What’s for Dinner

In the veggie box: collard greens, pea shoots (!), one bunch of beets, a head of fennel, kale, leeks, bok choy, carrots, lemon, and a rutabega that’s green where I’d expect it to be purple. I’m a little dubious about the rutabega.

Last week’s meal plan strayed off course when I decide to corn my own beef instead of buying corned beef at the supermarket. This involves rubbing a brisket with salt and spices and letting it sit in the spice mixture for a week (in the fridge). So I have a corned beef brisket getting ever-cornier on the bottom shelf of my refrigerator. Instead of the corned beef I made soba noodles with bok choy (not a success; we christened it “buckwheat glop”) and a sweet-and-sour cabbage dish that Robin and I thought was delicious but Sam didn’t much care for. Along with the cabbage it involves ground beef, ground pork, tomatoes, vinegar, a tablespoon of brown sugar, dried cranberries, and rice. It’s basically like stuffed cabbage, only freeform, all stirred together in the pot instead of being made into individual bundles. I’ll post the recipe if anybody’s interested.

Sam, it turns out, doesn’t like cabbage. This is really too bad as I love cabbage. I got a little frustrated and accused Sam of just not liking food; he is, you see, the kind of person who can go all day and just…forget to eat, which is a state of being entirely foreign to me. Also, Sam has in him a wide streak of the taciturn Nevada mountain man. When he really enjoys a meal his typical reaction is a satisfied “Hey, that was all right!” When he doesn’t like something, on the other hand, he’s most likely to shrug and say “Well, that was alright.”

You can see how this can get discouraging after a while.

There’s also some tension between the sorts of dinners I know Sam likes (starchy pasta dishes, white bread, anything with lots of cheese on it) and what I consider to be healthy eating (whole grains, fresh leafy greens). I mean, there’s some overlap: he likes meat, and I’m convinced that grass-fed beef and other naturally raised meats are perfectly healthy food sources. And compromises are possible: I try to include at least one pasta dish every week, but I generally buy whole-grain pasta. But yeah, every time I plan a stir-fry I know perfectly well that Sam won’t be very excited about it.

I really expected him to like the sweet-and-sour cabbage though; it was tasty, hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fare that seemed right up his alley. I guess I can forgive an aversion to cabbage. He doesn’t like cole slaw either, which also seems alien to me.

Anyway, Sam has promised to be more demonstrative when he actually likes his dinner, and so this week I’m trying to give him plenty of opportunity by fixing things that should appeal. It’s maaaayyyybe not the week I would have chosen to have rutabega on the menu…

Tonight we are having orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe. Tomorrow, pea-shoot bubble and squeak, with grilled sausages (Sam loves sausages, can’t get enough). Robin and I will have collard greens for lunch.

Friday lunch: garlicky braised bok choy and fish sticks. Friday dinner: oven-“fried” chicken (actually covered in a crispy melba-toast coating and baked) and potato salad.

Saturday lunch: roasted root vegetables, except that I think I’ll put in the kale instead of potatoes (kale seems to roast well), and what’s left over can be reheated as a side dish for dinner. Valentine dinner: home-made pepperoni calzones and chocolate souffle.

By Sunday the corned beef will be ready to eat, with buttered potatoes and maybe some cabbage for Robin and myself. And then the corned beef will provide leftovers for dinner on Monday and probably sandwiches on Tuesday as well.

Oh, and: that pureed broccoli soup recipe from the New York Times came out quite well. It’s basically cream of broccoli soup with potatoes instead of cream, but it’s tasty. I didn’t bother to make the croutons, just bought some at the store, so our soup looked like this:

I also liked the picked broccoli stems, although I was the only one who ate them.

4 Responses to “What’s for Dinner”

  • Dawn Says:

    I always have to look up a third to half of the vegetables you get on Wikipedia. Some of them go by different names here (the Rutabega is a swede), but some are just not found. It’s odd given the global food market, but there you go. I’m a big fan of broccoli soup. However, I’m a bigger fan of your Valentine’s Day meal plan…

  • shannon Says:

    That’s fascinating about the differences in vegetables. I wonder what sorts of foods you might have that are unknown here?

  • Katie Says:

    Wow, that peashoot bubble &squeak looks so good! Thanks for the link!

Leave a Reply