Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Meal Planning Saga: Week Four

I can't believe we've made it a month. Though the whole meal planning process was a bit daunting, we're noticing the benefits - simpler grocery shopping, less stress around meal times, more 'rounded' plates on the table, better lunches via leftovers and, best of all, we're cooking together then sitting down for 45 minutes or so (depending on the meal) each evening. A big plus after busy winter days.

After last week's 'hiccups' we got back on track this week with some pretty enjoyable recipes. As per usual, we kicked the meal planning week off with Sunday dinner.

Sunday - Oven-roasted miso sesame salmon from Moosewood's Simple Suppers. The flavours here were great and I think we'll certainly be oven roasting more fish. But the texture of the 'glaze' was sort of 'starchy', and both Charles and I couldn't help but compare it to the dijon-maple marinade we usually love with salmon - I think we'll stick to the latter in the future. We served this with the 'Pan-Asian slaw,' also from Simple Suppers, and some of those soba noodles still kicking around the pantry.

Monday - was a visit to the Muttart for details on the newest Culina Family addition.

Tuesday - 'Greek' lamb burgers from Epicurious. These were really great, though I think a little less paprika would have been a good idea. We swapped the spinach for the arugula we had in the fridge and made a quick salad on the side. These were also great for lunch the next day with some pita and hummus.

Wednesday - Moroccan spiced 'fish' (trout, in our case), again from Simple Suppers. With a little less heat, and a little less of the spice mixture on the fish itself, this would have been great. Never the less we enjoyed it alongside salad and wild rice for a rounded mid-week dinner.

Thursday - 'Shortcut Chili' from what I'm now realizing is our fall-back cookbook. We were running around a bit this evening, and although this veggie chili from Simple Suppers only required a bit of heating, I put everything in the slow cooker so we could eat when convenient. This recipe called for an entire can of chipotles in adobo; I added four, freezing the rest, and there was a pleasant heat level. In short: don't use the entire can.

Friday - Pizza. Charles made dough from the Bread Baker's Apprentice on Thursday evening, froze four of the six pieces and we had two nice pizzas for a casual Friday evening dinner. One pizza contained tomato sauce, hot mortadella, artichoke hearts, mushrooms and bocconcini, while the other had tomato sauce, mushrooms, bocconcini, smoked bison and fresh basil. While we loved both, the latter was the clear winner - crispy, slightly smoky bison, soft cheese... we'll be combining these ingredients again.

Charles stopped on the way home from work to grab a couple items for dinner and found Crave Cupcakes (7929 104 Street) open, so he grabbed a dozen mini cupcakes ($16.95) for dessert (okay, dessert and snacking over the weekend).

Saturday - Goat cheese and squash ravioli with mushrooms and arugula. Four weeks ago when school was not yet taking up so much brain space, Charles made some pasta dough while I filled it with the squash-goat cheese mixture, freezing it for later days. We broke it out Saturday night, cooking down a mixture of mushrooms we'd picked up at the Italian Centre with some sage, onions, garlic and vegetable broth. Topped with more of that arugula that won't leave the fridge, this meal was one of the more nicely balanced ones we've created, with tangy goat cheese, silky pasta, rich mushroom 'sauce' and peppery arugula mixing well.

This week has been chicken, risotto, and soup so far. Tomorrow night is slow cooker goulash which we're looking forward to. Enjoy the rest of your week everyone!


Katrina said...

Hi Marianne- your week of meals looked great! I'm not sure which Moosewood book I have at home, but I've made the miso salmon and found the same thing, but I've added a bit more water and butter so it's not as grainy, and I guess a bit more baked than roasted. A really good one from Moosewoods is called "Savory Hoisin Fish" that uses miso in the marinade/sauce. Definielty yummy!

Marianne and Charles said...

Thanks, Katrina! I'll add the miso salmon to the list again and give that a try. The flavours were great, and I'm sure adding a bit of butter wouldn't hurt ;) I'm definitely on the hunt for more uses for miso - we have the little tub of it sitting idle in the fridge, so I'll look that one up!

Katrina said...

I'm a miso lover so i find many uses for it :) Aside from the hoisin fish though, there's also miso soup. And I add it to chicken/ veg. broth with ginger (after boiling). Miso scrambled eggs. Miso tofu and broccoli. It's really good as a marinade for grilled veggie skewers and my favourite - as a vinaigrette with water, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and garlic.