Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Weekend Cooking Extravaganza

It's another Saturday, time to cook and prep for the week.  The sad thing about my cooking plans is that I generally don't have time to make a menu plan until Saturday.  It's a bit sad because there are three great grocery stores (Fresh and Easy, Trader Joe's, Smart and Final) very close to my baby's daycare.  And I rarely have my grocery list made up in time to go after work.  That would be best...stop at one on Weds, one on Thurs, one on Fri.  No shopping or extra driving on Sat.

I did get 2 of the 3 done yesterday, but that's only because I had been randomly planning my meals in my head in the car.  So at least I am able to do that.

How did I plan my meals?  Well, this last week I ate a LOT of pasta with chicken and vegetables, and a ton of rice and lentils (that stuff was AWESOME), so you know that neither will be on this week's menu.  It has been a LONG time since I've made pizza.  So, I decided to make pizza.  The next thing I do is look at our CSA for the week.  The hubby picks that up now, so I have to make an extra special effort to see what we got.  We have butternut squash, so soup is on the menu too.  And Kalli has been posting delicious meals with sweet potatoes on Facebook, so I have to go buy some.  Also, turkey breast was on sale, so it's turkey sandwiches for lunch this week.

Here's a summary of what I'm cooking this weekend:
Vanilla Chai scones (just add water...)
Crockpot refried beans from 100 days of real food (for burritos at dinner a few nights)
Pizza! (Saturday night will be tomato-based sauce, Sunday will be CSA-parsley-pesto)
Butternut squash soup with ginger (the very first post I ever did on this blog)
Crockpot tri-tip (for burritos)

The rest of the CSA food includes carrots (for carrot sticks and hummus at lunch), lettuce (salad), kale (kale chips because my friend hasn't sent me the quinoa/kale salad recipe yet), spicy greens (salad, and maybe on our turkey sandwiches for lunch).

Monday, February 18, 2013

Carbolicious and Vegetarian

Well the main cooking meals this weekend were heavy on the carbs and greens and light on the meat.

I did a short inventory of my fridge, freezer, and pantry and decided to start cooking from it.

Saturday night we had greens...I used the spinach, beet greens, and dandilion greens from our CSA and made spaghetti with the greens, lots of garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and feta.  On the side: roasted carrots, beets, broccoli, and baby fennel.  The spaghetti was supposed to be whole wheat, but I sent the hubby and he probably didn't know what "ww spaghetti" was.

We had the same on Sunday with kale chips on the side.

On Sunday I cooked up lunches for the week.  Spouse had today off with the kids and is headed to Boston for two days (brr...we don't own winter clothing anymore).  I was looking for a way to use my lentils, so I made Arabic lentils and rice.  It was amazingly easy.  You serve it with browned onions on top (sorry Biz!)  I also sauteed up a ton of diced carrots (okay, maybe only 1.5 lbs).  I have already portioned out the rice, lentils, onions, and carrots into individual containers.  Half in the fridge, half frozen.  I am putting Chobani Greek yogurt (plain) on top.  Delish!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The week's meal plan - with links!

Well, as it so happens, we ate lots of delicious meals this week.  And I didn't take pictures of any of it.  I know if you visit my blog, though, you certainly don't do it for my photographic skills.  Yep, I spent my time taking pictures of my adorable 7 month old.
Yeah, I need to repaint the toenails.
So, here's what's on the menu this coming week.  This CSA started up again, so that means a ton of work.
Saturday: fish and pea curry, brown rice, and carrot ginger soup from this book
Sunday: baked lemon chicken and chickpeas and spinach from this book (I used chard, fava leaves, and spinach from the CSA)
Monday: leftover chicken and chickpeas
Tuesday: chicken fingers and roasted beets
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: leftover carrot ginger soup and pasta with last week's meatballs
Lunches: bean burritos with crockpot refried beans from 100 Days of Real Food.
I also washed lettuce and spicy greens, washed 2 bunches of radishes, washed blueberries.  Still have to make carrot sticks for lunches.
The only CSA veggie work to do the rest of the week is roast the beets with some carrots on Tuesday.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Eat For Health Soup

So, a year or two ago, I bought "Eat for Health" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  He also wrote "Eat to Live".  He's been advocating a plant-based diet for a very long time.  His dietary recommendations, in general, are pretty extreme when you look at the sheer amount of produce he recommends.

I picked up the book again last week and skimmed a few pages.  It's cold and flu season, so I figured any veggie-heavy recipe would be a blessing.  I tend to cook ahead and soups are good for that.

The first soup recipe I found looked great.  I hadn't realized how some of the recipes in the book were written for speed in mind.  The recipe called for low-sodium tomato soup as a base, with carrot juice also (purchased, though some recipes call for fresh.  I don't have a juicer, so that's not happening.)  The vegetables he recommends adding are all frozen, and canned beans.

I followed the recipe almost exactly.  I used some pre-cooked pinto beans in place of one of the cans of beans.  I used fresh broccoli instead of frozen.  I used fresh onion and sautee'd it in olive oil first.  It was pretty good.   A little more "solid" than most soups I eat, and am used to.  Very filling. 

It's important to note that the recipes make HUGE amounts...many of the other soup recipes make 30 cups of soup (I think I only have one pot that big) and say that they serve 8-10 people.  Of course, in the doctor's world, you'd be eating 3 cups of soup as your meal.  His calorie count on the daily meals is about 1800...all from plants.  Anyway, it tasted good but looked pretty darned awful.  It was also 2x the price of my Moroccan Lentil Soup.  Still cheap though.

And I caught a cold anyway. But it's that time of year.

The other weekly meals were:
Tri tip in the crockpot - used for tacos.
Ham sandwiches.

So I made the soup on Saturday, we ate it that night with hamburgers, then froze the rest.  I made the tri-tip on Sunday, we ate it Sunday and Monday, then froze the rest.  We defrosted the soup for Weds, Thurs, and Friday, which we ate with scrambled eggs and cheese quesadillas.  The rest of the tri-tip is still in the freezer.  We will probably pull that out for the latter half of the week.  Here's my leftover-burger lunch on Sunday:

Here's how the week is shaping up:
Saturday: Tilapia and homemade tomato soup (Freeze rest of soup)
Sunday: Asian style meatballs with rice and stir fry veggies
Monday: Sunday leftovers (freeze remaining meatballs)
Tuesday: The usual (baked chicken tenders and broccoli)
Wednesday: Leftover soup with tri-tip tacos
Thursday and Friday: See Wednesday

For lunch, I am planning on making a big batch of pasta with asparagus, spinach, garlic, and olive oil.  We'll eat it all week.  Setting up my weekly meals in this schedule is making it MUCH less stressfull during the week.  Though I have to say, eating the same thing Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for dinner and the same lunch all week does get pretty boring.  But at least there is very little temptation to overeat these meals.