Menu Plan for April 13th: Flax seeds

tulips

I like to sneak flax seeds in whenever I bake something.  I have always liked flax, little seeds of goodness.  I have both the seeds and a bag of ground flax on hand right now, so this will be a good excuse to use it.  Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness is our flax seed and menu swap host this week.  Be sure to check out all the creative flax uses that are posted on her blog and in the swap this week.

Monday: Grass fed beef tacos with shredded cabbage, TJ’s frozen guac, salsa and pico de gallo

Tuesday: Grilled salmon with a broccoli casserole or maybe bouillabaisse with fennel if I get in the mood.

Wednesday:  PF Changs for tax day to get 15% off our meal – why not?  It makes it a bit more affordable.

Thursday:  Italian Sausage and spinach stuffed lasagna using a bechamel sauce.  I might even make my own noodles, time permitting since my closest store was out of tinkyada lasagna noodles.

Friday: Indian night:  Biryani and curry.  Probably a pork (with our pork) vindaloo with a veggie oriented biryani.

Flax:  I am in a sandwich mood again (this is rare), a sorta muffaletta mood, so I will bake a loaf of bread, adding copious amounts of flax or I may attempt to make an oatmeal, millet, flax granola.  It’s about time I made my own granola.

Update on flax:  I made some fantastic flax bagels using Pamela’s bread mix.  I added about 1/2 cup of flax and they are pretty darn close to gluten bagels with the chew and crumb of the bread.  I just finished eating one.

i’m out

Menu of the Week Jan 5th: soup!

Vietnamese crab and squid soup

I love soup.  I could eat it more frequently than I do.  Eby really doesn’t care for soup unless it is full of meat and has almost no broth, or it must be more stew like.  Since that is the case, I will typically cook soups for my lunches if I am working from home that day.  Last week I was craving beans and greens (this week too).  This week I am craving a spicy Asian style noodle soup, like the one above, Vietnamese crab and squid soup.  I would make it, but I don’t think I wrote the recipe down or else I got it from a cook book long returned to the library.  Lessons learned.  Cheryl of Gluten Free Goodness is hosting this week’s swap, so if you need some soup ideas, click on over check out all the menus this week, even if you don’t need soup ideas you should check out the menus.  If you haven’t posted your menu before, why not try it this week?  It is really easy once you get the swing of it and helps with grocery shopping as well as meal planning organization.  I have posted one every week since last Feb.  As a result, I can look back over old menus and get new inspiration.  Inspiration also comes from many cookbooks, magazines, fellow food bloggers and internet recipe sources.  Try it for a couple of weeks, you’ll see.

On to the menu.  I used the soup idea to clean out a few items from the freezer yesterday.  Soup is good for that.  It’s sunny, snowy and cold in MI today, and I wish I had some of last night’s soup left, sort of (see below). I have been trying hard to not have many leftovers and it is working finally.  I always want to cook something new the next day and can’t easily take leftovers on the road with me.  It looks to be a pork and chicken week, so I will work some extra veggies and seafood into my lunches (soups I hope).

Sunday: South American veggie and pork soup. This soup celebrates many of the ingredients that came to us via South America: potatoes, tomatoes, corn, chile peppers and would have been even better had I not scorched it while playing on Facebook. We topped it off with cilantro. Tomatoes and potatoes were local or from the garden, garlic too.

Monday: Roast 1/2 organic free range local chicken on a bed of onions, portabella mushrooms (on sale!) celery and parsley. Gluten free waffle stuffing (getting it’s own post tomorrow) with sage, thyme, parsley and garlic, rice (to go with the gravy I hope happens) and roasted brussel sprouts.

Tuesday: Hue (Vietnamese) style fried rice with lemongrass and black pepper or lemon grass chicken or tofu. Some of those pork spring rolls I froze last week will go nicely with this too. I wish you guys could taste them. If I posted the recipe, you probably could. Will work on that.

Wednesday: Company in town, spice him up! My dad is visiting for a meeting. Living two miles from Michigan State University gives us lots of opportunities to entertain out of town guests with meetings on campus. We like reasons to entertain. We are grilling some of our own pork center cut loin on the rotisserie and making risotto along with either broccoli or green beans in some form of healthy casserole, or just steamed. We will use the Fennel Fusion spice rub, oh how I love that stuff.

Thursday:  I am in Chicago for work, but won’t have a lot of opportunity to go out except in the near vicinity of the Sheraton by O’Hare.  Eby is on his own for dinner, which likely means dinner at Arbor Brewing Company, along with some beers.

Friday: Truffade and Pounti ala Auverge region of France and Saveur mag.  Eby picked these out to make.  I already bought the prunes so no turning back now.  Pork and potatoes are from us, green beans or broccoli are not.

Saturday:  Lunch Vietnamese crab soup with tomatoes.  Every since I posted that pic today, I have been searching for a similar recipe and have found 4.  Now I have to cook it again right?

Stop by here again next week and send me your menu swaps as I will be hosting.  The ingredient is “local”.  Source out at least one local ingredient, anything from your garden (fresh, frozen or canned this time of year) certainly counts.  If you need ideas of how to find something local, leave me a comment or email me.  Consider swinging into your local food co-op if you have one near by and those of you in warmer climates probably still have farmer’s markets to visit.  Local anything counts, cheese, meat, tofu, veggies, let your tastebuds and imagination do the cooking!

i’m out

Menu of the week Sept 22: Apples!

apple orchard

This week’s menu swap is hosted by M-Elle of Cooking and UNcooking and she has chosen Apples as the ingredient of the week.  I just ate a nice ripe Ginger Gold apple from the farm.  I tend to really only eat apples in season and store the rest and when I (or the farm) run out, then no more apples.  I think I am so spoiled by fresh local apples that I can’t stand the thought of one of those tasteless Washington red delicious apples that they ship over here.  I am sure all the good Washington apples are eaten up by the Washington locals.  Michigan is a fairly large producer of apples, for the fresh market, juice and processed apples.  My favorite is the Honey Crisp and thankfully my Dad raises lots of them and they are ripe right about now.  I will load up on my next trip to Leelanau.

I think I might just start listing my menu, but not by day, as sometimes I swap a Tuesday for Thursday depending on what is thawed and the time I have.  We are still making our way through at least a dozen cook books and it’s what is inspiring us again this week.

chipped apples waiting to be pressed

This week we are having:

French: Pork Medallions with a dijon green peppercorn cream sauce

Indian: Batata Vada and Methi Murgh.  Batata Vada’s look to be the same thing as samosas, but with a besan/chickpea batter on them instead of pastry.  Since I adore samosas and don’t want to make a Gluten free pastry for samosas, I think this option sounds great! Murgh is chicken and methi is fenugreek leaves – which are so tasty!

Thai: Green curry with chicken, basil and  bamboo shoots, fried spring rolls with pork and crab (from the freezer stock)

Potluck (Tuesday night work gathering):  crock pot pulled pork with a mid Carolina mustard mop

Chinese:  Cilantro Chicken with cabbage (instead of bean sprouts) from Martin Yan’s quick and tasty book

Mexican:  Pulled pork tamale casserole (from Rick Bayless) (pulled from the crock pot prior to “mopping” it)

Italian: Risotto with grilled halibut (or a grass fed beef steak, depending on mood – both are in the freezer) marinated with garlic, lime zest and parsley, broccoli with lemon

Baked good:  Apple Crisp of course!

To do:  Harvest and roast all the green chiles and smoke the jalapenos.  My tomato harvest is finished, due to chilly weather and blight.

apples apple semi with 96 boxes of apples apples

i’m out

Menu of the week April 14th: Cornmeal Appetizer of the week: smoked salmon blinis

Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday

This week’s menu of the week is hosted by Karen at Glutenfreesoxfan and the secret ingredient is cornmeal. She is trying to make polenta for the first time. It is one of my staples as it can be seasoned in so many ways, but this week the polenta will take a back seat to corn muffins, cornbread and tortilla chips on this menu.  In addition to my cocktail of the week feature, I am adding a new feature this week:  appetizer of the week.  I usually try to have one a week or so and rarely mention them as they are rarely planned ahead.  I am the queen of quick appetizers and have friends over for cocktails and apps at least once a week.  This week I am featuring a appetizer (buckwheat blini’s) from Ina Garten.  She always has a cocktail and an appetizer ready for her honey when he arrives home for the weekend.  I think it is a nice touch and a great way to kick off any meal.

Saturday: Chicago style
Deep Dish pizza made in my cast iron pans.

Sunday:
Lunch: Local Indian restaurant – GF Idly and dosa , goat vindaloo and chaat masala! Tasty!
Dinner: French

Appetizer of the Week: Buckwheat Blinis with smoked salmon, dill and creme fraiche – I am going to try to use only buckwheat for my blinis if it doesn’t make them too heavy.
Scallops Provencal (using frozen bay scallops) with asparagus and a seafood risotto and for dessert: blackberry sour cream cornmeal muffins (these are in the oven right now)

Monday: Northern Indian
Keema and aloo gosht from Madhur Jaffery’s book Climbing the Mango Trees , this a great book!

Tuesday: Vietnamese
Vietnamese crepes Banh Xeo with pork and soup or spring rolls

Wednesday: Ethnic theme still under work
Twice baked stuffed potatoes with grilled chicken thighs and green beans (potatoes and chicken will be seasoned up according to theme chosen)

Thursday: Cajun
Spicy Okra Gumbo with andouille sausage and creole cornbread (maybe on the cornbread)

Friday: Mexican
Tortilla soup, queso fundido and chips and salsa

i’m out and still waiting for spring!

Menu of the Week March 31st: Lemons!

Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday - Lemons
This week’s menu swap is hosted by Gluten Free Mommy and the ingredient is lemon! The ironic thing is I used about a dozen lemons in last week’s menu. I was in a lemon mood and ate most of the 8×8 pan of double lemon bars myself over the week.

Sunday: Wales, home of the leek

Leek Potato soup with tarragon

Monday: Alsatian

Trout Choucroute from March Gourmet mag – perhaps. I will be subbing Artic Char. I am not sure about fish and sauerkraut. Sides will be broccoli, maybe in casserole form, and polenta. Edited to add – this is definitely a dish that we will not, repeat not be making again.  The fish itself was tasty, but the rest of the dish was a sour flop.  Even my polenta experiment didn’t work the way I planned.  Oh well.

Tuesday: Indian

Boti Gosht with grass fed beef and lemon rice, dal (maybe), bajji (onion fritters with chickpeas) and green mango salad

Wednesday: New Mexican

Tamales with red chile sauce

Thursday: All American

Mac and cheese with a green salad

Friday: Southwest fusion

White Chicken Chili loaded with green chiles and creamy cornbread. Since my bf won’t eat beans, I will be pureeing them in a known attempt to disguise them and he will see if he can get over his psychological bean burden. Wish me luck!

Happy eating!

i’m out