Taking the full measure of life

Weekly Meal Plan As Fall Dips Into Winter

November 26th, 2007 · 15 Comments

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It’s raining! It’s raining in Georgia! It’s been raining in Georgia for two days!

Yes, this is a big deal. For those of you who don’t know, we have been in the worst known drought in Georgia history. Our water source for Atlanta (Atlanta has the smallest watershed of any major US metro area) has been running low; Georgia has been fighting with Alabama and Florida over whether we get to keep more water in our lakes for our use. The drought talk has been pretty dire, with discussion, at one point, of us running out of tap water by mid-January.

So two (2!) days of rain in a row is a very big deal.

Two days of rain also means we’ve been dropped into a blessed chill spell. I love cold weather. Rain means I can’t run (I don’t do the running in the rain thing), but on the flip side, cold, rainy weather makes me want to curl up with a book (or my laptop), and my husband (or one of my kitties), and get snuggly and warm under a blanket. It also makes me happy to stand in the yellow light of my kitchen over a hot stove and feel the steam rising as a blessed thing.

The rain’s supposed to clear out tonight, but since I’m planning our meals for the week now, it’s rainy, chilly weather I have on the brain.

Here’s my meal plan:

Monday (Tonight): Oven-Baked Nachos (per the Gluten-Free Goddess) with some extras thrown in: green onions, black beans (instead of turkey), garlic sauteed with the poblano (mild) pepper, and sliced black olives–plus, after cooking, salsa and goat yogurt (which is a good sour cream sub) <—They were delicious!

Tuesday: Indian chickpea, vegetable, and fruit curry on rice The original recipe calls for a chicken . . . and cooking in a crockpot, but mine will have chickpeas and will be made on the stove . . . and may have cashews instead of peanuts. We’ll serve it with mango chutney. The curry powder contains this week’s menu swap’s featured ingredient, which is ginger.

Wednesday: Baked potatoes with nomato (tomato-free) BBQ sauce, goat cheddar, steamed & chopped garlic broccoli and cauliflower

Thursday: Gluten-free, casein-free turkey tetrazzini (again, from the same GFG post), fresh hakurei turnips with chives and dressing, and ginger-cardamom poached pears (which also use this week’s menu swap’s featured ingredient!) with vanilla rice cream

Friday: Eat out


Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Vegetable plate: Roasted brussel sprouts; gf, cf stuffing with dried fruit; sweet potatoes with orange marmalade; collard greens boiled with chopped turnips; and cinnamon rice pudding for dessert (I think this might be our tree-trimming night!)


Lunch: Butter lettuce with toasted pecans, pickled beets, soft goat cheese, and balsamic dressing

Dinner: Qdoba or Chipotle or other cheap, good eats (A large event for 300 that I’ve planned will take place Sunday afternoon, so I know I’ll be worn out.)

Other tasty foods that haven’t made it into posts:

Pom Salad–isn’t it gorgeous? Someone brought strawberries to our house for a party recently, so we put the leftovers in a salad along with pomegranate seeds, navel orange slices, feta cheese, lettuce, and pistachios. I love the flavor and color combinations.


Elise’s Moroccan lamb meatloaf (yay for local, pastured, organic meat), which I served with a sauce of goat yogurt mixed with pomegranate juice, pomegranate seeds, a bit of tomato paste, and a bit of sugar (I would do 1.5 times the spices next time, but I love lots of seasoning–not heat, but seasoning); a mixture of eggplant, bell peppers, and Indian spices sauteed in a bit of oil for about half an hour–until well-reduced; and green beans steamed and then tossed in garlic. For dessert (we had friends over), we had leftover Thanksgiving cookies that I had frozen: double-chocolate chip with hazelnut and chocolate chip with orange and salted pecans. I started with fabulous cookie mixes from The Cravings Place.


A salad of spicy greens, pickled beets, and herbed goat cheese, with balsamic dressing. I have been having a love affair with pickled beets, so when I saw a jar of local pickled beets at my mother’s grocery store, I snapped them up! I really need to do a post about foods I now adore that I wouldn’t have touched a few years ago. A lot of the change has been my move toward local eating–but seriously, that’s a post unto itself. Suffice it to say, I would have said, “Beets? Yuck!” And now I love them–especially with goat cheese. The combination is heavenly. (And didn’t my husband take a beautiful picture? I think it’s one of my favorites of his food shots.)


Chili topped with cornbread–this is one of my favorite easy, feel-good meals. This time, I used the vegetarian chili recipe Emeril Lagasse has on the Food Network website. Emeril gets on my nerves–I don’t even have tv, but I hate the ‘BAM!’ stamped on his brand of stuff at Bed, Bath and Beyond–but the chili recipe is sound; it makes a ton of chili, and it’s really good. I normally do not love portobello mushrooms, but you can’t even tell they’re in the recipe–really. At the same time, I think they add wonderful richness/depth to the chili–something akin to meatiness. Read the glowing reviews of the recipe on the FN site, and you’ll see I’m not the only one who’s really enjoyed it. My changes to the recipe: I am a heat wimp, so I only put in one diced serrano pepper . . . seeded, with the top (hotter) part removed. I did not make Emeril’s ‘essence’ (*gag*) to serve with it, and since I was topping it with cornbread, I didn’t make rice. Otherwise, I followed the recipe. Once the chili had cooked twenty minutes, I put about half of it into a large, deep, round casserole dish. (The rest wouldn’t fit.) I put a thin layer of sliced goat cheddar on top of the chili in the casserole dish. Then I made the cornbread recipe from Sophie-Safe Cooking, substituting 1/4 c. agave syrup for the cup of sugar (had a friend over for dinner who can’t eat sugar–I reduced the rice milk to one cup due to the extra moisture of agave) and adding the kernels from two fresh ears of corn. I spread the cornbread over the chili recipe and baked it for about half an hour at 350. I think it could have used five more minutes of cooking, because the moisture from the chili kept the interior of the cornbread from finishing cooking for a while. Nonetheless, it was really tasty. Savory chili with sweet cornbread on top–yum. I gave people the topping options of diced avocado, diced green onion, and shredded cilantro.


If they’ll still have me on Monday night, I’ll be entering this post in the gluten-free menu swap that’s being hosted by Gluten-Free Mommy. (She’s the originator of the swap, too.)

Tags: allergen-free recipes · baked potato of the week · dessert · meal planning · Uncategorized · vegetarian · winter

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sarah // Nov 26, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    Your menu plans always look amazing and sound so yummy!

  • 2 Gluten Free Mommy » Gluten Free Menu Swap- November 26th // Nov 26, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    […] Sally at Aprovechar has her menu posted.   She is making an Indian curry this week with  ginger. […]

  • 3 Esther // Nov 27, 2007 at 3:28 am

    The whole menu sounds great. Pickled beetroot is one of my real comfort foods but I’ve always loved pickled things since I was a tiny child. The meatloaf sounds like something my lot would love what did you use for breadcrumbs?

  • 4 carrie // Nov 27, 2007 at 3:34 am

    Sounds like a great menu sally! I love simple baked potatoes! Sally, I would love it if you would add me to your blogroll! I have added you to mine! Have a great week! I really admire all you can do with all of your food allergies!

  • 5 sally // Nov 27, 2007 at 6:47 am

    Thanks, Sarah.

    Esther, I used gluten-free, egg-free bread that I put in the food processor. It’s not terribly good on its own, but it worked well as bread crumbs. 🙂 I actually did about twice as much as I needed, so I put the rest in a baggie and froze it.

    Carrie, I’ll add you now.

  • 6 kristen // Nov 27, 2007 at 7:37 am

    I love beets. As a former vegetarian (now organic meat eater), it’s amazing to me how many different foods I will try/eat that I wouldn’t have even considered growing up. I think the openess to trying new things is incredibly important and, like you, I’ve discovered some good new-to-me combinations that I absolutely love.

  • 7 nicole // Nov 27, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    The Pom Salad and Chili with cornbread look great! I think I need to make some chili…

  • 8 Meg Wolff // Nov 27, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    Great meal planning, recipes and photos! My first cooking teacher’s motto was,” fail to plan, plan to fail!” Planning is important and looks like you have it down nicely.

  • 9 Mary Frances // Nov 27, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    What type of curry powder are you going to use for the Indian chickpea curry? I’ve been using Madras curry powder for some curry recipes in my vegetarian cookbooks, but the meals are never that wonderful. Then I checked at Whole Foods and was completely overwhelmed by the variety of curry powders. I think I need a curry tutor =)

  • 10 sally // Nov 28, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Mary, I think I could use a curry primer as well. 🙂 I know that curry can vary widely, and that more expensive curry powders may actually be worth the price because of the inclusion of more expensive spices (or larger quantities of those spices), but I bought a container of bulk curry powder at Whole Foods before I’d read that, and I haven’t used it up yet.

  • 11 Laura // Nov 28, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Pretty salads. I wish you’d come cook for me. Hooray for rain! That is blessed news.

  • 12 ThickChick // Nov 29, 2007 at 8:58 am

    Your blog = food porn. Love the pics!

  • 13 Sheltie Girl // Nov 30, 2007 at 8:14 am

    Lovely menu planning list…I spent Thanksgiving in Atlanta at my brother’s house. Had a lovely time and danced up a storm when it finally rained. It was glorious!

    Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

  • 14 monica // Nov 30, 2007 at 9:29 am

    Sally, I just discovered your blog – wonderful! And beautiful food shots, too. I hope you don’t mind but I featured you on my site. Really great wisdom here … I had to share. Thank you!

  • 15 ~W~ // Dec 2, 2007 at 5:59 am

    It is always a good idea to have a plan.
    Great photos, too!

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