Salad (Monday): Wild rice salad with roasted green beans and cranberries
Meat/lentils/pasta (Wednesday): Chicken in cashew nut sauce
Easy meal (Thursday): Burritos
Planning thoughts: Auditioning another new grain salad recipe, balancing it out with one of our favorite old recipes.
Advance prep: I made the wild rice salad on Monday and also made an extra large batch of the cashew sauce. I divided it and froze half of it (originally intended to freeze 3/4, so that's what you see written).
Recipe thoughts: I liked this wild rice salad but the cranberries made it just a little sweet for me. It was great as leftovers on a green salad though.
Salad (Monday): Kale salad
Meat/lentils/pasta (Wednesday): Pizza - sweet potato with brie + marinara with sausage
Easy meal (Monday): Sweet potato and black bean burritos (from Moosewood)
Planning thoughts: I had pizza dough in the freezer (need to share the recipe we've been using soon!) and I must have been feeling like sweet potatoes. Things changed during the week, though. I ended up making the burritos (not actually an easy meal, but I freeze at least half, which will mean an easy meal later on) and the salad on Monday and then the week got busy and we didn't need the salmon. I never buy meat until right before we use it, specifically because of situations like this. Note - I always purchase sausage from Whole Foods and buy just as much as we need (same with pretty much all our meat) which is why you never see leftover meat that needs to be worked into my meal plans. For this week I bought a single sausage, which feels a little ridiculous, but is just enough for a pizza.
Advance prep: Not much this week, unless you count the fact that I was benefiting from previous prep by using up the pizza dough I had ready.
Recipe thoughts: All of these are standards for us. I really love the sweet potato and brie flatbread. These sweet potato/black bean burritos are great but I'd forgotten just how much filling this makes! I have a ton in the freezer now.
Salad (Tuesday): Cilantro noodle bowl with broccoli (posted about it here)
Meat/lentils/pasta (Monday): Mushroom rice casserole
Easy meal (Thursday): Eggs with black beans and tortillas
Planning thoughts: Trying out new recipes again! Not much left over to use up.
Advance prep: None. Luckily these were all pretty quick.
Recipe thoughts: The casserole was great. Maybe too good, because we definitely didn't get that many servings out of it! I think we got four servings, so either we're pigs or it's intended as a side dish. The cilantro noodle bowl was also really good. I used more broccoli than is called for in the recipe, because I like a really high vegetable to noodle ratio. We grilled the tofu on our large cast iron griddle and it was perfect. The easy meal is just TJ's cuban black beans on a corn tortilla (must be heated directly over the flame to get it a little crisp) with a fried egg on top. Add salsa, sour cream or just tapatio if that's all you have on hand.
Salad (Monday): Pearl couscous with prosciutto, mushroom and asparagus
Meat/lentils/pasta (Tuesday): Soba with peanut citrus sauce (+ steamed broccoli)
Easy meal (Thursday): Bean burritos + green salad
Planning thoughts: Nothing much that needed to be used up (just some broccoli and some burrito fixings), had some new recipes (couscous and soba) that I was eager to try out.
Advance prep: Minimal. I worked from home on Monday which freed up the time I would normally spend on my commute. I made both the couscous and the soba that evening and we ate the soba the next day.
Recipe thoughts: I liked the couscous pretty well but still haven't decided if I'll make it a standard. It might be better for winter. The soba noodles were good but still not quite what I was looking for!
Salad (Monday): Meyer lemon grain salad with asparagus, almonds and goat cheese
Meat/lentils/pasta (Tuesday): Mom's beef stew (+ green salad)
Easy meal (Thursday): Roasted vegetable quesadillas (based on Moosewood Cookbook recipe) + green salad
Planning thoughts: I had leftover bell pepper, bok choy, asparagus, broccoli, sour cream, salsa, tortillas. The grain salad was another new recipe I wanted to test out. I didn't make a note of this, but I must have had a long day at work planned because that's usually when I treat us to the beef stew, which is a crockpot dish that apparently I've never shared. It's a really simple one.
Advance prep: I prepped the meat and veggies for the stew after I put the grain salad together and I also roasted the vegetables for the quesadillas at the same time. I actually put the entire stew together and then store it in a bowl in the fridge overnight, then put it all in the crockpot the next morning. I used to just put everything together in the ceramic liner but I read that refrigerating in the liner is a bad idea because the crockpot takes longer to get up to temp and it can be a food safety issue. This is a bummer and I've been doing it that way for years with no issues, but why take the risk over a single extra dirty dish?
Recipe thoughts: The grain salad was pretty good and we both liked it. I'll probably make it again soon. My only complaint is that it felt a little heavy because of the cheese. Again, I liked it as leftovers on top of a green salad better. This might be a personal issue.
Salad (Monday): Spring wild rice salad
Meat/lentils/pasta (Wednesday): Chicken in cashew nut sauce (again)
Easy meal (Friday): Frittata (leftover chives, goat cheese, asparagus)
Planning thoughts: We had leftover goat cheese, chives and asparagus from the grain salad the previous week. I also had frozen cashew nut sauce from a couple weeks previous and I still had some wild rice leftover in the bag that I could use up.
Advance prep: None. Luckily these were all pretty quick.
Recipe thoughts: The wild rice salad was great. I subbed black lentils for the split peas because those are what I had. The color contrast was obviously lacking, but it tasted really good. Frittatas are just a good way to use up random leftover ingredients.
When I look back over this I realize we rely pretty heavily on a rotation of various burritos and quesadillas. I think we get caught in a cycle because we buy salsa or sour cream and then want to use it up over the course of a few weeks. This is fine with me.
Whew. I'll try to start doing more regular posts with our meals so you don't have to look at a month and a half at once!