Sunday, September 7, 2008

Menu Plan Monday: September 7-14th

Well this is our second week back at work. We will see if things go a little smoother this week. It was okay last week, nothing crazy, but I think the whole family is adjusting to a new routine. The kids have done well at the sitter’s house, but have been a little extra needy at home. This weekend has been a little challenging as both kiddos have been extra, extra, extra needy, overly tired and both kids have a runny nose (this started on Thursday afternoon). I hope that we start to get into a nice groove here soon and things just start to flow nicely.

This week’s menu is a little different. The hubby and I are cutting out sugar and limiting the bad carbs to see if that helps us to feel better (and I hope it will help me lose some of this baby weight I am still carrying.) I was not one of the lucky many that lost the baby weight right away. My size four and size six clothes have not been worn in three years now (pre-pregnancy). I don’t know why I still hold onto them…maybe just to keep some hope alive. The kids will still have plenty of fruit and carbs, but the hubby and I will try to stick to very few. It is only for two weeks, it should be alright. We are mostly following the South Beach Diet Phase I plan. We will see. We tried once before, but I had to quite because I started to lose my milk supply. This of course was back when I was nursing. I didn’t see any results then, but I hope that I will see more results this time.

Menu Plan This Week

Sunday: Grilled Asian Salmon, Broccoli and rice (for kids only)

Monday: Grilled Chicken, Veggies (fruit and chicken rice for the kids)

Tuesday: Southwestern Chicken Salad (some variation of this for the kiddos) See recipe below

Wednesday: Pan Roasted Steak and onions (see recipe, pasta for the kiddos) with some sort of veggie side dish

Thursday: Egg Oven Omelet full of veggies, a little cheese and some sort of meat

Friday: Southwestern White Chicken Chili (some variation of the recipe below)

Saturday: Some sort of Salad

Southwestern Grilled Chicken Salad

Four main-dish servings. A Healthy Living recipe from Total Time 20 min. A good main-dish dinner salad.

8 cups torn mixed salad greens

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast halves, grilled, cut into strips

1 large tomato, cut into wedges

1/2 cup canned black beans, drained, rinsed

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/2 cup KRAFT Four Cheese Mexican Style Shredded Cheese

Kraft Light Done Right Ranch Reduced Fat Dressing

Taco Bell Home Originals Thick 'N Chunky Salsa

Cover large serving platter with salad greens. Top with chicken, tomato, beans and onions; sprinkle with cheese.

Serve with dressing and salsa. (Mixing the ranch and salsa together gave it a kick.)

Take a Shortcut: Prepare as directed, substituting 1 pkg. (9 oz.) LOUIS RICH Grilled or Southwestern Seasoned Chicken Breast Strips for the grilled fresh chicken strips.

Southwest White Chicken Chili

Two main-dish servings. From “A special spice blend, chicken, Cannelleni beans, and Monterey Jack cheese make this Southwest Chili “white.” Prep time 10 minutes, cook time 25 minutes.

1 teaspoon McCormick garlic powder

1 teaspoon McCormick ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon McCormick oregano leaves

1/2 teaspoon McCormick cilantro leaves

1/8 teaspoon McCormick ground red pepper (cayenne)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/4 cup chopped onion (I use 1/2 cup)

1 can (or 2 cups) chicken broth

1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chilies

1 can (15 ounces) white kidney beans (Cannellini) drained and rinsed

Shredded Monterey Jack cheese and sliced green onions for garnish (optional)

Combine garlic powder, cumin, oregano, cilantro, and red pepper in a small dish and stir until well blended. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken cubes and stir-fry from 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Add onions and continue cooking for a few minutes, until onion is translucent. Stir in chicken broth, chilies, and spices. Simmer over low heat 15 minutes.

Stir in beans and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. If soup is too thick, add 1/2 cup to 1 cup water to desired consistency. Pour into serving bowls and top with cheese and sliced green onions.

Pan-Roasted Steak and Onions

Four servings. From

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound flank steak

1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup fat-free chicken broth

1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch thick rings

In a large non-aluminum baking dish, combine the oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and garlic. Add the steak; turn to coat. Cover; refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight, turning once.

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Place over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the steak with the pepper and salt. Brown for 2 minutes per side. Add 1/2 cup of the broth; cook, turning once, for 5 to 6 minutes per side (for medium-rare). Remove the steak from the skillet; cover the steak loosely to keep it warm. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion slices to the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Add the remaining broth as needed to prevent the onions from sticking.

Thinly slice the steak across the grain; serve with the onions.

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