The Week I Planned Meals…

It only lasted a week, but last week I planned five different dinners for Caroline and I (and the Manpanion). From salads to pasta to a tart that I didn’t end up making (sorry, Christine…soon, I promise!), I planned it all, made my grocery list, and off to the store I went.

My least favorite was Caroline’s favorite; Blueberry Spinach Salad. The salad was simple enough:

  • 10 ounces of Spinach leaves
  • 4 ounces of blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup of pecans
I think it was the dressing that through me off. It was a homemade dressing:
  • 1/4 light olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was little to tangy for me. Just not my favorite.
On the other hand, I LOVED the South-of-the-Border Salad:
  • Romain lettuce
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 purple onion
  • Blended Mexican Cheese
  • 1 can kernel corn
  • 1 can black chopped black olives
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
The Manpanion balked when he heard the ingredients, but after a taste or two finished the bowl off and then asked for seconds. I think I found a winner.
Next on the menu was Pasta with Goat Cheese and Basil Oil. I still need that food processor (especially for this one). Christmas is a ways off, so I may have to loosen the purse strings and go for it myself soon.  But I improvised and the end result wasn’t half bad.
  • 12 ounces gemelli or short pasta
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (pureed)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Cook pasta, drain and return to pot.
In a blender, puree 2 cups fresh basil leaves with 1/2 cup of olive oil until smooth. Drain and discard solids. Toss pasta with the basil oil, 4 ounces crumbled fresh goat cheese, 1 cup fresh basil leaves, salt and pepper.
Because I have no blender, I skipped the puree and just used olive oil, and added the fresh basil and goat cheese. Delicious.
I have two more recipes that I didn’t make and will save for a later post, but there were plenty of leftovers for later meals. Overall, I was pleased with meals for the week. Making a list and going grocery shopping is the best way to stay on budget for the month and keep you from return trips later on.
Even the best laid plans fall through. Our schedules changed and meals were skipped (or eaten out), but the ingredients are there for later dates. But I wish I did this all the time. I ate healthier, fresher, and less expensively for the week. Plus, I was able to prepare meals/take care of Caroline and the Manpanion and I thrive off of that.
Happy Cooking!