Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Week in Review

After doing so well during the entire first half of March, I sort of fell off the face of this blogger earth for a week.  The combination of dinners out, St. Paddy's Day, making meals for one (which means the same meal a few days in a row!) made for a lazy week of writing.

I hope that everyone had a splendid weekend, finally welcoming the first day of spring!  Once the weather starts getting nicer, I always crave restaurants and summer-time meals.  I do have to confess that I ate restaurant food 3 days in a row on the weekend.  St Paddy's Day fish n' chips, Swiss Chalet (great thorough menu online) and sushi.  Great times, but with an healthy-eating, intolerance-free diet, regardless of how "safe" the food is, grease hits you hard!  I feel like it knocks you down a few pegs for a few days...

 That all being said....I still did some of my own cooking and am ready to provide the updates! 

 Italian Sausage and Rice
My intention was to cook a nice spicy sausage and tomato soup, but hunger set in and we opted for something a little quicker.

No measurements here, just threw in what felt right:
- diced tomatoes
- garlic
- red pepper
- onion
- rice
- Italian sausage
- rice cheese (and some lovely "real" cheese for the spouse!)

Cook the rice.
Cook the sausage.  When this is done, set aside and cook the vegetables.  Mix the sausage back in.
Serve this mixture over rice and top with cheese!

Print this recipe

North Woods Bean and Spinach Soup

I was lucky enough to make dinner for a friend while J was away and was able to try another of Jenna's recipes out (same as previous chickpea recipe!).  This was taaaaas-ty.  I'm thinking I'll have to make this one again, as it seemed like a very "J" thing to eat.  Only main difference: I cut the recipe in half., which gave me 3 hefty servings.  These are the approx. measurements I used.

What to use:
1 tbsp of oil
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
~3.5 ounces of turkey kielbasa, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups of chicken broth
1/4 tsp of pepper
1/2 tsp of sage
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 can of White Beans
1/2 bag of baby spinach (I think I used even less than this)

What to do:
1.  On high heat, add oil, kielbasa, and all of your chopped vegetables into a soup pot. Stir.  Cook for 5 min.
2. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic.  Cook for 2 min.
3. Add broth, spices and beans. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
4.  Now comes the part that I thought was weird - but somehow it made the difference, who knew! : Place around a cup and a half of the mixture into the blender and mix until smooth.  Add this back into the soup pot and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.  This creates a perfect consistency!
5.  Remove from heat and stir in the spinach (it wilts on its own).
Print this recipe

*I found this to make a really excellent leftover for lunch.  Soup is such a great midday meal, but it always seems to be such a pain in the butt to risk leaking soup everywhere on the way to work.  This was just thick enough that it was just right for getting to work. :)

A Lazy Vegetable Curry
This isn't necessarily a meal to "write home about" but it's good to have the knowledge to throw something together with ingredients on hand.  My last night of having to cook without J, I grabbed the veggies that I had, a can of coconut milk, a tablespoon of yellow curry paste, a frozen ginger cube (equals 2 tsp of ginger), a splash of fish sauce and lime juice, (simply simmer it all together until veggies are done) all served over the angel hair pasta (that i keep calling chow mein noodles by accident!) that takes about 2 minutes to cook and VOILA: you've got dinner and lunch for one. Print this lazy recipe.

So there we have it! I survived my week alone and have our normal evening dinner routines back to normal (well, we're getting there).  Will update tomorrow on tonight's summer (and somewhat, "cheating") fiesta.

Anyone cook anything interesting this weekend?  First day of spring and first weekend of full sun! That's bound to bring out some excitement! Pin It

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