Thursday, December 20, 2012

Menu-Planning on my Feet

When all the kids lived at home I used to make dinner every night. There was usually some kind of main dish, some salad and bread and to keep it interesting, I would make a menu at the beginning of the week so I'd know what to buy and have everything planned out for the entire week. The system also allowed me to save some time -- for instance, I'd chop all the onions for the week at once (food processor) and freeze them in one-meal-at-a-time bags, or make a double batch of dough which could be used one night for rolls and the second as a pizza dough.

These days it's just me and my teenage daughter at home and although she'd love to have someone cook for her every night, I don't have the energy or interest to do so much cooking. I do, however, like to make a nice array of dishes on Shabbat, so by Wednesday at the latest, I try to secure my guest list and prepare a menu.

Sometimes the meal is fairly uninspired -- cholent, for instance, is quick, easy, filling But sometimes it fits the bill.

Other times, especially when I get to the shuk (our Wednesday open air market) just walking along the lanes of the shuk and seeing all of the fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts that are there is enough to provide me with a full menu.

This week:

Friday night:                                                                              Saturday lunch
chili                                                                                             Chicken soup (made with tons of
grilled broccoli, califlower and mushrooms                                vegetables)
   (mushrooms removed for son)                                             Couscous

salads                                                                                         onion/parsley/bread crumb kugel
                                                                                                     roasted potatos and roasted sweet

matboucha (tomato/garlic/spices -- I make my own which includes a lot less oil than the store-
       bought kind and I use olive oil -- also, not as spicy as my Sepharadi neighbors make, so
       we call it "Ashkanazi matboucha")
avocados (of course)
tomatos and chopped cilantro
cucumbers and chopped mushrooms (a new and popular item on the menu)
lettuce or cabbage with dried cranberries
vegetarian chopped liver (fried onions, green beans and ground walnuts with mashed hard
      boiled egg, salt and pepper)
carrot and kolarabi

raisin cookies

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