Monday, March 7, 2011

Meal Planning Continues (subtitled, Problems in the Kitchen)

In the event you are keeping up with my meal planning via Happy Herbivore, here is the latest...

(These recipes are all from the website, so feel free to join in this week!)

Monday- Polenta Pizza
Tuesday- Chickpea Tacos
Wednesday- Oyster Mushroom Scampi
Thursday- Yam Falafels
Friday- Crispy Chickenless Nuggets w/ Baked Onion Rings

Yam Falafel w/ Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Now a quick little disclaimer. As I was getting started tonight I decided to veer away for the original plan. As I was looking at the recipe for the polenta pizza, I noticed the polenta part is supposed to be refrigerated for an hour before cooking. I decided this would take too long and we'd be eating too late. Plus I just got back from a Bikram Yoga class and I was starving. So I settled on making yam falafels instead (based on ingredients I had and didn't have at the moment, read: we forgot the dried chickpeas in this week's shopping, kind of a problem).

I was feeling good about this decision at first, and was really excited to try this recipe. As I went along I came across my first problem. My sweet potatoes were huge. Really, like 10 pounds each, and bulbous. They didn't even fit in the steamer/pot. Which bring me to the second problem, I was cooking 2 sweet potatoes instead of the 1 the recipe calls for. Why did I do this? I have no idea. Reading too quickly through the recipe, I suppose. 

So at this point, I'm trying to steam a couple of mammoth sweet potatoes, which is taking an hour instead of the usual, oh, 5 minutes it should take. I got so annoyed that the damn potatoes weren't cooking fast enough, so I just yanked them out of the pot and started trying to break them up to mash. Obviously this was impossible, because the insides were not cooked all the way. So here I am hacking away like a crazy person at the outsides of mutant sweet potatoes, making a mess everywhere and burning my hands in the process. Finally I got enough potato to mash and continued on. The falafel balls were made and ready for the oven. (Here comes problem # 3.) This is the first time in this entire process that I notice that these need to bake for 40 minutes. Ugh. I've been cooking for 2 hours and at this point I'm not even hungry anymore. But, into the oven they go.

My poor massacred sweet potatoes, it's like a vegetable murder scene.

In the end, they were delicious, so it was worth it. But let this be a lesson to all of you. Read a recipe before you embark on an unknown journey in the kitchen. And my lesson, stick to your gut feeling. We could have been eating polenta pizza about 2 1/2 hours ago.

After tonight I think I've realized not only should you meal plan around you are feeling like eating, or around what ingredients you may already have, but also around how much time you have.


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