Sunday, December 1, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

It's going to be cold this week!

Here's what I've got planned:

  • curry with veggies and tofu, rice, roasted seaweed
  • dried mushroom soup with barley (Moosewood! So yummy), plus fresh bread
  • lentil and rice and caramelized onions with spiced pita crisps, cabbage salad
  • spaghetti with onions or puttanesca, plus more bread
  • stuffed baked potatoes (Mexican! with pinto beans and corn and salsa), plus broccoli
  • some species of apple crisp, perhaps with cherry
Most of these are easy and warming, perfect for cold December.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Oh, Thanksgiving week! I'm doing meals in honor of the season, but eating Chinese takeout on the day of. Mama needs a vacation on the holidays. :-)

My plans this week include:

  • pasta with Field Roast sausages and garlic bread and green salad. Last butter lettuce and last tomatoes of the season!
  • cauliflower mushroom pot pie with olive biscuit crust. Roasted brussels sprouts.
  • roasted kabocha with brown rice and chickpea pilaf
  • potato latkes and applesauce, pumpkin soup.
  • chickpea cutlets with mustard sauce, mashed veggies
  • pumpkin pie from scratch, as I have this winter luxury pumpkin staring at me. Gotta try it once...
  • no-bake energy balls, for the bottomless pit that is my son.
  • popcorn! Since the kids are sick, I foresee lots of movies this week.
  • maple-mustard tempeh -- baked into strips, so yummy as a wrap.
  • apple crisp, since I have a bunch of lovely granny smith apples. Vanilla ice cream is a must...
This is a bit more meal planning than usual, even with the day off for Chinese food, but we're eating up leftovers fast these days as lunches. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

It might rain this week! The autumn weather is finally settling into foggy and cold, so I'm looking forward to soup...

Plans this week include:

  • tofu slabs with sesame and wilted spinach, over noodles.
  • potato leek soup with homemade bread
  • smoky chipotle black beans, over rice, with cornbread and greens.
  • sweet potato hash
I'm baking granola right now, and plan to bake some maple mustard tempeh for lunch wraps. I have a cookbook about pretzels out from the library... I may have to try it out. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Oh, it is getting cold! I caught a head cold this weekend, so I'm going to slack off a bit this week and make easy meals.

The plans are:

  • broccoli tofu stir fry (uses up 2/3 of my CSA broccoli this week), rice, roasted seaweed, apples.
  • enchilada casserole, pushed to this week from last week. Making this one today. It's complicated -- roasted potatoes, a tomato sauce, a bunch of sauteed onions and mushrooms, and a blender cashew-cream, all layered with the corn tortillas. I think it sounds yummy! I have guac on hand, and maybe my little CSA avocados will ripen enough for the leftovers...
  • pasta with Field Roast sausages and greens.
  • chickpea and bok choy saute with toasted cashews. Last minute addition, for the night with the least amount of free time, since this is a super fast meal.
  • sweet potato hash with eggs for my solo dinner. Someday I'll return to rafts with baked eggs or spicy tomato sauce, but right now this is my go-to.
  • oatmeal raisin cookies. I ran out of brown rice syrup! Shocking! :-) But I restocked, so I can make these awesome cookies again.
What are you making with your fall veggies?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Quiet around here. Too quiet... surely other people are planning meals?

My plans for the week include:

  • my trusty tofu potato mushroom stew with miso gravy. Over pasta or brown rice. With something on the side... kale? brussels sprouts?
  • pumpkin soup (really, kabocha) with homemade bread, and chives. Maybe grilled cheese on the side? Kids love that. 
  • lal dal over jasmine rice, spiced pita crisps (love these!), something green on the side.
  • sweet potato hash with red pepper (yay, farmer's market!) and eggs.
  • tacos with butternut squash and kale and mushrooms (had something similar at the farmer's market yesterday, it was awesome). And guac!
  • really tempted to make this enchilada casserole: Looks tasty! A bit more work than I have been doing these days, but it'll make at least two dinners and a lunch or three, so it's likely worth it.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Oh, the cold weather has arrived! And the late autumn veggies!

My plans include:

  • lentil soup (Barefoot Contessa recipe); I have a lot of celery on  hand from my CSA box. I think one entire bunch with leaves will go into this. Homemade bread on the side.
  • posole verde. Found beautiful poblano peppers at the farmer's market this week, so it's a must. My veggie version has lots of hominy, beans, roasted poblanos, tomatillos, and mushrooms in it.
  • creole hoppin' jean. Comfort food: beans, tomatoes, rice, spices. Great with guac and chips. Roasted sweet potato side.
  • chickpea cutlets, by request. Roasted cauliflower. Maybe mashed potatoes?
I never made any of the extra things in last week's post, so hopefully this week we'll make pretzels and lentil pate and popcorn balls. And granola, since someone keeps eating it all.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

My CSA box is guiding the meals this week, as it should. :-)

The plans include:

  • tofu scramble with greens and roasted potatoes, wrapped up in tortillas. Smoothies.
  • cauliflower mushroom pot pie with olive biscuit crust. Green salad.
  • roasted squash (kabocha or butternut) with rice and chickpea pilaf, roasted beets. Leftovers with sauteed kale and shallots.
  • massur dal and carrot soup. Spiced pita crisps. Green salad.
  • Kids and mama night: potato frittata or sweet potato hash.
  • backup plan: peanut noodles and baked tofu and cabbage slaw
  • extras: maple mustard tempeh (for my lunch wraps), lentil walnut pate (for crackers), easy potato salad (something to try with the kids), pretzels (baking lesson), and rosemary chocolate chip cookies (new recipe to try)
The girl told me today that all my soups are yucky. HOWEVER! Her brother really liked the simple ginger pumpkin soup I made this week. As did I; it was superb with chopped chives.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Oh, it feels like autumn! Though the forecast for this coming week is back to hot. I never made the pumpkin soup last week, plus I got a surprise pumpkin in the CSA box, so now I have TWO pumpkins (ok, a kabucha and a pumpkin). Ended up making broccoli and tofu stirfy, which everyone LOVED. Even the kids! I remembered to press the tofu, which really aided in giving the fried cubes of tofu a great crust. And it turns out that naming each floret of broccoli makes eating them fun. Kids just like to torture their food, they really are like cats.

This week's plans include:

  • pumpkin soup! With either homemade bread or fresh bagels. And green salad.
  • spaghetti and beanballs, green salad.
  • Field Roast sausages in buns, with fried onions and peppers, and roasted sweet potato wedges. Strangely, the kids love the Italian sausages, despite their "spiciness". Gateway to spice?
  • sweet potato hash, as always. It is especially good with peppers.
  • for snacks, popcorn balls (still haven't made them this month!), no-bake energy balls (boy is in a growth spurt), and cookies (boy is asking for the chocolate-chip recipe without the chips, I'm angling to try out a snickerdoodle recipe).
I'm a bit short for the week on meals, but something will suggest itself, either with the new CSA box or when I peek at a cookbook...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

It's still pretty hot on some days, but the nights and mornings are so cool that my menu planning is wandering into winter territory.

Plans for this week include:

  • popcorn balls, since we never did it last week
  • broccoli with cheddar cheese. The kids love this, but I prefer it on toast with mustard. To each her own.
  • pumpkin soup, with homemade walnut-cherry bread, and salad. I bought a lovely Kabocha squash for this from a harvest festival.
  • lal dal (lentil curry) over rice, with beet salad and pita crisps.
  • tempeh shepherd's pie, green salad.
  • garlic tomato soup, perhaps with some ravioli in it.
  • sweet potato and veggie hash with eggs.
  • spaghetti and beanballs, as a backup meal.
What do you feel like eating these days?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

It feels like autumn to me! I'm pulling recipes from Veganomicon and Clean Food this week, plus trying out a dressing from Vegan Lunch Box.

The plan includes:

  • roasted pepper and corn bisque, polenta fries, maybe some fresh honey oat bread?
  • udon with shiitake mushrooms and kale
  • lentil apple walnut loaf. This is good for two dinners, and possibly a sandwich, too. One night we'll have mashed potatoes and a green salad. I want to try a dressing recipe that is billed as a miracle for kids -- it is sweeter than most dressings, I think. Another dinner we might have roasted veggies or mac and cheese, or both...
  • pasta with eggplant parm (my vegan invention with layers of eggplant and arrabiata sauce, no cheese).
  • banana bread, as I seem to have purchased too many ripe bananas, and our smoothie consumption is low.
  • popcorn balls, with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and cranberries and raisins.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

A bit behind the times; had a birthday party last weekend and it threw off my routine.

This week we have eaten:

  • curry (S&W box) with tofu and veggies, over rice. Roasted seaweed. Sliced tomatoes.
  • taco night with mushrooms and many fixings.
  • red wine braised cabbage with carrots and potatoes and apples and sausages
  • veggie hash (an especially colorful week, with sweet potatoes, peppers, mushrooms, summer squash, and green onions)
  • chocolate chip cookies
I'm doing leftovers of the red wine cabbage dish tonight, with some fresh whole wheat soda bread with millet and raisins. It's a fantastic bread, esp. toasted with jam. Here is a similar recipe:

I've got a bunch of spinach, which usually means millet polenta with spinach and sundried tomato pesto. Mmmm....

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

My plans this week include:

  • taco night (the kids approve) -- usually refried beans, rice, fried mushrooms, guac, salsa, chopped lettuce or cabbage, cheese for the kids....
  • ratatouille with rice. My CSA has left me with squash, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, fennel... adding eggplant and onions and garlic. It's sliding towards an Italian giambotta, but delicious all the same. Hopefully a two-dinner meal.
  • breakfast for dinner: pancakes, hash browns, veggie bacon, fruit salad.
  • baked oatmeal... never made it last week. Now that the mornings are less rushed (one of the joys of homeschooling!) I'll get the kids to help me make it.
  • granola... almost out of the last batch.
  • no-bake energy balls -- very popular, and so very full of calories for these skinny kids.
I need another dinner in here, I think, besides my sweet potato hash night (husband works late at least once per week). I'll see what my CSA brings on Wednesday and just work around that.

I've got a birthday party for next weekend... it's looking like a big chocolate cake plus vanilla cupcakes. Someone seems to want either a kitty or rainbow theme, but I'm not sure what to do yet for decorations.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

So hot this week! I'm trying to minimize the cooking, especially the baking...

My plans include:

  • pasta with eggplant and sausages (bumped from last week), green salad (I have so much lettuce right now!)
  • taco night, with fried mushrooms and lots of fixings
  • chickpea cutlets, with roasted sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts, and mustard sauce.
  • lentils and rice with caramelized onions and spiced pita crisps, cabbage slaw.
  • sweet potato hash with veggies
  • baked oatmeal for breakfast
I made shakshouka on Friday night, as a little date night dinner. Some fresh tomatoes, some canned, lots of spices, chopped kale... it was really tasty. I poached eggs in it for myself, and fried up a Field Roast sausage for the husband. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Oh, it is hot and I'm not inspired. Good thing I'm going out to celebrate at dinner with a friend and also celebrating an anniversary this week. Less meal planning!

Our plans include:

  • pasta with eggplant and sausages
  • pineapple fried rice
  • creole hoppin' jean, cornbread, roasted cauliflower, coleslaw
  • sweet potato hash o' veggies
The boy is interested in baking, so we've been making more things lately. I'll try and steer him towards banana bread; I have quite a few frozen ones to use up.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Last week went mostly to plan, except the shepherd's pie got bumped due to the husband missing all the meals after Thursday. Yes, I am a startup widow.

My plans this week:

  • big pile of nachos (for me and the kids on Sunday night; they did not appreciate the whole black beans or the tomato chunks. Their loss, it was awesome.)
  • tempeh shepherds pie, green salad, roasted carrots?
  • pasta with Field Roast sausages and collard greens and tomatoes. The kids suddenly like Field Roast sausages! They say they are spicy but good. True.
  • tofu potato mushroom stew with miso gravy. Old standby but so good. It's a two-meal dish, so one night there will be rice under it, maybe some roasted sweet potatoes, another night there will be soba noodles. 
  • sweet potato hash with all the veggies. I've started putting in mushrooms and carrots, which is a nice variation. Collard greens work well when sliced thinly. Hot sauce and fried eggs make it a nice mama-meal.
  • still haven't made granola
  • applesauce, for canning. I kind of doubt I can stay ahead of my husband's love of applesauce, but I may be able to make a dozen or two large Mason jars (24 oz). I'm done with making strawberry freezer jam, I have about ten 8-12 oz jars in the freezer. Plus one huge jar in the fridge. Debating what to do with my lemon cucumbers in the back yard... relish?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Long absence -- had a bad bout of bronchitis and then went to Maui. Very little cooking!

But now real life has returned, with school and bills and hot hot days. My plans for the week include:

  • tomato tortilla soup, with quesadillas. And cold cold beer. And watermelon.
  • tempeh shepherd's pie, with beet salad.
  • spaghetti and beanballs, with broccoli slaw.
  • mapo tofu, with rice, and fried onion pancakes. Something green on the side, whatever my CSA box brings me.
  • sweet potato hash, with other veggies thrown in.
  • vegan blondies (so so good).
  • no bake energy balls
  • granola
What are you eating?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Still trying to stay ahead of all that lettuce! I didn't make it through all of last week's meal plan, so some of it is in this week's.

Plans for this week:

  • Creole Hoppin' Jean with corn chips and hot sauce, roasted cauliflower and red onions, green salad with home grown tomatoes and cucumbers. Ok, this was last night, and it was delicious. :-)
  • pizza with mushrooms and olives and pesto
  • pasta with edamame and broccoli and walnuts
  • sweet potato hash with chard
  • chili with zucchini, cornbread
  • french lentil salad
  • energy balls
We're going camping next weekend, but due to lack of space in the car I probably won't pack much food beyond snacks. We'll be exploring the coastline and towns, so it'll be a relaxing no-cook weekend for mama. I'm thinking I'll pack lots of fruit leather, applesauce, granola bars, trail mix, pirate booty... anything that is compact and shelf-stable.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bernadette: This week's meal plan

I've been cooking a lot but it has been awhile since I planned meals for the week.

For this week:

  • Black Pepper Flank Steak - this was actually pre-marinaded by the butcher. We ate it tonight since I came back from the grocery store late. It was delicious. 
  • Chicken Tinola - a Filipino recipe, a sort of chicken and papaya soup with garlic, ginger, onion, and spinach (although I'm using napa cabbage because that's what I have)
  • Asian Chicken Salad
  • Tuna Nicoise Salad
  • Creamy Lemon Pepper Orzo and Grilled Chicken
I realized after I finished shopping that there's a lot of chicken this week so next week I'll work on more variety and try to get a vegetarian dish in the meal plan, too. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Not so hot this week, but also not so cool. Just summer!

My meal plans include:

  • homemade pizza, with tofu ricotta, pesto, zucchini, mushrooms, olives... whatever the kids want. And salad, since I have so much lettuce...
  • baking powder biscuits, tempeh bacon or other fake bacon, roasted potatoes and onions with herbs, smoothies
  • baked tofu, peanut noodles, cabbage salad
  • pasta with broccoli, edamame, and walnuts.
  • bibimbap (rice bowl with mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, tofu, hot sauce, etc.)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Oh, it's hot. Going for lazier foods this week.

The plans are:

  • the millet black bean patties (didn't get to them last week), with sweet potato fries, avocados, and watermelon.
  • fruit salad, mango summer rolls
  • lentils and rice with caramelized onions and spiced pita crisps, green salad, smoothies.
  • sweet potato hash with veggies and eggs
  • pineapple fried rice, cole slaw
I bought a flat of strawberries this past week. We ate many of them, and I made a bunch of freezer jam. It goes too fast... we've almost finished the first jar already. I have a few pints left; I may make some scones today, to eat with the last of the fresh berries, or to put jam on... 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

The peaches became peach cobblers, oven roasted peach butter, and peach jam/syrup (not sure of the consistency). Not too many days left of peaches, plus the squirrels are very greedy.

Plans for this week include:

  • braised red cabbage with red wine and apples and sausage. It's like a tasty wine stew with potatoes and carrots and apples and Field Roast sausages. I have way too much cabbage on hand right now. Plus salad. Might make beans and dogs for the kids.
  • chickpea cutlets (a clever mix of gluten and chickpeas and spices and bread crumbs, fried up and crispy), mashed potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts, maybe a green salad. Mustard sauce with capers is required!
  • millet black bean patties, sweet potato fries, salad. Maybe a rice pilaf would be nice alongside...
  • calzones, coleslaw, watermelon. Kids have never had calzones, so we'll have to make some.
  • a massur dal and carrot soup for a friend.
  • hummus (Cooks Illustrated recipe)
  • a new recipe, with nori and a rice noodle mixture. Seems like a yummy snack.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

I am planning:

  • sweet potato onion kale hash, with roasted cauliflower on the side.
  • lentil spinach stew with Field Roast sausages
  • pineapple tofu fried rice
  • mole skillet pie (it is filled with beans, onion, carrot, and kale/collard greens, topped with cornbread)
The peach tree is ripening quickly, so I should come up with some peach recipes...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Hey, we survived the heat! I even made those full-meal muffins. They are tasty, not very sweet, and have a good texture. I'll make them again, though the kids did not find them exciting. Even with nutella! I may have to cut out sugar entirely from their diet so they can enjoy less-sweet foods...

Plans for this week include:

  • eating out at Aqui (we went to an evening outdoor play afterwards, good fun)
  • mushroom cauliflower pot pie with olive biscuit crust. My CSA gave me a 4.5 lb cauliflower head, so I used about half of it in this dish (doubling the recipe's request, but it was still good). The kids sort of like this dish -- they like the biscuit crust, and the mushrooms. Sadly, the cauliflower did not pass muster, as it was not roasted. This pie has a gravy made with lots of tarragon, and it's made me a fan of this herb.
  • Creole Hoppin' Jean. Doing a double batch, to split with a friend. Decided to cook the beans from dried, instead of buying the Eden Organic canned. I love that brand, but it gets expensive. I do have a fresh bottle of Pepper Plant hot sauce to enjoy on this beans/rice/tomatoes dish. A big green salad will finish it off. And lots of beer. 
  • Lal dal over coconut rice. Maybe some baked tofu for the kids. Sauteed greens, whatever comes in the box.
Other nibbles:
  • potato salad, in the Mediterranean style, which means olive oil, cumin, scallions, sun dried tomatoes... the CSA box had gorgeous new potatoes, which make great potato salad. It's a nice way to really taste the potatoes.
  • more no-bake energy balls. The boy is looking skinny, I think he just grew taller again.
  • maple mustard tempeh strips. Going to the beach this week, and I love making a wrap with these for my picnic lunch.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bernadette: what we've been eating

What We've Been Eating (pretty much everything except for the chicken tenders, roasted corn,  adobo, and the baby dishes are from

  • Rotisserie Chicken Enchiladas - really simple and easy. It was ok but I wouldn't make this particular recipe again and the 4 year old refused to touch it..
  • Singaporean Noodles, which were pretty much stir fried curry noodles with shrimp and veggies. The husband loved it. I thought it was okay. The 4 year old ate focused on the shrimp, ate the noodles skeptically, and ignored the veggies.
  • Mediterranean Turkey Burgers - turkey burgers with sundried tomatoes, garlic, and mint mixed into the patty. This one was good although I don't really like my burgers, which was what the sundried tomatoes did to the burger. 
  • Mediterranean Plate - a dinner cobbled together from leftover ingredients: roast chicken, pita bread, olives, sundried tomatoes and hummus, homemade tzatziki
  • Chicken and Pork Adobo - A Filipino dish, a family favorite.
  • Homemade Chicken Tenders and Roasted Corn - I came across a recipe that said one can simply throw in corn on the cob, husks and all, into the oven for 30 minutes and it'll cook. I thought this was a great idea because I had forgotten to soak the husks and didn't feel like grilling plus I was already using the oven for the chicken tenders. It worked although the experiment might have suffered a bit because I think the oven may have started dying sometime during those 30 minutes. I tried using the oven again today and it looks like we may be shopping this weekend....
  • Salmon Tacos with Mango Salsa - The 4 year old loves salmon and mango so when she heard that both ingredients were going to be put together, she was very eager for dinner. She ate dinner very happily but has no concept of taco, eating each ingredient separately rather than rolled up in a tortilla. 

I have also been cooking for the baby, who has decided that pureed food is no longer for her. She only wants table food. So, I've been feeding her a lot of finger food, sometimes little bits of what we eat if it doesn't pose any choking hazard, and started cooking some simple meals for her that are a little chunky but still soft.

  • Lentils and Rice
  • A no-stir baby risotto with asparagus, zucchini, and peas
  • Indian Lentil Stew - lentils with potato, carrot, garlic, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon
So far, she's loved the little baby dishes. Hopefully soon, I'll be able to bridge the gap between what she can eat and what we eat!

For the coming week, I plan to make
  • Lemon Asparagus Pasta with paprika roasted chickpeas
  • Caprese Chicken with broccoli
  • Wine Braised Pork Tenderloin with sauteed cabbage

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Oh, it is hot. And I am tired. But! I looked through a cookbook I have, Vegan Lunch Box, and was somewhat inspired by it.

This week:

  • leftover lentils and rice with caramelized onions and spiced pita crisps. This time, not so much berbere spice on the pita. So very spicy! Also Japanese spinach salad to use up my CSA spinach, and possibly some vegan Field Roast sausages I have leftover in the fridge from pasta night.
  • picnic in the park: hummus and carrot/cucumber sticks, falafel wraps, potato salad (with CSA new potatoes), cherries, chocolate chip cookies.
  • bok choy cashew saute, rice, onion pancakes, cabbage slaw.
  • massur dal and carrot soup (it has coconut milk!), empanadas, green salad.
Other things I want to make:
  • full meal muffins (filled with flax, bananas, zucchini, molasses, etc)
  • fennel cucumber salad (will have to drag out the mandoline)
  • cheesy roasted chickpeas

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Deadra: New Routine....

Okay it's not so new, but it's more that I'm implementing it officially.  It's call, eat what's in the fridge or starve.  Well it's not that harsh, but that's the general idea.
We all know I love to cook, love it.  The down fall is that I always have left overs, and I have a tiny horribly engineered fridge, which means stuff gets shoved to the back, where is dies a slow, chilly death.  Then I throw it out, and I hate to waste food.  Also there is the cursing, the cursing when I try to add more things to the already overflowing fridge.  So to assuage this I've started having more left over nights.  Which, who knew, makes dinner time so easy.  I don't even fancy them up, I let everyone choose what they want, and they're happy!  Bonus!  And my fridge gets cleaned out!
I wonder how I didn't really clue on to this before, but it's working well.  I still plan my meals two weeks out for the most part, but I work in left over nights a couple times a week.
This domestic diva thing, sometimes just gets easier and easier.  Up next, hunting down and killing all of the dust bunnies that have accumulated.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

It's a little cool and rainy today, which is shaping my menu plans for the week...

My plans include:

  • breakfast dinner of pancakes, tempeh white bean sausage patties, roasted potatoes and onions with herbs
  • lentil-rice-caramelized onions with spiced pita crisps. Slightly addicted to this dish... green salad on the side.
  • brown curry from a box, with lots of leftover veggies in it... tofu, carrots, turnips, onions, zucchini. Over rice, with salad.
  • potato mushroom tofu stew with miso gravy, over rice or pasta.
Just made a nice banana bread with lots of coconut oil. Not sure what other desserts are in the works, maybe cookies. Also going to make more yogurt-banana-blueberry popsicles.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

I'm even more behind than usual, since we went to the Maker Faire on Sunday and I didn't do any meal planning or shopping. Fortunately we've got leftovers, and plenty of produce left over from the CSA box. The bean and escarole soup was delicious, and is now all gone (two dinners, one lunch). We ended up making pizza at home on Saturday, with homemade fresh pesto. I also made a tofu ricotta, which I liked more than the mozzarella the kids ate. Way more flavor and texture.

My plans include:

  • millet and spinach polenta, with sun dried tomato pesto. Sauteed fava beans with garlic. Roasted sweet potato fries and summer squash.
  • spaghetti with kale and vegan sausage. Kids will manage to get cheese on their pasta. Green salad with radishes. Might add fava beans to the pasta, too. I've got a lot of fava beans.
On Wednesday I'll get another CSA box and work off of that... at the moment I'm not coming up with much. Honestly, those two bullet points are three dinners, which takes me to Thursday-sweet-potato-hash-night. And Friday we're going out to dinner for a date night. So I guess I can be lazy this week. :-)

Today we made blueberry-banana-honey-yogurt popsicles, and I also made thyme-honey-whiskey-iced-tea. We're going to try out both this afternoon (well, the kids don't get the whiskey tea). I should also make more energy balls, to fatten up my kids.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bernadette: Meal Plan

I haven't been good at making myself meal plan so I finally decided to try out a meal planning service. I found one called Cook Smarts, which had a free email subscription at the time that I joined but which has now switched to a paid subscription service. I continued with it because the recipes are pretty simple and using the meal plan helps get me out of my cooking rut. There's always one vegetarian meal and the dinner is usually seems pretty balanced. Each recipe also lets you know what you can make ahead of time, very handy for when I just have a few minutes to do something useful before one of the kids need me. If I don't like the sound of a dish for a particular day, I just look for another recipe from a different source but at least there are a few meals for the week already planned.

This week, I've made the following:

Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa, Black Beans, and Corn with a side of Roasted Asparagus - This dish was much easier to make than I expected and everyone liked it. The 4 year old helped me assemble the peppers and sprinkle cheese on top and was so excited to pick her pepper. She tried to eat it but mostly ate the cheese. I think she wasn't sure about the quinoa though and really doesn't like beans. She loved the corn though.
Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu and Roasted Broccoli - This one got rave reviews from the husband and we even served it to a dinner guest. I liked it because I got to pound the chicken flat although the recipe involved a little more work than I like - it can be inconvenient to watch 2 kids and handle raw meat at the same time. I didn't think the 4 year old would eat it so I broke my rule about trying to get the 4 year old to eat what we eat and made chicken tenders on the side. Making the chicken tenders was easy since all the ingredients were already there and it just meant not rolling up the chicken with the cheese and prosciutto.

I liked both dishes enough that I'd be happy to make either of them again.

Tomorrow is Honey Lime Salmon with Quinoa and over the weekend we'll probably be using our new grill which means sausages and corn and other veggies.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

This week's plans:

  • leftovers of a lentil rice caramelized onion dish, with spiced pita crisps. Steamed artichokes.
  • tofu kale scramble with chipotle raspberry sauce, yellow rice.
  • broccoli tofu stir fry with rice
  • curried split pea soup, green salad
  • white bean escarole soup (slow cooker; got a huge head of escarole in the CSA box today). Must make bread to go with this!
My CSA box has spinach, basil, summer squash, and beets, which I have no immediate plans for. The beets I may cook tonight for a salad. The squash usually gets roasted, since the boy loves roasted squash. I might turn the spinach into millet spinach polenta, and use the basil for a sun dried tomato pesto to smother it in...

The energy balls last week were quickly eaten, so I shall make them again. I also made a banana bread, using coconut oil. Devoured! 

I'm snack parent at preschool tomorrow, and it's my last one ever, so I'm trying to do it in style. For the kids: plain yogurt mixed with blueberries, homemade granola, bananas. The day is themed as Mixing Day, so this will give them a chance to mix it all together. For the adults, a many-layered dip of refried beans, guac, salsa, scallions, cheese, and sour cream with chips, and a strawberry cobbler. I'm going to make the granola at home, and assemble the cobbler at home, then bake the cobbler at school. The dip is easy enough to assemble at school. Ugh, just realized the cobbler recipe has almond meal in it, so I'll have to improvise that out. Maybe more oats and flour...

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Cool weather is back! I'm relieved. :-) The house guests leave on Tuesday morning, so it's back to regular menu planning.

My plans include:

  • a black bean chili with lots of tomatoes, peppers, and corn. It's very colorful and includes salsa. I used to make this weekly about a decade ago, so it's time to bring it back. Cornbread and collard greens to complete it.
  • A spinach tomato curry, with rice and a green salad.
  • A curried split pea soup, with coconut jasmine rice, pita bread, and steamed artichokes.
  • sweet potato hash with greens and mushrooms, for my eat-alone night.
  • still haven't made those energy balls, so that's still planned, plus a strawberry breakfast cobbler and a lemon coconut bundt cake.
I cook something vegan and gluten-free for a friend each week, and I think this week I'll make him a spicy chana masala (chickpea curry), and a warm lentil salad, in the French style. 

I'm also going to start a vegan kimchi fermenting, since we love kimchi. I love it way more than sauerkraut, which I still find odd, though tasty. I tasted the pickled fennel and lemons I made a while back, they taste very strongly of vinegar, but are quite edible. I might rinse them before adding them to things, so they don't overpower the food. The lemon flavor is good.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Deadra: lack of a menu, menu, and talk of kitchen chemistry.

This week Adam is going out of town for a while, and then his parents and brother and his family will be in town, so I suspect I'll make a couple large meals then mostly we'll be going out to eat.  So my menu this week is kind of a lack of a menu, geared towards the small people, there will be mac and cheese on the menu.
For me since I am eating impaired lately I have been following what I tend to want, so there is no planning for that, but it is pretty predictable.  I want brothy soups, bibimbap and milk.  Unfortunately it's pretty hot, so brothy soups are not fun to make!  I'll persevere though!
I've been fermenting up a lot lately too.  I'm plowing through a batch of vegan kimchi I made, I had a continuous brew of kefir water and kombucha going and I just started milk kefir again.  I am also soaking some organic soybeans to make a fresh batch of natto.  The warm weather makes everything ferment faster, so I really need to stay on top of it.  I think I'm going to convert my stone fireplace into a fermenting cabinet, it's nice and cool in there, it'll be perfect for fermenting in the summer months.
Although I have picky eaters for the most part (according to my palate) I am lucky that they like ferments!
Happy eating!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

This week I've got house-guests, starting on Wednesday, so we'll be doing more eating-out. I'll have to be extra vigilant about the CSA greens and make sure we eat them quickly.

My plans this week:
  • homemade pizza and green salad. I'm having a lazy Sunday afternoon at home with the kids, so I think we'll make some pizza dough and create individual pizzas.
  • lentil soup, bread, salad. It's going to be sort of hot for soup this week, but I have all the ingredients on hand and it's handy to have soup around when there are guests to feed.
  • spaghetti with garlic, olives, tomatoes, and arugula. Borrowing from Jamie Oliver, here, for a simple and tasty pasta dinner. I like strong pasta sauces like this one. I have a bunch of English peas this week, too, so I might try another of his recipes and cook them in white wine with scallions and spinach.
  • I want to try the recipe below, for no-bake energy balls. Seems like a good way to fatten up my skinny little children. Also, they can help make them.

No-bake energy balls:
1 cup raw oats
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup chia seeds, ground or raw (you can also use flax instead)
1/4 chocolate chips (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, refrigerate for 30 minutes, roll into bite-sized balls. Makes about 20 1-inch balls that can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 1 week. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu (and last weeks)

Hmm, spring break seems to have interrupted my menu posting. I thought I'd done this already! So, last week we ate... leek and potato soup, green salads, sweet potato hash with kale and spring onions and oyster mushrooms, spicy cauliflower chickpea curry soup, roasted butternut squash with rice chickpea pilaf... can't remember what else.

This week's plans:

  • leftover leek and potato soup, with chickpea flour rosemary flatbread, green salad and steamed artichokes.
  • tempeh salad in a wrap. Need something else here, maybe a fruit salad.
  • Creole Hoppin' Jean, with corn chips and sauteed chard.
  • sweet potato hash for me on husband-works-late-night
  • we're going out to eat one night (daughter has late class)
  • some broccoli grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids.
I'm doing well against the CSA onslaught, though I still have a black radish and a daikon radish, plus random beets and turnips and celery roots rolling about. I'll try and slip them into things.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Deadra: Reinventing the Wheel.

I've started making a two week menu, as I discussed a while ago.  I really enjoy perusing my "Food, Glorious Food, Want to Try" pin board on my pintrest account and choosing meals from there for my menu. However, while many of them are amazing, sometimes I need to reflect on what my family loves.  Granted many of the things I make rather harken to what tastes we love, but I need to make things that I KNOW we love.  Today I made soft meatballs with noodles and red sauce.  (tomato sauce)  It was so yummy, everyone stuffed themselves silly and left the table satiated.  There was no begging to try a bite, no Mama getting exasperated from the lack of tasting.  It was yummy and a hit!

My meatball recipe is pretty basic:
1 pound organic pastured beef
1/2 pound organic pastured pork
1/2 cup bread crumbs (or so)
4 ice cubes of liver (shhh this is a secret!)
4 eggs
a healthy shake shake shake shake of Worcestershire sauce
3 or 4 or 5 grated cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
1/2 a cup or so of Parmesan cheese (grated)
oil or fat of your choice for the pan.

preheat oven to 350 degrees

mix the meats and let your cubes of liver defrost, mix
add everything else and mix carefully, don't beat the meat too much
using a small disher scoop the balls onto a greased tray, leaving space between them, careful to not pack the meat in too tightly
bake 20 or so minutes until they are cooked through (I had to cut one in half to check)
 remove from oven, let cool slightly and enjoy!

These are very delicate, not really ones to be tossed in a sauce, rather ones to sit atop your noodles and gently caresses with sauce.  They are tender and delicious!
PS you can't taste the liver!

I served them beside the red sauce.

Trixie's favourite Red Sauce.

1 24 ounce jar of organic crushed tomatoes
1/3ish cup of water (this is what I swished out of the jar)
3 or 4 or 5 grated garlic cloves
dry Italian seasoning, basil, parsley all to taste (about 2 teaspoons each)
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of sugar
 let all simmer together
add 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter, once melted in and everything comes back up to temperature, remove from heat and add a generous squirt of good olive oil.

serve over yummy noodles! (and meatballs!)

Over all the whole dinner took me about 1/2 of an hour to make.

I need to remember this, one does not need to reinvent the wheel to feed one's family food they'll love!

Tiffanie: this week's menu

I'm falling behind on my CSA boxes already! Time to focus on using up the greens this week... fortunately I got a big bag of beets this week, so I've cooked them and they're ready to be added to the salads.

My plans:

  • taco night, with mushrooms and maple-mustard tempeh. Big green salad.
  • I'm going out to dinner with a friend on Monday night, so it's gardenburgers for the kids and a sweet potato hash with greens for the husband.
  • bok choy and chickpea saute with toasted cashews. Rice. Green salad. Possibly hot dogs for the kids, since they don't eat much of this meal beyond the cashews.
  • pineapple fried rice
  • Sweet potato hash with greens and eggs for myself (late work night for husband), and pasta for the kids.
I'm soaking more sprouts now, so I'll bake some bread mid-week to use for sprout sandwiches. I'll also make a big batch of rosemary white bean soup for a friend, in the slow cooker.

My CSA box gave me lots of lemons, so it may be time for another lemon coconut bundt cake...

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

First week of the month, so it's full of school meetings. Easy meals!

My plans:

  • taco night, with fried mushrooms and baja style tempeh. 
  • veggie curry, using the brown curry in a box. I'll put onions, tofu, carrots, potatoes, celery root, and celery in it. Cabbage salad on the side, with sesame seeds and an asian-inspired dressing.
  • lal dal and rice. It's a nice red lentil curry. Sauteed chard.
  • potato leek soup, homemade bread, green salad.
  • sweet potato hash with greens for nights I'm eating solo (just one this week).
  • a tabouli salad to supplement lunches
I'm already lagging a bit behind my CSA box, so this week I'm trying to stick to using up all the greens. I can store the celery roots indefinitely, but the greens only last a week or so. If I stick to this plan, I'll use up everything but the arugula... I might have to make up a pesto with it and freeze it, or add it the salads. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Deadra: menu

I think this will be less of a menu and more of a EUREKA! post.
I enjoy making menus but it's always been tedious to follow them.  Even though I am married to a Google geek I tend to be a paper and pen girl.  I enjoy the act of writing, but it is wasteful, and the geeky husband isn't so likely to read what I've written on a scrap of paper.  So he's been hounding me forever to use Google Calendar consistently and I'm pretty good, I keep up with my on goings.  But I find it lacking in using it to keep track of my calendar, the kids's calendars, my menus and ongoing tasks.  I lamented to Adam (the geeky husband) that I needed something that combined all of this easily, and sadly Google doesn't have this product.  (yet?)  So Adam's instructed me to do this and that and it's never worked or it just didn't feel seamless to me it was clunky.  Until now.  (you knew that was coming!)  
So what I've been doing has been to create 3 other calendars, menu- dinner, menu- lunch and menu- breakfast, then I hover my cursor under the date and click, creating an event, then I choose the calendar (which has been colour coded, breakfast, lunch, dinner) write as the event the 'what' and if I need to add notes or a link I click on 'edit event'.  So now on my calendar I can see my menus and Adam can decide if he's coming home for dinner.  Plus I love how I don't have to hunt for the link!

So you can see I have dinners planned all next week, but only lunch and breakfast planned for Monday.  (dinner is purple, lunch is blue and breakfast is pink).  Also a peek at my week.  heh. 

So I am sure that this isn't new to many of you, but it's handy for me!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Candice: Two Weeks Out?

Dea has started meal planning for two week periods, which intrigued me. So I tried to put together a two-week menu this weekend, keeping in mind what we already have in the house and what is likely to come in from our every-other-week CSA. This week we are having:
Monday; Tri-tip, mashed potatoes, artichokes, spinach salad
Tuesday: Nacho Night! (This takes many forms, but basically means ground meat of some kind prepped with taco seasoning and guac, salsa, corn, shredded cheese, etc on a bed of tortilla chips or an actual tortilla. Almost healthy!)
Wednesday; We'll be at a comic book signing so dinner will be out somewhere
Thursday; Butternut squash soup with beans, greens and sausage
Friday; Balsamic roasted veggies (fennel, carrots, potatoes) with pork chops and quinoa
Saturday: Leftovers, and I'm making Warm German Potato Salad for an Easter party
Sunday; Who the hell knows

Next week:
Monday; Mama is out for meetings, so dinner will be something frozen or leftovers
Tuesday; Nacho Night! They keep eating it!
Wednesday; Chicken soup with lots of carrots
Thursday; Breakfast for dinner (hash browns, eggs, bacon)
Friday; The boy and I will be in Florida, Daddy and Little Miss will be on their own

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Spring is here and I'm meal planning on the weekends again!

My plans:

  • this delicious looking Mushroom Stout Pie with Potato Biscuit. *drool*
  • I am beginning a weekly chili -- it's time the children learn to appreciate chili and fixings. This week's will be the Cook's Illustrated Best Vegetarian Chili. It's a fun recipe, lots of dried chilis and secret ingredients like walnuts and shiitake and bulgur. 
  • on my solo dinner night, sweet potato hash, with a bit of carrot and kale and red onion, and fried eggs on top. Tried this last week, and it was so so good.
  • something quick and easy, based on what I have from my CSA box. Maybe a tofu kale scramble, or a breakfast-for-dinner... I kind of wish I could sneak in a pureed soup, but this might not be the week for it.
I just put together a quick fennel pickle, with Meyer lemons sliced in, and black pepper. I'm worried I made it too salty, but I can always dilute it, I suppose. I might pickle up some beets and carrots, too... our visit to Happy Girl Kitchen has brought pickles back into my life. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Oi, I have not kept up this month! I shall do better! We had guests last week, so I made a batch of slow cooker posole verde with the last of my Rancho Gordo hominy. It was so yummy and gone in one sitting. Then we ordered in pizza. Then I left for the weekend for Monterey (thanks, child-raising partner!).

This week we didn't have many dinners with the husband (working late), so we had/are having:

  • leftover lal dal
  • spaghetti and beanballs
  • rosemary white bean soup
  • sweet potato hash with kale and carrots and fried eggs (a solo dinner for me)
  • creole hoppin' jean
My CSA has started up the spring season! If you are looking for a CSA, I do like High Ground Organics.

My veggie box included fennel, which I want to quick pickle over the weekend. It's a decent way of eating fennel, better than everything else I've tried.

I have a lot of spouts seeds (around 12 oz), so I am going to start up making sprouts for sandwiches. It's a good excuse to make yummy no-knead bread. And to eat cream cheese. :-D

How is spring changing your diet? 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Hmm... seem to have missed posting last week. I blame the return of school. We ate something.

This week's plans include:

I am also snack parent on a field trip day, so I'm brainstorming ideas. I'm thinking of making a wholesome oaty fruity bar. What else? Baby carrots? I'm trying to stay away from sugary snacks, so no yogurt tubes. Could do cheese, though they get plenty of cheese in their diets already... Then there are the parents. I could just double up everything for them...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

What We Cooked for Grandpa

My father-in-law came to visit - a little unexpectedly - so I had to re-work the meal plan a bit (I didn't think he would like black bean chili or braised kale with chickpeas), but this is what I managed to feed him.

While browsing the web, I came across a cookbook title that was so applicable to my life that I had to borrow it from the library: Parents Need to Eat Too: Nap Friendly Recipes, One-Handed Meals, and Time-Saving Kitchen Tricks for New Parents. I'm not a new parent but with the baby demanding to be held all the time and snatching anything in my hand so she can shove it into her mouth, I thought it would give it a try.

Honey Soy Salmon - A winner. The marinade is made of honey, soy sauce, and sriracha. Incredibly easy. Marinate salmon fillets for 20 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the fridge and stick in the oven for 12 minutes then serve. Everyone loved this meal, including the 4 year old, who gobbled it up, and my father-in-law, who ate it with as much gusto but with much more refined table manners. My husband asked that I add this one into the regular meal rotation. I served it with steamed rice and stir-fried broccoli.

Apparently, this is also a freezer friendly meal. Just marinate the fillets and freeze. The fish will marinate while it thaws.

Overnight French Onion Chicken - I wasn't a big fan of this dish but I'm glad that I tried it. The recipe calls for caramelizing 6 finely sliced onions in the slow cooker overnight and then adding chicken, broth, sherry, and thyme in the morning. Just before dinner, I also toasted Italian bread in the oven and melted gruyere on top. The preschooler refused to touch it. The husband picked out the onions. I thought it was a little too sweet and slightly disappointing for the effort. My father-in-law really liked it. One note in the book suggested keeping the leftover onions and using as a base for French Onion Soup so I may do that.

I haven't decided what else I'll make from the book. Below are recipes that I found elsewhere.

Lacinato Kale and Ricotta Salata Salad - This was my first time making a raw kale salad, which I served with the French Onion Chicken above because I wanted some kind of green added to the meal. I liked it but everyone else refused to touch it. I think I'll try to make other raw kale salads.

Roasted Mushroom and Beef Barley Soup A nice standby soup recipe for cold weather. My 4 year old used to love the barley in this soup and would ignore the mushrooms, but this time around, she refused to touch the barley and would only eat the mushrooms.

Chocolate Banana Bread - A recipe I found off the Cook's Illustrated site - I didn't add the link since you need to be a subscriber to get the full recipe. I am not a good baker, but this was simple and good. The bread was nice and moist, it had good banana flavor, and it wasn't too dense. It has been our unhealthy snack of the week.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Candice: Turns Out I'm Horrible at Planning Meals

Meal planning is something I aspire to, but just isn't happening. I did join the winter CSA and I keep the newsletter up on my fridge, checking off veggies as we go. This winter has been brutal for me. It's unusually cold for Northern California, and I'm about 20 weeks into my third pregnancy. We're also in the middle of renovating our master bathroom and repainting the master bedroom so our bed has been relocated to the living room. The novelty has long worn off. All of the above, coupled with a body clock that is still confused by my distance from the equator even after a decade in the Bay Area, has made for a really sessile mama. I normally love the meals of winter: hearty soups and stews, chunky casseroles, more bread and pasta than is wise…but we're not making any big culinary plans over here.

My childhood memories, though, are filled with my mother's obvious disdain for cooking, so I keep trying to be less bitter about the fact that I have to produce meals for my family every damn day. It certainly didn't make her any happier to feel that way and it's not working for me, either. And, when I do force myself to plan out meals in advance, I find it makes things easier on everyone because my husband is grateful to have an "assignment" even if I am too exhausted to assist in the kitchen.

Here's a list of things we've been eating for dinner: 
-Meat Muffins (really just fritattas in muffin tins)
-Butternut squash soup (with ham, beans and greens)
-Nacho night (a weekly favorite. I probably should establish a set day of the week for it)
-Pad Thai (homemade and thus peanut free for the boy. He LOVES it. I get weepy knowing he will probably never experience real pad thai out in the wild)
-Beef Stew
-TJ's corn penne and some kind of tomato-based meat sauce

I've also been trying to reduce the amount of packaged cereal and cow milk eaten by my children. My husband takes breakfast duty and has been pretty good about trying new ideas. He mixes and matches from the list below depending on hunger levels:

-Sprouted-grain toast and jam
-Plain puffed millet with almond milk (the girl loves and requests this)
-Yogurt with jam
-Leftover meat muffins
-Scrambled eggs
-Fruit with everything

When I am functional in the morning I make myself pretty much the same thing every time: Full fat greek yogurt, nuts and seeds (sunflower, chia, sliced almonds, pepitas), some kind of freeze-dried fruit from TJ's (blueberries or grapes), a diced apple (minus whatever the kids claim when they see me cutting up an apple) and a boatload of honey. Lots of fat and calories for incubating, yay!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Missed last week; developed some severe jaw and tooth pain that is either sinus related or one of my molars is dying. Lovely times! So I ate very little and all of it was soft.

But! This week I am cooking again, just in time for a cold winter storm.

My plans:

  • mushroom taco night
  • white bean rosemary soup, with no-knead bread and green salad
  • a lal dal (red lentil curry) with jasmine rice and roasted brussels sprouts
  • posole verde; a vegetarian version with mushrooms, tomatillos, poblano peppers, hominy.... so very good.
  • potato leek soup (my comfort soup), aloo samosas (filled with peas and mashed potatoes; the kids will help make these), and possibly smoothies.
  • shakshuka, from this recipe: It looks perfect for me when I'm eating alone. It's a spicy tomato sauce with poached eggs. 
Happy eating!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

the latest dishes

What I've been making:

Chicken and Pork Adobo from a recipe cobbled together with my parents' offhand instructions and two Filipino cookbooks (adobo is one of those recipes where everyone's version is very individual and everyone is very attached to their version of the dish). This wasn't a new recipe but I haven't made adobo in a long, long, long time so I thought it worth noting. While what I made wasn't quite like my parents (too much sauce!), the flavors were right and the father-in-law and husband were very happy with it. My mom also told me that adobo is very freezer friendly so it can be made in huge batches but leftovers of adobo never last long.... Served with rice and sliced tomatoes on the side.

Butternut Squash Risotto from the Pioneer Woman - This was delicious. I haven't made risotto in a long time - maybe 3 years? - and this was my first time making butternut squash risotto. Will definitely make again but not too often since it does require standing by the stove for a little while to add the broth in 1 cup increments and stir the rice. Served with roasted asparagus.

Mushroom Stroganoff with Goat Cheese from Alton Brown - This was the first mushroom stroganoff recipe that I've tried and liked. Definitely a keeper although more of a once in blue moon dish rather than one to put in the regular meal rotation.

I almost forgot to mention that I made potstickers for Lunar New Year. Mine were filled with ground pork, water chestnut, and chives. mmmm.

Also, old standby recipes such as chicken cilantro burgers, turkey tacos, pasta, and breakfast for dinner.

Up next:

Seven Vegetable Couscous with Spicy Harissa
Chicken and Pork Adobo (again)

The baby also started solids! She's been eating bananas, pears, avocado, and rice cereal (okay, well, maybe the avocado hasn't really made it in to her mouth but she was very good at mushing it with her hand....) Next up for baby are roast yams.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Very late this week!

My plans/history:

  • bok choy and chickpeas with toasted cashews. Onion pancakes, baked marinated tofu.
  • sweet potato corn chowder with kale. A no-knead loaf, of cherry and walnuts.
  • a wild rice pilaf to supplement the soups (from Clean Food).
  • green salads with beets, to eat up the two lettuces in the CSA box.
  • pancake night, with roasted potatoes and smoothies. (Kid request)
  • an apple and squash soup (puree)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

A nice normal week!

My plans:

  • finally made the quinoa black eyed pea croquettes with mushroom gravy from Vegan with a Vengeance. Delicious as always! Added sweet potato fries on the side.
  • have two more Field Roast sausages, so I'll put in another pasta and kale night with sausage. I have two beets left over from my big batch of roasting, so they'll become salad.
  • a big stew: the potato tofu mushroom stew with miso gravy. Love it. It's a solid two meal dish; and is great over rice or pasta. I want roasted cauliflower on the side.
  • I have a few lovely leeks from the last CSA box, so I shall make a leek potato soup. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Feeling lazy this week... here we go! Most of these are easy meals.


  • Sunday night leftovers, of the yummy lentils and rice with caramelized onions and spiced pita crisps. I found my zatar, so I used that on the pita. The young kale that I braised with red onion was also leftovers; husband thought it was bitter, but I liked it.
  • Pasta with greens and Field Roast Italian sausage, roasted butternut squash (with leeks?), and vegan chocolate pudding.
  • fundraiser night at Aqui on Tuesday, so doing that.
  • White bean and roasted garlic soup. Two heads of roasted garlic! Yum! More no-knead bread, and also beet salad.
  • A breakfast dinner, with pancakes, corn fritters, smoothies, and veggie bacon.
  • Quinoa and black eyed pea croquettes with mushroom gravy, and sweet potato fries.
Still trying to work through my fridge and not buy so much each week. Not quite as successful this week, but I'll be using up my chard, butternut squash, leeks, beets from the CSA box. I may also make myself some kale and baked eggs for a solo dinner; I can add some carrots and beet greens, too.

The soup and the corn fritters and the croquettes are from Vegan with a Vengeance. I haven't made the soup before; it calls for Great Northern White beans, and the bulk section was out of them, so I took the easy way out and bought them canned. At least it's from Eden, they do excellent canned beans, and they were on sale. :-) 

I flipped through the cookie and dessert sections of the cookbook, and I may try out the chocolate thumbprint cookies. I have raspberry jam... might be good. I'm also tempted by an orange rum tea cake, but I don't have any rum on hand. Would brandy be as good?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

comfort food recipes

I have been lousy at meal planning this year but here are a few recipes that I've tried which have worked out well. Pretty much all of these are kid friendly recipes and mostly from the Food Network. I've been in the mood for comfort food since the new year began.

The Lady's Chicken Noodle Soup from Paula Deen. When I got back from Ohio on New Year's Eve, the entire family was sick with a cold. As far as making chicken noodle soup from scratch goes, this was very easy and quick and quite good. Definitely a recipe I'll try again. Unfortunately, the preschooler refused to taste it but hopefully she'll be more willing to try it out next time. I left out the heavy cream.

Big Chocolate Birthday Cake from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. The preschooler's birthday was Christmas but we celebrated in January. This makes a huge cake! It's meant to be 4 layers but I separated it into two cakes each with 2 layers and one cake was enough to feed a party of 30 people. I thought the cake was a little bitter the first day but that it mellowed out and was much better the next day. It was also a nice moist, dense chocolate cake, which I prefer over drier, airier cakes. I also used a different frosting recipe since I needed something simple and quick but while the frosting was simple and quick, I wasn't a big fan of the frosting recipe so I'm not going to add that link here.

For some reason, I was unable to bake a decent cake in 2012, even with tried and true recipes. Every time I tried to bake a cake, it was disastrous, so I'm happy that I'm starting off with better luck in 2013.

Mac and Cheese from Ina Garten. I made this for the preschooler's birthday party and didn't get a chance to taste it while it was still warm. It seemed to heat up okay. I may try this one again.

Crunchy Parmesan Chicken Tenders from Giada de Laurentis. A big hit with my husband. Not so much with the preschooler. They're baked so slightly more healthy, and the breading on the top of the chicken tender was crunchy. My only changes were to use panko bread crumbs and add my own seasonings plus I left out the garlic vinaigrette that Giada devices as the dipping sauce.

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits. I had extra buttermilk from baking the preschooler's birthday cake, so I made the chicken tenders mentioned above and these buttermilk biscuits. I always thought biscuits were labor intensive but was pleased to find out that they're very easy to make. Definitely a keeper. I want to make more and the recipe says you can shape the biscuits and store in the freezer for a month so I may make another batch if I don't think of another use for the rest of the buttermilk.

As far as food resolutions, my big project for the year is trying to get the preschooler to eat a wider variety of foods, particularly vegetables, and for me not to become a short order cook for her. I also want to get the baby off to a good start on solids. I can't believe she's almost 6 months already!

A belated happy 2013!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Oops, missed last week. It was overly busy, but I assure you we did in fact eat each night. :-)

This week's plans:

  • a breakfast night, consisting of pancakes, hash browns, and smoothies.
  • golden split pea soup and homemade bread; planning to make my first no-knead bread of the winter. Possibly with cherries and walnuts in it, nom nom.
  • tempeh shepherdess' pie: lovely mushrooms and peas and corn and tempeh under a mashed potato crust... mmm...
  • lentils and rice and spiced pita crisps. A big spiced mash of caramelized onions and red lentils and basmati rice. So so good and simple. Braised greens on the side.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tiffanie: this week's menu

Happy New Year! Have any eating goals for the year? I'm pretty happy about how I've been integrating whole foods into our diet, thanks to our CSA box. I would like to increase the variety in the kids' diets -- they would prefer that I only feed them cheese and wheat combinations (for the girl) or tortillas with beans and cheese and rice and corn (for the boy). On the positive side, they do ask for a vegetable with each meal if one is lacking, so at least they are getting some good habits. I think I'll be trying out more recipes from Vegan Lunch Box, and trying to get them to eat more soups.

I'm using my Clean Food cookbook this week, and trying to largely choose recipes that I have nearly all the ingredients for already. Frugality! We're going to be keeping a close watch on our expenditures, as part of another goal this year, so my grocery purchases will be remarked upon. :-D

My plans include:

  • lentil walnut pate, as a snack food to eat with crackers.
  • roasted kabocha squash and creminis, creamy cauliflower soup, baked chickpea pancake with rosemary.
  • stuffed squash with rice and chickpeas, tamari-braised mustard greens.
  • Goodness soup (sort of a winter vegetable bean soup), and wholegrain pancakes (baked patties of a grain (quinoa, millet, or rice) mixed with some onion and carrot and oil and flour) with applesauce.
Yes, I have many winter squash in my cold garage to eat. The CSA box this week gave me kale, mustard greens, apples, carrots, beets, cauliflower, leeks, and butternut squashes (3!). Tonight I'm using the kale and beet greens in a tofu scramble with yellow rice, and I have many roasted beets already on hand for a salad. The mustard greens, cauliflower, leeks, and the biggest squash are going to be used in the recipes above. That leaves me with many delicious Granny Smith apples, two smaller squash, and plenty of beets and carrots.

I am also going to attempt handmade pasta this week, as I am planning on running a kindergarten cooking class on making noodles on Monday. Looks straightforward enough -- I'm doing the simple flour/egg/water/salt combination, and I'm going to see if it tastes good with the traditional butter and cinnamon-sugar sprinkle (it's what the Italians did before tomato sauce, and is supposed to be very good).

Happy eating!