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    The Simple Chef

    August 2, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    I make simple meals. The fewer side dishes, the better, in my opinion. If I can make an entire meal in one pot, this is preferable. We don’t really have enough people around here to eat up a lot of side dishes. And, for some reason, I find it a bit annoying to have to search for teensy-tiny plastic containers to store the leftovers in.

    If we have a side dish, it is usually salad. Or homemade bread. Or both.

    Or, it is zucchini-something. We have two zucchini plants. If you have ever grown zucchini, you will know that this is entirely too much produce. We have eaten zucchini bread, raw zucchini in salads, sauteed zucchini, and even breaded and fried zucchini.

    As our family gets larger and certain people get older, I am sure that there will be more to the meals because, otherwise, we won’t have enough food. But until then, I enjoy the simplicity.

    Here are some samples of this week’s menu, linked to the cookbooks containing the recipes I’m using:

    • Spinach Frittata from Eating for Excellence {page 90}: Topping this with sheep’s milk romano cheese makes it tolerable for certain little boys avoiding dairy. The children think this is an “egg pie.” It is packed with protein as well as veggies, making it a wonderful main dish. We usually eat this all by itself. Double it, and eat it for lunch the next day, too. Just promise me you will heat leftovers on a plate in the oven and not in the microwave.
    • Turkey Waldorf Salad served on a bed of romaine lettuce from Eating for Excellence {page 137}: Double the amount of turkey, and any other ingredients you like, and it easily becomes a main-dish salad. Zucchini bread goes well with this if you are into that sort of thing.
    • The New York Goodwich from Fit for Life {page 206}: These are whole wheat pita sandwiches packed with vegetables and sprouts and barbequed onions. I add a bit of shredded, boiled chicken to this, which breaks all of the Fit for Life rules, but pleases my husband and son to no end.
    • Chimichangas from Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook {page 387}. The ground beef filling is fragrant due to the cloves and cinnamon, but still spicy from chilis and salsa. Serve this alone as an easy dinner {way healthier than frozen burritos}, or make a full meal by adding salad and salsa rice {boil the rice in chicken broth and add 1/2 cup of salsa for every cup of rice}.

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    1 Comment

  • Reply Si August 3, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    I can testify to these meals being absolutely terrific! And, lucky me, I get a new one almost every night. The Simple Chef is also a great wife.

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