Menu of the Week

• 06 January 2013

While I am always planning meals for our family (saves money and time!), I haven't been good about sharing my discoveries in the kitchen with you as of late.  To those of you who appreciate those posts, I apologize for that!  I am someone who is always on the hunt for good, healthy, cost-effective meals to feed my family and I hope that by sharing some of my discoveries here, you too find practical ways to feed your families too.

Below I outlined our meals for last week (found a few keepers!), adding recipe notes and general fyi's.  You'll notice there are only 5 meals listed, as I always leave room for 2 meals that are either leftovers, takeout (the obvious favorite!) or "brupper"...the family term for 'breakfast for supper').  Click on "Read More" to view the rest of the post (it's chock full of details and therefore lengthy).  Enjoy!

1.  Dutch Oven Roast, Mashed Potatoes (French style), Salad with Avocado, Homemade Bread (made by my father-in-law...delicious!) with Mt. Tam and Pineapple Pomegranate Salad -  My in-laws are in town so tonight's meal was extra special.  My mother-in-law roasted a beautiful roast in my antique dutch oven yesterday, that was the best I ever had (post forthcoming!).  It was a fairly small roast for 8 people, but since none of us eat a lot of meat, it worked out perfectly.

2.  Lamb Kebobs with Chopped Greek Salad, Pita - This meal was definitely the star of the week!  This was the first time I prepared lamb (typically not my favorite meat), and based on my family's reaction, it won't be the last.  Instead of making the meatballs into kebabs, I just sauteed them in my cast iron skillet and served them alongside the naan (a good substitution if you can't find good pita).  About the spice the recipe calls for...sumac...I found it in the spice aisle at Whole Foods.  One small container was $3.  I am confident we will use it up!  For the chopped Greek Salad, simply combine romaine lettuce, English cucumber, tomato, chives and good feta.  I love the Trader Joe's Feta in Brine--it's up there with good Bulgarian or French feta.

UPDATE: our family has lessened our meat intake, so I halved this recipe and it was plenty for our family of 6.  I just made sure the kids could load up on salad and naan.  Also, I substituted panko for the breadcrumbs.  Loved it.  Will definitely sub in again.  And last, I had to use my hands to make the meatballs.  I couldn't get the mixture to meld like it should otherwise.  

3.  Southwest Salad - A great vegetarian meal and one I make and mention often.  It's easy-to-make in the winter, sans tomatoes.  Just load it up with roasted peppers and avocado.  Be sure to use fresh limes for the juice vs. the lime concentrate you often find in the produce section at grocery stores.  The latter will kill your delicious dressing!

4.  Rainbow Swiss Chard Soup with White Beans, Homemade Rolls (bread machine!) - A simple meal of vegetable-laden soup and rolls.  I had high hopes for this soup and while it was good, it wasn't something my family enjoyed enough for me to make again.  The homemade rolls were definitely the highlight here!  Can't get enough of those and that bread machine makes it sooo easy.   

5.  Spaghetti with Tomato Anchovy Sauce, Crusty Baguette, Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette - While I am an anchovy fan (I typically ask for extras on my caesar), I wasn't over-the-moon for this tomato sauce.  I will keep looking...and sharing...until I find the perfect one!  Submissions appreciated :)

image 1 -  Alex Farnum  |  image 2 - Annabelle Breakey (both for Sunset)


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