I’ve been talking about food a LOT with my friends and family lately. Food is awesome. Food helps us sustain, food can be pleasureable, food gives us energy and joy and all those great things. In our society, we have created a dichotomy of “healthy” versus “fatty”, and to me that is just detrimental. I think the best dietary lifestyle you can choose is one of being conscious–being aware of what you’re putting into your body, its ingredients, and where it all comes from.
Most people who know me (or follow me on Instagram) also know how much I love to cook. In our home, we cook about 5 nights a week. Granted: we are a childless, upper-middle class couple that has access to grocery stores, farmers markets, and other resources that make eating consciously attainable, and for that I am extremely grateful. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I encourage you to try the recipes I will be posting each week. So many people say that finding recipes, grocery shopping, and prepping for meals waste too much time, but I want to show all of you that eating at home can be just as delicious and satisfying as a night out. I gather most of my meal ideas from Pinterest, Eating Well magazine, and various other cookbooks I have collected over the years. So, for the week of 2/2-2/8, 2015, this is what Craig and I ate for dinner:
- Korean beef over white rice + Sriracha green beans
- Recipe for Korean beef: http://veryculinary.com/2015/01/04/cheater-korean-beef/
- I made the white rice traditionally on my stove
- Green beans: I make these by ear every time. Usually it involves sesame oil, soy sauce, and Sriracha, garlic powder, and more-or-less stir frying them for about 8 minutes.
Thoughts: This Korean beef dish is ADDICTIVE. I had it again for lunch the next day and it was amazing leftovers–and the cooking of it all was so simple (literally took 15 minutes). This is a great way to try unique flavors without the stress of finding rare ingredients and a difficult cooking process. I highly recommend.
- Quinoa and black bean tacos
- Recipe for tacos: http://damndelicious.net/2014/04/19/quinoa-black-bean-tacos/
Thoughts: I freaking loved these tacos, and didn’t miss having any kind of meat. Adding some favorite hot sauce and sour cream perfected it. I fry my own taco shells, but Craig had his with just doubled-up corn tortillas, and we were equally satisfied. If you’re trying to go veggie a couple nights a week, but are afraid of being denied the fullness and satisfaction of meat, you should definitely try these.
- Spaghetti carbonara
- Recipe: http://damndelicious.net/2014/03/29/spaghetti-carbonara/ (note: I used “Hidden Veggie” noodles, used proscuitto instead of bacon, and added a cup of peas)
Thoughts: Carbonara is my favorite pasta dish, but I do miss the variety of veggies found in most red sauces. Adding peas and using the “Hidden Veggie” noodles make me feel like I’m not missing out on my vegetables and being too indulgent. Although it’s hard to pass up bacon, I used proscuitto for a leaner meat. This is a pretty common recipe in our house, and it should be in yours, too.
- Garlic Chicken & Potato Bake with asparagus
- Recipe for Chicken & Potato Bake: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/garlic-chicken-and-potatoes-recipe.html
- Recipe for asparagus: I actually cheated on my usual from-scratch ways to make asparagus this time. We were cooking for friends, and I knew the chicken & potato dish would require some attention, so I used a helpful packet: Red Fork Lemon Herb Asparagus Sauce. Pros: delicious, all natural, no preservatives. Cons: not the same gratification I receive from cooking something like this on my own. But it was tasty and easy.
Thoughts: This was my second time using the Garlic Chicken & Potato bake recipe, and the potatoes are DEFINITELY the highlight of this dish. Baking it all together saves you some dishes, but it is a timely meal. As for the asparagus, it’s my favorite vegetable, and I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it. Cooking it in a sauce was different than my usual roasting technique, and I was pretty satisfied.
- Crockpot Chicken Sloppy Joes, spicy ranch potato wedges, and homemade cole slaw
- Recipe for sloppy joes: http://www.fivehearthome.com/2014/05/14/slow-cooker-chicken-sloppy-joes/
- Recipe for potato wedges: Heat your oven to 500 degrees. Slice one Russet potato into wedges by initially cutting the potato in half, then making diagonal chops (should produce 13-15 long wedges). Sprinkle with ranch seasonings and crushed red pepper. Drizzle olive oil on potatoes, toss to combine. Bake on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes, checking on them frequently to avoid burning. Easiest & tastiest.
- Recipe for cole slaw: I used a package of pre-chopped and sliced Dole Coleslaw, about a cup of mayo, 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar, and who-knows-how-much amount of garlic powder & Season All. I know this is not super helpful, but coleslaw is really just one of those dishes I trust my gut on. Also, lots of recipes tell you to add sugar, which just sounds ga-ross to me.
Thoughts: Sunday is my coveted Crockpot day. I love my Crockpot. We are like, really good friends. And she did not fail me last night. These “sloppy joes” were delicious and made from scratch, so there were no added preservatives. I literally have no idea why people still buy Manwich when it is so easy (and delicious) to make your own sloppy sauce. Coleslaw was yummy as always and I got distracted so my potatoes got a little crispier than usual, but what can ya do? Still tasty 😉
Let me know if you try any of these recipes this week, and what alterations you made! Keep cooking!