Week Night Meal Plan | March 30-April 4

The past week I've been able to keep calm and reinvest my free time into this blog. I've rediscovered recipes, I've rediscovered my love for creating menus (which is part of the reason why I became a culinary professional) and really relished slowing down 90% to enjoy my house, my family and my joy of cooking. Cooking releases tension in me and facilitates a soothing balmy effect in this upside down world.

Due to the current mobility restrictions and limited funds for eating out at restaurants, I am happily ready to cook every meal at home and share the fruits of my labor with you. If you need help figuring out what to buy when you order or pick up your groceries, here is a comprehensive well-stocked pantry list. It includes non-perishables, refrigerated and frozen food columns.

This week's menu is a mix of simple, easily customizable dishes and leaves a little wiggle room for me to plan for myself.

Many retail grocery stores have pre-seasoned, pre-mixed packages of beef, pork and poultry in the meat section. I bought these chops pre-seasoned with a mesquite spice blend that regional market, Food Lion, sells. There was a BOGO special and I couldn't pass that up. There was also pork butt (aka pork shoulder or picnic) on sale for 99 cents and I scored a 10-pounder. More on THAT next week.

I've put burrito bowls on the menu before and to be perfectly honest, taco bowls are the same thing. Are you a crunchy or a soft taco person? Are you into corn or flour tortillas?

My mother took a Greek cooking class when she was in college and this is one of the very few recipes she remembers from that time period, but she'spassed it on to me. Well, actually, I watched her make it to many times that I know each step by heart. The only difference? I'm going to grill mine! The carrots are leftover from this recipe and the cucumber salad is something I plan to throw together at the last minute.

Remember that pork I told you about buying at the grocery store? Well, we are going to have so much of that leftover, that the only thing left to do is to make sandwiches with it. Something that I learned this week: A medianoche (which means midnight in Spanish) consists of roast pork, ham, mustard, Swiss cheese, sweet pickles and served on a sweet egg dough bread . It's just like the Cuban sandwich, except for the bread. I don't like ham, so I'm using turkey. I don't have crusty nor eggy bread, so I'm putting it on sandwich bread. Regardless, it's gonna be delicious.

I don't know if you know this about me, but I love pizza. It's my favorite food. I've been playing with this pizza dough recipe for almost two years and I'm ready to unleash it. Not only that, but it's gonna be a pizza party with sausage and pepperoni and all kinds of cheeses. I can't wait for you to see it.
But if Friday rolls around and I'm too tired to make, proof and roll out the dough, it's gonna be this pasta recipe.

Supporting local businesses is something that comes naturally to me. Ever since I became a part of the food community here, I've always supported local first. As a matter of fact, my job as food editor for the best alternative weekly newspaper in the state thrives on being HYPERLOCAL. What am I, if not consistent? While I don't have all of the dollars to spend at the restaurants that I enjoy, I can support the local economy the best I can by supporting one restaurant at a time, one day a week (two days a week if this stimulus package money drips down to my level). I don't know who I'm going to pick yet, but I can't wait to share with you what we decide to eat.

Until next time...

Like this post?

About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

Leave a reply