What’s For Dinner Feb 13-19

I’m feeling a bit under the weather at the moment so I’ve planned next week’s menu to be full of easy to prepare family friendly staple meals.  Although it may seem a bit counter-intuitive I believe roasts are some of the easiest meals to make.  Just season a cut of meat (or a whole bird) and toss it into the hot oven.  A pan of roasted veg that cooks along side the main roast makes the rest of the meal a breeze too!   The only drawback to the roast dinner concept is the time it takes to make.  However, since most of that time is passive rather than active for the cook it’s really just a matter of planning to start dinner prep at an appropriately early hour so that dinner is ready for the family at your usual time (i.e. if you plan to eat around 6pm you may need to start the roast about 4pm – which admittedly is not usually the time I’m beginning dinner preparations.)Also note the two leftover meals incorporated into the week: Mexican Mess leftover from the girls Taco/Burrito experience on Saturday (if you recall from the previous week Kevin and I had a date night!)  Since the original meal was only eaten by the girls (which consisted of two tacos and one burrito) there were plenty of leftovers that we’ll all enjoy on Taco Tuesday…on a Tuesday!

And on Saturday I’m planning on NOT cooking.  I’ll probably make something for brekkie (this month’s Cooking Light is all about breakfast – the Dutch Baby with Strawberries and Pistachios is calling my name.  Shhhh! listen, “Eat me Jill…make me Paleo…then dig in to the eggy strawberry goodness…”), but cooking dinner…not so much.  We’ve been pretty good the last few weeks at eating on our schedule and I’ve noticed a reduction in spending and wasting groceries that we don’t need using our weekly meal plan.  However, we have an amazing amount of left overs!  Kevin’s lunches can’t keep up!  So a dinner of leftovers is definitely in order.

Monday – Since we don’t have any family activities we’re good to go for a quick(ish) Roast Dinner.  Roast Chicken – spatchcocked (get yer mind out of the gutter!) for quick cooking and seasoned with a maple bbq rub, and to be served along side: Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts and Red Onions.

Tuesday – Mexican Mess Beef Tacos.  And since Ella was disappointed with the lack of guacamole we’ll make sure to rectify the situation for Taco Tuesday.  BTW has anyone seen the Lego Batman Movie?  My girls are hoping for a cameo appearance from Princess UniKitty.  Perhaps she could be Robin’s Noble Steed?

Wednesday – We’ve really been enjoying Salad Daze!   This week’s recipe comes from the blog Natasha’s Kitchen.  Think Cobb Salad but with spiced sauteed shrimp instead of diced chicken.  I know, I know you’re saying “But Jill you made a whole roast chicken two days ago why not use the leftovers for a chicken Cobb?”  Well, check out Thursday and Kevin’s mad crazy cooking skillz!

Thursday – Chicken Pho from Cooking Light.  Instead of the boneless skinless breast being boiled up with the broth we’ll use leftover chicken.  Pho is a family favorite.  Jump in the way back with me momentarily and you’ll see why:

Before Georgia, Before England, Waaaaaay back when we lived in Maryland and our little family had just been blessed with a bouncing baby girl….Kevin and I used to meet for lunch on a semi regular basis.  One of our favorite places to meet up was Pho 54 in Laurel.  We used to use a straw to give our little baby bird (aka Ella) pho broth.  She gobbled it up.  And somehow Lucy managed to make it until about 14 before having pho.  But when she did I believe she said something along the lines of “Where has this been all my life!”.  Needless to say the Pho Cookbook is going on my wishlist.

Friday – Pizza Night – just the basics here.  Nothing fancy like Thai Pizza.  Did I mention I haven’t been feeling well.  We’ll see if I have the energy to attempt the cauliflower crust.  I might just declare this one of my non Paleo meals for the week.  80/20 baby!

Saturday – Leftover night.  We have steak, pasta.  What are you hungry for?  Tony Rydinger…?  Actually we’ll have Pho, Pizza and Possibly Tacos…on a Saturday.

Sunday – Roast Beef, Roast Potatoes, and Carrots, Baby Yorkies (I repeat 80/20 baby!)  Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals has a full on British Style Roast Dinner that can be made by Jamie Oliver in 30 minutes or less.  Us mere mortals may take slightly longer – but not too much longer.  My average for this meal is about 45 minutes.  We won’t be adding sugar to the carrots (madness they’re sweet enough already).   And the watercress salad, sadly, will be replaced with spring mix because finding watercress in easy to much bags is nearly impossible here in sunny Georgia.

Desserts – Plumble…Plum Fumble…Plum Fool and Crumble Topping.  Another one of our favorite British culinary experiences was our trips to River Cottage in Devon.  Pure culinary farm bliss…I think we went a total of 4 times because it was just soooooo good.  Anyway Hugh Fearlessly Eats-It-All….I mean Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall the man behind River Cottage came up with a dessert called a Fumble.  Part Fool.  Part Crumble.  All Deliciousness!  We’re making ours with plums instead of mulberries (as mulberry bushes are rather hard to find here).

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