Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Meal Planning Saga: Week Two

Week two went fairly well, though the dishes certainly got better as we approached Wednesday. I'm working on getting pictures up shortly - I've officially run out of 'free' space on the blogger account so I'll have to see what I can do about that. And dealt with!

Sunday - pulled pork ragu with polenta and spinach, from The Italian Slow Cooker. This was pretty good, though I should have sprung for some fresh basil at the market on Saturday. It lasted for sandwich centred lunches well into mid-week though, which was great.

Monday - quinoa and vegetable pilaff from Simple Suppers. The quinoa here was great - nutty, hearty and flavourful in general. I cooked far too much so it's now frozen in small portions for me to grab for lunch on my way out the door. The vegetable part of the dish wasn't my favourite, but I think it was me more than the recipe itself. I added mushrooms and zucchini, and I think in general, I may have cooked the veggies too much.

Tuesday - Thai 'Butternut' Squash Soup with tofu from Simple Suppers. I cooked some extra squash the week before when making the spelt pancake filling, and Charles made this soup the next evening then froze it, so this meal was no more than warming up the soup and pan frying some tofu with Thai red curry paste. This one was alright, though I think we could have gone with the spicy-sweet soup on its own, or maybe with an addition of lentils.

Wednesday - Another one from Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights - Chicken and halloumi kebabs with mushrooms. This one was great. I picked up the halloumi at the Italian Centre back in the fall in anticipation of making this recipe (it was on their 'specials' board, so I'm not sure if it's a regular item or not), and it was lovely - sort of rubbery as was noted in the recipe, but perfect for grilling (we grilled instead of broiling... sensitive smoke alarm and warm evening). We had these with some of the leftover quinoa and a green salad.

Thursday - originally the plan here was Sugarbowl. It was cask night, and I was really looking forward to that orange and cardamom wit-bier with their seafood-coconut-green curry. Unfortunately it wasn't in the cards - as we stood waiting for a table, lucky seated patrons began ordering second rounds, so we left. We bumped up Friday's recipe of Keema stuffed peppers from The Gourmet Slow Cooker, skipping the slow cooker part and popping them in the oven instead. These were definitely enjoyed - the lamb held the spices well, and instead of rice, quinoa or potatoes, I used yams which brought a pleasant sweetness to the dish.

With no Alley Kat to be had at Sugarbowl, we tried one at home

Friday - From The Italian Slow Cooker we did Chicken 'Parmesan' Heroes, though I skipped the parmesan part and just did buffalo mozzarella instead. We had some of the tomato sauce leftover that we had cooked the pork in on Sunday, so we froze it and used it to cook the chicken breast here as well. Along with the basil, soft, salty, lovely mozzarella and whole wheat buns from the Italian Centre, these were a great start to the weekend. Our friend stopped by just as we started eating (we were off to go skating in Hawrelak Park that evening - the ice was rough and it was wet, but it was enjoyable none the less), so I made some extra salad and Charles cut some bell peppers to munch on, and thankfully the single chicken breast I'd cooked was enough for the three of us.

And that was it. Saturday we went to Café Beirut and afterwards to Ice on Whyte, but I'll save that for the next post.

This coming week we're making a few recipes from Epicurious, so we'll see how they compare to the cookbooks we've been using. On Wednesday evening we're off to Red Ox Inn for Fork Fest. It's been two years since our last visit and I think we're both eager to return. Charles is down with a nasty chest cough this evening (the 26th), so another time perhaps.

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