Thursday, February 10, 2011

Food

Our menu for the week has been yummy so far. We have had...

Sunday divine lunch at one of our favorite seafood dives, Topwater Grille. Oysters on the half shell and fish tacos. YUM-O! Treat for the month.

Monday leftover pasta

Tuesday BAKED TURKEY AND CORN BURRITOS (six o'clock scramble)
1 lb. ground turkey, (or use vegetarian ground meat or 15 oz. black beans, rinsed and drained)
15 oz. vegetarian refried beans
1 cup salsa
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack or Cheddar cheese
10 burrito size (large) whole wheat or flour tortillas
1 cup nonfat or low fat sour cream, for serving (optional)
1 cup salsa, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Over medium heat, brown the turkey in a large nonstick skillet until it is cooked through, about 5 minutes (if using vegetarian ground meat or beans, add in the next step instead). Add the refried beans, salsa and corn (reserve any remaining corn to serve on the side with the burritos), and warm them until the mixture is heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove it from the heat and stir in the cheese. Warm the tortillas in the microwave for approximately 1 minute to soften them. Assemble the burritos by spooning one large scoop of the turkey-bean mixture into each tortilla, folding in the sides, and rolling them up. Place them in the baking dish, and bake them, uncovered, until the tortillas are crisp and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. (Meanwhile, prepare the avocados, if you are serving them.) Serve them topped with sour cream, salsa, and/or avocados, if desired.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Use spicy salsa and add a few dashes of hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, to the turkey.
Tip: Monterrey Jack cheese is a great addition to many Mexican-inspired recipes. It generally melts very well making it easy to work with in baked dishes and grilled cheese sandwiches.

SERVE WITH AVOCADOS WITH LIME
Peel and slice 2 - 4 avocados and sprinkle them with 1 - 4 tsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime) and 1/8 - 1/2 tsp. salt (or mash the avocados, lime juice and salt to make guacamole.)

Wednesday RICH AND CREAMY POTATO, LEEK AND BARLEY STEW (six o'clock scramble)
1 cup quick-cooking or regular barley, (if using regular barley, soak in water overnight, if time allows) 
2 Tbsp. butter
3 leeks, white parts only, sliced and soaked in water to clean them
3 medium white potatoes, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 tsp. fresh or dried rosemary or thyme
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, plus extra water or broth to taste
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/8 tsp. black pepper, or to taste


Soak the barley while you are preparing the stew (unless you are using quick-cooking barley) and set it aside. (Soak it overnight, if possible, for quicker cooking.) In a large saucepan, preferably nonstick, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks, potatoes, carrots and rosemary or thyme, and sauté them until they are slightly softened, 6 - 8 minutes. Add the broth and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer it uncovered for 10 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender or use a hand-held immersion blender (add up to a cup of water or broth for a thinner soup) and return it to the pot over medium heat. Add the cheese and drained barley. Allow the barley to cook until it is tender, about 30 minutes, stirring it occasionally. (Check the barley after 10 minutes if you used quick-cooking barley or soaked it overnight.) (Meanwhile, prepare the cucumbers and bread, if you are serving them.) Stir in the black pepper, and serve it immediately.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Double the rosemary or thyme or use ½ tsp. of each. Season the soup with freshly ground black pepper.
Tip: If you're short on time (aren't we all??), using quick-cooking barley or soaking the barley overnight will significantly cut down on the cooking time for this recipe.
SERVE WITH CUCUMBERS, PEELED AND SLICED, WITH DRESSING and SOURDOUGH BREAD
Dip 1 - 2 peeled and sliced cucumbers in dressing of your choice, such Annie's Naturals Goddess, ranch, or Italian dressing. Serve it with sourdough bread, warmed in a 300 degree oven for 5 minutes, if desired.

Thursday FOUR BEAN CHILI BAKED POTATOES
Can't wait to see how these turn out! Ok, started this post this morning and served these this evening. They were goood! Click on the title for the recipe. While you're at the Weelicious site, you should check out her adorable heart tarts and her delicious sounding strawberry banana crepes...mmmm!! I think I'll be showing my family some LOVE with all of these wonderful Valentine recipes.

Friday dinner at our friends' house. We're taking bacon-wrapped-backstrap-stuffed peppers for an appetizer. Oh yah!

Saturday Junior Forum Red Stocking Casino Gala. Should be a fun time!

Any fun plans for you and yours for Valentine's Day?

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