Weekly Suppers: 18 – 22 May

This post is part of a series giving you a glimpse into what finds its way onto our plates Monday through Friday. I hope it not only provides recipe inspiration, but also motivation for you to integrate meal planning and more home-cooking into your own healthy lifestyles.

With multiple extended engagements throughout the week, including several days of work travel that extended into Tuesday, quick and simple (+ travel/reheat-friendly) was my mantra. Bon appetit!

Monday: [Hotel microwave meal] Reheated Rajma Chawal frozen from last week + steamed baby collard greens + strawberries.

Tuesday: [Traveling in-the-car meal] Quesadilla made with my sourdough wheat tortillas, shaved summer squash, onion shoots, sage, arugula and Manchego + carrot and celery sticks + more strawberries!

Moroccan salmon_HGN

Wednesday: Moroccan cod fillet spiced with Ras el hanout* over cauli-cous** with chopped kalamata olives, dates and a preserved lemon*** vinaigrette. Sumac* over top, a slice of fresh lemon to squidge over the fish, and a suuuper pomegranate molasses aioli.****

*Ras el hanout is a spice blend whose name means “top of the shop” due to its 20 or more, highly-prized ingredients. You can purchase it at most Middle Eastern/Mediterranean markets and some specialty food stores, or order it online from The Spice House (bit more expensive from Williams-Sonoma). Or take a culinary adventure at home and make a simple version of your own; an even more basic recipe here.

Sumac — yes, those tall bushes with the red cone flower clusters you see along the freeway — is a delightful spice I recommend to anyone who hasn’t experimented with it. It provides a brightness to dishes with a distinct lemony flavor. The in-store purchasing options for sumac are the same as those for the Ras el hanout; order online from a reliable source like The Spice House.

**Cauliflower couscous, made in a flash by placing raw florets into the food processor and pulsing until the cauliflower resembles couscous. Magic. [A box grater (careful of your fingers) or a few minutes with a sharp knife will also work.] Sauteed this lightly in olive oil just to warm and cut the “rawness,” then tossed with the vinaigrette off the heat.

***Recipe coming soon! You can purchase jarred preserved lemon at most supermarkets; otherwise, look for them at Middle Eastern/Mediterranean markets and specialty food stores.

****Homemade, or good quality store-bought, mayonnaise mixed with a touch of pomegranate molasses, to taste. That’s it! (Purchase info the same as for the spices above.)

Lasagna stacks_HGN

Thursday: Lasagna stacks. Boiled sheets of lasagna, drained and cut into four equal-sized pieces. A bit of beef browned up with chopped sweet onion and frozen green peas + a fresh tomato slice between the pasta pieces (four pieces per stack, beginning with one on the plate). Homemade tomato-red pepper-rosemary sauce (or your favorite marinara) + a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil over top to finish. Served on a bed of fresh-picked arugula, spinach and mint leaves dressed with lemon olive oil.

Kind of awkward to eat, but all the better to get each of the flavors in each crazy delicious bite!

Chocolate black bean tacos_HGN

Friday: Smoky chocolate black beans* with baby arugula, cilantro and fresh oregano tucked into warm plantain tortillas** with a favorite hot sauce.

While good, it wasn’t knock-my-socks-off great as I anticipated. The flavors were disappointingly mellow… which perhaps was the author’s goal? My thought for next time is to increase the spices, add a smoked dried chilli of some sort to pot, and try swapping cocoa powder for the chocolate.

*The recipe is from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks fame. She doesn’t have it on her website, but surprisingly there’s a remake by a contributor to the site of uber-chef Marcus Samuelsson (sadly no longer free to access online, so read on below).

A few differences from the original to note: 1) The HS recipe calls for 1 full pound beans and 4 1/2 cups veg stock (or water) + 12 oz ounces dark beer with the same amount of spices and double the amount of chocolate the MS recipe uses — meaning, the MS version will be spice-forward, chocolate-shy; 2) no parsnips in the HS recipe; and 3) HS recommends traditional queso fresco instead of the MS recipe’s feta. I omitted cheese altogether to give the beans and chocolate a chance to shine.

**I love my homemade corn tortillas, but plantain tortillas are gaining ground. My version is adapted from Fresh Tart.

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Cheers, Heather

Tell me… What’s on your menu this week? Tweet to me (@HGoeschRDN), or share a photo and tag me on Instagram (@hagoesch) with the hashtag #suppertonight!

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p.s. I love hearing from you! Check back if you ask a question, because I’ll answer it here.

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