Once again I filmed this past week’s meal prep and, since I had a request after the last one, added narration to the video instead of music (maybe next time I’ll do both, depending on time).
(Direct link for the feed readers: View From the Countertop #2)
With the Luau the weekend before and so many delicious leftovers in the fridge, it’s probably no surprise that half of this week was made up from those.
Monday: Pulled Pork Sliders + Potato Salad
See the Luau post to get the links for the potato salad. I chopped up some of the leftover pork and mixed it with the tart bbq sauce from Fallin’s for our sliders. Easy and perfect for a Monday night supper.
Tuesday: Hawaiian Chicken Legs + Sweet Leilani Luau Salad
As I mention in the video, I’d planned to make chicken salad with the leftover legs, adding pineapple and macadamia nuts into my usual chicken salad recipe. But bad news at work had me seriously considering ice cream for supper, so I feel somewhat proud of myself for eating real food. (And let’s not kid ourselves, I had a good helping of ice cream afterwards.)
Wednesday: Beef Stir Fry + Brown Rice
Freezer meals to the rescue. Yes, we could have still been eating leftovers but I figured we needed a change of pace so pulled out one of the recent freezer meal additions. It’s a pretty simple kit: vegetables, beef, and sauce (a few tablespoons of sauce is added to the packet of beef as a marinade). I added half a head of cabbage we had in the crisper and it was a good thing I did. I’ll be adding that to the notes on my freezer meal spreadsheet–the meal would have been a little light without it!
Thursday: Luau Leftovers
They pick up our trash on Friday mornings so it was a good idea to eat, freeze, or toss anything left from the party at this point.Â Plus, the workÂ news from Tuesday was/is the type to hang out all week, so a night with no cooking duties was appreciated.
Friday: Shrimp & Eggplant Curry with Cellophane Noodles
A kitchen experiment that totally worked, we enjoyed it so much that I’ve transcribed it from memory/video so you can try it, too. This is a Thai-style curry so it’s a little sweet, a little spicy, and totally delicious. The basic cubes are the little freezer cubes of chopped basil I’ve found at Trader Joe’s. They’re nice to keep on hand for recipes like this when you can’t always count on having fresh basil in the crisper. The lemongrass paste is another quick tip, found in the produce section by the fresh herbs, we also buy cilantro and ginger in paste form from time to time.
Shrimp & Eggplant Curry
2 T olive oil
1 T garlic olive oil
1 large eggplant, peeled and diced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 package cellophaneÂ noodles plus water to cover
2 T Thai red curry paste
2 T grated ginger
1 T lemongrass paste
2 basil cubes (or 2 t dried basil)
1 can coconut milk
12 oz medium shrimp
Pour hot water over rice noodles in a bowl large enough to hold the bricks of noodles and an inch of water above. Let the noodles soak while you prepare the rest of the meal.
Heat olive oils in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat.
Add bell pepper and eggplant to pan and saute until peppers start to soften slightly and eggplant edges start to brown.
Stir in curry paste, ginger, lemongrass, and basil, then stir in coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until vegetables are fully cooked.
Add shrimp, simmer and stir for about a minute, then turn off the burner and letÂ the heat of the coconut milk mixture to finish cooking to shrimp (this helps prevent over cooking the seafood). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Drain the cellophane noodles (I find a pasta scoop works best for this, as the noodles are so small as to slip through most colanders with ease) and mix them into the shrimp and vegetables, stirring to distribute the sauce throughout.
I think I’ve stumbled upon the perfect combination inÂ eggplant and coconut milk. Usually you’d salt and press the eggplant to draw out anyÂ bitterness but, I admit, I was lazy this time and skipped that step. But the slight sweetness of the coconut milk seems to have counteracted any bitterness in the eggplant because it was the second best eggplant I’ve ever had and Todd really enjoyed it as well! (The best being this sweet eggplant dish that Bahn Thai sometimes has on their lunch buffet, it’s absolutely amazing; they leave the skin on and it’s still the best eggplant ever.)
Saturday: Corned Beef Hash + Eggs
Lazy Saturday, I slept in, it rained all day, Todd napped in the afternoon. Yeah, we did nothing much of importance and it was just fine, so a late supper of breakfast seemed like a good idea to both of us.
Sunday: Zuppa Toscana
It rained almost all of Easter Sunday as well, and since we’d all just gotten together for Todd’s birthday last weekend we’d decided to forgo a family Easter event. I grabbed the pouch of Zuppa Toscana from 12tomatoesÂ was a good answer to an unplanned Sunday supper. Rainy weather is perfect soup weather and this one was pretty tasty. It’s been so long since I’ve been to Olive Garden I really can’t say whether it’s a convincing copycat recipe or not, but we definitely enjoyed it. Maybe next time I’ll actually plan ahead and make some fresh bread sticks to go with it.
And that workÂ news I keep mentioning, it does deserve an explanation, but this isn’t the rightÂ post for it. I’ll try to organize my thoughts about it for the next one.