Southern Ontario Menu Plan – July 8-12

the local kitchener meal plan logoIf you read this blog with some regularity you may have noticed that there was no meal plan posted last week.  Some weeks life just gets too busy to plan.  It’s not quite true that we didn’t make any plan, but what we had was a list of possible recipes, without any formal designation as to what day we would make them.  We are also enjoying the first real fruits of the summer garden vegetables—broccoli and peas—which makes planning a bit more unpredictable but also exciting as we check the garden each day to see what’s ready to eat.  We’re also definitely enjoying all the local fruits we’ve gotten from the market, or picked ourselves, like these strawberries we’ve been loving!

Most of the meals we made last week ended up coming from a great book that I picked up from the library.  The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters is a cookbook in the true sense of the word.  It features many recipes but also explains the process of making different foods.  For example, before giving a recipe for sautéed broccoli, she talks about the best methods for sautéing vegetables.  The recipes in the cookbook are quite good but the goal of the cookbook is to empower the reader to be able to create new recipes, using the book as a starting point.  Thus I felt inspired to cook the way I used to cook more often in the past—by making things up!

My favorite dish of the week was one those Alice Waters-inspired dishes, it was a side of stir-fried radishes, asparagus, and zucchini with peanuts and chili to go with pea soup and fresh sourdough bread.  (Sorry, no pictures, our camera lens is getting fixed!)

Speedy Spicy Peanut Stir Fry

  • 2 Tbs. oil or clarified butter
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 5-6 radishes, coarsely chopped
  • ½ pound asparagus, ends broken off, chopped slightly diagonally
  • 1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise, then sliced ¼-inch thick
  • ½ cup peanuts, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp (or more) crushed red chilies
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Over medium-high heat fry chopped radishes with the lid on so they steam a bit while frying.  Stir every few minutes.  After about 6-7 minutes add the chopped asparagus and zucchini, along with the chopped peanuts, minced garlic, and crushed red chilies.  Fry, stirring, just long enough for the zucchini and asparagus to be starting to brown, add salt and pepper, and serve.

Optional: Add tofu, and serve over rice!

Yeah, that dish turned out really awesome!  The vegetables were all still slightly crunchy but soft enough to be delightful to eat.  The chilies were quite spicy although they were balanced by the peanuts.  I’m still quite grateful to Joel at Well Preserved for pointing out that radishes and peanuts belong together.

Getting back to the point of this post, this week’s meal plan features dishes from The Art of Simple Food, as well as a vegetarian grilled dinner adapted from a recipe in the LCBO’s Food and Drink magazine.  We will be leaving next weekend for a trip to Michigan with my parents so the meal plan ends with Friday.  There will be no plan posted next week (but I look forward to my mom’s meal plans!).

June 24-30

Monday “100-Mile Monday”

Tuesday “Tuesday is for Grilling”

  • Grilled Tandoori Tofu and Potatoes (chop both up into large pieces, coat with tandoori paste, grill on skewers!)
  • Radish Parathas (cooked in cast iron pan on the grill, this is the closest we’ll get any time soon to cooking in a Tandoori oven)
  • Fruit Raita (in this case, yogurt with fruit and Indian seasonings)
Wednesday One-Dish Wednesday

Thursday Thursday is a day in the week

  • Frittata (use up whatever vegetable is left in fridge)
  • Roasted Potatoes and Radishes
  • Veggie Lasagna with Homemade Noodles (we’re borrowing a pasta roller from our friends and I felt like this was a good starting place for using fresh pasta!)
  • Garden Salad*

As always, linking up at Menu Plan Monday!