Nachos, soup, and a meal plan (for once)

I’m not much of a football fan, but I do watch the Super Bowl because it feels like something you might as well do on a Sunday evening, plus it is a great opportunity to eat snacks. I made ATK’s Cast Iron Loaded Beef Nachos, which are great for a crowd but which you could also just eat for dinner because nachos. I made them with ground turkey, not for any intentional health-related reason but because I couldn’t find a package of 90/10 ground beef that was smaller than two pounds. Also people were being ridiculous at the store and I would have had to pole-vault over four people to even see most of the meat, so I bought turkey. My husband said he actually preferred it, so everyone went home a winner.

Last week I made this lasagna soup, and it was a huge hit in our house. I used Campanelle pasta because my grocery store didn’t have Mafalda, and the Campanelle seemed suitably lasagna-esque. We ate every last bit of this soup, and I think the trick to enjoying all of it was boiling the noodles separately and keeping them that way. After I drained them, I rinsed them in cool water and tossed them with the tiniest – like half a teaspoon, really – bit of olive oil to keep them from sticking. We stored them in a covered container until it was time to eat, and then just put the cold noodles in a soup bowl and ladled the hot soup over the top. No mushy pasta! Perfection.

This week I am going to make a few recipes from Bon Appetit‘s Rent Week feature. These recipes are written very annoyingly, which is to say they aren’t written recipes. They’re essays, and it’s wholly unhelpful, but because I am interested in inexpensive, new-to-me recipes, I will suffer the inconvenience.

I’m exceedingly pleased with myself because yesterday I managed to scribble down four meal ideas, make a grocery list, and then shop that list…all in the same day. This doesn’t sound like much to most people I’m sure, but it brings me a lot of satisfaction to think I might not have to go to the dumb grocery store this week.

Tonight I’m going to make crispy chicken thighs, but I’ll serve them with farro rather than polenta. Tomorrow night I’m going to do some chicken in a packet of harissa simmer sauce I’ve had in the pantry for a while, and serve that over steamed rice. Wednesday will be Rent Week’s garlicky cherry tomato pasta and a green salad, and for Thursday I’m doing a house favorite: Asian chicken noodle soup.

By the way, the reason I only plan four meals in a week is because I try really hard not to cook on Friday nights. Friday night is carryout night!

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