Everything on the weekend

The reason that I do all my cooking on the weekend for the week ahead is a little from simple column a and a little bit from slightly-more complex column b. The main reason is that we get up early to walk the dog before work, so we go to bed early, too. I don’t like spending much (if any) of my evenings after work in the kitchen, since I only have a handful of hours before I have to go to bed, and I’d much rather be reading or knitting or bothering the dog or playing video games (though not usually all four at once).

I’m also the kind of person who would much rather work for a few hours and get everything done rather than have to do bits and pieces over several days. If being a completionist is a thing, I am that thing.

In any case, this may not be for you, especially if you a) do not have several hours on a particular day to do your cooking for the week and/or b) do not like eating reheated food (unless you really like eating things from the pasta and grain salad category). I’m not even sure it saves any time, really. If the oven’s already on, I guess that’s something, but there’s only so much prep work for one dish while cooking another dish that one person can do. (If I can wrangle my husband into helping, that definitely does help the time issue, though.)

Also, we get our groceries delivered, for reasons I will explain in another post at some point. (Tl;dr version: I used to love grocery shopping but the English have done a lot of really top-notch work in turning the experience into torture.) This means that I can feed the time I would’ve spent at the store into time in the kitchen. It does mean that we sit down on Wednesday night and plan our meals for the next week while ordering the groceries that arrive on Saturday, but whatever. My social life is not so much of a going concern, and I’d probably just be bothering the dog otherwise.

So, anyway. What we are eating this week (or have eaten. Go tense yourselves, verbs.):

  • Portobello mushroom sandwiches (recipe below).
  • Pasta with artichoke sauce, recipe below.
  • Cracked wheat and fennel salad, recipe below.
  • Something from the freezer. It is not Friday yet so I haven’t decided.
  • I think tomato pie over the weekend? Weekend lunches are sort of dead meals for us – it’s leftovers or whatever’s in the freezer or handwavey here’s some food. I’ll post that recipe (the tomato pie, not the handwavey) at some point but not today.

Portobello mushroom sandwiches
Recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking.

4 large portobello mushrooms
1/4 c Italian salad dressing
1 jar (7 oz.) roasted red peppers
Bread, for serving.

Dump mushrooms, dressing, and peppers into crockpot. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours (high for 2). Serve on bread.

Verdict: We both liked it, but (obviously), if you don’t like mushrooms, please to avoid. You’ll have to drain before serving, though, unless you like sandwich soup.

Artichoke sauce
Recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking, again.

3 (14.5-oz.) cans Italian tomatoes (do not drain) I just used tomato tomatoes – no fancy Italian seasoning for me!
2 (14.5-oz.) cans artichoke hearts in water, drained and lightly chopped. Ha! Ha! If only our artichoke hearts came in water. I can confirm that the ones in oil are OK, too.
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c pimento-stuffed olives
1/2 c heavy whipping cream/double cream [Englishism] (to add later)
1 pound freshly cooked pasta, for serving.

Dump tomatoes, artichokes, garlic and olives into crockpot. Cook on low 4 to 5 hours. Add cream. Serve over pasta.

Verdict: This is delicious and I will be making it again.

Cracked wheat and fennel salad
Recipe from 101 Vegetarian Dishes (Orlando Murrin, ed.).

9 oz. bulghar wheat
3 heads of fennel, cut into wedges
4 T olive oil (2 T is sufficient)
salt and pepper to taste
shredded zest and juice of 2 oranges
4 T chopped flatleaf parsley
2 T chopped mint
4 plum tomatoes, cut into wedges
5 oz. mixed olives, drained
4 oz. arugula/rocket [Englishism]

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). Place the bulghar wheat in a large bowl, cover with 3 and 1/2 c boiling water and allow to stand for 30 minutes. Place the fennel on a large roasting pan, drizzle with the olive oil and season. Add the orange zest and half the orange juice and roast in the oven for 35 minutes, until softened and slightly charred.

Drain the wheat and add the parsley, mint and remaining orange juice. Combine well and season. Place the tomatoes, olives and arugula in a large bowl, add the roasted fennel and pan juices and toss. Serve wheat with fennel and tomato mixture.

Verdict: It was OK. I think it may have been better if it had still been warm, so I may heat it tomorrow and see if that helps.

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2 responses to “Everything on the weekend

  1. Oooo! crock pot for sauce! That sounds like an idea. I only like eating some reheated things, mostly not meat, but I do need to start prepping veggies and what not beforehand, but my weekends keep disappearing and I get so tired after finally getting Xander to sleep to do anything afterwards, but that’s mostly because I tell myself I’m tired, whenever I usually make myself do stuff I am fine and have a dandy time.

    Also, I think ordering food online would be a great way to limit food expenditures, because no temptation of store food (ahem, s’mores) displays, I wonder if I should look into that. I keep trying to plan out meals ahead of time and then life (mostly small child related) gets in the way.

  2. I did the PeaPod thing for a while, and it can be good, but I found the selection really lacking, and I was never happy with the produce.

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