BellyGrowling #3, a week worth of dinners

from Jan

Sunday, Chili and cornbread 

Yes, we had chili again!  It has been such a winner with everyone lately and with a few cool days now and again, I just can’t help myself!  Plus, it is an easy throw it all in the pot and let it sit recipe.  That was a very important benefit on this day as we had been out all day and were all hungry and tired.  I think you all know what that means…food STAT! 

Click for the recipe and check out Thursday's entry.   

I think I am just going to keep the ingredients for chili on hand all fall/winter. 

Monday, Noodles with mushrooms, broccoli, and edamame 

Last week, I found kelp noodles at the market and decided it would be funny to have them at dinner and then tell Joshua what they were after we ate them.  (I’m a laugh riot!)  Also, I noticed on the package that no cooking was required!   

I used a simple sauce:  ¼ cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 ½ tablespoons orange juice, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon ketchup, and 1 tablespoon chili paste.  After mixing all the ingredients together, I combined the sautéed vegetables and kelp noodles with the sauce.   

The noodles were fine, a bit crunchy.  The negative was that they did not absorb the flavors from the sauce as a rice or egg noodle might have, so the dish was not too flavorful.  I did get a very satisfying “WHAT???” when I told Joshua the noodles were made from kelp…after he ate his serving! 

Tuesday, Salmon and pasta with marinara sauce and ricotta-spinach dumplings (planned); Salmon and pasta with marinara sauce with ricotta stirred into the sauce (actual) 

We had a friend over after school and I just didn’t get to making the ricotta-spinach dumplings as I’d hoped.  But, I love ricotta cheese and really was looking forward to it.  So, in a pinch, I just stirred (a lot of) the ricotta into the marinara sauce with the pasta.  It turned out to be just as well that I did not hurry myself and make the effort on the dumplings:  Joshua had his pasta plain and Jeremy did not have any pasta.  I thoroughly enjoyed my easy ricotta pasta (and I’m not one to complain about skipping spinach).  The salmon was easy.  I just put some seasonings and oil and let it bake.  Both boys enjoyed it! 

I do hope to make the spinach-ricotta dumplings sometime.  It looks like a fun recipe to make with kids and I have almost an entire container of ricotta in my freezer!  Here is the recipe: www.myrecipes.com/recipe/ricotta-spinach-dumplings 

Wednesday, Make-at-home pizza 

We wanted to eat at home this night, but were trying to think of something that was (1) not noodles and (2) not like anything we would have for Thanksgiving.  And, since I was the only one who had marinara sauce the night before, and not much of it, we decided on pizza.  Per usual, we all made our own pizzas.  For me, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella, mushrooms, and onions.  For Jeremy, lots and lots of sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, onions, and pineapple.  For Joshua, sauce and ricotta.  When I opened the ricotta, Joshua was instantly enamored by its texture and declared he REALLY LIKED it so much that it was all he put on his pizza.  And, to his credit, he did eat a lot of his pizza (and several spoonfuls of sauce and ricotta while making said pizza). 

Joshua, on the side, simply ate bowls of ricotta cheese. This wasn't part of the meal, but rather just him enjoying the ricotta. Turns out, I'm not the only fan in the house.  We'll have to figure out fair distribution in the future now that I no longer have a cheese monopoly. 

Thursday, Thanksgiving 

We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with family.  We hope you enjoyed yours, too!   

Friday, Whole Foods Prepared Foods Buffet 

Jeremy and I had taken advantage of Grandma’s special Joshua-watching services this day, so while we were home for dinner, we were not prepared to make dinner!  One of the advantages of our location is that Jeremy was able to walk over to Whole Foods and magically, dinner is ready! (And, apparently, Joshua loves tuna salad with cranberries…who knew?) 

Saturday, Soy-Ginger whitefish with farro and cruciferous medley 

This was my favorite dinner of the week.  We had been to the farmer’s market in the morning and Joshua picked out a stalk of brussel sprouts, a bunch of beets, heads of romanesco, and purple cauliflower.  He and I diligently, removed brussel sprouts from the stalk, chopped up the romanesco and cauliflower and removed the leaves and roots from the beets.  The kitchen was a mess and we were proud of all our work!  I was talking about the word cruciferous in relation to the vegetables when Joshua declared that all of this was, in fact, not vegetables but cruciferous so he could eat them (he is on a bit of a vegetable hiatus right now).  I am not one to contradict a 4.5 year old! 

So, we roasted, steamed, boiled and baked.  I have not seen Joshua eat so much of such a healthy meal in a long time!  And, he was really proud of all he’d done to pick out and prepare so much of it.  It really warmed our hearts. 

I really did not use any recipes for this dinner.  The fish was a frozen whitefish with the sauce from Trader Joe’s.  I put olive oil and pepper on the roasted vegetables.  To the ¾ cup of farro, once cooked, I stirred in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, ½ tablespoon of sesame oil, and sesame seeds to taste. 

Joshua had three servings of farro, finishing off the entire bowl! When the kid likes something he goes all in.