How has your weekend been so far? Ours would have been a tad better if this weather would figure itself out! Seriously, I don’t know what southwestern Ontario did to Mother Nature, but she totally screwed us this year (long winter followed by a less than stellar summer – full of cool, cloudy, rainy days).
But, instead of being a ‘Negative Nancy’, I thought I would go over the meals we had this past week because they were actually decent enough to want to share. And hey, maybe it can give you some inspiration for your meals this coming week!
This night was the only exception to home-cooked meals. Hubby and I took a date night and my mom watched Nia because my mom had given me a gift card to this restaurant for my graduation that we still had a bit on it left to use! In true date night fashion, I didn’t take any food pics (because it was nice to just sit and catch up with the hubby), but I had a really lovely glass of white wine with a tofu, quinoa, and veggie gado-gado dish. Tyler had the same as me. It was so delicious and my ‘go to’ at that restaurant.
Tuesday was a baked veggie feast! We baked the portobellos with the onions in EVOO and tamari, and then roasted the other veggies (minus the corn) in EVOO on another tray. Simple and easy, but still a perfect meal full of good stuff.
I’ve only made this dish once before (about a year ago) and it’s so fabulous, so I don’t know why I didn’t make it again sooner. It’s tofu and kale (just suppose to be kale, but I also added in yellow bell pepper and zucchini) over short-grain brown rice, in a curry peanut butter sauce. The sauce packs so much flavour (full of ginger and garlic), that makes this dish highly addicting. I was originally going to make this dish on Tuesday, but since we had tofu on Monday, I didn’t want to have it back-to-back. We gotta keep some variety, yo!
This meal has increasingly become a favourite of mine. It’s chickpea and red lentil falafels over quinoa (or I usually use brown rice, but again, didn’t want to do back-to-back) with a side salad, and all covered in a garlic-tahini-parsley dressing! The dressing I made was new to this dish tonight though; I usually do it in a lemon vinaigrette made with melted coconut oil, but I ran out of lemons to press for lemon juice in this dish! The dressing I subbed in was from the Fresh cookbook and a great alternative! I like this dish because there are some great pairing options: side salad, quinoa or brown rice, and different dressings to accompany it all. Middle Eastern dishes are really growing on me!
We kept it classic for the start of the weekend with homemade pizza! I haven’t done a homemade pizza in a while, and because of that, I wanted to try out a new dough. I found a whole wheat and flaxseed recipe from here, and thought it sounded tasty, so I gave it a shot. It worked out pretty good (nice and crunchy) paired with pizza sauce, roasted tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, purple onion, sliced mushrooms, baby spinach, and topped with mozzarella daiya cheese.
Saturday night was a write-off because we ordered take-out again (veggie burgers with reg and sweet potato fries), but the plan is for Tyler and I to make a meal together tonight! Hold him to it!
And now, I thought it would be interesting to share with you where I find my cooking balance. What I mean by this is, what makes cooking meals at home manageable for me. Here we go:
1) It starts with having a take-out night…or two. Hey, I’m only human and need a night off from time-to-time. Even though this came early on in the week this time, it still helped me want to prep and cook meals for the rest of the week.
2) Balancing new dishes with old favourites. I love making and eating some of our ‘go to’s, but I really do like variety and spicing things up. Adding even just one new dish into our menu a week helps expand what we eat, and gives us a chance to decide whether it will become a ‘go to’ meal or nix it.
3) Balancing simple with more complex dishes. I love making new dishes (as stated above!), but let’s just say, I have a knack for picking the labor-intensive ones. Because of this, I can’t have many dishes that require a lot of time in the kitchen more than a couple times a week, or else I burn myself out. I think it’s the all or nothing nature in me, but I have to be careful because if I take on too much, then the result could be take-out for a few nights in a row (when I only really ever want 1-2 a week of that!). So, when I do tackle a complex dish, I balance it with a simple on the next day. Plus, I don’t want to live in the kitchen!
And those are just a few of my secrets for getting me cooking! Now your turn…
What helps you stay on-top of making meals?