Monday: Menus and Meals

Well, after all the celebratory feasting last week, I was at a loss as to what to eat this week, but as it’s now spring (hurray!), it’s time to break out the spring recipes.

1. Pasta primavera, with red peppers, garlic, onions, peas, and asparagus, a touch of cream and some lemon juice. Bread.

2. Asparagus tart here (which I’m so certain will be well-received by my children that I suspect we’ll have plain chicken as well), quinoa, and a shredded carrot salad here

3. Tomato soup and grilled cheese

4. Roasted vegetables (red peppers, onions, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, olive oil and some sea salt) and baked brown rice (see recipe below)

5. Black bean and corn quesadillas and rice

6. Spinach dumplings here. While these take some effort and time to make, they are like being back in Tuscany for me. Yum. The recipe makes a lot, so I expect I’ll bake half and freeze half for a rainy day.

And now for some reality. Anyone want to take a guess to see which meal will go by the wayside, once the craziness of the week begins? 🙂

Here’s my favorite way of making brown rice, via Cook’s Illustrated:

1 1/2 c brown rice

2 1/3 c chicken broth

1/2 c grated parmesan

1 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/4 c chopped parsley (optional) or 1 tsp dried

1. Heat oven to 375. Place rice in an 8 inch square baking dish.

2. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a covered sauce pan. When it boils, immediately pour over rice, and cover with a double layer of foil. Bake until tender, about 1 hour.

3. Remove from oven, uncover, and stir in black pepper, parmesan, lemon zest and juice, and parsley if using. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let stand for 5 minutes. The original recipe says to let it stand an additional 5 minutes uncovered, but I don’t think we ever do. We’re too hungry by that time.

The original recipe also has a chopped and sauteed onion in it, but if you even breathe the word “onion” in front of the younger crowd at my house, they go flying off to the hinterlands to escape. So I don’t put onion in. You can if you want to. I often double the recipe, placing the rice in a 9×13 glass baking dish.

Happy Monday!

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