The week in suppers: fresh from the freezer

veggies off the bbq

Monday’s menu:: Puttanesca sauce. Canned tuna. Pasta.
New food!:: At last, a new recipe! I’ve been making the same tomato sauce for pasta for, well, a decade. I was looking to add protein to the meal (not tofu, and not hamburger), and went looking through my favourite Joy of Cooking for ideas. This sauce is traditionally made with anchovies. I substituted tuna, and served it on the side (one kid LOATHES seafood). We happened to have capers and black olives on hand. This was a very popular meal.
The recipe:: Puttanesca sauce (adapted from Joy of Cooking)
In olive oil, saute chopped garlic and onion (or garlic scapes and green onions, as the season dictates) with one dried hot pepper. (Note: remove pepper before husband inadvertantly eats it; sorry, hon.) Stir in 1 cup of chopped and pitted oil-cured black olives and 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and cook briefly. Stir in one jar of canned tomatoes, and one can of tomato paste, and let simmer for about 5 minutes. (If sauce is too thick, add some liquid.) Stir in chopped parsley (fresh or frozen), 2 tablespoons drained capers, and 1 tablespoon cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday’s menu:: Chili with hamburger. Steamed rice.
Whither the veggies?:: Yes, this meal could have stood a salad on the side; in my defence, the chili was studded with lots of corn and tomatoes.
Fast food:: It was a crazy day, and I had approximately twenty minutes to whip together a supper that we could eat before departing, en masse, to our Tuesday series of soccer games. I thawed a container of chili (thank heavens for leftovers), added browned hamburger, and steamed the rice. We ate like we were in a race, abandoned the meal on the table, and enjoyed a happy evening on sunny soccer fields.

Wednesday’s menu:: Grilled breakfast sausages. Grilled veggies. Leftover pasta and sauce.
Kevin in charge:: I had a reading so Kevin took over the menu planning and prep. We were glad that the BBQ now sits on the back porch, under shelter, because a wild hailstorm blew through over the dinner hour.
Breakfast sausages, you ask?:: To which I reply, Yup. They were what we had in the freezer. And the theme of the week was: What’s in the freezer?

Thursday’s menu:: Udon noodles. Stir-fried veggies with tofu.
Unhappy children:: Nope, this was not a hit. I stir-fried the udon noodles separately to avoid a mushroom-mutiny, but still no one liked it. The noodles were bland. The tofu and mushrooms were treated with disdain. And it took me longer to cook than I’d estimated. So we were all unhappy, frankly, as this was another rushed evening of soccering.

Friday’s menu:: Black beans. Steamed rice. Avocado, cucumber, tomato salad. Tortillas, and tortilla chips. Yogurt and feta cheese. Asparagus salsa.
Seriously yummy:: The black beans and tortillas came from the freezer. Everything else was easily whipped up post-swim lessons. We were hosting family for the weekend, and this was the perfect welcoming feast. I tell you, people, you can’t go wrong with this meal.


Weekend kitchen accomplishments:: Eight loaves of bread. I baked four on Saturday and four again on Sunday. Our supply in the freezer was getting low. And we ate a lot of bread over the weekend — a loaf for each breakfast, and another loaf for Sunday supper, which was BLTs. Now that’s a good supper. Though as you can see, we are not exactly vegetarian at present.

Breakfast specials:: Wanted to note, also, that Kevin has been making breakfast smoothies for the past couple of weeks. Hugely popular with the kids, if kind of messy (says the woman who generally oversees kitchen cleanup). The shakes include bananas, frozen fruit (yes, more food from the freezer), yogurt, a touch of milk, peanut butter, and ice.

Weekending in the rain
On being a competitive person: the ugly truth


  1. Clare

    Carrie, how did you dress the tomato, cucumber, avocado salad. That meal sounds scrumptious. Also, do you buy your beans dry, soak and cook them and then freeze for easy use? I have dried beans in my cupboard…

  2. Carrie Snyder

    Excellent questions, Clare! I dressed the salad with the juice of 1 lemon (or 1 lime works well too), salt to taste, and a touch of pepper. No oil necessary.

    I use dried beans. I use the quick-soak method. With both black beans or the small red Mexican beans, you just pick over the beans, rinse them, then cover with water, bring to a boil, boil for two minutes, turn off, cover, and let sit for an hour. Then cook for an additional two hours, just on simmer. I always add several whole peeled cloves of garlic, a bay leaf, and salt. I know some cookbooks recommend against salt while cooking, because it apparently hardens the beans — I’ve never found that to be true, and the beans taste better when they’ve been simmered in seasoned liquid. Add extra water while simmering, if needed.

    Different beans taste different — what kind are in your cupboard? I like some more than others, that’s for sure.


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