candied ginger. Scatter sliced toasted almonds over the top.

Pick it off the Carcass
22. Chicken Log: Soften a small package of cream cheese, and add Worcestershire sauce and mild or hot pepper sauce to taste. Add a chopped stalk of celery and about a cup and a half of minced leftover chicken. Mix well and dump onto a piece of waxed paper. Form into a log and chill. Unwrap and roll in chopped nuts and parsley. Serve with crackers.

23. Chicken Hash: Mince up leftover chicken and leftover potatoes. Add a beaten egg, a sliced scallion and season heavily. Melt butter in a no-stick pan, add the mixture to the pan and heat until a crust forms. Flip and cook on other side.

24. Mix it up: Toss scraps and shreds of leftover chicken into pancake mix, into waffle mix, into griddle fritters.

25. Chicken Pecan Spread: Blend a large package of cream cheese and 1/3 cup mayonnaise. Stir in 3/4 cup of pecans, 2 tablespoons chutney (chopped if necessary), 1 -1/2 teaspoons curry powder and a tablespoon of chopped parsley. Add 1 cup chopped leftover chicken and stir well. Turn into a serving dish. Serve with crackers or as a spread for pear or apple slices.

Rhonda said...

I just cooked this from All You Mag tonight and it was very tasty!

Honey-Soy Pork Chops

Prep: 5 min.

Cook: 20 min.

Serves: 4

Cost per serving: $3.33

1 Tbsp. canola oil

4 bone-in pork chops (1 1/2 lb.)

Salt and pepper

3/4 tsp. ground cumin

2 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 (16 oz.) package frozen broccoli florets, thawed

1. Warm oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season chops with salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp. ground cumin. Add chops to skillet and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

2. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 tsp. cumin, honey, soy sauce, mustard and 1/4 cup water. Pour mixture into pan with chops, lower heat and simmer, uncovered, until meat is cooked through, about 6 minutes, turning once. Transfer chops to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

3. Add broccoli to pan, raise heat to medium and cook until heated through, 3 minutes, stirring often (or cook separately). Using a slotted spoon, transfer broccoli to a serving dish. Cook remaining sauce for 1 minute. Drizzle over chops and serve.

Per serving: 431 Cal., 24g Fat (9g Sat.), 0mg Chol., 3g Fiber, 41g Pro., 14g Carb., 424mg Sod

ADDAmy said...

YummO Thanks!!!!

Org Junkie said...

Thanks for joining us! I love how flexible menu planning is.