Thursday, October 1, 2015

5 Days of Meals & a Cocktail

With three children and a husband that travels for work, meal planning is a vital part of my week.  I either sit down Sunday or Monday to plan out our dinners for the week ahead. Over the summer I was a little slack about this because I could be.  With school back in full swing, I have got to buckle down and get back to it!
To help you all out I made 2 lists.  The things I always have on hand and things I had to buy for the week.  Obviously if you don't have something on the "Things I have on hand" list you will need to add those to your grocery list also.
Things I always have on hand:
Olive Oil
White Wine Vinegar
Grapeseed Oil
Quinoa
Carton(s) of Low-Sodium Chicken broth
Fresh Garlic
Nuts {kept in freezer}: Sliced Almonds & Pinenuts
Thick-cut Bacon
Block of Feta
Grated Parmesan
Agave
Salsa
Plain Greek Yogurt
Seasonings & Spices- Greek Seasoning, Cumin, Salt & Pepper

Grocery List
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts {2 for Grilled Greek Chicken/ 2 for Soup}
1 whole chicken
1/2 lb medium-size shrimp
Large Bag of Kale
2 Bags of Lemons
2 Bag of Limes
Large Yellow Onion
Bunch of Green Onions
2-3 Jalapeños
Bag of Avocados
16 oz Grape Tomatoes
2 Bunches of Asparagus
Jicama {optional for Quinoa Bowls}
Whole Butternut Squash
Bunch of Mint
Bunch of Cilantro
Kalamata Olives
Can of Black Beans
Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack Cheese

The 5 MEALS for the week are:
(1) Roast Chicken with Asparagus Cous Cous {recipes below}
(2) Butternut Squash Noodles with Kale Bacon & Feta
(3) Chicken-Lime-Avocado Soup
(4) Shrimp Quinoa Bowls with Cilantro-Jalapeno Dressing
(5) Grilled Greek Chicken over Simple Kale Salad {recipes below}
PLUS a Traditional Mojito {recipe below}
Roasted Chicken {Ina Garten recipe}
1 whole chicken
1 head of garlic, cut in half
1 large yellow onion, sliced
olive oil
salt and pepper
lemons
Preheat oven to 425.  Dry raw chicken with paper towel.  Brush outside with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Season inside of chicken with plenty of salt and pepper also.  Place garlic and 1 of the lemons (cut into quarters) inside the chicken.  Place chicken in roasting pan(that not too big or else onions will burn).  In medium- size bowl place remaining quartered lemons, sliced onions, 2 tbsps of olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and combine well.  Pour around chicken in the roasting pan.  Cook for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes.  Make sure juices are running out clear from the chicken!
Cous Cous with Asparagus
2 cups Israeli Cous Cous
2 bunches of asparagus, washed & trimmed
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pits removed
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
zest from 2 lemons
Dressing
1/3 cup extra virgin Olive Oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp whole grain or dijon mustard
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375.  Place a trimmed asparagus on lined baking sheet tossed with 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 pepper.  Roast for 15-25 minutes depending on size of asparagus.  While asparagus is cooking, cook 2 cups of couscous {until al dente} according to package directions.  Make dressing in small bowl and set aside until salad is ready to assemble.  Remove asparagus and set to cool.  Slice into 1 inch pieces.  Drain couscous.  Combine all ingredients in large bowl and toss with dressing.  I served mine room temperature but it would be great warm or cold also!

Grilled Greek Chicken
2 organic chicken breasts
3 tbsp olive oil
zest of one lemon
juice of two lemons
2 tbsp Greek seasoning
1 tsp oregano
Mix oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, seasoning and oregano in a small bowl.  Place chicken breast in shallow glass dish.  Make 3-4 small slits in the top of the chicken breasts (making sure not to cut all the way through).  Pour marinade over chicken.  Refrigerate for 1-4 hours.  Grill and serve with your choice of sides.
Simple Kale Salad
4 cups of kale (center stem removed and torn into bite-sized pieces)
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 sliced and toasted almonds
pepper, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
juice from two lemons
Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine until everything is coated with olive oil and lemon juice.


Allen loves it when he comes home from work on a Friday evening and not only is dinner ready, but he also has a fun cocktail to relax with.  Mojitos are a personal in this house!
Traditional Mojito
10-12 Mint Leaves, torn in half {5-6 for each glass}
Juice of 4 Limes, sliced {2 for each drink}
3 tbsp sugar {1 1/2 for each drink}
6 oz Bacardi Limon {3 oz for each drink}
Club Soda, chilled
Crushed Ice
Squeeze each of the limes in the two glasses.  Add torn mint leaves and sugar.  Muddle these ingredients together.  Add rum and muddle a bit more.  Set glasses in refrigerator for 20 minutes or so. Add club soda and ice and stir well.
Enjoy these meals & this fun beverage!

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