When I think of this year I mostly think of it in terms of Stella’s milestones. She was 4 months old as of last New Year so a lot has happened! There will never be a year full of more changes starting as a little chunker who couldn’t yet sit on her own to a sitting, crawling, walking and now running little lady. Stella also grew 8 teeth and 4 molars, took 7 trips in 10 months involving 20 flights, and got 3 stitches to round out the year. It’s hard to remember all the other things we did this year but we certainly ate a lot. Probably more than ever before with a new “eater” and an always famished breastfeeding mom. I baked surprisingly little this year, mostly muffins to have as “emergency” hangry snacks as well as some cookies and brownies. My baking window each day was too small to get too involved in any project, but I am certainly not complaining about cookies and brownies! We did however try a lot of new dishes. Even last winter when sleep was short and naps were only 30 minutes long we always ate well. I’ve realized that our world could be on fire and food/our next meal would still be a very high priority. My food resolutions for this year are to try and cook more ethnic cuisine and branch out from basic curries to other more exciting dishes, bake at least one cake, improve my fish and meat cooking skills (and confidence), and work on my side dishes. I usually just toss a grain and veggie together and call it a meal but I know I can make things a little more exciting every once in a while. So we will see how I do! I still think having a home cooked meal on the table 7 nights a week is already a victory, so I’ll take my resolutions one day at a time. Happy New Year everyone!! Meal Plan & Grocery List
Monday: Lamb, Fig & Olive Stew with Garlic Bread and Green Salad
- This is a super easy hearty winter stew. I usually think that stews take a long time but this has plenty of flavor and only takes 30 or so minutes.
- I used diced tomatoes instead of fresh, but otherwise followed the recipe serving it with garlic bread and a green salad to ground it off.
Tuesday: Chicken Quinoa Fried Rice
- I’m still not wild about plain quinoa so this was a great dish to use it in.
- I used chicken breast and for veggies included some red and green cabbage too.
- We fried our eggs and served them on top instead of the traditional scrambled eggs in fried rice. I thought it was an excellent adaptation!
Wednesday: Coconut Crusted Swordfish with Kumquat Sauce, Broccoli and Brown Rice
- I’ve had this dish on my radar for several years now but have never gotten around to making it. On a fortuitous trip to the store this week I found both kumquats and swordfish so clearly it was meant to be.
- I had trouble cutting both steaks in half so that made cooking a bit of a challenge. I also found that without a wet layer the coconut didn’t stick to the swordfish very well.
- I would at least double the orange juice to get more sauce for the rice since it boils down quite a bit while cooking.
- I certainly enjoyed the dish but I wasn’t blown away. More sauce would have made a big difference though. Next time!
Thursday: Curried Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash & Lentil Soup with Green Salad
- This recipe came from my friend Paige’s awesome blog, Mama Steps. And it was delicious. I love anything with curry, but the roasted veggies put this dish above and beyond.
- I tossed the spice mixture with some olive oil in a large bowl and coated all the veggies in the paste.
- While the veggies were roasting I cooked 1 cup of red lentils in the vegetable broth, removed them from the pot before pureeing since I used an immersion blender, and served them all mixed together. I ended up adding 3 extra cups of liquid to compensate.
- As much as I like veggie soups Travis and I both need some sort of protein to fill us up and the lentils worked really well.
- I garnished the soup with cilantro and plain yogurt.
- You should know how I feel about marinating meat by now: optional/do what you can. So that’s pretty much what I did. Since the meat didn’t take long to cook it was easy to let the meat marinade while I prepped the salsa.
- Once all the prep is done the meal is essentially ready aside from cooking the meat, which is nice.