daily bread 5/11/11

Installment #3! This will be a big one because I missed it last time (the plan is every other week) so there’s lots of goodess to share. And just think – with the Farmer’s Market back open and fresh produce just weeks away there will be SO MUCH MORE to enjoy! I’m giddy just thinking about it. Hooray for spring!
  • Black Bean Polenta Casserole – Easy and soooo good, especially with all the accoutrements of sour cream, pico de gallo, avocado and cilantro. The hubby loved it & so did I. The suddenly-fussy kiddo? Undecided. But really, all she likes lately is chicken nuggets. But that’s another story…
  • Slow-Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs – This recipe is so simple – I was dubious whether or not it could be very good. But oh, my, IS IT. I have even used dry basil all winter (until I get my herb garden going) and it’s still fabulous. We all go into food afterglow with this one. And I can’t wait to try it as meatball subs, too – we’ve always just done spaghetti.
  • Shrimp & Bok Choy with Gingery Quick Fried Rice – Love it. Wonderful weeknight meal, simple and healthy. Even the little one likes bok choy!
  • Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Mash – I have to be honest, everyone else liked this one better than I did – but I think with a little tweaking I could love it. Next time I would add a pound of ground beef (so much for a meatless meal), and instead of just frozen corn I would do mixed veggies – carrots, corn and peas at least. But the topping was great and we all loved the lentils.
  • Indian-Style Curry Yogurt Chicken and Mango Relish – Our Easter feast, made with still-slightly-tart champagne mangoes I found on sale at Whole Foods. This is a serious riot of flavors – I adored the chicken with rice and naan and actually ate it with just the sliced mangoes. Jeff was in heaven with the whole meal and I can’t wait – now that the season is here – to try grilling the chicken instead of baking.
  • Pinto Beans – I was thinking this would be a nice staple to have made for easy burritos, quesadillas and nachos but they never made it past the pot… we served up bowls and downed them, nothing added. Olive had three whole bowls one after the other and asked for more the next day. Amazingly good, dirt cheap… it doesn’t get better than this. My one change was adding garlic ( a few cloves) when I put in the shallot.
  • Spinach, Feta & Mushroom Meatloaf – I made this on a lark when Jeff & I were first married, throwing in random things and somehow ending up with what is still one of our favorite meals (Olive will tell you this meatloaf and mashed potatoes are her #1). One of the highest compliments I’ve ever gotten was not too long ago when Shaina of Food for My Family said of me, “She makes good meatloaf.” Love this stuff; wish I could say I made the recipe up with thought & planning ;)
  • Chicken and Sweet Potato Chowder – A girlfriend recommended this recipe and it is fabulous. I’m not the hugest sage fan so I use dried and a lot less than the recipe calls for, and it’s still just delish.
  • Spinach & Mushroom Enchiladas – Rich: that’s one word for these. I love the homemade enchilada sauce (so easy! who knew?) and the filling, though I’m wanting to beef it up next time with some black beans & maybe corn. Jeff usually eats this with chips, as more of a dip than enchiladas & I’d like to change that & make it feel more maindish-y.
  • Egglant Parmesan – Can anyone argue with cheesy baked eggplant? Not I. A perfect recipe, if you ask me. Although I tend to heap on the cheese (I definitely double the mozzarella).
  • Cannoli Cream Banana Parfaits – I tried these out on Kate of Kate in the Kitchen when she came over for dinner and was very pleasantly surprised how delicious they were. As the sole banana eater in our home (and a passionate one at that) I’m always thrilled to discover a new way to enjoy them. And anything with ricotta gets high marks from me! I didn’t bother with the fancy slicing – I just cut small rounds like I would for cereal and sprinkled the nutmeg after layering them on.
  • Sour Cream Lemon Pound Cake – A nice, simple bundt with awesome lemony flavor. This was gone by the next afternoon. Lovely with coffee, tea, or red wine.

Well, I warned you it would be a long one… Mangia, friends! And please do tell me what you’re cooking, too!

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