Saturday, January 30, 2016

This week's menu

I finished the giant bag of greens before it got slimy! Record that in your record books.

In case you were wondering, I worked out twice last week. Yeahhh! Plus we are still eating as many veggies as I can cram into things, so here's to lower cholesterol and trimmer waistlines.

Sunday- Mozzarella stuffed meatballs + salads
Monday- Apricot walnut chicken + broccoli.
Tuesday- Vegetable soup with quinoa
Wednesday- Crock pot ribs + edamame
Thursday- Beef Stew
Friday- Sloppy Joes + green beans and french fries

Buffalo Chicken pizza

Pizza hack: Put buffalo chicken onto a GF pizza crust. (Mix in some broccoli to boost the veggie rating)

Place in the bowl of your kitchen aid mixer:

1/2 c. pain greek yogurt
1/2 block of gluten-free cream cheese, cut into chunks
1/2 cup gluten-free hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cooked and still hot chicken breasts
1 c. cooked and still hot broccoli

Mix into sort of a paste and spread over a GF pizza crust. I used a store-bought one because I wasn't in the mood to make one from scratch. Bake at 450 for 10-15 minutes until everything's heated up and the bottom of the crust is browned.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

This week's menu

It occurred to me that it might be a good idea to start adding Sunday to the rotation. Simply because I always need to cook on Sunday in order to have lunch leftovers for Monday. Most of the time it's unplanned and I simply wing it, but sometimes it would be really nice to have it planned.

Also the giant bag of greens has not turned slimy yet. Yet. I'm on borrowed time here.


Sunday- Buffalo chicken pizza + salads
Monday- Guac and black bean burrito bowls
Tuesday- Salmon and broccoli
Wednesday- Beef stew + cornbread. Supposed to be really cold.
Thursday- Sausage and rice with carrots and whatever other veggies I can jam into it.
Friday- Going out for Sushi. Because I kinda want it.

Have a great week, stay warm! (Aka wear your tights under your pants)

Healthy snacking

What? You're trying to eat healthier too? Welcome to the bandwagon.

In addition to simply NOT purchasing crap, I spent about 20 minutes this afternoon chopping up veggies and washing fruits. Because a handy snack is the one I'm going to grab. Plus some healthy-ish chips. Because chips.

healthy snacking carrot chips

It came in handy after a few glasses of wine tonight when the snackies hit. Usually I reach for the chips, but since the jar of sliced carrots was handy, I chose that instead as a vessel for my hummus.

healthy snacking carrot chips

Carrots sliced at an angle are kind of fun. For some reason I'm more likely to want carrots when they're carrot "chips" than when they're carrot sticks, or, god forbid, a plain old carrot.

healthy snacking carrot chips

The moral of the story is, if you're trying to eat more vegetables, chopping them up and having them handy beforehand is a really good idea. Especially if you're prone to wine-induced snackage.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Crock pot beef

Crock pot beef. It's what I make when I need a wholesome dinner and I don't want to fuck around. There are many different variations, but here's a basic guideline.

Before I start, if you aren't using crock pot liners, you are missing out. No, really. These are life-changing. Get some and use them often.

Step 1: Veggies. Chop them up into big pieces. Take this opportunity to use up any sad veggies that have been hiding in the crisper. Toss in a peeled garlic clove or two.

Step 2: Meat. Chop up your beef. Any cut will do; the crock pot part basically takes care of any tenderizing. I use literally whatever is the cheapest at the store.

Step 3: Liquids. Usually this involves wine. Red or white; whatever is open. I've also used chicken, veggie, or beef broth, or even water. Fill it up so that the level is just under the top of the meat. Or whatever. If you err, err on the side of more liquids.

Step 4: Optional seasonings.
Sometimes I make this plain jane, because I wanted the leftovers to be versatile.
Sometimes I also add in fresh herbs/ bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, or chili powder. One time I even added fresh cranberries because it was fall, dammit.

The end result is: Dinner.
To thicken the sauce, stir cornstarch into a small amount of cold water, then stir into the crock pot.

Serve as a stew, or over rice.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Vegan taco... bowls

Tonight's dinner was inspired by these tacos. Don't they look amazing?

Well, I didn't have lettuce big enough to make tacos, so I took their inspiration and made these into salads.

Start your bowl happiness: Sautee onion and corn in a skillet. You want to let it get good and browned for that roasted flavor.

Chop veggies on hand: cucumber, shredded carrot, tomatoes, avocado, lettuce.

Add beans to the corn/onion mixture for protein. I would have used black beans but we were out, so I added navy beans. Same difference. Season with cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper.

Assemble bowls and top with lemon juice. This part is crucial. The lemon juice makes everything jive.

Eat. And be glad your cholesterol didn't just rise. Feel righteous for today. Flex your arm muscles.

The menu this week

This week on Monday we bought another large bag of greens that will probably get slimy before I figure out how to use them all. Challenge accepted! Salads for all!

M- Mama went out day drinking and shopping with her friends. Figure it out.
T- Sushi because Mmmm
W- Crock pot beef + rice and salads
R- Vegan Taco Bowls
F- Buffalo chicken pizza and salads. Because I can probably eat chicken now that I've had two weeks without it.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Salmon and broccoli quinoa

This was good. Like really good. Like I'm sitting there eating it going OMG this is SO GOOD and I look over at hubs and he's like, Yeah it's good. And I'm like, NO. THIS IS REALLY GOOD.

The point is, it's good. I was amazed. Chris was less amazed but agreed it was good. I snapped a quick mid-eat picture. Yes, we ate off the coffee table that night.

I found this recipe by searching "salmon" on Pinterest and this was the first result. Brown Sugar Spiced Salmon. Super easy, super quick, and super delicious.

Brown Sugar Spiced Salmon

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon chile powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Four 8-ounce salmon fillets

Mix the ingredients and spoon over the salmon.
Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes or until the inside reads 145 F.

The only change I'd  make is to cut the sugar in half. It was a bit much, especially since we're trying to dial back on sugar and dial up on veggies.

Speaking of veggies, the broccoli quinoa I made went perfectly with the salmon.
Just cook quinoa with a clove of chopped garlic and add in chopped frozen broccoli.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Creamy tomato pasta

When in doubt, always start by cooking bacon and onions. The rest will work itself out.

That's how tonight's dinner started.  I knew I wanted pasta, and all the meat was frozen. Enter the old standby.

Start with bacon and onions (and garlic). Throw them in a pan on medium high heat until the bacon is cooked and the onions and garlic are browned.

Add in a couple (4 oz) cans of tomato sauce and some kale and leftover Greek yogurt. Plus the last handful of parsley and oregano that grew in the summer's herb garden. Grab the frozen block of parmesan cheese and grate some over the top. Salt and pepper to taste. If your tomato sauce tastes a bit tinny, sprinkle in a bit of sugar.

Serve over noodles. A mighty fine dinner.

The final picture was snapped after hubs started to eat, because mine was already gone.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

This week's menu

I really wanted anything but chicken this week. Too bad it makes it into the menu anyway, but it's buffalo chicken on a pizza. Really I'm ok with that.

M- TUNA MELTS and edamame. I'm actually really excited about these
T- Ham and bean soup. Using a leftover ham bone. Crock pot style.
W- Salmon with quinoa and broccoli
R- Kale salads with steak strips and pecans
F- Buffalo chicken pizza and salads

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Last week's menu

This is what the menu looked like when hubs was out of town.

Spoiler: It's mostly wine and cereal.

Here's the menu for this week:

M- Salad with leftover baked chicken on top.
T- Potato, egg, and cheese waffle
W- Quinoa enchilada casserole (converted to soup)
R- Broccoli cheddar baked potatoes
F- POLLO LOCO at Ashley's and as many cuddles with Little Chunk 2.0 as I can squeeze in.

**I've had good luck with no cross contamination out our local Pollo Loco. You can see inside the kitchen and everything is nice and separated. I like the Grande Avocado Salad. Even thought it's not exactly grande, it's still good.

Welcome to 2016, where vegetables are the new year's resolution...

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Black Eyed Peas

Black Eyed Peas for the new year. A day late, but that's okay. Hopefully it's not a bad omen of the way 2016 will go!

We've tried fresh peas before, but even after hours of simmering they would NOT soften up. So this year I spotted some frozen ones and tossed them in the cart. They worked out beautifully!

Black Eyed Peas

Bacon, chopped into small pieces
Chopped onion
Frozen Black Eyed Peas
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

Heat the bacon and onion in a pot until the bacon is cooked and the onion is browned and softened. This is the best step. It smells wonderful.

Add in the frozen peas, a bay leaf, and enough water to cover peas + about 1/2 inch.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 40-45 minutes, or whatever the package directions say. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with GF cornbread with lots of butter.

Cheers, and Happy New Year!