winter meal plan ~ week 12

slow-roasted blood orange salmon + avocado salad
i bought a beautiful fillet of spring salmon from the farmer’s market recently, and this was the perfect recipe to showcase its texture and flavour. if you’ve not slow-roasted salmon before, do give this a try. i managed to locate blood oranges at my local store so went that route, altho i expect any kind of orange, or lemon or even grapefruit would also be lovely. i made a simple blood orange & avocado salad to go with it; again, you could use any type of citrus and in fact the more variety the better (the one shown before also has clementines in addition to the blood orange).

blood orange salmon with avocado salad.jpg

crispy quinoa & lentil cakes with easy romesco sauce
i’ve made these so many times, i’ve lost count. probably one of the first meatless meals i started making regularly. i always double the original recipe — we have often eaten the entire double batch in one night for dinner; that said, it is always a treat to sneak the leftovers from the fridge throughout the next day. that sauce tho! 4 ingredients, all in the blender — lick-the-spoon deliciousness!

quinoa-lentil cakes

japanese teriyaki chicken rice bowls
okay i looooooove this recipe! the chicken is insanely flavourful (easy overnight marinade), the cucumber salad is equally delicious. add some rice and some sliced avocado and you’ve got a winning dinner. orrrrr, swap out that rice for rice noodles! yum! swap out that chicken for some seared ahi tuna!! also yumm!! you cannot lose with this dish!!

teriyaki chicken rice bowl

charred cauliflower & poblano quesadillas
is there a bad smitten kitchen recipe out there?? i would be shocked to discover one — i certainly haven’t yet, and i’ve been cooking her recipes for years! this one is another prime example of her genius. anything with roasted cauliflower is a winner in my book but i was a little concerned about including a giant hot pepper! (yes i’m the biggest wimp, i know.) fear not! these are full of flavour with a lovely hint of heat.

cauliflower-poblano quesadillas

orange ginger beef
an old family favourite of ours, this tastes exactly like chinese takeaway! but without the deep frying, and the msg. thinly sliced sirloin, sautéed with carrot, green onion, ginger & garlic in a most slurpable orange sauce — all on the table in like 30 mins! win win win!

orange-ginger beef

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winter meal plan ~ week 11

so i was recently contacted by a food blogger whose recipe i featured in a meal plan a few weeks ago and she was upset that i’d posted her recipe on my site. first off, her recipe is delish! i absolutely love it. as i’ve said before, i’m completely in awe of food bloggers (and cookbook authors, chefs, etc) who have the creativity to put together these amazing dishes on a regular basis. but second, it has never been my intention to pass off any of these recipes as my own; i always give full credit with links back to the original blog posts. my hope and assumption has always been that if you see a particular recipe on here and love it, you will click the link to the original recipe and have a look around that respective blogger’s site. that said, i certainly don’t want to piss off any food bloggers out there, so going forward, i won’t include the original recipe instructions, just my odd tweak here and there.

shrimp spring roll bowls with sweet garlic lime sauce
one of my favourite food bloggers, pinch of yum, has hit it out of the park again with these amazing noodle bowls! rice noodles, carrots, red pepper, cucumber, a bunch of herbs and the most delicious sauce! i like to add shrimp to ours. honestly i could eat this every day. that sauce!!

shrimp spring roll bowls

black beans & rice with roasted poblano peppers
i’m always looking to add more meatless meals to my repertoire. i saw this recipe by the first mess on pinterest and knew it would be a winner! beans & rice is pretty classic but it was the roasted poblanos that intrigued me. i’m typically a wimp when it comes to hot peppers but i figured roasting them might mellow them out? they did, and beautifully. i couldn’t actually find the spicy hot red pepper as per the recipe so went with a serrano; i shock myself by saying this, but i could have actually handled more heat.

black beans & rice

lasagne bolognese
the old guy and i celebrated valentine’s day last year by making smitten kitchen’s epic 20-layer lasagne together. it was actually a two day affair: i made the bolognese the day before and then come v-day, we rolled & cooked the pasta, then assembled the whole thing together. defs doing it again this year, and if you’ve not already got plans, i would encourage you to do the same. holy yum! also, leftovers for dayyyys.

lasagna bolognese.jpg

sesame soba noodle & ribboned omelette salad
another smitten kitchen recipe — she knows her stuff — but this one is substantially easier than the lasagne. and quicker! it uses veggies you’ve probably already got in your fridge, soba noodles — altho you could use any type of asian noodle — and eggs! super easy weeknight supper.

sesame soba & ribboned omelette salad

mustard chicken with pasta
holy cow, this sauce is out of this world delicious!! i mean the chicken is also a delight but i think i could drink the sauce. there’s almost three quarters of a cup of dijon mustard in there but it is not even remotely overpowering! the key is to serve this on top of something that will slurp up the sauce; this time, i went with linguine noodles which weren’t the best choice — i’ll do fettuccine or, even better, pappardelle next time.

mustard chicken with pasta

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winter meal plan ~ week 10

happy weekend! i feel like a broken record but, is it spring yet??? when can we eat outside on the deck? patience, iago, patience. i know. that said, i quite like what i refer to as “transitional” meals — bridging the gap between one season and the next (i can actually hear my sweet son’s eyes rolling right now). here are 4 tasty as heck recipes that are definitely lighter in nature, but still warm you right up, plus a proper roast beef and all the fixins to wrap up the week.

roasted salmon with lemon, capers & orzo
well hello, ridiculously easy salmon dish! this is one of those recipes where you do a teeny bit of “work” the night before (ie blitz a bunch of ingredients in the food processor) and then dinner is practically made for you the next day. bake the salmon, boil some pasta, toss with saucy sauce — done!

roasted salmon with orzo

falafel sliders with spicy yogurt, mint, and sumac onions
the only thing i can think while eating these (okay second thing: first is “uh yummmm!”) is how perfect these would be for a party! also, you might think making homemade pita bread would be tricky but it is not! if i cared one iota about american football, i would make these for superbowl sunday.

falafel sliders

chicken fried rice
this would be the perfect meal to make if you have a bunch of leftover rice. like 4 cups’ worth. i never do however, so i just cook it up the night of. it’s still super quick and easy, and flexible! use chicken breast or thighs! you can even swap out the chicken for thinly sliced pork, or shrimp! it’s egg fried rice your way, friends.

chicken fried rice

rice & lentil curry bowls with roasted carrots & cilantro-cashew sauce
i seriously love this dish. it’s like the red curry lentils from “fall meal plan ~ week 3”, but next level! the spicy roasted carrots are amazing but the cilantro-cashew sauce is out of this world!!

curry lentil bowls with cilantro-cashew cream

roast beef & gravy with roasted vegetables + yorkshire puddings
on the off chance that you don’t already have a winning roast beef recipe, this is mine. i spent years winging it using my sister’s very helpful tips, but so many times dinner was hit or miss. i often over cooked or undercooked the meat (arrrrrgggg!) so i got a meat thermometre which solved that problem. but my veggies weren’t always fantastic either and who wants that? anyway, i finally decided to follow an actual recipe (or should i say recipes plural — 3 separate pages: one for the beef, one for the veg and one for the gravy! don’t worry i streamlined it into one) and that’s made all the difference. also: yorkies. but those were always killer.

roast beef & yorkshire pudding

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winter meal plan ~ week 9

you guys! spring is just around the corner, i can feel it! just yesterday, the old guy noticed the garlic in our vegetable starting to poke through the soil! exciting!! although i realised well after i planted it in october that i didn’t plant nearly enough; i’m almost out of last year’s garlic harvest already *sad face* — i’ll have to plant twice as much this october. suffice it to say, i’m rationing my homegrown garlic now — i’ll only use it in recipes if it’s not getting cooked or features prominently in the dish, otherwise i use pre-minced garlic from the tub.

shrimp scampi pasta
this was incredibly quick & simple to make. if you include the time it takes to bring the pasta water to the boil, dinner is done in about 15 min! a pound of shrimp, ¾ lb angel hair pasta, olive oil, butter, garlic, wine, s&p and fresh parsley. toss together with a bit of reserved cooking water and you’re sorted! warning: it’s rich (the aforementioned oil & butter), so do make a salad to go with.

shrimp scampi pasta

french onion soup
i have been searching far and wide for a good french onion soup recipe and wouldn’t you know it, there it was, sitting in my julia child cookbook for years. this is the real deal — beautifully caramelised onions that simmer in a gorgeous beef broth (if you make your own, well hats off to you; i buy the best carton i can find and go from there). julia makes it seem like cheese-topped crusty bread lid is optional — and the soup truly is delicious on its own — but go big or go home, i say.

french onion soup

chicken, ham & swiss cheese roll ups
how bout some fancy chicken cordon bleu? on a weeknight even!! this was absurdly quick and easy. no stuffing, just roll everything up together and bake in the oven! you could even riff on the ham & swiss combo too — with spinach and feta, maybe — or jazz it up with prosciutto!

chicken ham & swiss roll ups

ginger beef salad with miso vinaigrette & soba noodles
another dinner that comes together surprisingly quickly. letting the steak come to room temperature before you cook it probably takes longer than anything else! plus you can cook the noodles and make the vinaigrette while you’re waiting. you may want to double the noodles actually cos they are delicious on their own and leftovers would make for a killer lunch.

ginger beef with miso vinaigrette

white pizza with arugula 
pizza night!!! every pizza i post will include a homemade crust; this particular one features an 18-hour no-knead dough — arguably the best homemade pizza dough there is — and i would implore you to give it a go. not to brag, but i’ve gotten pretty good at churning out pizza these days; that said, i’ve made this recipe a whole bunch of times now, probs like ten? this iteration has maybe the easiest toppings ever. it’s basically a 3-cheese pizza, then you health it up by dumping some lemony arugula on top. that’s dinner + salad, all in one. boom!

white pizza

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winter meal plan ~ week 8

i got a new cookbook this week and i am in love with it! made in india by meera sodha. do you love indian food? i sure do! i’ve bookmarked soooo many pages, it’s crazy! you can definitely expect to see more indian meals in the coming weeks’ meal plans. i picked a absolute winner for this week, that’s for sure! and hey, the other four meals are pretty yummy, too.

salmon in pastry
this is an absolute delight! the sneaky cheat is the store-bought puff pastry — you could certainly make your own but why bother? this was fancy enough for company but absolutely doable enough for a weeknight too. i served it with a simple spinach salad and it was perfect.

salmon in pastry, with salad.jpg

aloo tikkis + chaat salad
holy crapoly! these spiced potato patties are out of this world!! i am a massive fan of samosas and, to me, these are just like samosas, except without the deep-fried pastry! i’d made a different version of these before and they were rather disappointing. well this is the real deal! mashed potato, sautéed onion, ginger, chilis, and a bunch of spices. oh and they’re baked, not fried! i want to make a billion of these to keep in my freezer at all times! (not sure how well they’d freeze tho — if i find out, i’ll update.) also!! the tamarind chutney!! i honestly have no clue what makes for an authentic tamarind chutney but this one is made with tamarind paste (duh), a bunch of dates, and some spices. that’s it. no sugar. whaaaat?? i know. the best. man alive, i wanted to eat the entire batch of tikkis and chutney by myself!

aloo tikki

also: this!!! chaat salad! chaat apparently means “lick” in english and i get it. this very unusual salad is addictive. you’re looking at cucumber, radish, scallions, crispy spicy chickpeas, coconut and pomegranate! hello crazy combination — but boy does it work. again, wanted to eat the entire salad myself. so good. and a perfect side dish to the potato tikkis.

chaat salad

chopped chicken sesame noodle bowls
noodles are a food group, right? i am always on the hunt for yummy noodle recipes and this one ticks a lot of boxes: soba noodles, peanut butter, sesame, some veg for health (carrots and cuke in this case), chicken for protein. also, it’s from pinch of yum and this girl knows her noods.

chopped chicken sesame noodle bowls

crunchy black bean tacos
these are a nice mid-week treat. super quick to throw together: canned black beans (altho i’ve recently started using my instant pot to cook unsoaked beans and wow, game changer! dry to fully cooked in about an hour, depending on the type of beans), chopped onion and some mexican spices get kinda mashed together, spread on one half of a corn tortilla, topped with cheese, then panfried to crispy perfection. holla!

crunchy black bean tacos

meatballs & polenta
well here’s a nice stick to your ribs meal, guaranteed to warm you up and hopefully forget how shit the weather is outside! oh right, i live in vancouver where it rains nine months out of the year. but i digress, you are looking at some gorgeous italian meatballs simmered, then smothered in a simple yet delicious tomato sauce and served over cheesy polenta. yumballs. tuck in.

meatballs & polenta

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winter meal plan ~ week 7

so my lovely husband gave me his old camera — the one where the auto-focus doesn’t work — and i’ve not quite figured out the manual settings, so you’ll have to bear with me & my blurry photos this week. but what a tasty week it is!!!

dynamite shrimp sushi bowls
honestly i am rarely, if ever, not in the mood for sushi. so when i found this recipe, i knew i’d love it! the original recipe calls for tofu but we prefer shrimp — you could certainly do raw sushi-grade salmon or tuna if you fancy! it all comes together fairly quickly too. while the rice is cooking, prep the rest of the ingredients and ta da!

dynamite shrimp sushi bowls

kale salad bowls with sweet potato & tahini
this is one of my husband’s favourites. and i can’t really blame him. roasted sweet potato, tahini sauce and feta cheese — that’s a hard to resist combo of flavours. add in the kale and chickpeas and you can’t get much healthier than that, amirite?


teriyaki chicken meatballs
i used to make this all the time! such a popular one with my kids when they were young. and hey, it’s still super good! easy baked chicken meatballs, with an even easier homemade teriyaki sauce, piled on a bed of rice. serve with some steamed edamame and you’re good to go!

teriyaki chicken meatballs

harissa lentils with roasted veggies & yogurt
well this was an absolute delight! i’ve only recently — within the last 3 years maybe? — fallen in love with beets and now i can’t get enough of ’em! so any time a new beet recipe pops up in my pinterest feed or wherever, i’m gonna check it out! this one’s got both roasted beets and sweet potato (or squash as per the recipe if that’s what floats your boat) plus lentils seasoned with harissa paste and a nice dollop of cooling greek yogurt on the side — yummo!

harissa lentils with roasted veggies

croque monsieur + grated carrot salad
i was introduced to and fell in love with this sandwich after watching the movie “it’s complicated.” we must have watched that movie 20 times — omg, meryl streep’s character conjures up the most mouth-watering food! anyway, this sandwich is basically a grilled ham and cheese but it’s the béchamel sauce that takes it up over the top, in addition to making it quite rich — thankfully this grated carrot salad, with a hint of dijon mustard, is the perfect accompaniment.

croque monsieur + carrot salad

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