How is the weather like between Spring and Summer? A little Summery! Don’t be fooled though, this is Ireland and last week we even had snow in parts of the country. Where I live we had hail stones all week. However, there’s a nice bright feel outside and the days are longer and I finally decided to check on my green house after almost 6 months. I cleaned it and got the soil ready. I also found some nettles growing in my green house which I made some pesto with. I might share the recipe next time I make it.
Few weeks ago I had sowed some cauliflower and coriander seeds so these were ready to go in the prepared bed. My other herbs are still holding up. Actually my mint at the front garden is already growing wild. I can now add a few more mint leaves to my after dinner fennel and mint tea.
This minty aubergine pilaf was also invented because of the amount of mint I have in the garden. Mint and cumin flavoured rice is truely exceptional. It’s fresh and aromatic. I have made this pilaf quite a few times before sharing it here and trust me it’s a hit every single time. The kids love it a lot! I’m sure if I told them there were aubergine in the rice they would go yuk but for now it’s a secret. Although last time I made it I had no aubergine so I used frozen carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. All cooked together in the rice cooker so less time consuming and the kids liked that one too. Pilaf is really rice cooked with a seasoned broth or spices for colour and flavour, what you add to it is totally up to you.
I served the rice with a quick and easy pork chop curry with asparagus, green beans and some courgettes. Magic happens when you believe yourself. This curry is so simple to make but oh my goodness it’s a delightful one. You can use any vegetable such as spinach and broccoli to bulk it up and make it more nutritious.
When planning for weekly dinners for a family there’s a few things to think about. There’s time, energy, budget, nutritional values or will it make enough and so on. These are a few things I consider before planning my weekly dinners.
Having said all this I do believe the real challenge starts from the shopping. We basically eat what we store in the fridge and presses. So be mindful of what you buy on your weekly shopping.
In our household with four kids, having food in the house is a must. Weekdays are hectic so we do most of the weekly shopping on Saturdays. My freezer is always packed with frozen veg, salmon and tuna. There’s always a can or two of beans, pulses and rice in the press. With all these in hand my dinners are almost guaranteed to be healthy and less time consuming. I give myself about an hour daily to prepare dinner, dinner for 6 that is. That’s how I take my responsibility in feeding my family a homely, nutritious and delicious food, all prepared on a budget.
Below are a few more quick and healthy week night dinners for you. I hope this inspires you to cook.
- PORK AND ASPARAGUS CURRY
- 2-3 table spoons of coconut oil
- 4 pork chops cut to bite size
- 3 table spoons of curry powder
- 2 table spoons of turmeric powder
- 4 cloves of garlic crushed
- 2 inch of ginger crushed
- 3 tomatoes chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 150g green beans trimmed
- handful of asparagus chopped
- 1 small courgette cut into bite size
- Salt to taste
- about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water
- 4 cups of brown basmati rice (measuring cup from the rice cooker)
- 1 aubergine cubed into bite sizes
- 3 table spoon of coconut oil
- 2 table spoon of whole cumin
- 1 large onion chopped finely
- 2 tomatoes chopped finely
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 2 inches of ginger crushed
- salt to taste
- 1 cup of fresh mint leaves
- PORK AND ASPARAGUS CURRY
- Heat a saucepan with oil. Add the onions, the pork chops, and the crushed ginger garlic. Season generously and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes till the onions soften and the meat is seared.
- After 4 to 5 minutes, add the tomatoes, turmeric and curry powder and stir to mix. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water and cook for 5 more minutes or till you notice tiny oil bubbles.
- Then add the green beans and asparagus and simmer for few minutes till the pork is well cooked. I prefer my vegetables to be only half cooked, if you want your vegetables more cooked then put them earlier. ( or put the tougher vegetables just after the pork goes in)
- Wash the brown rice and leave to soak in the rice cooker pot covered with water marked upto 4
- Heat a pan with oil.
- Add the cumin and the chopped onions.
- Cook till the onions are translucent.
- Add the chopped aubergine, tomatoes and ginger garlic paste. Season well
- Cook for about 3 minutes till aubergine is seared the add the aubergine to the rice and set to cook.
- Wait for the rice cooker to turn itself off before you open it.
- When the rice is cooked, add a generous amount of freshly chopped mint leaves and serve.
If you give this Minty Aubergine Pilaf and Pork Chop Curry try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and don’t forget to tag a picture#everydaycookingwithmira on Instagram so we can see what you come up with.