Sunday, May 18, 2014

TCOT's Weekly Menu Planner #9

Welcome to The Cherry On Top's Weekly Menu Planner!  We are on week #9 already!

Keep it healthy, plan ahead and make a good grocery list and stick to it.  This way you don't have to go back to the store and spend even more money for things that are not on the list.

Monday:  Spaghetti with tomatoes, black olives, garlic and Feta

Doesn't that look just fabulous?!  Hit up the recipe and check out the alternative recipes on the bottom, too.  Add bacon or chicken if you don't want a vegetarian meal or ditch the cheese or change it for some parmesan or one the family likes.

You could also put different cheeses on the table and everyone can choose their own.


Tuesday:  meat, starch, veg

Meat, starch veg is a flex day.  Heat up some left overs, order some pizza or choose whatever meat, starch, vegetable the family enjoys.  We will be having schnitzel and stump which is  cooked carrots and potatoes all mashed together.  Served with a dark sauce, of course.  Click here for the recipe in an earlier blog or click on the recipe below for a traditional German meal.  (Replace veal with thinly sliced pork chops or just get out the grill pan and grill pork chops the way you like.)


Wednesday:  Truffled Lobster Risotto

This recipe sounds so darn yummy.  I've made similar recipes and I'm also looking for more recipes where I can use this truffle oil my hubby bought. 

In place of the lobster, I'm putting shrimp, but fish or chicken would be yummy as well. 


Thursday:  Slow Cooker Parmesan Chicken Sandwiches

Set your timer and let dinner makes itself while you are working!  The recipe is all hooked up to the delicious looking image you see here.  If ya don't want a sam'ich then leave the chicken whole or cut in bite sized pieces and served with some fresh pasta.


Fun Food Friday:  Buffalo Chicken Burritos

Does this not sound absolutely fantastic?!  My hubby is gonna love these!

Just a warning!  This recipe is a bit of work, but if you like cooking it's ok because it's not really all that difficult.  There is a marinade, a sauce and quite a bit of preparation, but it's all nicely set up in stages.  I think it will be worth it.  If you're not up to all of the work, then consider going back to another FFF recipe from a previous week.


Saturday:  Paella

I am really torn here!  I make my rendition of this Spanish favourite.  The original version takes a lot of time, but man, is it delicious.  My way is easy and a lot faster.  Paella is really great when it comes to ingredients because there are so many different ways to make it. If you don't like the way I write my recipes, then click on the image and choose your own!  Hehehe...

I have a paella pan, but if you don't, no worries.  Use the closest thing you have to one, which is low and rather sizeable, depending on how many folks you are feeding.  Heat up 4TBSP of olive oil.  Then add a small, chopped onion and as many cloves of garlic as you like.  I use 3-5.  Let it cook a couple of minutes 3-5 then add your chicken (if that's what you are using).  Let it all cook until he meat just isn't pink then pour your rice so it covers the top of your ingredients nicely.  It's about a cup or two for four people depending on appetite!  Stir it all up.  Pour over hot bouillon to just cover everything. Keep some bouillon in case your dish begins to dry out before the rice is cooked! Now is the time to think about your spices.  I use a paella spice pack from Spain.  If this is not available to you then consider using saffron (2 tsp or 15-20 threads). Then gather your other ingredients:  choice of meat (kilbasa, chorizo, shrimp, mussels...), choice of veggies (peppers, peas, tomatoes for sure...).  I make it all different ways depending on the meat that is available.  Chorizo and chicken is very popular as is a seafood mix.  Add either one large or two small, chopped tomatoes.  You can choose to give it a stir.  I do in the beginning because I don't want it to burn to the bottom and I like to let some liquid get underneath.  I only use frozen (but thawed) peas.  Cooking time depends on the meat you are using!  If using seafood, it doesn't need more than 10 more minutes to cook, but chicken will need at least double that.  Add your meat according to how long your rice needs. Try not to stir it towards the last cooking phase and make sure the rice is cooked to your liking.  (Stay away from long grain rice if possible.)  I love fresh queezed lemon over mine and I'm a nut about hot stuff, too.  That's all up to you.

From start to finish, this version takes about 45 minutes to an hour depending on your rice and preparation time needed.

(This picture is an actual, restaurant prepared paella from Spain.)


Sunday:  meat, starch, veg

More flex time here.  Maybe you have paella left over or you just don't feel like cooking any more.  Think healthy though and try to stay away from processed foods.  I've got a meal for ya here if you wanna stick to the schedule and  healthy choices.

A roasted chicken and potatoes recipe can be found here.  It's very, very easy and super healthy! I would totally chop up some carrots and let that cook along as well.  Then you don't have to dirty another pot for the vegetables. 


Another week is all set for you.  Thanks for taking the time to check it out.  Now just make sure you do it again!

Plan, prepare and take good care of yourself and family.  You'll never regret it!

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