Menu Plan Monday

Once again, I’m going to do Organizing Junkie‘s Menu Plan Monday. Here is my meal plan for the next week…

Menu for week of April 7 – April 13

Dinner – Fresh Thai spring rolls (didn’t get a chance to make them last week)
Dessert – Grilled cinnamon oranges

Dinner – Agedashi tofu and turmeric beans
DessertMashed bananas with yogurt, cinnamon & honey

DinnerSweet and sour konnyaku with curried butternut squash fries
Dessert – Oranges with nutella

Dinner – Zaru soba
Dessert – Baked sweet cinnamon apples

Dinner – leftovers or out with friends
Dessert – Seasonal fruit salad

Dinner – leftovers or out with friends
Dessert – Seasonal fruit salad

Dinner – Soba noodle sushi with leftover veggies from the week
Dessert – Grilled oranges (again) if they were good the first time

If I don’t post one of the recipes and you want it, just let me know! I will try to post as many of them as I can.

Rice dessert

What is the best way to use up leftover rice? My sweetie, Bobby, would probably say fried rice. But I say always think of dessert – so I came up with an easy rice pudding/soup dish.

Rice Dessert

2 cups leftover rice
2 cups milk substitute (Almond milk is what I used, but soy would be good as well)
1/3 cup fruit juice – something sweet, like tamarind, guava, or cranberry
Sugar, to taste (optional)

Mix together rice, milk, and juice until the rice is no longer clumpy. Heat in a pan (or in the microwave) until hot. Serve with fresh fruit or alone. You can add sugar if you’d like; I didn’t think it needed it. The amount of milk you use depends on how soupy you want the dessert – more milk, more soupy; less milk, more like pudding.

Hope you enjoy it!

Healthy Caesar Salad

So many times I see someone order a salad in an attempt to be healthy – and promptly get served a pile of greens heaped with dressing and extras that completely negate the nutrients of the vegetables. Often it’s better to order the veggieburger rather than the Caesar salad – unless it’s my Caesar salad! I’ve been going crazy with lemons recently (Lemon Sponge Pudding, Papaya Salad, Okra, Asparagus Salad), and when I mixed some lemon juice with olive oil, I realized I had the makings of a great Italian salad.

Healthy Caesar Salad (serves 1)

1 or 2 hardboiled eggs
2 tablespoons chopped veggie roll (seitan, tofu, and other fake meats also work)
1 romaine heart, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus some lemon wedges for serving
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
shredded cheese (optional, I didn’t use any)

1. Hardboil the eggs. What works for me is this: place eggs in a pan and add enough water so that it comes about an inch above the eggs. Put the pan over high heat until it boils; let the water boil for about a minute, then remove from the heat and let the eggs cook in the hot water for about 15 more minutes. At this point you can run them under cold water and peel off the shells. I cut mine in quarters.
2. Saute the chopped veggie roll in a little bit of sesame oil for about 2 minutes or until crispy.
3. Mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Mix with the lettuce and add more salt and pepper to taste.
4. Top with the eggs and veggie roll; add shredded cheese if you’d like. Garnish with lemon wedges and squeeze on more juice if you’d like!

If you’re worried about cholesterol, take out the egg yolks. This salad is delicious either way.

Spicy Thai green papaya salad

I usually get the green papaya salad any time that I go to a Thai restaurant. It’s light and fresh and I really like the flavoring. It’s slightly spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. I enjoy it with shrimp or simply vegetarian. The following recipe is vegetarian, but make sure to ask if you order this in a restaurant! It’s often made with fish sauce, so you have to ask specifically for the vegetarian version.

Spicy Thai Green Papaya Salad

1 green papaya*
6-7 small green chilis**
6-7 cloves of garlic
10-15 green beans, chopped in 1-inch pieces
2-3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice***
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup tamarind juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
3 tablespoons peanuts

1. Peel and shred the papaya. A cheese grater works best.****
2. Slice the chilis into small round pieces. Crush the garlic with the side of a knife and then chop finely. Mix the two together and bruise with a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon. Add the green beans and bruise a bit more. Add this to the shredded papaya and stir.
3. Mix together the lemon/lime juice, soy sauce, and tamarind juice. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Add the dressing and the tomatoes to the shredded mix and stir thoroughly.
4. Crush the peanuts with the side of a knife and add to the salad.


  • *I’ve heard that you can simply use unripe papaya in this recipe, but I don’t know how true that is. There is a specific variety of papaya called “green papaya” and that’s what this recipe calls for.
  • **Make sure you don’t add too many chili peppers. I added too many and my salad came out very spicy. I was sniffling for 30 minutes after I’d finished eating. If you do add too many, a bit of extra sugar may sort it out.
  • ***Lime juice is more traditionally Thai, but I used lemon juice because I have a lemon tree in my backyard.
  • ****I had to use a carrot peeler because I couldn’t find a shredder. My salad isn’t as pretty as I would have liked, and the texture is not as good as smaller shreds.
  • Other shredded veggies that you could add: carrots, cucumbers.
  • Other things you can add to the dressing (that aren’t vegetarian): fish sauce instead of tamarind juice (3 tablespoons), anchovy paste (1 tablespoon). (I got these two ideas from my “Complete Asian Cooking Companion”.)
  • This dish would be good served with sticky rice, the kind of rice you eat in Thailand!

Spinach salad

This is from about a week ago, but I never got around to posting it. It’s an attempt to replicate Delica’s spinach salad…

And don’t worry, this is my last Delica post for a while! (I’m working on making the burdock and lotus root salad, but it hasn’t come out. Can’t figure out the dang dressing.)

This is just cooked spinach in a sesame dressing. It’s delicious and easy and just one more reason why I adore Delica.

Sesame’d Spinach Salad

1 head of spinach, chopped roughly
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1.5 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
dash of salt

1. Chop the spinach. You can keep or discard the stems.
2. Boil 1.5-2 cups of water and add the spinach. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the spinach has turned bright green, but hasn’t become dull. When it’s done, pour into a strainer and immediately douse with cold water to prevent further cooking and preserve the bright green color.
3. Heat the soy sauce and vinegar and stir in the sugar. Let it dissolve. Remove from heat. Mix in the rest of the ingredients for the dressing and add to the drained spinach. Let marinate for 15-20 minutes or more to let the flavors really fuse together.

I also tried the spinach with the dressing from the asparagus salad I posted the other day and it was delicious. So if you’re in the mood for a creamier dressing, try it out!