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

• 01 May 2012

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 sauteéd 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 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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