A Supper Retrospective

A few people have expressed interest in my weekly menu planning.  My dear mother even asks me to email her the list so she has new ideas for what to cook.  The idea of blogging about this has occurred to me, but until I saw my newest favourite writer Carrie Snyder blogging about “The Week in Suppers,” I thought it might be a bit weird.  So thanks to my strange and insatiable curiosity about what other people eat for supper, I’ve now decided to do it.

My other reason for posting the week’s menu is more political.  I believe that there needs to be a whole societal shift toward cooking real food at home.  With a large percentage of the population suffering from weight and health problems, much could be improved by eating balanced home-cooked meals.  What astonishes me, though, is how many young people say they can’t cook, and without that knowledge, meal prep can be incredibly daunting.  It doesn’t have to be.  With practice and perseverance, it’s easy to whip up a fabulously healthy and delicious dinner in less than 30 minutes – probably as long as it takes to bake a frozen pizza.

I want to show that it’s feasible to eat well without spending an entire night in the kitchen.  After a long day and with two hungry children underfoot, I rarely spend more than an hour in the kitchen from start to finish, including cooking time; often it’s considerably less, depending on the meal and how fast I’m working.  I hope this can also give you some fresh ideas for what to make if the old favourites are starting to get a bit repetitive; that happens to everyone at some point.

1.  Chicken cutlets with bell pepper ragout and whole-wheat couscous

The toddler couldn’t get enough of the bell peppers and ate a large number of them before supper was ready.  Oh well, I suppose they’re all going to the right place in the end.

mussels & focaccia

2.  Steamed mussels with chorizo and smoked paprika, served with fresh focaccia

Really yummy – I made this once before when I was pregnant and felt terribly guilty about the amount of wine in the sauce, but enjoyed every bite.  The focaccia was delicious but stuck to the pan; it got rather mutilated.

3.  Bacon-leek soufflé and garden salad

Not so great.  I’m not a huge soufflé fan.  As my husband philosophized after the meal, “The very nature of a soufflé is airy and unfulfilling.”  I also didn’t cook the leeks enough and they were chewy.  Eewy.

4.  Spaghetti with roasted ratatouille sauce

The veggies were supposed to be grilled, but I was lazy.  I turned out great, though my husband is never a big fan of our weekly vegetarian night, no matter what we’re having.  (What is it with men and meat?)

5.  Kima (ground beef curry), lentil dal, brown rice, and sautéed fiddleheads

This is my go-to standby when all I’ve got is ground beef in the freezer and minimal time.  I can get the curry, rice, and dal started, walk away, and have a feast ready in 20 minutes.  The fiddleheads were just in the fridge – my attempt at eating seasonally, though still not sure what think of them.

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8 thoughts on “A Supper Retrospective

  1. This is just what I need to keep me on track with my most recent goal – I actually refer to it as an intention because I actually intend on doing it, starting now! http://myhonestself.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/weekly-intentions/ Dinners at home all week – even on swimming lesson night! I can cook I’m just not creative enough and we get bored….and maybe I’m a little lazy when it comes to the kitchen! Keep the dinner ideas coming – my kids and I are very appreciative! 🙂

  2. Excellent idea!
    And being a fan of bell-peppers myself I can relate to the toddler 😀
    Some interesting sounding stuff in there, I’m inclined to look up the ratatouille and the chicken cutlets. Thanks! 🙂
    Cheers.

    1. That’s more like it would be if I had total say, though I could never cut it out completely. Buying locally-produced meat is my justification, and also trying to sneak smaller amounts into meals – not big honking steaks.

      1. We probably have 2-3 vegetarian nights (frequently entire days) per week and usually it’s unremarkable. As a previous vegetarian the ideas come to me fairly naturally. Add to that the fact that our daughter is not a big fan of meat and that my husband doesn’t “give a hoot” (he seems mostly appreciative that I cook for him after 10+ years living on his own) and it turns out our son is the only one who misses the meat. At 3 years old he doesn’t get a huge say in meal planning though. 🙂
        Thanks for the ideas!

  3. a) fiddleheads are weird

    b) please pass on some of your vegetarian recipes! I’m going solo on my weekday-veg goal and I’m getting very sick of chickpeas (very, very sick of chickpeas…)

    1. a) agreed, though I’ll keep buying them each springtime just on principle!
      b) I love chickpeas! But yes, they can get a bit monotonous. I’ll post a few vegetarian recipes soon! How about spaghetti with roasted ratatouille? That was delicious.

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