Menu for the Week of Oct. 27

Hi all – So this is a day late. Mix and match the days to fit your schedule.


  • Homemade tomato soup (vegetarian) – You can go all out and roast the tomatoes yourself (like in his recipe) or take my short cut and buy fire roasted tomatoes. Get the whole peeled ones in the can (28 oz.). If you like it with more tomato flavor, feel free to add another small can too (14 oz.). The only two things I do to my soup differently is add a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity and if you don’t roast the tomatoes, then cut the olive oil in half.
  • Fresh baked bread – If you have a bread machine, you have to try this bread recipe. It’s super easy and you’ll have homemade soft bread in 1 hour. Sub 1 cup whole wheat flour for 1 of the cups bread flour called for.


  • Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken and Yellow Rice) – This is a staple if you live in Tampa. I’ve tried other recipes and this one is good and easy! Serve some black beans and a salad on the side and you’ve got a great meal. Some red sangria would go nicely too.


  • Flounder picatta – If you like fish like my family does you will want to keep finding new ways to serve it. This one looks great! Can’t wait to try it out.
  • Green beans – Start with fresh or frozen green beans. If fresh, snap them. Heat a large pan with a lid over medium heat. Drizzle some olive oil once around the pan. Toss the green beans in and saute for a few minutes until lightly browned. Season with some salt and pepper. Add 1 clove fresh minced garlic (or a few shakes of garlic powder). Pour 1/4 cup of water in the pan and cover for 8-10 minutes until the tenderness you like.
  • Have some bread left over from Sunday if you still have some around.


  • Crockpot Pulled Pork – You can find all kinds of recipes to help you out here. The basic ingredients are one 2 lb. pork roast (tenderloin is usable, but not as good as top loin or boston butt for flavor), 1 onion, 1 bottle of your favorite bbq sauce, 1/2 cup of other liquid: chicken stock, pineapple juice, root beer, beer, etc. Season the meat with salt and pepper, slice the onion and layer it on the bottom of your crock pot, put the meat in, then pour the liquid and at least 1 cup of the bbq sauce in. Save the rest of the sauce for your sandwiches. Cook on low for 8 hours. Here’s a good example.
  • Buns. I like making own from this recipe, but if you get them at the store, I definitely recommend them from the bakery and not from the bread aisle.
  • Pickles
  • French fries (cut up a potato and roast in the oven, or pick up some frozen ones: Alexia or the “Simply” Ore Ida. The old school fries have much more than potatoes, oil and salt in them.)


  • It’s Halloween! Have some left overs, take-out or eat at a neighbor’s house.


  • Herbed Turkey Breast – Who needs Thanksgiving to make some turkey? Whole Foods has it on sale this week.
  • Polenta – Lots of recipes out there. For those of us down South, it’s basically a slight variation on grits. Here’s the trick for polenta or grits, you must buy quality corn grits / polenta. Plus quality grits will have a few grams of fiber, so please stay away from the Quaker stuff. Bob’s Red Mill is available in many stores and is a favorite of mine. They even come in a gluten-free or organic variety.
  • Salad
  • Veggie sticks for the kids
  • Homemade balsamic dressing. Once you make your own dressing, you will not want to buy it from the store again. This is all you need (adapted from Emeril): 1/2 cup of good balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil (the light stuff is only for cooking fish and even then you don’t really need it), 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 3 cloves of garlic pressed, 1 tsp. dijon mustard. You can add another dried herb if you’d like. Sometimes I do a couple dashes of basil. Put all ingredients in a shaker / cruet and shake until well blended.