Last week, my husband and I purchased the ingredients for the five easy weeknight meals from the Jan/Feb edition of Everyday Food to make from Monday to Friday. I skeptically placed ingredients such as polenta and Swiss chard into our grocery basket while wondering what I had gotten myself into. We made all five meals and the consensus is that Martha Stewart knows what she’s talking about. Four out of five meals were a delightful success.
Monday: Turkey Sausage Sandwiches
The sweet Italian turkey sausages tasted like the most delicious sausages that I’ve eaten. My husband and I enjoyed starting out the week with this simple recipe that made Monday more tolerable. Usually recipes say they’ll take such and such time but end up taking me twice as long to fix. These stated that they take 20 minutes to fix and in reality they only took about 25 minutes. I was impressed.
Tuesday: Chicken and Rice Soup with Lemon
Quote from the recipe: “In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until frothy; whisk in lemon juice. Whisking constantly slowly pour 1 cup hot broth into egg mixture. Immediately whisk egg mixture into pot.” Then it says to serve immediately. My first reaction upon reading this, “Um, yuck.” I like my eggs scrambled or boiled and I prefer them to be on the side of too cooked.
The entire time I was fixing this recipe my stomach turned. I worked myself into being nauseous even though it smelled good. After pouring two bowls of this chicken soup, I let my husband try it first. I know, I’m such a thoughtful wife. I thought he was joking when he told me it was really good. I had the absurd idea that he was tricking me into tasting this chicken, rice, egg, and lemon soup. I timidly slurped a small amount….”not bad.” My husband said it was the best soup he’s ever had. Way to go Martha!
Wednesday: Pork Tenderloin with Swiss Chard and Polenta
Swiss chard and polenta? How could this be a good combination? I was definitely doubting Martha. I squeezed the polenta out of the sausage looking tube and tasted a little bit. It tasted like nothing. That was better than what I was expecting.
I cooked the recipe following the directions and we sat down to eat our dinner. I told my husband that he was probably going to end up running out for McDonalds, but I was surprised to realize that I loved it. In fact, I finished all of my meal. “Now I’m a Martha believer,” I said to my husband.
“Don’t tell your readers that you weren’t a Martha believer before now,” he responded.
“Why not? I mean, I loved Martha and knew she was talented but she got me to like Swiss chard and polenta. That’s pretty much a miracle.”
Thursday: Beef Rolls with Spring Salad
Basically, this recipe is thinly sliced beef with sautéed onions and peppers and pepper jack cheese rolled up inside. It was like a steak sandwich without the bun which means less calories. 227 calories to be exact. That means I could indulge in a glass of wine and not feel guilty!
Friday: Polenta Wedges with Asparagus and Mushrooms
This is where Martha lost me. I put the leftover polenta in a container in the fridge like Martha said to do on Wednesday. When we took the polenta out to cook it, it hadn’t hardened – so instead of polenta wedges, we had polenta mounds. And the recipe didn’t call to add anything to the polenta, so it didn’t have any taste (I cheated and added a pad of butter to the polenta - it was still blah). It doesn’t help that I don’t like mushrooms. I pick them off and out of any foods that come with mushrooms. What a disappointing way to end the week.