Week 3: Almost Spring

Springtime in Colorado can go from 70s and sunny one day to 2’ of snow the next. My menu this week follows just that pattern going from wintery crockpot dishes one day to springy vegetables the next. Although we have daffodils and tulips blooming outside, most of the produce in the grocery store is still not very springy so it can be hard to feel inspired to cook with the seasons. And who can resist an easy crockpot meal? Enjoy! Week 3 Menu Plan & Grocery List

Week 3 MenuMonday: Crock Pot Chicken Mole with Corn Tortillas and Broccoli

  • I love mole and know that it is one of those dishes that takes a lot of time and dozens of ingredients. For how easy this was, I thought it was delicious. I will say I am from VT where we did not have Mexican food growing up so who am I to say, but Travis also thought it was delicious and he grew up in Colorado. Authentic, who knows, but super flavorful, yes.
  • Since mornings are often crazy in this household, I made the mole the night before so I could just trim the chicken and throw everything into the crockpot in the morning. My rule with crockpot dishes is that they have to be dump and go meals. I refuse to cook and entire meal only to dump it into the crock pot and have to wait 8 hours and still get stuck with all the dishes. No thank you.
  • I could not find smoked almonds and would suggest replacing them with sliced almonds since my whole almonds did not chop up very well in the food processor.
  • I have a pretty low tolerance for heat so I added one chipotle chile instead of two. Enough recipes I use call for just a little bit of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce so when I buy a can and don’t use it up, I toss it in a storage container and freeze it until next time so I don’t keep buying it and throwing it out.
  • I doubled the water when making the sauce and added another cup or more of water while it was cooking since it started burning to the side of the crockpot. Since I used  2 ½ lbs of chicken instead of 4lbs I am guessing there was “too much sauce” which is why it burned to the sides rather than coating the chicken properly. However, the end results were delicious and there was and is no such thing as too much mole. So I stand by my proportions.
  • I just steamed the broccoli and had it as a side. Plain and simple.
  • I served the mole on corn tortillas with sour cream and cilantro as garnish.

Tuesday: Almond & Lemon Crusted Halibut with Roasted Asparagus and Brown Rice Pilaf

  • Brown rice takes foresight, but is otherwise pretty easy. If I’m being honest, we usually eat our meal with brown rice at the end of the week since I forget to start the brown rice early enough every other night and eventually just have to deal. So, let’s pretend we ate this on Tuesday night.
  • To make brown rice a little more interesting I chop and sauté an onion in the rice pot first, and add the rice and water or stock if I have some to give it more flavor. Once it is done I toss in some dried fruit (chopped apricots, raisins, craisins, etc.), cover and let it stand for 10 minutes. I might also add some slivered almonds at the very end but since this dish already has those in the fish I’d say we are good to go!
  • Before prepping the fish I got my asparagus ready with salt, pepper, and olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet. They cook at the same temperature as the fish, so I just put them in a few minutes early for a total of 15-20 minutes.
  • Since we didn’t serve this dish with spinach I just followed steps 1-3 and served the fish with lemon wedges…or wish I’d served the fish with lemon wedges but I forgot to put lemon on my list and had to substitute orange instead. Perfectly good, but I like the lemon version more.

Wednesday: Mini Meatloaves with Green Beans & Potatoes

  • I love this meal! Eating Well did a whole week of sheet pan recipes that I think are genius. Individual meatloaves are great because they cook so much faster and can be a good weeknight meal. And I actually followed this recipe pretty much as is, so no notes from me.

Thursday: Egg-in-a-Hole with Chard & Bacon

  • This is one of those recipes I used as inspiration but definitely did not follow, so fair warning.
  • I cooked the bacon first, poured most of the fat out, transferred the bacon to a plate with paper towels, and used the bacon pan to sauté the chard. Saving on dishes, yes please!
  • I added balsamic vinegar to the chard at the end rather than red wine vinegar for more flavor.
  • I skipped the bread toasting step and just brushed each piece with a little bacon fat, put them on a well greased pan, and filled each hole with chard, a little shredded sharp cheddar cheese and an egg. The bread toasted nicely in the oven anyway so it all worked out. Brinner is served!

Friday: Pasta Primaverawith optional Chicken Sausage

  • I don’t like super creamy pasta dishes or alfredo sauce, but this kind of light pasta dish with tons of veggies is something I love.
  • We, and by we I mean Travis, grilled some chicken sausage to have on the side.

One thought on “Week 3: Almost Spring

  1. I now have a mini crockpot and have had a couple of successes, but my results are always a bit bland. I’ll keep trying.

    Saw pictures on the news last night of the snowfall in the Denver area. Well, tulips and daffies are pretty hardy and they will survive. Are these the daffodils that your mom planted last October?

    XO GN


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