Friday, April 9, 2010

Weekly Menu - Week 6

As I am writing this 6th edition of Weekly Menu, I realize that I put more vegetarian dishes than in the previous weeks. Not that I am a vegetarian but I don't need meat/fish everyday to get me going. To the contrary, I feel perfectly fine with a plate full of tasteful vegetables and grains or an egg-based dish like a Quiche or Savory Pound Cake. It's just the way I plan our weekly menus. I also added lentils again! Encore des lentilles? Well, let's be honest. How many times did you have pizza in the last 5 weeks? If more than once (like 99% of us), then it's OK to have lentils again, non?
If you needed to add meat, you could well serve the vegetarian dishes as side-dish. As usual, this weekly menu leaves you openings for monthly, bi-monthly, weekly pizza or emergency pasta. Just remember that home-cooked (wholegrain) pasta with fresh grated cheese (please, don't buy already shredded cheese!), is healthier than a box of M&C or any take-out that will be loaded with hidden salts, let alone additives. Same goes with pizza. If you purchase the dough, you can well serve it with the toppings of your choice (onions, olives, anchovies, salami, mushrooms, cheese, etc.) and it will be healthier than the boxed option. But then again, if you cook most of your meals from scratch, ordering pizza from your favorite pizza shop is not la fin du monde! As long as it's not weekly! Bonne Cuisine!
Weekly Menu, Week 6

Day Suggested Menu

Monday Lentils with Vegetables and Green Salad
Homemade Yogurt with Apple Sauce

Tuesday  Crayfish with Potatoes Salad
 Orange and Chocolate Financiers

Cabbage Salad with Walnuts, Apples, Raisins and Cheese with Socca
Homemade Plain Yogurt with dark brown sugar
Fresh Fruits

Thursday Carrots and Fresh Mint Soup
Vegetable Casserole with Cranberry Beans
Fresh Fruits
Chouquettes (Sweet Cream Puffs)

Friday Moussaka
Homemade Plain Yogurt with honey
Fresh Fruits

Game Plan:
Sunday Evening:
  • If you make your own yogurts, you might want to make a batch for the week on Sunday evening. Boil the milk before you start cooking something else. By the time your other dish is on the stove, the milk might be at the proper temperature to finish the yogurts. I find that if I boil the milk and then go to do something else, I come back and the milk has cooled too much. 
  • You can make the lentils on Sunday evening. They taste great re-heated. If you needed to add meat to this dish, sausages or pork chops are perfect.
  • You should make the apple sauce on Sunday as well since you might have help in the kitchen! It will save you time on Monday.
Monday Evening:
  • If you have not made the lentils on Sunday, then you have to make them tonight. Same with the Apple Sauce.
  • Since you can have warm apple sauce, I would start with making the lentils. While they are on the stove, make the apple sauce. By the time you are ready to eat, the apple sauce will be ready. You could serve it straight out of the saucepan if your family likes it "chunky". 
  • If you don't like warm potato salad, cook the potatoes on Monday evening so that they are cooled for Tuesday.
Tuesday Evening:
  • You have to prepare the crayfish salad and the financiers. Start by pealing the potatoes so that they have time to cook and cool a little before pealing them.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the financiers.
  • While the financiers are cooking in the oven, you will have time to prepare the crayfish. I would not leave it up to everybody to deal with the crayfish because it would be messy and some younger people might get frustrated.
  • After dinner, take 5 minutes to prepare the Socca batter for Wednesday evening.
  • Lentils make great leftovers!
Wednesday Evening:
  • If you have not made the Socca batter, make it as soon as possible so that it has a few minutes to rest.
  • While you pre-heat your oven for the Socca and make a first batch, you can prepare the salad.
  • Making the salad just requires a good knife to chop the cabbage, the apple and the cheese.
  • If you are feeling zealous, you could make the carrot soup for Thursday evening. It would save you a lot of time for Thursday.
Thursday Evening:
  • If you have to make both the soup and the casserole, start with pealing all the carrots/onions for both dishes.
  • While some of the carrots are cooking (for the soup), finish preparing the Casserole and pre-heat your oven.
  • While the Casserole is cooking make the Chouquettes. It's really not difficult but you have to have everything ready before you start heating the water and butter together. If you feel like it, you could ask your children for help.
  • While the Chouquettes are cooking, finish the soup. Et Voila!
  • The Casserole could be used as a side-dish as a leftover!
Friday Evening:
  • It's Friday, relax! You only have to make the Moussaka. It's not difficult but requires a little bit of time...
  • Start by steaming the eggplants and pre-heating your oven.
  • Cook the meat-onion-tomato sauce
  • While the meat is cooking, make the White Sauce (Sauce Bechamel)
  • When everything is ready, assemble, add Parmesan and put in the oven.
  • While it's in the oven, go and play with your children or read the newspaper!
  • The moussaka makes great leftovers!

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