Weekly menu planning recap

by Melody on March 1, 2011

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This past week just flew by!  My husband had Monday off for President’s Day and it just seemed that we had somewhere to be every day, even through the weekend.  My menu plan was such a blessing, it helped me keep my head screwed on straight.  At least as far as dinner was concerned. :)

I signed up to deliver dinner to a friend from MOPS who just had a baby, so that was a definite MUST to add to the menu plan.  Not having an idea of what to make and trying to wing it the day of would have been a disaster.

  • Crispy Black Bean Tacos with feta and cabbage slaw – We actually had these last week, but I forgot to mention them.  They definitely deserve to be listed, CRAZY delicious and super easy.  I didn’t miss the meat at all, although my husband would say different..
  • Homemade alfredo sauce with grilled chicken and whole wheat pasta (thanks Janice!)

 

  • Homemade pizza (see recipe below) with Cooking Light’s Basic Pizza Sauce – I double both the dough and the sauce recipe and freeze in individual servings.  SO much cheaper than buying frozen pizza and a super easy last-minute dinner!  This is seriously the easiest dough recipe EVER.

For the dinner I made for my friend, I made Crockpot Chicken with Black Beans, brown rice and a big salad.  I know I recently made this chicken, but it’s the perfect recipe for something like this.  It makes TONS, so we had plenty for my friend and her family and for our family as well!  It cooks in the slow cooker for about 5 hours, so it’s the ideal set-it-and-forget-it recipe.

NEW YORK-STYLE PIZZA DOUGH
* I would love to credit this recipe to someone, but I truly have no idea where it came from.

5 cups unbleached high-gluten flour or bread flour
1 1/2 T. sugar or honey
2 t. table salt or 3 1/2 t. kosher salt
1 1/2 t. instant yeast
3 T. olive or vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups room-temperature water (70 degrees)

With a large metal spoon, stir together all the ingredients in a 4-quart bowl of an electric stand mixer until combined.

Fit the mixer with a dough hook and mix on low speed for about 4 minutes, or until all the flour gathers to form a coarse ball.  Let the dough rest 5 minutes, then mix again on med-low speed for an additional 2 minutes, or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and sticks just a little to the bottom.  If the dough is too soft and sticky to hold its shape, mix in more flour by the tablespoonful.  If it is too stiff or dry, mix in more water by the tablespoonful.

Immediately divide the dough into 3 equal pieces.  Round each piece into a ball and brush or rub each ball with olive or vegetable oil.  Place each ball inside its own zippered freezer bag.  Let the balls sit at room temp. in the bags for 15 minutes, then put them in the fridge overnight or freeze any pieces you will not be using the next day.  If you are making pizzas on the same day, let the dough balls sit at room temp. in the bags for 1 hour, remove them from bags, punch them down, reshape them into balls, return them to the bags and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

The next day (or later the same day), remove the balls from the fridge 2 hours before you plan to roll them out, to take off the chill and to relax the gluten.  At this point, you can hold any balls you don’t want to use right away in the fridge for another day or you can freeze for up to 3 months.

Roll onto floured surface to about 12 inch circle.  Spread cornmeal on pizza stone or baking sheet.  Spread pizza sauce and desired ingredients.  Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Looking forward to next week!

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