Weekly Menus February 2014

Beef Tacos

Here are four weeks of weekly menus for mid-February through mid-March. I hope it helps you out.

Monday: Chicken Quinoa Soup with Crusty Bread
Tuesday: Ground Beef Tacos
Wednesday: Three Bean Chili
Thursday:Pasta and Pan Seared Scallops and Asparagus
Friday: Baked Chicken Legs with BBQ Sauce

Monday’s soup is very healthy and can be made over the weekend without any problem. Simply heat it up when you are ready to eat. Serve it with a nice piece of crusty bread and butter. If you have left overs send them to work or school in a lunch box. Talk about power food.

Tuesday’s dinner is fun. You can make the beef in no time. Perhaps the longest thing will be chopping the veggies. I like spreading everything out and letting everyone assemble their own taco. Kids absolutely love these.

If you have left over beef, freeze it. You can use it on the taco pizza you will be making in a couple of weeks or to add on to a salad. The same goes for left over vegetables. Place them into a container and take a salad to work on Wednesday for lunch.

The three bean chili that is listed for Wednesday can be on the table within 30 minutes. You will be using canned beans which will speed up the process. This is also a meal you can make in advance on the weekend — simply freeze it and it will be ready when you are.

In fact, if you have time make a couple batches of this for freezing. It is a very healthy and clean meal that will fend well in the freezer.

Thursday’s meal can also be made fairly quickly. You can get ahead of the game and cook your noodles in advance. Strain them, shock them and put a little olive oil on them to prevent them from sticking. Put them in to a zip locked bag in the fridge.

Make sure to buy the little scallops in the freezer. They are cheaper. However, if you want to substitute them for shrimp that would be perfectly fine. You will also have to use frozen asparagus for this recipe.

Friday’s meal is a lot of fun to make. It is super easy and very good. All you need is thawed chicken legs, olive oil, salt, pepper and BBQ sauce. You can use any barbecue sauce you want. I always use my homemade apple juice one. If you have left overs you can use them in a BBQ chicken pizza or

Monday: Sweet Potato & Quinoa Patties
Tuesday: Spicy Beef Stew with Crusty Bread
Wednesday: Ginger Tofu Soup with Side Salad
Thursday: Fettuccine with Shrimp, Corn and Spinach
Friday: Tortilla Chicken Casserole

Monday’s sweet potato and quinoa patties can be made in advance and frozen. They will thaw quickly so no worries. In fact, cooking them a little frozen will prevent them from falling apart. top these with your favorite salsa and you have a complete meal.

Tuesday’s beef stew can easily be made in a slow cooker. Get everything prepped and let it cook all day. When you get back from work you will have a delicious smelling house and dinner will be ready. Can’t beat that!

The only thing I would advice for this is that you brown the beef before putting it in the slow cooker. Otherwise you will end up with boiled beef.

Wednesday’s soup is very clean and fresh. It can be made fairly quickly and I promise you it will warm your soul. This is a great soup to send to school and the office the next day for lunch.

Thursday’s dinner is also very easy and quick to make. You can get ahead of yourself and cook the pasta a day before if you would like. Simply shock it with cold water after you drain it and coat it with some olive oil. Keep it in a sealed bag in the fridge.

Friday’s dinner could be made ahead of time and frozen. Make it on your day off and take it out of the freezer before you head out to work. That way you can pop it into the oven when you get home. This is a casserole that will keep well for a couple of days. Left overs are awesome.

Monday: Taco Pizza
Tuesday: Potato Leek Soup with Crusty Bread
Wednesday: South Western Turkey Burger
Thursday: Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Side Salad
Friday: Pan Seared Pork Chops with Grapes and Wine

The taco pizza you are going to have on Monday is very fun to make. It is also a big hit. Go ahead and use store bought pizza dough to make it faster. You can prepare the meat a few days in advance and freeze it if you would like. Serve your pizza slices with a side of sour cream and store bought guacamole and salsa if you want.

Of course, if you want to make guacamole or salsa at home that is always a fantastic option!

Tuesday’s soup is absolutely delicious. It is super easy to make. All I can recommend is that you make sure the leeks are cleaned very well. They are full of dirt and you don’t want that in your soup. This is a very satisfying meal.

Go ahead and make the turkey burgers for Wednesday in advance and freeze them. In fact, make a whole bunch so that you have them ready when you are. This is a pretty straight forward sandwich with a variety of South Western flavors. Delicioso!

As with all pasta meals, you can get ahead of yourself and cook the pasta for your macaroni and cheese a day early. Drain it, shock it with cold water so it stops cooking and coat the pasta with a little bit of olive oil. Place it in the fridge in a sealed bag.

Making the cheese sauce for your casserole is really not a big deal. This is a meal that everyone loves. Comfort food at its best.

Friday’s meal is quite special. You will be pan searing some pork chops and them making a little sauce with red wine and grapes. This will turn a very ordinary week night meal into an extraordinary one.

The two most important rules when pan searing meats are you must have a hot pan and you have to let the meat form a brown crust before you flip it. Be patient and allow the meat to do it’s thing. If you hurry the process you will not have a perfectly and beautiful seared piece of meat.

Monday: Lentil Soup with Crusty Bread
Tuesday: Chinese Fried Rice
Wednesday: Baked Fish with Feta Cheese
Thursday: Honey Sesame Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce
Friday: Chile Verde Pork

Monday’s lentil soup can be made over the weekend. This is one of those soups that tastes better a couple of days after you cook it. Having said that, please do not keep food in the fridge for more than 3 days. Eat the food before that.

You will need say old rice for Tuesday’s meal so go ahead and cook it on Monday (or Sunday for that matter). The rice will dry up in the fridge for a better result. Although the recipe was made with only peas you can add pork, chicken, beef, shrimp or ham to this. You can also add carrots, bean sprouts, bok choy, Napa cabbage, green beans or any other vegetable of your preference. This will turn a side dish into a main meal.

This is a great way to use up little bits and pieces of meats or veggies that you might have in the fridge because you really only need small amounts of each one.

Wednesday’s fish is made very quickly. It is easy and ultra satisfying. I had someone tell me she roasted veggies and served it with the baked fish on top. The cheese sauce seeped onto the veggies and it was perfect. They loved it. This fish is pretty special.

Thursday’s chicken fingers are also very easy to make. You can get ahead of yourself by having the chicken all cut ahead of time. Or, buy frozen chicken tenders for this and thaw the quantity you will be using.

Friday’s chile verde can be made in the slow cooker. It is an exquisite meal that you can also freeze very nicely. If you can not find tomatillos you can substitute them for store bought salsa verde. Omit the green chilies if you go this avenue. What a great way to end the week.

My name is Mary Ann Allen and I am here to help you get organized so you can save money on groceries and feed your family healthy, nutritious food. My multi-cultural cooking background comes from being born in the US and raised in Bolivia. I have 5 kids and own around 400 cook books. I absolutely love to cook!

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