Weeknight Meal Plan #2

This week I wanted to make Rick Martinez’ Tacos Nortenos as soon as possible. Monday done.

Then, I bounced around my stand-bys but the menu didn’t seem right.

Sometimes when I’m putting together my weeknight meal plan, I take a look at what is in season in this handy little chart wheel I found: https://squaremeals.org/FandNResources/TexasFarmFresh/SeasonalityWheel.aspx

Corn is in season! So I go back to my recipes and look for corn, boom, Ajiaco from Kenji Lopez-Alt.

Okay, so now I have two days left to fill. Both of those recipes I notice have some ingredients that I might not use all of in the week and I can’t have food going bad. Off to finding more recipes that include these ingredients and only one or two more things.

And I come across Steak Chimichurri. I’ll already have cilantro and parsley, onions, vinegar, garlic, etc. I’ll just have to keep my eyes peeled for a good, cheap steak.

I’ve got one night saved for leftovers or dining out, so I’m all set this week.

Meal Plan for August 9th, 20201
Meal Plan for August 9th, 20201

I’ve made the ajiaco recipe multiple times and absolutely love it. Reminds me of the first time I made Caldo Verde from Foodwishes or Charro Beans from Rick Bayless, I made them once a week until I ruined them for myself.

I’m really excited for the tacos, which is why I couldn’t wait to make them later in the week.

All done. 👋

Weeknight Meal Plan #1

Every week I put together a meal plan for Monday through Thursday, sometimes I know what I want to make on Friday and the weekend, sometimes I don’t. I like to leave the weekend open for whatever. Maybe I’ll get invited to something!

I found a great notion template a year or so ago and it’s been so useful in managing my recipes, ingredients, meal plan, shopping list, and recipe ideas. I can’t find the original template, but I’ve altered mine quite a bit, so it’s not even the same anymore. If you’d like to duplicate mine, here you go: carolemagouirk.notion.site/carolemagouirk/Kitchen-Management-d4a29300d5944c3bb6d65f30b4161a1f

Here’s this week’s meal plan:

Meal Plan for July 26, 2021
Meal Plan for July 26, 2021

This meal plan started with the Salisbury steak. Since I knew I’d need ground beef, the rest of the menu developed out of uses for it. I don’t need a pound of meat for two steaks, and that’s typically how it’s sold, so I figured I’d work with the larger portion to make several dinners.

I have some frozen Thai basil in the freezer I want to use, so that was easy.

Then, I looked at listicles for ground beef recipes and found this one, which is pretty useful:
https://themodernproper.com/30-best-ground-beef-recipes

There I found kofta kebabs, but I looked around at different recipes and found the Spruce Eats one listed above.

So I had three beefy menu items, I needed some veggies. In notion, I have a gallery called “Old Stand-bys” were I keep recipes that I use at least a couple times a month. I grabbed a couple go-to vegetarian dishes and boom, my meal plan was complete.

You can see a range of influences in this menu. That’s fun. To see where I’ve picked things up.

I’m really excited for the kebabs, I’ve never made them before. And also the Salisbury steak because it might be my favorite childhood dinner and I haven’t made it in years. I look forward to dressing her up with my new skills.

All done. 👋

Tuna Salad

Tonight I made some tuna salad in the style of Alison Roman, my recently discovered cooking mentor. You can check out the recipe on her newsletter.

A cutting board topped with toast, lettuce, soft-boiled eggs, parsley, celery leaves, sliced red onions in a bowl, dill, a sliced lemon, and a dish of capers with a bowl of tuna in the background.

I did a couple things differently. I added a bit of dijon and some cayenne pepper, which I always call Kanye pepper because my brain is broken. I also messed up a bit and didn’t add the onions until the end, so I had to pour out the delicious liquid before adding it to my already lemon-ed tuna mix. So sad. In the recipe she only calls for dill at the end, but I used dill, parsley, and celery leaves, too. And a soft-boiled egg.

Plated tuna salad with lettuce leaves, toast, soft-boiled eggs, and an iceberg lettuce salad topped with parsley, celery leaves, sliced red onion, capers, and dill.

This meal was as well-rounded as Alison Roman’s Slow-Cooked Tuna recipe, albeit less savory. That recipe changed how I understood a meal. What I considered a balanced meal was a meat, starch, and veg with some different colors and flavors. But there’s something more going on there. The next time I make it, I’ll go in-depth about my culinary awakening.

Okay, so this tuna salad is good. What makes it great is the textures and harmonious flavors of the fixins. Sliced red onion gives fresh crunch, capers lend a briny pop, the buttery toast, the creamy eggs, the crispy lettuce. Each bite was interesting and melded perfectly with one another.

Last night I tried making the date and lemon chicken recipe, but my ratios must have been off. I’d like to try it again sometime, but there’s so many new things I want to make while I have all this enthusiasm.

Next week I hope to move on to a different influence, as much as Alison Roman is a great recipe developer, I want to keep pushing my comfort.

All done. 👋

Rather be cookin’

I spent all day redesigning my website and it’s midnight already and I’m tired and I have nothing else to say.

♥carole

All done. 👋