Monday, June 11, 2012

Menu Monday #4

Overall, we did pretty well last week after throwing out Monday's meals. We stuck to the menu all week and I finally accomplished making my own pizza dough for the first time! Woo hoo!! Now that I have done it, I can't believe I hadn't done it before now. Wow. It was so incredibly easy to just throw a few ingredients into the bread machine and let it do all the work! A couple hours later and I had a nice warm ball of pizza dough. The dough was super easy to work with compared to the dough I used to buy at Publix. Spreading it out into a pizza pie, with the help of a little cornmeal, on my stone was a breeze. Topped with some crushed tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil and mozzarella, and it was a tasty treat for sure! For dessert, we enjoyed some cranberry-pomegranate popsicles with blueberries. They were yummy, but I think I'll try them with strawberries next time instead of the blueberries. Noah was a really big fan. I think he may be teething again, so that frozen treat probably felt great on his poor gums!

For breakfast on Saturday morning, I made one of our favorites, Whole Wheat Banana Bread Pancakes. These get gobbled up as quickly as I can get them off the skillet! They are nice and filling and can usually serve as brunch for me.

On Saturday night, we finally tried a local Indian restaurant, Sahib. Josh had been there a couple times by himself, before the rest of us had moved up, but I hadn't been yet. I don't know what I had been waiting for because it was amazing! It's no secret that I love Indian food and craved it more than anything else during my pregnancy with Ethan. Living where we did in Georgia, it was one of the things I missed most. I think I was afraid that the kids wouldn't want to eat anything at the restaurant, so I had held off going until now. Surprisingly, they both did pretty well. We ordered the combination dinner for two (it appeared to be a popular selection for a lot of the other diners as well), which included padapum (thin and crispy lentil bread), mulligatawny soup (lentil soup), a seekh kabob (ground lamb blended and marinated with onions and spices, wrapped around a skewer and roasted in Tandoor), chicken tikka masala (my favorite - boneless chicken broiled in the Tandoor then cooked in a thick tomato, onion and green pepper sauce), lamb curry, naan bread (teardrop shaped white bread baked by slapping it quickly on the side of the Tandoor), basmati rice and dessert (gulab jamun - round pastries made from non-fat dry milk, dipped in honey sauce). Everything was excellent. The kids loved the "chips," (aka padapum) as Ethan referred to them. Noah gobbled up some of the soup as well. We all really liked the seekh kabob. Ethan enjoyed watching them light in on fire as they served it to the table! We ordered the chicken tikka masala at a mild spice level, so that the kids could try some too. Though a bit reluctant, Ethan ate some and Noah had no problems at all. I don't think that boy has met a food item that he hasn't liked yet! haha! Josh ordered the lamb curry at a hot spice level, so we let him enjoy that one by himself. I like some heat to my food, but sitting there sweating, nose running as I eat, isn't quite as enjoyable for me. ;) We all enjoyed the naan and rice, of course. Unfortunately, due to the inclusion of honey, Noah had to sit dessert out, but by that time he was quite stuffed (a rarity, since he never seems to be able to get full!), so I don't think he minded too much.

For brunch on Sunday, I made a frittata. These are super easy and you can just throw in whatever leftover ingredients from the week that you have on hand. This week, I used red onion (leftover from the cajun chicken pasta), basil (leftover from the Margherita pizza), bacon and cheese. I love how the red onions become nice and sweet after cooking them in just a small bit of butter. The basil was actually a wonderful touch and made the frittata nice and fragrant and offered some great flavor as well. And you can't go wrong with bacon and cheese in my book! ;) On the side, some whole wheat toast and sliced strawberries completed the meal.

Sunday: Pizza Pancakes and oven roasted parmesan tomatoes
I have reworked the original recipe to create a from-scratch, whole wheat version of these yummy pancakes. I no longer cook or bake with Bisquick, so instead, I used a combination of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour for these. I will try to post the new recipe soon. Ethan loves the idea of dipping pancakes in pizza sauce for dinner and Josh and I kind of enjoy it too! ;)

Monday: Baked cajun tilapia over brown rice and oven roasted asparagus
We haven't had tilapia in quite awhile, so I thought it might be nice to revisit it. It's a nice mild fish that Ethan will eat, so I'm sure Noah will love it too. I plan on seasoning ours with the cajun-blackening spice and searing them in a skillet before finishing them in the oven. For the boys, I will make my own fish sticks by breading them with some bread crumbs and pan-frying them in a bit of canola oil. I love serving my fish over rice and we all love roasted asparagus! Yum!

TuesdayMelt in Your Mouth Baked Chicken, whole wheat rotini, parmesan stir-fried green beans
This fairly new meal has been a hit each time we have had it and it is super easy to prepare, so that is a win-win in my book!

Wednesday: Baked cajun breaded pork chops, baked sweet potato fries, couscous
We all love pork chops and a yummy way to prepare them is coating them with a mixture of bread crumbs and Cajun-Blackening seasoning and searing them for a few minutes, then finishing them in the oven. Baked sweet potato fries and couscous round out the meal with lots of filling fiber! For my fries, I cut up 2 large potatoes into fry shapes, then coat with a little EVOO and sprinkle with salt and cinnamon. Then I bake them in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes, turning them halfway through the time. The key to preventing them from getting too mushy is to pre-heat your baking pan so when you add the fries, it sizzles.

This is a new recipe I am trying this week. It's a "skinny" version of alfredo, to help keep the fat and calories down. The boys love chicken, broccoli and pasta, so I am hoping it's a hit! I will probably top it with some toasted panko bread crumbs because I love what that adds to a pasta dish.

After last week's success with the whole wheat pizza dough, I'll be making the dough again, with these tasty toppings. I pinned this recipe weeks ago and have been wanting to try it, so I am excited to do so this week. I think the sweet-spicy mixture will hit the spot. I hope the boys will be willing to try it, but I am hoping it won't be a problem when Ethan sees the strawberries on top! I haven't let Noah try strawberries yet, but since we're just a month out from a year now, I think it will be ok. I am sure he will love them!

Saturday: Out to eat

I haven't decided on brunch plans for the weekend yet, but I am sure it will involve more pancakes. :) Happy planning this week!

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