Category Archives: Cooking

Hello? Anyone Still There?

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This post has been sitting in my in my draft box for a month! I have been working so much that the last thing I want to do is be on the computer at the end of the day. But I really do miss writing and this little old blog of mine, so I’m hitting publish on this one today! Hopefully, I’ll garner up the time and energy to share little tidbits about what’s been going on these parts this summer.

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My reading lists (aka Five for Friday: What I’ve Been Reading) are the easiest posts I can get out these days. I may need to take a different approach with this blog… I want to share more… especially on my travels… especially because we won’t be a for a while… but after being on the computer all day for work, I need to step out of my office and get OFFLINE. This is just how it is right now.

In any case, here’s what I’ve read recently.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain 
(fiction, audiobook) – worth a listen

After listening to Pride and Prejudice on the Audible app for free with my Amazon Prime subscription, I felt like it was time to listen to Tom Sawyer, a classic book of which most of us know the story; but I’ve never read. Bonus: the narrator of this version is Nick Offerman – a comedian {you may know him from Parks and Rec} whose voice is perfect for this story, in my opinion.

I love the insight during the fence whitewashing scene is that nothing is fun if you get paid for it, but if you have the “privilege” of doing something instead of getting paid, the more likely you are going to want to do it for fun. Perspective!

Also, either it was common in literature use and write the word “presently” often during this time period, or this was a favorite word of Twain’s to use. So frequent, that you may find yourself getting drunk easily if you turned it into a drinking game.

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Cocaine Blues
by Kerry Greenwood 
(fiction) – worth a read

I learned about this book/series from Mel Joulwan, author of the Well Fed cookbooks that I adore. She did a post on Reading Day {which is somewhat like the unplug day Rob and I try to have a few times a year} and this was one she listed. I liked the fact that the story takes place in Australia during the 1920s. I tried to picture Melbourne during this time!  It’s a nice little mystery with a likable heroine. {No correlation with the title there! HA!} I liked the feminist themes, too.

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One Pot Paleo:
Simple to Make, Delicious to Eat and Gluten-free to Boot

by Jenny Castaneda (non-fiction, cookbook) – worth a flip

For those of you who eat Paleo, this book is not 100% Paleo. This doesn’t matter to me. I’m just a sucker for one-pot recipes with fresh ingredients! The author eats Paleo most of the time, but does also include some things in her diet such as rice. She is of Fillipino descent, so there a many interesting adaptations from that. What I didn’t know all this time, but learned from this cookbook is that there is much Spanish influence on Filipino cuisine!

I didn’t cook any recipes from this book, but still enjoyed flipping through it.

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Trout Caviar: Recipes from a Northern Forager
by Brett Laidlaw (non-fiction, cookbook) – worth a read

I found this book doing a trout search on my library website because I was in search of more trout recipes. {I have yet to post on our Lake Superior fishing trip earlier this summer!} This cookbook is great for the stories! {And you know how I love to read a cookbook like a novel!}

I enjoyed reading about how the author and his wife moved out to land to live in pretty much a shack in the middle of the woods, right here in the good ol’ Midwest! They do a lot of foraging and tend to eat off the land as much as possible. I didn’t find a trout recipe I would actually make but I did get a popcorn appetizer recipe that has me so intrigued!!!

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The Breakdown
by B.A. Paris (fiction) – worth a read

After reading Paris’s Behind Closed Doors, I put myself on the library waiting list for the her next book to hit the shelves. While I did not love it as much as Behind Closed Doors, I did devour this semi-thriller in a day while Rob was out of town. Her books are just hard to put down! I also liked reading this interview with the author. She didn’t start writing novels until she was 50!

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What’s been you favorite summer read this year?

 

Cheers~
Carrie

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5 for Friday: St. Patrick’s Day Edition!

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Taking a break from the books this week since it’s St. Paddy’s Day! I’m not Irish, but sometimes I celebrate like I am. 🙂

Here are 5 of my St. Paddy’s Day Faves:

  1. Food:

    • Creamy Reuben Soup – I made this for the first time on Wednesday. My husband devoured nearly 3 bowls of it! (For the record, I loved it, too.) Okay, so Reubens are not technically Irish, but the corned beef and sauerkraut (cabbage), makes me feel like Reubens kind of are…  Besides, a local bar always makes a version that Rob always dreams of this time of year. I wanted to see if I could do it justice. The verdict? This one might be better. Make it no! Side Note: I never really had a Reuben sandwich until I met Rob. He and his parents always ordered them when we ate out!
    • Corned Beef and Cabbage – Truth be told, this is not a traditional Irish dish either! It’s more Irish-American. This was our go-to recipe every year, a few years back. I don’t think I’ll be making it again, though. The Soup has won out for eternity.
    • Irish Bread – I think Irish Soda Bread might be Irish-American, too. I don’t remember ever having that when I was in Ireland.I do miss their brown bread, though! Maybe I’ll have to try whip up a batch of that next year. Anyone have a fave recipe?
  2. Drinks:

    • Guinness – People think that Guinness is such a heavy beer because it is dark and maybe also because of the foamy head. While it may be heavier than the lager you are drinking, Guinness really isn’t as think or full-bodied as you may think it is. There are several stouts that have much more flavor and richness than Guinness. So give it a try! Sometimes, I’ll drink a Guinness when I want something lighter – it has so fewer calories than many other beers! Plus, there are so many concoctions you can make, including the Black Velvet in this post.
    • Whiskey – I’m not much of a whiskey drinker, but my husband and friend Jen tend to like Johnny Jump Ups (a shot of whiskey in cider). But we did do a tasting while in Ireland. So much fun!
    • Irish Sangria – Want something a little nontraditional and fit for the beautiful weather we are supposed to have this weekend? Try the Irish Sangria in my Sangria post!
  3. Entertainment:

    • Irish Music – You can’t easily find trad in the U.S. but when you do, especially on this special day, it’s wonderful. We love the music at St. Paul’s FREE Irish Fair every August. And we go to see the non-traditional, but always fun Gaelic Storm whenever they are in town!
  4. Memories:

    • My friend Jen and I started a tradition when we backpacked Europe after college to find an Irish Pub in every country. My husband and I carry on this tradition to this day whenever we travel like we did here, here, herehere, here and here.
    • Almost two of those 10 weeks backpacking in Europe backpacking were spent in Ireland. I was most at peace in Dingle. I still remember that day and the calm I felt on the boat while in search of a the view of Fungie the dolphin. Although, hanging with my friend Colm in Dublin and Dundalk was wicked fun!
    • Then we took a family trip to Ireland with Rob’s parents in 2012. Here’s a link to my last post about that wonderful trip. If you scroll down to the bottom of that post, you’ve got a link to all of my posts about that trip on the bottom. We were chauffeured around The Isle by Ray with Walk with Me and made some friends with locals in Dublin. {Hi Ross!} We do need to plan a trip back. {Sigh.}| I haven’t seen the south yet!
  5. Lastly:

    • Our very own Shamrock:

 

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

What is your favorite thing about this holiday?

Cheers~
Carrie

5 for Friday: Books I’ve Read (Mostly Cookbooks!)

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Yup, it’s that time of the week… 5 more books I’ve read/listened to lately!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (audio)
by Mark Haddon (fiction) – must listen/read

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I don’t know if I ever shared the story of how Rob and I met, but there are two short answers – it was in a bar and because of an autistic boy. Sound strange? Well, you’ll have to ask me about it some time. In any case, this book was wonderfully written from the viewpoint of an autistic boy. I’ve had this book on my to-read list on GoodReads for a while.

One day, I received a link to a blog post in my inbox. I recognized the title, not even knowing what the book was about at that time. When the last line of her post read, ” You can purchase tickets online at the Hennepin Theatre Trust and don’t forget the rush seats available for students and teachers!” I immediately thought of my friend Jen, who not only works in education, but also was one of the people that worked with the autistic boy who brought Rob and I together (in a roundabout way).

She said, “I’d love to go. Aren’t you the one who gave me that book to read?”

“No.”

“Did you recommend I read it a long time ago?”

“No, I’d only heard about it in the last year or so.”

She was almost certain that it was me. The thing is… This book was published in 2003, the year Rob and I met.

Enough about that little background. In the end, we did go to the play with rush tickets. It was so well-done and I walked out of the theater with tears streaming down my face. It is such a heartfelt story.

I still wanted to read the book, but also found it on a list recommended books to experienced on audio. I now know why… The narrator is absolutely fantastic and I felt totally captivated during my commutes. {I confess that my mind can wander if an audiobook doesn’t have me hooked!} Of course, I knew the ending, but I still found myself crying while driving home as the story was wrapping up. I highly recommend this story – in any form – to anyone.

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Off the Menu: Staff Meals from America’s Top Restaurants
by Marissa Guggiana
 (cookbook) – skip

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By now, you know that I like to read cookbooks like novels. I loved the premise of the book’s title; but truth be told, after the intro, I ended up just flipping through the recipes. It’s still a great book, but from a recipe standpoint, I personally only felt compelled to make two of the recipes myself: Tuscan Kale Salad and a Cheddar Ale Soup. But I haven’t even done that.

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Commonwealth
by Ann Patchett
 (fiction) – on the fence

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This is my first time reading any of Patchett’s books, other than her short memoir/advice on writing. {I know, where have I been all these years?!} She is now a quite famous author with over a dozen books to her name.

I had a bit of a time getting into this book at the beginning and had trouble keeping some of the cast of characters straight… but then things changed and I became engrossed! The entanglement of lives and stories was intriguing; but I felt there was no real climax. But then again, I’m not sure that one would have been appropriate… Or maybe it was that there was a climax, but it was talked about in the past tense over different points in the book, if that makes any sense. I didn’t really care for the ending because it was so gradual and not really finite. However, I don’t care for book endings in general. It is a rare case when I do!

This is a book in wich I liked in the middle, but not really the beginning or end, although both were necessary. This is also the second book I read this year that included the difficulties of aging. That stuff is always tough for me.

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300 Sensational Soups
by Carla Snyder & Meredith Deeds
 (cookbook) – on the fence

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We’ve really been into soup lately, but this book overwhelmed me. I started by flagging some of the recipes I wanted to try, but there were too many! I ended up deciding to thumb through the rest and put it on my wishlist over at PaperbackSwap.com to obtain my own copy.

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5 Ingredients or Less Slow Cooker Cookbook
by Stephanie O’Dea (cookbook) – worth a read 

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Yes, I’ve been checking out a lot of cookbooks lately! I’ve followed O’Dea’s Year of Slow Cooking Blog because I’m always looking for easy meals. I love the fact that this book makes it even easier – settling for 5 ingredients or less. What I also loved about this book, as she notes in her introduction, that she refrains from making one of those ingredients a cream-based soup. She says that there are already so many slow cooker recipes with cream-of-X soups online and in vintage cookbooks. For the most part, O’Dea sticks with real food, which is what I like to see!

It’s funny, though, most of the recipes I flagged were for me {read: chicken, black beans, etc.}, not for Rob!

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Since I’ve only read one, tell me, what’s your favorite Ann Patchett novel?

Cheers~
Carrie

Skinnytaste Fast and Slow – Recipes I’ve Tried

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If you read any of my book posts, you may have learned that after checking out the cookbook Skinnytaste Fast and Slow from the library and reading it (mostly out loud to my husband!) on the way to Green Bay, I decided to buy for myself and give it as Christmas gifts.

I love and follow the Skinnytaste blog, as well as covet some favorites from her site, such as this Zucchini Lasagna and for me, this Crockpot Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili.

This post was inspired by Kat of Tenaciously Yours who asked if anyone got this cookbook yet. {She does a Friday Food Roundup!, which I love and have considered doing something similar myself.} Still, I didn’t have a quick and easy answer. We are still working our way around the Skinnytaste Fast and Slow cookbook; but I thought I’d post what I think thus far.

I apologize for the lack of pictures in this post! I hadn’t intended to write this post while I was cooking up…

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What I like about this cookbook:

  • I’ve learned that I’m attracted to books with blue covers. So there you have it.
  • There are so many things that I’m dying to make! It’s one of the reasons I decided to purchase the cookbook. I was flagging so many pages in my borrowed library copy!
  • The recipes are meant to get a meal on the table easily any night of the week be it fast (30 minutes or less) or slow (in a slow cooker).
  • For many of the slow cooker recipes, she’ll give hints on how to accommodate it to the stove top. I forgot about this and needed the reminder!
  • There is a whole section titled “One-Bowl Meals”. You know how I love my bowls!
  • It’s a healthy cookbook – a lot of recipes are lightened up, but while using real food.

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What I’ve made so far:

  • Slow Cooker Hamburger Stroganoff – My husband prefers ground beef stroganoff over chunks of beef. He liked this recipe more than I did. I think my MIL’s is better and would come to better pretty easily. I’ll have to get that recipe from her.
  • Egg Roll Bowls – I gave these a shot since the recipe only made two servings – perfect for Rob and me! Surprisingly, they didn’t have much flavor. 😦 I used my leftover ingredients to make these soups.
  • Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Paparadelle – My husband was hesitant on thins one because he is not a fan of flank steak; but it falls apart so tenderly in the slow cooker! That being said, the flank steak was surprisingly pricey, even at Aldi. He also seemed to enjoy this more than I did.
  • Slow Cooker Lasgana Soup – Okay, so I didn’t really make this one. I came really close. But in the end, I already had a similar stovetop recipe I really like and made that one instead.
  • Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Soup – This book is supposed to include what I would consider easy meals – either fast (under 30 minutes) or slow (in a slow cooker); but I found this recipe to be very labor intensive! I did a lot of prep and cooking before putting it into the slow cooker, then pureeing the contents afterward, then creating the creamy sauce on the stove to add to the soup. All that for a result that wasn’t very flavorful {despite the fresh basil!} nor satisfying. Not worth the hassle. We are still on our quest for that perfect-go-to make-at-home tomato soup. We have yet to find it. But I think I’ve perfected the grilled cheese in the meantime!

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What I’ve learned:

  • I thought using the Crockpot would be a great thing to have going now that I have a commute 3 days a week. However, I’m gone from the house for 10 hours on those days. There are not many 10-hour + crockpot recipes. Instead, I found myself using the slow cooker on the days I work from home! Maybe it’s time for an Instant Pot. She’s got some recipes that’ll work for that, too! {I have two friends who each just got one. I’ll wait for their reviews and then put one on my wishlist!}

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Here are just a few more recipes from this cookbook that I want to make:

  • Banana Almond Smoothie Bowl – I’ve done smoothies, but never a smoothie bowl. This one has all the right yums. I want it on a hot day this summer, after a run.
  • Savory Quinoa Breakfast Bowls – Why didn’t I think of this one? Softboiled egg, quinoa, spinach, tomato, avocado? DONE.
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili – I’ve made this Mexican Chicken Stew before. Perhaps similar?  You really can’t go wrong with anything Mexican, nor anything chili, though…
  • Kale Caesar and Grilled Chicken Bowls – This recipe serves 4. It’s hard to justify a 4-serving salad when Rob is allergic to chicken. I’ll just have to halve it or make it for the girls for our monthly dinner night in some time!
  • Chicken and Couscous Bowls with Piri Piri – I don’t think I’ve made couscous since college, when I ate it ALL.THE.TIME. Couscous was my ramen. Plus it helped me get my veg in – I usually sauteed some mushrooms and zucchini and mixed them in. But what intrigues me most about this recipe is making my own Piri Piri sauce, which I haven’t had since we’ve been to Australia.
  • Shrimp and Artichoke Quinoa Bowls – This dish is for me only since Rob can’t eat shrimp. But it makes 5 servings and I hate reheating shrimp. Maybe I’ll keep the leftover shrimp cold and just serve it on top after reheating. This might be another good one for the girls.
  • Sunny-Side-Up Egg and Avocado Rice Bowls – Enough Said.
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls – I’ve been meaning to make some version of this for some time. I’ve got about 1001 recipes pinned.
  • Some of the spiralized meals –  I’ve made zoodles {zucchini noodles} before, but with a julienne peeler, which can be a bit labor intensive. I would love to get a spiralizer, but don’t want to spend the money if it’s not going to be a good one. I want it to be soooo easy that I want to spiralize everything! I was just about to request recommendations, when I realized that there are recommendations for two durable ones in the cookbook {Inspiralizer or Paderno}! Thanks, blog post for forcing me to re-read! Anyone have a preference?
  • Asiago-Crusted Chicken Breast – Why not?
  • Santa Fe Turkey Egg Rolls with Avocado Ranch Sauce – Is it weird that Santa Fe is on my travel bucket list? I have no idea if this type of food is truly indicative of the location, but it looks good anyway.
  • Fork and Knife Cheeseburgers – You would never know unless you read the recipe that the burger in this beautiful photo is between two portobello mushroom caps. Why? She sprinkled the top “bun” with sesame seeds!
  • Perfect Medium-Rare Roast Beef in the Slow Cooker – They say that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, right? Well, I think I’ve already got his heart. So maybe it’s just that I’ve never made anything like this before.
  • Slow Cooker Pernil – I’ve just always been curious about this dish.
  • Baked Fish and Chips – I think I should make this for the girls. We’ve all been known to order the fried version out on occasion!
  • Grilled Vegetable Caprese Salad – Summer, here I come!
  • Greek Panzanella Salad – Now I know how to make that soft, boring pita bread taste good – you grill it first!
  • Zucchini “Meatballs” – I’m always curious of vegetarian spins on meat {I love a good black bean burger!} and this one sounds up my alley.
  • Slow Cooker Loaded “Baked” Sweet Potatoes – This one is two-fold: 1) I’ve heard baked potatoes are great in the slow cooker, 2) I am not a huge fan of sweet potatoes; but I feel I could enjoy these with all the Latin toppings!
  • Slow Cooker Chana Masala – I made chana masala on my own once, but didn’t get the method down. 😦 My favorite version is a single-serving frozen meal at Trader Joe’s. Still would like to make the real deal on my own.
  • Burnt Broccoli – Yeah – I’ve been eating broccoli for almost two years now. CRAZY.
  • Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Oil – Yes… a great side dish to get some veg in… I always forget how much I love SS until I eat it again!

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In sum, what I can tell you is that I still have a LOT of recipes I’d like to try out of this cookbook. But, of the ones I’ve made, I just haven’t found any I LOVE yet. Would you like me, to perhaps, give you another update in the future? Tell you when I do find a keeper?

What recipe from this list would you most like to try?

 

Cheers~
Carrie

Soup!

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I’ve been a soup kick lately, if only because my husband is!

To be quite honest, I was just looking for a way to use up all my leftover ingredients from an Egg Roll Bowl recipe, I made out of the Skinnytaste Fast and Slow cookbook. I had a lot of bok choy and Napa cabbage to use! I found this Asian Chicken Soup recipe, but substituted my leftover pork from the Egg Roll Bowls. It was a winner in my book when it comes to using up leftover ingredients that I don’t want to waste!

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Asian Chicken Ground Pork Soup

And for the last of the cabbage I attempted to make this Healthy Chicken Ramen Bowl.

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Healthy Chicken Ramen Bowl

Okay, so that’s not a pretty picture. The egg didn’t come out soft-boiled like I’d expected; but I like hard-boiled eggs, so I didn’t mind! My chicken came out tough. But the broth was oh-so-flavorful!

Then more recently, after I broke one of my favorite beautiful bowls (WAH!) that you see in the photos above, I made this Swamp Soup.

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Swamp Soup

A more traditional Swamp Soup is made with andouille and collard greens; but Beth from Budget Bytes says she called it this because it just looks swampy with the spinach floating around in it. When Rob kept raving over this soup, it was a WIN for me. This means we’ve got a soup chock full of all the veggies we normally don’t get enough of and we can also control the sodium.

We used sharp cheddar instead of the Swiss and it was wonderful. This one is going into our recipe arsenal. I scaled the servings down to six instead of the suggested eight, but that may make too big of a bowl! I think I’d do the 8 servings next time and just freeze a bunch. It comes together really quickly, especially if you just chop all the veg the night before.

Since we’ve been making more soups lately, I liked Beth’s suggestion to freeze any leftover carrots or celery for future soups. I always end up with so many leftover carrots and celery stalks when I actually buy them for a specific dish. This sounds like such a simple and obvious solution; but to me, it’s genius.

Here are some other soups we are hoping to try in the coming weeks:

What is your favorite soup recipe? We’d love suggestions!

Cheers~
Carrie

Big Mac Bowls

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I had some ground beef that I took out of the freezer with the intention of making burgers or tacos one night. It didn’t happen. Nor did it the next day. Then my husband went out of town. I needed to use up this ground beef! I also had several other veggies I needed to use up. So I made some lunches for the work week inspired by Andie Mitchell’s Cheeseburger Salad with  Big Mac Dressing and the usual lunchtime Power Bowls {aka Throw Together Lunch} I often create after I learned of Anne’s Quick and Easy Meal Formula.

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As a reminder, here is the basic formula for the bowls and what I used to create the bowls. This bowl is one that you warm in the microwave. Alternatively, you could make it salad by substituting romaine and just topping it with the hot beef later!

  1. Base – spinach
  2. Grain/Starch – cooked diced potatoes {mimicking fries, perhaps!?}
  3. Protein – cooked ground beef {You could add chopped bacon if you like that sort of thing on your burger.}
  4. Veggies – onions, tomatoes, baby bella mushrooms
  5. Fat – shredded cheddar
  6. Sauce – Big Mac Sauce: I recommend this one or Mel Jouwan’s Awesome Sauce from her cookbook Well Fed 2

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And if you are looking for a recipe…

Big Mac Bowls

(Makes 4 bowls)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups spinach
  • 2 medium sized potatoes
  • 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • granulated garlic, salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional toppings:
    • sauteed mushrooms
    • diced onion
    • tomatoes
    • bacon
    • any veggie or topping you desire on a burger!
  • Sauce – Big Mac Sauce: I recommend this one or Mel Jouwan’s Awesome Sauce from her cookbook Well Fed 2.

Method:

  • Heat a pot of salted water to boiling.
  • Medium dice the potatoes and throw in the pot. Cook for 20 minutes until potatoes are tender, but not mushy. Drain.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, heat oil in a large pan. Add the onion and sautee until translucent.
  • Add the ground beef and season with plenty of salt, pepper and granulated garlic to taste. Cook until nicely browned.
  • Make the Big Mac Sauce. I recommend this one or Mel Jouwan’s Awesome Sauce from her cookbook Well Fed 2. There are several versions out there on the interwebs!
  • If you are making these bowls in advance for lunches, let the hot items cool before assembling.
  • Divide ingredients and assemble the bowls, layering in this fashion:
    • 1 cup chopped spinach
    • 1/2 cooked diced potato (1/4 of what you made)
    • 1/4 ground beef mixture
    • toppings
    • 2 Tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1 to 2 Tbsp Big Mac Sauce
  • Store in air tight containers in the fridge. When ready to eat, heat for approximately 2 minutes.

This all comes in around 400 – 500 calories depending on how lean your beef is and the kind and amount of toppings you use.

Here’s the not-so-pretty but oh-so-delicious photo of the end result after heating at work!

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Cheers~
Carrie

Cooking for One: Salmon 3 Ways

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You may or may not know that when my husband goes out of town, this is when I love to cook up storm! It’s also when I try as much as I can to only use what I have in the fridge, freezer and pantry. I’m trying to get rid of anything that’s still hanging out there.

I had {I thought} a single-serving of wild-caught salmon that I purchased from Trader Joe’s months ago that I was dying to cook up. When I took it out, I found that there were three portions in there! I guess I’d be making salmon all weekend!

I cooked salmon three ways, but all of my dishes look very similar.

Friday:

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Microwave Sriracha Salmon with Sauteed Spinach and Quinoa with Kale

I tried out this Microwave Sriracha Salmon recipe which worked pretty decently. {I’ve never cooked salmon in the microwave before!} Plus the flavor was good. If you like it hot, add a little more sriracha! I sauteed the spinach in some garlic olive oil, loosely based on this recipe, and added some toasted slivered almonds for crunch. And finally, I pulled out a bag of Organic Quinoa & Kale from the freezer and popped that in the microwave, too. It’s something that I’d be more inclined to think I’d purchased from Trader Joe’s or Target, but that I’m thinking I really got at Wal-mart of all places.

Saturday Lunch:

Grilled Spicy Salmon, Oven Roasted Frozen Broccoli and Quinoa with Kale

Grilled Spicy Salmon, Oven Roasted Frozen Broccoli and Quinoa with Kale

I ended up making this Spicy Grilled Salmon in my grill pan, only I didn’t find it spicy at all. I only had it marinating for the minimum 20 minutes, though. I had a bag of frozen broccoli in the freezer that I could have just steamed in the bag. But I really do prefer roasted broccoli. Did you know that you can make Oven Roasted Frozen Broccoli? It totally works! I love the addition of the Montreal Steak Seasoning, too. I have that in my pantry and hardly ever use it! I threw in some leftover Quinoa with Kale for good measure. This meal came in at 471 calories, but it felt like sooooo much food. I was quite full before I even finished it.

Saturday Dinner:

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I had a reprieve from salmon. Instead, those^^ are all of the ingredients I used from my freezer and pantry for dinner: chicken breasts, diced tomatoes with green chiles, black beans, and fire-roasted garlic tomatoes.

I didn’t get a photo of my dinner because after I made the No-Cook Black Bean Soup, I realized that my chicken was not ready. {It wasn’t 100% thawed when I stuck it in the oven.} Therefore, I ate the soup first and the chicken when it finished cooking.

I made the chicken based on this Baked Chicken with Tomato Sauce recipe, substituting the can of diced tomatoes with green chiles for the homemade tomato sauce. I wanted it to taste a bit more Mexican to go with my Black Bean Soup. I also added a bit of Mexican-blend shredded cheese during the last five minutes of cooking. It didn’t turn out too bad!

Because each recipe made four servings, I shredded the leftover chicken and put in each of my containers of leftover soup to make a nice black bean and chicken soup for lunches this week.

Sunday:

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Salmon, Quinoa & Broccoli Bowl

Because I was mostly dealing with leftovers here {Quinoa with Kale & Roasted Frozen Broccoli}, I decided to make a bowl to make it a little more appealing to me. {I just love bowls!} I used one of the easiest salmon methods ever – Simple Baked Salmon. Then I cut it up and through it in the bowl of warmed up veggies and quinoa. I think some roasted grape tomatoes or a nice sauce would have brightened it up a bit more.

By the time I was three-quarters of the way done with this bowl, I was sick of it.

All of these dinners were super easy. I needed them to be because I was purging my closet over the weekend! BUT, remind me next time I buy salmon, to get single serving packages so that I don’t have to thaw out three portions all at once!

What is your favorite way to eat salmon or another fish?

Cheers~
Carrie