week 7

FRIDAY: concert!
SATURDAY: kale tahini salad bowl
SUNDAY: chickpea dumplings in curry
MONDAY: oktoberfest!
TUESDAY: sweet potato & green rice burrito bowls
WEDNESDAY: fish skillet with tomato butter sauce
THURSDAY: artichoke & ricotta shells

okay so i had to make two changes to the meal plan this week: 1) i’d actually prepped most of the components for the kale tahini salad bowl last week thinking we’d be eating it last thursday but then we didn’t, so i bumped the orange ginger beef; and, 2) i pulled butter chicken from this week’s plan because hello! oktoberfest! even still, we technically missed it; oktoberfest officially wrapped up on sunday but i just didn’t have time to make my traditional bavarian dinner during the weekend so we celebrated a day late. oh well.

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i’ve made this kale salad bowl with tahini a bunch of times! this might be my husband’s favourite vegetarian meal, or at least it was his first favourite vegetarian meal — i make a lot of them now! as with all good salads, or meals for that matter, the key is to give each component the proper attention. soak and cook your chickpeas (altho of course you can easily open a tin instead), oven roast some cubed sweet potato, cook a bit of quinoa in vegetable broth, prepare two dressings: a simple lemon vinaigrette, and a garlic-tahini sauce, massage your kale. then build each salad individually or toss everything together and then serve. top with crumbled feta and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds.

dumplings.JPG
two vegetarian meals in a row! look out! this was the second time i’ve made these chickpea dumplings in tomato sauce and boy do i love this meal! how many times am i going to say, “gah! comfort food!” over the next few months? (loads.) of course, i’m always looking for an excuse to roast some cauliflower. this was a perfect pairing. love this meal! and surprisingly easy to make. quick simmer of toasted whole spices with a tin of tomatoes; meanwhile you throw together some chickpea flour, minced onion and serrano pepper, with a bunch of chopped cilantro, yogurt and olive oil and ta da, your dumplings are ready. drop ’em in the already simmering tomato sauce and in ten minutes everything’s ready.

okay so we’re not german. there is no german heritage in our family anywhere. but hello?  bratwurst?  yes please.

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i am a massive fan of big traditional celebratory dinners — it doesn’t even matter the celebration; if the food is tasty, i’m in. i’ve been making this particular meal for several years now: bratwurst with apples, onion and sauerkraut, german-style fried potatoes, cucumber slices with dill, soft pretzels, and for dessert versunkener apfelkuchen (or sunken apple cake). it makes an obscene amount of food but hey, no complaints here! i actually scale both the potatoes and the cucumber salad back by a lot (⅓ recipe and ¼ recipe, respectively) also this year, i had zero dill! we had dill-less cucumber slices with dill! but it was still delicious! the flavours of everything go so well together! oh, and i also swap out ¾ cup of the flour for almond meal (specifically dehydrated almond pulp, leftover from all the times i make almond milk) for the cake and it’s a winner! the one thing i want to figure out is, can i freeze pretzels? the recipe makes 16 and like deb says, they’re best day of; they were tasty but not nearly as good the next night (hello, leftovers!) do i freeze as dough? or freeze right after they’re cooked?

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here’s another vegetarian (nay, vegan!) winner: sweet potato and green rice burrito bowls. i was looking forward to eating this all day! the rice by itself is killer! rather than cooking the rice in say, water, or even stock, how about we blend up a big handful of spinach and cilantro with garlic, shallots, jalapeño peppers and some vegetable stock and cook the rice in that??  yes! meanwhile we’ve roasted some cubed sweet potatoes and simmered some black beans (adding cumin and chili powder to both) and serve it all together with sliced avocado and toasted pepitas. so tasty and so filling! actually i must admit, i decrease the rice — original recipe calls for 1.5 cups of rice (3 cups broth) and yields 4 servings? that’s a lot of rice!! i use 1 cup of rice (2 cups broth) and we still get enough for about 5 servings. that said, i might be guilty of roasting more sweet potatoes than i’m supposed to. what?

fish.JPG
oh my word! i tried a new recipe and LOVED it! garlic basil barramundi skillet with tomato butter sauce, except i used red snapper cos i happened to have some in the freezer. i do like saying “barramundi” tho. this was so good! and it was so easy to make! i’ve made something similar in the past… a shrimp and tomato and white bean dish and we really  liked it, but i think i like this fish one better! it might be the butter; in fact, i’m pretty sure it’s the butter. so good! and i’m kicking myself because i meant to make her take on jim lahey’s no knead bread to go with but i forgot to make the dough the night before! it would be so good to dunk in the sauce! gah!!

and that’s it for my week. so much oktoberfest food that i didn’t get a chance to make the artichoke stuffed shells which is too bad, cos they are DELICIOUS! (but i also couldn’t find the frozen artichokes in the shops so..)

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