Weekly Menu: February 26 – March 3, 2012
Sunday: Garlicky Red Lentil Soup
Monday: Grilled white fish with lemon sauce, rapini and brown rice
Tuesday: Leftovers: Soup
Wednesday: Blue cheese & spinach stuffed chicken with  roasted carrots & parsnips (DIY)
Thursday: Leftovers: stuffed chicken
Friday: Eat Out
Saturday: Easy Huevos Rancheros
This red lentil soup we're making on Sunday is one of our all-time favorites.  So simple but so yummy.  The recipe I've linked to looks almost exactly the same, except I would finely chop the carrot in the same size of the onion instead of slicing the carrot as the recipe says.  You also may want to double the recipe...it never seems to make enough.

We made this fish recipe a few weeks ago and it was so simple and yummy that we decided to make it again this week.  The chicken on Wednesday is a DIY dish inspired by some blue cheese we've had in the house for a while.  I'll just butterfly some chicken breasts, lay them open and pound them until about 1/2" thick  spread some blue cheese along the inside lay some spinach on top, close it up sprinkle with salt and pepper and then sauté the chicken in a bit of olive oil until cooked through.  For the carrots and parsnips I'll slice them into matchsticks, toss in some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic powder and roast at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Rest of the week is easy breezy...leftovers and one of our favorites breakfast for dinner on Saturday.  
Weekly Menu: February 19-25, 2012
Sunday: Pork Phanang Curry
Monday: Sautéed white fish with roasted sweet potatoes & brussels sprouts (DIY)
Tuesday: Leftovers: Curry
Wednesday: Homemade wheat pasta with tomatoes, basil & parmesan (DIY)
Thursday: Leftovers: Pasta
Friday: Eat Out
Saturday: Spinach, mushroom omeletes & honey toast (DIY)
Right around this time last year we were preparing for our big trip to Thailand so we were thinking it's about time to make the Pork Phanang Curry that we learned to make when we were in Chiang Mai.  We've made it a few times since returning, but it's been a few months now so good homemade Thai food is in order!  This recipe is pretty simple and super authentic...delicious!

We're keeping the rest of the week pretty simple with all DIY dishes so feel free to wing it like we'll do or look up some recipes for fish and pasta dishes online.  We have lots of homemade whole wheat pasta dough in our freezer so we'll thaw it out, cut it into spaghetti and make a homemade sauce based on the brilliant Bon Appétit tips for how to make a perfect pasta dish...no recipe required. Seriously, once you master this technique you'll never need a pasta recipe again.  It's that good and versatile!  Chritian's heading up to Sacramento to pick up a bike on Saturday so I'll just make myself a quick omelet with honey toast for dinner.  Nice and easy with minimal dishes.
Weekly Menu: February 12-18, 2012
Sunday: French Chicken in Vinegar Sauce with with Pepper-Spiked Polenta
Monday: Slow Cooker Confetti Split Pea & Smoked Sausage Soup
Tuesday: Valentine's Day: Mussels South of Two Borders with salad, bread and chocolate-dipped strawberries
Wednesday: Leftovers: French Chicken
Thursday: Leftovers: Split Pea Soup
Friday: Eat Out
Saturday: Leftovers: frozen vegetarian cassoulet from last week
This French Chicken recipe is one of our all-time favorites...of course it doesn't hurt that it's served over creamy and delicious polenta either!  The key to making this chicken amazing is to use high quality aged basalmic vinegar.  It should be the thick and syrupy kind, not the thin watery kind we all grew up using.  Once you use the good stuff, you'll never go back, I promise!

We've been on a slow cooker kick lately since we've both been really busy...this week it's a split pea and smoky sausage soup. Christian doesn't love split pea soup, but I do...so I keep trying to find a recipe that he will fall in love with as well!  For Valentine's Day we like to keep it simple and intimate at home.  Last year we had a really nice dinner with tomato-cilantro mussels, salad, bread and chocolate dipped strawberries so to be honest we're just going to do the same thing again this year!  Switching it up to a new mussels recipe, but otherwise pretty much the same deal.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

We're finishing off the week by reaching into our freezer for some leftovers from last week.  Nice and simple but still homemade.  Just how we like it.  Happy Valentine's Day everyone....I hope you have a great day filled with laughter and love!
Weekly Menu: February 5-11, 2012
Sunday: Superbowl!  Mini Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
Monday: Vegetarian Cassoulet with Roasted Red Pepper & Spinach Salad
Tuesday: Grilled Halibut with Lemon Sauce, Bulgur & Mustard Greens
Wednesday: Leftovers: Cassoulet
Thursday: Coriander Chicken Tostadas with Grilled Fennel
Friday: Eat Out
Saturday: Leftovers: Chicken Tostadas
Oh, the big day is here!  Time for lots of screaming at the T.V., nervous drinking and indulgent eating while we watch our Pat's in their 7th Super Bowl.  Since I'm a New Englander I actually want to watch the game, which means that I need relatively easy food for our Super Bowl party.

So for Super Bowl Sunday I'm making some ridiculously good (and somewhat healthier than wings) Mini Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs since I can make them in advance and then just cook them off at the last minute.  I'll also probably make a slow cooker Mac & Cheese, chips and homemade guacamole decorated like a football field and put out a veggie plate.  Add some beer, bubbly, Pat's gear and good friends and you have yourself a Super Bowl party!

To make up for the Sunday indulgence we're trying to keep the rest of the week relatively light.  So instead of a traditional meat-laden cassoulet we're making a vegetarian version and then a nice, simple fish dinner with healthy grains and greens.  Then we're finishing the week off with a bit of Mexican flair....this recipe calls for homemade refried beans, which are easy enough and yummy but feel free to use low-fat canned ones if you're in a rush.

Go Pat's!
Weekly Menu: January 29 – February 4, 2012
Sunday: Mushroom, Onion & Gruyere Quiche with Sweet Potato Homefries (DIY)
Monday: Steamed Black Cod with Soy-Chili Sauce, Bok Choy & Rice
Tuesday: Leftovers: Quiche
Wednesday: Broccoli Rabe Orecchiette
Thursday: Christian's Posole Soup
Friday: Leftovers: Orecchiette
Saturday: Leftovers: Posole
It's been a while since we've had quiche and I have some leftover pie dough in the freezer from the holidays so we thought it would make a nice easy Sunday meal.  There are lots of quiche recipes out there...my one recommendation when looking for one is to pick one that uses heavy cream in it.  Yes, I know...not as healthy but I really think it makes for the best quiche.  The beauty of quiche is that you can really put whatever you want into it so the options are endless. We'll go with sauteéd mixed mushrooms, onion and gruyere this time.

Our sweet potato homefries are an old standby...we partially bake the potatoes first so they're soft, but still hold their structure when you cut them up into cubes.  Then we sauteé some onions in a bit of butter and oil, add the potatoes with some salt, pepper and rosemary and let them cook for about 10 minutes without stirring.  Then check to see if they're getting crispy on the bottom, if so, they're ready to stir so you can get them crispy on the other sides.  Leave alone again until crispy on the bottom, etc... Keep doing this until they're crispy enough on all sides for you....adding more butter/oil as needed.  In total it usually takes ours about 30 minutes once we start sauteing.

We had one extra meal planned than we actually needed last week (I forgot I had a board meeting & Christian had dinner plans with a friend) so we're making the fish dish from last week this week instead.  The rest of the week finishes off with two of our absolute favorite dishes that you see on our menus quite often.  Broccoli Rabe Orecchietti and Christian's Posole Soup.   Yummm-mmy!
Weekly Menu: January 22-28, 2012
Sunday: Order in Pizza for the Playoffs!
Monday: Steamed Black Cod with Soy-Chile Sauce, Bok Choy & Rice
Tuesday: Grilled Sirloin Steak, Baked Sweet Potato & Sauteed Spinach with Garlic & Chili Flakes
Wednesday: Leftovers: Steak turned into DIY Steak Tacos with Grilled Scallions & Avocado
Thursday: Slow Cooker Bean & Pasta Soup
Friday: Leftovers: Soup
Saturday: In Sacramento for our Nephew's birthday
Go Patriots! Our Pat's are in the Playoffs so Sunday is all about pizza and beer so we can focus on the games.  I say games, plural, because we do live in San Francisco after all, so while we are tried and true Pat's fans we're pretty excited for the 49ers as well.  It would be amazing for this city and our household if those two teams made it into the SuperBowl...although let's be honest, all Pat's fans kind of want a re-match with the Giants. Our fish dish for Monday is Asian inspired and a new one for us.  We may not be able to find Black Cod (or want to pay for it) so we'll likely substitute another firm whitefish...Black Cod is also known as sablefish & butterfish if you're looking for it.  On Tuesday we're going to cook up another one of our Omaha Steaks that we got for Christmas...but we'll make it stretch for 2 meals to spread the red meat goodness out a bit.  Then to finish the week off, a nice vegetarian soup from my favorite Slow Cooker cookbook.  
Weekly Menu: January 15-21, 2012
Sunday: Ginger Pepper Salmon
Monday: Vegetarian Lasagna
Tuesday: Lentil Country Supper
Wednesday: Leftovers: Lasagna
Thursday: Leftovers: Lentil Country Supper
Friday: Eat Out
Saturday: Beef Udon Noodle Soup (DIY)
So, in theory this week is a healthy week...full of vegetarian dishes and seafood. In reality though, there is a bit of butter in the salmon dish and the lasagna is drowning in Alfredo sauce and cheese. Lentil country supper...über healthy though, I swear! We've made this salmon dish from our SF Chronicles cookbook before and it's really quite good. Some may think it covers up the flavor of the salmon too much, but we eat salmon a lot so we need a change every once in a while. The veggie lasagna is one of our favorites of Christian's moms...so it's soul satisfying food for us. A little piece of home. We started making Lentil Country Supper about 5 years ago...got it from a magazine, but no idea which to be honest. It's one of those dishes that is so stupidly simple but for some reason amazingly good in it's rustic flavors. We were addicted from the very first time we made it. For the DIY night, I typically dry toast about 1 tsp of chinese five-spice powder in a pot for 30 seconds and then add beef broth and a few slices of ginger and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, shred some carrots and cabbage and then slice up some good mushrooms. Add them to the broth along with 2-3 packages of udon noodles (you can find them in the produce section of your grocer...near the tofu) and cook according to the package. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle on some thinly sliced scallions and there you go...delicious and easy Asian-inspired soup!
Weekly Menu: January 8-14, 2012
Sunday: Lentil Dal with Bitter Greens & Curried Butternut Squash
Monday: Eggs in Purgatory with Artichoke Hearts & Capers over Polenta
Tuesday: Leftovers: Lentil Dal
Wednesday: Leftovers: Eggs in Purgatory
Thursday: Pork Chops with Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad
Friday: Eat Out
Saturday: Leftovers: Pork & Kale Salad
This is going to be a yummy week.  The lentil dal dish from my old, worn Cooking Light cookbook is a really nice vegetarian dish.  Filling, nicely flavored and perfect for this time of year.  For the butternut squash just chop it up in cubes and coat with olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper.  Roast it at 450 for about 25 minutes, or until soft.

You all know I love eggs for dinner, and this recipe is no exception.  The recipe actually calls for potatoes in the dish, but we like to leave them out (Christian hates potatoes....un-American, I know!) and serve it over polenta to make it even more filling.  If you want to go with the original recipe, just serve it with some hearty toast.

Lastly, we got an Omaha Steaks variety pack gift over the holidays so we have some nice pork chops in the freezer.  We thought we'd pair them with that delicious Kale & Brussels Sprout salad that was such a hit over Thanksgiving this year.  We're both really looking forward to having that again, healthy, easy & delicious!!  
Weekly Menu: January 1-7, 2012
Sunday: Black-Eyed Pea Cakes with Poached Eggs & Sauteed Spinach
Monday: Mushroom & Herb Potage
Tuesday: Salmon with Orange-Chili bulgar and Roasted Winter Veggies (DIY)
Wednesday: Tofu Veggie Stir Fry
Thursday: Leftovers: Soup
Friday: Leftovers: Stir Fry
Saturday: Eat Out
Happy New Year!  Time to welcome in 2012 by reintroducing veggies and other healthy foods into the diet!  I don't know about you, but these past few weeks have been super indulgent in the Henricksen household and while the holidays were fantastic, we're ready to get back on track.   So, as we always do we'll be starting off the New Year with black-eyed peas for good luck in 2012...it's a new recipe and I'm turning it into a breakfast style dinner but I think it will be yummy.  To be honest, I might use canned black-eyed peas to keep it a bit more simple :)

The soup dish for Monday is new...and while the website I've found with the recipe doesn't source properly, I originally found it in my Debrah Mayhew Soup cookbook (one of my favorites).  Yes, it has some bacon in it, but we have to ease our way back into this whole healthy thing, right?!  Tuesday and Wednesday are old stand-by DIY dishes for us...roasted winter veggies will likely be parsnips, brussels sprouts & sweet potatoes.  I hope you are as excited about stepping into this new year as we are...here's to 2012 being the best year yet!    
Weekly Menu: December 25-31, 2011
Sunday: Christmas Roast “Beast” with Mashed Potatoes & Spinach
Monday: Salmon with Roasted Rapini & Tomatoes (DIY)
Tuesday: LEFTOVERS: Roast Beef Au Jus Sandwiches
Wednesday: Christian’s Posole
Thursday: LEFTOVERS: Posole
Friday: Eat Out
Saturday: New Year’s Eve Osso Bucco & Cheesy Polenta
Ah, Christmas...in my household growing up that always meant a "Roast Beast," so that's what Christian and I do now.  This year I'll likely do some kind of rosemary horseradish crust (something like this one), cook it medium rare and serve it with a side of the delicious mashed potatoes that I made on Thanksgiving and some spinach sauteéd with garlic and red pepper.  For the rest of the week we'll keep it pretty simple with one of our favorite healthy fish dishes and another one of our favorites, Christian's yummy Posole soup.

For New Year's Eve we have a tradition of splurging one last time for the year and making the Italian classic, Osso Bucco.  It's one of those amazing dishes that cooks all day and makes your house smell amazing.  We go completely traditional and use veal shanks (I know, I know...judge away) but you can absolutely make this with beef shanks as well.  We serve it with a super decadent cheesy polenta and usually a dark leafy green or salad.  The kale brussels sprout salad we made for Thanksgiving would go nicely now that I think of it.

One last big Happy Holidays wish to you and yours...and if you managed to cook at home even just a bit more than usual this year, congratulations!  If not, there's always next year!  Check back here first thing in 2012 to join me as I embark on a new year of fun recipes, menus and home cooking...