Meal Plan This Week

I kept it pretty simple this week. But I’m also trying out an involved recipe to bring for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. So far the wild rice stuffing is a hit and will only need a few tweaks for next week. I’ll post it once its perfected.

Dinners: 1) Banana Black Beans with Brown Rice (made ahead) 2) Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing with Walnuts (made ahead, recipe to come) 3) Cherry Sesame Kale Salad (dressing and nuts made ahead) 4) Moroccan Chickpeas (made ahead) 5) Carrot Soup (recipe not online)

Snacks, lunch stuff, and breakfast: – 2 cups bean dip – cheesy pinto bean dip – Half a gallon bag of sliced raw veggies, cucumber, carrot, and celery for snacking, salads and wraps – 24 mini Orange-Cranberry muffins (recipe to come), for breakfast and snacking – 3-5lbs whole roasted fingerling potatoes for snacking or lunches – 8 ears corn on the cob for snacking or lunches – 6 cups of cooked brown and wild rice mix, for breakfast, salads, wraps – Dressing: Sweet Asian Chili – A two gallon bag of washed greens, roman (1/2 head), shredded cabbage (1/4 head) and carrot, and kale (1/2 bunch) for lunch salads or dinner side dishes – Chopped green onions, 1 bunch, for salads and wraps – Fresh fruit for breakfast and snacks

Moroccan Chickpeas

Moroccan Chickpeas

Notes: These are fantastic. I think I have made them every week for a month. The kiddo REALLY loves them. This makes a lot of food. If you get sick of eating it, try a squeeze of fresh lemon to change up the flavor.

★★★★★ Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 4 hrs 30 mins | Makes: Serves 10 | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients: 2 small onions, thinly sliced 6 cloves garlic, minced 1 lb dried chickpeas Handful raisins Handful dried apricots 1 T ground turmeric 2 t ground cinnamon 1 T ground cumin .5 t cayenne pepper .5 t smoked sweet paprika honey to taste Salt to taste

Directions: Add everything to a slow cooker, cover with water, cook on high for 4 hours or until beans are done. Salt to taste. Serve with or without a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Source: http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/chickpea-tagine-with-cinnamon-cumin-and-carrots/

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Sweet Asian Chili Dressing (aka Dragon Breath Dressing)

Sweet Asian Chili Dressing

I’ve been making this dressing for months now, and everyone loves it. I’ve hesitated publishing it because I rarely measure when making it. And when I do measure, it doesn’t seem to matter much when I change the measurements because its always good. In other words, you can’t mess this up.

This dressing has a strong flavor from the raw ginger and garlic. After eating it, people are going to smell ya coming and going!

★★★★★

Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 0 hr 0 min | Makes: 2 servings | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

1 clove fresh garlic, grated 1/2 inch fresh ginger root, grated .25-.5 c rice wine vinegar .25-.5 c sweet chili sauce 1-2 T Braggs Directions:

Mix and serve on salad, potatoes, rice, veggies, anything!

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Eggplant Green Curry

Eggplant Green Curry

Notes: I love me some coconut milk! It’s been the last unhealthy fat I’ve given up. But I was able to do a lot of experimenting over the last few weeks and I think I’ve found a suitable replacement for SOME applications. Making a cashew milk, and adding coconut extract, works great with this curry application. It does NOT work great when making coconut rice! That was a total fail, but one I’m still trying to figure out. This dish is one of my all time favorites, and I’m SO glad I was able to adapt it (it’s not the exact same as using coconut milk but it hits the spot)! It requires several hard to find ingredients (kaffir lime leaves and fresh lemon grass) but they are well worth tracking down because the flavor just isn’t the same without them. In fact, what inspired me to make this dish this week was the fact that Central Market happened to have fresh kaffir limes, which I had never seen before! They were perfect squeezed on top of this dish. Kaffir lime leaves might be in the freezer section. If you find them fresh, freeze the leftovers for next time. The lemon grass needs to be fresh. I’ve tried a few jarred and paste versions of lemon grass and they all sucked.

A note about extracts: extract flavors and strengths can vary wildly. Start small, you can always add more as it’s cooking.

The fish sauce in this recipe is totally optional. It’s the only animal product I still keep around because of one recipe I make where the flavor can’t be duplicated. But in this recipe, you won’t miss it if you want to leave it out.

★★★★★ Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins | Makes: Serves 2-3 | Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients: 2 Japanese eggplants, cut into bite-sized pieces 1 red bell pepper, seeded, sliced into half sticks 1 can of bamboo shoots (optional) 1-2 tablespoons green curry paste (depending on brand and spice level preference) 2/3 c cashews water 1-2 c almond milk (depending on how saucy you like it) 2 t coconut extract (depends on extract strength) 3 kaffir lime leaves 1 lemongrass stalk, cut into three pieces and bruised 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional) 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1/4 cup Thai Basil or Sweet Basil leaves 1 lime (kaffir lime if you can find it) Cooked brown rice

Directions:

Put cashews in a two cup measuring cup and add water until you reach two cups. Soak cashews anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight (if soaking 20 minutes use warm water). Blend cashews, water and coconut extract in food processor or blender until very smooth.

Place a wide bottom pan over high heat. Add eggplant and cook until it becomes charred brown and blistered. Almost all the eggplant needs to touch the bottom of the pan, if your pan is too small, cook in batches. You need the flavor from charred eggplant not steamed eggplant.

Now it’s time to bloom the curry. Start by opening some doors and windows and turn on all your fans, then evacuate young children and non-essential personnel! If you’re using a good curry paste, the fumes created by this process will leave everyone coughing! Push eggplant to the sides of the pan. Add the curry paste to the center and saute for about 30 seconds (it will stick to the pan but it’s ok). Add the faux coconut milk and scrape the pan. Mix curry with milk until smooth then mix in the eggplant.

Add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, brown sugar, 1 cup almond milk, and bell pepper. Cook on low, covered, until softened to desired level, adding more almond milk as it dries out. Serve over rice with basil and lime wedges on the side.

Source: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/eggplant_green_curry/

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