Menu Plan Monday ~ 20th to 26th Jan & Butter panic

This weekend my mum came to visit and brought some oranges from Valencia. It’s so uncommon to find oranges that have not been covered with wax, I decided I HAD to do something with the zest. That’s how me made a Shirin Polow (Iranian Rice Pilaf) with cashews, carrots, saffron and brown basmati rice. I panicked they would not like it and used real butter, and for this reason I have not uploaded a pic here. I keep telling myself butter was healthier than margarine, and answering myself that it’s a lame excuse for not using olive oil. Finally, me make peace. Me and myself agree to relax and enjoy the journey, and maybe use a healthy substitute next time.

New dishes for this week are jacket potatoes, vegan pasta bolognese and the forever delayed seitan and eggplant stew and pan pizza recipes. We’ll see if this is your week!


  • Lunch: Catalan-style spinach (with sultanas and pine nuts)
  • Dinner: Barley salad and grilled portobello mushrooms







Menu planning saves me time, money and makes my life simpler. It just needs some practice and discipline, but sharing it with the community around I’m and organizing junkie does help a lot. Personally, I tend to combine old favorites and new recipes, all simple, healthy and with modest seasonal ingredients. Every week I do at least a salad, a soup, one dish of legumes, one dish of wholemeal organic cereal (such as brown rice, quinoa, wholemeal pasta, bulgur, etc), something my omnivore would cook and a meal from the freezer I can skip in case we eat out.

Healthwise, in addition to that, I take every morning a B12 and vitamin D pill (when I remember), add grounded flax seeds to dishes (when I remember), have simple oatmeal breakfasts (or toasted bread with olive oil), snack nuts and dried or fresh fruits (also I can’t help chips and nachos from time to time), try to drink two liters of water every day (usually only one), try to sleep at least 8 hours (usually it’s 7), do a very soft gym class once or twice a week (starting now!) and have and occasional glass of wine or beer (or two, hehe).



Recipe review: Creamy Roasted Sprouts n’ Pasta (What smells so good?)

It’s been a while since I discovered this original recipe from Jazzijava and it has never failed me. I’ve tried it again and again in macaroni or spirulina black spaghetti, always boiling the frozen brussels sprouts.

This time though, I did roast fresh brussels sprouts as indicated, used wholemeal instead of white macaroni and grilled with grated bread. Also I used a pair of susbtitutes and grilled in the oven. Not such a bad result after all 🙂

You’ll need:
– Fresh or frozen brussels sprouts
– Any kind of pasta (better wholemeal organic)
– A piece of tofu (preferably firm)
– Lemon or vinegar (either grape or rice will be fine)
– Fresh ow powdered garlic
– Breadcrumbs (optional)
– Paprika
– Salt
– Olive oil (optional)


Boil the whole brussels sprouts till tender if they are frozen, or roast them in halves in the oven if they are fresh. If you go with the roasting, Jazzijava instructs to “spray a glass baking dish lightly with olive oil, add the sprouts to the pan and roast at 375 F for 10 minutes. Stir, and roast for 10 more minutes.” This is what I did this time and worked perfect, be careful though to spray only a pair of drops of oil.

Boil the pasta in saulty water.

Blend the rest of the ingredients for the sauce. I didn’t have lemon so I used a piece of raw yellow pepper and rice vinegar as a substitute, and instead of the onion powder, I chopped some spring onions, then blended together with the tofu, garlic, salt, paprika, parsley and water. If you use too much water, as it happened to me this time, you can heat the sauce to thicken it up.

Now mixing with the pasta will be enough. But if you still want to give it a chunchy final touch, drop some breadcrumbs and oregano on top and grill. Tadá!

Broccoli leftovers fusili thick soup

Instead of what I planned for today, I’ve used some steamed broccoli leftovers. Felt like a soup, so I threw to the hop a pair of other leftovers I had in the frigde (leek and squash) and boiled them then blended together with the broccoli.

But I wanted something more filling and didn’t feel like bread. So I thought rice or dried split peas would go great with this. However, I was getting so hungry I would not even the 15 minutes of white rice and so I added the fusilli. It’s the first time I cook fusilli in this way, and it feels way unappropriate, but what the frak, it was so yummy I couldn’t wait and even burned my tongue. Still hurts. Dadadá.

The plate is presented with oregano, fres basil leaves and black sesamee.

Recipe review: Sicilian Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower (Herbivoracious)

Today I wanted to do something with cauliflower and pasta, and fund this recipe of Sicilian Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower from herbivoracious. So I gave it a hit.

Unfortunately, the results have not been as good as expected. I have to confess it’s not the recipe’s fault, because I did not follow the instructions. I used short pasta instead of long and cut the cauliflower into smaller pieces so everything would mix better. And since I didn’t have fennel, used tyme and chives instead.

But my biggest mistake, was to use a tiny piece of pineapple, not orange zest, because that’s the closer to sweet and citric I had at home. I should have known better, I am a mediterranean, and mediterranian cuisine does not mix sweet and spicy. So you either do raisins or you do pepper & chile, but never both.

Finally, if you are to do this dish, I would recommend you either not to use garlic the way described, it burns before the cauliflower is done, or to boil the cauliflower more, and just give it a little final go at the pan.

I had to use my secret magic to rescue the dish, this is, soy cream. So in the end was not that bad, but the experience was overall disappointing.