Week of January 19, 2015

I’m having one of those Sundays where I just don’t have the energy to get all creative with our meals this week, so I’m doing a bit of recycling — I’ve posted a few of these recipes before,  but that just means they’re tried and true! 🙂


Monday – Beet and arugula salad with salmon

Photo cred: Bon Appetit
Photo cred: Bon Appetit

I got this recipe from the Food Lover’s Cleanse and have only slightly adapted the original. I’m going to serve with a piece of grilled salmon to make it a bit more filling.

  • 1 bunch red beets
  • 3 cups arugula
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon
  • 2 ounces (¼ large) ounce avocado
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • Piece of grilled fish of your choice, like salmon
  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Toss beets with a drizzle of olive oil in a 13×9” baking dish; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add whatever herb you like and ¼ cup water. Cover pan tightly with foil (you want steam to build up in there) and roast beets until a paring knife slips easily through flesh, 60–75 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in covered pan, which will help loosen the skins. Rub off skins with paper towels.
  2. After beets have cooled, toss with arugula, quinoa, olive oil, and lemon. Top with avocado, sunflower seeds, and a piece of grilled fish.

 Tuesday – Chicken with squash purée

Photo cred: All recipes
Photo cred: All recipes

I’ve made this chicken before, remember? I’m going to leave out the limes this time, and serve with my own version of the Food Lover’s Cleanse-inspired squash purée.

For the chicken

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil

For the purée

  • 2-lb. squash (butternut, ideally) halved, seeds removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  1. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 425°. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with 1 Tbsp. oil. Season squash with salt and pepper and place, cut side down, on sheet along with garlic cloves. Roast on bottom rack until squash is tender, 45–50 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken. In a small bowl, mix together the spices for the chicken, and sprinkle generously on both sides of the breasts. Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until golden brown, about 6 minutes on each side.
  3. When the squash is done and cool enough to handle, peel garlic and scrape flesh from squash. Mash garlic and squash together in a large bowl. Add cumin, paprika, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday – Slow-cooked pernil

Photo cred: Skinny Taste
Photo cred: Skinny Taste

I didn’t even know what pernil was until two minutes ago when I went looking for ideas on what to do with a pork roast I bought on special and found this recipe. Turns out, “Pernil is a typical pork dish in the Latin Caribbean islands such as Puerto Rico and Cuba.” I will serve with tangy grilled broccoli. Yum!

For the pernil

  • 3 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • Juice of 2 limes

For the broccoli

  • 1 head broccoli, separated into florets
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Using a sharp knife, cut slits into the pork and stuff holes with half of the crushed garlic. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over pork. Place in the ceramic part of the crock pot, cover and refrigerate, turning pork occasionally so the marinade covers all of pork.
  2. The next day, remove the crock pot and cook on low, 8 hours. After 8 hours, remove pork and shred using two forks. Remove liquid from crock pot and add pork back to crock. Add about 1 cup of the liquid back and adjust salt, pepper and cumin (you will probably need to add more). Let it cook another 15-30 minutes.

For the broccoli

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl or Ziplock bag, mix together all ingredients. Shake well.
  3. Spread broccoli evenly on a cookie sheet and grill florets until they are tender enough to pierce the stems with a fork, about 15 minutes.

Thursday – Broccoli purée soup

Photo cred: Parade
Photo cred: Parade

We save all our broccoli stems after we’ve removed the florets to eat, and when we’ve amassed enough (4-6 stems, I’d say) JW makes the most wonderful, creamy purée. I’m not sure there’s really a recipe for this soup; I think JW just improvises every time he makes it. To make it a little bit heartier, I am going to ask him to add a few potatoes this time.

  • At least 4 broccoli stems, rougly chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Handful of small potatoes (like New or Fingerling), chopped into small cubes
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  1. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a stockpot. Sauté the garlic and onions until fragrant, only about a minute or two. Add the broccoli stems and potato cubes and cook until they begin to soften, stirring frequently to mix all the flavors.
  2. Add the broth. Bring to a rolling boil, then cover and reduce heat. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, or until the broccoli stems and potatoes are very soft. When done, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes before pulsing in a blender to purée.

Friday – Pasta with turkey meatballs

Photo cred:

JW was craving pasta as one of our meals this week, and I think I have a few turkey meatballs and sauce in our freezer (recipe below). Perfect for an easy, end-of-the-week meal.

Tomato Sauce Recipe

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves
  • 2 28oz cans of whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
  • Coarse Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan on low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to make sure garlic does not burn. Add 2 of the basil leaves and stir for 1 minute. Add in both cans of tomatoes with their juices and remaining basil leaves. Turn to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow sauce to simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and crush tomatoes with a wooden spoon.

Meatballs

  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup arugula, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • Leaves from 4 sprigs thyme
  • Leaves from 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  1. In a food processor, pulse onion, arugula, parsley, garlic, sage, basil, thyme and rosemary until finely chopped. In a bowl, combine onion-herb mixture with turkey, salt and pepper; mix with hands.
  2. Roll turkey mixture into about 12-16 golf ball-sized meatballs. In a large pot over low heat, warm tomato sauce. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Cook meatballs in skillet in batches, stirring, until browned, 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer meatballs to simmering sauce (recipe below); partially cover pot. Cook meatballs, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Serve over pasta.

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