Monday, April 2, 2012

Meal Plan Monday: Week 3

One thing that I have noticed in my meal planning is that I really like to utilize left overs as much as possible. Although I love cooking many days by the time it comes to dinner preparations I am too warn out to do something that takes a long time. The other thing that comes up for me around that time is my children decided that it is time to get wound up which means the easier the better. 

One of the easiest ways to create a faster dinner is by using left overs from a previous night you will see that a lot in this weeks plan. 

Day 1: Roasted whole chicken with roasted vegetables. 
Day 2: Boxes to go: Taco Salad wraps using left over chicken from the   roasted chicken. Using Soft Chicken Taco recipe
Day 3: Sloppy Joes the easy, very veggie version. Salad.
Day 4: Left Over Sloppy Joes
Day 5: Tom Yum soup
Day 6: Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Day 7: Left over Tom Yum soup and Chicken Lettuce Wraps


Roasted Chicken: Adapted from

One whole chicken
Roasting vegetables like carrots, brussel sprouts, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions (totaling about 6 cups total)
8 garlic cloves
sprig of rosemary
olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine +1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Cube the vegetables into 1/2 inch/1 inch chunks. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the bottom of a dutch oven, add the vegetables and toss to coat with oil. Clean out the chicken set aside the giblets (you can use them for another recipe or toss them). Salt and pepper the outside of the chicken and rub with olive oil. Add the rosemary and garlic to the cavity of the chicken. Set breast side up onto the vegetables. Add the white wine (or chicken broth). Place the pan into the oven and bake until an instant read thermometer reads 165-170 degrees at the thickest part of the thigh. About 1 hour. Move the chicken to a platter and tent with foil allowing to rest for 15-20 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the vegetables stay warm inside while the chicken rests.

Hint: After dinner carve the entire chicken and then use the rest of the bones to make broth. Place in a large pot and cover completely with water plus about an inch. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer. Allow to simmer for at least 2 hours. Allow to cool down and then pour into a container through a cheese cloth or fine strainer. You can usually get even more meat off the bones at this point which I usually add to the broth and then use to make chicken soup. Refrigerate or freeze depending on when you might use it.

Ingredient Shopping List: 

1 whole chicken 3-4 pounds
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 lb shrimps, medium to large size 
3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
2/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 package, 1 1/3 pounds, ground turkey breast or lean ground turkey red onion
Red bell pepper
Roasting vegetables such as onions, brussel sprouts, yams, potatoes, beets, carrots
Celery (3 ribs)
Carrots 3 large

Head of Garlic
ginger root
1 jalapeno 
4 scallions
1/2 pound shitake mushrooms
2 large ripe avocados
2 limes

1 small yellow onion

2 stocks lemon grass
3 slices fresh galangal root (smashed) or 2 pc dried (I'm risking ginger instead)
3 fresh kaffir lime leaves (I think I will use lime zest and lime juice)
12 thai chili peppers or 2 medium jalapenos
1 small white onion
1 16oz can straw mushrooms
1 small ripe tomato
1 small lime
 Olive oil*
Salt and Pepper*
Rosemary sprig
White wine or chicken broth (1/2 cup)
Dried cranberries (left over from last week?)
Blue cheese crumbles (left over from last week?)
Salad dressing
Pecans (left over from last week?)
eggs (you need 1)*
rice wine or dry sherry (you need 2 tablespoons)
oyster sauce 
fish sauce
Thai Chili Paste (nam prik pao)
hoisen sauce
tamarind paste
soy sauce (low sodium)
sesame oil 
2 bundles cellophane noodles
peanut oil (I might try something else like coconut or vegetable oil)
3/4 cup diced water chestnuts
small lettuce leaves for serving chicken wraps
chili paste or hot mustard for serving chicken wraps
1 tsp. chili powder

Scant 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 14-1/2oz. can petite-diced tomatoes

1 can of chipotles en adobo

12 small corn tortillas

6 oz. queso fresco or feta

Grill seasoning blend (recommended: McCormick Montreal Grill Seasoning or Mrs. Dash seasoning for poultry
brown sugar*
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce*
1 cup tomato sauce,( 8- ounce) can 

8 crusty sandwich rolls (or burger buns whole wheat)

*Staple item check your cupboards to see if you have this

Here are a couple of links to dutch ovens. 

I have heard great things about cast iron, once seasoned great non-stick properties:

I also know a few people that own Le Creuset and love them:

Hope this is helpful!

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