Ah, Spring. The great season of pollen.
In the last couple of days, I’ve found myself mourning the loss of crisper and cooler weather. Why? Because I love cold-weather food more than I love warm-weather food (with a notable exception of watermelon – I could eat that all day, every day, duh). I am fond of all things stewed, roasted, broiled, baked, and braised, and find it a bit difficult to do these things in hot temperatures without feeling like my apartment has become a really fragrant and unbearable sauna. If I had to choose between meals that are comforting and meals that are refreshing, well, you probably know where I would land. But I suppose those things aren’t mutually exclusive, and perhaps this season can serve as an opportunity for me to learn how to make exceptional spring/summer foods.
To make sure that I am not the only one to blame for a potentially lackluster spring/summer menu for the week’s meals, I sent to my husband a survey, where he had to choose his top seven lunch/dinner selections, top three side dishes, and top dessert. I already harbor a ludicrous level of anxiety about not enjoying these meals as much as I’d like to (how many salads can I bear?), so it is important for me to redistribute the blame for the potentiality of mediocre food. Thanks, husband!
Of course, I’m not going to entirely stay away from the oven – I would definitely rather eat vegetables roasted than raw. But, I want to minimize the amount of time spent on the range and oven, so that my adorable apartment doesn’t become a sweat box. I thought it would be nice to incorporate a calzone into the mix because elements of each can be prepared at different times. Then, when the apartment has been purged of all cooking-related hotness, I can stick those babies in the oven.
For the record, I’m not anti-salad. Salads can incorporate so many things, like grains (farro is a favorite of mine), pasta, rice, vegetables, cheese, etc. I just don’t find myself craving salads the way I crave a hearty porkchop, braised beef, or miso ramen. I’m hoping that an exploration of new recipes will help change this attitude.
So, without further ado, here is the week’s menu:
- Chard, mushroom, and burrata calzones
- Quinoa salad w/ cherry tomatoes, edammame, artichokes, peppers, chickpeas, and parsley
- Spring greens bibimbap (Korean mixed rice dish) with fried egg
- Bibim guksu (Korean spicy mixed noodles) with cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, and kimchi, topped with slices of marinated flank steak
- Halibut with summer squash & roasted potatoes
- Roasted cherry tomato pasta
- Pickled egg salad
- Pasta salad with roasted cherry tomatoes, tuna, mozzarella, cheddar, olives, and basil
- Arugula salad with roasted asparagus, pine nuts, cherry tomatoes, and lemon vinaigrette
- Roasted potato wedges
- Sauteed zucchini
- Garlic sauteed swiss chard
- Blueberry maple scones
And my first Mandu+Me selfie of the season: