Thursday, March 31, 2011

Week 3: Lenten Menus

So week 3 is already over.  I can't believe we are this far in.  So far, pretty good.  We do not eat as much as I originally thought, so we have had quite a few leftover nights.  But that's ok because we are using up our food, throwing less away, eating healthier and NOT EATING OUT!

Last week, our menu consisted of the following:

Black Bean Soup with Avocado (pretty yummy)
Curried Pumpkin Soup (also quite good)

(Recipes here.)

Then the week consisted of the following:

Sirloin Chili  
(delicious!, but too spicy for picky littles)

2 pounds sirloin, cut into ½-inch strips
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1½ teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 cups beef broth
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
2 15 ounce cans of Ranch beans
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Flour tortillas
1 red onion, chopped
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup cilantro, chopped

[1] Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add sirloin strips and season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on all sides, remove the meat from the pan, and drain any accumulated fat.
[2] Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the pot and add the onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, paprika, and brown sugar, stirring until the onions begin to soften and the spices become aromatic, about 7 minutes.
[3] Stir in the beef broth, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in the meat
and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for at least 1⁄2 hour, longer if you have time. Fold in the beans and add salt and pepper to taste.
[4] Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm in the oven or wrap in a damp paper towel in the microwave to heat.
[5] To serve, top chili with red onion, cheese, and cilantro.
If your kids won’t eat chili, make them cheese quesadillas.
For extra protein, add a little sirloin from the chili.

Rotisserie Barbecue Ribs from Costco
Fridays are always a busy night. :)

Father Daughter Cherry Blossom Ball
so the big girls had dinner out with Daddy

Sunday - FEAST DAY
Birthday Celebration for Jack with the Blue Oven Bakery Crew.

Southwestern Chicken Soup 
(also very yummy, but not spicy enough AND we REALLY like avocado!)

3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
⅔ cup green pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 jalapeño, seed and minced
1 15-ounce can chicken broth
1 15-ounce can hominy, drained
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 teaspoons chili powder (SURPRISE I was out of chili powder, so I tried to improvise)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 avocado, diced
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
cooking spray

[1] Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, pepper garlic and jalapeño, cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add chicken and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes.
[2] Add broth, hominy, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
[3] Serve in warm bowls garnished with avocado and cilantro.


MORE Leftovers (we really needed to eat up) :)

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