I’ve been meaning to go back to posting a weekly menu because a couple readers told me how helpful it is. Perhaps I’ve hesitated because it feels a little weird blogging about what we’re eating, but then, at the same time, I’m always searching for mealtime inspiration and love knowing what other families are putting on the table. So let’s make this a two-way street: How about you also share what you’re cooking so I can get ideas, too?
Our family diet has returned to being fairly meat-intensive, due to my persistently low iron and my dear husband’s insistence. The eternal battle for me is trying to stretch that meat as far as it will go because I really don’t like eating overly meat-centric dishes. Plus, buying high-quality local meat from the butcher shop makes it a pricey addition to the menu, so it’s necessary to use less.
1. Kusherie with tomato sauce and salad – VEGETARIAN
This is an easy and delicious Egyptian dish made with brown rice and lentils, cooked together with caramelized onions. There’s a cumin-scented tomato sauce and a garlicky tahini sauce that are served drizzled over the lentils, topped with more onions. (Meat could be added.)
2. Cottage pie with coleslaw
This is just like shepherd’s pie, except it’s made with ground beef instead of lamb. I made a mashed sweet potato-and-Parmesan topping, and served it with a Napa cabbage salad. (You can find the recipe here.)
3. Oven-baked fish and chips
It makes me mad that the grocery store sells so little sustainably-certified fish, but I found some cod that came with the MSC stamp, and it was on sale, so I bought it. The fish turned out great, with a crispy panko crust, and the boys were delighted to eat fries with ketchup.
4. Pork souvlaki dinner
When Jason’s father and brother came to visit on Sunday, I made one of our favourite dinners: marinated and roasted pork tenderloin, saffron-and-onion rice pilaf, Greek salad, and tzatziki. I was meaning to make pita, too, but ran out of time.
I make pizza on nights when there’s not a lot of food in the house because you can do a lot with it. I make a whole wheat-olive oil dough, use the tomato-basil sauce I canned last summer, toss on some mozzarella, and add whatever toppings: marinated artichokes, sausage, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, and olives are the usual picks.
6. Roasted rosemary chicken with spaghetti squash and mashed potatoes
I rubbed the chicken with garlic, olive oil, rosemary, and salt, and let it sit for an hour. Then I roasted at high heat for about 25 minutes. There was wonderful pan sauce in the bottom that went over the mashed potatoes and squash.
7. Spicy black bean soup with homemade bagels – VEGETARIAN
This was the first time I tried making bagels, and they turned out to be much easier than I thought. It was the perfect project for a long day at home with a sick child. For the soup, I used locally grown black beans that came in our CSA, and I always add a hefty spoonful of puréed chipotles in adobo sauce, which I love.
And then there’s dessert, though I haven’t gone too crazy lately. I made Mark Bittman’s oven-baked rice pudding the other night while the cottage pie was baking, and it was fabulous – much less monitoring required than the stovetop version I usually make. I made roasted almond, jelly-filled cookies yesterday, and cakelike blueberry muffins, which were delicious but far more decadent than my usual attempts at healthiness when I’m making muffins.
Now it’s your turn. What’s the best, easiest, fastest, healthiest, OR most decadent meal you’ve cooked this week?