No-Brainer cooking, 5.22.13

We absolutely loved the menu this week, and I hope you do too. Such a fresh mix of foods, cheap, healthy, and so easy to finish preparing them all in an afternoon! We are making:

The Grocery List

  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, uncooked, peeled & de-veined
  • 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, whole
  • 1.5 lbs. ground chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 regular package of bacon (3 slices per person), cooked
  • 1 (8 oz.) package of sliced swiss or gouda cheese, reduced fat (2 oz. per person)
  • 1 bunch green onions, rinsed and minced
  • 2-3 tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, sliced and divided in halves
  • 1 bag baby carrots
  • 2 cucumbers, rinsed, sliced and divided in halves
  • 2 heads broccoli, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 package (approx. 12) white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 medium squash (green or yellow), rinsed and chopped
  • 1-2 small sweet potatoes or yams, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 lemon (for juice)
  • 1 green apple, sliced
  • 8 oz. linguini (or other long pasta)
  • 1 package tortillas
  • 1 loaf sturdy bread (what you would like to eat for grilled cheese)
  • 1 (8 oz). container plain, lowfat greek yogurt
  • 1 (14 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
  • 1 (14 oz.) can black-eyed peas
  • 1 (14 oz.) can good tomato soup (bisque, cream, whatever you like)

Things you should have in your pantry

  • Water
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 10 cloves minced garlic (divided 2, 2, 6)
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Cumin
  • 1 Tbs. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbs. Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. dried parsley
  • 1 Tbs. dried dill
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Italian or balsamic vinaigrette dressing (a few shakes)
  • 1/4 c. white wine
  • 2 tsp. flour
  • 1 Tbs. butter

Optionals and Sides

  • 2 Tbs. fresh basil, rinsed and minced (to top Shrimp Scampi)
  • salad, couscous or french fries (to eat with Greek wraps)
  • salad or garlic bread (to eat with shrimp scampi)

A. Begin the soup

  1. Put a large stock pot over medium heat. When hot, add scant amount of olive oil to coat bottom of the pot. Add 2 cloves minced garlic, sautee until golden, approx. 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped vegetables to the stock pot: 1/2 red onion, bag of baby carrots, 1 cucumber, broccoli, mushrooms, squash, sweet potatoes (or yams), cilantro.
  3. Place whole chicken breast on top. Fill pot with water until everything is barely covered. Add 1 Tbs. cajun seasoning, 1/2 Tbs. cumin.
  4. Increase heat to high. Bring pot to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, remove chicken breast and shred over a plate using two forks. Return chicken to pot. Reduce heat to low and simmer an additional 5 minutes.

shrimpscampi_lgB. While soup is cooking, begin your Shrimp Scampi

  1. Cook linguini according to package directions.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add 6 cloves minced garlic and sauté approx. 1 minute. Add 1 Tbs. oregano, 1 Tbs. parsley and 1 Tbs. Italian seasoning; stir to coat. Add shrimp and sauté until bright pink, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Add wine and simmer about 1 minute.
  3. Dissolve 2 tsp. flour and 1/2 tsp. salt in 3/4 c. water in a small cup. Whisk until blended. Add mixture to skillet and simmer 2 minutes, until sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (If sauce is too thin, continue dissolving flour 1/2 Tbs. at a time in water and adding to sauce. Continue seasoning to taste.)
  4. Turn heat off and cover, or transfer to glass storage bowl and cover. The flavor will continue to improve as sauce is allowed to sit.
  5. When ready to eat, transfer cooked linguini to individual bowl and spoon shrimp and sauce over top; sprinkle with fresh basil. Yields about 1 1/3 cups of pasta, 1/4 cup of sauce and 3 ounces of shrimp per serving.

Greek-Style-Chicken-Pita_optC. Once shrimp scampi is removed from skillet, begin Greek gyro wraps

  1. Combine ground chicken (or turkey) with minced green onions and 1 tsp. garlic powder. Shake a few shakes of Italian dressing and mix with hands.
  2. In a large skillet, saute 2 minced garlic cloves in scant olive oil until golden, approx. 2-3 minutes. Add ground meat mixture. Season with 1 Tbs. oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until cooked through and no longer pink. Drain.
  3. To prepare tsatziki sauce: in a small bowl, combine container of Greek yogurt, 1 Tbs. dill, 1 Tbs. lemon juice, 1 tsp. garlic powder, and salt to taste. Mix well.
  4. When ready to eat, fill tortilla with chicken, sauce, slices of tomato, red onion and cucumber. Serve.

D. Gourmet grilled cheese with tomato soup shooter

This is a bit of a cheat dish. You can get the sandwiches ready, but I wouldn’t recommend grilling them until you are about to eat them.

  1. Cook the bacon according to package directions and your preferred done-ness.
  2. Slice green apple and mix with approx. 1 tsp. lemon juice so it won’t brown.
  3. Butter two pieces of bread.
  4. Place approx. 2 slices of cheese, 3 slices of bacon, and 3 slices of apple on a piece of bread, butter-side out. Place filling between the slices of cheese to keep from slipping. Cover with other piece of bread to make a sandwich, buttered sides out.
  5. When ready to eat, melt scant amount of butter in a grill pan (enough to coat pan). Grill for approx. 1-1.5 minutes on the first side, flip, and grill for an additional 30-45 seconds on the second side.
  6. Warm the tomato soup. Serve each sandwich with a small shooter of tomato soup (for dipping).
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About wordlytraveler

I am a simply a girl with a head full of ideas. I love reading blogs. I love traveling. Cooking. The beach. Stuff Kids say. Speech Therapy. Running. Yoga. God. DIY Projects. Painting. Books, especially children's books. You will find all of this and more on my blog. I hope to write every week, at least September-May. I welcome your feedback. Thanks for reading!
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