Clapping On The Down Beat

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Meal Plan 4.11.12 Quick Meals April 11, 2012

Filed under: Meal Planning — clappingonthedownbeat @ 10:21 PM

We had the Frisco Fire Marshall come to class tonight.  It was really interesting and I have some great safety tips to use in the home.  I will write them up and post later this week.  No scary food stories, promise!

Grilling season is upon us, so you will start to see sales on lots of BBQ type foods.  For price matching this week, here is what I see:


Chicken drumstick/thighs $.99/lb

Heinz ketchup & McCormick grill seasoning $2

Kraft or Sargento shredded cheese BOGO Free


Goldfish $.99  stock up price

Market Street:

Birds Eye steam fresh $.97

Cento 28oz tomatoes $1.50

Mezzetta Peppers $1.50  ( you could use this instead of pickle juice for the chicken brine)


Pineapple $.99


lots of great produce deals!

Meatless Monday:  Pea and Carrot Soup with Rice

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup orzo- small shaped pasta
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 carrots, peeled diced –  I love to use my mini chopper or cuisinart
  • 2 leeks–halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise and thoroughly rinsed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, halved
  1. In a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the orzo and toast until deep golden and fragrant. Stir in the rice, add about 2 cups chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally and adding a bit more stock if the rice begins to stick, until the rice is just tender, about 18 minutes.  OR just use leftover cooked rice and skip this step.
  2. Meanwhile, in a soup pot, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil  over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and leeks; season with salt and pepper. Cook stirring, until softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the remaining stock and the  peas. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer.
  3. Using a food processor mix the parsley, mint, cheese, pine nuts, garlic and about 1/4 cup olive oil  into a pesto. Stream in more if needed. Stir the pesto into the rice pilaf.
  4. Mix rice with peas and carrots and serve!


• 1 top round beef steak (1 1/2 – 2 pounds)  or 1-2 lbs flank steak

• 2 tablespoons butter

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• Kosher salt

• Freshly ground pepper

• 1/2 cup dry red wine

• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

The steak should be 1/2-inch thick. If necessary, pound it between two sheets of waxed paper to achieve this thickness.  Warm the butter and olive oil together in a large saute or cast-iron pan set over medium-high heat. When the butter is foaming rapidly, add the steak and fry to brown on one side, about 3 minutes. (If the steak is larger than your saute pan, cut it in half) Turn, and season with salt and pepper. Brown the other side, about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan to a warm platter and set aside. Add the wine and oregano to the pan, scraping up any meat that may have stuck to the bottom. Simmer to sweeten the wine, about 1 minute. Meanwhile, cut the meat into six equal portions. When the wine sauce is ready, pour it over the meat and serve.

I served this with roasted potatoes and mushrooms.  I drizzled olive oil salt/pepper over potatoes and mushrooms and roasted on 425 for 20-30 minutes.  Caesar Salad


Wednesday:  Fried Chicken  (chick-fil-a style)  OH MY GOODNESS GOOD!!  MUST TRY

• 6 each Chicken Legs and Chicken Thighs

• 1 large jar Pickles

• Salt

• Pepper

• 1/2 cup Flour

• Oil (to fry)

• 2 cups Buttermilk

In a zip bag, brine the chicken in the pickle juice for 2-12 hours. Reserve pickles.
In a deep cast iron skillet, heat enough oil to submerge chicken to 360F.   Drain the chicken. Dip in buttermilk and dredge the chicken lightly in flour seasoned with salt and pepper.   Fry the chicken for 4 to 5 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. With the pickles, slice into coins if necessary, dip in buttermilk and dredge lightly and then fry for 30-60 seconds, until golden brown and crisp, and then drain to a paper towel lined plate.  Serve the chicken and pickles together.

I am not big on frying, but I poured all the oil back into the bottle and less than a cup was gone.  Plus I drained the cooked chicken on a brown paper bag, so all in all that’s not too bad!

 Thursday:  Salmon Pasta
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon light-brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 one-pound salmon fillet with skin (about 1 inch thick)
  • 1 pound corkscrew or other short pasta
  • 10 ounces spinach, stems trimmed and leaves washed well
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Heat the broiler. Mix parsley, brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the bag, and shake to mix.
  2. Press the mixture onto the skinless side of the salmon. Broil salmon, skin side down, until it is no longer red in the center, about 8 minutes.  ( You could even buy canned salmon and skip this step)
  3. Flake the fish with a fork. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente, about 13 minutes. Reserve about 1/2 cup cooking water, and drain pasta. Return it to the warm pot, add spinach, and toss.
  4. In a bowl, mix together sour cream, lemon juice to taste, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons pasta water.
  5. Put pasta on plates, top with salmon, and drizzle with the sour-cream mixture. Or simply toss pasta and spinach in the pot with the salmon and the sour-cream mixture, adding pasta water as needed, and serve.
Friday:  LITE Asian Crock Pot Pork and noodles or rice
  • 2 lb lean boneless pork loin
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • Non-stick oil spray
  • 1 cup low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp  sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pinch (or more to taste) red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp  grated ginger root – I buy in a tube in the herb section of grocery store
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms

For topping:  chopped green onions and cilantro
Season pork on all side with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat, spray with a little oil and brown the pork on all sides for about 7 – 8 minutes.  In the crock pot, combine the broth, soy sauce, balsamic, sugar, sesame oil, Chinese five spice, garlic and ginger; add the pork and set the slow cooker to 8 hours on low.  Thirty minutes before the timer goes off, remove the pork and set aside to rest a few minutes; add the mushrooms to the crock pot, cover and cook on low for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, shred the pork using two forks.  When the mushrooms are tender, remove about 1 cup of the broth and reserve if needed. Add the shredded pork to the crock pot and mix well. If adding baby spinach,add at the end and cover a few minutes until it wilts.  Serve over rice or noodles!


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