Sunday, October 9, 2011

Menu 1- Dinnertime Divas: Roasting Lets you Rest Easier




I fell in love with roasting back in the 90's and it's still my cooking method of choice... from meats to veggies (love roasted leeks, asparagus, fennel- and have you tried roasted Brussels Sprouts? Yum!) to fruits... roasted tomatoes and grapes taste like candy.

Simple preparation.  Simple clean up.  Intense flavor, and the theme of this week's menus. 

Bon Appétit, my sweets!
 


MONDAY: Crispy Roast Chicken a l' Orange, Sauteed Swiss Chard with Bacon, Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme

Notes:  I add some crushed red pepper (a little goes a LONG way!), dried basil and dried oregano to the Swiss Chard.  Same with the Chicken during browning.

To cook the mushrooms, buy a package of sliced mushrooms and saute in a pan with a pat of butter, some olive oil, sea salt, pepper, dried basil, and dried rosemary until caramelized.  Add 2 cloves of garlic, minced,  during the last few minutes of cooking.

TUESDAY: Shrimp Picatta with Zucchini Noodles and a Bacon and Blue Caesar Salad

Notes: Shrimp- Buy a package of raw frozen shrimp and thaw in colander per package directions.  Remove tails and any legs and shells (ewww) and pat dry.  Saute quickly (like 5 min- yup!) in a pan drizzled w/olive oil and a small pat of butter.  Remove from pan.  Add in 1/4 c. white wine, juice from 1 lemon, 1 Tblsp. butter, sea salt and pepper, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper, dried basil and dried oregano and reduce to make a nice sauce.  Pour over shrimp.

Zucchini noodles-  Get a vegetable peeler and peel down the outer edges of the zucchini in long strips, just the outer green part- like noodles (super low carb pasta replacer secret!)  Saute in olive oil w/salt and pepper.

Salad- Wash and chop prepackaged romaine lettuce hearts, add in 4 slices microwaved bacon, torn up in small pieces and sprinkle with blue cheese to taste.  Top w/ my FAV Caesar Salad dressing...

Wednesday: Crustless Zucchini Quiche, Roast Asparagus and Tomatoes with Parmesan and a Balsamic Drizzle

Notes: Quiche-
2 c. shredded zucchini
1 med. onion, chopped
3 eggs, beaten
1-8oz carton plain Greek yogurt (important to get Greek-thicker, so no need for flour!)
1-1/2 c. shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute zucchini and onion in oil until tender.  Beat together eggs, yogurt, dill, salt, pepper and cheese.  Drain zucchini and onions.  Add to egg mixture.  Pour into pie plate and bake 30 min. until center is set.

Asparagus & Tomatoes- In the 350 oven, on a cookie sheet w/rims, place asparagus on one end and the cherry tomatoes, cut in half, on the other.  Drizzle olive oil over all, and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  On the tomatoes, drizzle over balsamic vinegar to just coat.  Roast for about 35 minutes,until each are soft and caramelized.  The last 3 min. top the asparagus w/grated Parmesan to melt.

Thursday: Roasted Sausages and Grapes over a bed of Roast Fennel (ditch the ciabatta for a low carb combined meal!)

Notes: Fennel- Slice the fennel bulbs (discard the tops) into thin rings.  Place on cookie sheet with rim and drizzle w/olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast at 400 for about 35 minutes until browned and caramelized. Top w/grated Parmesan.

Friday: Roast Pork Tenderloin, Squash Casserole (ditch the crackers- our hips will thank us!) and Peas with Spinach and Shallots

Notes:  For the pork- purchase unmarinated (very important- do not get the marinated styles) pork tenderloins in the plastic packages.  Rinse and trim any unwanted fat.  Place in 9x13 pan and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, dried rosemary, dried oregano, dried thyme and dried basil.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 30 min. depending on thickness until med. (still a bit pink in the middle)  Let rest for 15 min. and then slice in rounds to serve.




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