• If you're a new visitor to this blog, please read "how to use this blog" off to the right-hand-side.
• Check NOTES under each meal for ahead-of-time preps.
• By clicking on “older posts” at the bottom of this page, you can look back at previous week’s recipes.
• If you are looking for a particular recipe, use the search box at the right-hand-side then scroll to the top of the page to see search results.
• If you didn’t see the Strawberry Pancake Roll-Up recipe, check it out (see post from earlier this week). They are SOOO good!
• Make your own pizza dough (see my entry from April 6) or use a store-bought dough of your choice. It’s also worth asking your favorite local pizzeria if they will sell you a ball of their fresh-made dough to use that day.
• Either use leftover refrigerated pesto from last week or buy a pkg of fresh basil leaves.
• 1 14.5 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes (with Italian seasoning or with roasted garlic), whizzed briefly in a food processor to a chunky purée
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves (or use the leftover refrigerated pesto from last week’s recipe)
• 2/3 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into thin slices (about 2 cups)
• About 1 tsp. dried oregano
• Your own homemade thin crust pizza dough, store-bought, or picked up from your local pizzeria (see my NOTE above)
1. To make pizza sauce, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking in a medium pot. Add garlic and swirl in hot oil until it starts to smell good, about 15 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, to thicken and cook off the "canned" flavors, at least 25 minutes. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
2. If NOT using leftover refrigerated pesto from last week continue with this step to make the basil oil to drizzle on pizza: while sauce is cooking, put 1/4 cup olive oil and basil leaves in a food processor and whirl to finely chop basil, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Stir 1 tbsp. basil oil into tomato sauce as it's cooking, along with 1 pinch salt. Pour remaining basil oil into a small bowl and cover surface with a thin layer of olive oil.
3. Roll out your pizza dough and spoon 3 to 4 tbsp. tomato sauce onto dough, leaving at least a 1/2-in. border. Bake 3 to 6 minutes, or until crust looks dryish but not browned. Remove pizza from oven and top with fresh mozzarella slices, then 1 generous pinch oregano. Return to oven and cook about 5 minutes more, or until crust is golden brown and firm but not rock hard. Transfer pizza to a cutting board and drizzle with basil oil.
• The dressing was good but I might add a pinch of cumin and a little vinegar next time (either white or red wine vinegar) – try 2 tbsp.
• For kids, arrange the veggies on a plate in a fun way and use the smaller pieces of the lettuce (the light green crunchy ones closest to the core) - kids like the “crunch.” If they don’t like shrimp, try cutting it up into smaller pieces (sometimes seeing it whole and the tail is scary) and letting them dip it into whatever they like.
Ingredients - Salad
• 1 lb uncooked large shrimp, peeled & deveined, rinsed & patted dry with paper towels
• 2 small garlic cloves, minced
• ½ tsp chili powder
• ¼ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp ground cumin
• 2 tsp olive oil
• Romaine lettuce – either buy a bunch and wash & cut up yourself or buy the pre-bagged kind
• 1 c. canned or cooked frozen corn
• 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 sweet red pepper, chopped (or thinly sliced)
• 1 ripe avocado, sliced thin
Ingredients – Cilantro Lime Dressing: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl
• 7 tbsp olive oil
• ¼ c. minced fresh cilantro
• ¼ c. fresh lime juice
• 1-1/2 tsp sugar
• 1 small garlic clove, minced
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp pepper
• 2 tbsp red or white wine vinegar (optional)
1. In a large skillet heat the 2 tbsp olive oil and add spices (garlic through cumin) and stir until fragrant. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turn pink – about 4ish minutes, flipping over once. Set shrimp aside.
2. Mix ingredients for the dressing if you haven’t already. In bowls, combine the lettuce, corn, beans, and red pepper. Top each bowl with the shrimp and avocado slices. Drizzle with dressing.
• Either buy pitas or try my easy whole wheat pita recipe (below). Double the recipe to have leftovers. We like to use them the next morning and stuff with scrambled eggs, sausage and cheese for a delicious breakfast.
• The picture isn’t very pretty but they are delicious!
• Recipe 3.1 is the falafel, veggies and yogurt sauce. Recipe 3.2 is the homemade pitas. The House Hummus Recipe (optional) is Recipe 3.3.
• Try the House Hummus Recipe (3.3, see below) instead or the yogurt sauce or along with. The Hummus Recipe is easy and not only good with this recipe! Use it to spread on toast for a healthy snack or use it for dipping veggies or tortillas chips.
Ingredients – Falafel & Yogurt Sauce (3.1)
• 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans
• ¼ c. shredded carrot
• 3 tbsp sesame tahini, divided (tahini is simply ground sesame seeds, look for it near the pb or in the asian food section)
• 2-3 tbsp all purpose flour
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• ¼ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp pepper
• 1-2 tbsp olive oil
• ½-1 tsp ground cumin (per tastes)
• 1/3 c. plain yogurt – use the leftover greek style from your pita recipe if making your own pitas (see below)
• 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 tomato, sliced thin
• 1 cucumber, sliced thin
• Crunchy lettuce
• Pitas – whole wheat are best! Either make your own (really easy recipe, see below) or use store-bought. Cut them in half then open the middle (if not already open) to create a pocket in each half to be able to stuff falafel in.
Directions – Falafel & Yogurt Sauce
1. Preheat oven to 425. Rinse and drain beans and in a large shallow bowl, mash with a large fork the beans along with carrot, flour (start with 2 tbsp), tahini, 1 tbsp water, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. The beans do not need to be completely smooth – it’s ok if there are some chunky pieces.
2. Grease a cookie sheet with olive oil. Shape the bean mixture into small patties (about 2 inches in diameter). Add more flour if mixture is sticky and won’t form easily into patties without sticking to your hands. Place the patties on a cookie sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake for 1o-15 minutes or until crispy and browned, turning once.
3. For the yogurt sauce, mix the yogurt, remaining tahini, and lemon juice. Add warm water by the tbsp if sauce is stiff.
4. Stuff the pitas with falafel, tomato, lettuce and sauce (either for dipping or drizzle inside pita). Let kids stuff their own pita “pockets”.
Homemade Whole Wheat Pitas (3.2)
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 1 pkg dry yeast (about 2 ¼ tsp)
• 1 c. plus 2 tbsp warm water
• 10 oz all-purpose flour
• 1 c. whole wheat flour, divided
• 2 tbsp greek style yogurt such as Fage (use leftovers for your yogurt sauce above)
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• Cooking spray
1. Dissolve sugar and yeast in 1 c. plus 2 tbsp warm water in a large bowl and let stand 5 min. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add the all-purpose flour, ¾ c. whole wheat flour, yogurt, oil and salt to the yeast mixture. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth.
2. Then, either by hand or with the dough hook on your mixer, knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Add 1 tbsp of the whole wheat flour at a time to prevent dough from sticking to hands (although the dough will be sticky).
3. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until double, about 45 min.
4. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Divide dough into 8 portions and gently roll each portion into a 5 ½ inch circle. Place 4 circles on a cookie sheet or pizza pan heavily coated with cooking spray. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let sit 10 min.
5. Bake, one sheet at a time for 8 min or so until puffed and lightly browned. Some will puff better than others – this is normal! Cool on a wire rack. Cut in half then open up pocket with fingers or with a knife to be able to stuff.
House Hummus (3.3) – optional but a good one to know for other recipes or for dipping!
• 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
• ¼ c. reserved liquid from beans
• 3-5 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 ½ tbsp tahini sauce
• Minced garlic, to taste – 2-3 cloves
• ½ tsp salt (or more to taste)
• 1-2 tbsp olive oil
• Fry the chicken ahead of time but don’t place chicken on the marinara sauce until ready to bake – otherwise the chicken gets soggy.
• I didn’t take a picture of this one (so I’m including the one from the recipe I used) because my husband was in charge of cooking it and left it in too long! It was still delicious though!
• Chicken breasts (1/2 or 1 per person)
• Salt & pepper
• 1-2 c. bread crumbs
• 2 beaten eggs
• 1 jar marinara sauce
• 1 lb fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1. If chicken breasts are thick, place between two sheets of plastic wrap and lightly pound out to ½-inch thickness with the flat side of a kitchen mallet.
2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper then dip in beaten eggs, then breadcrumbs. Fry in oil over medium heat until golden. Be sure to keep a thin layer of oil on the bottom of the pan so that the crust doesn’t burn and/or stick to the bottom of the pan.
3. Pour the marinara sauce in a large shallow baking dish. Top sauce with chicken then the slices of mozzarella. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.
• The original recipe says to cook on low for 4 hours. I cooked mine for almost 7 hours (I need a programmable slow cooker!) and they were still great.
• The original recipe calls for 1/4 c. packed brown sugar which I left out to suit our tastes. Add if you want!
• 1 ½ lbs beef
• 1 c. chopped green pepper
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 ½ c. ketchup
• 1 envelope sloppy joe mix
• ¼ c. packed brown sugar (optional)
• 1 tsp yellow mustard
• 1 pkg hamburger buns
• Hamburger dill pickles to put on sandwiches (optional)
1. In a large skillet, cook the beef, pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the ketchup, sloppy joe mix, brown sugar (if using) and mustard.
2. Transfer to a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until ready to serve.
• I have organized the shopping list by category and then within each category by meal. After each item you’ll see a number in parenthesis which corresponds to the meal number. That way you can easily pick which recipes you want to try and then find those items (or cross items out) on the list.
• Under Veggies/Fruit I have italicized anything that is a veggie or fruit but NOT found in the fresh fruits and veggie area of the supermarket.
• For Sides: Add sides to the meals as necessary. Really the only meals this week that would need a side are recipe (4) and (5). Try garlic bread and a green cooked veggie with (4) and a side salad or raw veggie sticks with (5).
• Please note that Recipe 3.1 includes the falafel, the veggies to go with the pitas and the yogurt sauce. If you are making your own pitas (rather than buying), see recipe 3.2 for the ingredients for homemade whole-wheat pitas and if you want homemade hummus with your pita sandwiches see recipe 3.3. Ingredients for 3.2 and 3.3 are NOT included in the shopping list.
• 1 lb uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined (2) (if you buy it without being deveined, it’s usually cheaper but it’s a pain to devein it by hand)
• Chicken breasts – ½ or 1 per person (4)
• 1 ½ lbs ground beef (5)
• Garlic: 2 cloves minced (1), 3 cloves minced (2), 2 cloves minced (3)
• 1 c. lightly packed basil leaves OR use the leftover refrigerated pesto from last week’s recipe (1)
• 1 14 ½-oz cans chopped tomatoes (with roasted garlic or Italian spices) (1)
• Romaine lettuce – either a large fresh bunch or buy the pre-bagged kind (2) and (3)
• Frozen or canned corn – 1 c. (2)
• 1 large sweet red pepper (2)
• 1 ripe avocado, sliced thin (2)
• Minced cilantro – ¼ c. (2)
• 1 lime (2)
• Carrot – ¼ c. shredded (3)
• 1 lemon (3)
• 1 cucumber (3)
• 1 tomato (3)
• 1 green pepper (5)
• 1 large onion (5)
Breads & starches
• Pizza dough – homemade (see my recipe form April 6), store-bought, or ask your local pizzeria if you can purchase their fresh dough (1)
• Whole-wheat pita pockets (store-bought or homemade). If making your own, see my recipe 3.2 and add those ingredients to your shopping list.
• Bread crumbs – 2 c. (4)
• Hamburger buns (5)
• Black pepper
• Dried oregano – 1 tsp (1)
• Chili powder – ½ tsp (2)
• Ground cumin – ¼ tsp (2), 1 tsp (3)
• 2 tbsp white or red wine vinegar (2)
• Tahini sauce – 3 tbsp (3) (Tahini is simply ground sesame seeds, look for it near the pb or in the asian food section)
• 1 packet sloppy joe mix (5)
• 1 ½ c. ketchup (5)
• 1 tsp yellow mustard (5)
• Hamburger dill pickles (5) (optional)
• Fresh mozzarella – 2/3 lb (1), 1 lb (4)
•1/3 c. plain yogurt (3). If making your own pitas, you’ll need 2 tbsp of greek style yogurt such as Fage so you can use leftovers of that here
• Olive oil and cooking oil (such as canola)
• Cooking spray
• 1 can black beans (2)
• Small amount of flour (3)
• 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) (3)
• 2 eggs (4)
• 1 jar marinara sauce (4)
• ¼ c. packed brown sugar (5) (optional)