oil cubes

weekend in the kitchen

All of my weekend cooking has been relegated to the “Leftover” header of my weekly meal plans the past couple of months and I’m starting to think that it deserves a bit more love than that. It’s those hours that I cherish most and get the biggest sense of accomplishment from. All that uninterrupted time (thank you husband) means I can tinker with new recipes, take on bigger kitchen projects and stretch the life of my precious seasonal produce by preserving.

This weekend I made:

Chickpea, Barley & Zucchini Salad
This salad came together much more quickly than I thought it would and I think it is totally feasible for a weekday side or quick lunch. In the time that it took me to cook the barley I was able to grate & massage the zucchini, make the vinaigrette and pull together a whole other side for our vegetarian lunch.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash
I try to take care of any veggie roasting as soon as I get my CSA box home on Saturday afternoons. It cuts down on prep-time during the week and makes it easy to serve simple veggie sides. The Spaghetti Squash Pancakes that I tried did not make the 8yo fall in love with squash the way that I had hoped. The adults liked it fine, but we may ix-nay the whole egg and flour bit and make them more like hash browns with the roasted spaghetti squash that I have left.

Mung Bean Fritters in Spicy Tomato Sauce
We were in the mood for some Indian so I busted out Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian in hopes of finding something new, but simple. This was awesome and made entirely from pantry items (mung beans, my canned tomatoes, ginger, garlic and spices)! I soaked my mung beans in the morning and it took less than an hour of active prep time from start to table. Definitely a contender for a weekday dinner.

Frozen Basil in Oil
I didn’t really want any more frozen pesto for my freezer (already have a half-dozen small batches) and perked right up when I spied this great idea on Pinterest a couple of weeks back. I measured a tablespoon of oil per cube to take the guesswork out later when I use them in soup and stew bases. Might be the simplest and most genius thing I’ve found lately and am stoked to do it with oregano, sage, thyme and rosemary.

P.S. For those of you that check out my meal plans every week, fear not! I’ll still be posting them, but am trying to think through what day of the week works best now. When do you think through what you’re cooking? Do you work with what you have in the house already or do you do a grocery trip based on list of things you’re planning? And when do you do your grocery shopping?

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