A Week of Weekday (Vegetarian) Meals

Beans and Spanish Rice

Beans and Spanish Rice

I wrote up last week’s cooking schedule. You’re lucky (or maybe not!), I don’t always cook so much.

Sunday: I served our Sunday standby, leftover chicken and potatoes with salad. Okay, not 100% vegetarian. I set up a kilogram (2 pounds) of dried kidney beans to soak.

Monday: In the morning, I cooked the beans in the pressure cooker for twenty minutes. I turned off the gas and left the house, releasing the pressure slowly. Later in the day, I spread half the beans in zippered bags on cookie trays in the freezer and refrigerated the rest.

I had asked my husband to buy chili peppers at the shuk. As I live in the Middle East, I always felt I should be using them more but had never worked with them. So I asked for ideas on CookingManager.Com Facebook page, and Tikva recommended Spanish rice and salsa.

Spanish rice: I peeled, chopped and sauteed an onion and garlic in a pan, then added two cups of uncooked rice. At this point my teen daughter asked what smelled so good. Then I added 3 cups (corrected) of cooking liquid from the kidney beans, about a cup of the beans, a tablespoon of tomato paste, a little salt, and brought it to a boil. Then I covered the rice, lowered the heat, and set the timer for 17 minutes. Here’s the Spanish Rice recipe in more detail

For the salsa I chopped two cloves of garlic in the food processor. I added one chili pepper (I’m weak), handling it with a clean rag instead of gloves. I removed the seeds and added radishes, a sweet pepper, and two tomatoes chopping everything coarsely. I dressed it with some lemon juice and more tomato paste.

The salsa wasn’t a large enough salad I made coleslaw: I sliced the cabbage leaves and grated the carrots with the food processor. I dressed the salad with Tamari sauce and more lemon juice.

I still had some time to play because the rice was prepared so quickly. So I toasted a teaspoon of cumin seeds in a teaspoon of olive oil and toasted them in a glass bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds. I added some seeds to the salsa and the rest to the coleslaw.

Tuesday: I had some rice and salsa for breakfast. For lunch I made sourdough pancakes. My 13-year-old son brought home two friends to sleep over and do a project.  I made bean soup. I sauteed 3 onions in the pressure cooker. In the meantime I grated a turnip, 5 carrots, and some sorry-looking potatoes and celery. I added the vegetables and several cups of the beans along with whatever liquid was left, a can of tomatoes, and a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste, and two tablespoons of Tamari sauce (which was not enough). I added the water by filling the food processor and the tomato can, cleaning out the remainder of the vegetables. I cooked the soup in the pressure cooker for ten minutes (30 minutes in a conventional pot). I was pleasantly surprised that my son’s friends ate it and one even asked for more.

I also served the rest of the pancakes and coleslaw and the last of my sourdough bread. My daughter and husband shared the last bit of rice. Before I went to sleep, I put up the sponge for a quadruple recipe of sourdough oatmeal bread.

Wednesday: I had another guest for dinner and a busy afternoon, so I cooked in the morning. I finished preparing the bread dough and baked it. I had extra room in the oven, so I roasted the potatoes I hadn’t put in the soup: I peeled and french-fried them lay them in a flat pan and added a tablespoon of oil and a little salt. They were eaten at lunchtime. I found an eggplant in the refrigerator too, so I sliced it in half to roast in the oven as well.

In the meantime I made two kinds of crustless quiche.  I’ll post a universal recipe for crustless quiche on Wednesday. My daughter made  eggplant dip in the afternoon. For dinner I served more bean soup, fresh bread, quiche reheated in the microwave, eggplant dip, and vegetable salad.

Thursday: I suggested the kids make spaghetti, as I was going to a pot-luck Thanksgiving dinner on my own. I brought coleslaw with Tamari sauce, ginger, and lemon juice. My daughter called to ask how to make spicy sauce, a recipe from Flylady that I can no longer find on that site. I suggested that my daughter use one of the hot peppers. She sauted a couple of cloves of garlic chopped in the processor, added two cans of tomatoes and part of one of the chopped peppers. She said it came out well. It must have as there was none left over.

On Friday I cooked for the Sabbath. Here’s the list of the refrigerator contents I made Friday morning when my husband was at the market:

  • 2.5 hot peppers and a few mushrooms, to be roasted with whatever my husband brings home from the shuk. [Update: In the end I forgot the peppers. They are still there.]
  • Celery, carrots, a mushroom, and one small zucchini for the chicken soup along with other vegetables when they arrive.
  • 6 carrots, which will keep.
  • Two ripe avocadoes, to be made into salad.
  • A serving or two of bean soup and spaghetti, for lunch today
  • I’ve had two pieces of zucchini quiche this morning, and there are still about four pieces left.
  • Some old chicken casserole that has to be thrown out. 🙁
  • Some fruit including melons, clementines, pears and apples that we will try to eat today.

I’m tired just from writing that up. But the only day I worked really hard was Wednesday. My 8-year-old likes to flip pancakes.


  1. Thanks for the link to Mimi’s sourdough oatmeal bread. Look forward to the crustless quiche. How about a recipe for the sourdough pancakes?

    My husband would love your salsa.

  2. Nice Meals! I LOVE reading what people cook.
    Today we are having leftover ( from Shabbat) lentil soup and an onion pie.

  3. I made the avocado salad for Shabbat, and it worked well. I didn’t know how it would come out, since I don’t like avocado and I had to cook without any sense of how it’s supposed to taste. But people said it was good, and it was finished. It made very little avocado salad, though. One regular-size avocado made 1/3 -1/2 cup of avocado salad. Your recipe was easy and your instructions on ripening avocados were excellent.

    I also made potato salad, and used way too much mayonnaise. I thought of warning people, so they shouldn’t think I ordinarily cook that way, but I thought of your post some time ago and just served it. It got eaten.

  4. The Beans and Spanish rice sounds good. Is Spanish rice a special sort of rice?

  5. I made tortillas last night because of you — I hadn’t made them in years! Thanks for the recipe and the motivation. It worked out pretty well. The tortillas were popular, although only my husband and I ate the bean mix. But we both liked it a lot, and the kids happily ate their tortillas with other fillings.

  6. The sourdough pancakes are on my list! Probably next week, unless I decide to do a Chanuka recipe.

  7. Thanks, Tikva. Want to share recipes?
    Ilana (2x) I love your feedback! Not all of my kids eat beans either, although they don’t notice if they are mashed in soup or patties.
    Ilana-Davita: Spanish rice is a method of making rice by sauteing it before cooking.

  8. I hope you get this comment Hannah since I see this is an oldish posting. I’m new to your site and I am seriously challenged when it comes to cooking ahead/freezing/planning meals/shopping economically.

    The one food ingredient I am on top of, however, is dealing with jalapeno peppers, but it probably works with any kind of chili peppers.

    Raw peppers are rough! I am a pepper fan, but I prefer mine roasted. When I see good peppers in the store, I buy a big bunch of them. Roast them, optionally peel them and freeze them in a single layer. Just store them in a freezer bag and take out 1 or 2 when you make salsa (a staple in our house).

    Thanks for the blog!

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