It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Menu Monday

First course: chef salad
Main course: stuffed peppers
Dessert: apricot oatmeal muffins

First course: Indian-style cauliflower
Main course: ginger-baked tofu
Dessert: bananas

First course: cucumber salad
Main course: felafels in pita with yogurt sauce
Dessert: home made applesauce

First course: mixed cooked veg with peanut sauce
Main course: Spinach pie
Dessert: apricot muffins

First course: raw veggies and dip
Main course: baked pasta with spinach and chevre sauce
Dessert: gelato

April 29, 2013 Posted by | food | , , | 1 Comment

Cauliflower au Gratin

Simple and yummy! The kids all had several helpings.

a head of cauliflower, chopped in bite-sized pieces. (Include the stems. Cauliflower stems are just as yummy as the florets! Unlike broccoli, you don’t even have to peel them.)

butter (about 3 tablespoons, and yes, you can use margerine)
flour (I add it a tablespoon at a time, up to about 4 of them)
milk (I start with a cup, and add more as I go, up to about 2 cups)

1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 – 1 cup grated cheese of your choice

1. Put cauliflower in largish pot, cover with water, bring to boil. (When it reaches a boil, turn to steady simmer.)
2. Meantime, preheat oven to 350F. Butter a medium-sized casserole dish.
3. Make white sauce:
— melt butter over medium heat
— slowly whisk in flour till you get a thick paste of butter and flour
— add milk gradually and steadily, whisking all the while
— raise heat to med-high, keep stirring. It will thicken quite quickly, within three minutes or so. Remove from heat. (It will keep thickening the whole time it’s on the heat, so if you want more sauce, keep on the heat and just add more milk. When you get the amount and consistency you want (about two cups), remove from heat.
4. Drain cauliflower, put in casserole dish
5. Pour white sauce over cauliflower, stir once or twice
6. Combine bread crumbs and cheese, and sprinkle over top.

Bake 10 minutes, till top is melted and a bit crunchy.


January 30, 2013 Posted by | food | , , , , | 3 Comments

Menu Monday

Monday: Vegetable chili, baking-powder biscuits

Tuesday: Vegetable muffins

Wednesday: Lentil soup over rice

Thursday: Spaghetti and meatballs (meat-free meatballs)

Friday: Chickpea-spinach soup

As ever, if you’d like a recipe, just ask!

October 29, 2012 Posted by | food | , , , | 2 Comments

Menu Monday

Monday: Meatloaf, Greek potatoes, salad (ginger-baked tofu for Jazz)

Tuesday: Stuffed green peppers, roasted root vegetables

Wednesday: Veggie pancakes, green beans and bacon

Thursday: Quiche, rice, miso squash

Friday: Vegetables with peanut sauce on rice noodles

October 15, 2012 Posted by | food | , | Leave a comment

Menu Monday

Monday: Stuffed peppers (Done in slow cooker. Eeeeeasy!)

Tuesday: Vegetarian lasagna

Wednesday: Singapore noodles (my family will have it with shrimp, the daycare, with tofu)

Thursday: Peanut butter sandwiches, cauliflower

Friday: Felafels

As always, if you want a recipe, just ask!

September 24, 2012 Posted by | food | , , | 3 Comments

Menu Monday

Monday: Tomato-corn crumble (adapted from this; I’ll be adding crumbled feta cheese and corn to the tomatoes, and making a crumble topping with flour, oats, melted butter, ground almonds and salt and pepper.) The cheese may make the tomatoes (pretty suspect with this group, unless they’re fresh cherry tomatoes) more appealing. Those who are still dubious will have the corn, and there’s at least some nutrition in the crumble.

Tuesday: Broccoli-cheese soup with baking soda biscuits

Wednesday: Chicken cacciatore. For the vegetarian, I’ll skip the chicken and beef it up (ar,ar, the irony) with pureed chickpeas.

Thursday: Black bean falafels in half-pitas with yogurt sauce and shredded veggies

Friday: Vegetable-cheese tart

Jazz is vegetarian. When they interviewed with me, that was one of the first questions asked: Could I accommodate a vegetarian? Though they were quite prepared to provide meals for her if I said no, they were relieved when my answer was “no problem!” It had proven quite an obstacle in other daycares, apparently.

Honestly, I find that odd. Now, this could be because I’m well used to cooking healthy, balanced, meat-free meals. At least half our family dinners are meat-free, often more. But we’re not vegetarians; we do eat meat, and I don’t find adapting meat meals for a vegetarian difficult at all.

The only meat meal on offer to the toddlers this week is the cacciatore. Conveniently, the chicken is the last item added. (You cook it first, then let it rest on a plate while you chop and cook everything else.) Does it make my life any harder whatsoever to use a vegetable broth instead of chicken when simmering the other ingredients? Nope. And then, before I add the chicken, I’ll remove a cup or two to a different container. Easy.

The only additional step I’m taking is to take a handful of cooked (or canned) chickpeas, which I always have in the house, whirl them in a blender with some water till they’re creamy, and pour into the soup. Takes 45 seconds, plus washing the blender. Call it three minutes. If I were feeling reeeeally lazy, I could crumble some tofu into the broth. Additional effort? 5 seconds.

September 10, 2012 Posted by | food | , | 2 Comments

Menu Monday

Monday: Veggie-cheese pie

(This one started off as a ‘galette’, has been downgraded to ‘pie’. Heh. Same thing happened to spanakopita: same dish in pie shell instead of phyllo, sooo much easier to prepare! And way fewer calories. (The kids don’t care about that last one, but I do!))

Tuesday: Veggie burgers, salad.

(The salad is arugula with strawberries, walnuts and balsamic vinegar. Very simply, truly delicious, but I suspect the arugula won’t be an immediate hit. Tip: NEVER let a presupposition like this prevent you from serving something to small children! There are two reasons for this: 1) They might surprise you and love it. You never know! 2) In time, with repeated exposures, children will accept food they previously rejected. Really! Low-key, matter-of-fact persistence pays off.)

Wednesday: Chicken basil coconut curry, black bean-couscous salad

(This is a mild coconut curry. They’ve loved it in the past, I expect they’ll love it this week. Soooo good.)

Thursday: Black bean soup, cornbread, salad

Friday: Char sui pork, lentil-beet salad

As always, any recipes available upon request.

May 14, 2012 Posted by | food | , | 2 Comments

Menu Monday

Monday: Ratatouille with ground walnuts over noodles

Tuesday: Tofu-spinach curry on rice

Wednesday: Rice-lentil patties. Cabbage-beet salad.

Thursday: Chicken tortilla soup, biscuits

Friday: Spaghetti and meatballs (with a non-meat version for the vegetarian), salad

As ever, if you want a recipe, just ask!

April 23, 2012 Posted by | food | , , , | 4 Comments

Meatloaf Recipe

Meatloaf is a fabulous use-up-the-leftovers recipe. My meatloaf has five (sometimes six) components:

1. 500 g (a generous pound) of ground meat. Doesn’t matter what kind at all. Can be a mixture of types.

2. About a cup of grated or finely chopped vegetables. Doesn’t matter what kind at all.

3. About a cup of starch — rice, oatmeal, bread crumbs, crumbled stale bread, or a mix of everything. Doesn’t matter at all.

4. Two eggs

5. Spaghetti sauce (or sometimes crushed tomatoes, or sometimes salsa, doesn’t matter at all.)

(6. Grated cheese.)

There are a couple of ways to assemble this. The easy way:

Glop it all in a bowl and thoroughly moosh it all together with your hands. Hands work better than a spoon. Drop it into an ungreased loaf pan, smear a couple of tablespoons of spaghetti sauce over top. Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 for an hour. You can remove the foil for the last 15 minutes to crisp up the top a bit if you like.

The pretty way:

1. Combine meat, eggs, and starch.

2. Layer half the meat mixture in the pan. Cover with the veggies, a sprinkling of grated cheese, and a dollop of spaghetti sauce. Top with remaining meat mixture, then smear on the sauce and maybe another sprinkle of cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for an hour. Remove foil for the last 15 minutes to crisp up the top if you like.

This week’s meatloaf used up a cup of leftover Cuban black beans and rice (the starch), and a cup of leftover beet-and-carrot salad (the veggies).

Nom. Comfort food.

April 17, 2012 Posted by | food | , , | 1 Comment