Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Weeknight Winter Salad

January 11, Wednesday night dinner

As you plan your meals for the upcoming week (we like to do this on Sunday afternoons), consider picking up a few versatile ingredients that will work for throwing together some quick but very satisfying full-sized salads.  Salads are great because they use fresh ingredients that you don't have to take time to cook, and they often require minimal washing and chopping.  The downside of course is that fresh ingredients go bad faster, so you run the risk of not finishing off the crisper drawer before things start to turn.  If this happens though, it's a perfect opportunity for a Saturday morning shakshuka...stay tuned for an example of one of those!  

When prepping a salad, it often requires minimal additional effort to go ahead and prep them for several meals at once.  Salads tend to stay fresher when you store them in single-serve sized containers rather than one big one, and you're more likely to grab it in the morning to take it with you for lunch.  Throw in some base greens for each salad (I made six at once last week) and then chop or prepare enough toppings for each one.  You can mix and match ingredients to give yourself the necessary variety, and you can wait until the day-of to add whatever protein strikes your fancy.  We used smoked salmon on days 1 and 3, and two boiled eggs on day 2. Don't forget to include a generous serving of plant-source fats (avocado, nuts, olive oil, etc) in your salad, this is what gets you full and keeps you satisfied.  Don't worry about the high density calories from these foods, an avocado for lunch makes you less likely to snack later.  

Winter salad:

Greens: pre-washed baby spinach and kale

Chopped cucumber (out of season, but ridiculously on sale that day, so I went for it)

Chopped purple and orange carrots

Roasted acorn squash

Roasted beets 

Toasted walnuts

Edamame (Frozen and rinsed to unfreeze. It's parboiled, so you don't actually have to cook it any more)

Smoked salmon

1/2 sliced avocado

Olive oil 

Note: the roasted things were from a previous night's dinner, so all I did was reheat them in the toaster oven before serving.  You can always repurpose leftovers into new dishes to use them up.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Lazy Sunday, leftover lasagna

December 3, Sunday night dinner, 9:06 pm

Sundays are often about cleaning out the crisper drawer, to make room for the fresh new leafy things coming in Monday night.  This lasagna turned leftover spaghetti squash from earlier in the week and some kale a bit past its prime into a decadent weekend dinner treat.  Throw in a freshly baked baguette and a bottle of Spanish red, and you've got yourself a date night dinner without even stopping by the grocery store.  

Spaghetti squash lasagna: 

1 jar arrabiata sauce
1 small tub of organic, whole milk ricotta + 1 egg + generous amounts of thyme and oregano 
2 layers of noodles
1 layer of spaghetti squash, steamed and scraped out of the skin
1 layer of coarsely chopped lacinato kale
top layer of peas and freshly grated fontina cheese