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 of the Week March 22: Latin Theme!

Happy Spring!
Here is a photo of my garden to be:
garden starts
One of my favorite themes for cooking here at home is the Americas, South, Central and North. To celebrate, we are embracing not one, but three Latin themed dinners this week (Eby was actually ready to do every night in a Latin theme), somehow they all involve pork or chicken, as of course that is what is in our large freezer.  Elizabeth of Weird and Surprisingly Good is the menu swap host this week.  Make sure you click on over there and check out the Latin-y menus around the Gluten Free blog world.

Sunday: GF Matzo ball chicken soup with dill – first attempt at Mazto balls, GF or non GF and well, it didn’t work.  Tasted good though.

Monday: Arepas with pulled pork and pickled onions maybe some pintos and salsa too.

Tuesday: Thai pad ped with Thai basil, beef and red curry (following my local Lamai restaurant style), fresh spring rolls with veggies and dipping sauce.

Wednesday: Puebla Chicken and potato stew

Thursday: Grilled fish (cod probably) with parsley, garlic, lemon and olive oil, grilled asparagus

Friday: Pork with Negro Mole Sauce ala Rick Bayless and Saveur Magazine.  Not sure what sides we will have, maybe a cucumber salad.

Ending with a photo of Truffle, our kitten laying next to the indoor garden in the sunlight, in bliss.
truffle in sunlight

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 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

Kale Chorizo Potato Soup – Caldo Verde

kale, chorizo, potato soup

Oh this was delicious! I could go for some right now. It must be lunch time. Smokey and spicy.

kale, chorizo, potato soup

Kale Chorizo Potato Soup (Caldo Verde) This soup is really easy.

1 large onion chopped
1 large bunch of kale, washed and cut into bit size pieces
3 medium potatoes cut into large pieces – skin on – it is the healthy part after all
8 oz Spicy Chorizo split in 1/2 and then sliced into 1/4 inch slices (half moons)
1 tsp smoked paprika (there should be plenty in the chorizo, but if not, add more)
8 oz of diced tomatoes (one cup of canned or fresh – optional if you have tomatoes on hand)
3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
3-4 cups Chicken stock
Fresh cracked pepper
salt to taste

Sautee the onions in some olive oil and then add the chorizo and let it render a bit. Add your garlic and cook for a minute. Then add all of the rest of the ingredients and cook until potatoes are tender.
Enjoy!
i’m out