Sunday I got out of bed all by my lonesome, so to speak, and reveled in a perfect morning. The other half was off on an overnight lab-work trip (which I’d been supposed to go on, but had to back out due to work, unfortunately), and I had the morning to myself. One of the tasks of the day was to start a grocery list and food plan for the upcoming weeks, which UC would help with when he got home. To do that, I felt, I needed more than my usual light breakfast. Since I work out fairly early each morning, my breakfast is usually protein & some fiber, and I eat a heavier snack when I get home. Sunday,I had the freedom to indulge!
In the picture: 0% Fat Fage Greek Yogurt (I prefer TJ brand, but we don’t have one close by), topped with fresh melon, blackberries & strawberries we put up earlier this year in the freezer, chopped walnuts, and a 1/2 tsp. local honey. Eggs, scrambled with leftover seared broccoli (the nutty flavor is deep and rich), mushrooms (mushrooms, in addition to being tasty, have recently been shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer by up to 35%), garden-fresh green pepper, tomato, basil, and thyme. Sided with clementines and a cup of Yoga detoxifying tea. YUM!
Eating breakfast, I started the menu plan, which was finished last night with UC. As we get ready to move, we’re concentrating on making some meals that leave excellent freezable leftovers. The idea is to get things we can heat up quickly in the microwave the week before and the week after the move, so we can avoid eating out (and eating unhealthy foods, too). So, you’ll see some heavier fare here pretty regularly for the next couple of weeks.
Monday: Shrimp Enchilada bake with salad and crusty bread. This recipe is from this month’s Shape magazine, and is an experiment. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Tuesday: Pork piccata with golden acorn squash, salad, and broccoli. UC loves my pork piccata, which I make with a slightly lighter sauce than some restaurants. It’s important to use flat leaf, also called “Italian”, parsley in this recipe. Actually, I never use curly-leaf parsley other than for garnish, and rarely even then. It just doesn’t have enough flavor. Aldi had great broccoli this week!
Wednesday: Baked whole chicken with baked sweet potatoes and long beans. I’ll slide some lemon and rosemary under the chicken’s skin, rub it with a mixture of herbs (lemon thyme, sage, oregano, black smoked sea salt, pepper, and paprika) and stuff it with a quinoa and grape stuffing. The potatoes take about the same time to bake in foil, and the long beans will be seared (they’re from our garden this year).
Thursday: Rustic Cabbage soup with crusty bread. UC will be cooking this night, as I have an evening activity. He makes wonderful cabbage soup that’s replete with butter beans and chunks of vegges. We serve it with a hunk of crusty bread (his ciabatta, in this case) to make a wonderfu meal on cold days.
Friday: Leftovers. I’ll be gone all day, and late into the evening working. So, it’s a great time to clean out the refrigerator. Some leftovers will be packed by me for lunch and dinner, some will be eaten by UC for his dinner, and the rest will be packed and frozen for the move.
Saturday: We’re out of town this day to deal with move stuff, so we’ll be eating out from necessity.
Sunday: Pumpkin Bisque with grilled cheese on artisan bread. ‘Tis the season for pumpkin, one of my favorite things! Since we’ll be coming home late, we needed a fast dinner. We’ve got an amazing bisque recipe from a fabulous restaurant, L’etoile in Charlottesville, at the market last year. The restaurant uses a lot of local products, and the food is amazing. We’ll be serving this up and freezing some for the move. The grilled cheese will be on some of Thadd’s bread, with an-as-yet-undetermined cheese, and smokey chipotle mustard I’ll be whipping up.
Monday: Roasted turkey, stuffed with apple, chicken sausage, & cornbread stuffing. Served with whipped sweet potatoes and seasonal veggie. Turkey is a good price right now, and while I’d love to buy our turkey locally, we just can’t spend $70 a bird or more. This is one of the few things we haven’t tried to work into our budget, but hope to possibly next year. With the move so close, it’s just not reasonable this year. What we will be doing is roasting the turkey and eating on it for a day or two. The remaining meat will be ground and frozen, to be pulled out after the move and mixed with mayo, pickles, and a few other things to make a wonderful sandwich spread. The bones will be made into stock, which will also be frozen for later use. I’ll make the cornbread for the stuffing this week, break it up and let it dry out, then store it in a plastic bag until next week. It’s fantastic with local tart apples and a good quality chicken sausage!
Tuesday: Tofu & Chickpea Indian Curry over Brown Scented Rice. This is one of my specialties. I don’t do it often for just the two of us because there’s no way to not make a mountain of it, but it freezes fairly well so long as you freeze the tofu separately, which we’ll be doing. My curries are spicy, but in slow-heat, forhead-sweating kind of way. The brown rice is scented with star anise, cardamom, coriander, and saffron. The curry itself has tofu, chickpeas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, green peppers, onions, ginger, bananas (no, that’s not a typo), and some other veggies (whatever I find that looks fresh and tasty). This is a wet curry, made with yogurt and coconut milk, so it’s perfect over rice. It’s topped with chopped peanuts, green pepper, and raisin.
Wednesday: Veggie Lasagna, Shawn-Style, served with salad and garlic bread. There’s a trick to this lasagna that I just can’t give up yet. It’s one of my most asked-for recipes, and even meat eaters dive in for seconds (and thirds, and fourths, if I let them). It’s also got about half the calories of regular veggie lasagna! And nope, there’s no tofu or soy involved. This will be served with a huge green salad and crusty, homemade garlic bread. I’ll be making two pans so we have enough to freeze.
Thursday: Zirva, with brown rice and seasonal veggie. Zirva is chicken roasted with plums and apricots, and it’s incredible. The recipe is from my mentor, Chef Channon, in her book “Celebration at the Sarayi,” which takes a look at 1500’s Turkish Ottoman Empire cooking. The recipes in this book are just mouthwater (hint: you can buy the interactive book at her website!).
Friday: We’re eating out for the second time in two weeks, which is pretty unusual for us. But, we’re trying to spend time with friends before we leave (yes, we’ll see them again, but not nearly as often), and this is a chance to meet our friend Dave’s mom! Dave’s creativity is inspiring, and his commitment to environmentally-friendly landscape design is pretty fantastic, so we want to see where he gets it from! Dave and his wife, Mindy, have invited us to the Bavarian Chef for dinner with his mom. This restaurant is it’s very own experience. Go hungry, that’s all I am saying.
Saturday: Venison and Wild Mushsroom straganoof, served over spaghetti squash “noodles.” Another specialty of mine. The trick is in the fresh-ground nutmeg. The venison is from my nephew (my older nepher, though I suspect I’ll be getting some from my younger nephew in November, since he just got his first deer. Congratulations, Josh!!!). The Chicken-of-the-Woods mushrooms were collected and frozen earlier this year, and hopefully I can collect–rather than buy–some oyster mushrooms next week. Courtesy of an idea from UC, this will be served over spaghetti squash “noodles”, which he did with something else a while ago. It was spectacular, so it’s becoming a standard part of our menu.
Leftovers. Tuna salad on whole grain bread. Salad. Probably some things I am forgetting.
Steel-cut oats. Greek yogurt with fruit. Whole Grain toast. Scrambled/fried/poached eggs. Fruit. Homemade healthy muffins.
Hard boiled, farm-fresh eggs. Nuts. Cheese. Fruit (pomegranates are in season, yummy!). Fresh salsa & corn chips. Raw Veggies. Steamed artichoke. etc. Homemade healthy muffins.
Milk. Tea, caff and non. Water. Coffee.
I haven’t finished shopping for the whole two weeks yet, so I can’t give a definitive cost.