Saturday, November 20, 2010

November 21 - 25-ish

So why is it that on the weekend before Thanksgiving, I get a crazy craving for turkey noodle soup? This one can't be acted on now... I'll just have to sit tight and wait for leftovers. But I linked the recipe now, just to share.

So I ended up with a quiet lovely morning full of coffee, pumpkin muffins, and cookbooks. I read and read and read -- books I haven't opened in a long time. In the long run, not a lot of that is showing up on the week's plan, but it gave me some long-term ideas... and a strong desire to visit Italy (thanks, Julie, for that Italian cookbook)!

Pan-seared venison chops
Roasted brussels sprouts
Squash and pumpkin risotto (from this season's issue of edible WOW. This is by Kelly Lewton-Secondino):
3c hot vegetable stock
2 tbsp butter
1 diced spanish onion
1 c Arborio rice
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 c white wine
1/2 c apple cider
pinches of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg
1/2 c butternut squash -- peeled, seeded, diced
1/2 c acorn squash puree
1/2 c pumpkin puree
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 c Parm cheese
1/4 c heavy cream
1 tbsp fresh sage

1. Heat stock.
2. Melt half the butter in a pan, cook onions 1 minute. Add rice, salt, pepper, cook until rice & onions translucent, stirring constantly.
3. Reduce heat to med. low, add wine, cider, spices, stir until liquid evaporates.
4. Add butternut and 1/2 c of stock, stir until evaporated. Continue to add stock and stir until evaporated.
5. Add purees and brown sugar, stirring until everything's creamy. Remove from heat.
6. Stir cheese, cream, butter and sage in.

***** RISOTTO UPDATE!*****
It was fab...u...lous. I adjusted the recipe slightly: no apple cider (didn't want to buy a half-gallon for a half-cup, and I'd never get around to drinking the rest of it), one whole cup of butternut squash and one whole cup of pumpkin puree, but no acorn squash. I also left out the brown sugar and forgot to buy fresh sage, so we used dried. It was so good. It was like macaroni and cheese for grown-ups.

Grilled cheese and veggie sandwich: grill mushrooms, tomatoes, onion, peppers. Pile in sandwich with sharp white cheddar cheese and dijon mustard. Toast it up!

Sausage, beer and cabbage soup: never got around to making this a few weeks ago, so we're trying it again.

Little pizzas on flatbread. Lovely salad to go with.

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm the appetizer and salad lady. Still working this all out, but I'm sort of a fan of healthy appetizers with veggies and stuff, so I can not feel full by the time dinner starts. So probably no bacon in the apps (sorry, Phil).

And beyond...
Turkey noodle soup. Hurray for leftovers!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November 14 - 18

Lately, it's become painfully obvious that whatever I'm craving when I sit down to plan my menu is what ends up ALL OVER the menu. Even though my cravings last, on average, 24 minutes, I'm expecting myself (and Phil, lucky guy) to love them all week long. But it sort of works. It's just funny to look back -- two weeks ago was my "soup" phase, and last week we'll call "veggies." This week, I'd like to name the food mood "lots of chopped up things in one pan/bowl/dish together."

Fried rice:
All measurements are strictly to taste. This will make 2 servings or 8, depending on my self-control when adding stuff. Saute sliced onion, garlic, mushroom, red pepper, matchstick carrots, zucchini, frozen peas (adding one at a time). Add cooked brown rice. Add seasoning: soy sauce, chili paste, rice wine vinegar. Add shrimp, cook for a minute or so. Make a well in the middle, and add a scrambled egg. As it cooks, gently fold it in with the rice and other stuff.


Little flatbread pizza with lots of veggies and fresh mozzarella
Salad with balsamic vinegar, feta and pickled beets

Slow cooker Wednesday -- we'll start with a chuck roast, some halved potatoes, some halved onions, sliced carrot, a can of tomatoes, a bit of water, salt and pepper. Cook all day. Serve with something green (maybe beans!) and bread.

Linguine with pan-seared scallops and veggies.

Basically what it says: in a pan, saute veggies (my stand-bys are onion, garlic, mushrooms, sun-dried tomato... but by Thursday night, I'll be using anything else that's still in the fridge).

Cook whole-wheat linguine, add to veggies. Mix in pesto.

In another pan, heat olive oil, then cook scallops: about 2 minutes on the first side (for big ones) then flip them over and cook for another minute or two, until they're done.

Put the linguine with veggies on a plate, sprinkle with parm cheese. Lay scallops on one side, so you can mix them in or eat separately as desired.

Maybe salad too, if there aren't many veggies left for the pasta and I need more.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

November 7 - 11

So, I think I got my fill of soup last week for a while. Loved the buttercup squash soup, but it got some comments when I took leftovers to school... (i.e. "Are you eating a bowl of mustard?")

Only if there are pretzels for dipping.

I tried to stay away from soups this week. I'm feeling a need for a bigger variety of veggies right now, so I've got lots in the plans for this week...

Here we go:

Venison fajitas: saute a sliced onion, sliced bell pepper, mushrooms, garlic and venison steak cut into thin strips. Add a bit of water and some orange spices (things that will make it taste fajita-ish: cayenne, chipotle, a little salt and pepper) and simmer for a few minutes.

Heat tortillas, then assemble the fajitas. Top with shredded cabbage, sliced avocado, diced tomato, salsa, shredded cheese and sour cream.

Big old salad with a fried egg on top. I'm thinking I'll put some very lightly sauteed onions and mushrooms in the salad, along with some tomato, and maybe some pumpkin seeds. Balsamic vinegar for dressing. Fry an egg, lay it on top of the salad. Whole grain baguette toast for dipping.

Sauteed broccoli
Simmered canned tomatoes

Spaghetti squash with shrimp, pesto and tomato:
In a big pan, saute some sun-dried tomatoes. Add some garlic, and the spaghetti squash (already cooked and shredded -- I did that a while ago and froze it in baggies). Stir in pesto, then add shrimp and let it cook for a couple of minutes until it turns pink. Add in some greens, like spinach or arugula (I don't know which yet -- haven't been to the store). Shredded parm on top.

Veggie sandwiches:
Saute portabello mushrooms, red peppers, zucchini, onions.
Dijon mustard on whole grain baguette, add sauteed veggies, top with white cheddar. Toast in oven for 10 minutes or so.

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