Sunday, February 20, 2011

Meal Retrospective

This last week started off hectically thanks to our late arrival home on Sunday night. It's hard to organize a meal plan with no time before the work week to plan or shop. The good news is, on the road trip home, we planned our next year of major holidays. So all was not lost.

I managed to keep some tasty meals on the table with a quick stop at Dad's Organic Market on Wednesday and keeping in mind my standard meal checklist, namely:
• include vegetarian meals
• make at least one meal include beans

I have a new checklist item now as well, since Baby G just celebrated his six-month birthday:
• include ingredients that the baby can eat.

This week, that special ingredient was sweet potatoes.

Tuesday's veggie meal was also the bean meal: Black Beans with Roasted Peppers from The Occasional Vegetarian (a lovely cookbook that I haven't used in a while, but with this meal, may experience a bit of a renaissance in my kitchen), brown rice, and a side dish of cabbage, carrots and sauerkraut, from the same book. I was reminded again by this meal that black beans and rice, no matter how they are prepared, create an amazingly satisfying dinner.

Wednesday, I was aiming for that sweet potato hit, so I made for the second or third time Pork Chops with Spiced Sweet Potatoes and Apples. Simple and delicious, and matched nicely with our leftover cabbage side dish.

Thursday, I was heading out for a meeting around dinner time, so I gathered up some ingredients that needed using (beef stock, mushrooms and sour cream), added ground beef, and made a very simple slow-cooker version of meatballs stroganoff. 'The boys' enjoyed it with perogies and steamed beans and corn.

Friday night, while D was spending time with his uncle, we took advantage of having only one kid with us and went out for a casual dinner at Mogul Divaan, which was absolutely fantastic. In fact, my hubbie compared it to Taj Mahal, which is high praise. Especially for a fraction of the price. More on that when I return to Planet S's dining column...

Saturday, we discovered a new easy, cheap, satisfying dinner, loved by D: Bulk Cheese Warehouse fresh pasta and housemade sauce. We picked up a generous portion of linguini, more than enough for the three of us, plus a container of creamy clam sauce (although that was just one of several options). The deal is that you get the weight of the sauce in free pasta. So the entire meal (well, not including the bread, Leslie Stowe crackers, and several kinds of cheese that I stocked up on at the same time) cost around $6. And D inhaled it. Noodles, you know. They're the way to that kid's heart.

This morning, we hosted my brother and sister-in-law for brunch, and I served a long-standing favourite, Ham and Sweet Potato Hash with Fried Eggs, sliced tomatoes, and a new favourite, cherry chocolate scones from King Arthur Flour's Whole Grain Baking cookbook. I found an adaptation of the recipe here, the only change I made was choosing 2 c. barley flour instead of the whole wheat pastry flour, which was an option in the original recipe. The scones were D's somewhat questionable choice for an on-going snack all day long. I don't know how many he ate all together, but it was more than a couple. Do the whole grains and dried fruit make up for the shots of chocolate? I tell myself, yes.

The week turned out pretty well, food-wise, but I plan to plan more for the coming week. Weekday dinner party, coming up!

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