Change in plans and updated menu. 10/19/20

After spending time carefully crafting my menu for this week, it all flew out the window when we decided to go up to Sonoma to pick up our wine shipment. The winery is now open for tastings al fresco with elaborate health and safety rules so we thought it would be safe enough for us to enjoy a tasting.

Wine notes for our tasting

The tasting was lovely and the weather was perfect. We finished up around 2:30 and needed to find something for lunch along the route home. We went through a drive-thru and got one hamburger and a plastic knife to cut it in half. I was not about to surrender my diet to a whole hamburger!

Needless to say, we did not feel like making an elaborate dinner. I declared it was every man or woman for theirselves. John settled on the last of the red lentils and rice and I made myself a pita with chicken, lettuce, and mustard. Our daughter had been baking while we were out for the day and we finished our dinners with a piece of pumpkin cake.

Chicken sandwich with pickles and pumpkin cake

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BFD Mushroom omelet and Thai salad 10/18/20

First of all thanks to all my new viewers! Recently I have been averaging between 700 and 1000 views per day. Most of these are from India and Thailand. It is so exciting. So thanks!

Today is Breakfast For Dinner! John and I stand side by side at the stovetop making our omelets. I fill mine with sautéed mushrooms. With our omelets we have a Thai salad which is a combination of Romaine, tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, and red onion all in a nuoc cham dressing. Breakfast For Dinner does not have to be boring!

In the foreground Thai salad and behind mushroom omelet with parsley garnish


Posted in Easy, Eggs, leftovers, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged | 1 Comment

Weekly Menu October 18 – October 25, 2020

This week’s menu is an international delight. I gave John the choice of an international or vegetarian menu this week and I think it was the chicken enchiladas that won him over. I am hoping to get this ambitious menu completed but I cannot guarantee what order the dinners will be this week. It kind of depends on when I get to the grocery store.

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LFD – Dal soup, hummus, and pita. 10/17/20

Leftovers For Dinner are on the menu tonight. I am taking the Afghani dal from Tuesday and adding some additional stock along with spinach and tomatoes and making a red lentil soup.

Red lentil soup with spinach and tomatoes

With the soup we are having hummus with pita and a salad of curly lettuce, olives, tomatoes and pepperoncini.

Hummus and pita with a salad of curly lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and pepperoncini

Leftovers do not have to be boring! When you are making your menu for the week prepare a little extra of one dinner and have it be your “planned-over” for Saturday or any night!

Posted in Easy, Kitchen tips, leftovers, Legumes, Middle Eastern, soup, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Shrimp tostadas. 10/16/20

Shrimp tostada with spicy black beans and Mexican rice

We originally decided to have shrimp tacos because I had bought a mango that now felt ripe and did not want to waste it. When I made the salsa, though, the mango turned out to be not ripe but green and bitter and the jalapeño I used from the garden was also unripe and bitter. So scratch the tacos.

A tostada is a fried or toasted tortilla with whatever you like on top. Actually it is an open-faced taco. I decided I wanted to pile all my shrimp on one tortilla and then give it a squirt of sriracha. I fixed our cauliflower rice/rice mix and add some canned tomatoes with chiles, plus cumin, salt, and also some sriracha. It was a hit. The black beans are simply canned beans drained, some of the canned tomatoes with chiles, salt, and cumin. Even though we made this dinner up on the fly it was really enjoyable and fun to eat!

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Classic chicken dinner. 10/15/20

Sous vide chicken breast with chicken/mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, and broccoli

In these roiling times preparing a classic, comforting dinner for you and your family soothes your soul. So tonight we decide to make sous vide chicken breast with tarragon, mashed potatoes with chicken/mushroom gravy, and broccoli. We also pass up watching the town halls by the presidential candidates and opt for reading about it tomorrow. We voted this week so our preference is locked in.

John cooked our chicken breast with some tarragon leaves at 159F in the immersion circulator. He also made the gravy using a packet of powdered chicken gravy, some sautéed mushrooms, and the cooking juice from the chicken breast. I made the mashed potatoes using 1 tablespoon of light faux butter and 1/4 cup of low fat milk. I cooked the broccoli in a little water and added light faux butter as the water evaporated and the broccoli was just cooked through.

Sitting down to our comforting meal which was still well within my diet regimen was delicious, filling, and soothing. Not watching the town halls had a good effect as well. Are there any undecided voters left? Make sure your voice is heard, VOTE!

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Penne with zucchini and mushrooms. 10/14/20

Whole grain penne with mushrooms, onions, garlic, zucchini, and fresh oregano

On Wednesday we were supposed to have chicken but we forgot to put the chicken in its sous vide bath so we opted for pasta. I salted the zucchini and let it sit for a half an hour to lose some water. I sautéed the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and zucchini while John cooked the penne. We added the pasta to the vegetables along with 1/3 cup pasta water. I garnished my bowlful with fresh oregano leaves and some good olive oil.

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Red lentils, rice, and crispy kale. 10/13/20

Red lentils, rice, and crispy kale

The red lentil part of tonight’s dinner is also called Afghani dal. Here is the recipe for it. It is easy, quick cooking and tastes wonderful. Red lentils are actually coral colored and turn yellow when you cook them. You can make the dish the consistency you want by increasing or decreasing the amount of liquid you put in. I will probably save some and dilute it for Saturday’s LFD ( Lunch/Leftovers For Dinner). It will qualify as both a lunch and a leftover.

John requested that I include him in the rice and cauliflower rice combo even though he is no longer trying to lose weight. He likes the flavor and is aware of the lower glycemic load. So healthier for him and easier for me, a win-win situation!

Finally, here is my scoop on crispy kale. To make it I tossed a tablespoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of kosher salt, and a dash of garlic in a zip loc bag and shook it around with the kale pieces (no thick stems!) to get everything coated. It cooked on a sheet pan at 500F for about four minutes. These were only bite-sized leaf pieces and I was afraid they would burn if I left them in any longer but only the frilly part came out crispy. Maybe 5 minutes is the better time. The kale came out too, too salty even for me and bitter. The bitter was okay but the too much salt was really bad. If I make it again I will cut the Kosher salt down to 1/2 teaspoon.

All in all eaten together it was a pretty good dinner. But my fingers are puffy this morning from all the salt!

Posted in Afghan, Easy, Healthy tips, Kitchen tips, Legumes, Recipes, rice, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Salmon with tarragon sauce. 10/12/20

Sockeye salmon with tarragon sauce, riced cauliflower, and broccoli

Today I had to be extra careful calorie-wise because John was making me a Negroni Sbagliato for our before-sies. That is a combination of 1.5 oz. Campari, 1.5 oz. sweet vermouth, 3 oz. sparkling wine, 2 olives, and orange peel. I discovered that Campari is loaded with calories so all day long I was cutting a little off breakfast, lunch, and snacking to make room for my drink.  I am only 2.5 lbs. away from my goal and I do not want to blow it now!

So after our lovely cocktail and pretzel time we tucked into John’s delicious pan-seared salmon with a tarragon sauce that I made. The tarragon sauce is a combo of light mayo, fat free Greek yogurt, tarragon, parsley, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, and a dash of water to thin it out. It tastes good with the salmon but also on tonight’s broccoli and riced cauliflower.

What were we celebrating? Maybe just getting to another Monday with our whole family still healthy! That is worth a celebration.

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Breakfast For Dinner (BFD) 10/11/20

My love affair with soft scrambled eggs goes back to a trip several years ago to Vienne, France. Michelin-starred Chef Henriroux at La Pyramide Hotel likes to come down to the kitchen some mornings and make breakfast. His eggs cook low and slow with constant agitation producing creamy small curds.

Actual soft scrambled eggs by Chef Henriroux

Of course I am not patient enough to cook the eggs so slowly or to whisk constantly. Every time, though, when I scramble an egg, I always think about those beautiful scrambled eggs.

Tonight’s not perfect scrambled eggs are joined on the plate with a tarragon, cucumber, onion, and tomato salad and a piece of rye toast (unbuttered).

Scrambled eggs, tarragon tomato and cucumber salad, and rye toast

My mother would always say, I will never make you kids eat cereal for dinner (although we were secretly wishing for just that). But here in my adult life I am serving breakfast for dinner once a week.

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