We have been pretty busy around here, what with the holidays and all. Oh, and the new game I have been playing online. I have been cooking though, and even taking some pictures. Here is what we have been eating, starting back with the week of 11/29 and my last posted plan.
Monday plan: Chickpea noodle soup, from Veganomicon, without the mushrooms, since I am the only one who likes them (and we were out anyway), leftover steamed green beans and spinach
What we had:
Exactly as planned, with no mushrooms, and green things added to the soup. Delicious.
Tuesday plan: Roasted butternut squash risotto, steamed broccoli
What we had:
Broccoli not shown, because we were running so behind this day, the kids’ dad came to pick them up just as I was finishing cooking this. I dished up a bunch to send with them, and ate alone that night, but at least it was delicious food. Also, I tweaked this recipe a little–I didn’t change the amount of broth at all, but I upped the amount of rice to 2 cups. It was still plenty creamy and fully cooked, and made even more food, which is good for something that we actually like to eat the leftovers!
Wednesday plan: Borrachos, whole wheat tortillas, sauteed turnip greens, steamed sweet potatoes
What we had:
Just as planned. The tortillas didn’t make the picture, and I added some guacamole with spicy pico de gallo from Trader Joe’s in the back there. This made a huge amout of beans–that isn’t even all of them in the serving dish there. I used pinto beans because that is the best I could find at the grocery store, but I am thinking I need to hit a winter’s famers market soon to see if I can get something more interesting to try. These were delicious, though, and, as I suspected they would be, even better the next day.
Thursday plan: Fried rice/quinoa, cucumber wontons
What we had:
The kids decided to add some raspberry cocoa smoothies to this meal, which were very good. I love that they seem to be so enthusiastic about smoothie making, although we get a LOT of cocoa powder when they are in charge of the recipes. Not that they put too much in the smoothies, but all of their recipes seem to include the cocoa, is what I’m saying. Still, there were bananas and raspberries and calcium-fortified soy milk, so it all evens out.
Friday plan: Pizza, one with chickenless strips and pineapple, one with sausageless Italian sausages
I didn’t get a picture of this, because we dived into the pizzas as soon as they were ready. We did this a bit differently than planned, though. We had veggie pepperoni in addition to the sausages, and my mom came over, adding her pickiness, so we had a bunch of different pizza sections. One pizza had chickenless strips all over, and pineapple on half (my mom and the girl), and the other had pepperoni and Italian sausage on 3/4 of it and chickenless strips and pineapple on the last 1/4 (the boy and me). I have been getting the pizza crust dough from Trader Joe’s because it is only $.99, but we have discovered that you really need to cook the plain crust for 5 minutes before adding the toppings, or the crust doesn’t get cooked all of the way. The kids were helping with the crust rolling, so one crust went in before the other, and when I took out the first one to put the pepperoni and sausage on it, I accidentally turned the oven off when I meant to turn the timer off. So, the chickenless pizza had a gooey crust, and we ate much later than intended, because I didn’t discover the oven was off until I went to check to see if the pizzas were done cooking. Hence the lack of pictures.
Saturday: This was the big party. I am not comparing the plan and actuals here, because it is a big menu, so let’s just start with some pictures, shall we?
- dill dip with rye bread
- cranberry mango salsa from Trader Joe’s
- some leftover chile chocolate mole sauce, thinned a bit
- various breads, crackers, and veggies for dipping
- Thai-spiced pumpkin soup
- hot mulled red wine
- Pinot Grigio
- Cinnamon Pear Cider
- tropical sweet potato casserole
- roasted Brussels sprouts
- butternut squash risotto
- sausage stuffing
- cranberry orange sauce
- mushroom gravy
- this new meatless loaf recipe
- steamed green beans
- eggplant parmigiana, brought by my neighbor
For dessert, we had:
- cranberry upside down cake
- maple cupcakes
- some of my homemade mint liqueur
The mint liqueur was a hit, although very strong. The mint in my garden has a fantastic flavor, though, so it tasted really good, and everyone liked it.
After the party, I decided I needed to save some money and clean out my kitchen, so we did not do a grocery shopping trip for this past week. I had some extra stuff that I bought for the party and didn’t end up using anyway, since a couple of entire families that were supposed to come got sick, and I didn’t want to have FAR too much food (as opposed to the merely too much that we had, 😉 ). I don’t have pictures of everything from this week, but here is what we had:
Sunday was leftovers. We all ate our favorite things from the party, and barely made a dent in the mountain of food.
Monday I went with easy:
Whole wheat spaghetti, and butternut squash sauce from a jar, with spinach added as it cooked. Very nutritious and delicious and easy.
Tuesday, when I picked the boy up from school at 5:30, he reminded me that he needed to be back at school by 6:30 for his chorus performance. I had tentative menu ideas, but I don’t even remember what they were, because we scrapped them in favor of leftovers again. This, combined with all the lunches that I ate from the leftovers, meant that I didn’t have to throw out any of that good food. I was pleased that none of it went to waste.
Wednesday the kids were going to their dad’s, and one of our neighbor’s was over to do a school task with the boy (she is doing education classes, and she needed a practice student), so I pulled out a box of Road’s End Organics Shells and Chreese, and prepared it with lima beans. This is super fast and simple, and the kids are always happy, even when I use lima beans instead of the peas or edamame that they prefer.
By this time, I felt like I was really getting to the bottom of the options, so I thought I should try to do some planning ahead. Wednesday night I went searching online for a good recipe for red lentil dahl, because I love that stuff, and I knew I had red lentils in the cabinet. There were lots of good ones out there, but the one I went with came from the New York Times. I also found a jar of masaman curry sauce in the pantry, so I went with a very non-traditional masaman curry on the side, with tofu, zucchini and carrot,s and brown rice and qyuinoa cooked with Bombay saffron rice spice from World Market. I invited my friend Andrea over for this, because she likes Indian food, too, and I actually got a picture:
We also had some garlic pickle from a jar and a bit of mint chutney. The kids made smoothies again, too; raspberry cocoa with some vegan chocolate chips. These were good, but probably more dessert-y that smoothie-y.
Friday the girl was in a play, and work was crazy, so I gave in and took the kids to Crazy Bowls and Wraps. I really want to avoid eating out as much as possible, but this is one time in over two weeks, so I feel pretty good about it. We used to eat out at least once per week and sometimes more, so this is progress. I should have planned ahead a bit better, though. This involved a lot more driving and money and less vegetables than I would have liked.
Last night was my dad’s birthday, so we went over there for spaghetti. My dad had meatballs and sauce, and I doctored up a jar of garlic marinara with sauteed mushrooms, onions, sausageless Italian sausages from Trader Joe’s and even more garlic.
My plan was to make a menu today and go to the grocery store, but it snowed overnight, and I am kind of a wimp about driving on snowy streets, so I am thinking I will try to find one more meal out of the pantry/fridge today and go to the store tomorrow. I do need to do that plan, though. But that is topic for another post, after some more game playing…