April/May Selection

Time for the first selection!

I’m making it relatively easy on myself, since my life is already in a major transition. Love Your Leftovers is a book I actually really like. It’s by Nick Evans, who runs the popular blog Macheesmo. I like his writing and I can usually rely on his recipes to be tasty and simple.

The idea behind the book is to cook a base ingredient – e.g. salmon, flank steak, beans, roasted chicken – and then build different meals around them through the course of the week. In part I picked this book because I have things in the freezer and pantry that need to be eaten and can fit into this template nicely (e.g. a huge salmon, a pork tenderloin, TONS of beans). Every week I’ll pick a different basic and try out his recipes.

A note about the concept: I love it in theory. But, I don’t really understand how one salmon is going to last multiple meals for a family. I can make this work when cooking for just me or one other person, but even a roast chicken, I find, doesn’t go that far when feeding a crowd. I do like, however, that it demonstrates how versatile different base ingredients can be, and that’s a skill you can definitely build on.

I have already tried the following recipes:

  • Snap pea and pork stir fry (tasty; I likely, however, made lots of substitutions as I tend to do with stir fries)
  • Tomato poached cod – v. tasty.
  • I believe I made the all-purpose rub for flank steak

There are a lot of recipes I would like to try out of this book. But, I need to keep it manageable, especially cooking for one. So here is the pared down list:

  • Black Beans:
    • Black bean burgers
    • Crunchy black bean tacos
    • Smoky black bean salad
  • Flank steak:
    • Steakhouse salad
    • Steak and chili quesadilla
    • Vietnamese noodle salad
  • Lentils:
    • Spicy lentil salad
    • Ten minute lentil wraps
    • Curried lentils and carrots
    • Stuffed portobello mushrooms
    • 30 minute lentil stew
    • Salmon with caper lentils (I think I’ll combine this with the Herb roasted salmon below)
  • Pork:
    • Carnitas tacos
  • Rice
    • Ginger pineapple fried rice
    • Rice stuffed red peppers
    • Chicken and rice soup
    • Arroz mixto
  • Salmon:
    • Herb roasted salmon
    • Salmon cakes
    • Salmon tacos
  • Beef broth:
    • Forty minute Pho (but I’m going to use chicken broth…because it’s what I have!)

None of the recipes in the potato or grilled tofu sections appealed to me. He also has recipes for dishes I already know how to make, such as gnocchi, risotto and polenta (all of which I learned from bonafide Italians, so I’m not going to rely on this book for that). The granola recipe I’m passing on, since I have a really good one, and I’m not really interested in putting granola in anything except yogurt! There are also more basic recipes, like Toad-in-a-hole and salmon scrambled eggs, for which I don’t need recipes, so I’ll skip them. But the book is a good reminder that eggs and salmon pair well together 🙂 Finally, there are gratin type dishes that I don’t normally make because I’m not a fan of smothering things with cheese.

Initial thoughts: A great basic book, a fun book to read, but I might be beyond it. It might serve as inspiration, but also could end up donated. We’ll see…

 

 

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