Wednesday was a slushy snowy day and I got home late from my class. Luckily my husband looked at the menu and made baked potatoes, steamed broccoli and carrots, and fried some pork chops in bacon grease, he added apples around the chops part way through, and I believe he deglazed the pan with some of an open bottle of champagne we had in the fridge. For the vegetarian kids he sauteed an onion in butter, added some chopped carrots, and then added some of the leftover beans from the other night. Salt and pepper and some of our house herb mix finished it off. My vegetarian kids love "butter beans," which is basically what it sounds like, beans with butter. I always soak the beans first, preferably for over 24 hours. If you buy in bulk, and soak ahead beans are easy, and it's really no big deal to dump some in a bowl and fill it with water. If you are soaking for more than 12 hours I suggest changing the water half way through. I am often lazy and clean the beans after they are soaked, but always look through at some point and check for little bean sized clumps of dirt.
Tonight I got home late from work (I am noticing a trend) and my husband was feeling very poorly, so while he sat at the table getting kids to do homework I did a load of laundry and started dinner. Luckily I knew today would be crazy and I took the chicken out of the freezer rather than making shepherds pie which had been my plan.
Tandoori style chicken thighs, dal soup, mashed spiced sweet potatoes, green salad, fruit salad with yogurt.
I turned the oven on to 450 to preheat for the chicken. I chopped and sauteed an onion in butter, and while it cooked peeled and chopped two carrots and added them in. I rinsed soaked pink lentils and put them in the pot with water and a tablespoon of chopped ginger and a teaspoon of chopped fresh turmeric and started them simmering. While the lentils cooked I put a small onion, a knob of ginger, more turmeric, 1/3 of a cup of yogurt, juice of a half lemon, salt, and some garam masala in the blender and pureed. I put a package of four chicken thighs in a bowl and poured the yogurt marinade over all and set them aside. I prepared a green salad, cut up an orange, an apple, and two bananas, mixed some honey and cinnamon into more yogurt and stirred it into the fruit. I peeled and cut up two big sweet potatoes and put them on the stove to boil.
When the oven was hot I put the chicken in a baking dish, skin side up, leaving the extra marinade in the bowl, but not wiping the chicken clean. Too much yogurt will curdle, but a little left on the chicken is nice. I put the chicken in the oven to bake. By now the lentils were cooked through, so I added a jar of Seeds of Change Tikka Masala simmer sauce, the last of the boiled beans from earlier in the week, juice of half a lemon, and some salt. I also added a cup or so more water, turned the soup to low, and let it cook.
My daughter had dance, so she had a bowl of soup, some left over rice, and a bowl of the fruit and yogurt. Off she went with Grandma to dance. I drained and mashed the sweet potatoes and mixed them with butter, cinnamon, and some fresh orange juice. By now the chicken was cooked so I served the meat eaters sweet potatoes, chicken, green salad, and fruit salad. My vegetarian son had soup with crackers and fruit salad. My husband and other son ended up eating soup too, and my husband ate it all gone. There goes my lunch plan for the kids. We got our older son out the door to his performance and did the dishes by six.