Hence the meal plan. I'm going to try and keep it up for the entire semester, but we'll see what happens. Last weekend we sat down (with all our neglected cookbooks spread across our kitchen table) and planned the next two weeks for a bit of a head start, and we'll just keep adding recipes to a 'we'd like to make this' list as we encounter them.
We figure we have two days where time is a real issue - Mondays and Tuesdays. On Mondays I don't arrive home until around 6:30, while on Tuesdays Charles doesn't get home until ~6:30pm and I don't make it home until after 8pm. Thus Mondays and Tuesdays we're going to attempt speedy meals or those utilizing the slow cooker.
Yesterday was day one of school and the meal plan, and we made something inspired by the "Beijing Noodles" recipe from Moosewood's Simple Suppers: Fresh Ideas for the Weeknight Table. This is a vegetarian cookbook (although they do include fish recipes), but amazingly, we substituted the tofu here for beef (I used to do the opposite during my veggie days, so this is hilarious to me).
We couldn't find any sweet bean sauce in our area and in the spirit of using up things from the pantry, I rifled through the cupboard eventually finding a small jar of Thai roasted red chili paste to use instead. In the same spirit, I also discovered two packages of soba noodles in the pantry; I have no idea why we have these, so we subbed the 'Chinese wheat noodles' for buckwheat soba noodles which were really tasty. Other than that we cut up the veggies on the plate below and added some shitake mushrooms to our 'tofu' mixture as directed in the recipe.
Veggies at the ready
Tonight (Tuesday) - Spelt pancakes with winter squash and goat cheese filling (from Sophie Dahl's Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights); with some wilted spinach on the side
Wednesday - Pasta with artichoke hearts, spinach and feta (also from Simple Suppers)
Thursday - Chicken curry (from Lynn Alley's The Gourmet Slow Cooker) with carrot and seed salad (from We Eat Together)
Friday - Moroccan Spiced Fish (again from Simple Suppers) with some greens
Saturday - We've decided to leave one free day, and this week Saturday is it. So we can either head out or stay in, whatever we choose.