Cooking the August 2014 Cooking Light “Dinner Tonight” feature: Part 1

I’m three recipes in to the Cooking Light weekly feature, and so far so good!

Monday started with Vegetable Hash with Poached Eggs with Multigrain Toast and Red Pepper Tapenade

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Thoughts: Yum! This was easy to make, but chopping the vegetables is time consuming. I’ll make it again–but I’ll prep all veggies on the weekend so all I have to do to cook them is dump them in the skillet.

Also, the vinegar really did help a lot in keeping the egg together when poaching.

The toast with red pepper tapenade was awesome and a perfect complement to the main dish.

Verdict: Would make again on a weeknight.

Next: Beef and Bell Pepper Kebabs with Mushroom-Ginger Noodles

Thoughts: I totally spaced on getting a picture of this!

OK, so I kinda cheated. I was too lazy to bother threading the beef and peppers on skewers, so I just stir fryed it all. I mean, that has a similar effect, I figure. I feel like this dish took me longer to put together than I thought it would but I’m not really sure why. I hadn’t used five spice before and I liked how the beef turned out. The noodles needed a kick, IMO. Oh, also I forgot to buy OJ so I substituted lemon juice in the marinade, and that worked fine.

Verdict: I’ll make it again, the beef for sure, but I’ll be adding some sambal oelek to the noodles.

And then: Olive and Pesto crusted Cod with Summer Bread Salad

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Thoughts: This. This is what I was looking for when it comes to new weeknight meals. This totally took less than 35 minutes to put together like the recipe says–more like 25. I prepared the cod while the oven preheated, and I made the salad while the cod cooked (and was finished prior to the cod). The fish turned out restaurant perfect. I had never cooked cod before so this was a real shot in the dark for me. The salad was super easy to put together–but I excluded the cucumber. Not a fan. I got the cod at Mariano’s, this fantastic new grocery store in Chicago which is part of the Roundy’s chain. Their stuff is really nice quality and the prices are pretty fair.

Verdict: Absolutely making again and highly recommending.

Also, thus far, I’ve had enough left over of every meal to have lunch for work the next day. That’s nice, considering this is more than I normally spend on meals for a week!

Stay tuned for part two, where I wrap up the two final recipes of the week, and I do plan on FINALLY getting my June books posted here over the weekend as well!

I’m back…with a fun project this week!

Wow, July is flying by! I have a new job at work, effective July 1, and late June and early July was spent transitioning. I worked a lot of late nights and weekends, but I am getting back on track as far as a standardized work week goes.

Because of work, I didn’t do much in the way of cooking the past month. But this weekend, I decided I would get this week on track by cooking all five days of the August 2014 Dinner Tonight column in a row. Each night is supposed to take 40 minutes or less, and all five meals look like something I wouldn’t normally make myself. I’ll also be making all the recommended sides too. Then, I’ll write my review of the recipes over a few posts later this week.

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Today I did most of the shopping–I didn’t get everything, I am going to pick up the cod for Tuesday on my way home from work that night, and I didn’t want to get the pork or chicken for Thurs/Fri this early for fear of it going bad. There’s also a few things I figure I’ll pick up later this week when I get the meats.

Most of the stuff I got at my farmer’s market–the menu is heavily based on vegetables. It’s also not cheap…it cost me about $100 thus far, and I still need to buy some mains! But, I am thinking I’ll have enough leftovers for lunches too, and if that’s the case then it’s a fair price.

Tomorrow I’ll prep as much as I can. I can get a lot of chopping in and make some of the spreads/sauces/marinades too. I’d like for my weeknight cooking to be under 30 minutes, if possible.

Monday’s dinner is Vegetable Hash with Poached Eggs and Multigrain Toast with Red Pepper Tapenade.

Enjoy your weekend!