May came speeding up all too quickly – my New Year’s resolution to organize the house and Be Prepared has not stuck, but the arrival of spring does make me want to clear the cobwebs and clean out the pantry. In the back I found packages of rice noodles, tamarind paste, crunchy Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) about a dozen pasta shapes and altogether too many Mason jars. This week we’re going to try to use up what we have – and have some fun in the process.That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
This one calls for a few unique ingredients – fish sauce, chili sauce, tamarind – all easy to find in most grocery stores these days, each keeps very well, so you don’t have to worry about buying a bottle to use a spoonful. Once you’ve tried homemade pad Thai, you’ll be happy to have a stash of Thai ingredients in your fridge!
Photo credit: Jaime of Sophistimom
The kids love these – marinated in lime juice, the meat stays tender and juicy while the crunchy golden coating adds tropical flavour with sweet coconut, a hint of chili, and another hit of lime.
Photo credit: Amy of Family Feedbag
It’s time to fire up the grill! But a good steak doesn’t need to take up half the plate, with a ballast of baked potatoes – Brooke’s salad makes use of the first spring asparagus, tossed with cherry tomatoes, gorgonzola and crunchy walnuts, all jumbled underneath strips of grilled steak. Yum.
Warm Asparagus, Gorgonzola and Steak Salad
Photo credit: Brooke of Cheeky Kitchen
How much fun is this? If it’s warm enough, we’ll layer creamy pasta, roasted chicken and veggies in large mason jars and walk to the park for a dinner and play – perhaps with a pan of brownies for dessert.
Photo credit: Shaina of Food for my Family
When I lived in Vancouver my favourite takeout was from a teeny Thai restaurant called Thai Away Home – they had Swimming Rama with chicken and spinach I could have eaten every night of the week. I made an impromptu version with chickpeas recently that was a hit – inexpensive and quick to prepare too, which is exactly what I want on Fridays.