Menu of the Week April 18th: Rhubarb

Oh rhubarb, how I love rhubarb.  My rhubarb is just starting to gain a few leaves but is weeks away from any sort of harvest :(.  However, I do have some rhubarb that I froze last year to use during a rhubarb craving that I never had, so, time to use it.  I am thinking a nice rhubarb martini sounds tart and refreshing as well as a rhubarb crisp.  Eby doesn’t care for rhubarb (surprise) so it will have to be a mini crisp as I don’t like dessert leftovers.  Manda of Asparagus Thin is our menu swap hostess this week, so please check out her blog and all the creative rhubarb dishes being served around the country.

rhubarb

In an effort to eat less meat and more veggies Eby has been perusing the Moosewood Restaurant’s Simple Suppers cookbook.  I think they over do it with the tofu substitutes a bit, but never the less we are trying several of their recipes (and I will probably unsimplify some of them) this week.

We have signed up for a CSA for the first time ever and I am super excited to see what arrives in our box every week, as long as it is not beets, but they said they would keep the beets from my half thankfully.  Our pickup day will be Tuesdays, so I will probably have to leave the Monday menu swap or post a week late, as my menu plans will soon have to be from Wednesday to Wednesday and designed with what arrives in the box.  Perhaps we call all start a CSA menu swap.  That will probably go over as well as my deep fry Fridays attempt!  So, I will still be posting our menu, but it will just be out of sinc with Monday’s GF swap, unless they tell me ahead of time what is coming every week.

Since we have signed up for the CSA, I can focus our large backyard garden on items that we want to raise to can, store or freeze for the winter usage.  We will be growing lots of tomatoes, broccoli, broccoli rabe, greens (collards, kale and chard), leeks, onions, shallots and green and red chiles.  The red we dry and the green we roast and freeze.  I have about 60 tomato plants and 36 green chile plants that will be graciously delivered by my brother (on Wed) from my favorite green house at home, Plant Masters.  Lansing doesn’t offer the volume or variety that I seek. I didn’t get mine started on time, so to Plant Masters we turn.  We have a little greenhouse system set up in our dining room and in our basement to keep the plants growing and happy until we can plant them in MI – maybe around the 3rd week of May.  I will transplant them to larger containers in a few weeks.

As usual, we try to use as much local (or raised by us) produce and meat as possible.  The pork and beef in the meatloaf is all local, the chicken was raised by my brother, the potatoes are local, our garlic and shallots are local and tomatoes, although I am almost out of tomatoes and homemade tomato paste. Most of the fresh herbs I use I grow in pots in the house with the exception of the dill this week, no dill yet.  I need to get cracking on the cheese making.  My first few attempts haven’t been as successful as I had hoped.

Our menu for the week:

Sunday: Ginger’s meatloaf ( I love this recipe that I have developed over time so much I can’t event think of trying others, I should try to write it down, but I don’t measure anything)  with a tangy tomato sauce on top and a side of  roasted fennel, potatoes and saffron.

Monday:  Asian braised salmon with bok choy and soba noodles (i finally found some pure buckwheat noodles).

Tuesday: Creamy lemon fettuccine with garlic roasted broccoli.

Wednesday:  Moriarty style potato soup and a romaine salad with toasted pecans, red onion and orange wedges, homemade tarragon vinaigrette.  Our local pub makes this addicting brothy potato soup that we just love – the broth is key and I will concor it.

Thursday:  Buttermilk fried chicken, Southern cooked collard greens and maybe some smashed potatoes.  Rhubarb crisp – my bro is in town to help me eat it, wait, I don’t think he likes rhubarb either.

Friday:  Grilled lemon herb tofu with spinach artichoke risotto with dill.

i’m out


Menu Swap of the Week: Sides and Salads

Hosting this week’s menu swap is Wendy of Celiac in the House and she has picked favorite sides and salads as this week’s theme. I think we can work many of those in this week.  As I was typing this earlier, I hit save draft and went to go look up something.  When I came back to the page two minutes later, Word Press was asking for my password and hadn’t saved my post, even though I can see it saving it below every 2 minutes as I type.  I am sure this has happened to all of us, but it sorta takes the wind out of your blogging sails doesn’t it.  Trying to recreate the genius you had already typed below is impossible.  Easy to call it genius as it is gone now! So, lesson learned.  Always log into the dashboard, even if it doesn’t ask me to.  Enough griping and back to food.

Make sure you swing over to Wendy’s blog to see what all the other great GF cooks around the country are planning this week!

Sunday:  Steak and brats (steak for me, brats for Eby), grilled asparagus and some killer potato skins with bacon, cheese and chive sour cream.

Monday: Stuffed poblano peppers, inside out.  Instead of stuffing them, I roast them and chop them up and mix them with onions, tomatoes, cilantro, ground beef with Mexican seasoning, rice and cheese and then bake yourself into comfort food. A rice casserole with loads of my favorite veggies.

Tuesday:  Fish and chips and slaw!  Fish will be coated with an herby bread crumb mix and baked, fries will be cut with our new industrial strength french fry cutter that should arrive tomorrow and the slaw will have a lime and olive oil dressing with cilantro and green onions.  I really dislike mayo based sweet slaws, but love crunchy cabbage lightly dressed with tartness.

Wednesday: Caesar salad with a grilled chicken breast.  One of our favorite salads and if it weren’t for this week’s theme, we probably wouldn’t have thought of it.  This is the best way to enjoy romaine lettuce, I am convinced of it!

Thursday: I am having a hard time deciding what to cook on Thursday, so for now we are going with pasta carbonara with bacon and asparagus and a spinach salad with hot bacon dressing.  Maybe we will just do the spinach salad.  I am leaving myself some leg room on this one.

Friday:  Turkish Doner Kabobs (made with pork) with sides of tatziki, lightly marinated cabbage, pickled red onions and maybe I will make some flatbread or pita to go with it.  Of course we need a feta cucumber salad with this too and who knows, maybe some homemade baba ganoush if I find the time. Sumac is the key to great Turkish seasoning, and oregano.

Baked good:  Lemon bars, I have to have them around Easter now, so time to bake some!

May spring be on it’s way to you!

i’m out

Menu of the Week Feb 2: Pineapple

Pineapple cart by the ocean

Cheryl is the host again this week for the GF menu swap and has chosen pineapple for this week’s ingredient.  Make sure you hop over to see all the creative pineapple uses.  I am going to use pineapple in a savory dish and a cocktail.  This pineapple cart is a photo I took on my last trip to Mexico. Ah, Mexico!

I just realized that I have some version of pork in almost every dish this week.  All that pork is from our piggies, including the bacon.  We need to restock our grass fed beef.  Still good on organic free range chickens and organic garlic from the farm. Getting low on canned tomatoes, potatoes.  I am looking forward to garden season.  We have had more snow than usual in Lansing this year.  It is more like being up in Leelanau, except it is sunnier there.  Oh and Lake Michigan is there.  Only the cold and amount of snow in common after thinking it over.  They actually use snowplows there to plow the roads, here, they just let the snow pile up until it freezes and everyone gets stuck.  Don’t move to Lansing.

Sunday:  Out to eat: Old Chinese restaurant w/new owners and an authentic Chinese menu that rocks!  Brought my own gf tamari for them to use – amazing food, will duplicate and will return often.  Ok, this is one good reason to be in Lansing.

Monday: Ultimate mac and cheese with bacon and chives using our bacon and indoor garden chives.  I like Smitten Kitchen’s version which is the NYTimes version from 06.  Creamy and heart stopping.  The below pic is the above recipe, but this time, bacon and chives will be added.  If I had fresh tomatoes I would slice them and garnish the top with them too.  But I don’t.  Some folks are mac and cheese only folks and some are rev it up with other stuff folks.  I am both.  UPDATE:  That was not the same recipe I used before.  Or if I did, I had completely different results.  This mac was grainy and I didn’t even want to finish it!  The bacon added a bit too much salt with the cheese.  Will perfect!

the ultimate need no more recipes mac and cheese

Tuesday:  Tacos al pastor with pineapple on the rotisserie and pina colodas.  Will use two recipes as guidelines to create the taco I crave this week.  Will use some of my garden canned tomatoes to make a “fresh” winter salsa.

Wednesday:  Sichuan Ma Pu Tofu with some stir fried sugar snap peas and rice.  I am all about Sichuan/ Szechuan style these days as it wakes my senses and brings me garlic and heat.

Thursday: Pork pot roast with garlic smashed (purple) potatoes and some sort of green veggie.  On the road all day and coming home to pot roast just sounds good this week.  Using pork, because 1.  I love pork and 2. We have 1.5 pigs worth of it in the freezer and 3.  I am out of grass fed beef except for burger. Pork and potatoes are local.  We are down to our garden’s purple potatoes for a while until we can restock from the farm.

Friday: Moroccan chicken with green olives, apricots and preserved lemons with rice.  Maybe a little hummus app to go with that, it is after all, a Friday. Will use my bro’s organic chicken for this.

i’m out

Menu Swap Monday October 20th: Squash

Squash.  It has such a great sounding name and it can make a nice squish when you eat it.  Food that sounds like it is.  Kim of Gluten Free is Life is hosting this week’s swap.  I do have two pumpkins that I will attempt to carve this week in honor of squash and their lovely seeds.  It is really all about the seeds for me.  I do like butternut squash soup and some nicely roasted acorn squash.  I am squashless at the moment, with the exception of our pumpkins, so those will have to do.  I forgot to check the ingredient before we went grocery shopping yesterday. We have a heavily Italian country oriented menu this week due to Eby picking out some dishes and making his way through some more Italian cook books.  They all sounded good to me too.

Sunday: Hunters stew with rabbit and smashed potatoes.  It took me a while to get over the concept of rabbit, even though most of the world eats them if they have rabbits running around.  It was tasty.  Eby made it, but I had to cut it up for him.  If it hadn’t been for recent work events that gross me out worse, I might not have made it through.

Monday: Pork cutlets with prosciutto, parmeasan and Marsala wine with a pesto risotto

Tuesday: Rice and Cabbage soup with pancetta – the recipe looks better than the title, trust me.

Wednesday: Turkey tenderloins stuffed with spinach or stuffed porchetta style and roasted.

Thursday: On the road and back late: Ragu Bolonese with noodles.  I did a crock pot full of grass fed beef short ribs recently and froze the meat to use in a ragu.  It was already slow cooked so shouldn’t take much time to throw together along with a spinach salad.

Friday:  Chicken ala Diavola with potatoes chianti – this didn’t happen a couple of weeks ago and now we have chicken again from my brother.  Lots of smoked paprika and lemon zest in this dish!

Saturday: Grass fed burgers on the grill, tator tots with salad

Sunday:  Down to Eby’s parents for dinner.  Their first time cooking a gluten free meal and Eby has been coaching them 🙂

i’m out

Menu Swap of the week: Cabbage!

I happen to have a savoy and a purple cabbage in my fridge right now. Handy. I had no idea cabbage was going to be the “secret” ingredient.

Natalie is back hosting the menu swap at Gluten Free Mommy so skip on over and check out her site and all the delish sounding menus on the other sites.

Monday: Mediterranean spring

Seared scallops and lemon asparagus risotto (based on Jamie Oliver’s risotto recipe). Asparagus season is in full swing finally in MI. Garden green salad with vinaigrette.

Tuesday: Frenchie bistro

Chicken almondine revisited: Garden herbs, garden baby spinach and goat cheese stuffed chicken breasts in an almond crust with a brown butter lemon sauce. Sides: Stewed tomatoes provencale (from last year’s garden)and roasted potatoes with rosemary and cracked pepper.

Wednesday: Where in the world?

Unstuffed cabbage rolls – I made some traditional stuffed ones last fall – never again! This will be more like a casserole with cabbage in between the fillings (ground pork? tomato? rice? fish? mango? potatoes?chiles?). Ethnicity of the meal – to be determined. Most cultures use cabbage in one form or another so this should be a fun experiment. Please weigh in with your ideas! Perhaps it will end up like the insides of a delicious pork cabbage spring roll with mung noodles and dried mushrooms…

Thursday: Taiwan

Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken I found this recipe linked in a blog over a year ago, bookmarked and am finally getting back to it. Unfortunately I don’t yet have enough Thai basil growing in the garden to supply 2 cups, so hopefully I find some at the farmer’s market on Wed. This will be served with a side of Kai Yang Bai Cai or otherwise known as sauteed cabbage with ginger.

Friday: West African

Mafe : West African meat in peanut sauce using our grass fed beef and stewed collard greens from the garden.

Garden update:  Everything is planted except the cucumbers.  We are harvesting the lettuce for the first time this eve and have been eating our fresh garden herbs all year long (I brought most in for the winter and put them out again as soon as it warmed up), but the chives are back with a vigor now!  The asparagus and rhubarb I planted last year are giving us an occasional tasty treat, but they need to grow another year before either is bountiful.

i’m out