Menu planning help pls...Lunch

Annie DeighnaughAugust 28, 2014

I have a young couple coming for lunch on Sat (she's expecting and is pescetarian, he's an omnivore) and here's what I've planned. Enough? Is something missing?

Starter platter:
Steakhouse onion cheese
Sliced cucumber
Mixed nuts

Gazpacho Soup

Shrimp salad on butter crunch lettuce
Lentil salad
Bread/rolls butter

Peach galette with vanilla ice cream
Tea & Coffee

I was going to serve sliced tomatoes too, but with the gazpacho, it's already enough tomatoes.

Any other suggestions for a side with lunch? Or is it enough?


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Your menu looks very appetizing as is but if I had to add an additional side at this time of year, it would probably be a corn and zucchini salad with a mustard dressing.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 10:28AM
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Ruthanna's suggestion sounds excellent! My idea of a luxury is more vegetables. :) I don't think you're missing anything, though, and your menu sounds delicious!

What concerns me a little is that this sounds like a very flavorful meal with lots of items to get the juices flowing, but a number of them, especially in the antipasto, might be challenging to the digestion of a pregnant woman. They all might thrill her, or all be a problem. Will you have a chance to speak to her before the day and ask? Sometimes fats (cheese, olives (and salami, but she won't eat that)) can cause the urpses, nuts can be binding, and cucumbers can cause gas. If you can't learn more what she will and wont like to eat, perhaps you can include some not too rich crackers with the starter. Maybe a few baby carrots. I.e., a couple of very mild things she can crunch on if she wants to limit some of the richer ones. Your platter sounds beautifully balanced, and I can't think of something that fits in better. Someone might have a more harmonious suggestion. Also use a light hand on the salad dressings unless you know she's good with fats.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 1:06PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Thanks Ruthanna and plllog. I appreciate the suggestions...I forgot, I will have crackers with the platter...

She's in month 7 so she's hopefully past the worst of the early pregnancy stomach upsets. I did check with her for any no nos and I think this fits the bill.

You don't think another salad would be too much salad?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 1:37PM
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Oh, good! Since it fits what she can eat, I think your menu is perfect. Lots of variety, lots of flavor, lots of color.

In my house, there's no such thing as "too much salad". My cultural background tells me that the table is bare if there aren't 4-7 salads and vegetable plates besides the actual "meal" part of the meal. There's what you make for lunch, plus the asparagus, cucumber salad, eggplant salad, corn and peppers salad, green beans, etc. Whatever is made up. So, by the way I think, Ruthanna's salad sounds like a good addition. That might not be the way you and yours eat at all!

You have plenty enough listed for a lovely meal. There are plenty of vegetables already. Sometimes, especially in restaurants with Eastern trained chefs, I'm near tears looking for the vegetables. Not the case with your menu. I'd love to be served that meal. It sounds delicious and abundant. You really have everything there, literally from soup to nuts, to twist a metaphor.

But if it's not another salad that you think is missing, what is it that made you think you need help? The crackers that didn't make the written list?

Since it's Summertime, and might be hot, you could make a nice flavored water like Grainlady's sassy water (recipe in the water jar thread). Or some herb iced tea (the mother probably doesn't do caffeine). Perhaps they'd rather just have good spring water, at basement temperature (that's what we call kept in a cool place cool, even though we don't have a basement), than a chilled drink.

I do think you have the bases covered, however.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 3:17PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Thanks, plllog, I guess I'll just relax and enjoy...I have time before Saturday, so maybe another side vegetable will happen between now and then. I went to the farmers market today and there were a bunch of good looking veggies there....hmmm.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 4:49PM
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This link to Kale Quinoa salad from Smitten Kitchen is to die for and lots of nutrition to balance the lentils and tomatoes, She also has a great lentil salad recipe if you're looking, although you may have a favorite so just and fyi, I made it and liked it. I really dig those french lentils in salad and I even special ordered some because it is hard to get them around where I live. The salad is supposedly "warm" but I ate it cold. Honestly though, you don't need anything and it sounds just fab. to me. I love seafood salads this time of year! And peach galette with ice cream would make me VERY happy!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 9:50PM
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I think your menu is ample -- more than enough in my book. I wouldn't consider anything more unless you wind up feeding a larger group.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 10:36PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Thank you lpinkmtn for your suggestions. Both salads look wonderful. I never thought of having kale that way...I usually just throw it in my a.m. smoothie.

Lascatx, I appreciate the input....I always tend to over do as we had a rule in our one leaves hungry!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 8:07AM
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I think it sounds good. Wonder if acid (tomatoes, spices, salami, etc.) might bother her though? I thought plllog was onto something and maybe we might look at this differently. I felt pretty good almost the entire pregnancy, until the last trimester when the baby started pressing on organs and gave me massive heart burn. So still keep it in mind? I can drop by and give it taste for you if you like ;)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 8:42AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Thanks, rob333, she won't eat the salami anyway...that's more for him and us, and I'll keep the spicing on the gazpacho on the mild side. I can always put out some celery and carrot sticks with dressing as a dip...or I have some tomato/basil hummus and pita chips....

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 10:36AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Pleased to report that lunch went off fabulously. Everyone was stuffed, everything was so tasty. It certainly was more than enough. She brought a lovely apple cinnamon cheese dip with crackers that was yummy. I really like the lentil salad though I screwed it up by overcooking the lentils so they were a tad on the mushy side, but still very flavorful.

The best part was it was all make ahead so it waited for us for whenever we were ready, and my work was really just last minute cooking which I really like.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 3:35PM
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'Scuse, me. :)

You put so much thought and care into this that I couldn't help crowing at hearing how well it went. Sometimes, preparing a meal for just a couple of guests is harder than making food for a crowd. Many congratulations on the success of the menu and your planning that allowed you to enjoy your guests to the fullest.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 3:53PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Thanks plllog, and thanks for all your support!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 8:25PM
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Glad to hear it went well. I love those kind of summer, salady meals! And I am a huge fan of anitpasta platters, where folks can pick and choose their own perfect little plates! As for lentils, like I said, I love lentil salad too and I always have to struggle getting the lentils just right--not too mushy, not to hard. I now special order French green lentil and also have tried the black beluga ones. They are both rounder and seem to be better for salads. But anyway, glad to hear the dinner went well. I knew it would! But I still love it when folks report back. What can I say, I am so busy and devoid of a social life I have to live vicariously through others, lol! So thanks for sharing the fun!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 10:19AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Thanks lpinkmtn, I appreciate your support as well.

Now I just have to get the recipe for that apple dip she brought...with the crackers, it tasted like apple pie!

Also, in my nosing around, I did find a blend of sprouted lentils that are supposed to cook more included the green and black lentils...I think I'll try them next time...they look pretty too.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 11:01AM
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