Sunday, March 22, 2009

MPM--Eating Down the Fridge In Review

It was another cooking frenzy here, trying to use what we had in thoughtful and thorough ways. We had a few old standbys, and a few new recipes. Hits and misses with recipes are at the bottom of the post.

We are here at the end of week 2 of Eating Down the Fridge, and things look no different. Part of this was my Sensible Shop FAIL; part of this was the sheer amount of stuff I was starting with. I did end up using a bunch of stuff; and I was happy to make a bunch of Aid for Friends meals out of some of the less successful or bigger recipes (such as the stuffed cabbage and the hot chicken salad).

So, for this week:

Monday: leftover Hot Chicken Salad, rice, regular old lettuce salad, roasted beets

Tuesday: tacos

Wednesday: Freezer Food and salad. We have a variety of choices, primarily from Trader Joe's, ranging from an appetizer buffet to flatbreads to gnocchi alfredo. We'll figure something out.

Thursday: leftover tacos, possibly augmented by the black bean ones for the grownups

Friday: back to the favorite pizza place, I'd imagine, or another spaghetti night.

Am I glad we did the EDF challenge? Yes, if only because it wasn't that much of a challenge and it reminded me to work harder on shopping for what I need, not what I feel like. New strategy: take in ONE canvas bag. Shop without a cart. When the bag is full, I'm done. And, I was able to donate quite a bit, and that made me feel good too.

Need new inspiration? Try the list at I'm an Organizing Junkie! There are so many clever ideas there, I'm in awe every week. Below, recipes from last week's menus.

Hit: the carrot salad from Marrakesh, a restaurant in Philadelphia whose recipe was included in this month's Gourmet. Having eaten there, oh, almost 20 years ago, I really did remember the amazing flavors of this salad. The at-home recipe came close; but wasn't quite the dance-in-the-mouth of the original. I'm going to keep fussing with it; I remember the dressing being more liquid, and this was almost a paste, but here's the basic idea:

Oasis Carrot Salad
Adapted from Marrakesh
serves 4 (first course or side dish)
Active time: 15 minutes; Start to Finish: 3 1/4 hours (includes chilling)
(note from me: It is that quick if you are better at chopping and prepping than I am)

Lightly garlicky and herbed, Moroccan-inspired carrots are versatile enough to accompany almost any meal.

1 lb carrots, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
2 Tbs chopped onion, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Cook carrots in a medium saucespan of boiling water until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, then rinse under cold water until cool. Drain well.
Meanwhile, pulse onion and garlic with oil, vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a food processor until very finely chopped. Toss with carrots and chill at least 3 hours,
Just before serving, toss salad with cilantro, parsley, and salt to tasted.
Cooks' note: Carrot salad can be chilled up to 24 hours. Add herbs just before serving.
From Gourmet magazine, March 2009, p. 17.

Neither hit nor miss: Greek-Style Turkey Burgers. I got the recipe from the Summer 2008 Diabetic Living magazine, which I picked up because I have a diabetic brother in law and thought it would probably be a source of healthier recipes than I've been finding on my own. They were fine, and the kids even both ate some. But the genius of Rachael Ray's poultry burgers is her sauces, and this was lacking one. But, someone with better kitchen instincts than I have could probably come up with something awesome. I tried to fake the an olive spread from the 5 ingredient appetizer book, but I couldn't remember three of the ingredients which really made it not work.

Greek-Style Turkey Burgers
servings: 4 (1 burger, about 1/3 c salsa and 1 pita half each) (note: I got 8 burgers, not 4, from the pound)
carbs per serving: 23 g

1/3 c fine dry whole wheat bread crumbs
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 Tbs plain lowfat yogurt (I used Greek style; too thick maybe?)
1 tsp snipped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 tsp snipped fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 Tbs crumbled feta cheese
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 lb uncooked ground turkey breast or chicken breast
mixed torn greens (optional)
2 whole-wheat pita bread rounds, halved and lightly toasted
1 recipe olive-tomato salsa (below)
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (1 ounce)

1. In a medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, egg white, yogurt, rosemary, oregano, the 1 tablespoon feta cheese, and pepper. Add turkey, mix well. Shape turkey mixture into 4 3/4 inch thick patties.

2. Place patties on the greased rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals. Grill for 12-14 minutes or until no longer pink (165 degrees) turning once halfway through grilling. (NB: I cooked in a pan on the stove.

3. Divide greens, if using and pita halves among four serving plates; top with burgers. Top burgers with Olive-Tomato Salsa and the 1/4 c feta cheese.

Per serving: 275 cal, 6 g total fat (2g sat fat), 53 mg chol, 507 mg sodium, 23 g carb, 4 g fiber, 35 g pro. Exchanges: .5 vegetable, 1.5 starch, 4 very lean meat. Carb choices: 1.5

Olive-Tomato Salsa
In a small bowl, stir together:
1 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
1/4 C chopped, seeded cucumber
1/4 C chopped pitted kalamata or other ripe olives
1/4 tsp snipped fresh rosemary or 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp snipped fresh oregano or 1/4 tsp dried oregano, crushed
Makes 1.5 cups.


Ruth Saves $ said...

Looks really yummy. Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

These high winds are really kicking those of us wih allergies. Ugh!
Well, while I'm waiting for the coffee to brew I thought I would stop by MPM blogs and see what's being served.
Your menu sounds delicious.

Anonymous said...

Is Marrekesh still there? We probably ate there are the same time back in the day...with THAT wine and eating with your fingers. It was quite the experience. I could create that ambiance at home now very fact most nights at my tabel there is wine and eating with fingers. But somehow its not the same. We must return!

Domestic Goddess said...

I love that carrot salad! Is the place still there?

We also love the fez, a Moroccan place near second and Bainbridge. Haven't been there since we've had kids, though.

well read hostess said...

Thanks for these recipes! They look amazing!