Dinner's last week - week starting 22 February

What a week - a real mix of food.  A very dodgy start - winter comfort meals right in the middle of a heat wave - but finally a return to Feb Fast with San Choi Bao-style lettuce cups on Sunday and Tuna patties on Friday and Saturday.

Weekly Stats

  • Total number of serves of vegetables - 25
  • % of desired intake-  51%
  • Number of different types of fruit, vegetables, nuts and grains eaten - 15

Some thoughts about my meals last this week:

  • My main thought this week - use a non-stick pan for tuna patties!
  • Braises don't photograph well - but gee they taste fantastic.
  • I really need to make sure I'm making an effort to get vegetables and greens into my diet
  • Why oh why can't I get into the groove of menu planning
  • Tuna patties with breadcrumbs are definitely better - and the jury still out whether it is worth adding this extra step on a week night. (I didn't this week)



Neil Perry's braised chicken with mushroom and thyme modified for one person

Two Pans | 4 serves vegetables

So much for healthy February!  Monday this week started with a dish that included CREAM! AGGHHHH.....   Not really bothered to cook, and not excited by anything in the fridge I finally gave into the feeling for winter comfort food (If you knew how hot it has been, you would know how crazy this feeling was!) and decided to make a Neil Perry dish I'd seen written up in Good Food some time ago.

I rationalised it by the need to use up the Thyme in the fridge!

Not thinking that I would end up with an open carton of cream that then needed using up ....  unfortunately for "Healthy February' did!  Luckily I found a half cup of white wine in the freezer so I didn't have to open a bottle of wine!

However I had been obsessing about this dish ever since I saw a picture of it. It is exactly the kind of food I LOVE and it looked divine. My version didn't look anywhere near as good - but tasted absolutely delicious.


Leftover chicken from Monday

One Pan | 3 serves vegetables

What can I say - I had enough leftovers and ingredients to do Take-2! Equally comfort-food-ish and delicious.


Chicken mushrooms and cream

Two Pans | 1 serve vegetables


Butter beans with tomato salsa and rice

Two Pans | 1 serve vegetables

What a difference a couple of days makes! Beautiful chicken and a Neil Perry recipe to raiding the pantry trying to find anything edible that could somehow be turned into a meal. And once again, not a green in sight.  However at least it wasn't takeaway and wasn't too bad for me.   A great standby dinner.  IfI hadn't had the salsa in the freezer (more birthday party leftovers) half a can of tomatoes, or a tomato would have worked. See here for recipe post with pictures and comments.


Desperado dinner - Tuna patties made with leftovers & butter beans

One pan | 3 serve vegetables

A true desperado dinner - a group of sad leftovers, mismatched pantry items, turned into a great dinner. We won't even go there as to why I had such a small piece of carrot left vs just using it up in whatever I was making ...  I was also relieved to finally use the tin of Tuna that had been sitting unloved in my cupboard for months and months.  The bonus was remembering I had bought spring onions at the Farmers' Market.

Spring onions are one of those items that I really object to buying when you you are cooking for one. The price of half a bunch is barely less than a whole bunch, and I can never quite work out how to use a whole bunch as you normally only ever need one or two - YET - they do make a difference to a meal.


Tuna patties - take 2

One pan | 3 serve vegetables


Beef lettuce cups

One pan | 4 serve vegetables

Tonight the health groove finally kicked in. The 'try a new recipe' groove also kicked in and I tried a recipe I'd cut out from the newspaper years ago. It involved butter lettuce - which I adore, but never felt I could justify the cost for just one meal, but couldn't see how I would use a whole lettuce in a week.  Anyway I was very keen to try something new and this meal seemed like the perfect light summer meal for this ongoing heat and humidity.

They were originally called 'Spicy' Beef Cups - but they're not that spicy - even I can eat them! The spiciness comes from the combo of giner and garlic.


Recipes for one person from Dinner Desperado

Tomato and Butterbean casserole v1 with photos and comments

Sources of inspiration and original recipes

Neil Perry's Braised chicken with thyme and mushrooms

Inspiration for the original Beef Lettuce Cups came from a recipe by Kim Terakes in Feed Me Now, a feature that used to be in the Sun Herald's Sunday magazine - will post the link to the original recipe as soon as I can track it down.