Sunday

 

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken Enchilada Chili

I swear I tried to follow this recipe.

 

Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Chili
 
adapted from
Ingredients
  • 15 oz red enchilada sauce
  • 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
  • 15.25 oz kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15.25 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 4oz cans of green chiles
  • frozen corn- half of 1 lb bag
  • 1 enchilada can full of chicken broth
  • 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked salt
  • 1.5 Tbls chili powder
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • optional toppings: cilantro, greek yogurt/sour cream, cheddar cheese, lime juice
Instructions
  1. In crock pot combine everything except the chicken, cream cheese and optional toppings.
  2. Stir to combine
  3. add chicken and gently stir
  4. cook on low 5-8 hours or high 3-5.
  5. when chicken is easily shred-able, remove from crock pot and shred.
  6. also cube cream cheese and stir into crock pot, turning to high if not already.
  7. add shredded chicken back into the crock pot, stir and cover.
  8. Cook on high until cream cheese is melted.
  9. Stir and serve with any of the optional toppings you desire.
  10. Store in airtight container in fridge for up to a week.

 

 

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms with Honey Garlic Shrimp

 

 

Chicken Salad

I didn’t really read this recipe carefully enough- it looks like its 1 portion. So I modified so we had this for lunches during the week- and added lemon juice in hopes that the apple wouldn’t brown too much.

 

Apply Cranberry Chicken Salad
 
adapted from
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds cooked boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 2 granny smith apples, diced
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1.5 C greek yogurt
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 3 tsp cumin
Instructions
  1. combine all ingredients in large bowl and refrigerate
  2. "marinate" all together for at least a couple of hours before portioning out to lunch containers.

 

 

Sunday

 

1chick

 

2Prong

 

Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

 

I wanted to try something that was sweet but that would also curb my snacking tendencies. I combined 3 recipes to make it my own thing, no surprise right?

This seasoning and baking: http://www.pastryaffair.com/blog/2011/11/5/honey-cinnamon-roasted-chickpeas.html This note on cooking the chickpeas after soaking them: http://www.picklesnhoney.com/2012/01/10/baked-bbq-chickpeas/

 

These were ok. I don’t think I baked/roasted them as long as I should have because a couple of them were burning. So they aren’t that crisp. I may try again someday.

 

Have you done this successfully? Any tips?

 

Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas
 
Ingredients
  • 1-2 Cups dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
Instructions
  1. Place dry chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with water with at least one inch of water above the beans- they will soak it up!
  2. Leave the beans soaking in the water for 24 hours
  3. Drain beans and transfer to a medium pot and cover with water again
  4. Bring beans and water to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes
  5. Drain and lay out on a towel to cool and dry for about ½ hour- remove any skins but its not necessary to remove from all of them, just the loose ones
  6. Preheat oven to 375 and line a sided baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil
  7. Combine cinnamon, sugar and oil in bowl and then add beans and stir until thoroughly coated
  8. transfer coated beans to prepared cookie sheet
  9. bake 35-40 minutes until desired crunchiness- be sure to taste test to make sure they aren't still soft in the center. but be careful to not burn too many.
  10. Immediately transfer hot beans to a bowl with the honey in it and stir to coat.
  11. transfer back to the cookie sheet to dry and cool
  12. store in airtight container at room temperature

 

 

[insert photo here]

 

 

3Prong

Strawberry Overnight Oats

 

This recipe makes very soggy/watery oats. The recipe I’ve made before with yogurt and almond milk was thicker straight from the fridge. I tried this because I have yogurt in my morning smoothie and didn’t feel the need for more yogurt in my diet.

 

I will try this recipe with less almond milk next time to see if that helps. I had these oats for lunch during the work week which was tasty and filling but unfortunately overall my meal planning this week wasn’t quite enough protein for my liking.

 

 

[insert photo here]

 

3Prong

 

Cabbage Fat Burning Soup

 

This did not fit into the pot I used. It may or may not have overflowed a little. hee hee

 

The soup is good though. I can’t speak to the fat burning qualities because I didn’t eat it for every meal but it was a good soup. I have more in the freezer for future eating which is nice. I definitely added hot sauce to each bowl though.

 

 

1beef

 

 

4Prong

 

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef

 

 

4Prong

with Black Bean Casserole

 

Make these 2 dishes immediately. So. Good.

 

The beef was tender and super flavorful. I reserved some of the bottled BBQ thinking I would need to add it to the cooked/shredded beef but it was already so flavorful. The black bean casserole ended up being a Kidney Bean and Brown Rice casserole because I apparently can’t read canned good labels successfully in the store. Another super flavorful recipe that paired really well with the beef.

 

These 2 recipes lasted most of the week for Joe- and I had a couple portions too.

 

Monday

 

1chicken

 

4Prong

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki with Broccoli

 

I added the broccoli to the crock pot and it was a nice addition. I also had leftover brown rice from the earlier rice casserole so that went with this dish. This is a really good teriyaki slow cooker recipe.

 

 

 

 

Overall I don’t like focusing on my food consumption in a diet-like manner so this week’s cooking felt more chore-like than fun. Luckily there were plenty of successful dishes to make up for it. Now I need to rethink and re-calibrate my eating so it feels less diet-like but still gears towards my fitting into that dang dress.

Sunday

 

 

motherscake

 

 

4Prong

 

Carrot Cake

 

 

Mother’s Day BBQ dessert. So tasty it hit the spot!

My grandma and I were both craving this cake when we saw it on the cover of the mag- but we found out my mom had already snatched the recipe! I managed to wrangle it from her to make it for the BBQ.

 

I did use the whisk attachment on my stand mixer. I started with the paddle but it wasn’t getting the flour incorporated into the wet ingredients like I wanted it to. So the recipe says to just start with the whisk attachment. Also, I bought Minneola Tangerines instead of oranges and didn’t buy walnuts so I used 1/3 pecans and 2/3 pumpkin seeds. It still turned out to be a great cake.

 

Carrot Snack Cake
 
wording not verbatim but from better homes and gardens April 2016 [Jennifer Juniper adjustments in brackets]
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs [room temperature]
  • 1 Cup olive oil
  • ¾ packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • ½ Cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Cup [white] whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt [optional]
  • ½ tsp [fresh] ground nutmeg
  • 2½ Cups shredded carrots
  • 1 Cup chopped walnuts [I used pecans and pumpkin seeds]
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 8 oz cream cheese [room temperature]
  • 3 Tbsp [unsalted] butter softened [room temperature and I used 4 Tbsp]
  • 1 Tsp. orange zest
  • [1/2 tsp almond extract]
  • 2 Cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. For Cake
  2. preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 baking pan, set aside.
  3. in the bowl of a stand mixer using whisk attachment, combine eggs, oil, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla until well combined. Whisk in flours, baking powder, soda, and spices until just combined. Remove bowl from stand mixer and stir in carrots and walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan
  4. bake 30-35 minuts or until toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake. cool in the pan on a wire rack completely.
  5. Cream Cheese Frosting
  6. In bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment, combine cream cheese and butter thoroughly, scraping bowl sides as needed.
  7. Add orange zest and almond extract and stir on medium speed to combine thoroughly
  8. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time building up to a medium-high speed with each cup to incorporate some air into the frosting.
  9. When cake is completely cool, frost with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with orange zest. Store with cling wrap over top and in the fridge

 

 

 

 

mothersday

 

 

4Prong

 

Roasted Cabbage with Sriracha and Lime

 

Mother’s Day BBQ veggie side dish. This was so good!

 

Some of my family thought it was a little on the spicy side but my portion wasn’t bad at all. It was super easy to bring the ingredients to my parents house and make it there. I followed the note on the page to leave the core in while roasting- a few portions still fell apart! I didn’t cut the core our before serving and just mentioned it to the fam while serving.

 

I definitely see more cabbage in my future kitchen adventures.

Insert Photo Here

3Prong

 

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies

 

I’m proud of myself that it took until Week 12 of this long term adventure to not have a pic to share.

 

I made this on Sunday while we were at the BBQ because I knew I had Monday night plans and needed lunches for at least Monday and Tuesday- and dinner for Joe Monday night while I was out. I did broccoli instead of carrots. My crock pot must be small because I ended up layering potatoes at the bottom then chicken then broccoli on top and pouring the sauce over it.

 

This wasn’t my favorite. Joe really liked it though. Maybe it needed more garlic or something.

 

 

Tuesday

 

 

tuesdaycauli

 

 

4Prong

 

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Alfredo with Chicken

 

This may be too good. I was going to use carrot ribbons instead of pasta but I really do love pasta too much. I used leftover chicken from the crock pot and from the Sunday BBQ.

 

It made plenty of leftovers. What’s notable is that I taste roasted garlic and Parmesan while Joe mostly tasted cauliflower with a hint of garlic.

 

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Alfredo
 
adapted from Pinch of Yum
Ingredients
  • 1 large head of garlic
  • olive oil
  • 2 medium cauliflower heads, roughly chopped
  • 7 cups of broth or water
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 package of linguine cooked to al dente per package directions
  • chopped cooked chicken- I used 4 thighs and 1 breast
Instructions
  1. Roast Garlic
  2. preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  3. cut top off head of garlic so most cloves are exposed
  4. drizzle lightly with olive oil
  5. enclose in foil packet loosely closed
  6. roast in oven for about an hour
  7. remove from oven and open packet to cool garlic
  8. when cool enough to handle but still warm, squeeze garlic out of the papery wrapper
  9. store in fridge for a up to a week
  10. for sauce, place broth/water and chopped cauliflower in large pot, bring to boil and boil for 7-10 minutes with lid on.
  11. transfer cauliflower and 1 Cup of liquid to a blender along with the roasted garlic and rest of sauce ingredients.
  12. blend until smooth adding more oil or broth or parmesan as needed
  13. combine sauce with cooked pasta and chopped chicken
  14. serve hot
  15. great leftover

 

 

Thursday

 

 

pb

 

3Prong

 

Ninja Blender Peanut Butter

 

 

3 prongs because I know I can do better and I didn’t measure so don’t have a recipe to share.

 

I decided to make peanut butter with the 2 opened bags of peanuts in my freezer (recently discovered when scrounging for walnuts for the carrot cake). So I threw some in the largest blender cup I have along with some honey, coconut oil (should have melted that first) and ended up adding a cup of canola oil a drizzle at a time to get the party really going- probably would not have been necessary if the coconut oil had been liquid.

 

I store the peanut butter in the fridge in small containers to have with carrot sticks. It’s a little runny at room temperature and certainly not my best peanut butter but it’s still more-than-palatable for dipping veggies in.

 

Sunday

 

11.2

 

3Prong

 

Toasted Coconut Jalapeño Oat Bars

 

I followed my Raspberry Oat Bar recipe but used 16oz of jalapeno jelly instead of raspberry. These were ooey gooey and an interesting flavor. I was feeling experimental in the kitchen.

 

3 prongs only because they weren’t as spicy as I had hoped and using 16 oz of jelly was too much. I should have followed the recipe and only done 10-12 even though it didn’t fully cover the bottom oat layer.

 

 

11.3

 

 

4Prong

 

Crock Pot Pork Roast with cauliflower mash

 

I followed the linked recipe for the pork except that I used 3.5lbs of pork butt roast and left it on low most of the day. It was quite tasty but there was more fat in the crock pot than I expected. Which is because of the choice of meat I used.

 

I was really excited about the purple cauliflower and hopeful that it wouldn’t turn out to be a gross color. And in talking with a friend I realized that my cauliflower mash has evolved enough from the previously linked recipe that I could share a recipe card here for anyone who is interested. I highly recommend and am currently obsessed with boiling and mashing cauliflower of any color these days.

 

Cauliflower Mash
 
adapted from pinch of yum
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups liquid- broth/water/almond milk
  • garlic
  • ¼ - ½ cup dry polenta
  • shredded cheese- I like white cheddar
Instructions
  1. heat heavy pot to medium-high heat then add drizzle of olive oil and heat up
  2. add minced garlic and cauliflower to oil and saute for a few minutes until you start getting some color on the veggie but without burning the garlic
  3. add the liquid and bring pot to a boil without putting the lid on
  4. the cauliflower shouldn't be submerged but it should be about half covered by liquid at this point
  5. hard simmer/boil cauliflower for 8-12 minutes depending on your preferred doneness- I don't like it to be chunky so I boil it for quite a while
  6. when ready, turn heat to low and smash the cauliflower with the back of a spoon or a potato masher
  7. if desired, blend some or all of the cauliflower mixture to get it really smooth- I did about half of it last time so the final product was a nice mix of smooth and not-as-smooth
  8. when desired consistency is reached, sprinkle in a small handful of polenta and stir in thoroughly
  9. the mixture should start to thicken up. add more or less polenta for desired thickness. cook for a minute or 2 more
  10. when ready, remove pot from heat and stir in the shredded cheese. this is optional but highly recommended. there's no set amount because I usually go for a handful or 2 (or 3).

 

 

Monday

 

 

11.4

 

 

4Prong

 

Breakfast Sandwiches

 

 

My toaster is probably cooler than yours. It has a side cooker area that poaches eggs and warms Canadian bacon while it toasts the english muffins- and it holds the bread in the toaster until the eggs are done so everything is hot together but nothing is burnt. Not pictured- drizzle of sriracha. I put it on my sandwich but Joe opts out.

 

I seriously love my toaster people.

 

 

 

 

The rest of the week got exhausting and I did not make the Baked Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Dipping Sauce. I put the shrimp back in the freezer and will maybe try it next week. I hope this doesn’t become my new cabbage roll saga. So soon?!

 

Sunday

 

1

 

4Prong

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala with brown rice and spinach

 

 

I made this recipe before and it was tasty. I didn’t have cayenne pepper that time around so I guessed at 2 heaping teaspoons of cayenne pepper (the recipe suggests 1-3) this time. BOY it was super spicy right out of the slow cooker on Sunday. I couldn’t finish it it was so spicy. And I’ve been lovin’ me some spice recently.

 

Luckily enough, the leftovers mellowed out considerably. So if you’re one to meal prep and not eat the “first round” then this is the recipe for you. it makes a TON, it’s great leftover and the spice stops trying to kill you after it’s had some fridge time.

 

Wednesday

 

2

 

3Prong

Beefy Cheesy Burrito Wraps

 

 

I swear I was going to finally make the unstuffed cabbage roll recipe. Cross my heart. It’s one of those recipes that I was stoked about looking at but I had some unknown hang up when it finally came time to make it. Do you ever have that with food?

 

This was tasty and was comprised of things that were already in the house. It doesn’t always work to have a “fridge clear out” meal but when it does, it is incredibly satisfying.

 

Beefy Cheesy Burrito Wraps
 
Author:
Recipe type: weeknight dinner
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground meat (I used 80/20 beef)
  • 1-2 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 2 bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • shredded cheese
  • salsa
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • cilantro
  • olive oil
  • tortillas
  • any other burrito fillings- veggies, beans, cheese, rice
Instructions
  1. Heat pan over medium heat then add olive oil and heat
  2. Add ground meat with taco seasoning
  3. Break up meat into small pieces while it cooks until no more pink shows
  4. add bell pepper and saute for 1-2 minutes more (you can saute the pepper first, I prefer to have a little crunch in the pepper so I did it second)
  5. If using a fatty meat, I recommend draining the fat from the meat mixture before moving forward.
  6. When meat is done and drained remove from heat and add kidney beans and stir to combine
  7. serve meat on a tortilla with your fillings of choice. I used shredded cheddar cheese, pico de gallo salsa and cilantro because that's what I had in the fridge.

 

 

Saturday

 

3

 

4Prong

Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

 

 

It was a light cooking week this week. There’s a lot going on now that our wedding is less than 2 months away. Makeup/hair trials and dress fittings. So I woke up this morning needing my kitchen time fix and decided to bake.

 

I followed this cookie recipe and did a couple of the suggestions in the comments. I’ve created the recipe card in case you want to try what I did. They have coconut oil, chocolate chunks, raisins, oats and cashews. That sounds like trail mix right? And trail mix is healthy so I can eat these cookies and still fit in my dress right? right?!

 

Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
 
adapted from http://bakingbites.com/2006/08/cooking-school-oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookies/
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp milk (I used almond)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2½ cups quick or rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup cashews roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. over medium low heat melt and cook the butter until lightly browned but not burned. this is optional but adds a toffee-adjacent flavor that is great in this cookie
  2. pour browned butter over the coconut oil in a pyrex measuring cup and stir together
  3. place coconut oil/butter in the fridge until room temperature, stir as needed to keep them integrated
  4. in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together coconut oil, butter and both sugars until lighter in color and thoroughly combined
  5. beat in 1 egg at a time
  6. beat in milk and vanilla
  7. when wet ingredients are combined, add both flours, powder and soda gradually on low until just combined
  8. remove bowl from stand mixer to stir by hand remaining ingredients into the dough
  9. chill dough in fridge for at least ½ hour
  10. when ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper
  11. using a small cookie scoop, scoop dough onto cookie sheets leaving enough room between to allow for spreading
  12. bake one sheet at a time for 8-10 minutes until edges are golden brown and the center is lightly golden.
  13. remove sheet from oven but let the cookies cool on the sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

 

Sunday

 

 

2

 

 

3Prong

 

Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken with brown rice and roasted broccoli

 

 

I didn’t follow the recipe (not shocking) and the resulting entree did not come out as well as I had hoped (slightly shocking) but I was able to get it back to where it was tasty and not soup (not always a given so some might say: shocking).

 

I gave the chicken recipe 3 prongs in an effort to not always use the 4 prongs but really it was human error in not following the recipe. It shall be avenged!

 

I used

  • about 25 oz of fresh pineapple instead of canned
    • 2 16 oz packages minus my not whistling while I worked
  • 15 boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of 12 bone-in skin-on.

And I didn’t have pineapple juice so I used orange.

 

When I lifted the lid of the crock pot at the 3 hour mark to stir it around I found soup. It was almost overflowing the crock pot. So I stirred it around, put the lid back on and walked away heart broken, fully intending to have Joe dump another crock pot experiment. After a good ol’ “poor me” moment I went back to the kitchen at hour 4.5ish and started making the side dishes and got my brain to thinking how to possibly remedy this. First I tried doubling the cornstarch amount and added that to the crock pot. It barely put a dent in the soup status. So when the rice and veggies were almost done I pulled as much chicken out of the crock pot with as little sauce as possible. I then moved the sauce to a sauce pan and brought it to a boil. I added a little more soy sauce because it was a little pale in color and sprinkled some more cornstarch into it. It turned out edible but not my favorite.

 

I guess I used too much fresh pineapple and the liquid came from that? I’m still not quite sure. I am sure that I changed too much of the recipe to know anything about the original recipe.

 

The side dishes were on point. The brown rice was great- and I made a big enough batch to make the fried rice later in the week. The roasted broccoli and cauliflower was no fuss, no muss because I bought pre-floret-ed because I’m lazy.

 

Monday

 

 

1

 

4Prong

 

Spinach Greek Yogurt Mac n Cheese with pineapple chicken

 

 

 

Special Guest Chef Joe made this dish for us this week. It was nasty hot in our apartment when we got home and I had not had a good day at work so even I didn’t want to cook- which is my stress reliever most days. Captain Awesome-Fiancé came to my rescue and made dinner and did dishes. Sorry ladies and fellas, he’s mine forever. And it got me thinking- maybe I could have him cook more so that recipe’s are Joe tested? Like “so easy, Joe can make it?” Is that mean?

 

This is a tried and true recipe in our home. The white cheddar and spinach and greek yogurt changed the flavor of the chicken enough to not feel like we were eating the same chicken all week which was a welcome surprise.

 

Tuesday

 

 

3

 

 

4Prong

 

Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice

 

 

This was a great use of leftover chicken and rice. My onion had gone bad so I used 2 yellow bell peppers instead. I chopped up the chicken and used all of the leftover pineapple and sauce from the slow cooker recipe.

 

I like to partially reheat the leftover rice and chicken in the microwave while I’m cooking the veggies and eggs. I think it makes everything go faster if I’m not adding fridge-cold ingredients to the hot pan.

 

I used 4 eggs, a handful of baby carrots, a trader joe’s bag of fresh peas and 2 yellow bell peppers. There were maybe 5-6 chicken thighs, maybe 3 cups of rice and at least a cup of sauce/pineapple (because I messed up and made soup out of the chicken recipe earlier in the week) probably closer to 1.5-2 cups. I did not add my usual amount of soy sauce to the fried rice because the pineapple sauce already had soy sauce in it.

 

This variation of my current favorite recipe is a nice reminder to think outside the box/recipe card even if you love the original.

 

 

 

 

The Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls will have to wait a week. I stuck the ground beef into the freezer on Tuesday when I realized how much fried rice I had made and the number of days it would feed us.

What did you cook this week? Was it blazing hot where you live too?

Sunday

 

1

 

4Prong

 

One Pot Chicken Thai Pasta

 

 

The origin recipe is vegan but I’m not. So I boiled more chicken than I needed for the chicken salad to add to the dish.

…sorry. I should back up. On Sunday in the kitchen I

  • started the garbanzo beans soaking in water first thing in the morning
  • boiled 6 chicken breasts
    • 3 for this thai pasta and 3 for the chicken salad
  • smoothie prepped
    • I blend my green powder into yogurt and freeze it into ice cube trays for the week. I guess I could share my breakfast smoothie sometime
  • combined dill, greek yogurt and cucumber as a no-recipe tzatziki (I had to google how to spell that)
  • made the chicken salad
  • made this thai pasta recipe with the stock water from boiling the chicken

I had planned on also making the falafel after we had thai pasta for dinner but the beans weren’t “done,” the kitchen was a disaster, and I was tired.

 

[Back to the recipe on review]

 

I didn’t have lemon grass so I added more ginger than it called for. Otherwise I follow the recipe fairly closely. It’s a lot of ingredients but once they’re all in the pot it comes together really quickly.

 

I added cubed cooked chicken to the pasta dish once it was done cooking. I had a small amount of sliced almonds left so decided to just use those up instead of the recipe’s peanuts. I highly recommend the lime juice

 

The leftovers have been great too. I put a lime wedge into each portion for fresh flavor each time (take out of container before heating up)

 

Monday

 

2

 

4Prong

 

Crispy Baked Falafel

 

Holy wow you guys. I seriously impressed myself with this one.

 

I soaked the beans for about 24 hours 7am Sunday to 7am Monday, drained them and left them in the colander in a bowl in the fridge while I was at work on Monday.

 

So when I got home all I had to do was

  • pulse the ingredients in the food processor
    • I added the lemon zest before juicing the lemon
  • portion with my small cookie scoop
  • bake
  • flip
    • they stuck to the tin foil. maybe don’t use tin foil?
    • I foiled and greased a second cookie sheet and did an all-at-once pan to pan flip then carefully pulled the foil off the falafel. it was not very clean looking.
  • bake again
  • serve in pita with mixed greens and the previously made tzatziki (I did add the zest and 1/2 juice from a lemon)

It was a relatively long work night in the kitchen but it was so worth it. Even though it took some time it wasn’t difficult. The end result was amazing and it made a huge batch so we were able to just pull together pita pockets Tuesday night very quickly.

 

Wednesday

 

chicken

 

 

4Prong

 

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

 

 

Basic chicken salad recipe. Joe likes it. I’m learning to not hate it. I had a thing against Mayo for a stretch there. Now I don’t hate it but I still would prefer to use greek yogurt. This week I used the mayo but replaced the sour cream/ranch 1/4 cup with greek yogurt. So I win right?

 

 

The overall lesson

this week is the ability to plan ahead to prep food for the week that is fairly simple, fairly healthy, is good leftover and has a variety of flavor profiles so you can mix it up. If I had chicken salad or thai noodles for lunch then a falafel for dinner seems totally different. If you’re one of those people who can eat the same thing every day I am jealous. If I have the same thing more than 3 days in a row I get over it and end up eating out or eating more snacks and less healthy.

 

I spent a good chunk of Sunday in the kitchen 1. because that’s my happy place and 2. because after Monday night I didn’t have to cook again but we had enough food to feed us the rest of the week. Which also means less dishes for Joe on work nights. Pretty cool all around.

 

How do you meal prep? Any suggestions?

Sunday

3Prong

 

Apple Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins

 

 

 

2Prong

 

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies

 

 

 

In addition to baking muffins and cookies then not taking pictures of them, I also put the pork roast ingredients into the crock pot and left it only partially plugged in for 4 hours. those pesky prongs really do need to be plugged all the way into the wall to be of any use.

 

We had pizza.

 

 

Monday

I had a pork shoulder in the freezer and decided to give the crock pot another go Monday before work. Unfortunately, the pork shoulder was a frozen rectangle peg trying to fit into a round hole.

 

We had leftovers for dinner.

 

 

Tuesday

 

pork

 

4Prong

 

Sweet and Sriracha Pork with cauliflower mash and green beans

 

 

 

After the pork shoulder was in the fridge for 24 hours, Tuesday morning I was able to cut it in half and shove the halves into the crock pot. I topped it with the sriracha and brown sugar sauce/paste that I had made the day before. It was a total of about 1/2 cup of sauce. I didn’t write down the exact ratios but I’ve included a recipe card below for ease of printing for anyone who wants it.

 

After work, we removed the pork from the crock pot and shredded it to go along with my second attempt at the cauliflower mash and some sauteed green beans. Lovely. I boiled the cauliflower for 12 minutes instead of simmering for 10 minutes. It was much mushier this time- in the best way possible. I also didn’t measure the polenta or cheese. It may have ended up more like cauli-grits but it was delicious.

 

Sweet and Sriracha Crock Pot Pulled Pork
 
Ingredients
  • sriracha
  • brown sugar
  • 3 pound pork shoulder
Instructions
  1. combine sriracha and brown sugar in a small bowl
  2. place pork shoulder into crock pot
  3. drizzle pork with sugar/sriracha
  4. cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours
  5. remove pork from crock pot and shred
  6. add more sriracha as desired.

 

 

Thursday

 

wowchk

 

3Prong

 

holy wow chicken formerly known as pesto caprese chicken baked in foil

 

 

4Prong

 

spaghetti with chili flakes, parm and olive oil

 

 

 

I used

  • magic green sauce instead of pesto
  • beefsteak tomato instead of roma

 

3 prongs for the chicken because

  • it wasn’t even close to being cooked after 1/2 hour.
  • and there was a ton of liquid in the foil pouch- maybe from the larger tomatoes maybe from the not-pesto sauce.

 

the spaghetti is beyond easy- follow package directions for desired doneness of pasta. drain. drizzle and toss with olive oil, chili flakes and parm. its the kind of spice that doesn’t hit you right away but lingers on your lips after you’re done eating.

 

Overall

this recount was not enjoyable for me to write. i didn’t expect it to be this difficult to write about my less than successes when i set out to share what i’m cooking when i cook it. but i also want to show that for anyone sometimes it just takes 3 tries to get the pork right. [that’s how the lyric goes right?]

 

also- no menu to share this week. my real job is going to kick my butt so I’m buying sandwich fixin’s and trader joe’s wraps and salads. such are the peaks and valleys of kitchen adventures.

 

Monday

 

2

 

4Prong

 

Magic Green Sauce

 

 

I highly recommend making this delicious sauce immediately. It’s as if Mexican Guacamole came to America, fell in love with Italian Pesto and had a baby. This sauce is first generation American. It’s the American Dream personified- or really, sauceified.

 

My avocados took a turn for the worst at the last minute (usual) so the sauce is less awesome than it could be. But the herbs, nuts and garlic made up for the loss. I used cashews instead of pistachios because that’s what I have an abundance of for some reason. It’s great as a dip with chips or bread and its great on some chicken:

 

4Prong

 

Roasted Chicken

 

 

 

This is not from Pinch of Yum but it is my favorite roast chicken recipe to date. The original Lemon Garlic Rosemary is AMAZING. Seriously. I’ve made it multiple times pre-#whatsfordinner. Using your dutch oven in the oven makes it seem so fancy when really it’s just super easy.

 

This time around I decided to use lime instead of lemon- partially because I didn’t buy lemon and partially to coordinate with the lime in the magic green sauce. I also omitted the rosemary. The subtle lime garlic flavor of the chicken went really well with the sauce.

 

But I quickly found a cut on my pinky finger from my food processor blade with the acidic juice. #worthit

 

I also only had one onion instead of 2- because my shopping list game was not on point this week. So I chopped up a couple of carrots as stand in aromatic cushions for the chicken.

 

3Prong

 

with Cauliflower Mash

 

 

I’m not sure what I did wrong with this recipe. It tastes ok if a little too chunky. My florets were probably too big to simmer fully in 10 minutes but it also didn’t seem like there was enough liquid to properly simmer the cauliflower. I had Joe smash it up with a potato masher instead of the back of a spoon as the recipe said and there were a couple of beans left whole…

 

but it’s still a 3 prong side dish. It has great potential for being my go-to mash since I don’t like mashed potatoes very much and it’s a tasty way to eat your veggies. I just have some tweaking to do to the recipe for my own self. Stirring in some magic green sauce certainly didn’t hurt anything.

 

 

 

1

 

4Prong

 

Blueberry Slab Pie

 

 

A coworker (yes, named Pam. how did you know?!) requested an encore blueberry slab pie to celebrate her birthday. How could I say no?!

 

Again, I didn’t buy any lemons this week so I used limes in the recipe instead. I could taste the lime in the first bite but otherwise it was just a great pie.

 

 

Tuesday

 

3

 

1prong

 

Creamy Garlic Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Leftover Roasted Chicken

 

 

  1. The distance between my broiler and the top rack position was not sufficient for bell peppers. So they were in the middle of the oven and took longer to blacken.
  2. I started the pasta too soon (thinking the broiling wouldn’t take as long) so I rushed through the sauce making
  3. I tried to combine this recipe with my roasted eggplant greek yogurt pasta sauce so I added greek yogurt with peanut butter and the almond milk. And I added sriracha which was awesome but it was an orange color reminiscent of buffalo wing sauce.

I’m learning about myself that when I don’t really like a dish I list off the reasons I messed up. Weird. Well, try the original recipe(s) and let me know what you think. I won’t be more specific about what I actually did because it really wasn’t that great.

 

 

Thursday

 

 

4

 

4Prong

 

Creamy Thai Sweet Potato Curry

 

 

 

 

4Prong

with my favorite Brown Rice

 

 

 

This dish was great. It was quick and easy to prepare. The final product was hearty and if you didn’t pay too much attention you wouldn’t notice that it was vegan. The leftovers are still pretty decent too. Simple but elegant dinner.

 

Differences from original recipe:

  1. I used half a can of coconut cream and whisked it into about 1 and a half cups of broth before adding it to the sweet potatoes. I didn’t have regular coconut milk so there’s that.
  2. I also used 3 sweet potatoes and half a bag of spinach.

So now I used a list even though I loved the recipe. I am large, I contain multitudes.

 

 

and that’s it for my pinch of yum inspired week. it had it’s ups, downs and middles. and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Sunday

 

1bowl

 

4Prong

 

one pan sweet potato burrito bowls

 

I love this recipe so much. it’s in my top 10 all-time favorites. It’s a meatless but hearty and nutritious meal topped with cheese.

 

The only part of the origin recipe that I don’t do regularly is add the frozen corn. Our former roommate doesn’t like corn (Hi Christopher! I know you don’t read my “fluffy” blog! especially now that it’s just torture to see the food you can’t eat) so I omitted the corn to begin with and now I’m just out of the habit. I intended to add it this time (and did not compensate for the lack of corn with something else) and it still came out perfectly.

 

 

1muffin

 

 

4Prong

 

wacky blueberry muffins

 

the reason i made this particular recipe: I forgot to buy eggs and didn’t buy muffins for Joe’s breakfast. So I searched pinterest for vegan blueberry muffins- which was difficult because Joe also can’t have bananas and we don’t have applesauce in the house because I can’t not eat it one giant spoonful at a time.

 

These muffins were quick and easy. I did a double batch of the origin recipe and filled the muffin tins to the top- you’re “supposed to” fill 2/3rds full. The muffins only took a minute or 2 longer than the recipes suggested time. But I wonder if their unusual appearance is because I filled them to the top.

 

Tip: definitely leave the muffins in the tin for a minute or 5 before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. These are not your ordinary store bought muffins. They are super moist and have lots of blueberries in them and one fell apart when I pulled it from the tin.

 

let me know what you think of them.

 

 

1pie

 

 

4Prong

 

blueberry slab pie

 

 

My Sunday needed some serious baking time and Monday was Pi Day (3.14.16) so I decided to make pie with the last 8 cups of frozen blueberries that Joe and I picked last Spring. It’s almost blueberry season again! I’m talking about you santabarbarablueberries.com!

 

The origin recipe is great. This was my first time trying it- over the holidays I made an apple and cranberry Star Wars ugly sweater slab pie that you can see on social media. I learned that I can’t put 5 cups of flour and 2 cups of butter into my food processor at once. I definitely made a mess but I don’t think the final product suffered too much. Joe ended up running errands so was able to get eggs- so I did an egg white wash on the top of the pie and sprinkled with dusting sugar.

 

check out my pie crust tips here.

 

Picture taken Monday morning when I was saving some pie for Joe before taking the rest/majority to work.

 

 

Monday

 

1noodle

 

4Prong

 

chilled spicy thai noodles

 

 

and

 

3Prong

 

bangin good shrimp

 

 

I love these spicy chilled thai noodles. They are made ahead and served cold so they’re the perfect work week lunch right? That can’t be considered a leftover right?

 

This was the first time I made the shrimp recipe. I thought the sauce had too much mayo and I should have added more srircha. But I won’t know how awesome the actual recipe is until next time because i didn’t follow the recipe. shocking? no. but this time it was unintentional, i swear.

 

The recipe says to dredge the raw shrimp in cornstarch before frying in canola oil. I had a handful of shrimp in the hot pan, straight from the strainer, before I realized I skipped a step.

 

Major Bummer.

 

So maybe the sauce was too gooey because there wasn’t a coating of cornstarch on the shrimp to soak it up?! Well I won’t know until next time.

 

 

Otherwise

The spring broccoli salad variation with tuna will have to wait. My work week absolutely kicked my butt. And the burrito bowls and thai noodles with shrimp fed us for most of the week.

 

If you recall, I only spent $15/person this week on food. That’s because I did a serious overhaul of my pantry/fridge/freezer. I had everything I needed for the burrito bowls, muffins and pie (except the egg wash which is optional in pie land).

 

I bought the thai sweet chili sauce but otherwise had everything for the noodles and shrimp. Everything else on last week’s shopping trip was for either the broccoli salad (which I ended up not making yet) or for other foods i.e. bananas and yogurt for my breakfast smoothies.

 

What’s in your pantry that you need to use up?