Four Weeks of Pesco-Vegetarian Dinners (early autumn)

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.

Last week I explained my family’s approach to menu planning, which is that I write the menu and do the weekend cooking, while Daniel cooks weeknight dinners following my instructions.  Here is our menu from one sheet of paper=four recent weeks.  I hope it gives you some new ideas!

Week One:

  • Sunday: Veggie burgers on buns with tomato slices, and corn on the cob.   Six-year-old Nicholas and I made a new batch of homemade veggie burgers, and then he cooked some of them while I wrapped the rest for the freezer.
  • Monday: Leftover gazpacho from last week, cheese, more corn on the cob, and cantaloupe.
  • Tuesday: Sweet Potato Burritos
  • Wednesday: Baked flounder with fresh herbs from our farm share and olive oil, spinach ravioli, and peas.  The flounder, ravioli, and peas all were frozen, so this was a convenient meal to put together.
  • Thursday: Spaghetti dinner at church!  I made the sauce.  We brought home lots of leftovers of sauce, pasta, and salad.
  • Friday: New batch of gazpacho.  Daniel uses the recipe in The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen.  He makes gazpacho whenever we get several of the necessary vegetables (tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, basil, onion, garlic) in our farm share at once.  This year, it happened two weeks in a row!
  • Saturday: We had so many leftovers that I did no new cooking (except some scrambled eggs and toast) during the weekend!  I had a lot going on that weekend and felt like I was hardly home, so not cooking was very helpful.

Week Two:

  • Sunday: Still getting through the leftovers!  By this point, I had a sore in my mouth from eating too many tomatoes!  (They’re very acidic, and I have a habit of biting the inside of my cheek when thinking hard, which creates a patch of thin skin that’s easily irritated.)  I diced and froze our remaining tomatoes to use in something we’ll cook after tomato season.
  • Monday: Tangy Honey-Apricot Tofu and Salty String Beans and rice.
  • Tuesday: Potluck dinner at church.  I meant to cook something on Monday night that we could bring, but I was too tired and went to bed early.  On Tuesday morning, I felt terribly guilty about that (on top of having not done any cooking all weekend), so when Daniel offered to pick up a ready-to-serve dish at the store, I said no, no, I would make sure to get home in time to do that on the way to church.  I did.  We ended up buying two frozen pizzas, which were more expensive than I would have liked, plus I worked myself into a snit about the unworthiness of frozen pizzas compared to the homemade food I should have made–and then, after all that, when we got to church we learned that the historical society which rents meeting space in our building was meeting in our parish hall that night (they normally meet on the other Tuesdays, when we don’t have a potluck, but something had thrown off their schedule), so we were going to have to eat in the choir room and wouldn’t be able to cook in the kitchen, only sneak in there to grab some dishes!  Bryan, a single guy who always brings more than his share of food, assured me that his cheesy pasta thing would cover the lack of pizza.  In fact, there was so much to eat that I came home with a quart of leftover cheesy pasta thing, as well as the two pizzas.  In addition to the lesson in humility and abundance, I got an opportunity to give Nicholas a special treat by allowing him to stay up late and eat pizza before bed!  (The pizzas had thawed while we were in church and eating, so they had to be baked immediately.)
  • Wednesday: Leftover pizza, cheesy pasta thing, tofu, string beans, and gazpacho!  Something for everyone.
  • Thursday: I was at a vestry meeting.  The guys ate thawed veggie burgers cooked by Nicholas, on buns with tomato slices; and apples.
  • Friday: I directed Daniel to saute the eggplant, carrots, and kale from the farm share with some canned garbanzos; set aside some plain garbanzos and slice up some cucumber for Nicholas; and cook some couscous.  This was a very successful meal!  The saute, with plenty of olive oil and garlic and herbs, was similar to this.  Nicholas refused to try it, but he enjoyed balancing garbanzos on cucumber slices so much that he ate heartily and then requested the same thing for lunch the next day.
  • Saturday: It was raining and chilly, so this was a great time for our first Honey Baked Lentils and Pumpkin Cornbread meal of the autumn!

Week Three:

  • Sunday: I tried a recipe for Aloo Gobi, an Indian cauliflower dish, using cauliflower, carrots, tomato, and onion from the farm share.  (Sadly, I had not yet discovered the joy of cauliflower leaves and just threw them in the compost!)  I added some peanuts to make it a main dish and also made rice.  Daniel and I thought it was pretty good, but Nicholas didn’t like it.
  • Monday: Canned baked beans, corn on the cob, and tomato slices.
  • Tuesday: Fried Rice with tofu, green pepper, and carrot.
  • Wednesday: Omelets with crimini mushrooms, red pepper, and tomato from the farm share and plenty of garlic.  I hadn’t planned anything for this meal, figuring we’d play it by ear with the veggies, and this is what Daniel decided to make.  We all loved it!  Nicholas even ate some of the mushrooms, which he previously had claimed to hate.  (This year we bought a mushroom share in addition to the basic farm share.  Every other week, we get a box the size of a small cake, packed with 3 varieties of mushrooms, conveniently delivered to the neighborhood dropoff point along with our veggies.)
  • Thursday: Leftovers.
  • Friday: Pasta Salad with broccoli, green beans, carrots, tomato, and mushrooms.
  • Saturday: Stir-fried eggplant, tofu, and shiitake and miatake mushrooms with teriyaki sauce, over rice.  This was so good!

Week Four:

  • Sunday: Spinach ravioli, sauteed mushrooms, and frozen “Caribbean vegetables” from GFS–broccoli, yellow carrots, green beans, and red pepper strips.
  • Monday: Bean Burritos made with fresh tomato and thawed onion and red pepper.
  • Tuesday: Potluck dinner at church.  I brought a loaf of Raisin Bran Bread baked the night before–except that we didn’t have raisin bran, so I used bran flour, only there wasn’t enough, so I filled the rest of the measuring cup with organic corn flakes.  The bread tasted a little different from the usual but was quite good!  I forgot to bring anything to spread on it, but we found some pineapple cream cheese in the church refrigerator, and that made a tasty combination with the raisins and cinnamon.
  • Wednesday: This time I planned an encore of the delicious omelets.  Daniel used up the rest of the week-old mushrooms in them.
  • Thursday: Baked flounder with herbs and olive oil, couscous, and . . . seeing simply “veggies” on the menu, Daniel decided to cook frozen ones rather than fresh since he was feeling tired.  Oh well.  He tossed some Brussels sprouts into the pan next to the fish, and they roasted quite nicely.
  • Friday: We went out to a restaurant, for a change!
  • Saturday: This is when I learned to make Roasted Cauliflower Leaves!  I also roasted the white part of the cauliflower and some potatoes and a lot of green peppers from the farm share.  The leftover roasted peppers were delicious in burritos the following week!

5 thoughts on “Four Weeks of Pesco-Vegetarian Dinners (early autumn)

  1. Thanks for sharing your menus. It’s helpful to see what other people are eating when I’m running out of ideas, and I appreciate that you’re using seasonal foods.

  2. Pingback: Meal Planning When I’m Not the Cook « The Earthling's Handbook

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