Thursday, May 1, 2008

Menu Friday April 18 - Thursday April 24

Menu Friday April 18 - Thursday April 24

Friday: Chicken Cordon-Bleu in Brandy Cream Sauce over pasta (we had company)
Sunday: Roast Chicken, Curried Quinoa with Peas
Monday: Pizza ($6 special on Mondays from a local pizza place)
Tueday: Turkey Black Bean Chili
Wednesday: Risi E Pisi (Italian Rice and Peas)
Thursday: Montego Bay Shrimp and Bean Salad

Montego Bay Shrimp and Bean Salad
Makes 4 servings (about 1 cup each)
Preparation Time: 25 to 30 minutes

3/4 cup water
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup uncooked rice
8 to 12 ounces cooked peeled, deveined shrimp
1 can (15 ounces) Blackeyes or Pink beans or
1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Blackeyes or
Pink beans, rinsed, drained
1 cup cubed fresh or jarred mango
1/2 cup cubed cucumber
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions and tops
1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro

Coconut Dressing (recipe follows)


Heat water and coconut milk to boiling in medium saucepan; stir in rice. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until rice is tender and liquid absorbed, about 20 minutes. Cool.
Combine rice and remaining ingredients, except Coconut Dressing, in salad bowl. Pour Coconut Dressing over and toss.
Coconut Dressing
Makes about 1/3 cup

1/4 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons fat-free honey-Dijon dressing
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
2 to 3 teaspoons sugar


Mix all ingredients.
NOTE: Although bean recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 276; Fat 3g; % Calories from Fat 9; Calcium 72mg; Carbohydrate 48g; Folate 119mcg; Sodium 522mg; Protein 17g; Dietary Fiber 5g; Cholesterol 87mg


1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes with jalapenos, drained
1 tbs vinegar
1 tbs sugar
1/2 cup golden (or regular) raisins
10 Spanish olives, sliced
2 tbs tomato paste
1/4 tsp salt
Rice & Beans (recipe follows)

In a pot, combine beef, cinnamon and cloves. Cook 5 min. breaking meat apart. Stir in onion, pepper and garlic. Continue to cook for 5 min. Add tomatoes, vinegar and sugar. Reduce heat cover and simmer 20 min. Uncover and stir in raisins, olives, tomato paste and salt. Cook 5 min. Serve with rice and beans. MAKES 4 SERVINGS.*

RICE AND BEANS---Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a saucepan. Add 1/2 sweet red pepper, chopped, 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced. Cook 5 min. to soften.

Add 1 large pinch saffron or 1/16 tsp tumeric and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Stir in 1 cup long grain white rice and 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and reduce heat. Cook 20 min. or until all the water is absorbed. Uncover rice and stir in 15.5 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained. Let stand covered until serving.


Curried Quinoa Recipe

Serves Six to Eight
1 Cup Quinoa
1½ Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
½ Onion Diced (about 4 or 5 ozs.)
1 Tsp. Grated Fresh Ginger Root
½ Fresh Green Chile (Finely Chopped)
1 tablespoon ground curry (we love spicy, use less to taste)
1¾ Cups Water
½ Cup Fresh or Frozen Peas

Rinse quinoa with cold water. Some commercially available products are pre-rinsed. Read your package.

Quinoa is coated with a natural substance called saponin that protects the grain by repelling insects and birds. Rinsing the quinoa is important to avoid a raw or bitter taste. You can tell if there is saponin by the production of a soapy looking "suds" when the seeds are swished in water.

Place oil and diced onions in a heavy saucepan. Sauté the onions on medium high heat for four to five minutes.

Add the ginger root, chile, and quinoa. Cook for one minute stirring constantly.
A fine, white spiral appears around the grain as it cooks.

Stir in the turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, and salt. Cook for one minute stirring constantly.

Add the water and bring it to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in peas. Cover and cook for four or five minutes or until peas are tender and all the water has been absorbed.

Fluff with a fork before serving.\


Rici E Bisi (Italian Rice and Peas) (Rice Cooker) Recipe #223430
I love this recipe. You can use fresh or frozen peas with this. Using fresh peas, add them at the beginning. If you are using very young and tender fresh peas or frozen- add at the end. You can expect this rice to have the texture and consistency of a creamy risotto. From The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook.
by Bev
35 min | 15 min prep | SERVES 4 -5 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup shallots, minced (or use mild onion)
1/2 cup celery, minced
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 cup medium-grain risotto rice (superfino Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone nano)
2 tablespoons medium-grain risotto rice (superfino Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone nano)
3 cups chicken stock or meat stock or vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups peas (fresh or frozen)
To Finish
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Set Rice Cooker for the quick cook or regular cycle.
Place the olive oil and butter in the rice cooker bowl.
When the butter melts, add the shallots and celery.
Cook, stirring a few times, until the shallots are softened but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the wine and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with the hot butter.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the grains of rice are transparent except for a white spot on each, 3-5 minutes.
Add the stock and peas, if you are using fresh, mature peas; stir to combine.
Close the cover and reset for the Porridge cycle, or for the regular cycle and set a timer for 20 minutes.
When the machine switches to the Keep Warm cycle or the timer sounds, stir the rice with a wooden or plastic rice paddle or wooden spoon.
The rice should be only a bit liquid and the rice should be al dente, tender with just touch of tooth resistance.
If needed, cook for a few minutes longer.
This rice will hold on the Keep Warm cycle for up to 1 hour.
When ready to serve, add the peas, if you are using frozen or very tender fresh ones; stir just to combine.
Add the butter and close the lid or 2-3 minutes to allow to melt and the peas to heat through.
Stir in the cream, cheese and salt to taste.
Serve immediately.

Diane's Menu April 25 - May 1

Diane's Menu April 25 - May 1

Friday: Sausage Grits Casserole
Saturday: Steak on the grill, Summer Couscous Salad
Sunday: Roasted Turkey Breast, Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Spinach with pine nuts and garlic
Monday: Weekly $6 pizza from the local place
Tuesday: Dutch Oven Turkey & Rice Casserole (leftover turkey from Sunday)
Wednesday: Grilled Hamburgers, Seven Grain Rice and Vegetable Salad
Thursday: Red Pepper Chicken


Summer Couscous Salad

2 cups instant couscous

1 cup boiling water

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups diced young zucchini

10 red or yellow cherry tomatoes halved

4 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves

4 tablespoons minced Italian flat leaf parsley

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Put couscous in a heat proof bowl and pour boiling water over it.

Stir it gently with a fork then cover and let stand 15 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons of the oil.

Stir to separate grains then re-cover and refrigerate.

Stir from time to time until couscous is cool about 40 minutes.

In separate bowl combine zucchini, tomatoes, mint, parsley, lemon juice and remaining olive oil.

Fold this mixture into the cooled couscous and chill at least 30 minutes before serving.

Season with salt and peppered then serve.

Sausage Grits Casserole

1 pound hot pork sausage
12 ounces grated Cheddar cheese,
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 small jar chopped pimento
3 tablespoon butter or margarine
3 cups cooked grits
1 small onion, chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook the sausage and onion in a skillet until sausage is done. Drain

Spread sausage evenly in a lightly greased casserole dish.

Cook grits according to package directions. Add cheese and butter or
margarine. Stir until cheese and butter are melted.

With a fork, beat eggs and milk together and stir into grits. Add
pimento and stir just enough to blend. Pour over sausage. Bake for
one hour.


Dutch Oven Turkey & Rice Casserole

1/2 lb. bacon; 1/2" pieces
(2) 10 oz. cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups long grain white or wild rice
2 cups water
4 cups diced cooked turkey
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 large yellow onion; diced
3/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
salt and pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic; minced
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Fry bacon in a 12" Dutch oven using 22-24 briquettes bottom heat
until crisp. Add white or wild rice and continue cooking until rice
is slightly toasted. Add turkey, onion, mushrooms, bell pepper,
garlic, cream of chicken soup, water, and seasonings. Stir to mix
completely. Bring contents to a boil then cover and bake for 60-90
minutes using 10-12 briquettes bottom and 14-16 briquettes top heat.
When rice is tender sprinkle cheese over the top then replace lid and
let stand for 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

Serves: 10-12


Red Pepper Chicken
Quick Cooking
Chicken breasts are treated to a bevy of black beans, red peppers and tomatoes in this Southwestern supper from Piper Spiwak. "We love this colorful dish over rice cooked in chicken broth," pens the Vienna, Virginia cook.
METHOD: Slow Cooker
TIME: Prep: 15 min. Cook: 6 hours
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 jar (15 ounces) roasted red peppers, undrained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Mexican stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
Hot cooked rice
Place the chicken in a 3-qt. slow cooker. In a bowl, combine the beans, red peppers, tomatoes, onion, salt and pepper. Pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until chicken is no longer pink. Serve over rice. Yield: 4 servings.


Seven Grain Rice and Vegetable Salad

1 cup cooked 7 grain cereal cooked and cooled

2 cups brown wild rice and herbs cooked and cooled

16 ounce can peas and carrots drained

1/2 cup celery chopped

1/2 cup white onion chopped

1/2 cup diced cucumbers

1/8 cup chopped pimientos

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Vegetable seasoning to taste

Toss ingredients together with mayonnaise the chill and serve.

Menu Planning

I have started to plan my menus and it is working well. I have planned the last month and it has helped my shop and saved money. You should try it? I will try and post my weekly menus here to share with all.

Diane's Menu May 2 - May 8

Diane's Menu May 2 - May 8

Friday: Chicken and Sweet-Potato Curry Recipe
Saturday: Rib Eye Steaks on the grill, Acapulco Rice, Cucumber and Radish Salad
Sunday: Diane's Shrimp Pastalaya (my own invention)
Monday: $6 pizza
Tuesday: Spring Sweet Pea Pasta Salad
Wednesday: Chicken Casserole Oriental
Thursday: Quick Grilled Herbed Ratatouille and Polenta

On Sunday I will be roasting a chicken and cooking a small ham. I often roast a chicken or turkey on Sundays even if we aren't going to eat it right away and make packages of cooked chicken for recipes that I keep in the freezer. I do the ham once a month and slice thinly for my husbands lunches. This week I will be saving some for the Pasta Salad on Tuesday too.


Chicken and Sweet-Potato Curry Recipe

You can make this as mild or as spicy as you like by adjusting the spices to your liking. We like it on the spicier side with plenty of ginger.

35 min | 15 min prep | SERVES 4

2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
3-6 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1-1 1/2 tablespoon curry powder (I use 2-3)
1/2 tablespoon chili paste (optional)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size cubes
1 (10 ounce) package frozen peas, thawed
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into bite size strips (I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
1 1/3 cups chicken broth
2 cups lite coconut milk

In a food processor combine onions, ginger, garlic, curry powder,chili paste and 1/3 cup chicken broth, blend until smooth.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven (approximately 5-quart pot) sauté onion mixture, stirring frequently until just starting to change color.
Add sweet potatoes and 1 Cup of chicken broth with 2 cups coconut milk. Bring to just where you start to see bubbles, reduce to a medium/low heat. Simmer until potatoes are tender,9 to 12 minutes. Stir in chicken strips, cook until just opaque throughout, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in peas and cook 1 more minute to heat them through. Season with salt and pepper.

Acapulco Rice


1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups canned no-salt, no-fat chicken broth
2 cups raw instant rice
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion


1. Spritz some olive oil into a medium non-stick saucepan.
2. Add onion and sauté over medium heat until the onion wilts, around 4 minutes.
3. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
4. Mix in the rice, carrot, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Cover and remove from heat.
5. Let stand for 5 minutes.
6. Fluff the rice with a fork, stirring in the scallions. Serve immediately.

Consider adding some extra cayenne pepper to spice up this dish. Nutritional Information:Per Serving--
Calories: 133
Carbohydrates: 29g
Protein: 3g
Total Fat: 0g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Fiber: 1g
Sodium: 13mg



2 cups English Cucumbers, coarsely chopped
1/2 cp radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 small tomato, chopped
2 T red onion, Chopped (+ or - to taste)
1 T sour cream (+ or - to taste) (I will use thickened yogurt cheese)
1/2 T mint chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine everything in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate to allow flavors to
Serves 2


Diane's Pastalaya

This is my idea of Jambalaya with pasta instead of rice. One great thing about this meal is you don't have to cook the pasta in another pot before adding it to the sauce. It all cooks in ONE pot!


1 pound andouille sausage, cut in bite-sized chunks**

1 large onion diced

1 green bell pepper diced

2 jalapeno peppers, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning *

2 cups small size pasta (elbows, ziti, penne etc)

Tabasco or any hot sauce you like - to taste


Sauté onion, peppers, garlic and andouille sausage in a large saucepan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until translucent and tender. Add canned tomatoes and Cajun seasoning as well as the 2 cups of pasta. Stir well to coat the pasta with liquid. Cover and lower heat to simmer. Simmer 15 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Check it now and then to be sure that the liquid hasn't gone dry and the pasta isn't sticking to the bottom of the pot. If liquid seems to have disappeared you can add 1/4 - 1/2 cup warm water or even a small can of tomato sauce. When pasta is done, splash with hot sauce and serve. Serves 2-4 depending on how hungry.

* If you don't have a Cajun seasoning mix in your pantry, you can make your own by mixing:

1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons of the following: white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, ground black pepper.

**Andouille sausage can be found in specialty foods stores and some supermarkets. You can substitute hot links, kielbasa sausage, or smoked Hungarian sausage in this recipe.

Feel free to add cooked chicken or pork or ham before serving. Also, you can add shelled de-veined shrimp 5 minutes before it is done.

Spring Sweet Pea Pasta Salad


1 (16 ounce) package bow tie (farfalle) pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup sour cream (I use thickened yogurt cheese)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon dried dill weed
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
kosher salt to taste
1/2 cup diced red onion
8 ounces frozen green peas, thawed
8 ounces lean ham, diced
8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 sprigs fresh dill, for garnish

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the bow tie pasta, and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water, then toss with the olive oil, and set aside.
Stir the sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, dried dill, cayenne pepper, and salt until smooth. Fold in the onion, peas, ham, Cheddar cheese, and bow tie pasta. Garnish with the dill sprigs to serve.


1 6 oz. pkg. wild rice mix

1 can cream of mushroom soup

3 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 can sliced mushrooms

1 cup chopped celery

¼cup chopped onion

1 5 oz. can water chestnuts, drained and sliced

3 tbsp. Soy Sauce

1 cup water

1-1/2 cup buttered corn flakes, crushed, for ttopping

1. Cook rice according to directions

2. Add next seven ingredients. Mix well.

3. Bake in 3 qt. casserole in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

4. Remove from oven, top with corn-flakes, and return to oven for additional 30 minutes.


Quick Grilled Herbed Ratatouille and Polenta

Eggplant, zucchini, and fennel are available year
around and often seem to be at their peak, even
when not in peak season.
This dish is a whole meal when spooned over
grilled polenta slices. For a meatier supper, grill
some Italian sausages along with the vegetables.


1/2 of a small eggplant (about 6 oz.)
1 small zucchini (about 4 oz.)
1 small fennel bulb (about 6 oz.)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black
1 16-oz. tube plain refrigerated cooked
polenta, cut into 12 slices
1 14 1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes with
garlic and onion


Peel the eggplant, if desired. Slice the eggplant,
zucchini, and fennel crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.
In a small bowl combine the oil, rosemary, salt,
and pepper. Brush the vegetables with about half
of the oil mixture, reserving remaining oil mixture
for the polenta.

Brush or wipe your GFG with cooking oil
and preheat. Please, do not use an aerosol
(can) spray. Your grill will last a lot longer,
and will thank-you for it. Also, by not using
an aerosol spray you will be doing your part
to go green, and help the environment.

Arrange half of the vegetables in the grill.
Grill 6 to 8 minutes until vegetables are
crisp-tender and grill marks appear, turning
once. Remove vegetables from grill; set aside.
Repeat with remaining vegetables. Brush the
polenta slices with reserved oil mixture.
Place the polenta slices in the grill. Grill 5 to
7 minutes or until heated through and lightly
browned, turning once if desired.
Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, heat undrained
tomatoes until boiling. Add the grilled vegetables.
Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or to desired
consistency, stirring occasionally.
To serve, place 3 polenta slices in each shallow
bowl or on each dinner plate; spoon the vegetable
mixture over the polenta. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Information
Nutritional facts per serving
calories: 275, total fat: 14g, saturated fat: 2g,
monounsaturated fat: 10g, polyunsaturated fat: 1g,
cholesterol: 0mg, sodium: 1247mg, carbohydrate: 33g,
total sugar: 7g, fiber: 13g, protein: 6g, vitamin A: 0%,
vitamin C: 23%, calcium: 4%, iron: 9%

After serving the grilled food, make sure that
your grill is unplugged. Put a wet cloth that
can be washed and re-used in your grill and
close the lid. In 10 to 30 minutes, the grill will
wipe clean.


5 A Day Bulgur Wheat

5 A Day Bulgur Wheat


1 medium chopped onion
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup shredded carrots
1 small chopped green pepper - may use red or yellow pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 Tablespoons dried
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 1/2 cups dry bulgur
2 cups chicken broth, low-sodium
8 ounces canned, drained chickpeas


1. Wash and chop fresh onion, broccoli, carrots, pepper and parsley (if using fresh parsley).

2. Heat canola oil in a large skillet. Add onions and cook until soft.

3. Add bulgur and stir to coat. Add 2 cups chicken broth to the skillet, bring to a boil.

4. Lower the heat, add remaining vegetables and chickpeas. Cook for 10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.

5. Add parsley and stir. Serve warm or cold.

Note: Bulgur comes from wheat. It is actually the kernel of wheat, cracked for cooking. It has a nutty, chewy flavor that is sure to please the healthy appetite, and contains fiber. Canola oil is a healthy choice for vegetable oil.)
This recipe is fiber rich! Nutritional Information:

Grains and Legumes

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Thai Jicama Salad

Thai Jicama Salad


1 medium jicama finely shredded
1 medium granny smith apple finely shredded
1/2 medium red onion finely sliced
4 brussels sprouts trimmed then cut in half and finely shredded
1 small jalapeno shaved slices
1/2 cup packed cilantro roughly chopped
Juice from 3 limes
2 tablespoon garlic chili sauce
1 tablespoon hot mustard
1 tablespoon ginger put through garlic press
2 teaspoons anchovy paste (I used Vietnamese fish sauce, Worcestershire would work too.)
4 tablespoons Asian peanut oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Directions In a medium mixing bowl add jicama, apple, onion, brussels sprouts, jalapeno and cilantro.

Squeeze juice from one lime over the ingredients then toss to coat.

In another mixing bowl add the garlic chili sauce, mustard, ginger, juice from the other two limes and anchovy paste.Whisk to blend.

Continuously whisk the ingredients while drizzling in the peanut oil to form an emulsified vinaigrette.Pour the vinaigrette over jicama salad and toss to coat.

Season with salt and pepper then chill at least two hours before serving.


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