Things to Eat - Sweet Potato Soup with Chipotle & Coriander (and Weekly Meal Plans)
As the kids become older, I sometimes struggle with what to write about on this blog (any suggestions?). Now that all three kids attend grade school from 9 to 3:40, we go less places together. Plus, the kids now realize I have a blog and sometimes the stories that I find funny, they don't find funny. Nor do they want to share them with the world. And I get that. I feel like I've read similar sentiments on many blogs, so nothing I'm saying is new - but I'm/we're still figuring out where their privacy ends and my need to share begins (both in and out of blogland).
With all of this in mind, I thought I'd try something new-for-me (though not "new" by any other means) and blog our weekly meals plans on a monthly or bimonthly basis. With everyone doing more and more of their own thing (school, activities, playdates, etc.) meals have become a big deal for me. Or maybe the big deal is that except for T - my incredible picky eater - everyone eats most of the food I make. And the girls will at least try anything. ANYTHING. Granted, they don't like a lot of it. But they will try. And, when hungry enough, they will tolerate. THIS IS A BIG DEAL!!
Further, now that when my kids eat they all eat large portions, Dan HATES taking the family out to dinner, as the cost of such meals really adds up. Plus, Dan sees himself as a weekend gourmet chef in training (he's actually become quite good). And I can be a little bit of a stickler for ingredients, esp. farm raised meat (everyone has a "thing" and this is mine), so I like knowing where we buy from.
So here is our meal plan from the last few weeks, along with a relatively new to-us recipe. I never make dinner on Fridays because we usually have a happy hour event or eat leftovers. And Dan takes over the kitchen most weekends, so for the most part I'm a Monday - Thursday cook.
SWEET POTATO SOUP WITH CHIPOTLE & CORIANDER (slightly modified from Gwyneth Paltrow's IT'S ALL GOOD: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great)
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 large red onion, diced
* 2 garlic cloves
* 5 sprigs of cilantro
* 3/4 teaspoon of cumin
* 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of chipotle in adobo
* 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
* 6 cups chicken broth (or vegetable stock)
1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion, garlic, cilantro sprigs, cumin, and a large pinch of salt. Cook for about 10 minutes (until softened but not browned).
2. Add the chipotle and sweet potatoes. Stir.
3. Add the chicken broth and turn up the heat.
4. Once the soup boils, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes (until the sweet potatoes are soft).
5. Puree the soup in a powerful blender. To serve, garnish with cilantro.
3 WEEK MENU PLAN:
MONDAY - Grilled flank steak with chimichuri sauce (the kids won't eat the sauce, but love the steak).
TUESDAY - Taco Tuesday (ground beef with toppings). My kids LOVE taco tuesday.
WEDNESDAY - Sausage and kale saute with polenta (via Cooking Light). The sausage and polenta are always big hits; kale is hit or miss (unless we make kale chips, which all three kids could pretty much live on)
THURSDAY - Sweet potato chili via Gwyneth Paltrow's IT'S ALL GOOD: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great. Absolutely no leftovers, this is a family fave.
MONDAY - Chickpeas with spinach via (Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites: Flavorful Recipes for Healthful Meals). This is my favorite meal. Neither the kids nor Dan like it much, so they usually eat the orzo with butter and cheese. And kale chips on the side (to keep the kids happy).
TUESDAY - Taco Tuesday. I tried to shake it up by cooking Gwyneth's zucchini tacos (with corn tortillas instead of socca). Everyone complained, but I thought it was delicious.
WEDNESDAY - Veggie night - roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Even T loves this meal.
THURSDAY - Apple cider chicken (via The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time). The recipe was a little tricky and didn't include nearly enough chicken for us all, but the flavors were good, so with a little tweaking this might be a keeper.
MONDAY - Sausage with cabbage and potatoes (via Three Many Cooks). Complete success.
TUESDAY - Sweet potato soup with chipotle and coriander (okay, so I knew I was taking a chance here, thus I also made a huge pot of brown rice with cheese for the kids and we had edaname for an "appetizer" and my kids ate enough to alleviate all hunger).
WEDNESDAY - Spaghetti with meat sauce and zoodles (usually only I eat the zoodles).
THURSDAY - Roasted veggies (tomato, eggplant, red onion) and chickpeas with quinoa and feta (I loved this meal, despite overcooking the veggies; but everyone else hated it).