Monday, November 10, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Mixed Bag

I'm trying really hard this week to keep from skipping back to the grocery store for an item or two. I think that's one of the ways we can "nickel and dime" ourselves to death. So, with that in mind, here is this week's menu. Recipes are below the menu for those items marked with a *.


Lasagna made with homemade noodles and smoked sausage(small pan of veggie for Johnny & me)
Steamed snap peas
Garden salads


Roast Beef (from meat given to us a few weeks ago)
Potatoes roasted with beef
Cauliflower & broccoli smothered in cheese


*Roast Beef Pita Tostadas (Bean tostadas for Johnny and me)*
Garden Salads


Pizza & Pop Night


*Vegetable Cheese Chowder (corn for us)*
Garlic toast
Applesauce or Apple pie (depending on my mood that day)


BBQ ribs (from meat given us - we don't buy this stuff!)
Green beans
Homemade bread or rolls


On your own


Roast Beef Pita Tostadas

2 cups shredded and already cooked roast beef
1 Tbsp. butter OR oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3-4 Tbsp. salsa
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 whole pita breads (recipe below)
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 avocado, sliced (opt.)
1/4 cup sour cream (opt.)
additional salsa as desired
2 tomatoes, cut in wedges
8 ripe olives

In a large fring pan over high heat, melt butter OR warm oil. Add roast beef, onion, salsa, and spices and cook until the onion is tender. To warm pita breads, wrap in a damp towel and heat in 350 F oven for 10-15 minutes. Be very careful to not let towel touch anything that might ignite it. To assemble each serving, place a whole pita bread on each plate. Top with a quarter of the lettuce, meat mixture, avocado, sour cream, and salsa. Garnish with tomato and olives. 4 servings.

Pita Bread

1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 Tbsp. honey
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
oil as needed
yellow cornmeal as needed

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over water. Stir in honey and let stand 5 minutes. Beat in 1 3/4 cups flour. Beat vigorously until bubbles form. Beat in salt and remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Turn out onto floured surface and knead, adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic (5 min.) Form into smooth ball and place in oiled bowl. Turn to coat all surfaces, cover with towel, and let rises in warm place until doubled (about 1 hour.)

Punch dough down, cover, and let rise a second time until doubled in bulk. Punch down, knead briefly and divide into 10 pieces. Knead each piece briefly and form into a ball. Cover with towel and let rise 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Keeping remaining dough covered, roll 1 ball at a time into a 6 inch circle about 1/8 inch thick and place on surface lightly dusted with cornmeal. Cover with towel and repeat with remaining balls.

When first 2 circles have rested 10 minutes, quickly transfer to oven and bake for 5-8 minutes directly on the floor of the oven or on a heavy baking sheet on the lowest oven rack, until pita breads are golden and puff. Remove to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining circles, baking 2 at a time. Makes 10 breads.

Vegetable cheese Chowder

3 cups chicken broth OR 3 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 3 cups hot water
1 cup fnely chopped potato
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
3 cups (12 oz.) shredded sharp American or mild cheddar cheese
Dash pepper
1 Tbsp. minced parsley

Pour chicken broth or bouillon into pot. Heat on stove burner over medium high heat until a boil is reached (about 4 min.) To heated broth, add potato, carrot, celery, onion, green pepper and butter. Transfer to slow cooker and cover the pot. Cook at high for 1 1/2 hours. In small bowl, combine milk and flour; mix until smooth. Stir slowly into hot vegetable broth. Add cheese, pepper and parsley. Stir until thickened (about 6-8 min.) Reduce heat to low to hold for serving. Makes 6-8 servings.

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