Thursday, February 21, 2013

Griddle Me Good

Ditch the oven and get out your griddle for an easy way to prepare meals in a flash!

RATING KEY:          Jenni, Picky-Eater Husband, Fickle Toddler
*** = great, ** = good, * = okay


Yogurt and Berry Parfaits
Servings: 4   Prep Time: ~10 minutes + sitting overnight
   1/4 cup Sliced Almonds
   1/4 cup Chopped Walnuts
   1 cup Nonfat Plain Yogurt
   1 cup Nonfat Milk
   2 tablespoons Honey
   1 cup Quick Oats
   1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
   2 cups Frozen Mixed Berries
Directions: Toast the nuts in a dry skillet over a medium heat until golden and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, milk, honey, oats, and vanilla. Divide the oat mixture evenly among 4 small dishes or parfait glasses. Top each with a half cup of berries, then 2 tablespoons of nuts. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
Balsamic Mushroom Omelet
Servings: 4   Prep Time: ~40 minutes
   1 teaspoon Olive Oil
   8 oz. Sliced Mushrooms
   Salt and Pepper
   1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
   8 Large Eggs
   4 slices American Cheese, halved into triangles
Directions: Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until mushroom liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and cook an additional 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Beat 2 eggs, season with salt and pepper and pour into skillet. When eggs are almost set (about 5 minutes), arrange two cheese triangles over half of eggs in skillet.  Spoon 1/4 of the mushrooms on top of the cheese.  Once cheese is melted, use a rubber spatula to fold the omelet in half and slide it out of the skillet and onto a plate.  Repeat with remaining eggs, cheese, and mushrooms.


BBQ Chicken Salad
Servings: 4   Prep Time: ~10 minutes
   4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Filets, about 1 lb.
   1/2 cup bottled Barbecue Sauce
   Tortilla Chips
   Romaine Lettuce, chopped
   1 cup Frozen Corn, thawed
   1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
   1 tablespoon Chives, chopped
   1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
Directions: Heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees. Pat chicken dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. Cook chicken on griddle about 3 minutes per side or to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Slice chicken into strips and mix with barbecue sauce in a medium bowl. Arrange tortilla chips around the perimeter of 4 dinner plates. Top with lettuce, corn, chicken, cheese and chives and drizzle with Ranch dressing.

Chicken, Bacon, and Guacamole Sandwiches
Servings: 4   Prep Time: ~15 minutes
   4 Whole-Wheat Sandwich Rolls
   4 slices Bacon 

   4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Filets, about 1 lb.   
   4 slices Swiss Cheese
   1/2 cup Prepared Guacamole
Directions: Heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees. Split sandwich rolls in half and place cut side down on griddle to toast, 1-2 minutes. Set rolls aside and cook bacon on griddle until crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and cut slices in half. Pat chicken dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. Cook chicken on griddle about 3 minutes per side or to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Serve chicken on rolls topped with cheese, bacon, and guacamole. 


Rich & Creamy Beef Stew
Servings: 6   Prep Time: ~1 hour, 10 minutes
   1 lb. Stew Beef
   2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
   1 packet Dried Onion Soup
   12-14 small New Potatoes
   1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
   1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
   8 oz. Whole Mushrooms
   1 cup Sherry or Marsala
   Chives, optional
Directions: Heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees. Brown meat about 4 minutes, turning once. Meanwhile, add remaining ingredients to a large pot along with two soup cans full of water and bring to a boil. Add cooked beef and reduce to a simmer. Cook 1 hour or until meat is tender and potatoes are cooked. Garnish with chives, if using.
Source: My mother-in-law :)

Chicken Parmesan with Basil Mashed Potatoes
Servings: 6   Prep Time: ~40 minutes
   2 cups fresh Basil leaves, lightly packed
   2 pounds large Yukon Gold Potatoes
   6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breat Filets, about 1 1/2 lbs.
   Salt and Pepper
   1/2 of a 28 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes
   3 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
   1 clove Garlic, minced
   1 cup Nonfat Milk
   1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
    3/4 cup Bread Crumbs
   1/4 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
   1/4 cup Shredded Provolone
Directions: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and fill a bowl with ice water. Add all but 1/4 cup of the basil leaves to the boiling water and cook for exactly 15 seconds. Remove the basil with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge the leaves into the ice water to set the bright green color. Peel the potatoes and cut them in quarters. Add the potatoes to the same pot of boiling water and return to a boil. Cook the potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, until very tender. Drain potaoes well, return to the pot, and steam over low heat until any remaining water evaporates. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese until the milk simmers. Drain the basil and place in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree. Add the hot milk mixture and process until smooth. With a potato masher, break up the hot potatoes in the pot. Add the hot basil milk, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and beat with a handheld mixer until smooth. Meanwhile, heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees. Pat chicken dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. Cook chicken on griddle about 3 minutes per side or to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Finely chop remaining 1/4 cup of basil. In a large skillet over medium heat, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup Parmesan, 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil, garlic, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Add cooked chicken to skillet and cover with sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan, mozzarella, and provolone. Cover with lid and cook until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine breadcrumbs with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 2 tablespoons basil. Sprinkle over chicken and serve with basil mashed potatoes.

Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish with Broccoli and Mashed Root Vegetables
Servings: 4   Prep Time: ~30 minutes
   1 Turnip, peeled and cubed
   3 large Carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
   Salt and pepper
   1 lb. Broccoli Crowns
   2 tablespoons Butter
   A splash of Milk
   1/4 cup Yellow Cornmeal
   1 tablespoon Paprika
   1 teaspoon ground Cumin
   4 Catfish fillets (8 ounces each), rinsed and patted dry
   Lemon wedges and Tartar Sacue for serving (optional)
Directions: Place turnip, carrots, and 1 tablespoon of salt in the bottom of a large pot fitted with a steamer basket and fill with water until it just covers the vegatables. Cover and bring to a boil.  After the pot has come to a boil, place broccoli in the steamer basket, attach to pot and cover. Steam broccoli until tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove lid and steamer basket and continue to cook turnips and carrots until fork tender about 15 more minutes.
Drain turnips and carrots and return to pot. Add butter and milk, and mash with a hand mixer to desired consistancy. Heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees. In a shallow dish, mix together cornmeal, paprika, cumin, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Dredge fish in cornmeal mixture, turning to coat both sides. Cook catfish on griddle 6-8 minutes per side or to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce, if using.

Week-in-a-Day Strategies
Total Time: ~1 hour, 30 minutes
  1. Prepare RICH & CREAMY BEEF STEW according to the recipe.
  2. Cook 4 slices of bacon on the same griddle about 3 minutes per side until crispy. Drain on paper towels and store.
  3. Pat dry 14 chicken breast filets and season both sides with salt and pepper. Cook chicken on same griddle in 3 batches, 3 minutes per side to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Store chicken.
  4. While the chicken cooks, prepare the coating and dredge the fish according to the recipe for CORNMEAL CRUSTED CATFISH. Begin preparing basil and potatoes for BASIL MASHED POTATOES according to the recipe. 
  5. When chicken finishes, cook catfish on same griddle, 6-8 minutes per side or to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Store fish. 
  6. While fish cooks, prepare mushrooms for BALSAMIC MUSHROOM OMELETS and store.
  7. Wipe out saucepan with a paper towel and then use it to heat milk and parmesan for BASIL MASHED POTATOES. Finish potatoes according to recipe and store.
  8. Prepare BROCCOLI AND MASHED ROOT VEGETABLES accoring to recipe and store.
  9. While root vegetables cook, mix but don't heat tomato sauce for CHICKEN PARMESAN and store. Also mix and store the breadcrumb mixture.
  10. Prepare YOGURT AND BERRY PARFAITS according to the recipe.
Reheating Instructions: Serve YOGURT AND BERRY PARFAITS cold. Warm BALSAMIC MUSHROOMS in microwave before adding to omelet. Serve BBQ CHICKEN SALAD cold or warm chicken in microwave. Toast CHICKEN, BACON AND GUACAMOLE SANDWICHES open-faced without guacamole in an oven/toaster oven. Microwave or heat CORNMEAL CRUSTED CATFISH in an oven/toaster oven. Everything else can be microwaved.

Disclaimer: Saving money is not one of my strengths. Suggestions are encouraged!
*Spices excluded.

$   .60     Sliced Almonds, 1/4 cup ($3.59/6 oz.)
$   .60     Diamond Chopped Walnuts, 1/4 cup ($4.79/8 oz)
$ 1.35     Chobani Greek Yogurt Plain Non Fat, 6 oz.
$   .84     Organic Fat Free Milk, 1 cup ($ 6.69/1 gallon)
$   .34     Aunt Sue's Raw Honey, 2 tablespoons ($7.49/32 oz.)
$   .25     Quick Cook Oats, 1 cup ($3.79/42 oz.)
$ 2.99     Organic Frozen Mixed Berries, 2 cups
$ 6.97     ($1.74/serving)

$   .05     Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 teaspoon ($13.99/51 oz.)
$ 1.00     Sliced Mushrooms, 8 oz.
$   .13     Balsamic Vinegar, 1 tablespoon ($3.99/16 oz.)
$ 2.33     Large Eggs with Omega-3, 8 ($ 3.49/dozen)
$   .72     American Cheese, 4 slices ($4.29, 24 ct)
$ 4.23     ($1.06/serving)

$ 2.99     Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, 1 lb.
$   .77     Bull's-Eye Barbecue Sauce, 1/2 cup ($2.69/18 oz.)
$   .91     Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, 4 oz. ($4.99/22 oz.)
$ 5.99     Organic Romaine Lettuce, 12 oz.
$   .53     Frozen Corn, 1 cup ($1.50/16 oz)
$   .63     Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese, 1/2 cup ($2.50/8 oz.)
$   .88     Ranch Dressing, 1/2 cup ($5.29/24 oz.)
$12.70    ($2.12/serving)

$ 1.23     Martin's Whole Wheat Potato Sandwich Rolls, 4 ($3.69/12 ct)
$   .74     Reduced Sodium Bacon, 4 slices ($3.33/16 oz.)
$ 2.99     Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, 1 lb. 
$ 1.24     Sliced Swiss Cheese, 4 slices ($3.09/8 oz.)
$ 2.00     Wholly Guacamole, 1/2 cup ($3.99, 14 oz)
$ 8.20     ($2.05/serving)

$ 6.99     Beef Stew Meat Boneless Top Round, 1 lb.
$ 2.30     Cream of Mushroom Soup, 2 cans ($1.15/can)
$ 1.50     Lipton Dried Onion Soup, 1 packet
$ 1.66     Yukon Gold Potatoes, 1 lb. ($4.99/3 lbs.)
$   .11     Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce, 1 tablespoon ($3.29/15 oz.)
$   .15     Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce ($4.29/15 oz.)
$ 1.00     8 oz. Whole Mushrooms
$ 1.76     Marsala Cooking Wine, 1 cup ($3.59/16 oz.)
$15.47    ($2.58/serving)

$ 2.99     Basil, 2 cups
$ 3.33     Yukon Gold Potatoes, 2 lbs. ($4.99/3 lbs.)
$ 4.49     Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, 1 1/2 lbs. ($2.99/lb)
$   .50     Crushed Tomatoes, 14 oz. 
$   .42     Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 3 tablespoons ($13.99/51 oz.)
$   .05     Garlic, 1 clove ($0.50/head)
$   .84     Organic Fat Free Milk, 1 cup ($ 6.69/gallon)
$ 1.60     BelGioioso Parmesan Cheese Chunk, 1 cup ($ 8.99/16 oz.)
$   .27     Bread Crumbs, 3/4 cup ($2.00/24 oz.)
$   .31     1/4 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese 2.5
$   .31     1/4 cup Shredded Provolone 2.5
$15.12    ($2.52/serving)

$   .50     Turnips, 1 ($1.49/lb.)

$   .40     Carrots, 3 ($1.19/lb.)
$   .88     1 lb. Broccoli Crowns
$   .29     Land O' Lakes Unsalted Butter, 2 tablespoons ($ 4.69/1 lb.)
$   .05     Organic Fat Free Milk, 1 tablespoon ($ 6.69/gallon)
$   .13     Quaker Yellow Corn Meal , 1/4 cup ($2.49/24 oz.)
$ 7.10     4 Catfish fillets (8 ounces each), rinsed and patted dry
$   .34     Lemon, 1 ($2.99/2 lb.)
$   .80     Tartar Sacue, 4 oz.($1.59/8 oz.)
$10.49    ($2.62/serving) 


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