March 5, 2013

Menu of the Week

photos from Martha Stewart, Dinner: A Love Story, Cooking Light, and Yummy Supper (links below)

My strategy for planning dinners has changed somewhat over the last few years.  I don't cook pork or beef at all any more.  I only did rarely before, but I've cut them out completely now.  (Well, almost completely - We will still have beef tenderloin for Christmas, and I do still include bacon as a garnish in soups and other meals.)

So in planning meals, I find that I typically choose a poultry dish (chicken, ground turkey, sausage) or two, seafood, pasta, and Friday night (usually alternates between pizza and burritos/quesadillas).

I've been trying new recipes and working to find more vegetarian dinners that the kids and my husband will enjoy.  I've been somewhat successful, and I don't mind eating the leftovers myself when they fail to please.  Soups have been my biggest successes so far this year, but there have been others.  We've also been making more homemade pizzas lately, and I forgot how good they are!  If you have any veggie dinner ideas that kids will eat, please do share.

Here's a look at what we ate last week:

Homemade Pizza, Salad
I've been making half plain cheese and half covered with veggies.  Usually caramelized onions, mushrooms, peppers, and black olives.  

Chicken Tenders, Spicy Oven Fries, Steamed Broccoli
Oh my goodness I will never buy frozen french fries again.  (I used to like getting frozen sweet potato fries.  They're good, but homemade is better!)  These spicy oven fries are awesome!  Everyone liked them.  I only used a dash of red pepper to avoid making them too spicy for the kids.  Perfect.  

Tex-Mex Pasta Salad, Guacamole
I used to really love this pasta salad, and the kids devoured it.  Somehow, it seems to have lost its magic for us.  Everybody did okay, but I must admit I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I remembered, and the boys weren't thrilled with it.  Wonder why it was different this time?  I'll keep the recipe, but it may fall out of rotation for a while.

Lemon-Pepper Shrimp Scampi, Orzo, Roasted Asparagus
Ridiculously easy weeknight dinner.  As expected, Nathan wouldn't eat the shrimp, but he chowed on the orzo and ate his asparagus whole, with his hands.  And had some leftover broccoli too.  Aaron and I enjoyed it just as written.

Potato, Corn, and Leek Chowder
Easily the biggest hit yet.  The boys just adore this chowder and clean their bowls every time.  Aaron had it two nights in a row and requested to have it packed in a thermos to bring for lunch at school.  Awesome.  

Quinoa and Kale Patties, Mashed Sweet Potatoes
This was the new main recipe for the week.  It went over well with me, but not with anyone else.  That's okay.  I really liked them, especially covered with avocados, black beans, cilantro, and served with a little sour cream and salsa on the side.  I had them the rest of the week every day for lunch.  I can think of lots of ways to mix up the ingredients of these patties, so this is definitely a keeper, even if only for me.


  1. Breakfast for dinner has been my go to lately. Eggs! Can't get enough of them. Also, I threw something together last nite that Emma loved. Quinoa with black beans, lime, avocado, salsa, bell pepper, onoin, garlic. I just sauteed the pepper/onion/garlic then mixed everything together.

    1. Yes I love doing breakfast for dinner as well, and the boys do love eggs. They do not love quinoa, though. I've tried a couple times so far and they just don't like the texture. But I'll keep trying! :-)

  2. Yummy!! Chicken tenders are my absolute favorite!

  3. Hi Mary,
    I saw your comment on Cup of JO and wanted to share this veggie burger recipe that I came across. It is the best I have tried and I've tried a great many.

    I used all black beans and then also added a small handful of mild grated cheese to help them hold together. I also found that if you wet a cutting board to put the patties on before you cook them they are easier to work with.

    Love your blog! I will have to check back and see what you are up to from time to time. :-)

    Cheers, Grace Ann

  4. ooh that chowder is calling my name!


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