"I think it's nice that there are all different kinds of lunches and breakfasts and dinners and snacks. I think eating is nice." – Albert from Bread and Jam for Frances, by Russell C. Hoban
Okay, the weather is better but the repeating round of meal planning, shopping, cooking, cleanup, serving and eating is..exhausting to belly and soul. How to survive? Plan well. Build your meals from stuff that goes together and can be used
This morning I thought to myself. Shabbat again? I can do this.
Friday night, we’ll grill or quick sear locus/grouper steaks – they’re defrosting on the counter – as well as big portobello mushrooms. While the grill is hot, we’ll fire up some peppers and onions (for Saturday’s lentil salad).
The fish will be served with mango salsa – chopped mango, parsley and cilantro, chopped tomato, sliced scallion or minced red onion, olive oil, lime juice and zest – for a fresh and tasty main course. We’ll add in roasted sweet potatoes – roasted fat sticks of sweets with coarse salt, lots of cinnamon, and olive oil (45 minutes or so, first covered then uncovered, in a 400 oven).
We’ll open the meal with a few spreads and a fresh, green salad. We’ll finish with some ice cream or sorbet – purchased instead of homemade unless we end up with extra energy to make something simple like chocolate sorbet. (And I confess to still having some ginger-cranberry biscotti in the freezer from my pre-Rosh Hashanah baking).
Saturday lunch? Grilled onions and peppers will be chopped and added into a black-lentil salad. I cooked 1 kilo of black lentils and froze half last week. Chopped parsley, crumbled feta, and toasted nuts (buy a ready made mix or leave out) combined with with a zesty, mustard dressing (olive oil, lemon juice, lots of mustard, apple juice, salt and pepper) for a savory salad. I cubed and roasted butternut squash with olive oil, salt and rosemary (40 minutes approx at 400, covered for the first 20), and will add that to the salad – but it could stand on its own if you don’t want to add that step.
We’ll have sesame noodles – made a double batch of peanut sauce, so it’s at the ready for the final round of holidaying, if we want it over rice and veggies or for another batch of noodles. We’ll have salad and spreads again, along with some ready-made stuffed vegetables (if I’m concerned that we don’t have enough), think grape leaves, cabbage and onions, bought locally. But you could present your fish or mushrooms if you made extra Friday night. When offering grilled fish from the night before, cutting the next-day-grilled-taste with a lemony dressing really helps, especially if its a fattier fish like salmon. Or salad your fish by adding in some minced celery and herbs and a dash of mayo or lemon juice and olive oil.
Dessert? Fruit and cookies. Either we’ll bake or pick up our favorite thin cinnamon cookies from a local bakery.
Nobody will starve. So, what are you doing?