Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Meal Planning

I've sort of been planning our meals out the past two weeks. I needed to do it because I bought proteins at the store without planning. I needed to make sure they get cooked before they expire, so then I planned out our meals based on what I bought. A little backwards, but whatever.

I went to PCC Natural Market last Friday and bought a whole chicken, a chunk of pork loin, and some turkey breakfast sausage. Then, I went to Mutual Fish and picked up some prawns and rockfish. It's a lot of pressure to make sure these things get cooked!

With the prawns, I made a pasta dish Friday night. First, I made a clarified prawn butter with the shells. Then, I used that butter to cook the prawns. Some garlic, red pepper flakes, the prawns, white wine, chopped fresh parsley, all tossed with whole wheat spaghetti. Ooh, and a sprinkling of toasted bread crumbs. Mmmmm.

That same night, I just baked some of the rockfish in the oven, wrapped in foil. Just salt and pepper for a few minutes. That was for the kids. Tyler loved it, Vincent was so-so. I did the same thing, again, last night with the remainder of my fish. After letting the meat cool, I broke it apart and tossed it with cannellini beans, shallots, chopped parsely, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. It was my lunch today.

I roasted the whole chicken for dinner on Sunday night. I served it with mushroom risotto. I used this fancy mix of cultivated mushrooms I found at PCC. They weren't super mushroomy flavored, which was a little disappointing. Nonetheless, this was a delicious meal. The legs and thighs of this organic chicken wasn't as juicy as the non-organic stuff. My chicken skin came out nice and golden crispy. The boys loved the skin.

Tonight, I cooked the pork loin. First, I brined the meat for 2 days. A couple hours before cooking, I took it out of the brine, rinsed it, and patted it dry. I left it out at room temperature until I was ready to cook. All I did was sear it on both sides before popping it into a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes. After letting it rest, I sliced the meat thinly, and served it along side balsamic glazed onions, for build-your-own-sandwiches. I put a sliced up loaf of Columbia City Bakery's filone on the table with a bowl of extra virgin olive oil and a pastry brush. We had our friend, Jill, and her kids over for dinner. Each adult would take bread, brush it with olive oil, pile on the onions and sliced pork. The kids ate the pork, too, along with homemade skillet mac and cheese. Tyler actually didn't finish his pasta, and Vincent asked for more. Guess who's he got to finish. Dessert was the bakery's Super Chip cookies.

Tomorrow, I'll be making chili with the turkey breakfast sausage. I don't know, it sounded much easier than adding my own mix of seasonings into chili. We'll see. I think it'll be tasty.