Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Meal Planning

Last week's meal plan got kind of derailed when I went to an all-you-can-eat sushi place on Monday and it never quite recovered.  I made the Lemon Chard Aloo and ate it for the next three days (it was delicious) and had the Thai turkey burgers yesterday.

Tonight I hope to make this great shrimp dish with whatever greens & beans I can pull from my garden.  I've been neglecting it but I had a bit of a peek yesterday and things are going crazy out there!  Cranberry beans, fava beans, green beans, starship squash, a few tomatoes, and loads of beets!  Seeing as how I'm going to be gone for five days next week, I'd better do some picking now and eat up as much as I can.

Monday - Healthy Pan-Cooked Prawns (from Jamie's Dinners)
Tuesday - left overs
Wednesday - frozen vegetable "momos" from the Nepalese booth at the farmer's market
Thursday - dinner out for my son's birthday
Friday - eat up anything left in the fridge!
Saturday - off to Regina!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lemon chard aloo

Enough with the restaurant food!  Argh, my body does not tolerate it for any length of time.  I have two more weekends away coming up, so I need to be very careful in my selections and portions.  I went home from work yesterday exhausted, and the last thing I felt like doing was cooking, but I'd already picked and washed my chard and it was waiting for me in the fridge.  I cooked my son some Thai turkey sausages and ate one to give me strength, then jumped into this next recipe.

Lemon Chard Aloo (from A Modern Way To Eat by Anna Jones)

I've been making Saag Aloo with chard for a few years now, and I even blogged my recipe a few years back.  More recently, I've made Jamie's version with spinach.  I liked the idea of adding lemon for a bit of a different flavour combination.


•1-2 tbsp olive oil
•1 tsp black mustard seeds
•1 red onion, finely sliced
•3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
•1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
•1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
•1/2 tsp cumin seeds
•1/2 tsp turmeric
•350g potatoes, washed & diced
•1 bunch chard (approx 300g), large leaves roughly chopped and stems cut into 1cm slices
•1/2 lemon
•small bunch coriander, roughly chopped

I took a few minutes to chop my potatoes, garlic, onion, ginger, chile, and chard stalks.  Then I put a pan over a medium heat with a lug of olive oil, and got my mustard seeds popping.  I went in with the spices and veggies one at a time, other than the chard leaves, and once I had the potatoes and chard stalks in I added about 100 ml of water and covered the pan for 20 minutes or so. 

I went out to the garden and picked what cilantro I could find, then put a spelt tortilla in the toaster oven to heat.  Once the potatoes were fairly soft, I gradually added the chard leaves in, with a generous pinch of salt.  I also added another splash of water as things were getting a bit dry.  I put the lid back on for a few minutes, until the leaves were wilted.  I stirred everything around and turned off the heat.  I grated the lemon zest over, and squeezed in the juice.

 Usually I would serve this with plain non-dairy yogurt but I didn't have any on hand.  It was quite tasty with just the bread, though.  It was really filling, and I only ate about a third of the pan.   Left overs means no cooking tonight!  :)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Meal Planning

I dragged my ass back to the gym last week for Aqua Zumba and while there, discovered on the scale that I'd gained 11 lbs.  I shouldn't be surprised, given how many vegan pastries, donuts and cupcakes I've consumed over the last few months.  As always, sugar is my downfall.

Evil vegan apple strudel...but oh so yummy!

So I'm back to tracking my meals again to take control of the situation.  Along with this goes meal planning.  I missed the Saturday markets this weekend as I was in Toronto with my mom, but I still have veggies to use up, and it's good exercise to make the 20 minute walk to the outdoor market on Thursday.  ;) 

Today's lunch is left over Shrimp Pad Thai from my weekend away, but starting tomorrow I'll bring left overs, salads and/or tuna sandwiches.
Monday - "Lemon Chard Aloo" from A Modern Way To Eat by Anna Jones - using fresh rainbow chard from my garden (which is going crazy with all the rain we've been having!)
Tuesday - steamed from frozen vegetarian Nepalese "momos" (dumplings) from the market, with tomato cilantro sauce
Wednesday - Thai turkey burger patty (Farm Boy) and salad/soup or stir fry (to use up veggies in the crisper)
Thursday - breaded tilapia filet, fresh veggies from the market for salad or side 
Friday - I will be in Detroit for a skating competition so who knows!  Hopefully the arena has more than just hot dogs and popcorn.  :p

Friday, July 17, 2015

Pappardelle with Peas, Broad Beans and Pecorino

My gardens this year aren't the far I've only had greens and chard to eat.  Lots of green tomatoes but the plants seem to be dying for some reason.  It's been really wet and quite cool at nights.  I'm hoping for zucchini but I only have one plant that survived, so not sure there will be enough flowers and bees to pollenate it.  The green beans are flowering and plentiful so there is hope there.  I did pick a few black currants the other day, so that is exciting!  There are a lot of carrot tops, and beet greens, so hopefully later there will be carrots and beets.   Sadly, I only planted a few fava beans this year, and they are starting to come, but I'm impatient so I bought a bag at the market on the weekend.

483.  Pappardelle with Peas, Broad Beans and Pecorino (Jamie Magazine, issue #12) recipe

I had a beautiful package of wild garlic pasta noodles in the cupboard, so this just looked perfect for a quick dinner.  No muss & no fuss, just shell your peas and beans, pick some mint, and juice & zest some lemon.  I parboiled the broad beans first and squeezed the outer skins off, but I didn't bother with the peas, I just threw them in for the last 2 minutes with the pasta.

Of course, no pecorino for me so I used my shredded Daiya mozzarella instead.  I remembered to save a bit of the pasta water for creating the sauce with olive oil and lemon juice.

This was yummy and easy and I ate it with a Farm Boy Thai turkey sausage on the side.  My nutritionist will be happy.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

SuperFood Salad

I went grocery shopping today at Sobey's.  I haven't been very food inspired lately, but I had a list of things I needed and of course they have a great variety of Jamie products there.  I was hoping to get his fish fingers but they were sold out.  I spent some time reading labels on other brands of frozen, breaded fish products, and finally put one in my cart.  I was just passing by the fresh fish counter when someone tapped me on the shoulder.  It was the fish monger.  I don't think he remembered me, but I sure remembered him!  He advised me that he had fresh tilapia on sale for much cheaper than the cost of frozen.  Apparently, he had overbought it and needed to clear it out.  I thanked him and put a 1 kg package in my cart, returning the frozen fish to the freezer.

You know, sometimes we get into a rut, and just need a good kick in the butt.  I know I do!  I'm so glad he spoke to me.  When I came home, I was inspired to make a quick batch of breadcrumbs in the food processor, using the remains of last week's loaves.  I added some fresh rosemary from the garden, a garlic clove, salt & pepper.  Before I even had the last of my groceries put away, I coated a couple of tilapia filets in flour, then beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs, and put them in the oven. I did the rest up for the freezer. No need to read labels!  I know exactly what's in them.

482.  Superfood Salad (Jamie's Food Tube) recipe
FoodTube video

I liked the idea of throwing all of these ingredients together a) because I had most of them and b) because it looked healthy and portable for lunches.  I had a couple of acorn squash already roasted with coriander and cinnamon from the other day, so I took those out of the fridge to warm up.  I put some quinoa in a pot to boil, and added broccoli, asparagus, and snap peas to the steamer above it.  I picked some cilantro & parsley from the garden and finely chopped them, along with a bit of red chile.

In a large bowl, I combined pomegranate juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, salt & pepper.  Once my quinoa and greens were cooled, I added them to the dressing along with my herbs and a bunch of alfalfa sprouts.  I scooped balls of squash into the salad, then topped it with bits of avocado, pomegranate seeds and chopped pecans.  This took very little time, but to be honest, it looked a bit like the dog's dinner.

Lo and behold, it didn't taste anything like it looked.  It was amazing!  What a great combination of flavours and textures.  I wolfed down a bowl in about two minutes, and packed the rest into containers.  I look forward to left overs.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Crab, Chilli & Pink Grapefruit Salad

Lately I'm all about salads.  I don't want to heat the house up at dinnertime.  Yesterday I quickly pan-fried a filet of salmon and thought I'd adapt this next recipe to use it.

481. Crab, Chilli & Pink Grapefruit Salad (Oliver's Twist) recipe

Crab is wicked expensive here, unless you buy it in cans.  Frozen salmon filets are not.  I still have mesclun lettuce in my garden, and tons of beet greens.  It took no time at all to combine the ingredients for this salad.  I picked some basil leaves and chopped up half a red chile.  The dressing is just a combination of the grapefruit juice and EVOO.

To be honest, it was pretty bitter, and I'm usually ok with bitter.  I'm not sure I like using fresh basil like this.  It was different and refreshing but I immediately needed something sweet afterwards.  Next time I'd skip the basil and maybe put something with a bit of texture in there.....perhaps nuts?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Sushi in a bowl

Last night I went looking for a recipe to use greens from my garden, and perhaps an avocado or two.  I came up with this wonderful, deconstructed sushi bowl from Anna Jones' "A Modern Way To Eat".

Kale & Black Sesame Sushi Bowl (with substitutions) recipe

I love, love, love this concept.  No fiddling around with sushi mats and trying to roll things up perfectly.  Just make a pot of rice, pick some chard and beet greens (in place of kale), sauté them with some shredded nori, slice up an avocado, brown some sesame seeds (since I didn't have any black ones), de-seed and juice a pomegranate, pour boiling water over frozen edamame......and my own little addition, sear and break up a tuna steak. 

The dressing that brings it all together is based around the pomegranate juice, with some added lemon zest, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, honey & soy sauce.  I mixed some into the rice and drizzled some over the plate, then garnished with fresh cilantro from the garden.

Not only was this a delicious and healthy meal that made enough for me to pack a to-go container for work, but it's absolutely gorgeous!  Just look at those colours.  To me, this is perfection in a bowl.  Is it lunch time yet?