Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Slowcooker Harvest Dal

I stumbled across this recipe when my partner and I were both sick.

1 cup of split mung dal, rinsed
4 cups chicken broth
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree

combine all in 4.5 quart slowcooker and cook on high 2-5 hours, until mung beans are soft or one of the invalids in your house stumbles to the kitchen to dish out soup.

I stirred in a tsp of Patak's mild curry paste, and some ghee.

Yesterday when I made it, perfect for LAs first rainstorm of the season, I stirred in some of the sample ghee that Pure Indian Foods was kind enough to send me after I mentioned ghee as a good fat source over on LifeMedicine. Their ghee is from grass-fed cows, and really was delish in the soup. It had a darker colour and richer flavour than the regular organic ghee I normally use, plus all the good things about grass-fed. Thanks to Sandeep Agarwal at Pure Indian Foods for sending me a free sample!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Menu, Aug 3-7 (with snacks)

It's been a while! I've been traveling, and not being at home makes meal planning a bit of a pain... had a great holiday but am glad to be back in the land of 'cooking for myself'. Things are a bit sparse in the pantry as J. and I haven't done a proper shop/meal plan in a while, but I do have lots of fruit and a fair amount of veg, and a need to plan! So here goes. I'm also going to brainstorm easy snacks and just slot them in on each day. With traveling I was eating larger meals less frequently and really noticed how that didn't agree with me - I'm glad to be back in my mini meal groove, but it will take some effort to get back into those good habits this week.

Monday: L: crockpot curried chicken drumsticks with chickpeas and cauliflower, over brown rice
D: Tuna Tomato whole wheat pasta (throw in green beans from farmers market)
(make pan fried tofu or veggie franks and beans, and scrounge whatever veggies are in the fridge or freezer)

Tuesday (12 hour day)
L: Chicken and brown rice
D: tuna pasta & green beans

Wed: (12 hour day)
L: whatever is leftover (tofu/beans)
D: whatever is leftover (tofu/beans)

L: whatever is leftover, getting desperate now!
Done at 3, I can cook!
D: use up tomatillos my guest bought: pan friend flounder with salsa verde and polenta

Fri: L: fish and salsa
D: date night! eat out whoohoo.

cottage cheese and fruit: nectarines, pineapple, strawberries
yogurt and rhubarb compote
pear sauce and almonds
jicama and olives/hardboiled egg
carrots and olives/hardboiled egg

Hopefully I will be in better shape next week. I've gotten less skilled at my emergency pull together meals - I need to do a pantry/freezer clean out and inventory next weekend and get some of those emergency staples like sardines, tuna, eggs, tomato sauce, that are missing right now.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Menu for June 29-July 3

Oops. I missed last week - it was pretty uninspired cooking wise - I wanted to bulk up majorly on vegetables and dial down my grain intake - especially rice and rice pasta. I only eat whole grains except for occasionally at restaurants, but i do eat a lot of short grain brown rice and brown rice pasta. When I'm pressed for time and in a rush it's easy to build every meal around that and edge out some veggies. So last week I steamed tons of mixed veggies, in a menu reminiscent of something that I used to get at my fave veggie hippie restaurant in Toronto, Annapurna - cauliflower, greens, carrots, steamed to tender and drizzled with tahini sauce (sesame butter thinned with water, with a little herbal salt.) Delish, and I feel much better. Gonna repeat the experiment this week, and add some moong dahl, which has cooling and damp draining properties, perfect for the suddenly warmer weather and to help me deal with the water retention I always get in hot water.

The farmers market is really where it's at these days, as the full flush of summer is here in socal and every stand looks like something from a postcard. As we walked away with bags groaning this morning, I said 'I didn't get figs!!' Something to look forward to for next week!

M: L: Oven roasted chicken thighs, green beans with aburaage, kabocha squash.
D: I'm going out to a friend's talk - I will bring some food though, enough to share with her: moong dal, steamed gui lan with tahini

T: L: moong dal, gui lan with tahini
D: chicken thigh, green beans aburaage, squash
(make some curried tofu, (I just cube and stirfry tofu with patak's curry paste) cucumber salad)

W: L: gui lan (we really bought a lot!) with chicken
D: curried tofu and cukes

Th: L: whatever's left! probably tofu

Fri: holiday!

Snacks on deck are carrot sticks, heirloom cherry tomatoes, jicama, and lots of beautiful fruit from the market: pluots, strawberries, melon, nectarines.

Have a great week!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Menu week of June 15

Oops! Last weekend I was out of town so this past week was major cobble-it together food. Brown rice pasta with tuna and tomato sauce, tofu simmered in ready to go thai curry sauce, etc. But a new week is here and we did up our menu yesterday and here it is: let the eating begin!!

Monday L: Fried Rice (brown rice with leftover ham from Sunday diner bfast, frozen peas, egg)
D: mini muffin tin meatloaves (from Weight Watcher Magazine. It's not exactly this recipe but it's close. It's a great way to make meatloaf.). I'll steam some asian greens to go with them, and probably some millet or bulgur. I am trying to break out of the brown rice rut. Last week I made millet in the rice cooker and it was a success and a nice change of pace.
Task: panfry some tofu for tuesday dinner

Tuesday: L: mini meatloaf with greens and a grain
D: pan fried tofu with greens and grain
Task: soak some beans for soup

Wed: L: meatloaf
D: pasta with tomato sauce and tuna
get bean soup ready in crockpot for the next morning. The link is for the basic idea of what i'll make. I'll probably stir some cooked grain/pasta as well as shredded kale into it before serving. If i had ham i'd put that in too, but we used it in the fried rice.

AM task: plop crockpot insert in and turn it on!
L: pasta or meatloaf, depending what's left!
D: bean soup baby!

Fri: L: bean soup
D: either date night or cheesy oven fries (TJs frozen wedge cut potatoes in the toaster oven with grated cheese melted on them. yum.

That's it! have a great week!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Menu, Week of June 1

Quick and easy this week - back in town yesterday and leaving again on Friday! It's hazy and cool here in LA, as we move into the 'June Gloom', so planning on some easy, cheap comfort food. I am reading (FINALLY) In Defense of Food. It's not really new information for me, but is put so well in Pollan's characteristic readable style. I'm halfway through, and keep having to stop to go "Oh my God it's so TRUE!!". Pick it up if you haven't yet.

Monday: L: Chickpea curry (can of chickpeas with curry paste, a tomato and some raisins), brown rice and cucumber salad (thinly sliced cuke marinated in rice and umeboshi vinegar) with yogurt and chutney
D: Greek lemon chicken thighs and potatoes (from Weight Watchers Magazine. I made them two weeks ago and they were a hit). I'll steam some asian greens with them.

Tuesday: L: curry
D: chicken thighs

Wednesday: L: Chicken Thighs
D: Brown rice pasta with marinara, tuna, and kalamata olives

Thursday: L: pasta
D: out for date night

Friday L: whatever is leftover at this point!

That's it! Have a great week!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Menu on pause this week

We're heading out of town on Thursday, so this week is a bit catch-as-catch can. I'll be back to normal next week!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Menu Plan, May 18-22

It's cooled off here this week, so we'll be eating some warmer things. And we made it to the farmers market Sunday - strawberries are really beautiful right now, I got some locally grown ginger root and asian greens, bok choy and gui lan, which inspired our Sunday dinner of Japanese hotpot. yum!

Sunday Night: tori-nabe on our new table top hotplate. I also cooked a vegan lasagna, (pictured at left, image from fatfreevegankitchen.com, an awesome resource) partially for us and partially for a friend who is having surgery.

Monday L: leftover tori-nabe in my brand-new Ms. Bento, with edamame and strawberries in the top section
D: Lemon potatoes and chicken (from the current issue of Weight Watchers Mag)

Tues: L: chicken and potatoes
D: Vegan lasagna

Wed: L: Lasagna
D: Skillet sole with steamed guilan and brown rice

Thurs: L: Fish, veg and brown rice
D: Either more lasanga or we will go out for date night to Pure Luck

Fri: L: whatever there's leftover of! (hopefully not more lasagna, i'll probably be done!)

have a great week!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Menu Plan, May 11-15

With my new schedule of work on Saturday mornings and Mother's Day on Sunday, we failed to make it to the Farmers' Market this weekend. We picked up some emergency veggies at TJs and also some proteins there - we need to make another trip to Costco to fill up the freezer, as we finished the last of the chicken thighs and pork roasts I bought there a few months ago. J got inspired with some cooking ideas this week, so he's doing a bunch of the things on the list

L: brown rice pasta with tuna, tomato sauce and olives (my go-to healthy meal)
D: grilled marinated teriyaki turkey tenders (J made the marinade and put them up last night. I'll grill them tonight, make some brown rice in the cooker and steam some bok choy. I also grated up a daikon the the farmers market and put it in a jar with rice vinegar)

T: L: Turkey and brown rice and bok choy with daikon pickle
D: Tuna tomato pasta

W: L: J's special pork chili from the crockpot
D: Chickpea curry (J doesn't eat my curry, so he's on his own here)

T: L: chickpea curry
D: veggie burger and salad

F: L: greek salad with tuna
D: Date night! out for dinner.

I had a great no-sugar week last week, and want to continue that run this week. Organic strawberries are out now, plus I have lots of frozen fruit for treats like berries and cottage cheese and smoothies. Have a great week!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Menu Plan for the week

Back in the swing of the farmer's market: we've been going to the Mar Vista one, which is great! It's near our new place, has a great vibe, music, food if we want it, and guaranteed cute dogs. Lately we've been eating tons of israeli or greek salad: cukes and tomatoes with feta or mozzarella or olives or tuna - so that appears in this week's menu! Also on the agenda was using up some frozen protein sources: chicken thighs and lean ground beef.

Monday: L: Pineapple Black Bean chicken, (scroll down for recipe) steamed gai lan, brown rice.
D: whole wheat chili mac with israeli salad (chopped tomatoes and cukes with lemon and salt)

Tues: L: Chili Mac & salad
D: Chopped Israeli salad with tuna and black olives

Wed: L: Israeli salad with tuna and black olives or chili mac, depending on what's leftover
D: Crockpot: Chicken Thighs with zukes and tomato sauce over brown rice

Thurs: L: chicken and sauce with brown rice
D: Tabbouleh (bulghur and parsley salad) with chickpeas

Fri: L: Tabbouleh with chickpeas
D: out for dinner (date night!)

we got all our produce at the farmer's market this week, and it's in every part of the menu. I plant to keep that up through the summer!