• I had a wonderful day today. I took the time to do something I love doing, but rarely have the time to do. I made a menu for the next four days and chances are we’ll have plenty of leftovers to get us through some of the weekend as well. Then I made a grocery list based on the recipes I’ll be making this week. Then I leisurely went food shopping and got almost everything on my list. Then I came home, unpacked the groceries, made the pesto, made the Spaghetti Puttanesca from Karina’s gluten free goddess blog and sat down to a delicious dinner! I’m going to finish posting about this and then relax in front of the tube for a little while. This was a great way to start 2007! Oh, by the way, the Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes in tonight’s pasta dish are spectacular – worth hunting around for.

    Menu Week of Jan. 1

    Spaghetti Puttanesca (see recipe below and/or go to Karina’s gluten-free goddess blog)

    Lunch: Black-eyed Peas in crockpot with rice
    Dinner: Steak, salad, brown rice sautéed with mushrooms and onions

    Lunch: leftovers
    Eggplant & Pea Curry (Gourmet Slow Cooker cookbook p. 90)
    Dal (Gourmet Slow Cooker cookbook p. 94)
    Basmati Rice
    Boiled then sautéed new small pototoes (pressure cook 1st, sauté stovetop)
    Cranberry Mango Chutney (Slow Cooker Cooking cookbook p. 83)

    Salmon (Price Chopper gets it fresh on Thursdays)
    Curried Quinoa Pilaf (Great Veg. Cooking Under Pressure cookbook p. 174)

    Friday (yay, it’s Shabbat!)
    Whole Chicken (crockpot or roast in oven)
    Leftover chutney
    Millet Pilaf (Great Veg. Cooking Under Pressure cookbook p. 169)

    Spaghetti Puttanesca
    From karina at gluten-free goddess blog

    1/2 package brown rice spaghetti [6 oz.] such as Tinkyada Pasta Joy
    sea salt
    extra virgin olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 14-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice [Muir Glen is tasty]6-8 anchovies in olive oil – veggies & vegans can skip these
    1 tablespoon chopped jalapenos
    1 tablespoon rinsed capers
    1 tablespoon basil pesto (I used 2 tablespoons)
    1 splash balsamic vinegar
    2 shakes of hot pepper flakes

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and cook the spaghetti according to package directions, just until al dente [do not over cook]. Meanwhile, pour a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil into a deep skillet and heat it gently over medium heat. Toss in the garlic and stir for a minute; add the tomatoes, anchovies, jalapenos, capers, basil pesto and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Shake some hot pepper flakes in, to taste. Stir and cook until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta and pour it into the skillet; stir gently for a minute to coat the strands. Serve in warm shallow bowls with torn off pieces of bread to soak up any sauce left in the bottom of the bowl. (I didn’t have any GF bread, but if I had, it would’ve been delicious to dip it in some of the sauce.)

    The pesto recipe I make is from one of the Silver Palate cookbooks (either the red or the white one). I made it with walnuts (which I always keep on hand in the freezer) exactly as the recipe specifies, though in the past have combined walnuts and pine nuts – however, I didn’t have any pine nuts, so I made it with all walnuts. Either way, it’s yummy. When it’s finished (and it takes about five minutes to make it), I spoon it into an ice cube tray. Each ice cube spot fits about 2 tablespoons of pesto. Then I freeze it. And when it’s frozen, I pop them out and put them into a ziplock bag and stick it back in the freezer. They defrost in just a couple of minutes. By the way, it is important not to put too much garlic in – it can ruin the pesto – believe me I know – I’ve done it! Better to put less in and add more as needed.

    Makes 2 cups, enough to sauce 2 pounds of pasta; makes 32 tablespoons of pesto which fit into an ice cube tray with 16 spots (2 tablespoons in each spot).

    2 cups fresh basil leaves, thoroughly washed and patted dry
    4 good size garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
    1 cup shelled walnuts
    1 cup good quality olive oil (I use extra virgin)
    1 cup freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese
    ¼ cup freshly grated imported Romano cheese
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    1. Combine the basil, garlic and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor. Mix.
    2. Leave the motor running and add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream.
    3. Shut the motor off, add the cheeses, a big pinch of salt and a liberal grinding of pepper. Process briefly to combine, then scrape out into a bowl and cover until ready to use. Can also put in ice cube tray as described above.
    • Lynn Barry

      Hey Ellen,
      I certainly can take a lesson from you about planning ahead…good stuff.Enjoy!

    • ByTheBay

      This is helpful to read, because I’m going to start meal planning, too!

      I didn’t know you were Jewish – Are you on the AllergicJews e-mail list? If not, http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/allergicjews

      We exchange allergy-friendly recipes

    • Mike Eberhart

      So organized! Sounds like a wonderful week ahead, but given all the planning I do for work-related tasks, I must admit I go with spontaneity when it comes to my food (especially when my wife is not cooking for me). The only baking we plan ahead these days is for holidays, parties, and such. Your way is certainly better… maybe next year I can resolve to improve my menu scheduling.

    • Ellen

      Ooh – obviously my post about menu-planning struck a chord with my fellow GF friends out there in blogger land! Lest you think I’m completely organized, let me be the first to say that I wish I planned my menus every week – but alas, I don’t:). Though truth be told, the other behavior I’ve striven for in the last few years has been, like Mike (I just ordered your fabulous sounding new GF dessert cookbook and can’t wait to get it!) – is to be more spontaneous. Open the frig, see what’s in it, peruse the pantry, and then make a spectacular (hopefully) dinner. In any case, so far, I’m on schedule. Let’s see what happens by Friday!

    • Michelle

      As a gf law student in downtown Boston, where I hate to be in a car, menu planning is key (then again, I can’t stand not being efficient and organized). These tips have allowed my boyfriend and I to eat a lot of great food for a cost that is reasonable. Anyhow, here are my menu planning tips:
      -assume you’ll have leftovers some days since most recipes are for more than 2 people
      -leave a few blank meal slots for simple foods: fruit, cereal, salads, waffles, bagels, frozen pizza, Imagine/Pacific soups, etc. so that you’re not over-buying – and then tossing your costly groceries
      -my boyfriend and I use a google document to make our meal plans/grocery lists so that we can both easily contribute to them since we both spend a lot of time in front of our computers; I also have a stickie (a mac application that is basically a post-it note) with future recipes that I want to try or repeat
      -to go grocery shopping less often, we eat meat for the day of going shopping and the next day or so and then eat (less/non perishable) vegetarian foods like rice, beans, polenta, soups, pasta, roasted vegetables, etc. that can last longer than, say, a chicken breast.

      Following these tips, and bringing our list to the supermarket, has enabled us to go shopping about 1x-2x week (if we go the second time, it is usually for fresh chicken/meat or produce. We also use Peapod, which offers delivery good deals when items are on sale (better than the local Shaw’s).


    • Karina

      Hi Ellen!

      I just discovered this post- and I am impressed. Such a good idea- to plan menus. [Something I never do!] Glad you liked the recipe- it’s one of my favorites!

      Thanks for the shout-out, Ellen! :)


    • Ellen

      You’re most welcome Karina! I’m glad you found it and posted a comment, because it reminded me how much I enjoy planning my weekly menus – if only I had more time to do it:). Also reminded me of your Spaghetti Puttanesca which I love!

    • sandy winz

      Hi! I have order from this place all the time and am very pleased to share. They have great kosher organic and natural food products including tinkyada pasta.
      Here is a link http://www.wholeandnatural.com
      p.s. I used a code try if it works for you bldc08

    Previous post:

    Next post: