Weekly Menu: January 8-14, 2012
Sunday: Lentil Dal with Bitter Greens & Curried Butternut Squash
Monday: Eggs in Purgatory with Artichoke Hearts & Capers over Polenta
Tuesday: Leftovers: Lentil Dal
Wednesday: Leftovers: Eggs in Purgatory
Thursday: Pork Chops with Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad
Friday: Eat Out
Saturday: Leftovers: Pork & Kale Salad
This is going to be a yummy week.  The lentil dal dish from my old, worn Cooking Light cookbook is a really nice vegetarian dish.  Filling, nicely flavored and perfect for this time of year.  For the butternut squash just chop it up in cubes and coat with olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper.  Roast it at 450 for about 25 minutes, or until soft.

You all know I love eggs for dinner, and this recipe is no exception.  The recipe actually calls for potatoes in the dish, but we like to leave them out (Christian hates potatoes....un-American, I know!) and serve it over polenta to make it even more filling.  If you want to go with the original recipe, just serve it with some hearty toast.

Lastly, we got an Omaha Steaks variety pack gift over the holidays so we have some nice pork chops in the freezer.  We thought we'd pair them with that delicious Kale & Brussels Sprout salad that was such a hit over Thanksgiving this year.  We're both really looking forward to having that again, healthy, easy & delicious!!  
Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad

This is a delicious and fabulous winter salad...even for those who have never eaten kale or think they don't like kale.  How do I know that?  It was my one risky dish for Thanksgiving this year and it got rave reviews!  And this was from a group of 12, men an women, who aren't really into the whole healthy, superfood movement.  So this was a bit of an experiment and I was prepared for it to be snubbed next to all of those buttery and rich Thanksgiving stand-bys.  Imagine my surprise when I started hearing murmurings around the table about the salad....of all things!  I think almost everyone loved it (yes there were one or two holdouts...but I'm convinced they didn't even try it) and had seconds.  It was even one of the first leftovers to be finished off.  So, I stand by my assessment that this is a phenomenal salad!

Recipe: Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad

It's actually quite simple when you look at the recipe...kale, brussels sprouts, almonds & pecorino dressed with a simple mixture of lemon juice, dijon mustard, shallot & garlic.  Voilà!  Delicious salad!  That being said, there are two steps that can take a bit of time if you don't have the right technique:

Butternut Squash & Chickpea Farroto

Holy good heavens, this is a winner!  I stumbled upon this recipe in a Bon Appétit a couple of years ago and it's been on my "to be cooked" list ever since and I'm kicking myself for not making it sooner.  Now that we've had it once, it will definitely become a winter staple in our household.

If you're not familiar with Farro, it's an Italian grain that has a mild nutty taste with a nice toothsome texture...similar in texture to risotto which is why it works so well as a substitute here.  If the labor-intensive stirring of risotto scares you off then this is the perfect alternative since you get a similar textured dish without standing by the stove stirring non-stop for 30 minutes.  Farro can be a bit harder to find than other grains, but specialty food and natural food stores tend to carry it.  Italian and Middle East grocers are another good place to look.  Of course, you could also order some online and save yourself some driving around.  Trust me, this dish is worth the hunt!