Saturday, December 29, 2012

Holiday Hangover Menu Post

Wow! That is all I can say. Wow. I am not really hungover, but don't you feel like you need to detox after the holidays no matter how healthy of a holiday you had? We had a fantastic Christmas this year. No stress, no fuss, and I didn't over indulge too much. I have to admit that it was difficult to get into the holiday spirit this year due to recovering from surgery, not putting up any Christmas decorations, and the total lack of winter weather; however, Christmas tree or not, by Thursday morning last week we were feeling the Christmas spirit. Fortunately, after getting a flat tire and several inches of snow and ice around the Kansas City metro area courtesy of winter storm Dracco (can you believe they have started naming winter storms?!), my Christmas vacay started a day early with a much needed snow day. I was a little nervous that they wouldn't call school off and that I would have to drive to work on my spare tire, but totally lucked out. My snow day was pretty productive with salting the driveway and heading to the nearby car dealership to get yet another new tire, new breaks, and an oil change. I dropped an unexpected $500, but new that my car would be safe to drive before heading to Iowa the next day. We took off a little earlier than expected for our Christmas tour de Iowa, but it was worth it as my dad had a whopping 13 inches of snow in State Center, Iowa. This gave us ample time to arrive safely even though it was like driving down a snow shoot to get to his house.

Got to love Iowa in the winter! I wish I had some of the pictures I took on my dad's camera of the kiddos sledding on the humongous snow drifts. They were so big, it made for some epic sledding conditions! Oh to be a kid again.

After traveling to State Center, we then spent a day and a night in Des Moines for Christmas with my mom. She made her annual "roast beast" as she likes to call it. We enjoyed several glasses of fine wine, many assorted chocolates, and played a new game my sister bought called "Things." I haven't laughed so hard in a long time:) If you are looking for a fun game to play at a party, I highly suggest this game and reading the categories in different accents such as robot, British, Southern, I could go on and on.

While we would have loved to stay another day, we were then off to Greenfield for Christmas with the Nickel clan. I thought it would be fun to introduce my niece, Ady, to a little mustache fun. She loved it!

 Ady, the little giant, is really only 3 years old. True to her father's genes and mother's height, she looks like she is four. Ady was full of energy, laughs, and kisses. So much fun!

So, we've finally returned and are settled back home. After unloading my tiny car with all of our luggage and gifts, I got to work in the kitchen to use some of my new kitchen gadgets! Like I said in the beginning, I felt like we needed to detox some and got right to work with a beautiful meal- pesto zucchini with rolled chicken.

I have wanted a veggie spiralizer for quite some time now. I had read about making your own veggie noodles over the summer. Little did I know that Mr. Nickel was secretly researching these little tools throughout the fall season and purchased one on Amazon. See? Aren't they pretty?! Perfectly spiralized zucchini noodles!

Another awesome tool I have been longing for is a meat tenderizer. I had always used a rolling pin in the past and never realized how handy these little puppies are until I took my culinary class over the summer. Being my mother has a pretty awesome sense of humor, she got me a mallet that looks like a monkey. Too cute!

To make the chicken, I simply pounded two chicken breasts. Then, layered the chicken with a slice of prosciutto, basil, and a slice of Parmesan cheese. After rolling the chicken and securing with a toothpick, I seared all sides of the chicken breasts and then finished it off in the oven until my meat thermometer (last year's awesome Christmas gift) read 165 degrees. Super simple, super light, and super tasty.

We needed one final touch for the noodles to take them from pretty to spectacular- homemade pesto made in my new Ninja blender!

This baby is sweeeeet! I feel like I've won the Price is Right or something. Everything is perfect and my kitchen feels so luxurious right now. Seriously, major, humongous, thanks to my awesome family!!

Now, on to the menu post. Yes, it has been quite some time since I've shared one of these. While I cannot hesitate to use some of my new gadgets in the recipes this week, I trust that you will be able to adapt them even if you don't have a veggie spiralizer. This week is a perfect blend of health and indulgence, as New Year's Eve is right around the corner. We do not have any plans as of yet. Regardless, I do have something planned for dinner. Since it will be a last hoorah to the holiday season, I plan to use some of the lovely Omaha Steaks package we received from Justin's family in my Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onion Stuffed Steaks. Then, it will be time to detox. A delicious detox meal with my Very Veggie Pad Thai. Next, it is back to work with a simple one-pot meal that is protein packed and easy to clean up since it is all cooked in one pot- Chicken Tomato Hot Pot. Finally, to end the week healthfully, I plan to take my Smoky Beans with Soyrizo and use them as a stuffing for baked sweet potatoes. It is a week's worth of delicious detoxing eats that I hope you all will enjoy. Here is the rundown:

Sunday 12/30        Blue Cheese & Caramelized Onion Stuffed Steaks with Potatoes and Salad

Monday 12/31      Very Veggie Pad Thai (or stuffed steaks above)

Tuesday 1/1          Very Veggie Pad Thai

Wednesday 1/2     Chicken Tomato Hot Pot with Salad

Thursday 1/3         Leftovers

Friday 1/4 or         Smoky Beans & Soyrizo Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Roasted Broccoli
Saturday 1/5

This week's grocery list is a little lengthy due to our fridge being very barren from our holiday travels. Here is what you will need:

1 lb. ground chicken breast
2 cuts of your favorite steak (we will be using tenderloin)
3 yellow or white onions
1 zucchini
1 beet
3 sweet potatoes
1 cup bean sprouts
1 bunch broccoli
1 bunch green onions
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley
1 bunch basil
1 bunch mint
1 bulb garlic
3 yellow or white onions
1 red bell pepper
1 lime
1 lemon
1 knob ginger
1 package soyrizo
1 bottle tamarind sauce
1 bottle sirache
1 bag or box brown rice
2 cans Great Norther beans
1 can light coconut milk
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 jar marinara sauce
1 box chicken broth
1 container light or fat free sour cream
1 carton liquid egg whites

Pantry items you will need:

Olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
Soy sauce
Brown sugar
Corn meal
Cayenne pepper
Curry powder
Ground cumin
Bay leaf

Some items I am a little iffy about. I may be using peanut butter in one recipe. I am not so sure about the tamarind paste or sauce. This week's grocery list is very susceptible to change this week. If there is a change, I will do my best to let you know as the recipes are posted throughout the week. Hope you have a great weekend!

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