Sunday, October 2, 2011

I'm Baaack!

Hi, Solitary Diners!

After a 2-month hiatus, I’m Baaack and raring to go!

During the summer, rather than totally wilting out trying out recipes in my overly hot apartment, I spent a lot of time outside with family & friends, and when home relied on old standbys, including many versions of one of my favourite default dinners: the Tortilla Bowl Salad (see June 5, 2011 post)

At the moment, my favourite is the BLT Tortilla Salad Bowl.  The combination of flavours and textures is so much fun to eat and quite more-ish.  Layers of salad, bacon & cheese are topped with a creamy lite ranch dressing with a hint of dill - a perfect counterpart to the dish. 

Directions are as follows: 

BLT Tortilla Salad Bowl

1 baked tortilla salad bowl (June 5/11 posting)
3 strips of bacon, cooked till crisp then drained and crumbled
2 cups torn crisp lettuce
1 finely diced celery stalk
1 finely diced Roma tomato (seeded)

Dilly Ranch Dressing (recipe below)

Grated cheese – 1/3 cup

Put the lettuce in the tortilla bowl, then strew the celery & tomatoes over top.
Then layer as follows:
1/3 bacon –
all the cheese –
1/3 bacon –
dressing –
1/3 bacon

And of course drizzle more dressing over the salad as needed.

Dilly Ranch Dressing:

1 tbsp lite mayonnaise
3 tbsp lite sour cream
1 tbsp yogurt
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp honey
dash of black pepper
pinch of dried dill
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1/2 medium Dill pickle, grated

Combine all ingredients and let stand, covered for at least 1/2 hour to develop the flavours.

Cooking Ahead: 

Now that fall is here I’m trying out new recipes, enjoying my favourite stand-bys, and switching up my default dinners.

One of the most successful things I’ve done for myself lately was to cook three 3-4 serving meals in a row and freeze them in individual serving portions to enjoy later and give myself more time to pursue my other interests of sewing and beadwork.  Otherwise, when one comes home after work there’s little useable awake-time left after preparing a meal, dining, then cleaning up.  This way, one can throw dinner in the oven or microwave and get right to the project at hand.

I made:  Chicken Tikka one night (2 half-breasts made 3 meals);
              Hungarian Goulash the 2nd night (1 tenderloin made 3 meals);
              Chicken Cacciatore the 3rd night (2 half-breasts made 3 meals);

Next I made Brown Rice Pilaf & froze it up into 1-cup logs;

Then I made pulled pork and froze it into ½ cup logs (1 small pork shoulder roast made enough for countless meals), for burritos, pulled-pork sandwiches, or Brunswick Stew).

Within 3 days I had 2 weeks' worth of weekday meals with some extra lunches as well!  Talk about doing yourself a favour - if you can manage something like this every few weeks, you will be able to rely less on outside meals and will be looking forward to the "menu" of meals in your freezer.

The recipes will follow in subsequent postings.  Pictures are pending.

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