I was really excited to share a few new recipes here last week, but I got off track. I’ve been beating myself up over it a little, because I have to be consistent if I’m going to keep you coming back for more. If I don’t check in more than once a week, how can I expect the same from you, right? Right. Taking a step back, my “excuse” is pretty legitimate, though. I was putting together an eCookbook of one week of healthy, adventurous, do-able summer stovetop meals to keep dinner fun through the last weeks of summer! I’m quite proud of the result–it goes way beyond Microsoft Word and integrates almost all the new skills I’m developing, from original recipe creation to graphic design to photography. I accomplished something that I had to learn completely from scratch and that’s on par with my mission of helping everyone (including you!) eat better at home. So no more shame in the missed posts. I think the better option is to focus on the positive outcome of a week of hard work, look forward, and strive to bring you all some interesting and inspiring treats in time for the last month of summer. I hope you’re starting the week on the same positive note! Every Monday = new year-like fresh start.
Oh, and if you’re wondering, it’s not too late to get a copy of the eBook. Just subscribe in the box at the upper right for weekly NCK blog updates via email (you can always adjust your subscription preferences later). You’ll get an email with the PDF download, plus links to access the eBook and shopping list via Google drive, if that’s how you roll.
The end of summer is turning out to be busy, but fun, which can make for some challenging dinner planning. After a week of eating myself through the freezer, I’m back to regular dinner planning–kind of. I spent the weekend in Delaware with Steve and some friends, seeing one of our favorite artists (and now friend!) Amy Gerhartz perform live at a pool party! Pretty fun. I resisted the urge to sleep in the car and finished my dinner planning for the next 10 days. No, there’s not a new calendar system with 10 days to the week. I’m back in CT for three days, then I head home for two weeks in Minnesota!!! And yes, I will always refer to MN as home :) I’m so excited to go back, but it does present a dinner planning challenge, since I’m leaving Steve alone here for a week before he flies to MN to meet me, so of COURSE I’m leaving the freezer stocked with goodies for him, in addition to cooking a lot with and for my parents when I’m home. So much planning. SO MUCH COOKING. And I love it. I broke it down into manageable chunks to keep grocery costs down and not end up with too much food.
I think what makes the most sense to share here is our first few dinners for the week, then in another post soon (promise!) I’ll break down these so-called freezer-friendly meals so you can stock up and spend a few fall days carting children to soccer or school, jumping in leaf piles, or curling up with a blanket, book, and cup of coffee.
Unless noted or linked, the recipes are my own creations.
- Sunday: Leftover four cheese and tomato basil salad pizza (as seen on Instagram)
- Monday: Eggplant and Swiss chard stir fry over jasmine rice
- Tuesday: Rice stuffed tomatoes and roasted potatoes
- Wednesday: Wine glazed lentils (to bring on my flight)
A few notes–The pizza recipe from the PW was everything I could hope for in a pizza and so so so much more. I used feta instead of goat cheese and a leftover scape pesto (the recipe for which just might happen to be in the subscriber eCookbook) instead of traditional basil pesto, as the sauce. Her method of frying the minced garlic in oil to infuse the oil before incorporating it into the basil salad adds 100 times the flavor for about 1.5 times the work. Plus it makes the house smell amazing. Do not, however, plan any social interaction 24 hours following this garlic fest.
I’d like to do the eggplant and chard in a stir fry, using a heavily adapted version of Mark Bittman’s stir fry method from VB6. This may “just” end up with each component cooked separately (eggplant–roasted; chard–sauteed) if I decide to simplify things because I’m busy getting ready for my trip, working on the website, and catching up on posting recipes.
My diet is shifting very heavily toward vegetarian, and (as a result?) I’ve been craving dense, filling foods like potatoes, beans, rice, potatoes, and more rice. And pizza–always. Tuesday may sound a little overboard in the starch department, but you could take Deb‘s suggestion to heart and instead serve the tomatoes alongside sausages or, my own suggestion, a roasted vegetable or salad.
The lentil recipe shared by 101 Cookbooks (prettiest site ever, btw) is on the fast track to my top ten go-to recipes list. I’ve tried it with both red and white wine so far, and last week I tested its travel props by taking it along for four hours of errands complete with bouts in a hot car. It held up gloriously, and I can’t wait for the inquisitive looks from TSA when I bring it through airport security on Wednesday. “Who is this hippie packing lentils in her carry on??” I think they’d be convinced if I shared a bite.