week 14

FRIDAY: turkey kofta kebabs
SATURDAY: asian beef salad with edamame
SUNDAY: lamb kebabs with tzatziki
MONDAY: out for dinner
TUESDAY: taco salad
WEDNESDAY: cilantro lime shrimp & green beans
THURSDAY: cowgirl salad

koftas.JPG
friday finds us not quite halfway through the two week test. first up this week is a meal i’ve made before – persian turkey kofta kebabs – but this time i scrapped the pita bread and tzatziki and just made an easy tahini sauce to drizzle on top, plus a massive green salad featuring many large chunks of tomato and cucumber to go with. i am going to give these kebabs a resounding “okay” — they’re not bad, in fact they’re rather flavourful spice-wise; i’m just not sure turkey is the right ground meat to be using. i feel like lamb, or a mixture of lamb and something (maybe even turkey to keep it lighter?) might be the way to go. maybe i’ll try that next time, or maybe i’ll find a completely different kofta recipe. also, i didn’t bother skewering them as they felt rather firm coming out of the fridge and didn’t think they’d fall apart (spoiler: they didn’t), plus i broiled them instead of barbecuing; it’s just too cold and dark to fire up the bbq these days.

beef.JPG
this next meal is an atkins diet recipe. asian beef salad with edamame. i’m a big fan of most, if not all, asian flavours and i did like this salad, but the recipe itself is wack! if i’m going to make this again, i’ll have to rewrite it. by the time i sat down to eat, i was super irritated. my mistake, the online recipe is written to yield one serving altho has a drop down menu that lets you scale to the appropriate servings (which i did not see); so i should have scaled it to feed both us of but, regardless, right in the directions it says to double the marinade/dressing ingredients because the marinade gets discarded and doesn’t figure into the nutritional calculations. what?? then when it comes time to cook, you’re meant to remove your piece of steak from the marinade, sauté it for two minutes then toss it in a salad bowl with the greens, other veg and dressing. sorry? i’m to toss a full (likely blue if not raw if cooking as briefly as they instruct) steak in a salad (¾ cup lettuce greens plus a full half cup of raw edamame per person)??? it says nowhere to slice said steak. so yeah, i’ll rewrite this recipe with clearer instructions but also change it up a bit, add more veg (full disclosure: there was meant to be some thinly sliced red pepper in there but i forgot to add it to my grocery list) like cucumber and julienned carrot in addition to the pepper and edamame; add a bit of olive oil to the salad dressing so it looks/tastes like more than just seasoned soy sauce.

lamb.JPG
well, it was bound to happen: the first disappointing meal in this test. lamb keftedes with paleo tzatziki. such promise, amirite?? especially after the previous night’s recipe frustrations. for starters, the paleo “tzatziki” did not taste like tzatziki; it tasted like a slightly cucumber-y not even remotely garlicky guacamole. and what a pain to make. the lamb patties were no big whoop either; not sure why i needed to grate two inches of ginger and only to add the juice from the squeezed pulp! you certainly couldn’t taste any ginger in the lamb! okay, whinge-fest over. next!

toro.JPG
our daughter recently moved out with her fella and while they’re only 20ish minutes away, her absence from the house is palpable! we miss her so much! now, this girl is a hella good cook and we were meant to dine at their place on monday but after starting to prepare a three-course meal, she got the stomach flu. ever the trooper, she wanted to continue making the meal but we overruled her, sent her to the sofa to watch netflix, and left her in the care of her lovely boyfriend. but then what were we going to eat? after some yelping local restaurants, realising nothing would likely be test-friendly, we picked up two orders of toro sashimi to go, and headed home to make the best tuna poke bowls! okay i’m not sure if they were the best in the world (i have very fond memories of all the poke i consumed in hawaii a few years ago) but after the last two meals, they were magnificent!! i added a bit of chopped avo and cuke cos we were eating this at our meal rather than an appy. i will definitely be making these again. not sure if you can see but the sashimi-cut fish wasn’t quite right for the bowls — i’ll just buy ahi tuna from the fishmonger next time. and there will be a next time!

taco.JPG
taco tuesday! woot woot! except we had taco salad, which is almost the same thing, right? a big bed of chopped iceberg lettuce, topped with chopped tomatoes, grated cheddar cheese, spicy ground beef made with homemade taco seasoning, and big dollops of sour cream and homemade guacamole. dead easy, and seriously tasty. i meant to top everything with cilantro and scallions but i forgot. ugh.

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this might be the simplest meal i’ve made during the two week test: cilantro lime shrimp with green beans. dinner was ready in like 15 min, i’m not kidding. two pans going at the same time: one with shrimp and garlic; the other with the beans. my shrimp were on the small side so were ready before the beans but it all worked out. not exactly a meal i’d serve company but very tasty. think that shrimp would be lovely in a taco! with some shredded cabbage and avocado crema? yum! still have tacos on the brain, i guess.

cowgirl.JPG
last meal of the week is a favourite of ours, but i had to tweak it a bit to comply with this seemingly never ending test. cowgirl salad with apple miso vinaigrette. i used to get this from a local restaurant whenever we went and then i found a recipe for it on the internet! score! straight away i cut way back on the amount of oil used in the dressing: 6 tablespoons per serving! yikes!! i cut out the vegetable oil completely and reduced the olive oil to a quarter cup, and sometimes i go half and half olive oil with walnut oil. i also use honey instead of both brown and white sugar. lastly, i toast the nuts (pecans > walnuts imo) instead of candying them. this time, however, i had to nix the dates [sad face] and the corn from the salad. and because i needed to swap out any sugars from the vinaigrette, i used rice vinegar, as it’s sweeter, in place of the more tart red wine vinegar and to replace the sweet chili paste, some dried chili flakes. winner winner chicken dinner.

and on to next week! two more dinners and i’m done the test!!!

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