Week 4 of Meal Planning

So….here is another week of meals!

Leftover Sweet Potato Fries – As I mentioned in my last post, Tim added some tomatoes to the leftover chili, to help cut the spices.  While the chili tasted super good, it did NOT agree with the hlo belly!  My digestion was a little effed for like 3 days.  Evidently I cannot handle multiple tablespoons of hot spices in my food.  Lesson learned.

Balsamic Glazed Drumsticks with Turnip and Rutabega Fries (pg 159 of Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals) – These drumsticks were AWESOME!!  They were super easy, and they tasted like teriyaki chicken.  My only regret is that I bought a package of 5 drumsticks.  Next time I will buy a pack of 8 at least, so we’ll have some of these for leftovers.  Mark Sisson has the BEST recipes.  He puts a lot of pictures in his recipes, which is great for showing you how the food should look, but not so great for printing out a nice, concise recipe.  But I’ll take them however he wants to present them.  The fries were good too, I thought.  You basically cut the turnips and rutabegas into fry shape, microwave them for 8 minutes, and then bake them until they get crispy.  I chopped them up and sauteed them with other veggies for breakfast the next morning.  Super tasty.

Best Ever Chicken Wings -I’m not sure if I can agree with the name.  I mean, these were good, but they are not the “best ever.”  I think it boils down to, I just don’t really like sesame oil.  These were good, and we ate them all, but next time I might try to use a different oil.

Beef Brats – I picked up beef brats from Geest Farms at the Farmers Market weekend before last.  These were SUPER TASTY.  Would definitely buy, cook, and eat them again.

Another week of Paleo meals

We didn’t do quite as well on our week of meal planning this week.  On Sunday we neglected to go to the store, which got us off kilter for the whole week.  We learned our lesson this week, however, and went to both HyVee AND Target on Sunday, despite shopping the whole day in Iowa City and Tanger.  We really didn’t feel like going out again once we got home, but I knew if we didn’t we would regret it!

I also hit the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and got lots of tasty stuff – chicken wings and thighs, ground pork, beef brats, a big, fat watermelon, peppers, and zucchini.  All of it is or will be delicious.

Despite our poor planning, we did make a few good meals this week.

Sweet Potato Chili Fries – I tweaked this recipe a little because the amount of spicy seasonings for the amount of meat seemed a little crazy to me.  I used a full pound of meat, and the chili was still as spicy as hell!  It still tasted good over the sweet potato fries, but it was intense.  We had the leftovers tonight.  Tim added a 28 ounce can of tomatoes to thin it out, and it was still spicy!  I didn’t feel like going to the work of making fries, so we just baked the sweet potatoes in the roaster oven, mashed them, poured the chili over them, and then garnished it with avocado.  I ate a HUGE bowl – my excuse being all I had for lunch was a wimpy lettuce wrap from Jimmy Johns.  Plus I’m in training for this week’s 5K!  Oh, by the way, I got a PR in the mile on Sunday – 8 minutes, 29 seconds!  My legs hurt like a mother today, but it was totally worth it.

Spicy Bison and Sausage Meat Muffins – This recipe made little, tiny meat loaves in the shape of muffins.  Tim really liked them.  I thought they tasted good, but they hurt my stomach for some reason.  I’m not a fan of garlic powder; I prefer to use fresh garlic.  Also, a meal that makes 2.5 pounds of meat for us is a little much.  If I were to make this recipe again, I think I would cut it in half and use fresh garlic.

And….that’s pretty much it for the week!  I told you – we slacked off this week.  BUT!  BUT!  We have tons of tasty recipes on tap for this week – lots of chicken, actually.  I’ll circle back with you all next week and let you know how they turned out.  I bought a new mandoline from Amazon, and I’m going to make beet chips.  I can’t wait!!!!!!!!!

The Week in Review

We had our second week of trying to eat breakfast and dinner at home each night.  We did pretty well with a few exceptions.  Friday night we had some friends over for Bags and drinks, and we ended up ordering pizza.  It was delicious and immediately made my stomach hurt.  I ate the leftovers on Saturday, and they again made my stomach hurt.  Sometimes I am not so smart.  Today we were out running errands at lunchtime, so we ended up getting tasty Chipotle.

I tried a few new recipes this week that turned out pretty good.  They are as follows.

We got some delicious pork chops from Geest Farms, a local pork producer.  Tim grilled them up, and I made Mexllali Sweet Potatoes to accompany them.  The mixture of the salty pancetta, spicy adobo sauce, and sweet potatoes was super delicious.  I’ll definitely make this recipe again.

We also made Overstuffed Burgers. We didn’t have any duck fat (still haven’t tackled making duck), so we just used olive oil.  These burgers turned out quite tasty.  They almost tasted like meatloaf.

Tonight I baked a chicken from Behnke Poultry.  I cut up 2 lemons and 1/2 a head of garlic, stuffed it in the bird, rubbed the outside down with olive oil and then sprinked it with copious amounts of fresh ground pepper and kosher salt.  It turned out fantastic.  The skin was super crispy and delicious, and the meat was juicy and tender.  For a side I made Roasted and Marinated Mushrooms.   I have previously never cooked with shallots, and now I’ve used them twice in a week!  The mushrooms were easy and delicious.  Definitely will make them again.

Hopefully this week we can do a little better with eating at home.  No more pizza for me this week!  However, we are planning on hitting up River Roots Live, so I’m going to have to steel myself to resist the fair food!

Outside of eating well, exercising, and playing Bags, we also did the Xstream Cleanup on Saturday morning.  Here is a pic of Teem and me pulling a log out of the creek.  Here is a group pic.  It was a really dirty job, and I got copious amount of gross creek water (steeped in a dead possum) down my left boot.  But it was a pretty quick 3 hours, and the group we were with was full of hard workers with positive attitudes.  We cleaned a ton of junk out of  the creek.  It really made me think about my plastic usage too.  We found so many straws, plastic bags, and paper cup lids.  I’m really glad we did it.

That was our week in a nutshell.  Hope you had a great week too!

Four Days In

The “no eating out” thing is going well so far, no thanks to me.  I tried to convince the Timsy Tee to go out for supper on Friday night.  It just seemed wrong to stay at home on a Friday night!  He held firm, however, good man that he is, and we had a great supper at home.

I tried a few new recipes this week.  Here is a rundown:

Roasted Eggplant Stacks – This recipe actually turned out pretty tasty!  It was the first time I have cooked with eggplant.  Next time I think I will remove the skin before cooking the slices, as they were really tough.  I ended up cutting the skins off after the slices were cooked, and that was a hot, messy job.  I also found that fresh eggplant is very spongelike.  I poured olive oil (Tim is not a big fan of coconut oil, so I used olive oil instead) over all the slices and went back to rub it in, but it was all soaked in already!  You have to pour and spread each one individually.   I also put a fried egg (fried in copious amounts of ghee) on top instead of a poached egg, and that was delicious.  I did have a lot of eggplant leftover, however.  I wasn’t sure what to do with it.  It did not look very appetizing the next day.  I’m not sure I would make this recipe again, for that reason.

Too Easy Chicken Adobo – This recipe turned out OK.  I think I overcooked the chicken a bit.  It seemed dry.  I also used chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs (because that’s what I had in stock), so I’m sure that contributed to the dryness.  At $7/lb for chicken breasts, I was a little disappointed.  That’s crazy expensive for chicken.  I went to the Farmers Market yesterday and got a whole chicken instead of the breast, and that was only $2.50/lb!  Another thing – you cook this recipe with onions, and for some reason I do not like the smell of onions cooking in a sauce.  Overall, the chicken turned out good, and we ate it all, but I don’t think I would make this again.

Sweet Potato Salad – Again, I had to modify this recipe.  I have never seen purple Okinawan potatoes here in Davenport, IA, so I used regular old sweet potatoes.  I added in all the fixings he mentioned (jalapenos, pickles and green onions instead of chives), and it turned out delicious!  I struggled with the homemade mayo though.  I swear I’ve read you can make mayo in the food processor, so I tried it.  I added everything to the processor, less the oil, and then used the oil drizzler topper to pour in the oil.  I didn’t let the egg yolk come completely to room temperature, so that may have affected it too, but the mayo just wouldn’t thicken up!  I poured the whole, ultra-liquidy mess into a container and whisked the heck out of it, but I think it was too late.  It tasted OK, however, so I added it to the potato salad, and once it was in there, you couldn’t tell there was anything wrong with it.  I used 1/2 a cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup of avocado oil.  I didn’t have any dijon mustard, so I used a little Boetjes.  I have a lot of oil left over though, which is the issue with making homemade mayo – it only lasts about 3 days.  Maybe I’ll make egg salad for lunch with it today.  Anyway, this salad was delicious, and I’ll definitely make it again.

Grilled Eggs with Mexican Chorizo – To use an overused meme, NOM NOM!!  I had no idea that it is so easy to make your own chorizo!  This recipe turned out fantastic.  I have a huge bag of ancho chiles from my foray into carnitas territory, so I was all set on that front.  The chorizo turned out super tasty.  We are actually going to have the leftovers with eggs and avocado for breakfast this morning.  It was stormy, so we didn’t want to grill.  Instead, we turned on the Nesco roaster at 400 degrees, let it heat up, and then cooked the peppers/eggs/chorizo for about 13 minutes.  The peppers were perfectly cooked.  I would definitely make this again.  However, I cut the entire stem out of the peppers this time; whereas, next time I will leave it in, just cutting out the white parts of the ribs.  My eggs kept wanting to slide out the ends!

Overall, it was a good week for new recipes.  It am proud that we ate delicious food at home instead of mysterious food out.  This morning I need to make my list for next week, so we can keep up the momentum.  I hit up the Farmers Market yesterday and got a whole chicken, pork chops, 3 dozen eggs, kale, nectarines, and cherries, and we still have ground pork and beef in the freezer, so we are pretty well stocked.

Hope you had a great week too!