Saturday, May 20, 2017

Menu of the Week

Our menu of the week focused on fairly healthy dinners from Cooking Light. I tried a few new recipes and had to improvise on Wednesday when dinner took a nose dive. Keep reading to find out what dinners we enjoyed.

On Mother's Day I made one of my favorite dinners, Chicken Enchiladas, but instead of red sauce, I followed the green/verde recipe from Cooking Light. When I found this recipe for authentic chicken enchiladas made in the pressure cooker, I was sold! I love the spicy sauce, I love how the ingredients are combined in the pressure cooker to seal in all the flavors - it feels faster and easier.

When I found this recipe on Cooking Light for Roasted Chili Verde Chicken Enchiladas I knew I could use the recipe as an ingredient guide but apply what I learned from using the pressure cooker to make this dinner quick and easy.

I first quartered the tomatillos, poblanos, and onion and placed on a sheet pan with whole garlic cloves under the broiler for 12 minutes. Once the vegetables were charred I dumped into the pressure cooker along with 4 lbs bone-in chicken thighs. I added a half bunch of cilantro, stems and all, along with the 2 tsp ground cumin the Cooking Light recipe calls for. The additional seasoning that I included comes from the original chicken enchilada/pressure cooker version: 2 tsp Mexican oregano and 1 tsp of ground coriander. That's it!

I set the pressure cooker to 15 minutes, removed the chicken and let cool a little before pulling the meat off the bone. Using my emersion blender, I whirled the veggies and juices into the MOST delicious green sauce. I honestly wasn't sure the poblanos would give the sauce a spicy enough kick - and although they imparted a delicious mild flavor, next time (note to self) I will add a jalapeno to the mix.

The Roasted Salmon with Balsamic Blistered Tomatoes was a favorite of ours this week. I loved this recipe because it was healthy, flavorful and was on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Jim cooked Tuesday night for him and the kids since I had a work event to attend. His specialty is BBQ Chicken on the Grill with a side of Kraft Mac and Cheese and Baked Beans. There wasn't much left when I got home so it must have been a hit.

In an effort to eat more veggies I attempted this Ratatouille-Stuffed Shells recipe from Cooking Light. The recipe looked easy, and I thought the kids would love the jumbo shells - but then my grocery store didn't have them. I made a split decision in the pasta aisle to buy manicotti and stuff the tubes instead.

This would have been brilliant except for the fact that the vegetable medley slipped right out the other side of the manicotti when I attempted to stuff them.

Plan C was in order and luckily I try to keep a package of Gnocchi in my pantry for emergencies. Ratatouille-Stuffed Shells became Vegetable Gnocchi - a delicious bowl of flavorful vegetables in a tomato sauce, topped with fresh mozzarella.

This Fresh Pea and Proscuitto and Herb Salad turned out to be pretty good. Jim absolutely loved it while the meal took a while to grow on me. There were definitely parts of this meal that I loved. For instance, I have never microwaved prosciutto before and I loved how effortlessly they crisped up and intensified in flavor. Of course, I added my own spin on this recipe with fresh mozzarella balls and marinated chickpeas. I also found the original dressing a little bland, so I bumped up the flavor with white balsamic vinegar.

With a fridge full of veggies I decided to chop up everything I could find and create a Quick Stir Fry. I found zucchini, onion, garlic, red and green bell pepper, ginger, and chicken. I seasoned with toasted sesame oil, Chinese garlic chili paste and soy sauce. 

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