Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Meal Planner Monday

Wow, January is off to a depressing start. I was visiting a dying neighbor in the hospital yesterday and I have a funeral to go to today. Not exactly the most uplifting start to the year, but it certainly makes you realize how lucky you are to have health and happiness.

Deep Sigh

Here's to a happy new year! How about some meals?

Meal 1

1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons chile paste (such sambal oelek)
10 garlic cloves, minced
12 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Combine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, chile paste, and garlic, stirring until honey dissolves. Pour vinegar mixture into a zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally. Remove chicken from bag, reserving marinade.
2. Preheat oven to 425°.
3. Place reserved marinade in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes or until syrupy, stirring occasionally. Place chicken on a rack coated with cooking spray, and place rack in a roasting pan. Baste chicken with reserved marinade; sprinkle evenly with salt. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes; baste. Bake an additional 10 minutes; baste. Discard remaining marinade. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until done. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Meal 2

4 chicken leg quarters
kosher salt
spray canola oil
3/4 – 1 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)

Line a sheet pan with foil. Set a rack in the pan. Set aside while you sear the chicken. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

inse and pat them dry the leg quarters . Sprinkle with a little kosher salt.

Set a nonstick pan on the stove over high heat and spray with a little canola oil. Let it heat up for a minute or two.When the pan is hot, drop in a few of the chicken leg quarters, skin-side down. You don’t want to crowd the pan (or your chicken will steam, not sear), so do this in a few batches.

Cook them on high like this for a few minutes, until the skin is nice and brown
When the skin is browned, transfer the chicken to your prepared pan. Repeat with the rest of the chicken. When all your chicken is browned cover each piece of chicken on all sides with barbecue sauce. Bake 15 minutes
After about 15 minutesbrush with the remaining barbecue sauce, covering each piece on all sides again. Bake again at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes more, until they’re cooked through completely. (Your chicken should be in the oven for a total of 45-50 minutes.)

After 30-35 minutes, they should have a nice crust. If you’re a meat thermometer type, you want a reading of 165 degrees in the thickest part of the chicken (without touching a bone).

Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Meal 3


3 pounds cubed beef stew meat
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup baby carrots
4 large potatoes, cubed
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups boiling water
1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
3 tablespoons butter
3 onions, sliced
¼ beef broth
¼ cup warm water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


Place meat in a large plastic bag. Combine 1/4 cup flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt; pour into the bag with the meat, and shake to coat.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add stew meat, and cook until evenly browned on the outside. Transfer to a slow cooker along with the carrots, potatoes, parsley, and pepper. In a small bowl, stir together 2 cups of boiling water and dry soup mix; pour into the slow cooker.
In the same skillet, melt butter and saute onions until softened; remove to the slow cooker. Pour in beef broth and stir to loosen browned bits of food on the bottom. Remove from heat, and pour into the slow cooker.
Cover, and cook on High for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to Low, and cook for 6 hours, or until meat is fork tender. In a small bowl or cup, mix together 2 tablespoons flour with 1/4 cup warm water. Stir into stew, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, or until thickened.

Meal 4


1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 pork chops, 3/4-inch thick, bone-in
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup buttermilk
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


Put the flour in a shallow platter and add the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels to remove any moisture and then dredge them in the seasoned flour; shaking off the excess.
Heat a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is nice and hot, lay the pork chops in the pan in a single layer and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove the pork chops from the pan and add a little sprinkle of seasoned flour to the pandrippings. Mix the flour into the fat to dissolve and then pour in the chicken broth in. Let the liquid cook down for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly. Stir in the buttermilk to make a creamy gravy and return the pork chops to the pan, covering them with the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes until the pork is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Meal 5


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 (1 1/2 pound) round steak, cut into serving-size pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or as needed
1 (14 ounce) bottle ketchup
1 onion, chopped
2 cups warm water


Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Gently press the steak into the flour mixture to coat and shake off the excess flour.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the beef until brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove beef from skillet and drain excess oil. Stir the ketchup, onion, and water into the skillet, then add the meat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until tender, about 1 hour.
 Meal 6


3-4 tbsp of EVOO
2 (1 lb) boneless beef shoulder steaks (about 3/4 to 1-inch thick)
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tbsp of garlic, minced
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups tomatoes in tomato puree
5 tbsp of lemon juice
6 tbsp of ketchup
3 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
Sea salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. In a bowl combine the water, tomatoes in tomato puree, lemon juice, ketchup, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce until combined; set aside.
Season both steaks with salt and pepper.
Brown both sides of the steak in hot oil then remove to a plate.
Add in onion to the skillet and sauté for about 3 minutes until onions soften.
Add in garlic and crushed chili flakes and sauté for another minute.
Add the steaks back to the skillet and pour in the sauce over and around the meat.
Cover and simmer on low heat for about 1-1/2 hours or until meat is tender.
Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
Slice steak into strips, pour sauce over the steak and serve warm.

Grand Total: $66.83


Please leave a comment! I love to hear from you, but please forgive me if I don't get back to you right away, It's most likely I have a child climbing up my butt.