Tuesday dinner: Beans, mushrooms, courgettes, rice
Red, white, and black bean stew. Slice onions thinly and garlic thickly; sauté in olive oil until golden. Add quartered chestnut mushrooms; cook until liquid starts coming out. Add a splosh of white wine; deglaze.
Add previously-cooked soya beans, aduki beans, and black beans, along with cooking liquid from the aduki and black beans (I discard the cooking liquid from the soya beans as I’m not keen on the taste) and a can of chopped tomatoes. Season with paprika, Chinese black vinegar, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and vegetable stock concentrate (or a stock cube).
Cook until liquid has reduced enough, adding chopped courgettes about 10–15 minutes before you expect it to be ready. Serve with rice. Optional garnish for meat-eaters: lardons and chopped chorizo, fried in their own fat.
Thursday dinner: Eggs, mushrooms, kidney beans, buckwheat
Khis soko, lobio nigozit, buckwheat pilaf. As described at the link, except I missed the instruction to chop the mushrooms finely, I left the pomegranate seeds out of the bean dish, and I used buckwheat instead of the bulgar wheat. The individual things tasted a bit boring while I was cooking them, but when they were all together on the plate they complemented each other very well and weren’t boring at all.
Tuesday dinner: mezze
Chickpea and chorizo stew. Cook diced chorizo in a little olive oil, slowly, so it releases its own fat. Add diced onion, carrot, celery, and fennel along with thickly-sliced garlic; sauté gently until soft. Add tomato purée and cook a couple of minutes longer; add a splosh of white wine and cook off. Pour in some vegetable stock along with a generous quantity of paprika. Add cooked chickpeas and chopped red pepper; bring to the boil and simmer until it tastes good.
Baba ganoush. Cook whole aubergines on a griddle pan until the skins are blackened and the inside are softened. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove and discard the skins. Purée the interiors with tahini, squeezy garlic, and depipped preserved lemons. (Normally one would use lemon juice, but I had no lemons.)
Griddled courgettes. Slice courgettes thickly lengthwise. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and cook on a griddle pan, turning once, until softened but still with some bite.
Quinoa salad. Mix cooked quinoa with finely-chopped spring onion and lots of freshly-squeezed lime juice.
Served with: Turkish sesame flatbread, olive paste, chilli paste, beetroot and horseradish purée, black olives, and mixed salad, all bought on London Road.
Tuesday dinner: Duck, taro, rice
Roasted duck legs. Seasoned, skin pricked with a needle, 25 minutes at Gas Mark 8 (230ºC/450ºF), 35 minutes (this was possibly a little too long) at Gas Mark 3 (160ºC/325ºF), 25 minutes resting under foil.
Braised taro with dried shrimp. I used the whites of spring onions instead of shallots, saving the green parts to add at the end. I also cooked the taro in more water and for much longer than suggested (about 20 minutes) before taking the lid off, as I was worried about undercooking it. I liked the way it turned out, with some of the pieces disintegrating into a sauce (reminded me a bit of yam pottage).
Jasmine rice. Done in the rice cooker.
Thursday dinner: Bread, sweet potatoes, aubergines, eggs, milk, cheese
Savoury bread pudding with sweet potatoes and aubergines. Tear up some slices of bread and mix them with previously-roasted cubes of sweet potato and aubergine (leftovers from a couple of nights ago). Add grated cheddar and parmesan cheese (leave out the parmesan if you’re feeding vegetarians), season with salt and black pepper, then pour over a custard made by whisking eggs with milk (I used soya milk) and cream cheese (or cream, or plain yoghurt). Mix well, and add more milk if necessary to make it quite moist. Leave for 30 minutes to let the bread absorb the liquid, then pour into a greased baking dish and bake at 190ºC/375ºF/Gas 4 for 40–60 minutes.
Serve on its own or with salad, green veg, etc.
Tuesday lunch: Lentils, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, cheese, fruit
Spinach and cheddar savoury muffin slices. Based on a recipe for spinach and feta muffins. I used grated mature cheddar instead of the feta. I also baked the mixture in the base of a silicone 1 kg loaf pan for 30 minutes at Gas Mark 4, to get a more easily-sliceable end result. Adults and 10-month-old baby ate this, plain or spread with cream cheese.
Puy lentil salad. Canned Puy lentils, drained and mixed with finely-chopped red onion, halved cherry tomatoes, and roasted red pepper slices, then dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Only people with molars ate this.
Halved cherry tomatoes and roasted red pepper slices. Alternative to the above for younger persons with fewer teeth.
Clementine segments. (The ones with pips were eaten by the chef in the kitchen before serving. You can see which ones have pips by holding them up to the light.)
Sliced plums. Zapped in the microwave for a minute to soften, then left to cool. Enjoyed by adults and baby.
Saturday dinner: Tuna, celery, carrots, bread
A light dinner tonight since bob and I had dim sum for lunch.
Tuna salad. Mix drained tinned tuna with grated carrot and finely-chopped celery. Season with fish sauce and black pepper. Bind with mayonnaise. Serve in sandwiches or on toast.
Friday dinner: chicken, rice, leeks, carrots, red peppers
Roasted jerk-marinaded chicken legs. Bought pre-marinaded from the supermarket.
Savoury rice. Wash basmati rice, put in rice cooker with an appropriate amount of water. Add Maggi cubes along with chopped leek, carrot, and red pepper. Cook as normal and stir before serving.
Tuesday dinner: Veal, tomatoes, noodles
Veal ragù with Fuzhou slice noodles. Made as described there, though I think I put in too little wine and too much jaggery this time, as the acid-sweet balance was off.
Friday dinner: Salmon, red peppers, broccoli, potatoes, bread
Red pepper salad. Slice a red pepper thinly, dress with seasoned sushi vinegar.
Steamed tenderstem broccoli.
Cold boiled potatoes. Left over from earlier in the week.
Olive ciabatta. Bought from supermarket and warmed in the oven.