week 11

FRIDAY: date night!
SATURDAY: miso power bowl
SUNDAY: trasteverini
MONDAY: meatloaf & mashed potatoes
TUESDAY: flank steak with horseradish sauce
WEDNESDAY: crunchy black bean tacos
THURSDAY: thai halibut

oh boy, it’s been a while since my meal plan has gone according to plan! only four meals cooked this week….

first up: enlightened miso power bowls from oh she glows. these are insanely good! I’m always leery of a “bowl” whose base is quinoa. i’m not a massive fan of the flavour of plain cooked quinoa; i need it to be way more flavourful. this dish very much is! for starters, i cooked the quinoa in veggie stock, and then i toss the cooled grains/seeds with about half of the miso-orange-tahini dressing. the toppings are so simple but sooo good! roasted (to the point of caramelisation!) sweet potato medallions, julienned raw carrot, blanched edamame, and alfalfa sprouts. a sprinkle of both toasted hemp hearts and sesame seeds, some cilantro and then drizzle the rest of the dressing on top. oof! too yummy!

not sure what happened on sunday so let’s fast forward to monday i.e. halloween. in my house, halloween = meatloaf. when i was a little kid, i was a meatloaf hater. in my defence, it DOES look gross. also i didn’t really know what it was (this is the same person who didn’t know what stuffing was either, and refused to even try it for years, until, one thanksgiving or christmas, my mother said to me, “it’s bread!!). as the story goes, it was a fateful halloween night and my mother had made my great aunt net’s meatloaf for dinner that night. i wasn’t touching it. apparently my father had had enough and therefore informed me that i would not be going trick or treating if i didn’t eat my dinner. so i tried it. (I’m stubborn but I’m not stupid.) (i guess I’m a bit stupid if i didn’t realise stuffing was basically diced bread.) and not only did i like it, i LOVED it. *cue eye roll*

at some point in time, after my kids were born, meatloaf on halloween became an annual tradition. now it’s the only time all year i make it, much to my family’s chagrin. i’ve been told this recipe is the best because of its sauce; it’s not just ketchup poured over top as per many recipes. there IS ketchup, yes, but so much more!

aunt nel’s meatloaf

1 egg, slightly beaten
1 small onion, minced
4 slices day old bread, diced (more often than not, i end up very lightly toasting fresh bread)
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tsp seasoning salt
1½ lbs extra lean ground beef
½ cup ketchup
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp dried mustard
¼ sp ground cloves
¼ tsp allspice
½ cup water

preheat oven to 350°F.

mix first 5 ingredients together in large bowl; add beef and combine well. transfer to loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.

meanwhile, mix last 6 ingredients together in a small bowl.

after 1 hour, remove loaf from oven and drain as much fat as you can from the pan. pour sauce over top (i nudge the loaf around the pan so some of the sauce goes down around the sides and underneath) and return to the oven for another half hour.

serve with mashed potatoes and green beans (if you want to go trick or treating, that is!)


fast forward to wednesday cos we managed two full dinners of meatloaf from that meal. crunchy black bean tacos. as i’ve said before, i try to make two meatless meals each week. this was one of them. for me, meatless equates with healthy (see enlightened miso power bowls above). i am faaaaaairly certain these babies are NOT good for you.  but they are tasty as hell! nicely seasoned black beans — i soaked mine overnight and then cooked the next day, but you could used canned fo’ sho’ — piled into a corn tortilla with some pepper jack cheese and then fried in coconut oil till nice and crispy. i snuck some avocado slices in a few and they delightfully lovely. you can dip these suckers in salsa, sour cream, quac, or all of the above.

to finish up the week, i made a favourite of mine: thai-style halibut from ruth reisman’s cookbook: the art of living well. the flavours in this are so amazing! (also, leftovers are the shit as my husband was lucky enough to verify the next afternoon.) you basically pile a bunch of sautéed onion and pepper slices on top of the halibut, spoon a bit of the thai coconut sauce on top and bake it in the oven for about ten minutes, depending on how thick your fish is. serve on top of rice, with more spoonfuls of the sauce and some chopped cilantro (supposed to have chopped scallion too but it was raining too hard to get any from my garden), and a nice cucumber salad.

fyi, both the trasteverini and the horseradish flank steak are amazeballs so i hope to squeeze them in soon. i think i only have another week of meal plans organised, so all those meals i planned to make but didn’t have time will finally have their day.


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