A suspiciously familiar vegan, gluten-free Menu Plan Monday

So… I didn’t really eat any of the meals from last week’s plan. I ate plenty of delicious things, it wasn’t a no-cooking week of takeout or Amy’s, thank goodness. But I ended up cooking and eating with friends almost every night, which meant the best laid plans, etc., etc….

I discovered this week the joys of Trader’s Joe’s simmer sauces. I used a Thai one and an Indian one on two different nights, and boy did it do the job of getting dinner on the table! I’d had them in my pantry for a while, but was never motivated to figure out how they worked until I had friends over and wanted to get a nice meal prepared while still leaving lots of time and energy for hanging out. Basically I stir-fried my onions and tofu in a wok until the tofu had a nice sear, then stir-fried the rest of my veggies (I did mixed-veggie curries with a huge variety of vegetables both nights, which I haven’t done in a long time). When they were basically done cooking, I poured over the sauce and let everything simmer for a bit. So stress-free!

This was also a good week for getting some ingredients-making done (which is what I call any of the pickling/preserving/nut cheesing/fermenting activities). I put up two jars of turnip pickles (I really want to make more!) and made 4 jars of kim chee. Earlier this year I made a Radish & Roots kim chee, which was delicious, but I really wanted to try my hand at making the regular napa cabbage version, which I really love the texture of. Turnip pickles will be ready on October 2nd, and kim chee hopefully by Thursday. I can’t wait!

So this week’s menu plan is sort of a reprise of last week’s menu plan, with changes made for all the produce I’ve already eaten. For all the gluten-free goodness for the week, check out the Gluten Free Menu Swap, hosted this week by Cheryl of GF Goodness. The theme this week is pears. I am having a complicated relationship with pears this season, I can’t decide if I still like them. I do have a yummy recipe for wine-poached pears with black pepper and cloves that I make every Thanksgiving, though!

For the giant round-up of menu plans from all over the web, give OrgJunkie a visit!

Sunrise noodles with gingered napa cabbage, bok choy, and tofu

Vegan chile rellenos made with pasilla peppers
Green salad with jicama and red radishes

Homemade falafel
GF pita bread (in the freezer)
Baba ganoush

Pasta with caramelized fennel and zucchini

Friday (defrost butternut squash)
Polenta pizza (with fresh corn and butternut squash) with white bean sauce
Green salad with red radishes

One-pot bibimbap with homemade kim chee

Sloppy sushi with shitake mushrooms, carrot, avocado, and cucumber

Shopping list: Eggplant, 1/2 lb waxy yellow potato, zucchini (5), fresh corn (if avail), tomatoes, red onions, carrots, avocado, cucumber, tempeh, pesto, tofu, sesame shitake vinaigrette,