Wednesday, April 2, 2014

30 Meals in 30 Days

Ready to change things up a bit, I have decided to follow suit and try a month's worth of new dishes! Weary of the handful of go-to dinners that I know will be consumed without gripes from little ones, (sound familiar?) I am ready to up the ante and get back to having fun in the kitchen. My kiddos are in a good place eating-wise as they have gotten a little older and over most of their weird food phobias (sauce on the side! plain chicken only!) so I'm excited to try some new things. I'm going to make dishes that I've either never made or am attempting again after a few years or perhaps a botched attempt..there are plenty of those!
I've come up with a well-rounded batch of recipes for the month so join me on this adventure! Make things easier on yourself by baking chicken ahead of time and storing portions and preparing the roast in the crock-pot at the beginning of the week! Here's the first week of recipes:
Roast Beef with Loaded Baked Potatoes
3 pound roast
1 large baking potato per person
potato toppings: sour cream, butter, cheese, chives, bacon...etc.
Roast the beef in a crock-pot six hours or until fork-tender and reserve half for roast beef sandwiches. Season with salt and pepper. Bake potatoes for about ten minutes for two and add toppings as desired!

Ravioli-Meatball Casserole
1-25 oz. pkg. frozen cheese ravioli (boil for about five minutes and casserole will bake a lot faster..)
10 frozen meatballs, defrosted
1 jar vodka cream sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and combine first three ingredients. Top with mozzarella and bake about thirty minutes, longer if you didn't boil the ravioli first. Serve with green salad and garlic bread.
Serves 6.

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Green Beans
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup canola oil
1 cup flour
1 cup sweet and sour sauce
1 cup white rice
1 pound fresh green beans (you can also use frozen..)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cloves chopped garlic
sesame seeds
Get rice cooking in pot with one cup rice to two cups water. For chicken, prepare large saucepan by heating oil over low heat. Coat chicken in flour and fry about five minutes, turning so chicken is crisp on all sides. Remove chicken and allow to drain on paper towels. Remove excess oil from pan then return chicken to pan and add sauce and let simmer until heated through. For green beans, steam first in microwave for about two minutes then add to a saucepan with one tablespoon canola oil and garlic. Add brown sugar and about two tablespoons soy sauce. Cook until browned and tender. Garnish plate with sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Makes 2 large servings. (kids ate something different that night..)
Roast Beef Sandwiches
1 pound leftover shredded beef from roast beef night
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 stick butter, softened
8 slices Swiss cheese
8 slices rye bread
1 bag frozen fries
Heat oven to 400 degrees and bake fries for twenty minutes. Meanwhile, saute onions with two tablespoons butter in a large skillet until golden brown. Add shredded roast beef to onions and heat through. Assemble sandwiches with two slices of bread, Swiss and roast beef. Grill over medium heat, using remaining butter. Serve with fries.

Thai Chicken Pizza
4 pieces naan bread for crust (you can use any crust, homemade or otherwise!)
1 cup shredded chicken
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Heat oven to 400 degrees and begin by making peanut sauce. Combine peanut butter, soy and brown sugar to make peanut sauce (or you can buy it premade). Spread over naan crust and distribute cheese over each. Top with chicken and carrots. Bake for about ten minutes or until cheese is melty and browned. If using a fresh pizza dough, bake at least twenty minutes. Garnish with cilantro!
Serves 4
Chicken and Veggie Couscous and Pad Thai Noodles
1 box couscous (any flavor) plus ingredients
1 box pad Thai plus ingredients
2 chopped, cooked chicken breasts
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups broccoli
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
soy sauce, to taste
sesame seeds for garnish
Make the noodles and couscous and set aside. Heat oil in large skillet and add garlic, chicken, broccoli and ginger. Saute until golden brown then add cooked couscous and soy to taste. Serve immediately with noodles sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Enjoy these fun recipes and come up with some new ones of your own!