Weekly Menu

First off a recap and review of last week’s menu:

The Salmon dish was 5-star good. Again, we used Arctic Char instead, and removed the skin. Instead of 1/2 of a cup of panko, all we needed Was 1/3. Instead of 3 cloves of garlic we used 2. Instead of the evaporated milk, we used 3/4 of a cup of 2% milk plus 1 TB butter.

The Paleo Dim Sum was both a hit and a miss. Not wanting to have to eat in batches, we broke down and bought a 3-tiered bamboo steamer. Very good idea—this way we actually sat down and ate together. What didn’t work was the cabbage: no matter how floppy it was, I couldn’t get it to make a pocket, so they ended up looking more like green unsealed potstickers. The filling was excellent and we will make it again, using only wonton wrappers.

The Sardinia Minestrone: too much a good thing. By this I mean I made the recipe as called for (also adding two parmesan rinds and the unused boiled cabbage from the dim sum). We had our house/cat-sitter over for dinner, along with her husband (both young hungry marathon runner-types). I served assorted bowls of homemade pickled vegetables (another post for another time), two baguettes with goat cheese and butter, as well as a few ears of steamed corn. Even after we each took a second serving of the soup (some took three), there was enough left over to invite the people who live next door—but I didn’t because, well, they annoy me. I ate it for lunch the next day. And the day after that. And…I finally tossed another 2 or more servings. Suffice it to say: you should half the recipe, or only make it when you are inviting 10 of your friends for dinner.

The Spinach Tofu Indian Dish: no idea—we ended up eating a smorgasbord of leftovers and found items (including that darn minestrone) on Thursday night. I will add it to this week’s menu, which is as follows:

Sunday-Because Victor and Loy just now arrived home from a weekend of canoe camping, I had no idea what Victor’s post-work meeting schedule looks like, so I am going to shop for the rest the week tomorrow, serving for dinner tonight our go-to last minute/no-ingredients-in-the-house meal: tuna fish sandwiches and roasted tomato and red pepper soup from a box (I prefer the TJ brand to the other organic brand). To the tuna I will add chopped fresh dill, carrots, a green onion, celery, a few capers, a splash of white vinegar, a dollop of Dijon, a pinch of sugar, and the requisite salt, pepper, and mayo. Loy and I will eat ours rolled up in raw green cabbage and kale leaves. Being the gluten lover that he is, Victor will eat his on bread. For the soup, I’ll give it a brisk shake then heat it on the stove.

Monday– We’ve got a huge spaghetti squash that I will cut in half, bake, scoop out, then sautée with oil and top with Parmesan. The main dish, though, is the Santorini Farro Salad. We’ve had it before and it’s fantastic. I will not use the tsatziki sauce included in the recipe, since it’s overkill.

Tuesday-My pal Rebecca Raskin and her family will be here for dinner that night. I will make the aforementioned Spinach Tofu dish, and dal, and will also add a side of sautéed shredded carrot, cilantro and mustard seeds, also known as Koosmati. Rebecca is bringing homemade flatbread.

Wednesday-No school today. We might head to Montreal, but if not, I’ll make Martha Stewart’s shrimp shumai (yeah: those pork ones were that good). I have two heads of broccoli from last week’s CSA that is begging to be roasted with garlic.

Thursday-Open house at school tonight so it needs to be easy and quick. We pick up our CSA so we will eat whatever lovely vegetables are offered, then supplement with some fancy cheese and bread.

Not so inspired this week, I know, and quite eclectic, but the summer produce is winding down and we need to take advantage of the quickly diminishing freshness available to us Vermonters. Any questions—just ask.


Weekly Menu

Hello friends and fellow food-folks. A few of you have, over the years, asked me to send you my weekly menu line-up, so I am doing that for the first time. It’s meant to help you have to think a little less about what to do for dinner this week. Obviously you may hate all my choices.

I bought all my groceries for the week this morning so I don’t have to get in the car again–hence my planning well in advance.

I’ve tried to vary it a lot, using some old and some new recipes, some vegetarian, some not. I know it’s the Jewish New Year, but I am including one recipe with pork. Feel free to leave it out if you must.

Sunday–This will be a NEW recipe. We will use char instead of salmon because we like it more. We will cut down on the butter. We will substitute real milk for the evaporated. We will serve it with an arugula salad dressed simply in oil and balsamic.

Pan-Crisped Salmon

Pan-Crisped Salmon with Light Dijon Cream and Garlic Butter Breadcrumbs I howsweeteats.com

Monday–Happy New Year. –V and Loy are off to some celebration and I have a get-together with a friend for dinner.

Tuesday–Another new recipe (now that I think of it–all the recipes this week are untried and untested. You can try with me or wait to see how things turn out). We will use BOTH cabbage and real wontons as wrappers. We will use a regular steamer since we have no bamboo steamer. We will not use parchment, but instead oil the metal steamer. We will not use as much arrowroot as called for. I will roast some broccoli on the side. Be sure to soak your beans TONIGHT if you’re making the minestrone tomorrow.

Paleo Dim Sum

Wednesday–I got this recipe off the article in the NYTimes about eating in the blue zone of the planet–the supposedly healthiest place to live, gastro-wise. I will substitute pintos for the cranberry beans and if the fava beans are $12/pound I will take their suggestion and sub cannellini beans. I will for sure add the fennel fronds and tomato paste as suggested in the note. I will add a chunk of Parmesan rind from the stash i have in the freezer. I will serve with bread and cheese. I will hope the weather is as cool as predicted.

Sardinia Minestrone

Thursday–Sometimes Martha Shulman strikes a home run; sometimes she’s useless, but it’s our CSA day, and since I know we’ll be getting lots of spinach, I thought I’d give this a go. We will serve over organic basmati rice and Victor will make a simple red lentil dal for the side. He will be skipping the onion, ginger and tomato part and will just do the spice mixture at the end.

Indian Tofu with Spinach


love, lisa

My Pet Peeve-Revisited

I always get a warm and fuzzy feeling when people agree with my opinions, especially if those opinions are sometimes lopsided or bizarre or even trivial. It’s the sort of gratification I felt when I was one of the first kids picked for dodge ball, even though I pretty much sucked at it.

While reading this past week’s Sunday NYTimes SocialQ column I got to experience that pleasurable reassurance again when someone named Geoffrey from Baltimore wrote about how much he and his wife hated when waiters and waitresses asked if they were “still working on your dinner?”

Ha! I raised my eyebrows in hearty recognition. Geoffrey asked if it was perhaps too snarky that his wife replied, “No. I’m vacationing on it.” The editor wrote back the following, very funny answer:

Better “still working on it” than my newish bête noire: “Still enjoying your chicken Milanese?” How presumptuous is that? It makes me want to catalog, in screaming detail, every morsel I hate about it. Yes, your wife was sassy. But assuming she has some Bette Midler flair, she probably gave the waitress a good chuckle. (Servers: Try “May I clear?”)

Vindication is mine!