Friday, October 1, 2010

Food in Review

Meat was an afterthought to most of this week’s meals, and it was totally unintentional!  Um…oops?  See what happens when you don’t have access to grass fed beef?!  Beer, however, managed to be at the forefront!  Priorities, people!

Friday: Dinner was courtesy of Central Market’s Brewtopia.  We had Shiner Oktoberfest marinated, fire roosted chicken breasts with the “beer sides” kit that offered roasted rosemary potatoes, carrots, and green beans with oatmeal stout dinner rolls and beer sharp cheddar spread.  The green beans and carrots were horrible.  Everything else was heavenly and affordable….at $16 for the entire thing.  The potatoes were used in Sunday’s breakfast.  The leftover chicken was in Saturday’s gamer nachos and Wednesday night’s dinner.  The beer cheese spread….well; I have plans to make that into wontons next week.  Oh yeah, I went there.  

Saturday: More Oktoberfest celebrations?  Yeah, we had bock beer brats from CM: boiled, split open, and grilled till absolutely golden.  These turned in to Bratbens: a fusion of bratwurst and Rueben sandwiches.  These were our typical Rueben – grilled brown mustard infused kraut, cheese (this time grated fancy-pants Swiss from the discount left over “nubs” at CM), and homemade dressing all grilled together till golden and melty – just with bratwurst.  Totally delicious.  Served with sweet potato fries.  His favorite dinner + my favorite side dish!

Sunday: This meal was full of fail.  I wanted to make a tuna nicoise salad.  Nicoise is a sort of traditional French dish.  Now, French food is NOT my bag, but I thought I had this one covered.  I boiled potatoes, steamed green beans, and grilled the tuna.  I made a homemade dijon dressing for the whole thing.  Yeah, nothing cooked like it should have or in the time allotted.  The flavors refused to meld.  It was edible, and that’s the only nice thing I have to say about this dish.  

Monday: To make up for Sunday’s fail, Monday’s dinner was over-the-moon incredible.  I made falafel for the first time ever.  I’m not every sure I’ve ever HAD the dish, but I love all of the components individually, so I had high hopes that the dish would be good.  I was referred to the recipe by the No Meat Athlete, but ended up literally doubling all of the spices and some ingredients that weren’t even called for like cilantro.  I made slider-sized patties, so it made 8 not 12.  Then I followed the directions given in the recipe for pan-searing then baking.  The golden beauties were stuffed into whole wheat pita halves (half for me, a whole for him) with spinach and tomato.  I made a sauce of yogurt, cilantro, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a few cloves of garlic to top it all off.  The sauce is SO necessary!  It brings so much freshness and tang to the meal.  Oven-fried okra rounded out this meal, and it was all just incredible.  Perhaps it was the epic failure of a dinner that made this so good??

 Tuesday: I found a recipe that I was jumping to make called 4-ingredient pizza dough from the Healthy Everythingtarian.  One of the four ingredients?  A bottle of beer.  SCORE!  So, I made our pizza dough with flour we had on hand (which happened to be two cups of whole wheat graham flour and one cup of bread flour) and a bottle of Magic Hat Hex beer.   The bread flour was a mistake, I think.  The pizza dough was a little too tough.  I have to think that the extra gluten in the bread flour was the culprit there.  So, I will DEFINITELY be making it again soon with better flour options.  Perhaps spelt flour, hmm??  Anyhow, our pizza had sundried tomatoes (which I found for $2.99 for a 16 oz bag that were simply dried and not in oil!), fresh basil, fresh spinach, red onion, garlic infused olive oil, ricotta dollops, mozzarella, and parmesan.  The flavor was great.  The crust just needs the right flour.  
Wednesday: I used the left over rotisserie chicken to make chicken, onion, and spinach quesadillas on wheat tortillas.  The flavor was off?  Perhaps using beer-marinated chicken in a Tex-Mex dish was a poor idea?  Or maybe it’s just my boss took us out for Mexican at lunch?  These were unsatisfying, and I usually gobble my quesadillas up.  The husband, on the other hand, said they were good.  So….probably the Mexican lunch that did these in!

Thursday: Inspired by all the pumpkin in the blog-o-sphere, I decided I wanted to try to make a pumpkin pasta sauce!  I read about 6-10 recipes then went my own way with it.  This sauce had half a diced onion, three thinly sliced tiny sweet peppers ( a red bell would work fine), two cloves of garlic, a shake of red pepper flake, half a can of pureed pumpkin, veggie stock, half a teaspoon of ground ginger, half a teaspoon of hot smoked paprika, a grate of nutmeg, and one ounce of Neufchatel cheese.  I served it with ricotta and goat cheese ravioli.  I didn’t realize the ravioli had basil pasta for the shell!  How pretty are those colors?!  Seriously.  My husband repeated over and over how delicious this was.  Now that my friends, is a winner!  Make it.  Make it now!  I was going to serve it with garlic bread, but we had left over pizza.  Waste not, want not!  

Riley says…silly Mommy, you almost posted the food on the wrong day!  

Yes, Riley, I did.  Now roll over.

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