Post # 32
Three easy, cheap, and delicious options for you:
- Stir fry (you can use any type of meat and vegetables – I like chicken or shrimp): mix soy sauce, a little sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar in a bowl – use half to marinate your meat and set the other half aside. In a hot pan, use a little oil and then stir fry meat until just done and remove from pan. Add vegetables to pan and cook until just done. Place meat back in pan and add the remaining sauce. Stir meat, veggies, and sauce until combined and serve over rice or Chinese noodles.
- Carnitas – brown a salt and peppered pork shoulder (with or without bones) in a pan and then transfer to crock pot. Add juice and zest of one lime and one orange, a chopped onion, 3 chopped cloves of garlic, and one lager style beer. Cook on low for 10 hours, until meat falls apart. Drain and shred meat with a fork. Serve with warm flour tortillas, cilantro, and green salsa (roast some tomatillos in the oven with one jalapeno pepper, and then blend it all in the blender with onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, and salt and pepper).
- Parchment Baked Cod – place a fish of white fish (I use cod) on a big piece of parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and then top with halved cherry tomatoes, 4-5 whole green onions, lemon slices, slices of fresh ginger, and a few sprigs of Italian parsley. Tightly fold the parchment paper and place the fish on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 for about 25-30 minutes and serve with a simple green salad and garlic bread.
Post # 33
You’re all making me very, very hungry. Good thing it’s lunchtime!
My plan for the new dish this week: chicken, carrots, celery, maybe broccoli… stovetop (frypan) with a concentrated chicken stock. Will add a dash of white wine to thin it a little. Possible side is rice pilaf (a standard favorite). Might also bake up some rolls or bread from scratch, depending on how much time I have. Will serve with white wine. Dessert it out of my hands this time (sadly) since my mother is bringing DH a birthday cake.
The “new” aspects are broccoli and the stock, so technically I’m already ahead for the week! DH is just such a picky eater, I have to carefully combine new tastes with ones he already knows. Once our farmer’s market opens, I’m going to make HIM choose a new ingredient so he can’t complain! 🙂
Post # 34
My cheap, easy and healthy go-to are sweet potato burritos. Essentially cook sweet potatoes (I like to dice them, toss them with a little olive oil, season with garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne) and roast until fork tender. When they’re close to done, I drain and rinse a can of black beans and throw them in a skillet with a handful or two of spinach, a little bit of minced garlic, minced onion, olive oil and cayenne and saute for a few minutes.
Once the sweet potatoes are done I throw them in the skillet with the beans and mash everything up together. Season with salt, pepper, whatever else you feel like throwing in to taste. I love the way the spiciness of the cayenne pepper and sweetness of the potatoes work together, and I usually add a good tablespoon or two more. The sweetness manages the spice incredibly well, I’ve never managed to make it too spicy. I’ve also used curry powder instead of cayenne, not as good, in my opinion, but still pretty tasty. Thin the filling out with stock or water (or soy sauce!) if you think it’s too thick. Then just fill and roll tortillas. I like to add a little bit of cheese inside them and bake for 10 minutes until crispy. Bonus, they freeze really well.
My go-to vegetable dish as the moment is asparagus, because it’s so gorgeous this time of year. I usually cut it into thirds, steam it and toss it with a little bit lemon juice and a tiny bit of melted butter. If I’m serving it with something hearty like steak, I cut off the white ends, toss it with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast for until crisp-tender (for me, 8-10 minutes). In the meantime I make a quick dressing: brown 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan (low heat, keep shaking pan until it just starts to brown), then swirl in 2 teaspoons of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over roasted asparagus. (Dressing proportions based is enough to dress about 2 lbs of asparagus, so adjust accordingly. It doesn’t need much).
Post # 35
I don’t know the situation with you and your DH, but it sounds as though you are doing all the cooking? Why not include him in on this challenge? He should also have to do one new thing a week. Maybe he doesn’t have the same amount of time as you and can only fit in breakfast one day of the week or even pick up an ingredient for you to use (ie. DH, tomorrow I will make a stir fry, you should pick out something new to try in it).
Post # 36
I was like you about 2 years ago – I got stuck in a rutt of cooking the same 10 meals all the time. I had a new years resolution to cook at least 2 new meals a month & add them to our normal cycle & now I have so many different meals to choose from including different styles like Chinese, Thai, and Indian; all of which I never really cooked before!
I found the easist way to find new recipes was to at least know what type of food I wanted to make (chicken, beef, noodle recipe, etc.) then search. This was before the days of pinterest, but I would suggest looking there.
Then I would pick out two and commit to making them.
I try to keep all my recipes low cal and have used SEVERAL of Gina’s skinny recipes from skinnytaste.com; I love how she cooks so many ethnic foods with great and simple flavors – def not breaking the bank. And her recipes are super easy and quick to cook (which is important to me b/c I tend to get flustered making new recipes and it takes me FOREVER the first time,) but with hers they are a snap!
Post # 37
@Mrs Sarah McK:
That dressing sounds great, and probably is adaptable to a lot of different veggies. I may have to try that soon.
Yes, I do all the cooking. I’d love to include him, but he can’t cook. At all. It took me 6 months to teach him to make regular pasta, and he stills sometimes asks me “should I cover the pot?” Honestly, having him in the kitchen is more of a hindrance than a help, so I continue to cook alone. I wish it were otherwise, but I don’t see him learning any time soon. (Maybe I should ask him to try something else new for me per week? Wink, wink…? ;D)
I’m so glad to hear that someone else went through this, and successfully! I will definitely search skinnytaste for ideas and add her to my blogroll. She posted a buttermilk chicken recipe that might be next on my list already!
Thanks for all the ideas ladies, it’s encouraging to see the kind of options I have to choose from.
Post # 38
Oh yeah, I throw it on a lot of roasted or steamed vegetables, asparagus just sprung to mind immediately because it’s in season, and it’s my current pregnancy craving so I’m eating it all the time 🙂
Post # 39
Some of my favourite things to make are pastas (I play with making my own sauces, nom nom nom), mexican food (tamales are AMAZING), indian food, and stir-frys (my favourite way to make this is with coconut milk instead of the traditional teriyaki sauce).
PM me if you want recipies at all!
Post # 40
I love the reversible grill/press thing & I think you should make paninis. They are easy & delicious. You could use the fresh lettuce, tomato, avacado, or whatever you guys like on your paninis. I normally just buy a few slices of lunch meat & cheese at the deli, then some rye or asiago bread. The choices are endless. I also second pinterest. There are tons of recipes out there!!