Thursday, June 19, 2014

Meal plan city - dinner!

When you have two people with busy lives and you combine them and then throw two children with their own host of activities into the mix, what you get is a freakin' busy life and way more take out than is healthy. I'm trying to renew my commitment to the kitchen this week by making things more interesting and making sure I have easy things on hand that'll be quick. I also prepared some stuff for use through the week on Sunday, which I will say helped immensely on Wednesday when I was exhausted and starving and sick and tired of the kids running around screaming. It's also helpful to have things left over to take to work for lunch, of course.

Here's what the meal plan looked like this week.

New: White Beans in Sherry Gravy (from Isa's newest book, Isa Does It) with steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes.

Old: Lentil tacos - this is a big hit with the kids - and pico de gallo

Fast: Refried bean quesadillas - recipe for refried beans from Appetite for Reduction

Soup: Poblano chile and potato chowder. Inspired by a few different recipes I've seen but not really based of any per se.

Pasta: bowties, asparagus, red pepper and raw spinach with a basil and lemon dressing (cold)

Convert: found a recipe for braised pork shoulder with with a cider sauce, served with spaetzle, in a recent copy of the LCBO's Food & Drink magazine. Replace the pork with some tempeh, add some fennel (like the plant, not the seeds), and some green beans.

Poblano chile, vegan sausage and potato chowder

3 poblano chiles, roasted, skinned, then chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1 tsp thyme
5 c veg broth
3 large white potatoes, cut into chunks
a head of kale, washed and torn into bite size pieces (I used a package of pre-washed baby kale.)
1/4 c your favourite dairy alternative
3 or 4 vegan sausages, sliced
a pinch of nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste.

1. Roast your poblanos by popping them into a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, turning every 10 until they are blistered and / or a bit black. Remove them and put them immediately into a glass bowl and cover with saran. When they're cool, they'll be easy to peel and chop.

2. Put a large pot on medium heat. Heat the oil and then add the onion, both types of peppers, and celery, and sprinkle with salt. Saute until soft; add the garlic, fennel seeds and thyme and saute another 30 seconds. Add the broth and deglaze, then add the potatoes.

3. Cover and bring the soup up to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for about 25 minutes. Add your sausages and cook until they are heated through and the potatoes are tender. Add the kale and let cook for a couple more minutes, until it's totally wilted. Turn off the heat, add the 'dairy' and pinch of nutmeg and stir. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then serve.