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I had two very successful culinary experiments today!

For lunch I wanted to make soup, so I started with a base of Campbell's Roasted Chicken Corn Chowder, and then used up some leftovers -- I chopped in a half cup of roasted sweet potato, about the same amount of butternut squash, roasted and, er, squashed. I found the soup too dominated by the squash taste, so I added a can of cream-style sweet corn. At that point, it needed more protein, so I took a leftover cooked link of sweet Italian sausage, removed the casing and chopped it pretty small, and threw that in along with a dollop of milk. Still not creamy enough, so I stirred in almost half a cup of cream cheese. A little bit of garlic salt and some pepper, and it was very tasty. Rosie asked for seconds twice!

I threw some fresh spinach on mine while it was hot, and mixed it in to wilt it. Yum, yum, yum.

For dinner, we had a Jennie-o turkey breast that went straight from the freezer to the oven, and came with a stove-top gravy packet. Brian has been mourning that he cannot eat some leftover lamb curry since his gall bladder surgery put him on a low fat diet, so I decided to make a curry dish. We had some turnips that needed cooking, and besides that not a lot of veggies - carrots, though, and some aged tomatoes and about half a summer squash, already sliced. I had an inkling that I wanted to throw in some prunes, so I googled "roasted vegetables curry prunes" and came up with this Vegetable Tagine with Prunes & Couscous.

Rosie likes couscous and I had a can of chickpeas "en salsa" with pumpkin and green peppers, which I figured made up for the fact that I wasn't going to use the butter, the chicken stock, nor olive oil in the couscous like the package said, and the turnips and carrots could substitute for the sweet potato. I skipped the onion since I would have no butter to saute it in, and instead just chopped up my tomatoes and sauteed the garlic and summer squash in the tomato juices while the carrots and turnips (chopped) roasted in the oven, sprayed lightly with PAM. I added 1/2 the turmeric and cumin, and a dash of cardamom, some of a prepared curry spice blend, the can of chickpeas and sauce, as well as the roasted veggies and four prunes, finely chopped, then further added a spoonful of sugar to sweeten the dish for Rosie's palette. I warmed it all up to bubbling, threw a lid on, and let it sit until Brian and Rosie got back from her swim class.

Rosie liked the couscous with the gravy and also with the veggies, and she ate all her turkey too with no complaints. Brian and I both liked the veggies a good deal. The chickpea sauce made the dish nicely complex. The turkey and gravy were both a bit too salty, but Brian wasn't having the gravy anyway, so he didn't care. :)

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