A Savvy Week: Cilantro and Spice

Coming up with a Savvy Weekly Menu isn’t just about getting multiple uses out of your main ingredients. It is easy to roast a chicken one day, and turn the leftover chicken into tacos the next. And I’m all for that kind of cooking efficiency.  But it isn’t that alone that makes for a great Savvy Weekly Menu – let’s put our flavoring agents on double-duty, too…or even triple- or quadruple-duty!  Here, smoky peppers and chiles makes an appearance in four very different dishes, and cilantro takes the stage in three of them

January 2014 Savvy Menu

Enchilada photo by How Sweet It Is.

A Savvy Week: Cilantro and Spice

Monday: Cilantro lime chicken burrito bowls with guacamole.
Tuesday: Chipotle sweet potato and brown rice egg skillet (from Naturally Ella).
Wednesday: Vegan quinoa corn chowder.
Lightened-up beef enchiladas (from How Sweet It Is) with corn salad.
Friday:  Baked panko fish sticks with lemon caper mayonnaise (from Love and Olive Oil) with a side salad.

On Monday:

Start marinating the chicken.  While it rests, cover 1 1/2 cups of brown rice with 3 cups of stock or water in a medium saucepan.  Cover and bring to a boil, then remove the lid and simmer until most of the stock is absorbed.  Measure out 1/2 cup of the rice and refrigerate until Wednesday.  

While the chicken is marinating and the rice is cooking, make some guacamole.

Grill the chicken. Serve over the cooked rice with guacamole, shredded cheese and pinto beans.

New cook and prep time: 1 hour.


On Tuesday:

Make the corn chowder, just as it says in the recipe.

New cook and prep time: 40 minutes.

On Wednesday:


Using the leftover rice from Monday, make the brown rice egg skillet.

New cook and prep time: 30 minutes.

On Thursday:

Make the enchilada sauce, then make the enchiladas themselves. While the enchiladas cook, make the corn salad, using 2 1/2 cups of cooked and drained corn kernels instead of the fresh ears of corn and replacing the basil with cilantro. 

New cook and prep time: 1 hour.

On Friday:

Make the fish sticks. While they cook, make up a side salad with the dressing of your choice.

New cook and prep time: 30 minutes.

Grocery List

Salad greens
2 medium sweet potatoes
3 avocados
2 red onions
1/2 medium yellow onion
1 1/2 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1/2 ripe tomato
2 limes
1 lemon
5 cloves garlic
1 bunch cilantro
1 -2 serrano chiles
2 tablespoons minced poblano pepper 
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
4 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
1 1/2 cups brown rice 
2/3 cup quinoa
2 cups panko bread crumbs
4 eggs 
1/2 cup mayonnaise
15 ounces tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons capers
8 1/2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock (or 5 1/2 cups stock + 3 cups water)
1 1/2 pounds firm, white fish filets
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup cooked or canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
10 whole wheat tortillas
10 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 tablespoons crumbled cojita cheese 


Groceries You Probably Already Have

Salad dressing of choice
8 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika 
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 – 1 teaspoon chipotle powder 
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Happy Savvy Eating!