Sunday, October 14, 2012

weekend eat-a-thon, again!

Recently, I described my weekend as an "eat-a-thon," as I tend to do most of my cooking over the weekends while John is around, and live off leftovers during the week.  This past weekend was no exception!

Our weekend started a little early this week, as I had some downtime between jobs.  I decided to plan a fun Thursday night dinner -- baked potato bar!  I ended up coming up with so many ideas for toppings, I had to split my potato in half and "theme" each one.

Potato #1 -- the "traditional"

Following a bit of butter and salt, I piled on sauteed mushrooms, steamed frozen broccoli, homemade sour cream, Coconut Bacon, and minced garden chives.  A note on the coconut bacon . . . I really liked it, John didn't.  He doesn't care for coconut, so that makes sense.  :)

Potato #2 -- the "southwestern"

Plenty of seasoned black beans, Cheddar Cheese Sauce, salsa, and garden green onions.  I was really happy with how this batch of beans turned out, and that cheese sauce?  Awesome.  I think this was the first time that I've made a cheese sauce that hasn't broken!  Woo!  The trick?  Let the sauce cool a LOT longer than you think it needs to before whisking in the cheese.  We both loved this sauce -- it was light, creamy, cheesy, totally easy to make, and a budget-friendly way to stretch a small amount of cheese out into several servings.  I think I'll make this sauce again soon, and add it to some hot cooked macaroni for a healthier version of stovetop mac and cheese!

John had a long day working outdoors in the cold on Friday, so I figured he needed a pretty hearty meal at the end of the day:

Nutloaf, homemade-buttermilk-garlic mashed potatoes, Quick Gravy, and oven-roasted green beans.  Nutloaf, while neither inexpensive nor terribly healthy, is terribly tasty.  :)  I recommend leftovers sliced, with ketchup, in-between two slices of good wholegrain bread.  We both really liked the gravy, too, (and it really was quick!) although I think I'd add an extra tsp of flour next time -- it was just a little too thin in my opinion.

Breakfast Saturday -- Carrot Cake Pancakes:

Who doesn't want to sneak in a serving of veggies at breakfast?  :)  I didn't have quite enough carrots this time 'round, so I ended up using about half shredded carrots and half shredded garden zucchini, with good results.  John was out of whole wheat flour, so I used all-purpose . . . and we both decided we preferred the hearty, nutty flavor of the whole-wheat flour in this recipe.  The AP pancakes were too sweet and too plain tasting, in our opinion!

A picnic lunch Saturday:

Homemade butternut squash soup, Kalamata Olive Bread with Oregano, sharp cheddar, and an apple.  The soup turned out really well, and I was excited to use some of the squash we grew in our garden this year!  I also really liked the olive bread -- it was dense without being heavy, savory but not too salty, and held up well during backpack transport.  (I also got to use some fresh oregano from our garden!)

Breakfast today:

Cheesy scrambled eggs, Buttermilk Waffles, orange juice, and coffee.  Have I mentioned lately how much I love buttermilk?  Yeah?  Well . . . these waffles were another excellent use of my new favorite ingredient.  Crispy, light, slightly tangy, offset by a sweet drizzle of syrup.  Waffle perfection!

Dinner tonight -- Festive Chickpea Tart:

This was quite tasty, and very easy to make in advance -- I prepped the filling on Friday afternoon, stuck it in the fridge, and spooned it into the pie shell tonight before baking.  Superfast dinner in the oven!  However, I did make a couple of changes to the original recipe, including adding more oil and a couple of well-beaten eggs to the base.  My filling looked so dry after I mixed everything together, I wasn't convinced it was going to set up at all, and didn't want a crumbly mess on my hands!  Adding the eggs and extra oil gave the tart a beautiful structure, although it was no longer vegan.  Thoughts?  I might try this again using hummus as the base, adding some whole chickpeas for texture, and keeping the other veggies and seasonings basically the same.  Flavor-wise, this was fantastic, and surprisingly filling!

Better get to bed -- big day at the new job tomorrow!

1 comment:

Eileen said...

Nothing wrong with a good weekend of eating! In fact, there are plenty of things right with that... :) Waffles!!