Sour

toast

Steak Salad with Herbs | Toasted Sourdough Bread

Here’s your challenge, should you choose to accept it: find a real, honest-to-goodness loaf of sourdough bread. Why? For one thing (and important thing), it tastes good. For another, sourdough bread has more to it, nutrition-wise, than your standard French or Italian loaf. If you’re up for the challenge, keeping sourdough starter in your refrigerator and making your own bread regularly will keep you in good supply – for breakfast toast, lunchtime sandwiches or rounding out dinner. To enjoy the tart flavor of the bread, serve with something simple, like an herb salad topped with your choice of protein (we’re having steak).

Love to Cook: This steak salad recipe calls for both eggplant and corn – perfect for this time of year. If grilling isn’t an option, you could easily use the oven broiler instead. For a vegetarian option, try this sourdough bread salad with capers and anchovies.

Weeknight Reality: Same as above; if the eggplant is too much work for you, substitute other fresh, raw vegetables from the market.

Need a Miracle: If you are getting your bread at the grocery and don’t have a stellar bakery section, you may have to select something other than sourdough – say a spouted grain bread, or sprouted grain crackers. Toss the herb salad (Earthbound Farms makes a good ready-to-eat herb blend) in a mustard vinaigrette and top with your choice of quickly prepared protein: rotisserie chicken, deli roast beef, veggie burgers (warmed in the microwave) or even canned beans.

Planning ahead? Here are some things to think about:

Cobb Salad Wraps | Peach Ice Cream

Ratatouille | Parsley Salad

Sweet

Pistache

Pan-fried Turkey Cutlets with Spinach & Blue Cheese Salad | Macarons

Here’s the idea, a frequent flier around here: green salad, topped with lean protein, followed by dessert. For this one, try a standard spinach/blue cheese combo for the salad and top with turkey tenderloins that have been pan-fried in a bit of butter or olive oil, with seasoning to taste. You’ll have plenty of time left over to try your hand at making macarons, should you choose. They’re much easier than you think, although piping them into perfectly shaped rounds takes a bit of practice. Or you could just buy some from your local bakery and enjoy having some free time.

Love to Cook: Here’s Martha Stewart’s version of turkey cutlets, if you need directions. David Lebovitz has great instructions (and recipe) for chocolate macarons, and he also has suggestions for other sites to visit for more tips.

Weeknight Reality: Make the salad, etc., using the best ingredients you can find, and then purchase the macarons. There really isn’t another mid-level option here, since there’s no shortcut in the macaron process.

Need a Miracle: Use deli turkey instead of preparing tenderloins; cello spinach, blue cheese crumbles, prepared dressing and bakery macarons finish your list.

 

What about tomorrow?

Flank Steak | Israeli Couscous | Broccoli Rabe

Prompt Recap: March 15, 2015

Missed a day or want a full set of ideas in one place? Here are six prompts to help you make it through the week, whether you have plenty of time to cook or need a miracle nightly. Click the one word prompt to go to the full set of ideas and recipe links.

Want a daily nudge in your inbox? Click the Follow button on the right.


Cleanwhite radishes

  • Love to Cook: Steam (or broil or grill) some fresh fish and serve with watercress, arugula & radish salad
  • Weeknight Reality: Make an entree salad with white beans, radishes and spring greens; top with poached chicken, steamed fish or soft-boiled eggs
  • Need a Miracle: Make a quick Salade Niçoise using canned tuna and steam-in-the-bag green beans

Messyhungry

  • Love to Cook: Croque Monsieur
  • Weeknight Reality: Bratwurst Hoagies or Sloppy Joes
  • Need a Miracle: Patty Melt or Fried Egg Sandwich

 


Composedcomposed

  • Love to Cook: Seared tuna, roasted spring vegetables and fresh spring greens, plated individually
  • Weeknight Reality: Composed Cobb salad platter (use rotisserie chicken if you’re in a hurry)
  • Need a Miracle: Greek platter with items purchased from the grocery bar or take-out Mediterranean restaurant

 


Mashedrefried beans and greens

  • Love to Cook: Refried red beans, chopped cilantro, onion and avocado on fresh tortillas (or corn cakes)
  • Weeknight Reality: Mashed cauliflower, oven roasted asparagus, pan-fried pork chops
  • Need a Miracle: Mashed potato bar and Caesar salad (use take-out mashed potatoes, if you must; but you can make mashed potatoes from scratch in less than 30 minutes, really)

Breadbread

  • Love to Cook: Tuscan Ribollita (bread soup) with Meyer lemon gelato for dessert
  • Weeknight Reality: Panzanella (bread salad) with grilled or poached chicken
  • Need a Miracle: Take-and-bake Italian loaf with minestrone from the deli bar

 


3.1415pate brisee

  • Love to cook: Roasted root vegetable pie (or its upside-down cousin, tarte tatin), with or without meat
  • Weeknight reality: Quick shepherd’s pie
  • Need a miracle: Quiche from the deli counter

Composed

A composed salad dinner, as pretty to look at as it is good to eat, can be as light or hearty as you choose, plated individually or prepared on one big, artfully arranged platter and served family style. It’s a way to be fancy without strenuous cooking.

composed


Food Ideas

  • Love to Cook: Seared tuna, roasted spring vegetables and fresh spring greens, plated individually
  • Weeknight Reality: Composed Cobb salad platter (use rotisserie chicken if you’re in a hurry)
  • Need a Miracle: Greek platter with items purchased from the grocery bar or take-out Mediterranean restaurant

Recipe Links


Parting Thought

“Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.”

Walt Whitman, Song of Myself