It’s a Short Menu Week (and a cheap grocery trip)


After looking at the calendar, looking in the cabinets and taking into account a grocery store trip…we have settled on our menu for the week.

Because we actually have kind of a busy week with it being my last week of work and the week before Stephanie’s wedding, we don’t have to do very many meals this week.

So…without further ado…here’s this week’s menu.

Tonight, we’re having mom’s famous beef stroganaff with a yummy salad that T will prepare and some French bread.

Monday: Black beans and rice with French bread
T makes this. He will be totally in charge of dinner tomorrow night. This is one of his favorite meals and, it’s growing on me, too. This is a good night for us to eat this heavy meal because I meet with my trainer tomorrow. So after a hard work out, I’ll need some starch and protein.

Tuesday: MahiMahi with Lemon Pepper seasoning, baked potatoes and asparagus
We just bought the frozen MahiMahi fillets from the store and will bake those with a lemon-pepper seasoning (basically, spray the frozen fillets with Pam or soak with olive oil–EVOO as Rachel Ray would say–and then sprinkle with the seasoning. So easy that T and I could have different seasonings if we wanted, though we usually eat the same.) Standard baked potatoes (we just bought two of the single serving microwavable ones) with sour cream, butter, shredded cheese…the works. I’m not sure how I’ll do the asparagus yet, but I typically like to steam it and the make this fake hollendaise sauce that my mom and sister and I have always loved with our asparagus. I like it so much, I sometimes make it to toss over noodles or eat with broccoli.

To make that sauce you take equal parts (about a spoon-full) of mayonnaise and sour cream, a squirt of mustard (you can use yellow, honey, spicy brown, or any kind you want depending on what kind of taste you’re going for) and a squirt of lemon juice. Then mix it all together and pop it in the microwave for a couple minutes to warm it up and thin it out. Now, to some, it may sound kind of gross…but I absolutely love it. Like with deviled eggs, the mustard and lemon juice is a “to taste” measurement. My mom likes it a little less mustardy and lemony, but I like it kind of sour and zesty. So just play around with it. I make this so often, I don’t even need a recipe and it’s so easy to whip up. If you’re ever short of a marinade…this works pretty good as a dipping sauce too.

We’re doing this meal on Tuesday because, even though the potato will be a bit heavy, the meal, as a whole, is going to be pretty light. I have a yoga class at 7:15, so this gives me time to come home after work…make a quick meal by preheating the oven, seasoning the fish and popping it in to cook. Asparagus can be steamed in the microwave and the potatoes are done in the microwave too. That will be quick and easy, and light enough that I won’t feel bloated at yoga (probably TMI…but, hey, you’re reading my blog…so you probably want to know).

Wednesday night: NO MEAL
We’re not doing a meal for Wednesday night because T and I are having a special date night. We have tickets to Tennessee Shines and a gift certificate to the Bistro at the Bijou. So we’ll go right after work to have some drinks and a yummy dinner and then go to the show. We’re both kind of excited because we don’t typically get to do a date night in the middle of the week because are schedules can get kind of erratic. So this should be a nice change of pace for us to get us started for the weekend festivities.

 

Thursday: Slow Cooker BBQ Sandwiches with potato salad and zucchini and mushrooms
The BBQ recipe is from allrecipes.com. When we went to the grocery store, they didn’t have a small serving of the chuck roast, so we got a pork butt (which is, ironically, the shoulder) instead. So we’ll modify the recipe a bit, as the butcher advised us not to use beef bouillon because it would taste funny. So I’ll probably use a little bit of chicken stock instead. Also, we’re using whole wheat hamburger buns for our sandwiches instead of toast.

We decided to do the slow cooker meal on Tuesday because I have to be at work a little earlier than usual to do a going away breakfast and then I have a yoga class that starts at 5:00 p.m. This way, we can let the meat cook all day and it will just be READY for us to fix and eat when I get home from class. The potato salad is store bought from Kroger. I wanted to do a potato salad recipe that I saw online for Grilled Pesto Potato Salad, but T really wanted something easy and we both love the Kroger brand salad anyway.

Here’s the recipe for the Grilled Pesto Potato Salad. (I’m mainly putting it here so I can find it again, because I don’t have faith that this website with java script will still be operating when I want to find it again.)

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds medium-sized red potatoes
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup white or golden balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely minced fresh basil (or four teaspoons dried basil)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pin nuts (optional).

Note: I typically use dry spices (even though the fresh ones are better) because when I buy fresh ones, I only use them for that one thing and then end up having to throw away a whole clump of fresh spices. Even though those spices are kind of cheap…it’s kind of a pain in the butt. So, I’ve read that, in general, you can substitute one teaspoon of dried herbs for one tablespoon of fresh herbs and vice-versa (which is a one-to-three ratio, by the way). There are four tablespoons in 1/4 cup (so in the recipe above you would use four TEASPOONS of dried basil).

Directions: Place potatoes in a large microwave-safe bowl; cover with lid or plastic wrap. (If using plastic wrap, make sure plastic wrap is not touching any ingredients and be sure to poke one small hole in the cover to vent.) Microwave on high for 10 to 12 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Use oven mitts to carefully remove from microwave. When cool enough to handle, cut potatoes in halves or quarters and spray liberally with olive oil spray. Grill over high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, turning occasionally, until grill lines are apparent. Remove from grill and let cool. Cut into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Whisk together vinegar, oil, salt and garlic; pour over potatoes and toss lightly to coat. Season with pepper, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, toss with Parmesan cheese and basil, then sprinkle with pine nuts.

To be fair, I suppose you could just BUY a tub of pesto sauce (already made) and do that instead of using all of the above ingredients. That would mean you’d really just need to buy Parmesan cheese, pesto sauce and pine nuts (if you were adding them). I might even think that a tiny bit of sour cream would be good on this salad to top it off.

Anyway…like I said, I’m not making this salad because we bought the Kroger brand because this night is suppose to be our easy night. I’m cooking the zucchini and mushrooms the same way that I did last week, on the grill in an aluminum foil basket with butter, garlic and salt and pepper. Remember, we’re using aluminum foil because we don’t have a grill basket (WE REALLY WANT ONE, and there WILL BE ONE ON THE REGISTRY!) haha.

Friday night: NO MEAL
We’re not making anything for Friday night because Steph’s wedding rehearsal starts at 5:30 and then the rehearsal dinner is at Calhoun’s on the River right after. Saturday is her wedding too, so we’re not making anything then because we’ll be eating at the reception. Hopefully, since T will be on his own both Friday night and Saturday day, there will be enough BBQ or leftovers for him to put together lunch on Saturday before the wedding starts at 2:00 p.m.

That brings us back to Sunday, which will be grocery and menu day again.

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