Sunday, July 31, 2016

This week's menu

Crap. I didn't realize that picture was blurry until just now. Too bad, I'm not taking another one.

This week is a regular work week. Holy Moley, I needed this weekend to rest.

The lab gods made last week pretty hectic. I wonder what they will decide for this week? At least I have some yummy meals planned to enjoy for lunch-- IF I can get out of the lab to take a lunch!

P.S. It's still hot outside. Too hot.

2nd Breakfasts-
Cottage cheese with strawberries and sliced almonds
Peanut butter on GF toast

Sunday- Thai Peanut Noodles. Because I'm still obsessing over that sauce.
Monday- Crock pot chicken + rice + broccoli
Tuesday- Burgers + beans + potato wedges
Wednesday- Big salads
Thursday- Black bean enchiladas- made in the toaster oven
Friday- Salmon kabobs + salad

Have a lovely week.

Thai Peanut Noodles

gluten free thai peanut noodles

Why, yes. I AM obsessed with this peanut sauce.

Since I discovered it, I've had it on salad, with spring rolls, with takeout sushi, and now I'm eating it with noodles. It's THAT good.

Thai Peanut Noodles

Gather ingredients:
1 batch peanut sauce (made with peanut butter instead of cashew butter)
cooked and still hot GF spaghetti noodles
chives, chopped
frozen peas
red pepper flakes
Optional: chopped leftover chicken breast

Mix it all together in the still-hot spaghetti noodle pot, and dig in.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This week's menu

What do we have here? Another menu.

It dawned on me that I've been neglecting to post a very important part of my weekly menu: 2nd breakfast. I always eat a snack around 10am when I take my break at work.

I eat a small bowl of cereal before I leave the house, but a few hours later I always need something more. And yes, I usually plan these second breakfasts along with these dinners.

So! Let's welcome 2nd breakfasts into the weekly menu.

2nd Breakfasts: Peanut butter and granola on Udi's GF bread

Wednesday- Leftover soup + salad, if I can get to it before it gets too slimy
Thursday- Buffalo chicken and broccoli bowls
Friday- Burgers + beans + potato wedges
Saturday- Grilled fish tacos + avocado corn salsa
Sunday- Crock pot chicken + rice + broccoli

not salad dressing

I've been trying to eat more vegetables this year. So far I've actually done a great job- I eat WAY more vegetables on a regular basis than I ever have.

While there are many vegetables out there, eating more veggies pretty much = eating more salads. However boring salads can be, they're the easiest way to ingest more veggies. They're a necessary evil.

One day we ran out of salad dressing.

Oh, me! Oh, my!

However will I eat my salad?

Good thing I had hummus to the rescue.

It turns out, a dollup of hummus is even better than salad dressing. It can be thinned out with water to a dressing consistency, or simply plopped into the salad as-is. It tastes better and has more protein aka I'm not as hungry an hour later.

Try it.

P.S. More ways to eat veggies

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

freezer dump soup

It's hot.
Did I mention it's hot?
Because it's hot.

And I don't want to cook hot things. But salads and sandwiches get old.

Enter stage left: The crock pot. And the big freezer cleanout.

Dinner is served.

gluten free soup

This is my freezer dump soup. The recipe changes, because it consists of cleaning out the fridge and freezer and dumping anything soup-worthy into the crock pot.

And it's usually delicious.

The secret to delicious freezer-dump soup is to heavily sautee all the things you can before dumping them in the crock pot. That char gives the soup and extra depth that really makes a difference.

This particular soup starts with sauteed corn, green peppers, and onion.

It got tossed into the crock pot with chicken broth, a forgotten carrot, peas, some wine, and a freezer burned chicken breast.

It turned out wonderful. I had 2 bowls.

I usually serve with a nice big scoop of rice or quinoa to round things out.

gluten free soup

Saturday, July 23, 2016

This "week's" eats

My "weeks" always get a bit weird when I work weekends. That's why this "week" starts on a Saturday. Also it's too effing hot to cook over the stove. So salads, sandwiches, and crock pots are my friends right now.

Saturday- Sandwiches
Sunday- Tuna salad on salad
Monday- Crock pot soup (freezer cleanout = dump all the things in the soup!)
Tuesday- Buffalo chicken and broccoli bowls

Friday, July 22, 2016

Spring Rolls, again

When life hands you a fantastic peanut sauce recipe, you make spring rolls.

In addition to the more detailed tutorial in the link above, here is a fantastic picture of how to fold the rice paper wrapper.

Spring rolls are great for using up sad veggies. Which is exactly what I did.

These particular spring rolls included lettuce, shredded carrot, rice vermicelli, chicken, cucumber, and edamame. Oh, and just a little bit of peanut sauce.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thai salad dressing

Let's talk about Minimalist Baker's Thai salad dressing. Why? Because it's really freaking good.

I didn't make the salad in the link above, just the dressing. Then I poured it over my regularish salad and took a bite and then I got up and poured more on top. Delish.

I used peanut butter instead of cashew butter, lemon juice because I ran out of limes, and did not add the optional ingredients.

It's kind of like the peanut sauce that is served with Spring Rolls. But better because it's gluten free and I can actually eat it. I'm definitely making Spring Rolls this weekend just so I can dip them in that sauce.

Make it.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

This week's menu

Monday- Big Salads. Because I have a huge tub of salad greens in the fridge and the mission, as always, is to finish it before everything gets slimy. This particular big salad uses up any available sad fridge veggies, plus quinoa, peppers, and edamame.
TuesdayChili + salads. I'm making a big batch of chili because we're having a party at work on Wednesday and I'm tasked with bringing chili frito pie. Easy peasy.
WednesdayVegetable soup + sandwich. And salad. Light dinner because I'm doing yoga at 730. Kind of late to be working out, but maybe I'm just old and 730 is not really that late.
ThursdayThai Salad, then happpy hour! Or maybe vice versa. I really want to try that dressing.
 Friday- Leftovers, or whatever. I have the day off so I'll be going to the grocery store and making a new menu. PLUS I've been challenged with making Chrissy Teigan's Dutch Baby in a gluten free version so I know what I'll have for breakfast!

Other news: I did join the gym at work and I've actually gone twice. Motivated to keep going. It's super convenient that it's literally right at work.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mexican rice

A long time ago, my uncle was married to a woman who made LEGENDARY Mexican rice. Every special occasion, every get-together, we begged her to make it. I don't care if we were making Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham, that rice was next to it on the table, nestled amongst the cranberries and stuffing. And it was the first dish to be gobbled up.

She gave us the recipe, but when we made it, it wasn't the same. As it happened, circumstances led to her no longer being in the family, and we mourned her rice.

Fast forward to a few years ago when Chris had a friend and his wife come stay with us for a weekend. We fired up the bbq pit and the wife decided to make "her famous" rice for the meal. Remembering the pattern of mexican rice at meals that did not demand mexican rice, I was intrigued.

She gathered ingredients from the pantry, and I noticed they looked familiar. My heart skipped a beat.

As she made the rice, I discovered the crucial missing step from the recipe that the former aunt had given out. It was like a sparkling secret developing on my stove top.

Elated, I waited for the rice to finish cooking and sure enough, it was the amazing fabled rice we enjoyed as kids. A single tear fell from my eye. I finally had it.

And now I'm going to share it with you.

Gather ingredients:

2 cloves minced garlic
1T. olive oil
1t. chicken bullion- make sure it's GF
1c. rice
2c. water
1 4oz can tomato sauce

Sautee the rice and garlic in oil.
^^THIS IS THE SECRET STEP!! If you don't do this, you'll simply end up with regular tomato-y rice.

Dont be shy. Get all the rice nice and browned. This gives you that perfect texture in the final product.

Finish cooking like regular rice: Stir in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.

Feast on legendary rice. In this case, I added it to Burrito Bowls.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

This week's menu

gluten free menu

Monday- Swedish meatballs and broccoli
Tuesday- Chicken cacciatore (using Chrissy Teigen's tomato sauce that I hoarded and froze) and carrots
Wednesday- Sloppy joes and corn on the cob
Thursday- Black bean burrito bowls (with potato, edamame, and quinoa)
 Friday- Leftovers! Or we're going out to eat. Bottom line: I'm not cooking.

Have a good week, y'all. It's summer and it's hot and I'm thisclose to making sandwiches and/or salads for every meal to avoid turning on the stove. Because let's get real, the oven is not turning on because it doesn't work. But I'll give the stovetop a shot this week. In-between the crock pot and eating out.

I fully intend to join the gym at work this week, due to a straight diet of happy hour and tacos for the last few months. Not the best idea during swimsuit season, but honestly... it's more about the seaty roll discomfort than the bikini body. Priorities.