Theme of the week: Making it happen. I knew that I was excited to have a week with MORE than enough time to cook, but nothing was leaping out of my cookbook/binder at me.
Sometimes the only solution is to go to the store, get something on the stove and let things come together.
Sunday – Coq au Riesling from Nigella Express over Buttered Farfalle Tossed with Parsley
Truth: This ended up reading more as an expensive chicken noodle soup with a 100% wine-as-liquid base.
And I am just fine with that. When I come down with something this winter, I will be just as happy actioning a pot of this as I would be sending Marcus out to source me a takeout bowl of Pho or Tom Yum Soup.
Did I have Marcus chop up the chicken thighs? Yes. I think when you’re eating a stew-type meal, there’s something to be said for not having to fuss with a knife. Half of the reason you make a stew after all is for the convenience of it all. And having lived through this dish, I think having to cut it after the fact would have incensed me to no end.
Our modifications: Instead of using riesling, we used 1/2 bottle pinot grigio and 1/2 bottle sauvignon blanc because that’s what we had on-hand. In building the base I tossed in two carrots and two stalks of celery to give the dish a little more flavor (and the stew more things to chew on). Next time I would add a chicken bouillon cube in, because the dish doesn’t need more liquid, but a little more on the savory/umami front could go a long way.
Apparently Laura and I are on the Same Page as far as cookery is concerned. A few weeks back she also actioned the Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie and this week, I laughed when I saw that she had actioned these chickpea tacos because they were on our menu as well.
She also inspired me to add a corn-type component to our meal. Praise God for the fact that when I hopped on the treadmill I was So Inspired to bring back the corn and avocado salad. It just takes me to a happy place.
All you need to know about this meal, beyond the fact that it is insanely easy to assemble (seriously, it might be the easiest meal I’ve ever made) is that it is insanely delicious. I was as skeptical as I’m sure many of you are right now about the idea of eating a taco based on chickpeas, but once we taste-tested them coming out of the oven, I knew that this was the beginning of a new era.
Run, don’t walk.
Thursday – Jenna’s Gingery Red Lentils and Rice
Thursday is the day I spent dreading all week because I knew that it was going to be a longer-than-usual day at work and I had a number of things to take care of afterward. So I was kind of thinking that I would just call it cheap date night and be done with it.
But my meeting got re-scheduled, and that changed everything. And as a sign that The Universe was with me, Jenna posted this recipe.
A year ago, I wouldn’t have been able to call this dish a pantry meal. But today, I can. Which is actually kind of cool. So I printed it off and brought it home.
The flavor was fairly subtle, but like Jenna said, it’s a great “healthy” comfort food. Those dishes are totally necessary up here since the temperatures are officially dipping into the single-digits at night.
Our modifications: I used not-red lentils because those are what we had around. I threw in a bunch of green onions, 1/2 t cumin and 1/4 t cayenne to build a little bit more flavor around the base.
What Pantry Meals have you added to your repertoire in the last year?
What is the strangest taco filling you’ve ever eaten?