Sunday is our day off from cooking. John makes an omelet and I make some sort of egg dish, sometimes with a vegetable stir fry, or with some beans in a tortilla, but today just simply scrambled. It’s a no-thinking, easy dinner, kind of a reward for cooking all week.
Usually a Niçoise salad is made with canned tuna but we had some salmon to use so we decided that changing the seafood would be okay. I read afterwards that there is a lot of culinary controversy about making substitutions, this being a French dish, but it turned out to be a delicious dinner with salmon.
I started out by making perfect hard boiled eggs which release from the shell easily. The technique for doing this comes from Kenji Lopez-Alt over at Serious Eats. https://www.seriouseats.com/perfect-boiled-eggs-recipe. I have only had one sticky egg since I started using his technique.
After I lifted the eggs out of the water into their ice bath, I used the still boiling water to cook the potatoes, and then the green beans. I was very happy about my efficient and water-saving way of cooking.
The dressing is a combination of Skinny Girl Buttermilk Dressing, and Maille whole grain and Dijon mustards. The mustard sauce went great with everything on the plate! I am very pleased to have another new dish to add to our repertoire.
It seems like we are ending the week with a Southwestern/Mexican vibe, enchiladas on Thursday and tacos on Friday. Shrimp tacos are a quick to make and tasty dinner plus well within my healthy eating plan.
John sauteed the shrimp in a little olive oil and spray and toasted the tortillas over the open flame of the stove. I added chopped up mango to some fresh salsa and cooked the beans with a can of Rotel original and added some cumin and chipotle powder for more zing. It probably took about 15 minutes to make this satisfying dinner.
For Thursday night’s dinner I shredded some rotisserie chicken and rolled it in a corn tortilla along with chopped onion, some shredded cheese, cilantro, and jarred salsa verde. I put 12 of these in a 9×13 dish with some salsa verde on the bottom and over the top. The dish went into the oven for 35 minutes at 350F.
For the slaw I took a package of pre-shredded cabbage slaw and mixed it with a dressing of light mayo, salsa, cumin, chipotle powder, and cumin seeds.
Today I was extra hungry so I decided that a two course dinner would help me control the munchies. As much as I frequently say that I do not like making salads, I do enjoy eating them. A salad before my bowl of pasta took the edge off my hunger and allowed me to eat the pesto pasta at a more mindful pace.
A few months ago before my basil turned into frost-bitten slime I made pesto. I froze little blocks of the pesto in a 1/4 cup ice tray. They now reside in my freezer in a plastic bag ready and waiting for a quick pasta dinner. After our Carba-nada fusilli was cooked and drained I plopped a defrosted one in and stirred it around in the hot pasta with a little pasta water. It’s not much pesto for two portions of fusilli but all those little pasta ridges catch and hold onto the least little bit floating by. I ate it slowly and savored every bite!
I made the farro in the same way as I make brown rice, in the oven. Set the oven to 375F. In a sprayed 9X9 baking dish add 1.5 cups of rinsed farro, 1 tsp. of table salt, and 2 1/3 cups of hot/boiling water. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and cook for an hour. Take the farro (or brown rice) out, fluff it with a fork, and recover for 5 minutes. Perfect every time.
Then I hiked the oven temperature up to 425 and cooked the sprouts and eggplant that I had cut up and tossed in olive oil and salt. They were nicely browned and done in 30 minutes.
I put 2/3 cup of farro in a bowl, took a healthy portion of the roasted vegetables, and added some sliced cherry tomatoes and edamame. I wish I could tell you more about the sauce but I kept adding stuff until it tasted okay – Greek yogurt, lemon juice, peanut butter powder, sesame oil, garlic, and salt. Also a little water to thin it out. I was trying to avoid using tahini but if you don’t mind the calories then use tahini and keep the dish vegan.
The family declared the grain bowl a success and suggested that we make it again. That’s the highest praise a dish can get.
This is my super comforting comfort meal. Not that I need comforting but eating it feels like a big hug. Every Monday when the kids were little we always had “chicken Monday” so there are a lot of fond memories associated with it.
It is very easy to make. The chicken breast comes from a rotisserie chicken and is warmed up in a packet of McCormick’s chicken gravy. The broccoli is steamed and I make the rutabaga in the Instant Pot on high pressure for 15 minutes with a 10 minute cool down. A rutabaga is a gnarly beast and difficult to peel and cut up. John offered to do the hard work on it so all I needed to do was mash it up with a little butter.
A while ago John and I went to the Indian grocery and bought big bags of Chana dal and Toor dal. Chana dal is dried split chickpeas and Toor dal is dried pigeon peas. We have had a lot of success making delicious Chana dal in our Instant Pot but less success with the Toor dal.
In hopes that I had found a recipe which we would like better, we used the Toor dal again on Sunday. To begin with our recipe, which came from pipingpotcurry.com, was very bland and soupy. The three to one ratio was just to much liquid for the pigeon peas. So after cooking it on high pressure for 5 minutes with a 5 minute cool down before releasing the pressure, we added another 2/3 cup of the pigeon peas and a can of Rotel original to spice it up. Plus quite a bit of salt.
After recooking the whole thing again and letting it sit for a while it was much, much better. The pigeon peas will never be as tasty as the Chana dal but with our additions and a squirt of sriracha we have concocted a dish which we can make again and use up our giant bag of Toor dal.