Dinner Menu: Santa Fe Wraps

I know this late, but I got hit with a nasty bug and about all I could accomplish this week was work. The cold weather has stayed around longer than they predicted, though except for a day, it was nothing like anywhere else was experiencing.

I thought about doing soup for the menu tonight, but I’m tired of cold weather food (sigh, and it’s only January) so I decided to go for something that seemed a little fresher. I was in the store and passed by the flavored tortillas: sun dried tomato basil; jalapeno cheddar; garlic herb; and spinach and knew what I wanted to do. These are extra large and I really like the flavors. I like this recipe for company, you can make it all ahead of time, keep it warm and put it on the table and let everyone assemble their own.

On the board tonight:

  1. Santa Fe Wraps
  2. Salad w/Creamy Cucumber Dressing
  3. Grapes

Santa Fe Wraps

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 14 oz can black beans
  • 14 oz can red beans
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb sirloin or London broil, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 red pepper*
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 12 oz shredded Jack Cheese
  • 4-8 burrito size flour tortillas (maybe try a flavored style)

2 saucepans, skillet and 4 serving bowls

In saucepan, add rice, 2 cups water and bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until all water is absorbed. In other saucepan, add beans & heat on med-low until heated through. In 300° oven, place tortilla shells between two pieces of foil and warm. In skillet, heat oil, sauté onion & pepper add steak, cook 5 minutes, reduce heat & add tomatoes, taco seasoning and cook 5 minutes on medium. Put rice, beans, cheese and meat mixture in separate serving bowls, let everyone assemble their own wrap at the table.

*There are a lot of peppers at my grocers, so go wild, use a couple of different colors for some added flavor.

Also, please note my friend who lived in Santa Fe says it needs green chilis to be authentic.

Salad w/Creamy Cucumber Dressing

  • 12 oz bag spring greens
  • ½ head green leaf lettuce
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced

serving bowl

Mix all ingredients together in serving bowl.

Dressing:

  • 8 oz plain yogurt (low fat ok)
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled & chopped (seeded opt)**
  • ¼ Miracle Whip style salad dressing or mayonnaise
  • 4 green onions, chopped (or use the remaining yellow onion)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp dried dill
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

small bowl

Mix ingredients together and toss with salad greens.  **I really like the English cucumbers (those are the long, thin ones, usually wrapped in plastic).

Shopping List:

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 14 oz can black beans
  • 14 oz can red beans
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb sirloin or London broil
  • 1 red pepper (don’t stop there, add a yellow and orange, too)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 12 oz shredded Jack Cheese
  • 4-8 burrito size flour tortillas (be daring, try a flavored one)
  • green chilis, opt.
  • 12 oz bag spring greens
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 8 oz plain yogurt (low fat ok)
  • 2 cucumbers (I like English)
  • 4 green onions (or use the remaining yellow onion)

Also: Miracle Whip style salad dressing or mayonnaise, lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper, dill

cropped-sakura.jpg

Thursday Night Menu: First Day of Fall Edition

Happy first day of autumn. According to my sources summer officially ended yesterday at 10:55 pm MDT. Sigh. I’ve pulled out the sweaters, but have not put away the shorts. JeffW updated us on Homer yesterday. His cast has been removed. No word yet on his permanent placement.  But more cute pix.

On to dinner. This is not a very fall oriented menu, I’ll get to those in later weeks.  This menu is a quick and flavorful stir-fry of no particular origin. If you can’t find the broad rice noodles, whatever you like will do just fine. I like the broad ones because they hold the sauce and lots of sesame seeds. I keep sesame seeds around like salt and pepper, so I add that at the table and it’s a nice touch to both the carrots and beef dish.  The yogurt and pineapple provide a cool finish.

On the board tonight:

  1. Spicy Beef & Broccoli
  2. Rice Noodles (broad style)
  3. Sweet & Sour Carrots
  4. Crushed pineapple and vanilla yogurt

Spicy Beef & Broccoli

  • 1 lb sirloin or London broil, sliced very thin (easiest to do if slightly frozen)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp ground ginger or 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ cup or more of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 cups broccoli crowns
  • ½ cup Spanish peanuts

large skillet or wok

Heat 1 tbsp of oil and sauté onions, peppers,  fresh ginger and garlic quickly. Add more oil as needed, add beef and stir quickly until beef is cooked through. Combine red pepper flakes, cornstarch, soy sauce, broth, honey, and mix well. Add to meat, bring to boil, reduce heat and let simmer 5 minutes. Add broccoli crowns, cover and steam for 2 to 3 more minutes (you want broccoli bright green, but still slightly crisp). Toss with peanuts. Serve over rice noodles.

Sweet & Sour Carrots

  • 16 oz pkg. sliced frozen carrots
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 green onions, sliced

small skillet or wok and small bowl

Mix ½ cup broth with cornstarch, vinegar, sugar and set aside.

Heat remaining broth, add carrots and onions, cook until carrots are tender, yet crisp. Add cornstarch mix, heat to quick boil, stirring constantly until sauce thickens and then remove from heat.

Shopping list:

  • 1 lb sirloin or London broil
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 tsp ground ginger or 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 16 oz broccoli crowns
  • 4 oz Spanish peanuts
  • 16 oz pkg. sliced frozen carrots
  • 16 oz chicken broth
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 16 oz vanilla yogurt
  • Fresh crushed pineapple
  • Rice noodles

Also: red wine vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch, olive oil, soy sauce, crushed garlic, honey, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds (opt)

Mystery Meals

I shun plastic whenever possible.  So my meats, poultry and fish are wrapped in foil in the freezer.  I think it keeps them better than plastic bags, less freezer burn, etc.  Now this poses a problem, mainly identification.  There are many ways to solve this – freezer pens, freezer tape, segregation.  The latter is what I’ve always done.  I just have everything separated and I can reach in and grab a wrapped package and know if it’s chicken breasts or ribeye.

Or at least I could.  Something happened this week.  I’m blaming it on a capricious freezer fairy.  But I have reached in, grabbed a foil wrapped package, put it in the refrigerator to thaw, unwrapped it and WTF?!   Chicken thighs turned out to be chicken breasts, not that big of a deal.  Hamburger turned out to be small piece of sirloin.  A little more challenging.

Tonight I thought for sure I had it right.  Boneless chicken thighs.  I was going to slice them up, stir fry them with some green onions, garlic and Ponzu sauce and serve with brown rice.  Yummy and easy.

My chicken thighs?  London broil.  Luckily it was still slightly frozen, so I could slice it thin without too much effort and then I prepared it just as I would have the thighs.  Whole different flavor, but what the heck, I’m always up for a little adventure in cooking.

Tomorrow?  I’m still searching for those boneless chicken thighs.  This time I”m sure I have it right.  BBQ and garlic mash potatoes.  Or not.

BTW, sliced up the tomato today and it was awesome.  Can’t wait for the real harvest.

Sweet Ginger Beef & Snow Peas

Picked up some Sweet Ginger Sauce at the Asian Market and made one of my favorite quick stir-frys.  If you can’t find a Sweet Ginger Sauce, you can substitute just about any stir-fry sauce of your choosing. I really like snow peas in any form and can’t wait for them to be fresh from the garden.  Serve with jasmine rice for a nice change.

Sweet Ginger Beef & Snow Peas

  • 1 lb sirloin or London broil or skirt steak, sliced thin*
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz snow peas
  • ½ cup sweet ginger sauce

wok or skillet

Heat oil in skillet, add beef and stir fry for 3-5 minutes, push to sides, add more oil if needed and stir-fry snow peas until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add sauce, stir in beef and peas until completely coated. Cook 1 minute or until heated through.  Serve over rice.

*easiest to do if the beef is slightly frozen

If you want to make your own Sweet Ginger Sauce, you can mix together ½ cup soy sauce, 2 tbsp or more of minced ginger, 1 tbsp honey, 1/2 tsp crushed garlic, 1 tbsp white wine or rice vinegar and ½ tsp cornstarch or arrow root. Mix well and heat until thickened – it’s not quite as good, but it’ll do.

Thursday Night Menu: Santa Fe Wraps

The weather is nice, the days are longer, so something simple and fresh appealed to me. I was in the store this last weekend and saw that once again they were carrying flavored tortillas: sun dried tomato basil; jalapeno cheddar; garlic herb; and spinach. These are extra large and I really like the flavors. So all of that is what inspired me to put together this menu.

On the board tonight:

  1. Santa Fe Wraps
  2. Salad w/Creamy Cucumber Dressing
  3. Grapes

Santa Fe Wraps

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 14 oz can black beans
  • 14 oz can red beans
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb sirloin or London broil, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 red pepper*
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 12 oz shredded Jack Cheese
  • 4-8 burrito size flour tortillas (maybe try a flavored style)

2 saucepans, skillet and 4 serving bowls

In saucepan, add rice, 2 cups water and bring to a boil, cover, simmer for 20 minutes until all water is absorbed. In other saucepan, add beans & heat on med-low. In 300° oven, place tortilla shells between two pieces of foil and warm. In skillet, heat oil, sauté onion & pepper add steak, cook 5 minutes, reduce heat & add tomatoes, taco seasoning and cook 5 minutes on medium. Put rice, beans, cheese and meat mixture in separate serving bowls, let everyone assemble their own wrap at the table.

*There are a lot of peppers at my grocers, so go wild, use a couple of different colors for some added flavor.

Also, please note my friend who lived in Santa Fe says it needs green chilis to be authentic.

Salad w/Creamy Cucumber Dressing

  • 12 oz bag spring greens
  • ½ head green leaf lettuce
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced

serving bowl

Mix all ingredients together in serving bowl.

Dressing:

  • 8 oz plain yogurt (low fat ok)
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled & chopped (seeded opt)**
  • ¼ Miracle Whip style salad dressing or mayonnaise
  • 4 green onions, chopped (or use the remaining yellow onion)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp dried dill
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

small bowl

Mix ingredients together and toss with salad greens.  **I really like the English cucumbers (those are the long, thin ones, usually wrapped in plastic).

Shopping List:

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 14 oz can black beans
  • 14 oz can red beans
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb sirloin or London broil
  • 1 red pepper (don’t stop there, add a yellow and orange, too)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 12 oz shredded Jack Cheese
  • 4-8 burrito size flour tortillas (be daring, try a flavored one)
  • green chilis, opt.
  • 12 oz bag spring greens
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 8 oz plain yogurt (low fat ok)
  • 2 cucumbers (I like English)
  • 4 green onions (or use the remaining yellow onion)

Also: Miracle Whip style salad dressing or mayonnaise, lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper, dill