Challenge completed! JW and I managed to get though an entire week without doing groceries! The experience was surprisingly satisfying — besides clearing out a lot of what was cluttering our freezer and pantry, we saved about 100$. I think I will try to make it regular practice to work in at least one meal each week that is composed solely from what I already have on hand.
– Grilled salmon kebabs
Wild Canadian sockeye salmon is on special at my grocery store this week. I thought I would make the most of the last days of nice weather where I can still use the BBQ before it gets too dark.
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1-1/2 pounds skinless wild salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 lemons, very thinly sliced into rounds
- olive oil cooking spray
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 16 bamboo skewers soaked in water 1 hour
- Heat the grill one medium heat and spray the grates with oil. Mix oregano, sesame seeds, cumin, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl to combine; set spice mixture aside.
- Beginning and ending with salmon, thread salmon and folded lemon slices onto 8 pairs of parallel skewers to make 8 kebabs total. Spray the fish lightly with oil and season kosher salt and the reserved spice mixture.
- Cook salmon to desired doneness. Serve with salad.
The original recipe was for flounder piccata, but you could use whatever white fish you prefer (or even chicken!). I’m going to use cod because it’s on special this week.
- 4 cod fillets
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large egg whites
- 2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- olive oil spray (about 1 tbsp worth)
- 1 tbsp butter
- juice of 1 lemon, lemon halves reserved
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
- 1 tbsp capers, drained
- sliced lemon, for serving
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for serving
- Season fish with salt and pepper. Heat oven to 200°. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg whites. Place the bread crumbs in another dish. Dip each fish filet in the egg whites, then bread crumbs.
- Heat a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Spray a generous amount of olive oil spray on one side of the fish, and lay it in the pan, oil side down. Spray the other side of the fish generously to coat and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until fish is opaque and cooked through. Set aside on a platter in a warm oven until you make the sauce.
- Over medium heat in the same pan, melt butter, add the lemon juice, wine, chicken broth and the reserved lemon halves, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Boil over high heat until the liquid is reduced to half, about 3 – 4 minutes. Discard the lemon halves, add the capers and spoon the sauce over the fish; place a slice of lemon on each filet and top with fresh parsley.
I’m still trying to get through the 10-lb bag of potatoes my mother-in-law brought us a few weeks ago. I found this recipe for scalloped potatoes, which is a relatively healthier version than the classic, over at Skinny Taste. I’ve only adapted it slightly.
- olive oil
- 6 medium peeled yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/8-inch-thick (2 lb 4 oz peeled)
- 2 tbsp light butter, melted
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup fat free milk
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tsp thyme
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Oil an 11 x 7-inch baking dish.
- In a large bowl, combine potatoes, butter, salt, garlic powder and fresh cracked pepper. Arrange the potato slices in the oiled baking dish.
- In a small saucepan, bring milk, thyme, bay leaf and nutmeg to a boil; pour over potatoes. Bake uncovered, for 45 – 50 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
The recipe is translated from Trois Fois Par Jour, a food blog my friend Amé introduced me to earlier this summer. The original recipe calls for boneless chicken thighs, but you could use bone-in too I suppose. You may need to extend the cooking time and make sure the inside is cooked properly.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups of leeks, cleaned and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 tbsp Old-style (grainy) mustard
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 to 2 tbsps fresh chopped tarragon (or other favorite herb)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 325 °F. In a big skillet, heat olive oil and brown the thighs. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to an oven-safe pan.
- In the same skillet, add the leek and garlic, sautéing for 5 minutes or so over medium heat until soft. Deglaze the pan with wine, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Stir well, season generously and spoon over the chicken. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven.
- Meanwhile, in the same skillet, prepare the rice. Heat the olive oil and soften the onion. Add the rice, stirring well to coat with butter. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the rice has completely absorbed all the liquid.
- Fluff the rice with a fork when done, and add the chives. Serve with the chicken.
This will be my use-only-the-ingredients-I-already-have recipe for the week — or almost. Cauliflower and carrots will be in my basket this week, I have some green beans in my freezer, and lentils and spices in my pantry. I will only have to get a can of tomatoes. My version is very slightly adapted from the original which I found in one of my cookbooks.
- 2/3 cup yellow lentils
- 2/3 cup red lentils
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tsps ground cumin
- 2 tsps ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
- One 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 1/4 cups green beans, trimmed and halved
- 3 tbsps plain yogurt
- Rinse the lentils separately in cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and put the yellow lentils in a small bowl covered with water and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain well.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Stir in the spices and cook for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the lentils, tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the carrots and cauliflower. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the beans and cook, covered, for an additional 5 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the vegetables are cooked. Stir in the yogurt. Serve over rice or naan bread.
Man, I can’t get over how much I love Smitten Kitchen. I always find the most perfectly delectable, yet easy-to-make recipes that feed my exact cravings. This flatbread pizza recipe (taken verbatim from the original) will be the perfect dinner for JW and I before we head off to our friends’ Halloween party. I may or may not add some roasted chicken strips — I’ll see how I feel.
- 1 1/2 pounds pizza dough
- 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 large leeks
- 1 12-oz bundle chard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup corn kernels
- Cornmeal, for sprinkling baking surface
- 4 oz goat cheese
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Trim the ends off your leeks and halve them lengthwise. Cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch half-rings. Fill a medium bowl with very cold water and drop in sliced leeks. Swish them around with your fingers, letting any sandy dirt fall to the bottom. Scoop out the leeks and drain them briefly on a towel, but no need to get them fully dry. Do the same with your chard ribbons, but you can leave the leaves on towels until they’re nearly fully dry, while you cook the leeks.
- Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add butter and oil and once they’re fully melted and a bit sizzly, add the leek slices. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook leek for 10 to 13 minutes, stirring occasionally. Raise heat back to medium, add the chard ribbons and cook until they wilt, about 4 minutes. Season mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper, adding more if needed. Finally, add your corn kernels, cooking them with the leeks and chard for just another minute.
- Sprinkle two baking sheets with cornmeal. If you have pesky old baking trays like I do, and your breads really like to stick to them, I find things will release more reliably if you first lightly spray them with an oil before sprinkling on the cornmeal. Roll or stretch half your dough into a rectangular-ish shape (flatbreads are prettiest when they’re irregularly shaped, in my humble opinion) and arrange it on the prepared sheet. Spread half the leek-corn-chard mixture on it. Sprinkle it with half the log of goat cheese, crumbled into small bits.
- Bake flatbread in oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the edges of the bread begin to brown slightly (they might brown more deeply in a better oven than they did in my lousy one). Repeat with remaining dough, filling and goat cheese.
- To serve, slide each flatbread onto a cutting board and cut into 8 rectangles. Serve immediately.