Friday, January 8, 2010

Week 1 of Meatless Month - Meal Planning is Easy!

Hi!  Happy Friday!  Hope everyone had a great week and has an even better weekend.

As I mentioned in my last post, John and I are going "meatless" for the month of January (this is in italics because we're still eating fish, which I guess could be categorized as some kind of meat?).  I'm We're doing this for a few reasons - to clean up our diets after a very indulgent holiday season, to experiment with new ingredients, and to test out life as a quasi vegetarian.  OK, the last part is for me.  There's no way this man is giving up meat:

While he's not giving it up for good, he did agree to put up with me while I do.  So this past weekend I decided that in order to make this work, and make it easy, I'd do some meal planning instead of wandering the aisles of the grocery store picking up the usuals.  This usually results in John and me, 7 p.m., standing with the fridge door open and staring into space wondering what we'll make for dinner.  I picked 3 recipes that I wanted to try out of a new cookbook (Real Simple's Best Recipes) and figured we'd eat leftovers one night.  This is also a good method because as long as I have the ingredients on hand, John will cook whatever's on the menu...he just won't do the planning or go to the store!  

The recipes that we made (I made the soup, he made the other two) were:

White bean and Kale Soup

So not my finest photography, but the soup was great!  

Curried Rice with Shrimp

That's definitely Siratcha sauce all over the dish!  YUM!

And last, but not least, Salmon and Fennel with Roasted Lemon Vinaigrette

These were all excellent - and - Real. Simple.  Couldn't resist that one.

So how do I feel after a week of no meat?  Awesome!  This could also pertain to the fact that I haven't been drinking every day or eating dark chocolate  dessert, but regardless - this is fun and I feel good!

I'll leave you with the recipe for the soup - let me know if you'd like to see the recipes for the curried shrimp or salmon dish.  

Kale and White Bean Soup
Recipe Source: Adapted from Real Simple: January 2010

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
salt and pepper
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed
1 cup whole wheat orzo
1 bunch kale, thick stems discarded and leaves torn into 2 inch pieces (8 cups)
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
1/2 cup shaved Parmesean, plus 1 piece Parmesean rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 loaf whole what baguette
splash of soy sauce

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the garlic, onion, celery, salt, and pepper.  Let simmer for about 5 minutes - until vegetables start to become opaque.

Add the beans, pasta, kale, rosemary, 8 cups of water, and the Parmesean rind (I always save  these and throw them in the freezer until it's time to make a soup - it gives the soup a hint of creaminess even if it's broth based).  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until the pasta cooks and the kale is tender.

Remove the Parm rind and stir in lemon juice.  Pour into bowls and sprinkle with shaved Parmesean before serving.  Serve with warm bread. 

This recipe says it serves 8.  In our house, you can usually count that a recipe that serves 8 really only makes 6 servings, 4 only makes 3, etc.  What can I say, we like to eat?

1 comment:

  1. Looks good. I'm the same way when I don't make a meal plan (which is often), I spend like $70 at the grocery store and then have nothing to eat for dinner.