Thursday, May 1, 2008

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.


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