Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A different green salad, & our weekly menu

Yes, I know, it is a season for warm soups, and this one, or this one, sound very appetizing on this cold rainy day in Southern California.

Yet I come to you with the easiest and loveliest of salads, another wonderful recipe from The Forest Feast cookbook (where last week's Gorgonzola Grapes were from). It contains numerous salads that are so original, flavorful and festive. This one is fresh, crunchy and mostly seasonal. A crisp way to start a meal!

Scroll down to check out our weekly menu too, below the recipe :-)

Another kind of green salad

Adapted from The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson

Serves 3-4 (appetizer portion)

Prep time: 15-20 minutes

Age for babies: 12 months up depending on baby's teeth and familiarity with the ingredients. This is a crunchy salad (watch out for the nuts). but certainly pieces of cucumber and avocado can be given from a younger age.

2 scallions
1 small cucumber
1 green apple (the book uses pear)
2 stalks of celery
1/2 avocado (ripe but firm)
1/4 cup pistachios
7-8 leaves of fresh basil
1 cup shelled edamame (I use shelled frozen edamame. Frozen peas could be used also, place in boiling water for 2-3 minutes and rinse in cold water)
1 lime
3 tbsp olive oil

Wash and chop bite-size the scallions, cucumber, apple, celery and avocado, pistachios and basil (keep a few smaller leaves whole for esthetics :-))

Toss together in a bowl with the edamame. Squeeze the juice of the lime over it and drizzle with olive oil. Salt to taste.

Onto the week's menu!

A few changes to the menu format.

First, as our schedule is always shifting, Pablo eats lunch at school most days now, his preschool prepares a hot organic lunch as well as a seasonal fruit and nuts snack mid-afternoon (no processed foods :-)), which all the children sit down and take their time to eat together. Needless to say I love that!

So we now eat breakfast and dinner together as a family, and lunches on off days, which I'll post here.

However, I have been making a regular habit of cooking Monday nights once Pablo is sleeping, and I will share here what I'm making, in case it sparks some ideas for your meal-planning and cooking plans.

Cheeses of the week: Following French tradition, I always offer a little bit of cheese at the end of every meal, between the main course and dessert. Rotation this week: Truffle Brie, Petit Basque (sheep's milk), Gorgonzola.

FruitAt dinner, I offer a piece of seasonal fresh fruit (sometimes with yogurt). For younger children or those especially sensitive to sugar, at night, I recommend sticking to plain yogurt (regular homemade* whole milk, sheep’s milk, goat's milk and Greek yogurt for extra protein) to avoid too much sugar before bedtime. (Otherwise, Pablo usually eats berries at breakfast, and has a fruit snack at school in the afternoon.)

Fruits we're choosing from this weekApples, pears, kiwis, tangerines, grapes

Sweet treats: Since Pablo turned 3, I do offer sweet treats here and there (cake, chocolate, cookie, ice cream) in small quantity (homemade or artisan made whenever possible) at snack time (mid-afternoon) only, rarely as part of a main meal unless it's a special occasion.


Goûter (4pm snack) – Apple (from our tree!)

Appetizer / Finger Foods: Endive, Gorgonzola, blue cheese salad
Main course: Chicken mushroom and potato bake*

LATE NIGHT COOKING ahead (about 2/2.5 hours)
- Steaming green beans, potatoes and a whole cauliflower for easy salads
- Preparing these braised collard greens for next day dinner
- I have leftover pumpkin puree, trying this pumpkin bread (good for breakfast and snack).


Goûter - Pumpkin chocolate chip bread

Appetizer / Finger Foods: Cauliflower, green beans, potato, parsley salad
Main course:  Pork tenderloin with mustard sauce, braised collard greens


Goûter – Pick of Farmer's Market (Seasonal fruit samples, or a lovely brittle cookie from Morning Glory Confections! Pablo approved!)

Appetizer / Finger Foods: Crab, vegetable, corn salad
Main course:  Scrambled farm eggs with sheep's cheese


Appetizer / Finger Foods: Cucumber in creamy tarragon dressing
Main course:  Pan-fried Dover sole fillets with coconut rice


Appetizer / Finger Foods: Salami, leftover crab vegetable salad
Main course: Sardine avocado tartines

Goûter - Tangerine

Appetizer / Finger Foods: Baby bok choy, avocado, cashew salad from Café Sucré Farine
Main course: Braised coconut milk oxtails in slow cooker, quinoa


Goûter - Kiwi

Appetizer / Finger Foods: Apple, celery, cucumber salad
Main course: Pan-fried lambchops with these cumin and honey roasted carrots over ricotta from Bojon Gourmet


Goûter - A treat of Pablo's choice :-)

Appetizer / Finger Foods:  Creamy romaine salad with lots of herbs
Main course: Skirt steak and sweet potatoes

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