Turkey sausage with sheet pan veggies. 9/26/22

Turkey sausage with roasted cauliflower, cabbage, and butternut squash

Super simple, easy dinner tonight! After shaking the vegetables in a bag with olive oil and salt I laid them out on a foil-lined and sprayed sheet pan for a 25 minute roast in the oven pre-heated to 425F convection. The vegetables got some good browning and were done when I could pierce them with a knife easily. As soon as the vegetables were done I microwaved my piece of turkey sausage for 90 seconds. I made a combo of Dijon and whole grain mustards to dip my sausage into. Yum!

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Weekly Menu. September 26 – October 2, 2022

This week’s menu includes five vegan or vegetarian meals, one shellfish, and one turkey sausage dinner. Including more plant-based meals now seems like the norm and I am very happy about that.

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Rosh Hashanah dinner. 9/25/22

Although we are not religious, we still like to celebrate the holidays of both our traditions. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish new year and begins the Ten Days of Awe which end up on Yom Kippur. As with all good holidays, the emphasis is on food.

I discovered a few years ago that in the Sephardic tradition there are foods that have special meaning for the holiday. So we no longer just have apples and honey but also beans, gourds, fish (goldfish crackers), beets, dates, and several more. Plus, you are supposed to make puns out of the food names! What fun! John was our leader and the kids and grandkids were willing participants.

Symbolic foods (the eggs represent heads)

Our daughter made a round challah which was delicious!

The beautiful challah our daughter made

For dinner we had what we call Autumn Soup. It is a mixture of apples, sweet potato, rutabaga, onion, butternut squash, and carrot pureed in stock and then enriched with cream and butter. It is yummy!

Autumn soup

We also had a large salad and I even made an apple tart for dessert. We are wishing for ourselves and the rest of the world peace, prosperity, and happiness in the coming year.

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Tilapia with mustard sauce. 9/24/22

Baked tilapia with mustard sauce, new potatoes, and green beans

Growing up we never ate fish. Zero. Nada. My father was forced to eat fish as a child and he never got over the trauma. In fact even our cat was not allowed to eat canned cat food that had fish in it. My dad just could not tolerate even the smell. Needless to say I do not have an instinctual knowledge of cooking fish. I leave that up to John.

It certainly seems easy. He seasons up the fish and bakes it in a 400F oven for 15 minutes and, voila, the fish is cooked perfectly. In the meantime I get to steam the potatoes, sauté the green beans, and make a mustard sauce. Somehow that does not seem like an equal division of labor! But it works for us.

The mustard sauce is a tablespoon of whole grain mustard, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, a squirt of yellow mustard, a teaspoon of mayonnaise, and a splash of water to thin it out. John loved it and put it on everything. It was definitely great on the fish and the potatoes.

Posted in American, Easy, Fish, Methods, pescatarian, Recipes, Vegetables | Tagged | 1 Comment

Buffalo chicken wings with carrots and celery. 9/23/22

Buffalo chicken wings with carrots, celery, blue cheese dressing

On Friday night we were watching Roger Federer’s last professional match which was a very happy/sad event. We have been big fans for a long time. Needless to say, thoughts of making dinner went out the window and we decided just to have some Buffalo chicken wings that we had bought in a big frozen pack from Costco. It was quick and easy and better than ordering a pizza.

Here is a picture I took of Roger Federer at Indian Wells at the BNP Paribas Masters Tournament March 16, 2010. 😢

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Chicken enchiladas with spicy black beans. 9/22/22

Chicken enchiladas with spicy black beans

Tonight’s dinner is all about ease. Buy a large jar of salsa verde, corn tortillas, shredded Mexican blend cheese, and pulled leftover cooked chicken, a rotisserie chicken, or the easiest, a pack of cooked white meat chicken from Costco. Shred the chicken. Put a layer of salsa verde down in a 9 X 13” baking dish. Heat the tortillas over an open flame until they are supple. In each tortilla put some chicken, salsa verde, and cheese. For extra flavor add chopped onions and Serrano chiles. Roll them up and put them in the baking dish seam side down. When you have completed all your tortillas cover them with salsa verde and sprinkle on any remaining cheese. Bake in a 350F oven until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbly, about 1/2 hour. I fit 12 enchiladas in my dish which is slightly smaller than standard size.

For the spicy black beans I use two cans of rinsed black beans and a cup of tomato salsa or a can of Rotel. I doctor this up with a teaspoon of cumin, a squirt of sriracha, five shakes of Tabasco, and salt to taste. Heat on the stovetop. Add a little salad and a piece of lime for squeezing and dinner is ready!

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Sesame salmon bowl. 9/21/22

Sesame salmon bowl

The bowls we make like this are a combination of components with varying proteins over rice with a dressing. Today’s protein is salmon but we also make this with shrimp and tofu. The vegetables remain constant – cucumber, avocado, cabbage, edamame, and Serrano or jalapeño peppers.

What ties the dish together is the wonderful dressing. The soy vinaigrette is especially delicious. Mix together 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce, 3T white vinegar, 2T vegetable oil, 2T chopped green onions, 2T minced ginger, and 1/4t toasted sesame oil. You may want to consider putting in a dash of some sort of sweetener. We like plenty of the dressing so we make a double portion.

We serve our salmon and vegetables over rice and garnish with cilantro and furikake.

Posted in Asian, Fish, Hot weather meals, Legumes, pescatarian, Recipes, rice, Vegetables, Weeknight dinners | Tagged | Leave a comment

Fusilli in tomato sauce with zucchini and mushrooms. 9/20/22

Fusilli in tomato sauce with zucchini and mushrooms

I am so glad that the weather has been cool enough to permit pots of boiling water and simmering sauce. After sautéing the mushrooms, onions, pepper, and garlic I added 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and cooked that briefly. Next I deglazed the pan with red wine. I added a 28 oz. can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes and left the whole pot to simmer with the lid slightly ajar for half an hour.

At this point John turned on the water to boil and I browned the zucchini half-moons in olive oil spray and a teaspoon of butter. I did not want to put them straight into the sauce because they would have disintegrated. When the pasta was cooked and about two cups of the cooking water reserved, I put about half of the sauce in with the zucchini and John added the fusilli. Half the reserved pasta water went in with the fusilli and the other half went into the leftover sauce which had thickened up quite a bit during its simmer. I will save the remaining sauce for another application in the future.

What a delicious dinner! We practically licked out our bowls!

Posted in Easy, Italian, Methods, Pasta, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged | 1 Comment

Leek and potato soup. 9/19/22

Leek and potato soup with garnishes

Tonight’s leek and potato soup began life a few weeks ago as Instant Pot Vichyssoises. We had a bunch left over so we heated it up to come back as leek and potato soup! No need to eat it cold this time. The temperatures have dropped by about 40F and it even, weirdly, rained. Usually we don’t get rain until November.

But the rain is welcome as is a pot of warm soup. For garnishes we added oyster crackers, chopped scallions, and bacon. If you want to keep this vegetarian just omit the bacon.

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Composed salad. 9/18/22

Composed salad

On Sunday morning with one little pot of water I hard boiled an egg, blanched broccoli, and cooked a small potato. Everything else was chopped and assembled at dinner time. As a base I used a combo of green leaf lettuce, cabbage, and kale. The dressing was simply olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.

Posted in American, Easy, Eggs, Hot weather meals, Legumes, Salad, Vegetables, Vegetarian | 1 Comment