Monday, October 26, 2015

Hahvest Taht and the Rest of The Plan

Meal plan for the week of October 26th!

Sunday: Harvest Tart, kale salad, broiled cod
Monday: big salads (leftover beans from Friday for protein power)
Tuesday: Tex Mex Sweet Potatoes
Wednesday: TBD/Adam cooks
Thursday: Shepherd's pie
Friday: TBD/pasta something or other


On Sunday I made this Harvest Tart from NYT cooking with red kuri squash (couldn't find "cheese pumpkin" and I get bored of butternut), two half-green, half-yellow peppers, an onion, sweet paprika, thyme, and olives. Josie loved it, but Adam and I ate too much at the Moms of Camberville Halloween Shindig in the late afternoon so we had a popcorn for dinner action movie* night. I figure I'll just bump all the dinner plans back by a day.  Also I was too tired after a great dinner party Chez Durand Saturday night to do much cooking on Sunday so tonight is my big prep night. I plan to:

roast the sweet potatoes
cook some chicken breasts w/ adobo sauce to shred for the tex mex meal
make mashed potatoes for the shepherd's pie
cut up aromatics for shepherd's pie
maybe? cut up veg for big salads tomorrow

Back to the tart: it looks like it was baked by Georgia O'Keefe and my crust is oddly patchy but the flavor is excellent. You grate and salt the squash and it rests in the fridge a while before you mix up the rest of the filling. I was expecting it to let out a lot of water but it didn't at all, so I pressed on it and got like a tablespoon or two. I don't know that I'd skip the step necessarily because it definitely softened the squash shreds, but maybe red kuri squash is denser than the recommended ones? Anyway it's delicious. And vegan! Though I might add feta or goat cheese next time.

*Brick Mansions, Paul Walker's last movie before he died - not much for a plot but it co-stars David Belle, the inventor of Parkour, so the fight scenes are really beautifully choreographed and watching that guy move was a treat throughout the whole movie.

Pizza! Beef Stew! Takeout! (Last Week's Meal Plan)

Meal plan for the week of October 19th!

Sunday - pizza night, kale salad
Monday - beef stew (made Sunday)
Tuesday - takeout
Wednesday - sausage, greens (washed the greens on Sunday, added potato wedges because I had time to make them Tuesday night)
Thursday - tomato soup (made Sunday), roasted delicata squash (made Sunday), broiled zucchini and cheesy garlic bread
Friday - beans and egg sandwiches (slow cooker beans, Adam made the egg sandos)


Sunday was pizza night: I used the crust from Vegetarian Cooking for everyone that I make with 50% white whole wheat flour, but instead of making two thin crust pizzas I just put the whole blob of dough on a sheet pan and made a focaccia style pie with red sauce, mozz, and parm. Also kale salad. Delicious, but thick crust pizza doesn't reheat very well.


Beef stew: I made it on Sunday afternoon, we ate it over farro on Monday. Tasty. Provided lunches for most of the week. Here is a picture of Sad Josie Pondering Stew. She had a rough day.


Takeout! Adam had to go to North Carolina for work, so while he enjoyed BBQ (and then had to work overnight, poor guy), Josie and I ordered take out from the South American joint around the corner. I say South American because the menu is vaguely Brazilian, but also Salvadorean and Mexican. ANYWAY that horchata was so on point. I want to be drinking more of it right. now. Chipotle Milanesa (essentially a fried chicken) sandwich, YUM, Josie coveted but I foisted the mediocre tostones off on her instead (mean mommy!). Coxinhas (croquettes with chicken and cheese) were delicious but sat heavily in my tummy. Good beef empanada, meh vegetable side ordered out of guilt. I want to try the tamales.


Sausages, greens, and potato wedges: exactly what it sounds like. I made the potato wedges the night before and Adam just reheated them, plus TJ's chicken sausages and some sauteed broccoli raab. A solid and reliable meal.


Tomato soup, roasted delicata squash (surprising toddler hit!), broiled zucchini (sorry, mommy, still not interested in green foods). Last minute addition of cheesy garlic bread was appreciated by all. Tomato soup was approximately: 1 onion, sweated in butter, a couple garlic cloves, diced red pepper, and a can of tomatoes. Simmered for ten mins and blitzed with the immersion blender. Seasoned it with some Bragg's aminos, salt and pepper. It was fine, but if I had any cream it could have used a lick to round out the acidity some. I always forget how much red pepper comes forward in a soup.


Friday beans and egg sandos! True confessions: this was my second egg sandwich that day. I regret nothing.


On Sunday I also made this pasta "pie" in a greased springform pan: leftovers, layered into the pan with shredded mozz and topped with parm, baked at 375 till brown on top (like 20-30 mins). Fun to eat!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Balsamic Braised Chicken with Swiss Chard from Slow Cooker Revolution


Not bad. I only had a whole chicken, so I cut that up and used all the pieces, but it definitely would have been better with just thighs - the breasts got a little dried out in their 5 hr braise. Wish I had served it over polenta, but I needed a cup of cooked quinoa for Thursday's dinner, so just did it all last night.

Also, NB: quinoa expands more than rice and therefore WILL over flow the rice cooker. Oops.

Finished at the table with more salt and a little Condimento drizzle (balsamic-ish, but less expensive!). Someday I'll learn how much salt to put in the slow cooker, but when I'm only going to reheat half a dish (cooked this Monday, reheated half on Tuesday for dinner, the rest was packed up for Wednesday lunches), I'm never sure how heavily to season.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Meal Planning for Sanity

Hey y'all. Cool if I post here again, occasionally? Sweet, thanks.

I got a new job last month. We moved into our new house five days before I started. It was a little crazy. It's STILL a little crazy and probably will be for a while. I leave earlier and get home later, now, which means if I don't have a meal plan for the week, we end up scrounging for meal-of-snacks or ordering out, which is not so nice for our grocery budget.

I keep track of our plan in a google doc, but I thought it might be nice to keep track of it here, too. A few of the latest hits:


Olga's broiled tofu. I changed up the vegetables (romanesco, green beans, brussels sprouts) and forgot to use the gorgeous farmer's market shiitakes I had purchased specifically for this meal, but this is a perennial favorite at our house. I've learned to double the sauce and double the tofu if we want leftovers.


Black bean chili from ATK's Slow Cooker Revolution. Any excuse for sour cream, am I right? I was out of chipotles in adobo and this was still good, though hard to photograph.


Mac and cheese with more veg than cheese. Sauteed 5 gorgeous leeks in butter, added three small shredded zucchini, another knob of butter, 3 tbsp flour, 3 cups whole milk, and 6 oz gruyere cheese. Added a peeled, seeded, diced (huge) tomato once the veggieful bechamel was cooked, just to heat through. Plus a pound of cooked cavatappi. Fully toddler approved.


Fail with a silver lining: I had every intention of making miso glazed salmon from the NYT. It took longer than I anticipated, Josie was hangry, She ate a meal of snacks and then Adam and I made onigiri after baby bed time. We really make an effort to eat together as a family despite the absurdity of trying to get dinner on the table 15 mins after getting home, but sometimes it just doesn't work out. Making something more complicated and taking our time with it was a nice way to spin a scheduling fail.

This week's plan is as follows:
Monday 10/12: leftovers/clean out the fridge. Was kind of a weird day because of the holiday and we all ate at different times.
Tuesday 10/13: balsamic braised chicken with swiss chard from Slow Cooker Revolution. Served over quinoa or millet, whichever one I grab first from the cabinet when I get home. Experimenting with making other grains in my rice cooker. Reserve a cup for Thursday!
Wednesday 10/14: Adam cooks! taco night. Need to pull the beef from the freezer and maybe figure out a spice blend tonight?
Thursday 10/15: quinoa and white bean burgers using quinoa (or millet) cooked Tuesday and a can of white beans. Recipe from Food52.
Friday 10/16: pasta... orrechiette with peas and chicken sausage and maybe cream? Or maybe takeout. TBD.