Friday, January 28, 2011

Food in Review

I may have played it a bit safe this week, considering last week’s epic failure.  I still think we had some nice dinners though.  I did one thing different this week.  I went to Sprouts.  I hardly EVER go there.  My first experience was… putting.  Now that I know what to expect, my second trip was fantastic.  I actually plan to go back this weekend.

Saturday:  I like to make meals that my husband would consider a treat when I feel like maybe I haven’t been the best at being a wife.  Enter burgers.  Real beef burgers.  Wait, correction, real ORGANIC beef STUFFED burgers!  (Organic ground beef was on special at Sprouts.)  Stuffed with what?  Oh, just local, organic white cheddar!   I mixed the beef with half a can of diced green chili peppers then made four very thin patties.  Shredded cheese topped two of the patties.  Then the remaining patties topped the cheese.  I pressed the edges to seal the burgers, but they managed to ooze nonetheless.  Who cares?!  It’s a cheese-filled burger?!  Topped with avocado and served with sweet potato fries.  He was in burger heaven.  

Sunday:  I wanted chicken and dumplings again before the weather grew too warm to eat it!  I made it exactly the same as last time, except I had 2% milk instead of whole.  It was sort of a fail.  The difference in milk made the texture and consistency of this pot less appealing than my chicken and dumplings of last month.  Still, it was totally edible and we went through two bowlfuls each.  I believe that’s where the issue in texture comes in.  Last time we each only ate one bowl.  

Monday:  I found chicken bratwurst and Sprouts, and I had to try them!  I love brats.  The traditional pork ones are great.  And I’ve had turkeys, which are an okay, healthier substitute.  So, I was intrigued by the chicken ones, and from a real meat counter no less.  Per the butcher’s suggestion, I broiled them in the over on a rack for 30 minutes at 350.  To finish them, I simply seared the skins in a very hot skillet.  While the brats were in the oven, I glazed baby organic carrots in butter and brown sugar and simmered sauerkraut until nearly dry.  The mustard was a bit odd.  I had a waning container of Dijon and brown mustards.  Not enough in either, and both were entirely stuck to the sides of the jars!  Enter a little water and a sauce pan!  I rinsed and shook each container into the pan, set it to simmer, and added brown mustard seeds, pepper, and a little extra horseradish to the mix.  Then I just whisked it occasionally until it thickened back up.  It made and excellent dipper.  And the chicken brats?  They were perfection!  Juicy and bursting with flavor.  Delish!

Tuesday:  I had about 1/3 pound of ground beef left from the burgers that I’d reserved for taco night!   I browned the beef, drained it, and added all the usual “taco” spices: garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, chili powder, cumin, and salt.  I don’t like seasoning packets for this.  I want to control the level of each spice.  Just add water and let it simmer till thickened.  I added the same spices to a jar of refried black beans and nuked them till warm.  The refried beans and seasoned ground beef were stuffed inside La Tortilla Factory wheat corn tortillas topped with a pinch of shredded jack and sliced avocado.  One the side, I pan-fried some sweet potatoes that I’d diced and roasted when the brats were in the oven the day before.  Might as well multi-task right??  I’d coated the potatoes with sunflower oil when roasting them, and since the pan was non-stick, they didn’t require any additional oil to pan-fry.  Tacos are comfort food for me!  I just loved the combo on these.  I sprinkled chili powder and cayenne on the pan-fried sweet potatoes.  They were sweet and spicy, crispy and gooey all at once.  Perfection.   

Wednesday:  Dinner started with a gigantic glass of wine.  For me, not for the dinner.  To say I had a hard day wouldn’t cover it.  So, dinner was desperately simple: jarred sauce, frozen ravioli, garlic bread.  The jarred sauce was left over from last week’s eggplant pizza: Mezzetta’s Artichoke Parmesan Marinara.  This sauce is fantastic.  So thick, more the consistency of a pesto than a marinara.  The frozen ravis were my favorite: Central Market’s organic ricotta and goat cheese.  I boiled the ravioli, laid them on a bed of spinach, heated the sauce in the pasta pot, and spooned it on top.  Totally lazy right?  Yes, but also totally delicious.  I made garlic bread on the side out of Nature’s Pride potato bread.  Num.  

Thursday:  This is a "clean out the fridge" meal.  I soaked wheat berries over night then cooked in broth.  To the side, I sauteed onion, red bell pepper, garlic, and quartered frozen sprouts.  Once things looked lovely and caramelized, I added pinches of flour until the veggies were lightly coated. Then I poured the wheat berries into the veggies, broth and all.  The two cooked together until a nice, thick sauce formed.  Finally, I added a can of Starkist Roasted Garlic marinated yellowfin tuna.  The tuna was too strong for me.  Don't think I'll be using it again....but we ate it for dinner anyhow.  Live and learn?  Everything else was so good together.  So, either leave out the tuna and have a veggie meal or perhaps chicken would be better. 

Riley has been a BEAST this week.  She's decided I don't matter, so she's not minding me.  I certainly hope that she's better next week.

Yeah, you puppy!  Cuteness does not make up for being bad!

I hope you have a great weekend!  I have exciting news tomorrow!!!

1 comment:

  1. I looooove Sprouts. They don't have as much stuff as Whole Foods, but their deals can't be beat! Nice week of meals lady! And I love how guilty Riley looks. ;)

    I have a feeling I know what your exciting news is!!