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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Menu for the week of Christmas

******edited to update*********
Here is the menu this week.

Sunday I found some chili in the freezer, so I thawed it and added some roasted tomatos, black beans, pinto beans and spices and had dinner for Monday. Don't you love it when that happens?


pasta with chicken and squash and a little pesto

Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad  Rotisserie Chicken Salad Sandwiches

I chopped up some rotisserie chicken, slivered some almonds, added some mayo, Dijon mustard, a dash of curry powder and a dash of ginger, and stirred it up really well. I spread it on some honey wheat bread and put some salad leaves on each one. It was pretty yummy. It wasn't the Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad (recipe below), but it filled our bellies just the same. It was a busy day in the Texas Medical Center yesterday, and I didn't have time to go to the store for groceries. Emma's Hugs gave out over 330 days of parking yesterday!

Ingredients for main dish
  • 30 oz. cannellini or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 2/5 oz. chunk light tuna in water, (sold in pouches rather than cans)
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced (1/2 cup onion)
  • 1 Tbsp. capers, chopped if desired
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 lemon, juice only, 1 Tbsp.
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or use fresh flat-leaf parsley)
Ingredients for side dish - GARLIC TOAST
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (s)
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2 cloves) (s)
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt (s)
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh or dried rosemary (s)
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional) (s)
  • 6 slices sourdough, French or challah bread (s)
Ingredients for side dish - GRAPE OR CHERRY TOMATOES
  • 4 cups grape or cherry tomatoes (s)
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing or other dressing or dip (s)
In a large serving bowl, combine the beans, tuna, onions and capers.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice and pepper, pour it over the tuna mixture, and stir thoroughly to combine. Gently stir in the basil and serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 3 days before serving. (Prepare the Garlic Toast, if you are serving it, while the salad chills. The salad is delicious on top of the toast).
Scramble Flavor Booster: Add a little lemon rind and/or red pepper flakes to the dressing mixture.
Cannellini beans, like many other beans, are low in fat and high in protein. They are known for their off-white color, smooth texture and nutty flavor. You can substitute great northern or white navy beans for cannellinis.

SERVE WITH GARLIC TOAST & GRAPE OR CHERRY TOMATOESTo make Garlic Toast, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine 3 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. minced garlic (about 2 cloves), 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, 1/4 tsp. fresh or dried rosemary, and 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional). Cut bread, such as sourdough, French or challah, into 1/2-inch thick slices (you only need about 6 slices). Brush the olive oil mixture evenly over the top of the bread. Bake it for 7 - 10 minutes until it starts to brown.
Serve it with grape or cherry tomatoes with your favorite dressing or dip, such as ranch or hummus.

English Muffin Pizza Joes
Ingredients for main dish
  • 6 whole grain English muffins, split
  • 3/4 lb. 95% lean ground beef, turkey, or meatless crumble
  • 1 cup red pasta sauce
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced (1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 yellow onion, finely diced (1/4 - 1/2 cup)
  • 1 Tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 head Boston, Bibb, or other soft leaf lettuce (s)
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved (s)
  • 2 Tbsp. goat cheese, crumbled (s)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (s)
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (s)
  • 1 Tbsp. honey (s)
  • 1 Tbsp. grainy Dijon mustard (use wheat/gluten-free if needed) (s)
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher or sea salt (s)
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper (s)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line it with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Put the English muffin halves on the baking sheet, and bake for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, brown the beef over medium heat for 8 - 10 minutes, breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks. (Meanwhile, prepare the salad, if you are serving it.) Add the pasta sauce, bell peppers, onions and Italian seasoning. Continue cooking for 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl, combine the cheeses. Top each muffin half with about 1/4 cup of the beef mixture and 1 Tbsp. of cheese. Bake it for about 5 more minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
Do Ahead or Delegate: Make the beef mixture, combine the cheeses, and refrigerate both.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Add some minced garlic or garlic powder to the meat when browning it.
Tip: If you want to preserve the texture of an English muffin (the "nooks and crannies") when halving it, try splitting it open as opposed to slicing it. You can do this by gently inserting your fingers or the tines of a fork about a 1/2 inch into the side of the muffin and then slowly pulling the remainder of the muffin apart.
In a salad bowl, combine 1 head Boston, Bibb or other soft lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces, 1 cup grapes, halved, and 2 Tbsp. goat cheese, crumbled. To make the apple-Dijon dressing, whisk together 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp. honey, 1 Tbsp. grainy Dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/8 tsp. black pepper. Toss the salad with 2 - 4 Tbsp. dressing and refrigerate any remaining dressing. (The dressing should make enough for about 2 salads).

Tomato Basil Soup with grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches

Seafood Gumbo for Christmas

I also made an apple crisp  with some vanilla ice cream for dessert last night. It was goooood! I hope to get around to making these cute little sugar cone Christmas Trees.

Luke really wants to make some gingerbread cookies, so I'm buying the ingredients for these chocolate orange snaps today.

 Hope your home is full delicious smells and tasty treats!
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