**Monday's menu: Roasted tomato soup. Cheese melts (aka giant croutons). Quinoa and couscous salad.
**Original plan: Thanks for the suggestion, Nath.
**In the kitchen: Roasted tomatoes and prepared soup on Sunday. Made quinoa salad early Monday morning. Good thing, because we had no water all day due to construction mishap.
**The reviews: "I don't like tomatoes."
**The verdict: Soup was under-seasoned (my bad). But I could live off the quinoa salad. What did I do before knowing it existed?
**Tuesday's menu (pictured above): Red beans. Steamed rice. Cabbage salad. Tortillas. Etc.
**Original plan: Chili in crockpot. But this is even easier. And certain fussy eaters don't like their flavours all mixed up.
**In the kitchen: Soaked and cooked beans while I was home all morning. Whipped up cabbage salad and baked rice during interlude between playgroup and kids getting home from school. Left beans on stove, rice in oven, dashed to swim lessons.
**The reviews: Five stars, man. Or six. All around the table.
**The verdict: Good meal to make in advance. We ran in from swim lessons, set the table, and tucked into the still-warm rice and beans.
**Wednesday's menu: Ratatouille. Noodles.
**Original plan: Vegetarian lasagna, in response to a request. Turns out kid doesn't want vegetarian lasagna, he wants the carnivore version. So, he's going to make it himself, perhaps this Sunday, for "cooking with kids." (We're letting the kids cook with meat, if they so choose).
**In the kitchen: Lots of chopping pre-breakfast, toss in crockpot. Smells fabulous. Makes use of languishing eggplant and zucchini and green beans.
**The reviews: Sisterly advice: "If you don't like the look of something, just swallow it whole." Motherly advice: "There's lots of yummy veggies in it, like eggplant." Albus: "Are you trying to help?"
**The verdict: Meh. Ho-hum.
**Thursday's menu: Cod roasted on a bed of roasted vegetables (eggplant, onions, zucchini, tomatoes, cilantro). Pesto. Mashed potatoes. Gallo pinto (fried beans and rice).
**Original plan: Fish and potatoes. Thumbed through Joy of Cooking and discovered a use for my eggplant and zucchini, too.
**In the kitchen: Super-easy prep, though peeling potatoes is time-consuming. These were our potatoes, too! Grown in our lawn. (Does that make them sound good, or kind of suspect?)
**The reviews: Some of us don't like fish; the gallo pinto was a last-minute addition for them (protein!). Those of us who do like fish thought this meal was heavenly. We used the pesto like tartar sauce.
**The verdict: Not vegetarian. But really freaking good.
**Friday's menu: Food from Bailey's pickup, plus heated up leftovers.
**In the kitchen: The only work is unloading the massive Bailey's order, and putting it all away. We buy the bulk of our food from Bailey's, which supplies us with the ingredients for a 100-mile diet.
**The verdict: Great conversation around the table. Always the sign of a good supper.
**Weekend kitchen accomplishments: Four loaves of bread. Big batch of fresh tomato sauce; extra for freezing. Granola. Fruit custard bars for school lunches (this version's fruit: stewed plums, plus a banana someone peeled but neglected to eat earlier in the afternoon). Also made a (non-vegetarian) lasagna for Sunday's supper; Albus was sick for the latter part of the week, and I didn't want to subject us to any lingering germs with a "cooking with kids" venture.
** Still needs to be made: Yogurt. Will attempt it this afternoon while looking after two little boys.