Monday Menu and Recipe Review

Can I take a moment to praise the dinner swap one more time?

We pride ourselves on trying to serve home cooked meals most every night of the week, saving our restaurant budget for a few well-chosen outings instead of last-minute takeout or a run through the drive-thru. But I’m not going to tell you that it doesn’t get tiring sometimes. It takes advance planning, careful shopping, and a daily commitment to an hour of cooking and eating. Oh, and there are always dirty dishes. ALWAYS.

So I have to thank Jen one more time for initiating our dinner swap arrangement. Having a night off from cooking but still having a home cooked meal is such a boost. Today I’m looking forward to an unusually lazy evening in which I don’t have to cook dinner or go to choir practice. Maybe we’ll play a game after dinner and I’ll listen to Mr. Ten read aloud some more of The Mysterious Benedict Society. Maybe we’ll ride bikes around the block. WHO KNOWS?

This week

Sunday: Hoisin-glazed salmon, new potatoes, broccoli, arugula salad with toasted walnuts and goat cheese

Monday: Crock-Pot Chicken, Rice and Green Chile Casserole (from Jen)

Tuesday: Skillet Lasagna with Italian Sausage

Wednesday: Silky Tortilla Soup, fruit salad

Thursday: Turkey Kibbe Kebabs with two sauces (but I plan to make them into meatballs and skip the skewers), pita, salad (swap with Jen)

Friday: Black Bean Quesadillas, salad

 

Last week

Monday: Chicken chopped salad (I think I’m going to set out all the components–leftover chicken, hard-boiled eggs, lettuce, carrots, etc.–and let everyone assemble their own bowls)

This was so much more successful than I expected! I lined up all the salad components on a big platter, put the dressing in a pitcher, and let everyone serve themselves. We also added some crackers and cheese to the mix. The kids ate a little of everything, and there was a nice salad left for the Hub’s lunch the next day!

Tuesday: Black Bean Burgers (out of the freezer), kale chips

I’m looking forward to making these burgers again, adding a little more moisture. But they were still good, with a sauce of plain yogurt and some roasted plum tomatoes and garlic that I found in the freezer, blended smooth.

Wednesday: Ecuadorean pork stew (the recipe linked is for chicken, but I’ll streamline the recipe, just searing the cubed pork and then adding the sauce–omitting the beer–straight from the blender), rice, fried plantains (double for Jen)

So delicious, and a great make-ahead meal. The achiote paste (or annatto-infused oil) gives a unique flavor, but it wouldn’t be terrible without it. You can follow this recipe with whatever meat you have…chicken, beef, pork, mutton, goat…

Thursday: Crockpot beef and broccoli, rice

I didn’t follow that recipe at all, and instead made a quick beef and broccoli stir fry, using a little garlic black bean sauce from the jar.

Friday: Buttermilk pancakes, apple slices

The Hub was not home for dinner, so we got crazy and had breakfast for dinner. I always use the pancake recipe from the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook, but there isn’t a link online except for this scaled up version for a crowd. I try to keep buttermilk always on hand, and if I’m afraid it’s going to go bad before we use it up, I freeze it in 2-cup portions for pancakes.

Saturday:  Creamy Baked Pasta with Chicken (by request of Mr. Ten), salad

I simplified this recipe, didn’t add any topping and didn’t really bake it (just kept it hot in a warm oven for a few minutes), but it was still tasty. Mr. Ten was happy and we had some extra for Sunday lunch.

 

What was your favorite home cooked meal last week?

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