Tonight’s Meal

First, on yesterday’s Fauxtisserie Chicken – meh. I was initially excited because the chicken basically de-boned itself when I pulled it out of the slow cooker – but I think ultimately that was because it was OVERcooked. The wings, thighs and drumsticks were in good shape, but the breast meat is almost mushy. If I do it again, I’m going to cut an hour off the cook time.

On to tonight: for once, I wanted to have dinner ready when G walked through the door. Unfortunately, I realized I didn’t have one of the ingredients (ricotta isn’t something we normally have around). So Charlie and I ran to the store, and food was ready VERY shortly after G came home. We had baked ziti, which I didn’t tell G was a weight watchers recipe (and I added a little extra mozz on top, so maybe it wasn’t exactly a WW recipe in my kitchen…), and which uses jarred sauce – two things he’s not generally a fan of. But he actually really liked it – the tomato and basil sauce from Trader Joe’s is very nice, and the combo of red pepper flakes (I used more than it called for, which was a good decision), ricotta, freshly grated parmesan reggiano, and sauce was very good. It was quick and made a lot (good thing G liked it, since we’ll probably have it for dinner again tomorrow night, and probably at least another night after that!).

On the side, I tried this apple and gorgonzola salad. I really liked the combination of the maple and the gorgonzola – it had that salty sweetness that I enjoy. And the crunch of a good apple is hard to beat. I made half of the dressing and only used 1/2 an apple for the two of us, and we had hearty salads with dressing left over.

All in all, tonight’s meal was a hit!

Blood Orange Salad, minus the blood oranges

I’ve been wanting to try this Blood Orange Salad, but I missed blood orange season. But I decided it was worth a try with a regular orange. George is going to be home on the late side tonight, so I could get away with just a salad for dinner. The little guy just asked for a second helping of bell pepper slices, so apparently he was in need of some veggies too!

The salad is good. Great?  Maybe, with a more flavorful orange and crisper endive (bought the endive over the weekend, and it didn’t hold up as well as I would have liked).  I definitely will try it again with blood oranges, since I love the color combo – but until then, I’m not sure I’ll make this one again. I do love the fact that it makes dressing for one, though. I almost never buy salad dressing anymore, since homemade is SO much better – but homemade dressings just don’t endure in the fridge very long. I need to find more dressing recipes that I can easily cut in half or thirds! Suggestions, anyone?

Panzanella

I got to Whole Foods at lunchtime today, so I picked up ingredients for this salad. YUM.  I left out the capers because I thought George might not like them, and I added a few extra basil leaves (I love basil), and it was delicious, even though the tomato wasn’t very ripe. I only made a third of the recipe, but it was easy to cut down, and I have lots of leftovers ingredients so I can make it again later in the week. George isn’t feeling so hot tonight, but even so, I think he liked it too – though maybe not as much as I did. As I’ve mentioned before, lettuce – especially if it’s been in my fridge for more than a couple of days and has gotten soft – isn’t my favorite. I’d much rather have a salad full of crunch – and this one fits the bill. I can’t wait to make it again this summer, when the veggies are really in season.

A little more on the vegan recipes…

So the wheat berry salad was delicious!  It’s sweet, but not overly so, and the textures are great. I will be making it again very soon – I think it would be great to take to work for lunch.

The butternut squash soup was very good too. I think I would try it again with different spice combinations or more curry – I would have liked it to have a little kick or a bit of crunch or something.