Four Weeks of Pesco-Vegetarian Dinners (summer)

A pesco-vegetarian is someone who eats no meat except fish. That’s what we do when we’re at home and most of the time when we eat in other places.

Here’s what we ate for dinner for four weeks in July and August. Normally I plan our menu up to a week in advance and do the weekend cooking and some ingredient preparation during the week, while Daniel cooks our weeknight dinners. However, in the third week shown here, Daniel was out of town, so I had to do all the cooking. It was difficult because I was picking up our eight-year-old Nicholas from his day camp near my office at 6:00 each weeknight, and then it took us a while to get home, and he’s supposed to be in bed by 8:30, and some nights we had to fit in an errand…. We ate in restaurants more often than normal, and I did some food prep at night, and it all worked out, but I certainly am glad to have Daniel home again!!

We buy a share in a local organic farm every summer and get a crate of fresh produce delivered to our neighborhood every Wednesday, so many of our meals are structured around the veggies we got from the farm.

Week One:

  • Sunday: Tangy Honey Apricot Tofu, Salty String Beans made with green beans from the farm, and rice.
  • Monday: Whole-wheat spaghetti with homemade marinara sauce from the batch I made the previous week–similar to this marinara sauce with maximum basil, except that I didn’t use any bell pepper in this one.
  • Tuesday: Bean Burritos including green onion from the farm.
  • Wednesday: Out to dinner at the Dumpling House, our neighborhood Chinese restaurant. We had the steamed vegetable dumplings, Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce, and tofu with black mushrooms and bamboo shoots.
  • Thursday: Big salad of lettuce, cucumber, carrot, and tomato, all from the farm. We tried this Five-Ingredient Salad Dressing and liked it a lot! This was a very hot day, and none of us was feeling hungry enough to need some protein or bread as we normally would with a salad meal.
  • Friday: Nicholas wanted the few potatoes we’d gotten from the farm to be served baked, with garlic butter. Daniel baked them in the microwave. He also sauteed zucchini, green onion, and herbs, all from the farm, in olive oil. He and I ate the veggies on our potatoes, but Nicholas wouldn’t even taste them.
  • Saturday: I thawed the last of these Nutshroom Burgers that I’d made a couple weeks earlier, and Nicholas grilled them while I made a batch of coleslaw out of a cabbage from the farm. We kept a little bit of coleslaw for our lunches and donated the rest for volunteers from our church to serve at a homeless shelter. I’ve done this a few times because of my limited tolerance for cabbage–if I eat too much of it in a short time, my stomach gets upset–and because I’ve been told that the homeless men of Pittsburgh really like coleslaw!

Week Two:

  • Sunday: I baked frozen pollock fillets in lemon juice and garlic, in the toaster oven. I made another batch of Salty String Beans and reheated the leftover rice from last Sunday. (It was still good!)
  • Monday: Daniel converted all the cucumbers from the farm and some carrots into Cucumber Salad, which we ate with lettuce from the farm and assorted leftovers.
  • Tuesday: Bean Burritos including garlic scapes from the farm.
  • Wednesday: Omelet with some of the veggies we’d just received from the farm: kale, tomato, basil, and green onion.
  • Thursday: Homemade macaroni-and-cheese. Green beans from the farm sauteed in garlic butter.
  • Friday: Out to eat at King’s Family Restaurant on our way to drop off Daniel at his campground. Daniel and I had turkey this time, while Nicholas ordered his favorite F meal: fried fish, French fries, and fruit cup.
  • Saturday: Leftovers! Our refrigerator was packed with them. Nicholas often grumbles about leftovers, but on this occasion he was hungry and tired after our hiking adventure in the South Side Slopes and Downtown, and I managed to establish a festive “buffet” mood.

Week Three (Daniel out of town):

  • Sunday: We baked one of the frozen pizzas we’d just bought at Costco. I made a garlicky kale topping for mine. Nicholas had a side of cucumber slices. It’s a good year for cucumbers at our farm–we’ve been getting at least one every week for a while now!
  • Monday: I had prepared an eggplant from the farm the night before, by dicing it, tossing it with salt, and putting it in the refrigerator in a colander over a bowl so that excess juice could drain. Now I tossed it with olive oil and granulated garlic, spread it in my lasagna pan, and roasted it in the oven. (The weather had turned cooler!) Meanwhile I boiled some whole-wheat rotini. Then I turned down the oven, mixed the rotini and eggplant in the baking pan, added lots of marinara sauce, topped it with mozzarella cheese, and baked it for 15 minutes. It was kind of like lasagna. I loved it! Nicholas cheerfully ate around the eggplant–hmph. More for me.
  • Tuesday: Out to dinner at Cuzamil Mexican Restaurant. They offer 5 different vegetarian combo meals, and I usually get one of those, but it was $2 taco night and I wasn’t very hungry, so I ordered 2 bean and vegetable soft tacos while Nicholas had the combo of bean burrito, cheese enchilada, and tostada.
  • Wednesday: Cheesy Walnut Burgers…except that I used pecans instead of walnuts because that’s what we had, and they didn’t stick together…so Cheesy Nut Crumbles! I had all the ingredients ready to mix together when we got home–I had toasted all the bread heels and made bread crumbs, diced the onion, and thawed a bag of grated cheddar the night before. I also made a new batch of Cucumber Salad with yet still more cucumbers, plus tomatoes, from the farm.
  • Thursday: Out to dinner at Maximum Flavor Pizza Shop, our top recommendation for an inexpensive (though unhealthy) meal near Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. Nicholas and I spent the evening in the museums (open late on Thursdays) looking at things he’s been learning about in his summer day camps at the museums.
  • Friday: I hadn’t planned on yet another restaurant meal this week, but we were invited to celebrate a friend’s birthday at Ritter’s Diner. I’m not a fan of Ritter’s. We enjoyed the party, though.
  • Saturday: We celebrated Daniel’s return home by having him cook Beans & Rice! Side dish of carrot and cucumber sticks.

Week Four:

  • Sunday: We tried Whole New Mom’s vegan tastes-like-Nacho Cheese Doritos seasoning as a topping for sauteed summer squash from the farm, served over leftover rice. All three of us felt it did not taste much like Doritos, but we did like it, so I poured the remaining seasoning from the blender into a little bottle for future use.
  • Monday: Improved Pasta Salad made with whole-wheat rotini and frozen broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Tuesday: Masoor Dal and rice.
  • Wednesday: Whole-wheat spaghetti with Chickicheesinara Sauce.
  • Thursday: Daniel cut up some potatoes and an onion and some rosemary and parsley from the farm, tossed them in olive oil with some frozen Brussels sprouts, and baked them alongside some frozen pollock, also in olive oil with herbs. I poured the leftover olive/fish oil from the baking pans into a glass jar, refrigerated it, and later used it to cook scrambled eggs–yum.
  • Friday: Out to dinner at Qdoba Mexican Grill. We love their grilled veggie burritos!
  • Saturday: Eggplant Chili topped with cheddar cheese. This has become my favorite way to use eggplants from the farm, because the guys like it, whereas they generally aren’t eggplant fans. I am. I also like cilantro, which we had from the farm and which tastes wonderful on this chili, if you like cilantro at all.

Visit the Hearth & Soul Blog Hop for more summer eating ideas! Visit Works-for-Me Wednesday for more tips on many topics!

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About 'Becca
author of The Earthling's Handbook, about the environment, parenting, cooking, and more!

One Response to Four Weeks of Pesco-Vegetarian Dinners (summer)

  1. pmoppins says:

    Oh my gosh! Our eggplant is going crazy in the garden and I am always looking for new ways to use it. I will be checking out that chili right now!

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