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!