Thursday, November 18, 2010

From Farm to Table

I imagined that when I got married, I would come home from work, whip up delicious meals, and watch Jeopardy while my sweet heart of a husband did the dishes in time to join me for double Jeopardy.

Awww.  Wasn't I such a cute and naive newlywed?

Life looks different than that for us day to day.  We eat on TV trays 95% of the time.  Often we don't eat until after Jeopardy is over.  Mr. Palindrome HATES doing dishes.  If it were up to him, he'd put a piece of frozen chicken on tin foil, bake it, then eat it right off the tin foil.  My skin crawls when I see bubbles of chicken fat on baked chicken.

Somehow I ended up as bread winner, baker, and cleaner.  Funnily, I think Mr. Palindrome got the raw end of the deal because he has lots of yard work on his chore list.  I'm trying to be a healthy cook and promote fresh vegetables so I enrolled us in a farm share program through Papa Spud's.  Not only do I get to choose what goes in my box (eggs, milk, meat, and grains included!), but they also deliver it to my front door.  *Smug-spoiled-look-on-my-face*

The other week, I ordered:
Spaghetti Squash
Green Beans

I shoot to cook about 3 to 4 times a week so that we're not eating out too much (and by eating out too much, I really mean eating too much - we both eat until we have to roll home).  With those ingredients I made 3 meals and had leftovers to freeze.

Meal 1: PW's Roasted Veg Minestrone
So after I added quarts more liquid, more tomatoes, and some seasoning, this tasted pretty good.  I reviewed the recipe on Tasty Kitchen and even the other people who gave it 5 mitts said that they added flavoring.  By chopping and making the soup initially on the weekend, I could quickly pull a meal together with some garlic bread during the week.  Mr. Palindrome wondered if my readers really cared if we ate at the table or on our TV trays.  I told him that I wanted more people than just me to appreciate my spider mum bouquet.

Meal 2: Penne with Eggplant and Olives

Chopping the eggplant, cooking that and then simmering the sauce took a little more time than I thought, but I ended up just mixing it all together and not baking it (per some of the helpful hints from reviews).  We both really liked it and the eggplant added something substantial for Mr. Palindrome's hearty appetite.  I'm highly aware now of why food looks better plated on white plates.  With these clear ones, it looks like I just slopped  dinner on the table cloth.

Meal 3: Maple Glazed Tofu with Spaghetti Squash

The hardest part about this dish was waiting for the spaghetti squash to roast.  Other than that, it was a one pan dinner and about 15 minutes of engaged effort.  I decided to make the tofu look like faux scallops, so I cut Mr. Palindrome's with a round biscuit cutter and used the flowery side for mine.  While it may not look like Mr. Palindrome was interested in this dish at first, he soon perked up when he got a whiff of the maple glaze.  He licked both our dishes clean before returning to homework.  A smashing success for minimal effort I'd say.

What do you cook on the weeknights?  Are you trying to incorporate more fresh veg?


  1. My neighbors have a garden and this summer I was SWIMMING in fresh veggies! It was amazing. :)

  2. Did you see PW go against Bobby Flay on Throwdown?

  3. @Jessica - which veggies were your favorite to cook with? I was getting overwhelmed by zucchini after awhile.
    @Emily - Gahhh! No! We don't have cable anymore :( Was it good?

  4. Yum! All your dishes look so inviting - great job! I was very encouraged by your post for I too was naive going into marriage. Being the bread winner, baker, and cleaner/organizer was not what I had envisioned. I'm still getting used to it. Co-ops seem like such a great idea, recently I have been looking into joining a co-op in order to have more veggies to experiment with and support our local farmers. It's nice to see other newly weds utilizing the same. Sounds like yours is a little more flexible than the co-ops in Maryland. I have yet to discover one that allows you to choose your shares. Oh, and your tofu dish looks amazingly cute with the way you cut the tofu, so creative!

  5. Now that you mention it, I do remember seeing a lot of paper plates at the Waterford house... :)

    The soup looks fantastic in your bowls!