5.01.2012

Menu of the Week: Featuring Simple Homemade Thai + Easy Pizza



Last week was a good week for eating!  I managed to use my time better than usual and was able to squeeze in more time on most afternoons/early evenings to prepare nice dinners for my family.  It also helped that my husband was actually able to make it home for dinner almost all of those nights, which further motivated me to cook nice food!  Sometimes I'd call him late afternoon to find out what his evening was looking like, just so I knew if I should make something nicer or if I should resort to pancakes for dinner :)

Here is our menu of the week, along with some notes for your meal planning purposes.  I cooked six nights--four of which were vegetarian meals--and we ate out at a local Mexican place the other night (although we are still on the hunt for good Mexican here in Seattle!):  

Mustard Roasted Chicken with Vegetables - I like this meal when I have salad and a crusty bread on hand.  It's a very healthy meal and is the sole reason why I buy Maille Whole Grain Mustard.

Parmesan Risotto with Peas and Roasted Cauliflower - Every couple of months we pick up a big bag of frozen peas at Costco so I'm always looking for ways to incorporate them into our meals; hence the addition here.  This classic Martha recipe is a great basic to build upon--you could really have fun experimenting with different accompaniments. This particular time I added some roasted cauliflower for added substance (something I try to pay attention to when preparing vegetarian meals) and boy was it good together.  I'll definitely make this again.

Homemade Pizza Margherita - Trader Joe's fresh pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella di bufala (Costco has the best deal on fresh mozz) and fresh basil...super simple and definitely a kid-pleaser.  Serve with a garden salad and some fresh fruit to round out the meal.

Wild Salmon encrusted with Panko and Carmelized Leeks, Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Cauliflower, Fresh Pineapple - I admit I kind of made this up based on what we had.  First I sliced and saute├ęd the leeks in a little butter.  Then I mixed them with some panko and a teensy bit of olive oil.  After salting and peppering the salmon generously, I spread the panko-leek mixture on top and then baked it in my oven.  I'll make it again and write down the recipe this time!  Note that you're in for some great leftovers the next day too.  I made myself a salmon salad sandwich on sprouted bread with pea shoots, sliced avocado and gray sea salt.  As a stay-at-home mom, I always appreciate great leftovers.  Anything but pb&j!

Thai Beef Salad with Steamed Jasmine Rice and Fresh Fruit - I'll be honest...my kids didn't really go for this one, but the husband sure ate it up!  I think next time I'll add a little more beef for the husband, since a salad is the main dish and all, and go a little easier on the dressing.  I might've drowned it a little too much this time :)  Also, I'll make it on one of those nights where we feed the kids something super simple and then enjoy a later dinner together, just the two of us, once he's home from work.

Bean Tostadas with Roasted Vegetables - I wanted to love this, but ended up feeling kind of "meh" about it.  However, that could be because I didn't use the best kind of corn tortillas or refried beans or something.  I'm going to give it one more go this summer when most of the ingredients are fresh at the farmer's market and also use a better brand of tortillas.  I've just got to give it one more go...

More "menu of the week" posts for additional ideas and recipes.

If you've made anything you'd like to share, please do!

image 1 - Ngoc Minh Ngo for Real Simple  /  image 2 - Aya Brackett for Real Simple  /  image 3 - moi  /  image 4 - Leo Gong, photographer; Robyn Valarik, stylist; Sunset  /  image 5 - via Martha Stewart

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13 comments:

Bernice said...

Try El Gallito on Madison for good Mexican.

Amber said...

I'm laughing at your pancake comment, we eat breakfast at least one night a week when my husband works late, last night it was french toast and smoothies. I've been loving the Thai cooking blog SheSimmers.com her recipe for Pad Thai is the best recipe out there, It's even better than our favorite Thai restaurant, it's so good that instead of Friday pizza night, we now have Friday night Pad Thai! The kids eat it up, and I love it. Her homemade Satay sauce is delicious too.

Carlye Ignatenko said...

I make Mexican pizzas all of the time at home, and I've realized that Amy's Organic refried black beans are the most important ingredient. Try them next time & you'll be an addict!

Liz said...

love these recipe posts!
looks so yum. your family is so lucky to get such a variety!
that pizza idea is a staple round here. we definitely do LOTS of non-dad-home meals round here...pancakes, TONS of mexican (you can make everyone happy with different versions of it!), noodles.
which local mexican joint? we, too, are in dire need of a good seattle mex place!

Kathleen Dames said...

Save us at-home moms from pb&j! Do you ever double the pizza dough recipe? With five of us, I usually make four cups of flour worth of dough.

Mary said...

Looks like another good menu, and I think it's time for me to try another risotto recipe. My kids haven't liked it in the past, but try try again, right? I love that it seems like you're trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into your menus - I'm doing the same thing, and I'm always on the lookout for new ideas, especially ones that are kid-friendly.

ps - We tried the poached eggs in tomato sauce with chickpeas last week and LOVED it! That one is a keeper for sure.

Stephanie said...

Berenice, thanks for the rec! I would love to try it.

Amber, I'll check out that blog--love the idea of it already.

Carlye, do you find that brand at Whole Foods?

Liz, it's one in my neighborhood--wanted to like it but alas it just isn't that good. Only their homemade salsa is worth buying :(

Kathleen, I haven't doubled it, but I have made two batches, in separate bowls. I don't like to mess with yeast you know?

Mary, my kids love rice and love pasta, but risotto isn't their favorite either. I keep trying though...and also make sure I have lots of bread, salad and fruit that night for them to fill up on. It seems so kid-friendly to me...anyway. So happy you like that chickpea recipe...I'm thrilled with the discovery myself!

Jen said...

love how you talk about just pancakes for dinner - last night we had pumpkin waffles and poached eggs! we are all thankfully on the same page about eggs {my son just got on board} so one more night is easier...i still make up to three different dinners in one night sometimes though....blerg....that chicken looks awesome - might appeal to three out of four instead of just two {yeah!!}. love your recipes!

Carrie said...

More Mexican in Seattle recommendations:

Cactus - SLU or Madison Park
Carta de Oaxaca in Ballard (go early to beat the lines)
El Camino in Fremont (plantain chips!)
Matador in Ballard (this one is 21+ - no kids allowed).

Stephanie said...

Carrie, thanks for the recs! I've been to all of them but Cactus in Madison Park. May have to give it a go!

Whits said...

Yes, you must try Catcus -- get the navajo fry bread -- so delicious!

Amy said...

This is great -- trying hard to incorporate more vegetarian meals.

Lexi said...

The Risotto and pizza both sound amazing -- must try! And I love pancakes for dinner!
♡ Lexi
FASHION: Glitter & Pearls
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