• 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.
•Look for a new organization to the blog coming soon – each recipe will be it’s own post and the shopping list for 5 recipes will also be it’s own post. I’d also like to create an index to the right of the blog where you can search recipes by “poultry,” “vegetarian,” “breakfast,” etc.
• 8 tbsp olive oil
• ¾ cup + 2 tbsp milk, warmed to 110 degrees (use skim to get lightest crust; I used 2% because that’s what I had and it worked fine)
• 2 tsp sugar
• 2 1/3 c. all-purpose flour, plus extra for the counter
• 1 pkg (2 ¼ tsp) instant yeast
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 1/3 c. pizza sauce of choice
• 3 c. mozzarella cheese
• Sliced mushrooms (optional)
1. Heat oven to 200 degrees and turn it off when it reaches that temperature. Lightly grease a large bowl with cooking spray and coat the bottom of two 9-inch cake pans with 3 tbsp olive oil (or canola oil if you prefer).
2. Mix milk, sugar 2 tbsp oil in a small bowl or measuring cup. In a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix flour, yeast and salt. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium-low and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, about 5 minutes. If dough seems sticky and really sticks to bottom of bowl , add a tbsp or two more of flour and continue mixing.
3. Gently shape dough into a ball on a lightly floured surface and place in greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm oven until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees if cooking right away. To shape dough, transfer to a lightly floured counter, divide in half, and lightly roll or press each half into a 9 1/2 –inch circle (middle should be thinner than edges). Lightly press into oiled pan, being sure that not much oil spills over top of crust. Cover with plastic wrap and either let rise in a warm spot (not oven) for 20 minutes if cooking right away. If not cooking until later in the day, cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge.
5. Top each dough with 2/3 c. sauce (leave ½ inch border around edges) and sprinkle with 1 ½ c. cheese. Place half of pepperoni in s single layer on a microwave-safe plate lined with 2 paper towels. Cover with 2 more towels and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Discard towels and set pepperoni aside; repeat with new paper towels and remaining pepperoni. This step eliminates the possibility that the pepperoni will turn your pizza into a grease trap!
6. Top pizza with pepperoni and bake for about 20 min at 400 degrees or until pizza is starting to brown around edges. Let pizza rest for 1 minute in pans and then transfer to a cutting board and cut into wedges.
• 1 ½ c. uncooked rice, cooked to package’s instructions (I prefer jasmine rice when cooking Asian food!)
• 1 tbsp plus 1/3 c. cornstarch, divided
• ½ c. orange juice
• ½ c. chicken broth
• 2 tbsp soy sauce
• 1 tsp sugar
• ¼ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp pepper
• 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-in cubes
• 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
• 1 ½ c. sliced fresh carrots
• 1 c. green pepper, cut into ½-inch chunks
• ½ c. chopped onion
1. Prepare rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp cornstarch, orange juice, chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper; set aside.
2. Place remaining cornstarch in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, cook chicken in 2 tbsp oil for 7-9 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. In the same skillet, sauté carrots in remaining oil for 2 minutes. Add green pepper and onion; sauté 2-3 minutes longer or until veggies are crisp-tender. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add chicken; heat through and serve over hot rice.
RECIPE 3: Three-Cheese Quesadillas
• This is really easy to prepare and great for quick weeknight meal!
• I added a thin layer of refried beans to our tortillas before spreading with cream cheese. Feel free to do so if you like beans!
• Flour tortillas (2/person)
• 1 tbsp butter or oil spray
• 4 oz cream cheese, softened
• ½ c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• ½ c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
• 3 tbsp thinly sliced green onion
• 1-2 tbsp fresh minced cilantro
• 2 tsp chopped black olives (optional)
• Optional toppings: sour cream, salsa, guacamole
1. Spread butter over one side of each tortilla or spray with oil. Spread un-oiled side of tortillas (just one of the two per person) with cream cheese then sprinkle with cheeses, onion, cilantro and olives. Top with remaining tortilla, oiled side up.
2. Cook on a griddle or in a saucepan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole if desired.
RECIPE 4: Roasted Vegetable Penne Bake
Adapted from Real Simple August/September 2010
• 2 large zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
• ½ lb medium fresh mushrooms, halved
• 1 small onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning
• 2 c. uncooked penne pasta
• 1 can (15 oz) crushed or diced tomatoes, undrained
• 2 oz provolone cheese, shredded
• ½ c. parmesan cheese plus 2 tbsp, divided
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp pepper
• 1 tbsp butter, cubed
1. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, red pepper, mushrooms, onion, oil and Italian seasoning; toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer over a foil-lined baking pan. Bake, uncovered at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until tender.
2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. IN a large bowl, combine the pasta, roasted veggies, tomatoes, provolone, ½ c. parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
3. Transfer to a casserole dish or 13x9 inch baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan and dot with cubed butter. Cover and bake at 350 about 15 minutes then uncover and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until bubbly.
• You can make ahead (except for putting salsa on top) and store in fridge until ready to bake. Remove from fridge at least 30 minutes before baking to bring to room temp then top with salsa and bake.
• 3 c. shredded cooked chicken or turkey
• 2 c. sour cream
• 2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese + ½ extra for topping
• ½ c. sliced green onions
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/3 c. vegetable or canola oil
• 12 corn tortillas
• 1 jar 16 oz salsa - Use a good brand and one that you really like because this is where a lot of the flavor comes from. Green or red works equally well!
• Extra salsa, chopped lettuce and tomatoes for serving, optional
1. In a large bowl, mix turkey, sour cream, sliced green onions, 2 c. shredded cheese, and salt.
2. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Essential for this recipe! Heat oil in a 8- to 10-inch frying pan over low heat and dip the tortillas, one at a time, in the hot oil, just until limp, about 5 seconds. Remove and stack them on each other until you have dipped all 12.
3. Fill tortillas eqully with turkey mixture, roll up and arrange side by side, seam down, in a 9- by 12-inch baking dish. Pour salsa evenly over top and bake for about 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven, or until heated through. Sprinkle ½ c. extra cheese over hot enchiladas. Serve with chopped lettuce, tomato and extra salsa if desired.
• The shopping list is organized 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.
• Pepperoni (enough for two small pizzas) (1)
• Chicken – 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (2)
• Shredded turkey or chicken – 3 c. (5)
• Pizza sauce (1 1/3 c.) (1)
• Sliced mushrooms – optional (1), ½ lb (4)
• Carrots – 1 ½ c. sliced (2)
• Onion – ½ c. chopped (2), 1 small (4)
• Green bell pepper – 1 (2)
• Green onions – 3 tbsp thinly sliced (3), ½ c. thinly sliced (5)
• Cilantro – 1-2 tbsp minced (3)
• Avocado – for topping (3)
• Salsa – for topping (3), 1 16-oz jar good quality red or green salsa (5)
• Zucchini – 2 large (4)
• Sweet red pepper – 1 (4)
• Tomatoes – 1 15-oz can crushed (or diced) (4)
• Chopped lettuce, chopped tomatoes – for serving (5)
Breads & starches
• 1 ½ c. uncooked white rice (jasmine is great for Asian dishes!) (2)
• Flour tortillas – 2/person (3)
• 2 c. uncooked penne pasta (4)
• 12 corn tortillas (5)
• Black pepper
• Olive oil
• Canola or vegetable oil (5)
• Soy sauce – 2 tbsp (2)
• Italian seasoning – 1 ½ tsp (4)
• Mozzarella cheese – 3 c. (1)
• ¾ c. skim milk (1)
• Sharp cheddar cheese – ½ c. shredded (3), 2 c. + ½ c. (5)
• Monterey Jack cheese – ½ c. shredded (3)
• Sour cream – for topping (3), 2 c. (5)
• Cream cheese – 4 oz (3)
• Provolone cheese – 2 oz shredded (4)
• Parmesan cheese – ½ c. shredded plus 2 tbsp (4)
• Butter – 1 tbsp (4)