I feel like this post should probably be about Super Bowl Sunday since that is what the rest of the country is talking about today. I’ll first admit that I didn’t actually know this weekend was the super bowl until last night, I still don’t know who is playing though so there’s still a little mystery left thankfully. And I will also say that I truly don’t care about, or understand, football. How un-American, I know. My excuse is that I grew up in VT high school football didn’t exist until after I’d moved away. And now of course that high schools in VT have teams I am sure they will slowly start to not have teams as the consequences of head injuries set in with parents. But that’s a whole different topic. When I was in high school my dad would call us all in from homework and making dinner for the super bowl commercials, a highlight for many of us. In college I went to my first super bowl party my senior year to see a cute boy I liked (hint: we’re married now;). And last year for the first time ever we had some friends over for a mini super bowl party since going to one with a 5-month old seemed unlikely and it was a great excuse to see our friends. So that pretty much sums up my lifetime super bowl participation. Not amazing. All logic would point to me being a fan of Super Bowl Sunday given that it can mostly be about good food and friends, a very appealing combo. But it still involves a lot of football and time, something I find very valuable these days. This year for Super Bowl Sunday Travis is out mountain biking, I’ve been doing yard work (in shorts and a t-shirt for those of you not in sunny CO right now), and Stella is sleeping. Not too shabby. I think of how far we’ve come from last year when we had a chunky little nugget who napped for 30-minutes 8 times a day and couldn’t even sit-up on her own to life now with a toddler who runs, eats food, I’m pretty sure talks back though I can’t understand it yet, and naps only once a day! That is plenty enough to celebrate for me. Hold the side of football and TV, I’ll just take a drink and some good food. Tonight I am cooking a whole chicken in a dutch oven with some roasted veggies. Hopefully it will be delicious though I realize that is not most people’s idea of super bowl food. And I am, however, super excited, as is Tazzie, to watch the puppy bowl! Meal Plan & Grocery List
- I used shelf stable gnocchi which saves time and dishes. I also had pre-cut butternut squash so there wasn’t a lot of prep work.
- I substituted craisins and raisins for currents, chard for spinach, and totally forgot the balsamic vinegar but it was delicious anyways! I love gnocchi, but I think brand is important. I like Gia Russa’s whole wheat gnocchi while other brand’s whole wheat gnocchi can be super tough, grainy and not amazing.
- Serve with parmesan cheese of course.
Tuesday: Steak & Purple Potato Salad
- Travis wanted some credit for this one, so here it is. He made a London broil over the weekend that was too large for one dinner so he suggested we use the leftovers in this salad. Winner!
- Very minimal work was required on my end which I was a fan of. I served it all over a green salad to balance out the meal.
Wednesday: Slow-Cooker Pinto Bean Stew with Jalapeno-Corn Dumplings and Green Salad
- Aside from misreading the final step where it says the dumplings need to cook for an hour, this recipe was a great weeknight meal. I like the idea of the corn dumplings on top rather than a whole other dish to prepare. I ended up cooking them for 30 minutes instead and they seemed done. I also did 1.5 times the dumpling recipe to have more leftovers for lunch.
Thursday: Pork Tenderloin with Blue Cheese & Pears with Broccolini
- I couldn’t find pork tenderloin so I used pork chops instead.
- I wish the onions had been a little more cooked, but otherwise this was a super tasty dish. And Travis even ate and enjoyed the blue cheese!
- While I was prepping the onions and pears I started roasting the broccolini at a lower temp, 400 degrees, and finished them off with the pork at 500.
Friday: Pad Thai with Shrimp & Tofu
- I did end up making it to a large Asian market in our area last week and was very overwhelmed but also quite inspired. Among other things I got some rice noodles and tamarind concentrate to make Pad Thai.
- This recipe called for tamarind paste so I had to taste the sauce a lot to figure out the right amount of tamarind concentrate, but somewhere between 6-8 Tbsp seemed right. Because of the ingredient substitution the dish wasn’t dark and didn’t look like what you would get in a restaurant but it tasted great.
- We used more noodles, tofu and shrimp but the sauce quantities seemed fine to me.
- I liked the addition of the Napa cabbage. Travis of course grumbled about it but I think he survived.
- Definitely a fun weeknight meal!