Archives for posts with tag: onions

Don’t you just love when you discover something new? The other day I was browsing my Facebook feed when I came across a friend’s status update which was basically a glowing review for an upcoming cookbook. My friend is a culinary magazine editor so not only does she know a lot about food, she is lucky enough to have cookbooks mailed to her on a daily basis. She knows her way around the kitchen, so when she is enamored with a cookbook I pay attention. By now I’m sure you are dying to know what book I am talking about…

The cookbook is The Forest Feast and its author, Erin Gleeson, is the creator of this gorgeous tumblr site. I’m not going to lie, it was love at first site. When I originally came up with the idea of publishing a meal planning blog the thought of taking photographs, especially of food, terrified me. Patrick is the photographer in our family, and I happily let him take over the task of chronicling our family. But, blogs without at least some photos, are pretty boring so I make an attempt. However, I am envious of bloggers who are also super talented photographers. So, when I saw The Forest Feast’s posts I was blown away – everything about them is beautiful. And then, when I actually read her recipes and saw that they were super simple and seasonally focused, I was hooked. I immediately had to try something so, of course, two of the recipes I made – the cauliflower gratin and the red roasted carrots – are on this week’s meal plan for you to try. Enjoy the discovery!

I can't wait to get my hands on this cookbook! “Photos by Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast”

I can’t wait to get my hands on this cookbook!
“Photos by Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast

Meal #1 Roasted Pork Loin with Pearled Onions + Cauliflower Gratin
Meal #2 One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes + Green Salad
Meal #3 Lemon and Olive Chicken + Red Roasted Carrots
Meal #4 Honey-Soy Salmon + Baby Bok Choy with Cashews

Your weekly grocery list, excluding the usual pantry items:

pearled onions – 1 bag (1 lb.)
cauliflower – 1 medium head
carrots – 1 large bunch
scallions – 1 bunch
onion – 3 large
baby bok choy – 1 lb.
grape or cherry tomatoes – 1 pint
lemons – 2
milk – 2 cups
butter – 1/2 stick
cashews – 4 ounces
semi-pearled farro – 1 cup
chicken stock – 2 cups or 16 ounces
cheese (gruyere or cheddar) – 8 ounces
boneless pork loin – 1 1/2 – 2 lbs.
salmon fillet – 1 ½ lbs.
bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts halves – 1 per person
green olives (if you don’t already have them)
dried thyme (if you don’t already have it)
dried rosemary (if you don’t already have it)
fennel seeds (if you don’t already have it)
crushed red pepper (if you don’t already have it)
cinnamon (if you don’t already have it)
paprika (if you don’t already have it)
garlic powder (if you don’t already have it)
chili powder (if you don’t already have it)
dijon mustard (if you don’t already have it)
sesame oil (if you don’t already have it)
soy sauce (if you don’t already have it)
rice vinegar (if you don’t already have it)
honey (if you don’t already have it)
mustard (if you don’t already have it)
flour (if you don’t already have it)


By now, you have probably gathered that while I love cookbooks and online recipe generators I rarely stick to the script. For me, cooking is like an improv show at the Upright Citizens Brigade; you never know what you’re going to get! I work with what I think is the best of a recipe, and then I tweak it so that it is faster, easier and (hopefully) more delicious. A few of this week’s meals are like that. I tried something once, and when I made it again I changed it up. Feel free to do the same with my recipes!

Just a few of the cookbooks I use for inspiration

Just a few of the cookbooks I use for inspiration

(Meals should feed four adults and take about 30-40 minutes to prepare, or the time it takes Patrick to give Eliza a bottle and put her to bed.)

Meal #1: Honey-Soy Salmon + Baby Bok Choy with Cashews
Meal #2: Italian “Stir Fry”
Meal #3: Chicken Breast Sautéed in Sweet Red Onion and Lemon + Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
Meal #4: Brussels Sprouts and Pork (or Beef) Stir Fry + Rice

Your Grocery List, excluding the usual pantry items:

scallions – 2 bunches
baby bok choy – 1 lb.
pepper (red, yellow or orange) – 1
jalapeno pepper – 1
brussels sprouts – 1 lb.
red onion – 3
lemon – 3
zucchini – 1
summer squash – 1
carrots – 2 medium
broccoli – 2 large bunches
plum tomatoes – 3
ginger – 1 piece (you can freeze or refrigerate the rest)
pine nuts – ¼ lb (optional – if you buy them, freeze the extra)
salted cashews, ¼ lb.
ricotta cheese – small container (optional)
bottle of pesto (optional)
Parmesan cheese (if you don’t already have it)
bottle of sesame oil (if you don’t already have it)
bottle of rice vinegar (if you don’t already have it)
bottle of oyster sauce (if you don’t already have it)
salmon fillet, 1 ½ lbs.
boneless, skinless chicken breast – 1 ½ lb.
boneless, pork chops – 2 (4-6 oz. each) OR skirt steak, 8 oz.



White Fish Braised in Lemon with Red Peppers and Tomatoes

This recipes comes from Mark Bittman’s cookbook, Kitchen Express. For years, Bittman wrote for The New York Times’ Dining section as “The Minimalist,” where he became famous for his 101 recipe lists. He’s done 101 appetizers, salads, simple meals etc; all of which take under 20 minutes to prepare. His lists are epic, and yet totally inspiring and do-able. This cookbook is in the same vein. I wouldn’t recommend it for a novice cook – he isn’t very specific about measurements or technique – but if you feel pretty confident in the kitchen it is a great tool for weeknight cooking.

2 medium onions (yellow or red, whatever you prefer), thinly sliced*
2 red peppers, thinly sliced*
2 TB. olive oil
1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half*
4 fillets of white fish (about 6 oz. each) –  flounder or tilapia are good choices
Juice of 1 lemon
1 TB. capers (optional)

* ingredients that can be prepped several days ahead.

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan and add onions and peppers. When the vegetables soften, add tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes soften. Season fish with salt and pepper; move vegetables to the side of the pan, add a bit more olive oil, and sear the fish for about two minutes (if your pan is not large enough for all of the fish, sear the first two fillets, remove them onto a plate and then sear the next two). Turn fish over (or return all fish to the pan onto the non-seared side), spread the vegetables around the fish, add the lemon juice and cover the pan and simmer for another three minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with capers.

Roasted Green Beans and Red Onion
String Beans

This is one of my favorite, winter side dishes.

1 ½ lb. green beans, trimmed
1 large red onion, sliced in thick rings
1 TB. olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss all ingredients on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes – tossing once, halfway through. Season with salt and pepper again, if needed.


One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes

A carb with a ton of flavor that I don’t have to feel guilty about eating? Sign me up! I was intimidated by farro for a long time, imagining that it was one of those ingredients that you had to soak and cook for hours upon hours. So it was a wonderful surprise when I discovered that it takes about the same amount of time to cook as rice, but, in my opinion, is much hardier.

Many of you will recognize the origins of this recipe – the one-pan pasta that was all over Pinterest a few months ago. Before I got around to trying it, Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen, my favorite food blog, took it on and then improved it with farro. I am eternally grateful to her.

Green Salad


We’re deep into winter, with another snowstorm under our belts here in the Northeast. By now, the holidays feel far away, but just over three weeks ago many of us were making resolutions to eat healthier in 2014. Pursuing a healthy lifestyle is always a good idea, but that doesn’t have to mean a pantry full of rice cakes. I am a firm believer that homemade dinners, when made with fresh ingredients, are healthier than most restaurant or take-out meals, no matter what you prepare. Apparently, I am in good company:  YouTube Preview Image

So, for this week I’m suggesting four dinners that manage to be both healthy and satisfying.

(Meals should feed four adults and take about 30-40 minutes to prepare, or the time it takes Patrick to give Eliza a bottle and put her to bed.)

Meal #1: One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes + Green Salad
Meal #2: White Fish Braised in Lemon with Red Peppers and Tomatoes + Roasted Green Beans and Red Onion
Meal #3: Skirt Steak with Arugula + Roasted Cauliflower
Meal #4: Broiled Shrimp with Tomatoes and White Beans + Garlic Bread

Your grocery list, excluding the usual pantry items:

farro – 1 bag (you’ll need just 1 cup, but it will keep)
yellow onion – 3
red onion – 1
red peppers – 2
grape or cherry tomatoes – 3 containers (wow, I had no idea I was using so many this week)
lemon – 1
green beans – 1 ½ lb.
lettuce, or whatever greens you like for a salad – 1 head or bag
arugula – 1 bunch or bag
cauliflower – 1 head
basil – 1 bunch (optional, I wouldn’t go out of my way for this)
parsley – 1 bunch (optional)
baguette – 1
white beans (such as, cannellini) – 1 can (about 19 oz.)
chicken broth or stock – 1 small can (you’ll need ¾ cup, but you can always freeze the rest in an ice cube tray and use later)
skirt steak – about 6 oz. per person
white fish (flounder or tilapia) – about 6 oz. per person
shrimp, shelled and deveined – 1 lb.


(Note: this is a weekend meal since it takes about two hours to complete, but most of that time is hands-off.)

Roast Chicken with Onions and Potatoes
I lived in Boston for about four years, and Hamersley’s Bistro was far and away my favorite restaurant in the city. Today, it seems like every restaurant tries to balance fine dining with a casual atmosphere, but they were one of the first to do it well. The bistro is famous for its roast chicken, which is featured in their wonderful cookbook, Bistro Cooking at Home. I tried the restaurant recipe once, and it was magnificent, but it took all day. Fortunately, the cookbook also features a more manageable version which takes far less time, uses fewer ingredients and is equally as good.

3 TB. olive oil
3 TB. Dijon mustard
1 ½  ts. dried thyme
1 ½ ts. dried rosemary
salt and pepper
1 lemon, cut in half
1 whole chicken (4 lbs.)
2 large red onion, cut into thick rounds*
6 medium red potatoes, washed but not peeled, sliced in half
½ cup chicken broth or water

* ingredients that can be prepped several days ahead.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, mustard, thyme and rosemary, and season with a little salt and pepper. Squeeze one half of the lemon into this mixture; squeeze the other half into small bowl. Reserve the juice as well as the squeezed lemon halves. Rub the herb mixture over the chicken and inside its cavity. Put the squeezed lemon halves in the cavity as well.

Put the onion and potatoes in the bottom of the roasting pan and toss with the remaining olive oil and some salt and pepper. Make room for the chicken in the pan and put it breast side up. Cook until the juices run clear when the thigh is pricked, about 1 ½- ¾ hours; a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh should register 165 – 170 degrees.

Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter. Pour the juices from inside the chicken’s cavity into the roasting pan and transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest.

Degrease the juices in the roasting pan (tip the pan and try to skim off as much of the fast as possible with a spoon). Set the pan over medium-high heat. Add the reserved lemon juice and chicken broth or water. Bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the flavorful browned bits stuck to the pan. Carve the chicken or cut it into pieces and serve it with the potatoes, onions, and some of the plan juices poured over all.

Steamed Green Beans
1 lb. green beans, trimmed and halved if very long
1 Tb. butter
salt and pepper

Over medium-high heat, place beans in a steamer basket set in a pot with enough water to almost touch the beans, cover. It should take between 5-10 minutes for the water to come to a boil and steam the green beans until they are tender, but keep an eye on them so they don’t overcook and become limp. Remove from basket and toss with butter, salt and pepper.

Welcome to Everyday Banquet! I’m Kelly, and I am very excited to introduce you to my blog, which is a meal planning tool designed to make your life easier and more delicious. On Fridays, I will post four to five meals and a grocery list to help you shop and prepare for the coming week. The best part is that my family has already enjoyed these meals, usually the week before, so along with recipes and/or links to recipes I will share my advice and insight from having already prepared the meals. To learn a little bit more about the blog and me please visit my about page. And now, on to the first post!

I believe it was Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa, who once said that most people make the same five to ten recipes for dinner over and over. At first I thought that couldn’t be right, but then I thought about what I make on a regular basis and actually, it is! With some variation here and there, if something is relatively inexpensive, easy and obviously delicious why wouldn’t I make it again and again? For this first week I am sharing a lot of my standards, starting with roast chicken on Sunday night, which, when done well, is one of the greatest dishes on earth.

(Meals should feed four adults and take about 30-40 minutes to prepare, or the time it takes Patrick to give Eliza a bottle and put her to bed.)

Meal #1: Hamersley’s Walk-Away Roast Chicken with Onions and Potatoes, Steamed Green Beans
Meal #2: Penne with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage
Meal #3: Baked Fish with Tomatoes and Olives, Kale Caesar Salad
Meal #4: Bourbon Glazed Smoked Pork Chops and Roasted Delicata Squash

Your grocery list, excluding the usual pantry items:
lemons – 2
large red onion – 2
medium red potatoes – 6
green beans – 1 lb.
broccoli rabe – 1 bunch
tuscan kale – 1 large bunch
delicata squash – 2
plum tomatoes – 8
chicken broth – 1 can (1 pint or 2 cups)
Whole Chicken – 4 lbs.
Italian Sausage – 3/4 lb.
smoked bone-in pork chops, ½- inch thick – 1 per person
white fish – 6 ounces per person