Ambition in the kitchen

November 5, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Posted in gastronomy | 3 Comments
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I’m not sure what came over me*, but I got super inspired/organized on Sunday and sat down with some cookbooks and came up with a menu for the week and went shopping and prepped all the food and put it in Tupperware and in the fridge (like a walking advertisement for a women’s magazine!). This week’s menu:

Monday: Barefoot Contessa Indonesian ginger chicken with roasted sweet potato and squash and brown rice (mostly for Tim — see footnote). Verdict: I made the marinade Sunday and let the chicken sit in it overnight. Melting the honey, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic wasn’t really any different from marinating in Soy Vey with some extra fresh ginger, which would have been much easier. Also, this is the problem I have with baking chicken: by the time I’m satisfied that it’s fully cooked, it’s rather dry. The roasted sweet potatoes were delicious though — just tossed in salt and pepper, roasted at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Tuesday: Turkey chili. On Sunday I sauteed onions and the chili spices, browned the ground turkey, and diced red and yellow peppers. In the morning, it all went into the crockpot with two cans of crushed tomatoes. I ended up working late, so nearly 12 hours later I served it over the left over brown rice from Monday. Verdict: Delish delish delish. I used the Barefoot Contessa chicken chili recipe (halved the onion and replaced the baked chicken with the ground turkey). To make it a little less healthy, I topped it with sour cream and shredded cheddar, of course.

Wednesday: Tim was out, so I had left over mac and cheese that Janet had made for Buggy (with chopped broccoli, so it’s healthy! Right?) and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from last Friday. (Cookies not helping the blood sugar — see the footnote, below…)

Thursday: Sunday’s dinner was Barefoot Contessa’s butternut squash apple soup (I also added to her recipe some fresh ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon).  I put two Tupperware’s full in the fridge for tonight, and three in the freezer for future dinner emergencies. I’ll serve it with leftover refrigerated French bread, warmed in the oven with some Fontina cheese. Actually, I’ll probably be working late tonight, so Tim can heat up his little Tupperware whenever, and I’ll have nuke mine when I get home. The perfect who-knows-what-time-you’ll-be-home meal

Proof (aside: I don’ t know why this picture is so huge!)

Friday: Costco whole wheat raviolis, which I will pluck from the freezer, and steamed broccoli, which I had cut up Sunday night. This obviously will not be an earth-shattering culinary experience, but at least I didn’t have to chop the broccoli, something I hate doing so much that it keeps me from eating broccoli (which, generally, I like) more frequently.

*I do know what came over me. Two things: (1) Ellen and Wildon came to dinner on Saturday night, and I made the Barefoot Contessa’s roast chicken with lemon. We were talking about the movie Julie and Julia, and Ellen said she would have to find herself a cookbook to make her way through. I have most of the BC’s cookbooks — she really can do nothing wrong — and so I decided to just dive in to those instead of getting myself overwhelmed on Epicurious. (2) I have my glucose test next week. I had gestational diabetes during my first pregnancy, and was on a restrictive no-carbs/no-sugar diet. This time, I was really good during my first trimester with my carb/sugar intake, but once the doctor told me how good I was doing I immediately got lazy and started baking cookies every week and resorting too often to our weeknight standard: pasta with Classico sauce. I’m not a big meat-eater and so don’t often think to cook it, but really do need to eat more protein and less carbs if I want to avoid gestational diabetes again. So while we’ll have rice with the chicken and the chili, it will mostly be for Tim (I can have like 1/3 of a cup per meal…)

Overall verdict:  

  • It took a bit of work on Sunday to get this all organized. We didn’t really have anything else going on (it was rainy, we were all still tired from Halloween on Saturday night), so I’m not sure it’s realistic to do this every week. In addition, I’m not yet sure all the effort was balanced by the end result, although it may end up being so once/if I become more efficient at planning and prepping. 
  • But it is nice that I have some chili and soup in the freezer.

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