Along with the food I made myself, I cut up a head of cauliflower, broccoli and 5 carrots for raw or easily steamable veggies and Dave bought some yogurt, fruit, rice and pasta, and the mixed nuts featuring smarties he loves so dearly(featured above in the individual sized snack packs I made). It's a relatively balanced meal plan for the week - and will save a buck or two as well!
First Up - Smitten Kitchen's Mushroom Bourguignon:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 pounds (~900g) crimini mushrooms chopped ( I did 800g creminis and 2 huge whites)
1 carrot, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup full-bodied red wine
2 cups beef broth (I don't eat beef generally, but i had some beef bouillon kicking around..)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Sour cream and chopped chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)
Heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a medium Dutch oven or heavy sauce pan over high heat. Sear the mushrooms until they begin to darken, but not yet release any liquid — about three or four minutes. Remove them from pan.
Lower the flame to medium and add the second tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the carrots, onions, thyme, a few good pinches of salt and a several grinds of black pepper into the pan and cook for 10, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for just one more minute.
Add the wine to the pot, scraping any stuck bits off the bottom, then turn the heat all the way up and reduce it by half. Stir in the tomato paste and the broth. Add back the mushrooms with any juices that have collected and once the liquid has boiled, reduce the temperature so it simmers for 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are very tender.
Combine remaining butter and the flour with a fork until combined; stir it into the stew. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to reduce to the right consistency. Season to taste.
To serve, spoon the stew over a bowl of egg noodles, dollop with sour cream (optional) and sprinkle with chives or parsley.
---------------This turned out pretty well, it's much more delicious than the photo would have you believe (please check out the photo in the recipe linked above, it does it much more justice) and it has that meaty robust flavour you need to combat the deep red wine sauce. The original recipe calls for the traditional pearl onions, but I couldn't find them so I omitted them.
I chopped the some mushrooms in slices some in quarters or left them whole. I know it's generally great to have consistent sizes of pieces but i like the different textures it gave this meal. It's almost like a stew, but you definitely need to serve it over noodles as a base.
I should note this is definitely not a weeknight dinner. The mushroom cleaning and chopping alone took quite a while and overall it cooks for about an hour. I would reserve this for a Sunday night dinner.
The next was homemade tomato sauce.
I used to be able to do this with no recipe, but since I figured out I can't eat pasta, I've been laying off the Italian foods. I also don't have an ounce of cooking intuition in my body so I checked in with Canadian Living for a simple base. I added many veggies as described below to make it a bit more hearty.
Jen's Tomato Sauce
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 large clovesgarlic, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
In heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion, garlic, Italian herb seasoning and hot pepper flakes, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add in carrots to zucchini and cook until carrots soften. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste and bay leaf; bring to boil.Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until no longer watery around edge of spoon drawn through sauce, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaf.(Oops forgot that part - watch out Dave!)
---------------This sauce would be best served over hot pasta with a nice amount of Parmesan cheese. It freezes great and makes 5-6 cups of sauce. I gave Dave two containers like the one pictured, one went right into the freezer for later in the week, and this one is ready to eat right now. This was able to simmer for about 3 hours while I finished up my other kitchen projects. if you have the time, let it simmer. The veggies become enveloped by the flavour.
I had some of Everybody Likes Sandwiches' red lentil curry left over from last week in the freezer so I donated that to the cause. I also made cookies and muffins (Pumpkin!) but I don't have pictures yet, so I'll fill you in later.
During my cookfest I also managed to get three loads of laundry done whilst cooking, watching season 2 of Mad Men and my weekly phone call with my mother!