Cooking again! Can I say its been a relief to actually get in my kitchen and attempt some meals? And what's really awesome... we only tossed out 2 pears this months... because they were didn't taste as awesome as the Asian Pear of my past that were amazing... but everything else we ate and didn't toss out!
I forgot to take a lot of pictures, but I do have some to show you all.
A new take on Broccoli Cakes
I didn't have the energy to make Broccoli cakes and individually fry them up on the skillet. So I made the regular recipe and just put it in a baking dish, sprinkled a little cheese on top and it was yummy and so easy to make.... and had a lot less oil too.
We paired it was roasted potatoes and carrots. We got 2 dinners out of it which was nice when we had our hard work days. It was great that dinner was just gone.
For those of you who don't know the broccoli cakes recipe, I took it from here. So just take all the ingredients, put it in a dish and bake it in the oven till it starts to get brown around the edges and the top cheese slightly browns a bit. I think it was 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cilantro Lime Chicken / Salad / Tacos
So I knew we needed to eat it soon so I took the frozen meat and put it in a bowl with some cilantro sprigs and sprayed a bunch of lime juice on top of the meat. (I'm trying to use less processed marinades and this seemed like flavors I liked).
I let it thaw for a couple days in the fridge and then baked it in the oven until the chicken was done. Then I served with sauteed zucchini and mash potatoes.
Hubby ended up just eating the zucchini and mash potatoes the nigh I cooked it because he was just in a comfort food night and those are his two favorite sides (I did that in case the chicken wasn't good) but he tried the chicken and told me he'd definitely eat it again if I made it...
But that meant I had a lot of leftover chicken from that one dinner.
Since I don't always get to eat dinner with SCB because of work, I finished off most of the ckicken myself. I tossed it in a tasty chicken and pico salad I made for a work lunch and then a work dinner for me during on of my late shifts...
Then we used the last of it for chicken tacos on a night I couldn't muster up the energy to make anything. They were actually really good. I had cilantro, onions, cheese and chicken in my tacos with some beans on the side. SCB likes to make his a burrito and mixes everything together.
Meat Balls / leftover Ideas
I took a package of ground beef from Costco & chopped up about a head of garlic.
I took some already peeled carrots and shredded them with our cheese grader...
Instead of bread crumbs I used 1/4 cup of my oat flour... then added some chopped onion and some lite salad dressing since I was out of eggs. The Salad dressing worked as an ok binder and added some good flavor, but i'll admit that some of the meat balls broke a little after baking so an egg would be a good thing to toss in the mix... then just add some salt and pepper.
Once it was good and mixed, I rolled them into balls and baked them in the oven for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.
We were feeding the missionaries dinner (the sisters) so we had enough for 4 people. I made a box of whole wheat spaghetti to use as a side and we had salad and mash potatoes that were leftover from another night because it was a hot day and pasta isn't always that appetizing after a warm day so the idea was spaghetti and meatballs if that's your thing with salad... or meatballs, mash potatoes and salad... or just salad and meat balls. It went over well.
The leftover meat balls I took to work. I broke them up into little pieces and made some quinoa and steamed a whole head of broccoli and just mixed everything together... it ended up being a really good late work night dinner for me. I had washed and chopped the broccoli before work and had made the quinoa ahead as well so I just had to steam the broccoli in the microwave and then heat everything up and mix it in a bowl. It was quite good!
Just to tease you all... because I found some time to experiment with a few loaves of fresh homemade bread this month. These aren't the finished products, but once I workout the recipe i'll be sure to post about it here.
I made three loaves. One with 2/3 white, 1/3 wheat four.... one with 2/3 white, 1/3 oat flour, and one with all white flour for SCB to comment on the taste, flavor, and consistency of slicing/crumbling.
I only used:
- olive oil (or any oil really... but it helps with shelf life)
- & wheat gluten (helps bread be less crumbly)
He gave me some good feedback so I'm going to continue to tweak and work on them. I've learned that Oat flour is great for baking for crumbly items like cakes, breakfast breads, and as a bread crumb substitute... but it doesn't rise as much as the others and is a bit crumbly so it either needs to bake longer or doesn't make for a good sandwich bread material. I'll probably be playing with more white and wheat combinations for sandwich bread.
The all white loaf looked the most like "real" bread so that's the one we froze in the freezer since there was no way we could eat three loaves before they went bad so we sliced and froze it up and we haven't eaten that one yet so more taste comparisons will happen over the next couple weeks. Apparently the plain wheat one is too "healthy" tasting for SCB so i'm going to experiment with adding some extra seasonings to it to see if that helps because I'd rather feed him wheat then white. I purposefully did not add any sugar to the recipes because everything now a days has way too much sugar... but I may add a little honey to the next one to see if that makes it more palatable for him.
I'm honestly thinking I might try and do one day a week with no "added" sugar to things in May and see what happens to my taste buds. I keep reading all these articles on-line where people have removed added sugars and felt so different!