Monday, January 30, 2012

Meat and a Vegetable

My husband and I went vegetarian for about a year, for no real reason, we just kind of were tired of eating meat. Gradually over the last year we went back to being meat-eaters, and the only meal requests he makes now are "Meat and a Vegetable". Really, he'd be happy with a piece of meat and a vegetable on the plate. I prefer to eat less meat, so every week it's a challenge to come up with meal ideas to make us both happy.

One of my favorite meals this week was tofu pot pie. I love tofu, he hates it, so some disguising was necessary. I drained the tofu and soaked it overnight in chicken broth, then drained it again, sprinkled it with poultry rub and baked it in the oven for about 45 minutes. The texture and taste was very chicken-like. I combined it with peas, carrots, and broccoli, a can of cream soup, and topped it with biscuit dough. Back in the oven til the top was brown and the inside bubbly. We both agreed it was delicious! Though of course, it wasn't vegetarian with the chicken broth, but it could have been made with veggie broth.

I am also a big fan of the vegetarian chicken patties, and we used them twice this week. First was in "chicken" parmesan, and later in the week sliced over an asian salad. Other meals this week were beef stew in the slow cooker, and reuben sandwiches (corned beef also made in the slow cooker). Frozen raviolis with an alfredo sauce and a tapas night rounded out the week.

We both love tapas nights, as regular readers may know. It's a great way to use up whatever is in the fridge, and ours consisted of mozzarella slices with home (boat) grown basil and some nice balsamic, fried olives stuffed with anchovies, roasted almonds, a cucumber watermelon salad, marinated artichokes, and fresh baked focaccia bread. A pretty addition to the tapas table are the wine bottle oil and vinegar cruets made by yours truly!

We came in under budget for the week, spent $95 out of $105. We actually came in $30 under budget, but I splurged a bit on some Spanish wine for tapas night.
Thanks for stopping by, have a great week!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Papaya Season

I suspect it is always papaya season here in the Virgin Islands, but my neighbor's tree has been especially prolific lately. If you have never had papaya, it tastes like a sweet melon, but the texture is denser than a melon, almost like cooked squash. It is a bright orange color inside, similar to a mango, but not stringy.

One of our dinners this week was chicken and veggie stir fry with a pineapple teriyaki sauce. Our latest papaya was the perfect ripeness, so I chopped some up and added it after the other ingredients were cooked. I wasn't sure what to expect, but wow, it was delicious! With the rest of the papaya, I made a simple salsa with chopped red onions and a splash of papaya curry hot sauce. It was delicious on a grilled chicken sandwich, with scrambled eggs, and as a pierogi topping. I'd love to hear how anyone else has used papaya!

I have been terrible with keeping track of our budget the last few weeks, holidays and all, but I'm pretty sure I have been going over. I also haven't been keeping track of meals, but I'm hoping to get back on track this week!

Our Christmas was good; we spent Christmas Eve with some friends and cooked up a giant pot of bouillabaise. Husband caught a few lobsters to throw in the pot and other people donated fresh mahi and wahoo. Not very traditional, but delicious!

Christmas day we skipped the usual parties and took the boat out to our favorite uninhabited island, Happy Island, and spent a wonderful day relaxing in the sun and the sea. Hope everyone had a nice holiday season, and thanks for stopping by!