Back to Normal Life! Menus for week of 21 April 2013

21 Apr

I’ve been slayed by a nasty cold. I’ve relied on my freezer stash and the occasional take home meal to sustain myself these past 10 days. Now that I can breathe through my nose the incentive to eat — and enjoy — real food has returned.

If I’ve learned anything during my struggle with chronic illness it’s that feeding yourself well is the second step to improved health. (Sleeping well, being the first.)

Much awaits my attention in the coming two weeks as I also play catch up for time missed. I have delved deeper into the recipes of  Fine Cooking’s Make It Tonight cookbook [Taunton Press, 2011] for quick tasty meals. I’m going to keep my eye on the real amount of time it takes to make these dishes. In my experience, professional cooks always underestimate the prep time. Whether they have kitchen assistants who do that for them or they are faster at the chopping board than me, I do not know. But I shall honestly report my “findings”.

Roasted Shrimp with Rosemary and Thyme

Roasted Shrimp with Rosemary and Thyme

Here’s my plan for the week of April 21, 2013:

Roasted Shrimp with Rosemary and Thyme (pg. 101).

  • I have leftover fresh thyme to use up and a pot of rosemary on my kitchen window sill. Some asparagus and a green salad will round out this meal. The recipe also suggests some crusty bread to soak up all the cooking sauce.

Penne with Spinach, Gorgonzola & Walnuts (pg 131).

  • The flavours of this meal look strong and creamy. And more than a little decadent in the fat category . . .  whipping cream, nuts and the cheese. Let’s hope the use of spinach and a heart-healthy glass of red wine offset the cholesterol damage! But after the week I’ve had, I deserve it! A grated carrot side salad might help, too.
Penne with Spinach, Gorgonzola & Walnuts

Penne with Spinach, Gorgonzola & Walnuts

Braised Sausage with Balsamic-Glazed Onions and Grapes (pg. 60).

  • I am simply curious about the taste of this dish. And I’ll get to use my new cast iron skillet. The cookbook suggests serving it with a green salad and some crusty bread. I might roast some sweet potatoes to balance the colours (and nutrition) of this meal.

Tortellini Soup with Carrots, Peas & Leeks (pg 188).

  • It’s my turn to feed the Tuesday night “soup ‘n’ bun” group. It’s still chilly here in Ottawa, but with the sun shining and the crocus blooming no one craves a heavy soup. This recipe looks light in substance but nourishing and bursting with flavour. I’ll make extra to re-build my freezer stash.

Is the weather or season affecting your cooking or eating plans in the week ahead?

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One Response to “Back to Normal Life! Menus for week of 21 April 2013”

  1. Debby Simpson April 21, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    I’m so glad you mentioned the prep time. I have always wondered about that and always leave myself more time to prepare something than the recipe recommends. I’ll be interested to hear your results.

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