Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Meals

Monday Meal Planning

It's been a long while since I've posted our meal plans and to be honest, it's been a while since I've done much planning.  For the next couple of weeks I'm working on cleaning up and cleaning out our chest freezer to make way for all of the fabulous treasures that will be coming our way when our CSA share starts in a few weeks.  I'm working on using up sauces and veggies that are hanging out in there.  Here's what I've come up with so far.
Monday: Pasta with shrimp, spinach, feta, and homemade tomato sauce
Tuesday: Grilled chicken sausages and mediterranean whole grain salad
Wednesday: Homemade pizza
Thursday: Green pasta
Friday: Grilled chicken and corn and zucchini casserole
Sunday: Salmon with potatoes and greens
Monday: Swimming lessons- out to dinner
Tuesday: Noodle salad with thai peanut sauce
Wednesday: Pasta with chicken and peppers

Mexican Pot Roast & Marinade

I have come to love this recipe for pot roast. Lots of flavor and really yummy the next day for pan fried tacos. I cut back to 1 cup of beer and use 2 cups of beef stock, adding 1 Tablespoon of sugar. The beer can leave a bitter taste. Fine for me, but not great for the kiddos. Chef hats off to the girls at the Border Grill. They are creative geniuses.

Pot Roast Ingredients 

2 1/2 to 3 pounds beef chuck

  • Beer Marinade, recipe follows
  • 3 tablespoons pork lard or vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, cut into thick slices
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely mashed
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups dark beer
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks


Trim the beef chuck and place in a container just large enough to hold it. Pour the Beer Marinade over and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lift the meat from the marinade and pat dry. Reserve the marinade. Over a medium high heat, in a heavy Dutch oven, heat the lard. Brown the steak on both sides. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for 2 minutes and then add tomatoes, salt, pepper, bay leaves, beer, water, and the reserved marinade.
Cover and bake about 45 minutes. Add the carrots and potatoes. Cover and cook an additional 45 minutes or until the meat is very tender. 
You can also do this in a slow cooker on low all day. Or in the oven for several hours at 300 degrees.

Beer Marinade Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup dark beer
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme


To prepare the marinade, whisk together the oil, beer, and lemon juice. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves, mustard, basil, oregano, and thyme. Mix well.

Found at 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Upcycled Left Overs

One night, I made a big pot of Brown Jasmin rice with chicken. And had plenty of left overs for the next day's lunch. But come lunchtime, I wasn't thinking about sticky second-day rice. I wanted something new and fresh.

We had bought a pack of egg roll wrappers from the Asian market in Sioux City, the last time we were there. So, after a quick soak. I rolled in fresh spinach, leftover rice and chicken and julienne carrots. We made a quick dipping sauce which made the meal.

In a fry pan, I quickly browned each side. And in less than 15 minutes we had a beautiful, healthy lunch.
Egg Roll Sauce
2 Tablespoons Dark (or regular) Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Rice Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Hot Chili Sauce
Juice from half a small orange.

Mix all together and serve with spring rolls, pot stickers or vegetables.

Friday, May 20, 2011

GiGi's Swedish Meatballs

Passed on to me by my sister in law from her Gi-Gi (Great Grandmother) in Minnesota, these delightfully easy meatballs have been a great addition to our family dinners and Annual Halloween parties!
The are best prepared in a crock pot simmering for on low for several hours with minimal attention.
Here I paired them with American Mac n' Cheese, Japanese Edamame beans for a little international fare.

Cool tip-You know the recipe is fast when one of the main requirements is that the main element be frozen!

Here's what you need:
A party bag of frozen seasoned [likely noted as italian] meatballs
if you prefer a non-meat meatball- no problem, the only crock requirement is that your protein item start frozen.
1 12 oz. jar of your favorite BBQ sauce
1 10 oz. jar of your favorite grape jelly
1 tablespoon vinegar (calls for apple cider but I have even used balsamic)

Here's what you do:
fill a crock pot 2/3rds of the way to the top
add the 3 additional ingredients and stir to coat all the meatballs
simmer on low for 5-8 hours stirring occasionally if life permits.

You could pair this with a more traditionally Swedish fare by adding egg noodles in a white sauce as your side dish.
Whatever you add, these meatballs will be the talk of the town!