week 37

FRIDAY tacos!
SATURDAY date night
SUNDAY pork tenderloin sliders
MONDAY big vegan bowl
TUESDAY miso salmon
WEDNESDAY pizza!
THURSDAY sheet pan chicken tikka

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i’ve been wanting to have a cinco de mayo party for years! so many great dishes to choose from. i decided to make tacos and i settled on two kinds: chicken mole tacos and shrimp tacos. i swapped out the chocolate chips for unsweetened cocoa as one of our guests is going sugar-free this month (in addition to being celiac!) which i think might be more authentic anyway. i served these in corn tortillas with pickled onions, crumbled feta (couldn’t find any queso) and cilantro leaves. the shrimp tacos i make all the time actually cos they’re so easy! i add a mashed avocado to the sauce, cutting back a bit of the yogurt. and i add about four to six cloves of garlic to the shrimp while sautéing. also served in corn tortillas. ended up having so many leftovers, we did date night in on saturday.

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i’ve kind of wanted to have a kentucky derby party too, even tho vancouver is not exactly kentucky, but who doesn’t want a meal that’s bookended by mint juleps and chocolate bourbon pecan pie?? anyway, i was a day late and it was just the two of us for dinner. that didn’t stop me from making these amazing pork tenderloin sliders with the even more amazing condiments that went with them (clockwise from bottom left): italian-style salsa verde, blackberry honey mustard, and bacon & sweet onion jam.

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oh. my. word. cannot get over how tasty they were — individually and all together on the one slider. the onion jam alone…. we’ve actually got enough of all three leftover that the old guy wants me to roast another tenderloin so we can do it all over again. i wish a bakeware company would make a quarter pie dish. i would really like a piece of that pie. just one.

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yeah i always get super cranky making this big vegan bowl. even tho i know the best meal-sized salads are all about the individual components and take time to prep, i tend to start this at the last minute when my kitchen is dirty and the dishwasher needs to be unloaded and there’s crap everywhere.  and i basically always wonder out loud, why do i bother making this? and then i start eating and i get it. i suppose i complicate things more by using dried beans instead of canned and rather than buy hummus from the shop, i figure if i’m soaking beans for the salad, i may as well do some extras and just make the hummus myself! it does make for a delicious salad tho. a couple things: i only make up half the amount of quinoa called for. one cup of uncooked quinoa yields three plus cups cooked; this recipe yields two big servings. more like two gargantuan servings! i also do up only half the dressing. i toss both the quinoa and the kale with most of the dressing (separately mind you) and drizzle the rest on the bowls. with all those changes, there were still leftovers the next day; enough for the old guy’s lunch.

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tuesday got away from me a bit so luckily i had an easy meal on the docket. i’d planned to grab some fresh salmon from the store as we didn’t make it to the farmers market at the weekend but i ran out of time and had to make due with the crappy pre-portioned frozen salmon i had in the freezer. luckily the marinade for the miso salmon is super flavourful. the only change i make is to omit the optional sake; i add a bit more mirin and a splash of sherry. slather it on the salmon, let it sit for at least ten minutes, during which time you can start the wasabi mashed potatoes. the yield on this recipe is way off; it calls for twelve potatoes to serve six people.  that’s a high potato to person ratio! i scaled it down to three potatoes but find it serves four people very nicely. i also skip the garlic roasting process — the flavour doesn’t really come thru and it takes forever — in favour of dumping about 4 cloves of garlic in with the potatoes to boil. strain and mash everything together. oh and i use wasabi paste cos that’s what i have. yummo!

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made pizza like a boss on wednesday night. as much as i love homemade pizza, esp with this amazing no-knead pizza dough recipe, pizza night used to be a nightmare in this house! i’d inevitably end up shouting and swearing and, while the pizza was still delicious, it was often a mess too. i’ve finally gotten into the swing of things tho. the last two times i’ve made pizza, i did it all by myself (big girl pants) with no swearing! okay there was a little bit of swearing last night cos one of the pizzas stuck to my pizza peel as i was gently nudging it into the 500 oven! my a-ha moment came when i discovered flour is not my enemy. so now i go to town when flouring my board, flouring the dough when it rests, flouring the counter when i’m shaping it into individual pies.

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i made six pizzas: three 4 cheese pizzas with arugula on top and three tuscan pizzas. i used to do six different pizzas but that’s just plain crazy (see swearing above); two varieties is enough. both pizzas were introduced to me by my lovely daughter — the first coming from a recipe she found online, the second she created after having something similar in a restaurant. it’s basically pizza with a pesto base, topped with fior di latte, italian sausage, halved cherry tomatoes and roasted garlic cloves, and then once it’s baked and out of the oven, a little drizzle of balsamic reduction. yum!

rather bummed i didn’t get to make [read: eat] the sheet pan chicken tikka — i was looking forward to it all week! but dork that i am, i again neglected to notice the highlighted (by me) instructions telling me to marinate the chicken in the morning. arg! yay for leftover pizza. i will get my chicken tikka however….

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