Due to the fact that it has been raining cats and dogs here for the past few days (this is extreme weather for Californians) and we have not been out to the grocery store, the menu has been revamped for the week starting today.
Since we are having take-out tonight and I will not be cooking, I am discussing what I had for lunch instead. Going to my trusty freezer I find a container of celery soup. This recipe is so easy and makes quite a bit of soup, certainly enough for freezing leftovers. The soup comes out really creamy with a subtle celery flavor. It is low in calories and quite filling. Today I garnish the soup with fresh thyme and a crumbled Triscuit.
Chop an onion, a whole head of celery, one waxy potato, and 2 cloves of garlic. Cook them in the two tablespoons of olive oil with seasoning until the onion is translucent. Add 3 cups of stock and simmer until the potatoes are cooked, about 10 minutes. Add 1/4 cup herbs (optional), and blend or food process until smooth. Adjust seasoning. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a celery leaf or herb garnish.
Did you notice my new microwave bowl holder? One of my friends made it and gave it to me this week. Since it uses 100% cotton materials it is microwave safe. I snuggled my bowl in it and microwaved the soup for two minutes, stirring occasionally. No burnt fingers when I removed it from the microwave!
Tonight we take a little trip to Germany via our dinner. John and I have been fussing around with these boneless pork ribs that we have trying to get a Vietnamese dish to come out right. No luck so far. So I thought, let’s change it up and go in a different direction, east rather than west, to Germany.
The boneless pork ribs are simply seasoned, seared and go in the Instant Pot with a bunch of onions (also browned first.) Twenty minutes under high pressure and a natural cool down leaves the pork cooked through and very tender. I warm up some sauerkraut seasoned with caraway seeds. I cook a piece of chopped up bacon and put it aside while I brown some onions in the bacon fat. Finally the apples go in with a little butter and I cook them until they start to brown and garnish my apple concoction with the bacon bits.
Success! The dinner, especially the apples, is really good. We need to work on the seasoning for the pork but this dinner is a keeper. (Except maybe smaller portions because there is no way I can eat so much pork!)
What a good way to kick off February with shrimp tacos and black beans! This dinner is easy to make and healthy to eat. John sautés some shrimp and toasts tortillas over an open flame while I get together the condiments and warm the rinsed, canned black beans mixed with a half can of Rotel, some chipotle powder, and ground cumin. Our taco assemblage includes the shrimp, cilantro, green onions, fresh salsa, shredded cabbage, and a crema made of plain yogurt, salt, and cumin. Use the grocery store to make this simpler-canned beans, packaged shredded cabbage, and store bought fresh salsa make dinner easy!
One of the pitfalls centered around going out to lunch is that lunch turns out to be much higher in calories than my usual lunch. In order to compensate for it I skipped breakfast and planned for a much lighter dinner than usual.
John and I eat lunch at Zeni’s, our favorite Ethiopian restaurant. Even though we end up with copious leftovers, we still ate a lot!
From the upper left clockwise: injera/tomato salad, split peas, greens, sizzling lamb, spicy lentils, and potato/carrot/cabbage combo. Fresh salad in center and a basket of injera to use as a utensil for scooping up delicious bits from the platter. This is soooooo delicious!
For dinner John made an omelet for himself and I ate a small portion of leftover spaghetti. We are saving our leftovers from Zeni’s for future lunches.
We get home today around noon from St. George, UT. During the time we were away we sold our car and completed the sale of our house. It was not a pleasant undertaking but it is done and we are glad.
So now we can plan menus and cook and eat reasonably again! Today is not a good day to make something brand new since we are tired and there is a lot of unpacking to do. Thank goodness for food that I have frozen extras of. The last time I made pasta sauce I made enough for several meals so that is what we eat tonight. It is all gone now but it certainly has come in handy. Next time I make pasta sauce I will make plenty of extra so I can freeze future dinners again.
I will be posting the next several days menu later tonight.