week 8

FRIDAY: date night!
SATURDAY: bangkok curry noodle bowls
SUNDAY: thanksgiving dinner
MONDAY: thanksgiving dinner pt.2
TUESDAY: leftovers
WEDNESDAY: mejadra
THURSDAY: sweet potato pizza

okay so i had to make a few changes to this week’s meal plan: it’s thanksgiving weekend! i mean, i did schedule it in for sunday night but i forgot about our extended family dinner. also, hello? leftovers! of course there’ll be leftovers; if there aren’t, i’ve done something wrong. and then i reinstated date night; what was i thinking?  but all those changes meant three meals got the axe, but hey, they’ll turn up at some point.

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first up were these amazing bangkok coconut curry noodle bowls. i seriously love noodles. i suggested having a week where we eat nothing but noodles for dinner but no one else was on board. we’ll see about that. i’ve made these particular noodles a bunch but i messed it up this time. i meant to double the recipe (cos we’re pigs) but i only ended up doubling half of it! ack! i didn’t double the sauce!! guess what? it was still delicious. also, i make a ton of changes — not cos it wouldn’t taste good as is; I’m just picky as hell with my vegetables. i swapped out the broccoli florets for broccoli slaw and i axed the asparagus and subbed in blanched edamame. actually that’s just two changes.

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after a big family get together at my father’s on sunday, we celebrated thanksgiving, just the four of us, at our house on monday. i stopped roasting a whole turkey several years ago simply because, like many people, we got sick of all the leftover turkey! the yams and mashed potatoes and stuffing and gravy we all loved and could eat forever but once those ran out and all that was left was turkey? no thanks. so i started buying turkey breast roasts and stuffing them with both a sausage stuffing and a bread stuffing. we’ve never looked back.

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thanksgiving menu:

  • herb and mustard turkey breast roast (recipe for mainly the herb butter; method for stuffing the actual turkey below)
  • sausage stuffing (1 lb sausage tube, mixed with a TON of ground sage, chopped fresh parsley and chives)
  • bread stuffing (1 onion & 1 stalk celery, both diced; a bunch of chopped fresh parsley; sauté in a half cup butter with till soft; add 1 loaf of lightly toasted bread, diced, and toss together; add handfuls of dried cranberries &/or dried currants; ground sage, finely chopped fresh rosemary & thyme; salt & pepper, to taste. if necessary, moisten with chicken broth. add a lightly beaten egg just before stuffing the roast)
  • green onion gravy (i add prob double the amount of broth called for but omit the cream. i also use bisto instead of cornstarch so i get a darker gravy)
  • cinnamon and clove cranberry sauce
  • elsie’s mashed potatoes (this recipe is easily scaled; i made ¾ of the recipe for the 4 of us plus leftovers. and i use onion powder rather than onion salt)
  • balsamic yams
  • zesty carrots & onions (recipe below)
  • kale salad
  • pecan pie (i browned 8 Tbsp of butter and used a Tbsp of grand marnier in place of the orange rind)  & pumpkin pie (i doubled the spices and added an additional egg), both with deb’s all butter pastry crust

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roasted turkey breast with two kinds of stuffing:

3 lbs boneless, skin-on turkey breast
⅓ recipe herb butter
salt & pepper
sausage stuffing (as above)
bread stuffing (as above)
material needed: cheesecloth

remove skin from turkey breast and set aside. butterfly breast so it lays flat in a rectangular shape. lay between two pieces of parchment and pound to about half an inch thickness. remove top layer of parchment (but don’t throw it away just yet) and season turkey with salt and pepper, then spread the herb butter over the entire breast.

you will be rolling the turkey up in the cheesecloth once it’s stuffed so cut a large enough piece and lay it on top of the buttered side, then replace the parchment and flip the entire thing over so it’s now cheesecloth/buttered side down.

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season this side with salt and pepper too and then spread all of the sausage stuffing over the entire breast, leaving a ½-inch boarder. add a layer a bread sausage down the middle — be careful to not overdo it or you will not be able to roll it up. (whatever leftover stuffing can be put into a small casserole dish and heated for about 30 min at 350°F.)

using the cheesecloth, gather the sides up and pull them together, encasing both stuffings. don’t worry if there are places where the turkey doesn’t come together. if you have any overlapping bits, cut some off and place the extra turkey over the holes. wrap it up in a log as tightly as you can. cut off any excess bits of cheesecloth.

place on your roasting pan. take turkey skin that was set aside and drape it on top of your roast. you may need to cut it in half length-wise to cover the entire roast. season again with salt and pepper.

roast in 400°F oven for approx 1¼ – 1½ hours or until thermometre reads 155-165°F.

transfer roast from pan to cutting board and tent with foil. reserve drippings for gravy.

~~~~

zesty carrots & onions

1 chicken bouillon cube (i use 1 heaping tsp organic chicken bouillon powder)
½ cup boiling water
1 pound carrots (approx 6 medium), peeled and julienned into 2-inch strips
2 medium onions, sliced
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
½ tsp salt
dash pepper
pinch sugar
⅛ tsp dried thyme (i used about a ½ tsp fresh)
¾ cup water

add bouillon powder/cube to ½ cup boiling water in a medium-sized saucepan; stir to dissolve. add carrots and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. do not drain.

meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet with lid. add onions and cover; cook for 5 minutes, shaking the pan so the onions don’t stick. uncover; stir in flour, salt, pepper, sugar, and thyme. remove from heat; add ¾ cup water. return to moderate heat and cook, stirring, until boiling, thickened and smooth.

add carrots and their cooking liquid. simmer, uncovered, until carrots are tender, about 5 minutes.

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well after two lovely nights of turkey dinner, three if you count the sunday meal, it’s back to normal (altho there was still enough stuffed roast to make the best leftover turkey sandwiches ever!)

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i absolutely LOVE the ottolenghi jerusalem cookbook! i own a couple more of his/theirs but that one is my favourite. lots of tahini, cauliflower, lentils, coriander, cumin, etc. flavours i am in love with right now. there’s a local lebanese restaurant here that we used to frequent on the reg that serves up some delicious mejadra and, along with their deep fried cauliflower, it’s a dish we order every time. so obvs it’s nice to be able to make it at home. i served the mejadra alongside their yogurt with cucumber, also from the same book, but botched the latter a bit; i read the amount incorrectly for the cucumber (7oz/200g somehow translated to 700g when i was weighing it) but you know what? we liked it a lot that way, and that’s likely how we’ll make it from here on out. i think it’s supposed to be more of a sauce/condiment, but we loved the chunky salad it became. and then obvs i roasted some cauli.  can’t not. and i made some hummus (also from jerusalem) from the leftover soaked and cooked chickpeas from last week’s kale salad bowl so we each got a nice dollop on our plates as well. it was a flavour sensation, i tell you.  also, vegetarian! i will admit, it was all so good tasting i figured it must be so bad for you, but after analysing each component, we decided the only thing really “bad for you” would be the deep fried onions, otherwise everything was high in protein and fibre! win win (win)!

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and then last night i made pinch of yum’s sweet potato pizza. it was very delicious and i’ll certainly be making it again. it’s like pizza, but healthy!! the crust is ridiculously simple to make altho it does take some time to bake in the oven so next time i’ll plan better i.e. start earlier. someone in the recipe’s comments section (or maybe lindsay herself?) mentioned that they made the crusts much earlier in the day and then topped and baked the final pizzas in time for dinner. clever plan. i made three pizzas for the two of us simply because they looked pretty small and fyi i can go to town on a pizza! i figured we’d consume one each eeeeasily, so a third would provide seconds/leftovers. well! i was full already after half a pizza! that said, my husband ate his pizza, the remains of mine, and took the third pizza to work today for lunch. so clearly three pizzas was the exact right number. all three have pesto bases, altho i mixed a little tomato puree in with the pesto for the last pizza (shown above with the shit lighting), and then are topped with chopped chicken, thinly sliced red onion and some grated mozza. so very delicious!

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