Tag Archives: quick meal ideas

Weekly Menus: Week of 7/7/2013

Gentle Readers, summer is going full tilt here at Team Practical Cook HQ. Between blistering heat, monsoons, and a rain of toads (fine, a single gecko looking escapee), life has been wonderfully busy. Still not a lot of kitchen time, but we are cooking, and we are eating together, and we are trying new things.

This gentleman attempted to sell us insurance from a water fountain at Carowinds.

This gentleman attempted to sell us insurance from a water fountain at Carowinds.

Last night we visited Korea, and this happened. That was formerly Kalbi (ribs), Edamame, and BiBimBap. I didn’t have a chance to shoot the empty dumpling plate. The Youngest even tried the fish cakes that came as part of the round of free appetizers. Chopsticks were wielded with a vengeance.

TPCs Jr left not a trace at Minga in Chapel Hill.

TPCs Jr left not a trace at Minga in Chapel Hill.

So the grocery list continues to be about fresh fruits and veggies, and snack food. The focus is on learning to be strong swimmers and as much adventure as we can cram into a few weeks. Above all, keep your head up and your hands in the air.

Wave your hands in the air like you just don't care. (Goldrusher at Carowinds)

Wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care. (Goldrusher at Carowinds)

So this week’s weekly menus are:

Weekly Menus: 7/7/2013

Weekly Menus: 7/7/2013

And the Four Square Grocery Shopping List is:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 7/7/2013

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 7/7/2013

Which all means:

Sunday: Pasta and Salad
At the request of The Eldest PC, we’re having carbonara and a Ceasar Salad. Simple, comforting, easy to make.

Who needs croutons? We use chow mein noodles.

Who needs croutons? We use chow mein noodles.

Monday: Spinach Quesadilla
Straight back from college, this has become our quick meal of summer. It’s a little different each time, and crazy easy to make. Look for a post soon about how to make Ranchero Beans from canned pintos in a flash.

Spinach Quesadilla and Ranchero Beans

Spinach Quesadilla and Ranchero Beans

Tuesday: Omelets
We are egg-crazy right now. Great way to feed greens to TPCs JR, and infinite variety. Add toast for crunch, or possibly some grits. Win!

Green eggs frying in the pan . . .

Green eggs frying in the pan . . .

Wednesday: Sammies!
Also known as Mama Tapas, we are doing a lot of open-faced sandwiches. Cheese and apple, tuna salad, guacammus (another test kitchen experiment, results pending), you name it, we’ll try it.

Open-faced tomato sammie, or tapas!

Open-faced tomato sammie, or tapas!

Thursday: Leftover delight!
We have more travel in our future, so we are constantly trying to eat down our supplies as opposed to buying more. This meal will be whatever is left atop a bed of greens. Slightly frostbitten veggie corn dogs may be an entree. It is not glamorous, but it is necessary!

Friday: Not Dogs
Though I’ve lost some enthusiasm for hot dogs after seeing my first hot dog eating contest (I just saw pictures of the winners before–I have looked into the heart of food darkness, and this is it), I’m still craving them. Last week it didn’t work out to eat hot dogs on the 4th, as is required by US Law, so I’m delaying.

Saturday: Dine Out!
So much great outdoor dining to do. I’ve got a date planned with my foodie gal pal who never steers me wrong! Field research commence!

What do you eat when you’re on vacation? Do you dine out, cook big family style meals in, snack? Post your comments below!

Questions, comments, SPF? Send them to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Coming up Wednesday: Adapted Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe!

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Weekly Menus: Week of 4/21/2013

Gentle Readers, spring is now officially here. Now is the exact time I start feeling guilty about not getting to the farmer’s market more often. Life has intervened, and Saturday mornings have been claimed by sports instead of bright-yellow egg yolks. I need to work on finding some balance there.

Sunflower Yellow Egg Yolk from Farm Fresh Egg

Sunflower Yellow Egg Yolk from Farm Fresh Egg

Meanwhile, I’m spending more time in the kitchen, which is a good thing. I’ve had some truly inspiring food conversations as of late. Look for more recipes in development, and more video. Still contemplating 2 posts per week instead of 3. My high-tech world keeps colliding with my food world in terms of people, topics, and time, so we shall see.

But alas, these pollen induced musings are not why you’re here (though why you are, I’m sure I don’t know). Here are this week’s menus:

Weekly Menus: 4/21/2013

Weekly Menus: 4/21/2013

And the Four-Square Grocery shopping list:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 4/21/2013

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 4/21/2013

Which all means:

Sunday: Soup and Sammie
I have some leftovers to attend to, and some pork bones in the freezer. I predict pork noodle soup in the future. With extra Sriracha, in spite of my better judgment.

Pork Noodle Soup with Mushrooms and Siracha

Pork Noodle Soup with Mushrooms and Siracha

Monday: Dal and Rice
This will be intentional leftover food. I had some amazing dal over the weekend, and was reminded how simple it was to make. Indian food at home does not have to be a 3-ring circus. I can make bread, rice, and dal, simple veggie side, in 45 or less. You can too.

Sunday Dinner: Indian Edition (Dal, Black-Eyed Peas and Corn, Rice, Buttermilk Okra)

Sunday Dinner: Indian Edition (Dal, Black-Eyed Peas and Corn, Rice, Buttermilk Okra)

Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner
Because I am a Bacon-of-the-Month club member, that’s why.

Wednesday: Leftovers
Midweek gets tiring and hard, so time to rely on good work from earlier days.

Thursday: Portobella Caps and Salad
Working on refining this recipe. Stuffed with a warm bean filling, but I’m considering adding bacon (leftover from earlier in the week) or topping with panko and broiling for the finish.

Portobella Caps with Warm Bean Filling

Portobella Caps with Warm Bean Filling

Friday: Steak and Potatoes
We have a lot of meat to use up in the freezer, and I’m getting better about remembering to thaw it. Go team!

Saturday: Dine Out
We may venture out of town a little bit to do some food reviews. TPCs Jr grow restless.

What are you cooking for springtime? Have you transitioned to lighter fare? Post a comment, send a tweet, say Hi on Instagram. I’m out here.

Send ideas, random challenges, and food confessions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Coming up Wednesday: Food Rodeo Review, New Finds on New Turf.

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One Ingredient, Three Ways: Just Beet It!

Gentle Readers, sometimes one has to pump iron. That is both literal and figurative. I’m a big fan of a few curls between conference calls, but also of the humble yet sweet beet. How many vegetables are that nutritious and that pretty at the same time?

Sweet Roasted Beets

Sweet Roasted Beets

Admittedly, I grew up a beet fan, surrounded by scads of home-canned pickled ones. I am spoiled that way. I have featured beets on more than on occasion on these very pages. And, in the land of vegetarians, the multi-colored vegetables are king. That’s an old proverb. That I just made up.

Squeaky Clean Beets

Squeaky Clean Beets

One Ingredient, Three Ways: Beets

1. Raw and shredded: This is my new favorite salad topping at the Whole Foods salad bar. I admit that I have a WF salad bar problem, as the infinite combinations and pretty colors lure me. Raw shredded beets are gorgeous, flavorful, and add a nice peppery crunch. Give them a try, just wear an apron if you grate them by hand.

Take it from the pros like Whole Foods, Salad Bars work.

Take it from the pros like Whole Foods, Salad Bars work.

2. Pickled on a salad: Cubes of pickled beet with herb salad mix (my personal fave), walnuts, and a salty grated cheese is the bomb. Goat is a natural match, but don’t overlook Romano or the Sartori Balsamic Bellavitano. Simply dressed, the crunch and the sweet are an amazing combo.

Pickled Beets, Walnuts, Sartori Cheese and Herb Salad Mix. Divine.

Pickled Beets, Walnuts, Sartori Cheese and Herb Salad Mix. Divine.

3. Sliced on a burger: Be it beef, buffalo, veggie, or portabello, beets on burgers are awesome. They are awesome AS burgers (Goaty McBeet Burger FTW). Why not layer iron on iron? Add some sauteed onions and goat cheese and you have a party on your hands.

Goaty McBeet Burger with Slaw

Goaty McBeet Burger with Slaw

If you’ve not given beets a chance lately, try them and let me know. Post a comment below. I’m listening. With my superhuman beet-powered ears.

Send your questions, kudos, and confessions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Coming up next, Sunday Menus: I’m Eating Your Dinner Edition.

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