Monday: Holiday! I will try again to make the leek and sundried tomato chicken.
Tuesday: Taco Tuesday's triumphant return! With spinach and mushroom quesadillas for parents.
Wednesday: Noodle night, for those who partake. I had a Wegman's visit this week so I'll be doing the sheep's-milk yogurt and caramelized onion version again, with regular versions for the less adventuresome.
Thursday: slow cooker honey beans and spinach, and probably Trader Joe's buffalo chicken meatballs for the boys.
Friday: Leftovers, augmented by the freezer.
Last week, the brisket was a hit with everyone but me, and took the other three through three dinners. I can live with that. And I cannot figure out how to keep a meat together in the slow cooker. They all fall apart and can't be sliced, only shredded. Not a big deal, but an annoyance nonetheless.
The big hit of the week: after an exasperating white-flour-only based day for Mr. Picky, his brilliant father announce we'd be making smoothies for dessert in my spiffy new blender. The boys were thrilled and poured in an entire bag of frozen blueberries, and some raspberries and mango from the freezer too. (My older son kept "stealing" pieces of frozen mango and slurping them down. Yay.) We added a banana, the last of the strawberries, and some pineapple from the fridge, and a little OJ to keep it all together, and wow. They ate it over vanilla ice cream and begged for more smoothie, then had more for breakfast the next day (minus the ice cream of course). (It's a big blender.) It was a huge hit and a great redeemer of a nutritionally bankrupt day.
My kids may not eat soups, but they will eat dips. I tried this one, light on the hot sauce, this week:
Edamame Ginger Dip (from Eating Well 2009)
6 servings, about 1/4 cup each | Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 1 1/4 hours
8 ounces frozen shelled edamame
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon tahini
1 clove garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt
Hot pepper sauce to taste
Cook edamame according to package directions. Puree the cooked edamame, water, soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, tahini, garlic, salt and hot sauce in a food processor until smooth. Chill for 1 hour before serving.
Per serving : 70 Calories; 3 g Fat; 0 g Sat; 1 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 6 g Carbohydrates; 5 g Protein; 2 g Fiber; 196 mg Sodium; 31 mg Potassium
Tips & Notes:
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Another thing the kids liked last week was a stir-fry their dad made. He sliced some chicken breasts, a big clove of garlic, and sauteed them in some olive oil and chianti. The boys were thrilled, and even the picky one said, "Dad! Can you make chicken like this every time???" I vote yes.
In the wake of that stir-fry success, I tried this one from Dinner: A Love Story. I went with ground pork instead (I have that touching-raw-meat aversion) and it was good. (And cheaper. And I only used 3/4 lb and it was plenty.) Alas--I was out of soy sauce but happily I found ponzu (what in the world did I buy that for?) and it was a good substitute. The final product was good, but I wanted to add something to it, like spinach (like my ground pork recipe on the sidebar) or cabbage or broccoli or even cashews, something to add some crunch. But it is a solid base for a fried rice dish, and next time I feel like having Chinese, I will try this first. Plus, the "use frozen Trader Joe's rice" trick is a great one; we almost never have "leftover" rice, which is what is usually needed for good fried rice.
And back to Bittman: we did try one of his "semi-vegan life" recipes, for sweet potato stew. I served it with vegan rice (made with olive oil instead of butter). I used too much coconut milk (thank goodness it was light); next time I'll use half a can and more water or broth. I'll also use yams instead of actual sweet potatoes; it came out very yellow, and the picture of the orange one was much more appealing. Neither boy tried it but my husband and I enjoyed it very much. It's a keeper. I will be trying a similar variation next week in the slow cooker; we'll see how that one goes.
My husband and I have some different palates these days; he loved the ponzu since it wasn't as salty; I actually wanted to salt the stir fry in its absence. After the Wegman's shop, I bought Goya sodas for a fun "side" on taco night; I liked the pineapple but was kind of grossed out by the coconut soda--and I love coconut. But maybe that was the problem--my husband loves pineapple but was disappointed in the carbonated version and preferred the coconut. Happily, we are grownups and can work around this most of the time.
And now I'm rambling. Thanks for reading this far. Check out I'm an Organizing Junkie! for a great collection of menu plans!