I have been asked how do I come up with the grocery list for the week. I used to drag this subject with all my passion – who likes to make grocery list or go grocery shopping for that matter??? But one evening while going through Pinterest I saw this idea of writing down a menu on a chalk board…and something clicked in my Russian brain. I thought it was perfect idea for my picky eaters!!!! I love to cook, but I hate cooking routinely – I like to make new dishes but I don’t like to cook the same things over and over! So it became kind of like a game in the family. Some days I put together a menu (because men in my family leave this important subject up to me) or sometimes we make a theme week. One week we had international week, or one week we made all our favorite meals… possibilities are endless.
After I put together a menu I start working on my grocery list. By doing just this, you are actually saving money (when I shopped before making a menu I would get more things then I actually needed meaning I would spend more money then I should). Another big plus of making a weekly menu is that you won’t have unused food in your fridge.
My chalk board is not big enough to write all three meals of the day so it only shows my dinner menu for a week. Since I make smoothie bowls with chia pudding pretty much almost every morning – my breakfast menu stays the same and shopping for it very easy (all I need is fresh almond milk, Chia Seeds, plain Greek yogurt and fresh fruits). For lunch we usually go very light something like a salad with either low sodium turkey or grilled chicken.
Here is how my menu for this week looks:
Monday dinner was absolutely delicious and so easy to make (total time that I spent in the kitchen was not more than 30-40 minutes including prepping and cooking).
Grilled Shrimp & Pineapple Skewers: I cut fresh pineapple in cubes (1.5” x 1.5″) and then I skewer the shrimp alternating with the pineapple (I made 5 skewers each had 4 shrimp, adjust to the size of your family). Once my kebobs were ready I brushed them with the sauce. I made my own sauce by mixing 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, I added a little bit of Italian seasoning then I brushed it all over my skewers and sprinkled a little bit of Old Bay seasoning (more for color). Then I grilled my skewers for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
For my side I made Quinoa Mango Salad. I used 1 cup of cooked red quinoa (you can use any quinoa and cook it according to the package), 1 diced mango, 1/4 of diced medium size red onion, 1 small diced cucumber and 1/4 diced green bell pepper (you can use any color it’s just what I had in my fridge…red bell pepper would add more color to your salad), half can of black beans (I drained and rinsed mine), handful of chopped cilantro. For my dressing I mixed 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of red vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of lime juice and salt and pepper to your taste. Mix it all together and enjoy. I like this salad when it’s cooled for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Tuesday dinner was extremely easy to make and it took me total of 20-25 minutes ! We had Grilled Caprese Chicken and to make it you will need boneless skinless chicken breast (it was just two of us eating so we needed only 2 chicken breasts), balsamic vinegar, 2 slices of mozzarella cheese, 2 slices of tomato and basil leaves.
While my grill was warming up I sprinkled chicken breast with little olive oil, garlic salt, black pepper, paprika, Italian seasoning and rubbed it all over. Then we prepared chicken breasts on the grill (we grilled our chicken for about 6 minutes on each side).
Once my chicken was ready I topped it with mozzarella cheese, tomato slice and then basil leave (you can drizzle balsamic vinegar on your chicken) – dinner was great and easy to make!
Wednesday dinner was fantastic!!! Pan seared scallops on top of asparagus puree and for the side dish I had pan seared asparagus with roasted tomatoes.
Ingredients you will need: scallops, 1 pound of asparagus, 1 avocado, handful of chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, olive oil, one big tomato, I also used tiny piece of jalapeno, Old Bay seasoning, 2 cloves of minced garlic, salt and pepper to your taste
First, I started with the asparagus (half of it went to make asparagus puree and half of it I pan seared with tomatoes). I rinsed and trimmed the asparagus, and then I drizzled it with olive oil, freshly chopped garlic and salt and pepper to your taste. Make sure your asparagus is evenly covered with olive oil and the rest of listed ingredients. Then I placed the asparagus on the skillet over medium-high heat and cooked for about 10 minutes, you have to turn asparagus to make sure its cooking evenly on both sides.
While my asparagus was cooking I chopped tomatoes into small cubes and pan seared them in separate skillet with garlic salt. It cooked for about 4-5 minutes at the end I added a little bit of chopped cilantro. When tomatoes are cooked set them aside.
When your asparagus is ready take half of it and put it in the food processor (I used my Nutri Ninja Bullet) then add one avocado, handful of chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil (I also added tiny piece of jalapeno), salt and pepper to your taste and blend it all in – this will be your asparagus puree (I would actually call it asparagus/avocado puree).
Scallops were the last ones to cook as they are pretty quick to make. Melt butter in a skillet and place your scallops. I cooked my scallops for about 3 minutes on each side and I do not like to use much seasoning on my scallops so I just added a little Old Bay (again mostly for the color).
When you are done with scallops decorate your plate to your liking and it’s ready to be served!!! We felt like we were eating in some upscale restaurant!!!
Thursday dinner was Angus Ribeye Steak with Bruschetta Eggplant.
For steak I only used garlic salt and pepper (I don’t like too much spices on my steak) and I grilled it on 600 F for about 7 minutes on each side (the steak came out medium rare.. so you chose timing based on your steak preference).
While steak was grilling I cut tomatoes in small cubes, chopped cilantro and few cloves of garlic then sprinkled it with olive oil, salt and pepper and mixed it.
Then I took few Asian eggplants (you can use regular eggplants it’s just what I had) and cut them in half (lengthwise). After eggplants are cut , I placed them on frying pan with preheated olive oil and I let them cook for about 3 minutes on each side (I had to turn them few times to make sure they cooking evenly).
When eggplants were done I removed it and topped with tomatoes, cilantro…. easy and so good!!!
Finally it’s Friday and the perfect way to celebrate it with the good dinner. I made Blackened Ahi Tuna with Mango Salsa.
For tuna spice I mixed together (I measured everything in pinch of this and pinch of that this time, next time I promise to be more specific) paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, thyme, basil and garlic powder. Then I rubbed this spice mix all over my tuna and placed it on preheated frying pan with butter. I cooked my tuna for about 4-5 minutes on each side (your cooking time will depend on how you like your tuna cooked, I like mine to be pink in the middle).
While my tuna was cooking I made mango salsa. I cut one mango, third of a red bell pepper, third of onion (I used red onion), handful of cilantro and one small jalapeno. I mixed it all in the bowl and then added 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to your taste.
When my tuna was ready I topped it with mango salsa. Dinner served in less than 20 minutes and I can’t even describe how tasty it was.