Travis and I have always been a great team in the kitchen, but generally speaking I choose the food we are going to make and he goes along with the plan. Not once has he refused to eat a meal I’ve made despite how out of his comfort zone it is. I think they call that love. Tofu, goat cheese, beets, cabbage and much more have become a part of his new comfort zone, but not without a little cringing along the way. A very classic Travis line after I deliver a meal that he truly was dreading, tofu kale salad might be a good example is, “that was actually pretty good.” I realize this is meant to be a compliment, but it comes out sounding like, “well, I thought that would taste like crap but once again you surprised me and I have managed to eat this otherwise disgusting sounding dinner and rather enjoy it. Huge surprise!” It’s the “actually” that takes the compliment out of it. Having explained this to him for 9 years I think he finally gets it, but that doesn’t stop him. Now it is a joke of ours, but it lets me know which dishes he was truly dreading. Wednesday’s Bacon & Chard Quesadillas are a good example. Yes, there is bacon, but there is mostly chard. And since I also included beet greens and the stems, this is the kind of meal that gets an “actually” compliment. But nonetheless Travis is a very good sport and has broadened his horizons greatly to which I am very thankful for. I don’t think I could cater to a picky eater and am glad I don’t have to (yet)! Meal Plan & Grocery List
- Followed the recipe. It was delicious…next!
Tuesday: Pasta with Pesto and Sautéed Zucchini and Onion
- This is a super easy summer dish that I love and fall back on when I don’t have a lot of time to make dinner. We are just finishing off last summer’s pesto which is perfect timing since my new crop of basil is not quite pesto ready.
- I slice the onion and zucchini thinly and sauté them until they are soft and a bit brown. Then I toss them in with the cooked pasta and pesto and call it a meal.
Wednesday: Bacon & Chard Quesadillas
- Since we had beet greens in addition to chard from our CSA I used both, but beet greens can be substituted instead. I use the stems too and cook them with the onion and bacon first to get them extra soft. Then add the leaves towards the end.
- Garnish with sour cream, salsa, avocado and any other favorite toppings.
- The only way for me to get something marinated in advance is if I make the marinade the night before when I have time and an extra set of hands. So I would make the chicken marinade for Thursday night and have it ready in a bag to toss the chicken into Thursday afternoon.
- This is probably not a super realistic weeknight meal but it is so delicious I had to include it. With a few shortcuts it can be done a lot faster, but the sheer volume of ingredients means it takes a little more time.
- I would typically do 1 lb of meat, but dividing the marinade in half is quite a chore/I never remember for all the ingredients so inevitably something gets messed up. So either do 2 lbs of meat and freeze the leftovers or enjoy the extra sauce.
- Some shortcuts would be to use canned pineapple chunks or rings in juice instead of fresh; skipping the basting while grilling and working on the banana salad instead; don’t bother threading things onto kebabs and instead grill the chicken thighs whole, use pineapple rings, and toss the onion in foil.
Friday: Roasted Beet & Barley Salad with Goat Cheese, Green Salad and Grilled Meat (optional)
- I steam the beets in the microwave instead of roasting to save time and keep the house cool.
- I also use 10-minute barley rather than pearl barley that takes 50 minutes.
- Other things I added include: avocado, goat cheese, a can of white beans, and any other random veggie in my fridge. I served it over a green salad and Travis of course grilled some meat but it was perfectly satisfactory with out.