**Tuesday’s menu: Pasta. Roasted tomato sauce (prepared the day before). Pan-fried tofu. Steamed fresh spinach.
**Original plan: Monday was Thanksgiving, and a holiday, and somehow meal-planning for the week ahead escaped me utterly. I jotted down a quick list of veggies on hand, and hoped it would provide inspiration throughout the week. Hey, the spinach got used.
**In the kitchen: Whipped up after swim lessons. The item that took the longest was the pasta (waiting for the water to boil!) I’d just read an article in Macleans extolling the use of butter, so must confess butter was added to … everything.
**The reviews: AppleApple did not get to eat until after her soccer. I did not get to eat until after dropping her off at soccer (I also went for a run.) When I came home, I traded off with Kevin, who left for a soccer meeting. In my absence, supper had been eaten. The spinach was untouched (forgotten?) Was it ever delicious. And buttery.
**The verdict: Good leftovers. AppleApple ate pasta and sauce as a bedtime snack and declared it very good.
**Wednesday’s menu: Beans and rice (pictured above). Cabbage/daikon slaw. Tomato-cilantro salad. Broiled eggplant and zucchini. Condiments (crema, hot sauce, feta.) Tortilla chips and tortillas.
**Original plan: There was no plan. So I’m pleased with this feast.
**In the kitchen: Washed, quick-soaked, and started cooking beans first thing in the morning. Baked rice in the afternoon, left in the oven (oven turned off). Thawed tortillas. Post-piano lessons looked to the veggies in the fridge for inspiration.
**The reviews: So good, I couldn’t bear to miss it to go to yoga class as planned.
**The verdict: Excellent. We lingered, we talked.
**Thursday’s menu: Squash soup with leeks. Beets, potatoes, and carrots roasted with garlic. Broccoli with cheese sauce. Bread and cheese.
**Original plan: Thursday is the only day of the week that we don’t have an activity after school, or something one of us is rushing to immediately after supper. Yes, that’s sad. Or active. Or both. But it means that Thursday is my happy cooking afternoon.
**In the kitchen: Whipped up after school. Roasted the veggies with fresh thyme picked from our driveway (doesn’t that sound appetizing?) After roasting, tossed them with a vinegrette. Broccoli with cheese sauce was by request. Have I mentioned how much I love requests?
**The reviews: Some were not happy, except with the broccoli/cheese sauce combo (popular despite being made with a sharp swiss). Others thought it was the best meal of the week. And that’s saying something. It was a good week, food-wise.
**The verdict: Speaking for myself, I couldn’t stop eating.
**Friday’s menu: Gallo pinto (beans and rice fried together), with tortilla chips, crema, cabbage salad, and salsa. Plus a ham sandwich for soccer girl, and an energy bar for me. Yum?
**Original plan: Leftovers. But the kids wanted a real meal. Gallo pinto technically is leftovers, but, rebranded, is much preferred over those other leftover leftovers.
**In the kitchen: Kev did the frying. We were just home from skating. I was getting ready for a run, and soccer girl was getting ready for soccer (I’m getting in the habit of taking her to soccer, then running trails while she’s there).
**The reviews: Heard via the grapevine that the gallo pinto was declared “the best supper ever.”
**The verdict: Not too shabby. Even eaten cold, after the kids are in bed, accompanied by a glass of wine. Ah, Friday.
**Weekend kitchen accomplishments: Nothing. Nada. Nope. Home alone with kids on Saturday, so I cleaned and tidied instead of cooking or baking. Plus we went to the grocery store and stocked up on junk food. I’m whispering that. Then we hosted four extra kids overnight (our turn in a babysitting exchange!) and ordered in pizza. And today Kevin has a soccer game, and soccer girl has another practice during which I’m going to go running in the rain, and you know, there’s a fair bit of bread still frozen in the freezer, and we’re not yet out of yogurt, and we’ve got junk food. Whispered. Everyone needs a break from time to time.