week 32

FRIDAY 🎂 tuscan chicken
SATURDAY spiced samosa patties
SUNDAY bbq at friends
MONDAY crispy fish with lemon-dill sauce
TUESDAY turkish kofta platter
WEDNESDAY cowgirl salad
THURSDAY sweet potato, spinach & quinoa salad

well happy birthday to me! my lovely husband makes me the BEST DINNER EVER every year on my birthday — i’m a lucky girl.

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right??? i’m not kidding; this is my favourite meal. if i could find it at a restaurant i would get it each and every time. tuscan chicken: parmesan & basil “crusted” chicken fillets, topped with capers, lemon aioli, and more parm, on a bed of fresh spinach. plus! intensely flavourful tomato confit on a toasted baguette to go with. apparently it is from a restaurant, the tasting room in omaha, nebraska according to the january 2009 copy of bon appetit magazine. so next time i’m in omaha…. unfortunately bon appetit doesn’t have the recipe on their website in their archives but it can be found here. hubs has made a few changes over the years — he uses 4 eggs now, and also strongly recommends you cook the chicken in a non-stick pan. trust. as well as four 4-inch pieces of baguette (there’s so much confit, two is just not enough!) oh and this year he used one 28-oz can of san marzano tomatoes and oof it was tasty. altho it’s always tasty so it’s hard to say if that actually made a difference. man alive, best meal ever.

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next up is a new recipe. samosa patties. altho they’re basically aloo tikkis. we used to buy them by the dozen when my kids were younger and played ultimate; there is an amazing indian restaurant in vancouver super close to one of the fields and we used to go to town every summer, ordering tons of samosas and aloo tikkis and paneer pakoras to eat at the field and at home! anyway, i was delighted when i saw this recipe. that said, i’ll keep looking. they were just okay. granted, i messed them up a bit. in trying to save time, i figured i’d cook the potatoes a day ahead. well after spending the night in the fridge, they were too cold to mash, so i put them thru my food processor which just made them go kinda gummy. but i think they needed more spice anyway. not enough flavour for us; they just tasted like plain potato patties. i made some tamarind chutney to go with and i don’t think it cooked enough cos it never thickened. ugh. tasty tho!

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i also made a couple salads to go with: my go-to east indian chickpea salad, plus a new one; i needed to get some fresh veg on our plates and thought a raita-style salad would be perfect — nice and refreshing. well wouldn’t ya know, smitten kitchen has just the recipe.

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then it was time for fish sticks. or more accurately, crispy fish with lemon-dill sauce. i seriously love these. but i also seriously love cod so that’s likely got something to do with it. so easy to make: cut your fish into strips, dip in egg, dip in seasoned panko, bake in oven. ta da! i steam some beans to go with and make an easy salad (hello, bagged coleslaw! i just chuck in some sunflower seeds and toss with a dollop of mayo, squeeze of lemon, tsp of english mustard and some s&p).

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oh wow, here’s another amazing meal! turkish kofta platter. i love this so much. makes me want to throw a party just so i can serve it to everyone. how fun! those little meatballs are so flavourful! chock-o-block with yummy spices. i warn you: it’s a bit gross making them cos you blend the ground meat with the spices and an egg and whatnot in your food processor and then once it’s mixed, you add a bit of water and blend until it becomes “paste-like” – ewww! like a grey paste even. yeah it’s not pretty. but it does make for some delish meatballs! the cannellini puree is essentially hummus, but lighter, and compliments the meatballs so well. i think in addition to the browned pine nuts and mint on top, a scattering of pomegranate arils might be welcome too.

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last one this week, one i come back to again and again and again, is roasted sweet potato, spinach and quinoa salad. it’s simple to make, not a lot of ingredients, but it’s dang tasty and good for you too. i cook the quinoa in veggie stock earlier in the afternoon so it’s had time to cool completely. then you just need to roast your sweet potatoes and onions really. while they’re doing their thing in the oven, mix up the dressing, toss a bit into the cooled quinoa and you’re good to go. i always add some crumbled feta on top but if you nix that, and use agave instead of honey in the dressing, this is totally vegan. i also add some toasted pepitas on top too. yumm!

couldn’t squeeze in the cowgirl salad, which is too bad cos it’s tasty! i’ll save it for the warmer weather that is hopefully on its way.

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