week 5

FRIDAY: turkish kofta platter + marinated chickpea panzanella
SATURDAY: date night!
SUNDAY: cottage pie + kale salad
MONDAY: quinoa & wild rice salad
TUESDAY: fish sticks
WEDNESDAY: bangers & mash
THURSDAY: lentil & chickpea salad with roasted cauliflower

turkish
we invited some friends over for dinner on friday night and man was it good! holy shitballz good. i mean, we started with a big bunch of gorgeous heirloom tomatoes from our garden all tossed in olive oil and salt & pepper, and a big ball of burrata so clearly off to a good start. for dins i made these insanely tasty turkish lamb meatballs on top of a white bean puree. oh my word. and to go with, how sweet eats’ marinated chickpea panzanella.

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ugh. so good. 👆🏼that’s a pic from the first time i made the salad, earlier this summer. i also served some grilled bc spot prawns and roasted cauliflower. AND because i’ve been just looking for any excuse to make them, smitten kitchen’s updated take on those infamous NYT chocolate cookies with the feves.  yes i spent $50 on a kilogram bag of chocolate discs from amazon. worth it. we still have some frozen cookie dough in the freezer. woot woot.

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the weather has dramatically cooled off in the last little bit and while i miss the warm t-shirt weather, i am loving these comfort food meals. made martha’s cottage pie on sunday night. we seriously love this meal. it’s supposed to serve like six people as is, but i make one and a half times the recipe and it only feeds the four of us 😬 made my very favourite kale salad to go with dinner: lacinato kale FROM MY GARDEN, toasted pine nuts, dried currants and big shaved bits of parmesan cheese, tossed with a white balsamic dressing. yum. recipe says to marinate the currants overnight but i do a cheat thing where i heat the vinegar in the microwave and then add the currants for just a few minutes to plump them up. i’ve done it both ways and same same.

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man, i wish there was a rebar in vancouver. that was one of the first vegetarian restaurants we’d been to and boy, did we love it. not only for their ridiculously delicious almond burger but their quesadillas and their quinoa & wild rice salad with cilantro-lime-agave dressing! pretty much everything we ate there, i was “oh I’m def going to have to make this at home.” the burger proved challenging, but not impossible; the salad less challenging, so i make it fairly often. I’m not sure what the official recipe is but my take is as follows:

quinoa & wild rice salad (as inspired by rebar modern food)

note: this is great if you’ve got leftover quinoa but i never do, and i certainly never have leftover wild rice. the key is to give yourself a bit of time on this one cos the grains need to cool before being added to the spinach.

for the salad:
½ cup wild rice
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup cooked black beans
8 dried apricots, diced
1 red pepper, diced
4 scallions, sliced
4 big handfuls fresh spinach
2 avocados, sliced
4 Tbsp pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)

for the dressing:
4 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tbsp agave
3 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro

in a medium sauce pan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add the wild rice. my package said to bring to boil, then reduce and simmer for about 40-45 minutes, then drain any remaining water, and to let stand a further 25 or so minutes. but do what your package says.

meanwhile, in another saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to a boil and add the quinoa. simmer for 15 minutes; remove from heat and let stand for another 5 minutes till you see those little halos on the quinoa. fluff with a fork. let both grains cool. i know quinoa is technically a seed but whatevs.

in the meantime, you can chop up your apricots and red pepper, slice your scallions and avocado, and then make the dressing. just combine all 4 dressing ingredients in a tightly lidded jar and shake super well.

in a medium bowl (or i just use the bigger of the two pans i cooked the grains in), combine cooled quinoa and wild rice. pour about three quarters of the dressing over the grains and toss well. then add the black beans, apricots and red pepper; stir well to combine.

in a large bowl, toss the remaining dressing with the spinach till all the leaves are coated. add grain mixture and toss again. distribute between 4 bowls. top each with half a sliced avocado and a handful of both scallions and pepitas. enjoy!

~~~~

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for whatever reason i feel like such a responsible and organised mom when i make these fish sticks. so often do i make one-dish meals that when i manage to get both a vegetable AND a salad on everyone’s plate along with the main, i impress myself. you could probs make these with halibut but i love cod. also: cheaper. i hate picking out all those bloody bones but i do love cod. we managed to find some lovely green beans at our local farmers’ market last weekend and then i made a quick coleslaw using jamie oliver’s slaw as a guide (yes i bought some packaged shredded cabbage as it’s often just the two of us for dinner and i can never use up even a half of a cabbage before it goes off). oh! and the tartar sauce for the fish? complete package. so responsible.

bangers.JPG
more comfort food!! here’s a quintessential british meal, hey? bangers & mash? this is a lightened up version tho.  that said, i made several changes. the recipe calls for either turkey or chicken sausages, but we’ve got this amazing local pork farm that produces a bunch of different kinds of sausage and they’re all sooo tasty! ingredients are minimal (i.e. pork, garlic, spice, that’s it) and they’re so lean too. so i obvs went that route. i went way off recipe for the mash; it’s supposed to be squash but i could never get into squash. sorry. instead i made a potato/cauliflower mash altho it tastes like regular mashed potatoes. honestly tho, it’s the onion pan gravy over everything that puts this meal over the top. oof, so good! i had a surplus of cukes and a decent amount of ripe tomatoes from my garden so i served those sliced with salt & pepper and a drizzle of olive oil on the side.

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aaaand we’re finishing off the week with another vegetarian number. i try to make two veg dishes each week, not because we’re trying to cut out meat; we’re just trying to cut back. this salad is so delicious i’m starting to wonder if vegetarian food is, on the whole, tastier than meat-based meals. the flavours in this are unreal! lentils, chickpeas, tahini, cumin, coriander, feta, cilantro, red onion. right? gah! plus i roasted a cauliflower to go with. one of our fave meals fo sho.

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