Weekly Meal Plan 6/8-6/14

Strawberries, strawberries everywhere!! My own patch has been super productive this year and WOW are they sweet and delicious and red all the way through. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, try some homegrown or farmers market berries. Many of those available in the store have been bred to last a long time, but have lost some of their essential strawberry-ness. I am a strawberry freak and will happily even eat the bland cousins of my own garden strawberries when they are at their lowest price in early summer. I watch all my little strawberries closely (I mean the ones I’m not eating or putting in food) and when they get dusky (a little too dark, just pre-rot), I freeze them for use in smoothies. More on making the most of strawberries here.

So this week, since I’m inundated with strawberries, I thought it might be fun to experiment a little. Some savory strawberry dishes sound like just the ticket. Add to that a warm week and the annoying continuation of the cabinet renovation project and some cool dishes sound like a good way to go.

Monday: Strawberry Pistachio Quinoa with Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette, grilled corn, sautéed green beans

Tuesday: Strawberry Tomato and Fennel Gazpacho, Mixed Grain Bread, Smoky Baba Ghanoush, green salad

Wednesday: Vegan French Toast with Balsamic or Rosemaried Strawberries (working on the details there but thinking something like this)

Thursday: Asian Varia-Bowls (good for hot weather), chopped veggies, pickled carrots

Friday: Homemade Pizza, cut veggies

Saturday: Cucumber Soup with Herbed Cucumber Relish, Mixed Grain Bread,

Sunday: Homemade Kale Pasta with Basil Pesto, Massaged Kale Salad

Lunchbox Treats: Yeah, we have 8 school days left. I’m not baking right now. Sue me.

Adult Lunches: We will be meditating in the remaining quiet for lunch (and eating leftovers)

 

I hope it is a little less sultry and steamy where you are, and that your strawberries are plump and plentiful. Eat well, be well friends.

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The Garden Welcomes Us Home

Thankfully our return to mid-Maryland yesterday was relatively uneventful, which is to say that the dog did NOT vomit on me this time.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.  In addition to a pretty pleasant ride home, we arrived in time to see vegetative splendor all over the garden.  WOW!  Everything is going crazy and it is such a joy to tame it all again by eating. 🙂

This morning I harvested a shoe box full of peas (note to self, be more clear about dividing into shelling and non shelling when planting.  They’ve married one another and made things a bit tricky, but delicious.  The cauliflower actually has little cauliflower nubs in it.  The onions are going gangbusters and the beets and carrots have enormous greens on top.  The lettuce withstood the unseasonable heat and all the new plantings done in haste before our trip seem to have settled in.  The tomatoes look dubious, as usual, but that’s a post for another day as I don’t wish my garden gratitude to be spoiled.

We had originally planned to go the store this morning to pick up more supplies for our trip-empty fridge and within an hour of harvesting, it was very clear that we wouldn’t need to go anywhere.  YAY!  All sounds great, right?  It is, and I’ve saved the best for last…  oh my, how I love fresh strawberries…  This colander is a full size variety.  There were A LOT of strawberries waiting for me, which is extra swell because we had a special guest coming for dinner.  I figured it was a good time for strawberry pie.  But friends, I have to tell you, the traditional strawberry pie with the goo, well let’s just say that when it comes to food, I’m a no-goo kind of gal.  So I did a quick internet search for fresh strawberry pie… and I got an extraordinary number of either gooey or too cooked for my liking berry suggestions.  Looks like it’s time to make a new wheel.  I changed my search approach when I remembered someone saying something about strawberries and balsamic vinegar…. and the search was on. This sounded more like what I had in mind.

So I hulled and sliced about a pound and a half of strawberries, put them in a bowl with a tablespoon of balsamic and a tablespoon of sugar and let them sit there.  I defrosted a tart shell made on another day – although a regular pie crust would have been fine.  When dinner was complete, I put the balsamacized strawberries into the tart shell and made an attempt at a decorative drizzle with almond yogurt.  Delish.  Truly fresh strawberry pie, served to a new friend, and a fine feast from the garden.  Welcome home indeed!

Small Victories

It was NOT our best day.  Several home repair dilemmas have emerged simultaneously leaving us with limited and inconvenient bathing options.  Sunrise is creeping forward and my darling daughter believes in making the most of daylight.  Mommy and Daddy are not so quick to adjust their schedules and are both engrossed in good bedtime books, so we began our day of interrupted repairs with inadequate sleep.  My little sweetie also decided that today was one of THOSE days.  One of those days where she really is not interested in eating, or at least where she really is not interested in eating anything I provide.  I try not to get sucked into drama about it, but she’s not very pleasant to be around when she doesn’t eat… so you see the problem.  And a sleepy Mommy is probably not as clever in thinking of ways to deal with the situation.  So we finally arrived at dinner and quite honestly I was completely beat.  Done.  Finito.  Needless to say my extensive and totally awesome homemade dinner (homemade whole wheat tortillas and veggie chili) was not her favorite.  We struggled through without much drama, mostly because I was too tired to engage.  But wait, there is a good part to the story.  As we neared the end of dinner, I remembered that I bought some beautiful strawberries yesterday.  I also remembered that our fridge LOVES to freeze strawberries, so they shouldn’t wait.  I rinsed and destemmed them, brought a simple bowlful to the table.    I put them down and my wonderful daughter said, “Oh Mommy!  Is that dessert?”  And she meant it.  She was happy because we had a big luscious bowl of fresh strawberries with no cool whip, sprinkles, fruity goo, or high fructose corn syrup slop anywhere in sight.  She and her brother dug in and made great glorious real food-loving sounds.  Small victories in a bowl of strawberries.