Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Kitchen Update

Our summer has been a crazy busy mixture of appointments, swim practices (both Eli AND Itty Bitty), and changes around the house (including a KonMari style clean out)!  Still, I'm trying to keep up my goal for 20-30 recipes in the kitchen!

At this point, I think I might make it to 20 recipes - I don't know if I will make it to 30 or not...but am still hoping.  The best news is that since we've been cooking at home instead of eating out, the kids are actually eating more and gaining a healthy amount of weight, while P and I are losing some weight.  Eli is actually really building a lot of muscles in his stomach, shoulders, and back from so much swimming!

We've had couple recipes completely flop - but the few I've listed here went well.  I'm picking up with recipe #6, since I listed the first five in a previous post.

6) Zoodle Lasagna

For this one, I simply swapped lasagna noodles for zucchini strips. I made my regular meat sauce (that we often use for spaghetti squash) and mixed in a lots of diced, cooked veggies with the ricotta cheese.  The veggies were super convenient because they were leftover from a veggie quesadilla the night before :). It was a little zucchini heavy, but was delicious. I've seen other people use butternut squash slices for this one, so we may try that, too.

7)  Fake-Out Chipotle Barbacoa

There are a ton of these recipes all over the internet, lol. I think the one we used was okay - but it wasn't exactly like Chipotle's version and was more time consuming than I'd like.  I can't see making this one often when we have a Chipotle nearby.

8) Chinese-style beef and broccoli

This one was a definite winner! We used garlic and ginger to taste, then used equal parts Tamari sauce, brown sugar and water. We added cornstarch as a thickener. This was super simple to do and delicious.  This ended up being a little saltier than we wanted, so I'll cut back some on the Tamari next time - I will also probably add snow peas since we love those, too!

9) Brie and Artichoke Chicken Bake

This was a great way to use leftover chicken breast. I put large pieces of two already cooked (leftover) chicken breasts in a casserole dish, covered it in a can of diced tomatoes, some diced chiles, half of a thinly sliced onion, half of a large jar of marinated artichokes with a few tablespoons of the artichoke marinade, then topped the whole thing off with some Brie cheese and a handful or two of shredded Gouda cheese.  YUM!  This is a new favorite and another we will DEFINITELY want to use through fall.

10) Fake Brownies

We saw a recipe for vegan, dairy and grain free brownies on YouTube that we decided to try. UNfortunately, I forgot the name of the chef! The brownies have a date and almond meal base and are delicious!  They are chocolately, though they don't *really* taste like the real thing. Still, they are rich and satisfying - and they definitely settle a chocolate craving :).

I've picked out the next few recipes we are going to try, and am very excited about them. I'm not a big soup eater (though I do love plain chicken broth), but several of the upcoming recipes may be soups.  I am a little frustrated that I haven't found many freezer meals that we would like.  I may change my freezer strategy for the school year, concentrating on already cooked (home cooked and shredded) meat, fruit and vegetables.  This could give us a little more flexibility in the long run, though I'm not sure it would save much time on a busy weeknight.

As always, I'm open to recipe suggestions!

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