As I’ve previously mentioned, my anxiety around unused food and leftovers was, at least initially, the primary motivation for creating an obsessive menu of meals. Looking at wilted/slimy greens and gray meat in my fridge would really bum me out, so I decided that I had to know exactly how much of everything I needed to buy, which necessitated a full schedule for the week (since I didn’t want to do grocery shopping every day). One thing that brings me great joy is strategically using leftovers for another meal – it transforms my reactive obsessions/compulsions into a proactive process.
This week’s meal menu was inspired by my need for soup. Though winter is starting to melt (thank gods), when I created this schedule, the cold was settling in my bones and all I wanted to do was bathe in simmering stock. The great thing about making broth is that several meals can stem from it and its leftovers. I usually make broth with a whole chicken + roasted vegetables (I find that roasting the vegetables makes for a deeper, richer, and warmer experience, which is what I want when we’ve had the winter from a frozen hell), and it leaves me with enough for three separate dishes plus loads of boiled chicken for a yummy chicken salad. For this schedule, the stock/chicken is being used for: white bean, escarole & sausage soup; pasta e fagioli (pasta fazul); radicchio risotto; and chicken salad.
Here is the week’s schedule.
Sunday, March 8
- To Do: Make stock
- To Do: Make chicken salad (from the stock)
- Lunch: n/a (in NJ)
- Dinner: White bean, escarole & sausage soup + bread + farro salad w/ roasted onion, toasted pine nuts, currants, and mustard greens
Monday, March 9
- To Do: Make double chocolate biscotti
- Lunch: Chicken salad sammies
- Dinner: Leftover soup + bread + swiss chard salad with lemon, grana & homemade breadcrumbs
- Dessert: Double chocolate biscotti
Tuesday, March 10
- Lunch: Leftover farro salad
- Dinner: Chicken legs baked with white wine + french baguette + salad with prosciutto & pear
Wednesday, March 11
- Lunch: Leftover chicken
- Dinner: Pasta e fagioli + salad with prosciutto & pear
Thursday, March 12
- Lunch: Leftover pasta fazul
- Dinner: Crispy pork belly + white rice + sauteed bok choy in garlic sauce
Friday, March 13
- Lunch: Leftover pork belly
- Dinner: Pizza two ways (margherita + speck/onion)
Saturday, March 14
- Lunch: Leftovers
- Dinner: Radicchio risotto
Coming up: On Authenticity, plus recipe for my Pasta e Fagioli
Note: The “brevity” of this entry is either a disappointment, a relief, or nothing. The week has been a bit crazy because of family stuff and work, but I promise to make the next entry a doozy!