Weekly Menus April 2014

Below please find your weekly menus for mid-April through mid-May. I have carefully selected some of my favorite recipes for you.

Shrimp in Tomato Sauce with Polenta
Black Bean Burgers
Beef Broccoli Stir Fry
Chile Colorado Chicken Stew
Cream of Asparagus

Monday’s meal is super healthy and very easy to make. I served it with polenta but you can serve it with whatever you like — couscous, rice, baby red potatoes, whatever makes you happy! If your shrimp is still frozen when you are ready to start dinner, simply place it in a colander and rinse it in cold running water. This will thaw them very quickly.

Two things about shrimp. One — please make sure that you are using deveined shrimp, meaning the black vein on the back has been removed. Two — remember that shrimp cooks very quickly so be vigilant and don’t over do it. You do not want to eat rubbery shrimp.

You can make Tuesday’s black bean burgers in advance a freeze them. They will be fine. These burgers are a great substitute for beef and they are absolutely delish! They are very high in protein and very low in fat. If you find that they are too sticky go ahead and add more mashed beans or bread in them. Always chill them before cooking so they keep their form.

Wednesday’s meal is also a quickie. You will spend most of your time prepping the ingredients. Once they are ready this will cook in a flash. You can go ahead and prep some things in advance, like the beef. This will expedite your dinner!

Thursday’s chicken stew requires Mexican dried chilies. If you can’t get them or do not want to get them go ahead and substitute it with another meal. I would recommend a Chipotle Chicken Stew. Either one can be made in advance and frozen as well.

Fridays cream of asparagus is super easy to make. It is a delicate cream that is a pleasure to eat. Make sure to leave some tips so you can add them on top of the soup. This is one of my favorite soups.

Braised Lentils with Franks
Potato, Onion and Tomato Vegetarian Casserole
Beef Curry with Spinach and Garbanzo Beans
BBQ Chicken Pizza
Shrimp Fajitas

Monday’s braised lentils can definitely be made in advance and frozen. The franks add a very special taste to these and kids love them. Lentils are the only beans you do not need to soak prior to cooking. They are loaded in protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. In fact, they are considered a super food. I love them for their nutty flavor and try to eat them at least once a week.

Tuesday’s vegetarian casserole goes great with a side salad. It requires some work but not too bad. This is a wonderful dish. Make sure you serve some crusty bread with it. You can use this casserole as a side as well — for another time that is!

Wednesday’s beef curry is also a quick and easy meal. Go ahead and use canned garbanzo beans for this. Simply make sure you drain and rinse them before adding them to your curry. This is a very satisfying and tasty meal. Serve it with some white rice so that you can absorb the delish juices that come with it.

You can make Thursday’s dinner with store bought pizza dough, Rotisserie chicken and store bought BBQ sauce. Dinner should be on the table within minutes. Serve this with a side salad if you like.

Friday’s shrimp fajitas are a great way to end the week. Not to sound like a broken record or anything but make sure the shrimp is clean and that you do not over cook it. You could serve only the fajitas but if you get ambitious go ahead and make Mexican rice and refried beans to serve with your succulent fajitas.

Fried Fish Sandwiches
Vegetarian Garbanzo Stew
Couscous Salad with Beef and Caramelized Onion
Curry Chicken Pie
Roasted Bell Pepper Soup

You can make Monday’s fried fish sandwiches with tilapia or any other fleshy white fish. These are very easy to make and a treat to eat. If you really want to serve these with some French fries. You can buy the ones that are pre-cut and frozen and cook them in the oven. Frankly, I think the sandwich alone is pretty filling!

Tuesday’s stew can be made in advance and frozen. It is a very healthy meal that is loaded in flavor. Garbanzos are also know as chickpeas and are full of protein, vitamins and minerals. You can use canned ones for this but make sure you drain and rinse them before adding them to your stew.

Couscous is made in minutes so Wednesday you should be fine. You could go ahead and prep the beef and caramelized onions the day before (even a couple of days before) if you needed to. The rest of the salad can be made that day. This is a very good salad to send to work or school for lunch. It is loaded in delish flavors.

Go ahead and use store bought pie dough and Rotisserie chicken for Thursday’s chicken curry pie if you do not have time. You can definitely make this in advance and freeze it before cooking it. Thaw it in the fridge the night before and bake it before dinner. You will love this twist on your usual drab chicken pot pie.

Friday’s soup is light, super tasty, elegant and very clean. You can go ahead and use store bought roasted peppers if you don’t have time to roast your own. Serve this with a side salad and some crusty bread. What a wonderful meal!

Oven Steamed Fish
Red Beans and Rice
Beef and Sausage Burgers
Sun Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breast
Potato Tacos

Eating oven steamed fish on Monday is a great way to start the week. This meal is super easy to make and will render you moist and flavorful fish that is low in calories and fat. Go ahead and use any white fleshy fish for this such as tilapia or basa.

Tuesday’s red beans can be made in advance and frozen. Don’t freeze them with the rice though because it will get all soggy on you. Make the rice separately and mix it with the beans when you are ready to eat. I love this meal with some chopped tomatoes with salt, lime and cilantro on top.

Wednesday’s patties can also be made in advance and frozen. Thaw them in the fridge the night before. These are an amazing burger. Sometimes I make them into a sandwich with all the fixings but if I want to take it easy with those calories I will serve this with a large salad. Yum, yum.

Thursday’s chicken breast take a little time to prep but are absolutely outstanding. The flavors are very Italian. Please make sure you do not over bake the chicken and dry it up. Check it after the instructed time by pulling one out and cutting it in the middle. If it is not ready cook it in 5 minute intervals until it is fully cooked. Very important that you do not consume raw chicken. It can make you very sick.

Finally, you can prep the potato filling for Friday’s tacos the day before. These tacos are very special and are vegetarian. They are also quite easy to make. Enjoy them as is or with some Mexican rice .

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!

2 Comments

  • July 4, 2014

    Timothy Green

    When you made the eggrolls you did not explain where those wrappers came from? Can you help me

  • July 5, 2014

    theFrugalChef

    Hi Timothy!
    Thanks for the message. Those particular wrappers came from the freezer in the grocery store in Vanuatu. I do not know where you live but I suppose you can get these in Asian supermarkets or the Asian aisle in your grocery store. Hope this helps.
    Mary Ann

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