Mama's Meal Plan 2015, Week 9: Curry Week!

About half of you just thought "uh oh" or "ew."  I have found curry is a lot like cilantro among my friends.  Either you love it or hate it.  We haven't made a curry dish in this house yet that we didn't like.  With the exception of a chickpea dish a few years back, but I don't think the curry was the problem that time.

This week, I am making a big pot of soup that will be for lunches only, it will not be a dinner.  Last week, the soup was such a big hit, I ended up making another pot of it at 10:30 at night after choir practice.  Mind you, I'm not complaining.  If my seven year old wants homemade cannellini bean soup instead of peanut butter and nutella for her lunch, I'll make soup at midnight if I have to! The soup I chose is another vegan soup that is blended smooth.  I'm hoping for another hit, we'll see.  For the main meals this week, we have chicken and mushrooms in a coconut curry sauce, and the other big meal is grilled salmon with orzo, feta, and red wine vinaigrette.  Two nights this week we'll be dining at a friend's house or at an event, so these meals should hold us.

SUNDAY: Coconut Curry Chicken with Mushrooms + Curried Pea and Lettuce Soup for lunches

We have made chicken with a coconut curry sauce tons of time.  It is, in fact, Evie's favorite meal.  Sunday was supposed to have been a jammed packed day, so I decided to try my hand at a crockpot version.  After scouring books and the net for ideas, here is what I came up with:

Crock-pot Coconut Curry Chicken

Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a pan, saute 1 sliced onion and 1 tbsp minced garlic until onions are translucent.  Add 1 can tomato paste, 4 tbsp curry powder, 2 tsp corriander, and a sprinkle of ginger.  Saute until all are well mixed.  Then add 3 cans coconut milk, 1 tbsp fish sauce, juice from 1/2 lime.  Bring to a low boil, stirring well.

Meanwhile, in the crockpot, place chicken thighs (we used three packages for leftovers) cut into 1 inch pieces in the bottom, squeeze the other half lime over them.  Rinse 12 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms, shake off excess water, and layer over chicken.  Pour curry sauce over all in crockpot, cook on low 3-4 hours.

The verdict:  It was pretty good!  I think we still prefer making it out of the crock pot, the sauce wasn't as thick after cooking with the chicken and mushrooms.  Thinking back, I probably should have added a corn starch slurry to it to thicken things up.  But, all of the flavors were still really yummy, and having it sit in the crock pot freed me up to make this week's lunch soup.

 Curried Pea and Lettuce Soup

Now, on to this week's lunches.  Last week's soup was such a hit I looked for another type, just not beans again...need a little break from the all-bean diet.  I also note a favorable response in my workouts and weight checks when I do a soup-for-lunch week as opposed to a leftovers-from-dinner-for-lunch week.  I chose a seemingly tasty, but healthy, option.  It can be found at this link for Curried Pea and Lettuce Soup.  Not sure how the fam is going to feel about the tempeh, but hey, we can try something new!

Blended up soup with tempeh "croutons"

MONDAY: Grilled Salmon with Orzo, Feta, and Red Wine Vinaigrette

This comes from another cookbook gift from Mama's Mama.  It is Curtis Stone: What's For Dinner?   This is the first time I'm using it (sorry Mommy!) and I'm excited!  We had the leftover orzo from the recipe a few weeks ago, and I was looking for a reason to use sheep's milk feta again.   I have also been craving salmon, something we have a lot of during the summer...and with this eternal winter we're having, I want to bring a summery taste to dinners. 

TUESDAY: Leftovers! Yay!

Probably chicken curry, but if any salmon remained, we'll get that out of the way first!

Okay, I lied.  Rehearsal was cancelled for this night, so I had time to cook (and do laundry!). Therefore, I took spaghetti out of the pantry, used up the grape tomatoes and basil from last night, and had a yummy dinner!  We made a salad with a homemade Italian dressing, and called it a night.  The pasta below was made the following way:

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  In the meantime, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a saute pan.  Add minced garlic and crushed red pepper.  Heat garlic until almost too done.  Add cleaned, sliced in half grape tomatoes and saute until wilting.  Add 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water.  Just before adding cooked pasta, melt 2 tbsp butter into sauce.  Mix pasta into sauce, plate, add fresh sliced basil and Parmesan cheese, plus a few toasted pine nuts from the night before.

WEDNESDAY: Dinner at the church

THURSDAY: More leftovers! BONUS

FRIDAY: Dinner at my in-laws...DOUBLE BONUS!

Believe me, Sunday's chicken meal was enough to feed us all week.  So, even without the meals out, we'd be pretty set.  If needed, a frittata could be thrown in to use up veggies and herbs still hanging out in the refrigerator. 


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