This past week I’ve been sicker (in the general flu, cold, virus manner) than I can remember being for a long time. Days on the couch unable to take care of the kids, much less cook. My husband was sick too, not quite as badly as I have been, and was home for a good part of the week trying to take care of us all. We lived on boxed soups, rice, Gatorade and orange juice. It was a much much simpler week of cooking than I expected and definitely not the kind of break I’d ever want. At one time I somewhat enjoyed getting sick because it was a chance to lay on the couch all day reading books and watching videos. That scenario just doesn’t play out when there are two small ones who don’t quite understand why mommy isn’t as interactive as usual. Thankfully they’ve been sweet and funny all week. And I did get to take many, many naps.

One of the hardest things about the week was that food neither sounded nor tasted good. I just couldn’t taste much and my throat was on fire. It made me realize what a sad thing it would be if we couldn’t share our enjoyment of food. All those lovely adjectives we use to describe food, the beautiful pictures were meaningless, empty and bland to me this past week. It was tragic. Thankfully, this isn’t normally the case. Normally I can describe my favorite dish to best of my ability, ingredients, smells, the look, the bite, the flavors and you can begin mentally to experience it yourself and maybe even ask for my recipe. We can relive favorite family or travel memories by swapping stories of food. And we can sit down and share food together and understand by looking at each others faces what a marvelous part the food plays in our coming together. On that note, I’m honored to be hosting this week’s menu swap and gathering together a lot of delicious looking meal plans in one place. I’m sure some of these dishes will be ending up on my menu down the road because just thinking about them is making me hungry. It is so nice to have my appetite back.

My chosen ingredient for the week is cauliflower. I’ve loved cauliflower ever since I was a kid, but I’ve particularly grown to love it in Indian dishes. It seems to hold the aromatic spices perfectly. It is in season now, I was actually suprised to learn, and is super high in vitamin C, something I’ve been in need of. Eating them (along with broccoli, cabbage, and kale) also seem to reduce the risk of certain cancers because of a compound they contain. It is a tricky plant to grow, so you don’t usually find it in the home garden. It can be eaten raw, pickled, or cooked in a variety of ways. I think mashed cauliflower has a great slightly sweet flavor.

I’m hopefully going to go easy on myself this week, especially since my 2 year old is also pretty sick. I’ll try to get some good vegetables in us. And if you have a menu you’d like me to add to the list, please email me at cris (at) souphouse (dot) org.
The Menu

Monday– Kale and white bean soup (since we didn’t get to this one last week)

Tuesday– Chicken in a Indian simmer sauce and aloo gobi (a cauliflower and potatoe dish) all on Basmati rice, of course.

Wednesday– stir fry (our veggie box is delivered on Tuesday and will have baby bok choy and broccoli in it, so hopefully I can do something with those)

Thursday–breakfast for dinner

Friday–taco salad

Sea at Book of Yum has her menu up, including a collection of great sounding cauliflower recipes if you are looking for ideas. She’s also got some marvelous sounding Thai and Asian fusion dishes I wish I could get in on. Make sure you note that she’s beginning a weekly feature–homemade salad dressings. Yum.

Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl has a new feature along her menu. She’ll be highlighting a cookbook each week and letting us know why she likes it. She has many great sounding veggie dishes as well as a number of recipes from her cookbook of the week, More-with-Less.

Karen at Gluten Free Sox has a yummy looking collection of dishes this week, including Jambalaya…and she’s promising to give us the recipe for that one later this week.

Sally at Aprovechar is focusing on adding leafy greens to her breakfasts. Good for you Sally! Her gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free meals look great and I wish i could have been there for the fish fillets and sweet potato fries last night.

Ester at Lilac Kitchen has her menu up even though she is due on Saturday. I’m so impressed. She figures her boys will then know what to cook for themselves even is she delivers this week. She even has two nights of cauliflower (since she had some on hand to use up).

Ginger at Fresh Ginger is back from traveling and has her menu up from the second half of this week. She’s promising to post a recipe for Shepherd’s Pie, which is one of my favorite dishes, later this week.

Happy Eating!