Lamb & Bulgur Stew with White BeansA showcase for feta cheese, perhaps? First, I made the “Lamb and Bulgur Stew with White Beans,” from the May 2013 issue of Martha Stewart Living, because you know I enjoy the ease of preparing a stew in a single pot on the stove top.

Canned tomatoes. Canned beans. Eat this stew in less than an hour. It’s hearty, satisfying, and lamby.

I’m pleased with the bite of bulgur. It blends well here with the feta and tomatoes. This stew asks for a generous amount of red-pepper flakes, which I could handle (but it may not be too kid-friendly).

When the recipe asks to add two cups of water, make sure to fill your emptied tomato can, in order to get some “tomato water.”

Fresh oregano will always turn a stew into a celebration.

Kale Spanakopita TrianglesNext, I made the “Kale Spanakopita Triangles,” from Love & Lemons, knowing they would be a popular hit at my table. As long as I can manhandle phyllo dough, I’m not intimidated by it. In this recipe, the phyllo forgives all the flag folding; any tears get covered by the next fold, and so on.

What is “1/4 cup scallion”? Well, it’s a single scallion, folks. I wasn’t afraid to cook down a whole bunch of kale, knowing that it would reduce significantly. I did add a splash of warm water to my bowl of filling, to make it stickier. I also added 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper to my mix.

For my “work surface,” I turned over a baking tray, put a sheet of parchment paper there, unfurled a double-ply layer of phyllo, and sliced the five vertical strips. The recipe says to use a single teaspoon of filling per triangle, but that’s ridiculous! At this point, set aside your measuring spoons and trust your hands instead. I just felt my way from here on out, filling, folding, forgiving.

After brushing my triangles with melted butter, I baked them for 17 minutes or so, until they were golden. I guarantee this: people will always grab an edible triangle.

Onion (1) = .42¢
Ground Lamb (8 oz.) = $4.54
Canned Diced Tomatoes (28 oz.) = $2.31
Canned Cannellini Beans (14.5 oz.) = $1.83
Baby Spinach (5 oz.) = $3.33
Purple Kale (1 bunch) = $1.87
Feta Cheese (.38 lb. = $3.15

PREP TIME: stew needs less than an hour of prep and cooking; blanching kale is quick, phyllo folding requires a minimal amount of attention and time, triangles bake in 17 minutes
lamb plays well with the bite of bulgur and the tang of feta and tomatoes; crispy baked phyllo wraps grandly around our kale and feta

Next time, I will cook the “Chicken Thighs with Blueberries and Rosemary,” from In Erika’s Kitchen, along with the “Corn Pudding,” from Use Real Butter. Sound good? Come back to my site next week, to see what happens.