Monday, July 27, 2009

monday meal planning

Food genre specific or not, this week's winning category was vegetarian-friendly food. And that's just fine with me! The goal here will be to please both meat-eaters and vegetarians alike with options and variations for both teams.

At my local Morton Williams grocery store, Naan flatbread is on sale this week for $1.99. A steal, ladies and gents. So my first recommendation, besides running to the store and grabbing a few packs to freeze, is to make Naan Pizzas. Treat the Naan exactly like a pre-cooked pizza shell and top it with whatever your little (I mean, great, big!) heart desires. Need some direction? Try cranking the oven up to 400 degrees and while it comes to temperature, thinly slice up some zucchini, grate a clove or two of garlic, and slice some fresh (or buy pre-shredded) mozzarella. Then load up the Naan with the zucchini, garlic, and cheese and pop it in the oven just until it all melts. Keep an eye on it, shouldn't be more than 6 minutes or so. Then top it all off with some hand shredded basil and/or mint and relish in the goodness that will be this Indian Flatbread meets Pizza Fantasy.

The toppings are quite obviously endless. And for the meat-lovers that want the above pizza but are desperate for a protein fix, some proscuitto would be a fabulous, albeit luxurious addition. Another idea is a salad pizza. Toss up your favorite salad (arugula, red onion, goat cheese, vinaigrette) while gently heating the Naan in the oven. When the Naan is toasty to your satisfaction, top with the cool, crisp salad and enjoy immediately.

Since I'm looking at a fridge full of fresh herbs that will soon be on their way out, I'm going to whip up some tzatziki sauce to use throughout the week. Naan is very similar to pocketless pita which means you could also turn it into a makeshift gyro. For my veg-head friends, grill up your favorite assortment of veggies, spread 'em out over the Naan and top with a generous dollop of tzatziki. Meatheads: grill up some steak or lamb, slice, and add that to the mix. Absolutely perfect for lunch or dinner.

This is a no-brainer but for some reason, in this crazy hazy heat, I can't get enough of this avocado salad inspired from my favorite Cuban joint. Fresh iceberg lettuce, plenty of creamy avocado, and slivered red onion, lightly dressed with my white balsamic vinaigrette and I'm happier than I ever though a head of iceberg could ever make me. Grilled shrimp would make this even more special.

And lastly, if you can swing it, pick up a piece of salmon, poach it, and throw it in the fridge to cool. Then serve it alongside some of that tzatziki and a little salad and/or steamed asparagus and you'll forget about my little hiatus of missing posts.

Have at it, and as always, let me know how it goes.


1 English Cucumber
Mint (or Basil for pizza but might be smarter to just go mint here)
Veggies to load up Naan Pizza, your choice
Veggies for Naan Gyro, your choice
Red Onion

Naan Bread (2 or 3 packs - utilize freezer!)

Filet of Salmon

Mozzarella Cheese

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