week 49

FRIDAY lamb burgers with mint-feta pesto
SATURDAY date night
SUNDAY fajitas
MONDAY asian bbq salmon + thai coconut rice
TUESDAY szechuan noodle salad
WEDNESDAY enchiladas verdes
THURSDAY sweet potato & black bean burgers

lamb.pesto.JPG
on friday, i made these lamb burgers and omg i love them so much! i don’t even bother buying buns for these; we like them served plain with a dollop of the mint-feta pesto on top and an easy greek salad on the side. and by easy, i’m not kidding. the amount of posts i see for greek salad is crazy. traditional authentic greek salad (horiatiki) is chopped cuke,  tomato, green pepper, and red onion, with a bunch of olives and a nice slice of feta. i use yellow pepper cos i don’t like the green ones, and neither my husband nor i like olives so i don’t bother. in greece, we often saw capers (!!!) in the salad so sometimes i go that route; i didn’t this time. but it’s the “dressing” recipes that get me. it’s literally olive oil, people. no vinegar. just good extra virgin olive oil, glugged over all the veg. crack some salt and pepper over the top and mixy mixy. and some dried oregano if you fancy. yum!

beet.salad.JPG
we did date night in on saturday and as i’d very recently harvested the last of my beets, i figured i’d make that insanely tasty roasted beet and hazelnut salad again. meant to add arugula again but was too lazy to go to the store. mine bolted weeks ago. as least this time i kept the red and golden beets separate when tossing with the dressing! this is so good tho — i did up 2 lbs worth of beets, so like enough for about 8 people… and we ate it all!!

one of the first meals i made that became a family favourite, and therefore went on frequent rotation, was fajitas. i’m sure these are the opposite of authentic but we didn’t care, nor do we now.

chicken and chorizo fajitas
inspired by the sante fe spice mix from canadian living magazine, sept 1997
serves 4

spice mix (makes approx ½ cup)
3 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp crushed fennel seeds
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt

fajitas
4 tsp spice mix
1 tbsp olive oil (i used chili oil this time and boy, was it spicy!!)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lb chicken breast, sliced into thin strips
1 link (approx 100 g) cured chorizo, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced

fillings
4 – 6 large tortillas or a dozen small ones
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes
cilantro leaves
grated cheddar
refried beans
whatever else you fancy, sour cream perhaps?

combine all the spice mix ingredients together in a tight-sealing jar, then measure 4 tsp out into a large bowl, and mix with olive oil and crushed garlic. add chicken and mix till all the slices are coated. let the chicken sit while you prep all the other ingredients.

heat a large skillet on medium heat and add the chicken, sautéing for a few minutes till no longer raw-looking.  add sliced onion and chorizo and continue cooking till chicken is cooked through and onions are nice and soft.

then build your fajita, using whatever fillings that suit you, roll it up, and enjoy!

salmon.JPGanother oldie, i made this when the kids were little, thinking it was about time they got some fish into their diet. figuring i’d ease them in with salmon, i started with this chili garlic bbq salmon served alongside some coconut thai rice and it was a huge hit. in fact, for the longest time, it was my son’s most requested dish. the recipe calls for a whole 3-pound salmon, but i use about a pound and a half of fillet instead. i mix the marinade ingredients together in a shallow glass dish and then place the fillets skin side up to sit for a bit. don’t let it sit too long or the lime will “cook” the flesh. that sounds creepier than it is. when the bbq is hot and you’re ready to cook, remove the salmon from the marinade and pour it into a small sauce pan, then set aside. brush the skin with a little oil and grill it skin side down till the salmon flakes nicely. while that’s cooking, bring the reserved marinade to a quick boil and then let it simmer till the salmon is done. once plated, i spoon some sauce on the fish and then top with the chopped scallions. the rice i make as is with the exception of using coconut oil instead of veg oil.

szechaun.noods.jpg
i looooove noodles, especially asian noodles. i can eat them all year but they’re magnificent in the summer, when it’s boiling hot out.  this one has all the flavours!

szechuan noodle salad with soba, avocado & cashews
adapted from the rebar modern food cookbook by audrey alsterberg & wanda urbanowicz
serves 4

dressing
2 tbsp sesame oil, plus more for noodles
1 ½ tsp chili oil (mine was insanely spicy so i’d decrease to just a tsp next time)
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp red chili flakes
2 tbsp rice vinegar
½ cup soy sauce
1 cup water
¼ cup honey
1 tsp cornstarch
2 limes, juiced
2 tbsp minced cilantro

salad
1 lb soba noodles
4 scallions, minced
1 carrot, julienned
1 sweet red bell pepper, thinly sliced
½ long english cucumber, julienned
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
¼ cup cashews, toasted

heat sesame and chili oils in a pot over medium-low heat. add garlic and chili flakes and sauté briefly, taking care not to burn. stir in vinegar, soy sauce and water; bring to boil. reduce heat to a simmer. add honey and stir to dissolve. mix cornstarch with a few tbsp of water in a bowl and whisk into the simmering liquid; continue to simmer for 5 minutes or so. when the sauce has thickened slightly, remove it from the heat and let cool. stir in lime juice and cilantro. set aside.

meanwhile, cook the soba noodles according to directions in plenty of salted, boiling water. drain in a colander and rinse with cold, running water. shake off excess water and place in large bowl. toss with a light coating of sesame oil. chill the noodles until ready to use.

before serving, add prepared veg (except avocado) to the bowl with the noodles and combine. add dressing to liberally coat everything and toss well. garnish with avocado slices and toasted cashews. serve immediately.

veggie.burger
and last but not least, we had sweet potato and black burgers on thursday night. (ended up where neither of us were at home on weds for dinner so the enchies got postponed to this coming week.) these veggie burgers do take a bit of time, but nothing crazy. and you certainly don’t need to overnight soak and then cook the beans like i do. that said, it’s easy peasy, just a bit of planning. in the morning, i cook the beans and the quinoa, and roast the sweet potato (ugh, yes i had to turn the oven again on but it’s cooler in the morning). then, later in the afternoon, i mix everything together and pop it in the fridge to chill for a bit (makes easier to form into patties). the recipe makes 8 burgers, so i’ve got 6 more downstairs in my freezer. win win.

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