Tag Archives: asparagus

Spontaneity works in the meal plan

Gnocchi with Roasted Cauliflower

Sometimes dinner feels more like a plate of appetizers than the main event.  Other nights the whole meal comes together at the mercy of your neighbor’s pantry. This has been one of those weeks when the meal plan has shifted according to whims and whatever’s in the fridge,

Brilliant sunshine this afternoon beamed my head straight to summer.  Tonight would be the time to reawaken the grill.  I found a bottle of coconut-curry sauce in the pantry – the perfect foil for grilled chicken breasts.  Some sort of black bean salad with citrus flavors would make a nice side.  One of my old standbys — The Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home — came through with a salad recipe.  I was half-way through the recipe when I realized I lacked two ingredients.  Never fear — my neighbor and I have an open line to each other’s refrigerators. Off I trotted next door for an orange and some scallions.  I scored a package of baby yams as well.  For her part, her Greek salad just wouldn’t have been the same unless I had coughed up a package of feta.

As for Monday, last week’s trip to Trader Joe’s inspired an appetizer-type dinner of gnocchi with cauliflower and sage along with roasted asparagus spears wrapped in prosciutto.  I could eat like this every night. Then our corned beef dinner reappeared. I added smashed rutabagas but I’m the only fan.  Plenty of leftovers on that one.

It’s only halfway through the week and already I don’t feel like cooking. What will Thursday and Friday bring?

Monday: Gnocchi with roasted cauliflower; prosciutto-wrapped roasted asparagus

Tuesday: St. Paddy’s dinner leftovers; smashed rutabagas with butter, honey and a sprinkle of cloves and ginger; pear and ginger cake.

Wednesday: Grilled coconut-curry chicken; black bean and rice salad*; spinach salad with peaches and balsamic vinaigrette.

*I used Moosewood’s original recipe with olive oil. This low-fat version substitutes Italian dressing. Bleh.

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Another kid fave on Tuesday

On night three of the “while dad’s away” meal plan, dinner was based on another kid favorite – ham steak.

Glazed with honey mustard and broiled for a few minutes, ham steak is always a hit. The boys also liked the sides: pineapple chunks and some scary orange Jo-Jo potatoes leftover from a deli stop. The “adult” side of dinner was asparagus roasted with a bit of olive oil, then drizzled afterwards with orange zest and a tablespoon or so of freshly squeezed juice from the same navel orange. I made sure the boys left room on their plate for a few stalks if for no other reason than to color the plate beyond pink, yellow and orange.

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