My menu plan for this past week was written on Thursday night. Friday I went shopping and my plan started that evening. For the full details on the menu plan including the shopping list, please see this post. After a full 7 days of cooking at home, I’m excited to share with you my menu plan results, for better or worse!
Friday morning I went shopping. I ended up getting tomatoes, broccoli, and a shallot to roast for Friday night’s pasta. Oddly, there was no cabbage to be found, so I picked up bok choy as a substitute. I thought I would save money and get the pine nuts from the bulk section. Turns out they were INSANELY expensive. I bought a tiny amount and had just enough without leftovers.
Pasta with roasted veggies and toasted pine nuts
I tossed the veggies (tomatoes, broccoli, shallots) with olive oil, salt & pepper and roasted for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. The pasta we typically have at home is the spiral whole wheat pasta from Trader Joe’s (pictured below). If you haven’t tried a whole wheat pasta for a while because of a bad experience, it’s certainly worth another try. Whole grain pastas have come a long way and each brand is different.
While the pasta was cooking and the veggies were roasting, I set a non-stick pan over medium-low heat for the pine nuts. I added a small amount of canola oil, salt, and pepper to the pan and then toasted the pine nuts until they were fragrant. These were so so good! Almost good enough to justify the price 😉 Seriously… I paid about $7 for a half cup of pine nuts.
Gazpacho with grilled cheese on almost no-knead bread
Before Saturday night, I hadn’t made gazpacho since last Summer and it was so good! But, it made me remember my food processor is too small for gazpacho. To make it work, I processed the tomatoes separate from the other ingredients and then mixed them together by hand in a large bowl. Not ideal, but got the job done. A new food processor is on my kitchen wish list.
The recipe for almost no-knead bread came from Bread Illustrated and the bread came out amazing! When I was doing the 1 minute of kneading before baking (the only kneading in the recipe), I did get extremely frustrated. The dough was beyond sticky, like bubblegum-sticking-to-the-counter-and-my-hands kind of sticky. At that point, my expectations were extremely low. BUT the texture and taste of the finished bread was awesome. And for grilled cheese, the bread was absolutely perfect.
Pizza night! With spinach and sauteed mushrooms.
This is always my favorite of the week. I used the pizza dough and sauce recipes. Part of the reason this is a favorite is that my whole family has historically eaten it without complaints. If you have ever had small children in your house, you know how nice (and fleeting it is) when everyone is happy with a meal. Tonight for some reason, my son decided he doesn’t like the cheese and ate about a half a slice (mind you, he ate the cheese while I was prepping it, so frustrating!). I don’t know what that’s about, but I hope it was a one-time thing.
BBQ Pork Sandwiches and bok choy salad with cumin lime vinaigrette
With my menu plan sheet, I remembered to take the pork out of the freezer 2 days in advances, win!
Monday morning I put the pork in the slow cooker before work with some salt and pepper and set it to low. It was ready by dinner. At dinner time, I shredded the slow-cooked pork and put some store bought BBQ sauce on about half of it. (The other half I saved for Tuesday’s dinner.)
The hamburger buns were also store bought. At one point during the weekend, I had thought I would make the hamburger buns, but then I just didn’t feel like it. I’m coming to realize I usually like a simple meal on Monday after cooking quite a bit over the weekends.
Sorry for not including a picture 🙁 When I remembered, I was already halfway through eating my sandwich.
The pork was sautéed in a non-stick skillet with taco seasoning. The salsa was a couple of local tomatoes chopped up and seasoned with minced shallot, cilantro, salt and the Salsa & Pico spice blend from Penzeys Spices. I don’t usually have many spice blends on hand, but Penzeys is swaying me. I received the Salsa & Pico as a freebie with another purchase and love it.
Along with the quesadillas, we had some carrots, celery, and sliced nectarines. This night threw me for a loop. My husband wasn’t going to be home for dinner, then he was at the last minute. I didn’t have enough for him. Whoops, leftovers for him! No picture here either… I told you I was thrown for a loop!
Pasta with tomato sauce and meatballs OR leftovers
We ended up having the pasta with tomato sauce and meatballs. It’s the go-to pantry meal at my house. We all eat it, although the kids usually do not want the sauce on the pasta (go figure!). This is also one meal that’s ready fast without much brain power. I had to rush out to a class right after eating, so this was a perfect night for it. We had more raw carrots and red bell peppers on the side with nectarines. Once again, no picture. Weeknights are jam-packed making it easy to forget!
All in all, I would call this week a success! There was only one extra grocery trip made on Sunday to get some hamburger buns and sandwich bread for the week. We all ate at home every night too. Although it was a hectic week, with several evening commitments for my both my husband and me, we pulled it off.