FAMILY MEALS: WEEK SEVEN

March 2, 2012


Totally getting into this cooking thing! I have been doing well with pairing with veggies. I think it helped that last weekend I was able to go the market and pick up some vegetables that I thought my pair well with my menu. The girls all have been pretty good eaters, but they have been especially devouring our meals of late.
We started off the week with Spinach & Chickpeas, which Ben made over the weekend.
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This particular dish is a favorite of ours and gets made often. Ben added some tofu in it this time around and it was good, but a little more watery. If you do add tofu, make sure to let it sit on a paper towel for about 10 minutes before adding with the rest of the ingredients. Brave loves the garbanzo beans, True loves the spinach, and Soul kinda loves mixing it together. There is something for everyone!
I was really excited about Tuesday’s dish because Scallion Meatballs with Soy-Ginger Glaze with a side of Spiced Coconut Spinach sounded really good…
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And indeed it was! I doubled the recipe because I had a feeling it would be a hit. You must make these meatballs! We used lean ground turkey and it was seriously yum. That sauce is amazing. Just make sure you let it sit on the stove for a long time (45 minutes) simmering so that you can get that nice thick glaze. We paired ours with some brown rice and we were all about this meal.
I did the Spiced Coconut Spinach without the coconut because 1) Ben couldn’t find unsweetened coconut and 2) turns out Ben doesn’t like coconut filled food, so I just did without it. It tasted really good to me and frankly, I think I could do without the coconut too. Instead of the ghee or clarified butter, I used canola oil. I liked how simple this vegetable dish was.
Wednesday was for Ginger Soba Noodles and Stir Fried Bok Choy
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Loved them both, but I accidentally put fresh rosemary in the noodles instead of tarragon. I am not sure how that change affected the flavor, but I will try making this dish again to see how it tastes with tarragon and pumpkin seeds instead of rosemary and sesame seeds. Also, I used much less than the 1/3 of oil it calls for at the end. True hasn’t found her love for tofu just yet, but Brave and Soul have, so I think it is just a matter of time for True and the right recipe.
The bok choy was yummy, though I did also saute it with some shallots. We had some left over from the day before, so I threw it in there. This veggie dish was another hit!
Thursday, we had plenty of leftovers to cover our dinner. They all tasted just as yummy a day or so later. Since I started meal planning, we have also started to revise our lunches and have been eating fresher meals. Honestly, with all the kids, I was just happy that Trader Joe’s had healthy ready prepared meals that was quick to pop in the oven or make, but with all our dinners, sometimes we have that for lunch or I am able to whip up something else for the girls. This meal planning has helped make me more motivated to spend time in the kitchen cooking for my family. I am kinda loving the challenge!
I want to note that none of these recipes take very long to do. At most, maybe 40 minutes of active time from start to finish for both vegetable and main dish. I don’t have all day to be in the kitchen, so I need recipes that will let me get in and food out on the table fast. Another thing, sometimes I might not have all the ingredients, so I use the site Food Subs to help me find appropriate substitute for that particular ingredient. Nine times out of ten, I have something that will suffice. This saves us money and time… love Food Subs!
Week 3/5 – 3/9
Monday: Wintry Spring Rolls and Spiced Spinach and Asparagus
Tuesday: Oven Fried Chicken (made this in week 1, but True is asking for it) and Mashed Sweet Potato
Wednesday: Turkey Tacos (something I already know how to make)
Thursday: Leftovers, but will probably be at my mom’s.
Friday: Rehearsal dinner
On the weekends Ben usually cooks, but I have found myself whipping up something for the family too. This cooking thing is getting kind of fun! What’s an easy go-to meal for you?
See the past weeks…

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