Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Menu Planning for Dummies

We just had the most fantastic week of dinner/revamped leftovers, so I thought I would share my culinary genius with you : ) Afterall, it's not often that I can figure out what to do with leftovers to make them into something different the next time we eat them. You might not like all of these options, but that's all they are - options! Hope you enjoy!

Day 1
Pecan crusted salmon (recipe below)
Oven fries (tossed potato wedges with olive oil, fresh parsley leftover from salmon, seasoning salt and pepper)
Salad (using romaine or something similar)
French bread

Day 2
Marinated chicken (use any marinade mix you like)
Sweet potato fries (tossed potato wedges with olive oil, cinnamon and salt)
Corn on the cob

Day 3
Burritos (or tacos) with grilled peppers (recipe below)

Day 4 - Revamp #1
Salmon salads with homemade croutons (recipe below)

Day 5 - Revamp #2
French toast (recipe below)

Day 6 - Revamp #3
Chicken wraps (recipe below)

Here's how it worked:

  • Made the salmon with the intention of having two pieces leftover for salads
  • Made the chicken with the intention of having two pieces leftover for wraps
  • Used a few slices of the leftover french bread to make croutons for the salads
  • Put leftover fries in the toaster oven to eat on salad too (how's that for Pittsburgh!?)
  • Used the rest of the french bread (stale by now anyway!) to make French toast
  • Chicken wraps used leftover grilled peppers, more romaine lettuce and extra bacon

Pecan Crusted Salmon
4 pieces of salmon
2 T dijon mustard
2 T melted butter
1 1/2 T honey
1/4 c. chopped pecans
1 T fresh parsley
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
Put salmon in a 9x9 pan. Mix everything else together except the pecans. Pour sauce over the salmon. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Bake in 45o degree oven for 20 minutes. Delicious!

Homemade croutons
Cut french bread into cubes. Toss with olive oil and seasonings (I just used sea salt and pepper). Bake in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes (or until golden brown)

Grilled Peppers
Cut one yellow and one red pepper (or whatever color you have on hand) into skinny strips. Toss with olive oil and a little salt. Cook in a skillet on med/high heat. Don't toss very often, that's how you'll get the black color on the skin like you see in restaurants!

French Toast
2 eggs
2/3 c milk
1/4 t cinnamon (or as much/little as you like)
1/4 t nutmeg
1 t vanilla
1/8 t salt
8 thick slices of french bread (hopefully stale by this point)

Beat eggs, milk, spices, vanilla and salt together. Dunk bread in liquid (to saturation point). Put in a buttered, heated skillet. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Great with berries and/or powdered sugar on top.