Weekend Cooking

As I have mentioned before, I love making menus. We had a friend, J, in town from LA and staying with us to attend a wedding, and I immediately peppered her with questions about food preferences.  While she is an omnivore, she was making more plant-based dishes. Perfect! I had a stash of recipes I was hankering to try.

Since J would be with us in the morning, I made two types of granola/cereal. My go-to recipe is one specifically to help with workouts which may or may not happen but I really like the flavor. The cacao nibs contain seratonin for mental focus; dates for immediate energy; oats to prolong muscle function; and flax and chia to enhance burning fat.  I added matcha to half the batch for the additional nutritional boost.

Matcha Cacao Pre-Workout Performance Cereal
Date and Cacao Pre-Workout Performance Cereal

Later in the day, I had mistakenly thought that there was a friends ‘n’ family dinner on the eve of the wedding and so was planning a simple lemon pasta. When I found out J would be able to join us, I wanted to make something a bit more substantial. I had the ingredients to make a salad from some of the greens from our CSA, gyoza and steamed rice. Menu set!

Arugula and Lettuce Tofu Salad with Ginger Dressing

I made a filling of ground beef, napa cabbage, ginger, garlic, chives and a bit of sesame oil. And then it was time to make the dumplings! We made about 50!

Beef Gyoza at Dusk

The next day, I was thinking about salads and had earmarked this one from Melissa Clark. I like halving most recipes I try for the first time to see if I like it.

Salad Close-Up
Farro Salad with Chickpeas, Currants and Frizzled Leeks

The oven-roasted leeks added more flavor than I expected. I really liked it and will definitely make it again.

Another recipe I had been wanting to try is one from the amazing Mokonuts duo — the Rye-Cranberry Chocolate-Chunk Cookies — as shared by Dorie Greenspan. I modified it with what I had on-hand and used currants instead of cranberries and chocolate chips instead of chopping up bittersweet chocolate. I also reduced the amount of poppy seeds as I admit I was nervous about the volume. Overall, the modifications still resulted in a super tasty cookie and I am keen to try it using the intended ingredients.

Rye, Currants, Poppy and Chocolate Chip Cookies (yes I had half of one before I remembered to take a picture)

A great weekend of cooking made possible by inspiration from friends!