Sunday, January 30, 2011

Meal Planning and the Pantry for One

Unlike my mother, who usually plans meals for the whole week and mostly sticks to the plan, I tend to have only the vaguest ideas about what I will eat during the week. Often I'll make some kind of dish in the weekend that lasts me for multiple meals through the week. Too frequently, I end up with some forgotten vegetables and fresh herbs wilting their life away in the fridge. I hate throwing food out so some may end up in a soup pot, but too often some of it hits the trash.

I wouldn't feel so bad if we had a decent composting program here, but that went the way of the dodo. To be fair, I think a green waste collection program is pretty tough in a city where most people live in apartments. There is no garage or outside bin where you can store the stuff until it gets collected.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Spiced Cabbage Rolls

Today I was trying to find a way to use up the rest of a savoy cabbage that was wilting fast. I also had some ground beef defrosting in the fridge, so cabbage rolls immediately sprung to mind. The beef is quite high in fat, which is great for flavour and tenderness but not so great for my waist line, so I decided to mix it with some bulgur and vegetables to bulk it up and spread the load.

The bulgur made me think of tabouleh and middle-eastern dishes with raisins, which lead me to a new twist on cabbage rolls. The actual spices I used could be considered Moroccan or Indian. I just consider the result very good!

I only had enough cabbage leaves to do a half recipe (enough to serve 2 people) of cabbage rolls, so the rest of the meat mixture is now macerating in the fridge, ready to be turned into a little meat loaf tomorrow.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Vietnamese Pho

It's not that I haven't been cooking the last few weeks, it's just that with my little point-and-shoot camera, I can really only get decent pictures during the day. In the late afternoon and evening, when I'm usually cooking, I need to rely on artificial light (and standing absolutely still!) or on the flash, and that leads to orange blurry pictures or to garish glistening ones. My birthday is coming up next week so maybe I should gift myself a better camera and decent flash.

Anyway, one of the dishes I have been living off of for most of this week is a Vietnamese beef soup called Pho (pronounced like French feu).