On the Plate 11/30-12/6


Have you hit overwhelm yet, even though it’s only the second week of December? I’ve had a few moments of on-the-bring, myself, but I just remind myself that I’ve got a plan, what needs to will get done, and the rest (probably) won’t matter in the long run.

Part of that plan is, as usual, my menu. Here’s what it looked like last week.

OTP 11-30-12-6 (1)


Monday: Rice & Gandulas-Stuffed Peppers with Turkey Hash
Rice and Gandulas (aka Pigeon Peas) is a Puerto Rican dish Todd makes for our Thanksgiving dinner. It’s next to impossible to make a small amount of, so we always have leftovers. This year I decided to use the leftovers to stuff peppers, topped with a generous helping of cheese. To go with I tossed together a quick hash of potatoes, green onions, and sliced turkey.

Caesar salad with Chicken @ Northside Pies

Caesar salad with Chicken @ Northside Pies

Tuesday: Monthly Beer & Cheer at Northside Pies
The first Tuesday of every month we get together with friends from a local MeetUp group for dinner. Northside Pies does a really nice job of plating their very tasty salads, but this Caesar was not my favorite (their dressing was… different; lots of black pepper and something else that didn’t sit well with me). Still, after the indulgences of the holidays, some green food was definitely a good idea.

Wednesday: Southwestern Rice & Beef Casserole with Green Beans
I’ve had this in my Foodie Goodness pin board for a bit and it seemed like good comfort food now that our weather is turning chilly and somewhat staying that way for a bit. The recipe is from Feeding Big and is very straightforward. If you are not fond of heat, though, you might not want to do what I did in using both the can of green chilies and pepper-jack cheese (our grocery didn’t have plain Monterey jack, just co-jack or pepper jack, I’d go with the co-jack next time).

Notably, the author of Feeding Big was surprised that rice was grown in the US. Are you surprised that US produces its own rice and doesn’t import it all from Asia? I remember reading somewhere, probably during my high school years at the latest, about antebellum rice plantations in the Carolinas, so this doesn’t exactly shock me. But I’m curious, did you know about domestic rice production?

Thursday: Harvest Stuffed Squash with Cilantro-Tahini Sauce
Meatless Thursday? Sure! This recipe (from Food Fitness Fresh Air) was actually better on Friday for lunch than it was Thursday night for dinner. Todd and I agreed on this and decided it was largely in part of the sauce having time to develop a flavor other than the strong raw-sesame seediness of the tahini-based sauce. So if I were to make this again, I would make the sauce the night before at the very least.

Mahi Mahi and Shrimp special at George & Louie's

Mahi Mahi and Shrimp special at George & Louie’s

Friday: George & Louie’s
By the time I got home on Friday I was over it. What in particular? Everything. An old friend passed away, another friend received some scary health news, I hadn’t been sleeping well the last few nights, and I’m waiting on a response for some work stuff that could bring big, awesome changes but still, the waiting. When I got home and the chicken I’d left in the fridge was still playing popsicle, off to George & Louie’s we went. The seafood and fixings totally revived me, putting me in a far better mood for Christmas tree shopping afterwards.

Saturday: Baked Shells with Squash and Chicken
Tasting Table is a great newsletter for keeping up with food trends. Baked Stuffed Shells with Squash and Burrata seemed like a good, filling supper so on the list it went. Unfortunately, jumbo shells are not something I’ve had luck finding in the rice or quinoa pastas, so I used regular-sized shells and just made a casserole of it. The other substitutions were on the lactose-avoidance front–lactose-free cottage cheese (Lactaid brand is carried by our local Publix) is a great substitute for ricotta cheese and I used regular mozzarella balls instead of the burrata. And since I had the chicken out from Friday that I hadn’t used, I quickly cooked that with salt, pepper, and a bit of oregano, diced it up, and mixed it in. It was a great one-dish dinner.

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Sunday: Crock Lemon & Rice Soup with Cheese Toast
We finished out the week with a slow-cooker version of the Greek classic avgolemono soup via Dish About It. It’s a very simple soup and it was a great way to use the rest of the chicken broth I made for Thanksgiving. When it was time to dish it up I realized it was pretty much blending into the soup plates, so I added a bit of parsley to it for color. This would be a very good recipe to keep on hand for the next time you or a loved one are feeling under the weather.

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