Spring was a hectic time for us filled with travel, busy calendars, and falling off of the meal planning wagon. It doesn't look like summer will be any less busy but our waistlines and wallets are begging us to get back on track.
And that's what we've done this week.
Sunday evening I made my favorite two pan dinner from one of my favorite books, Dinner: Changing the Game, by Melissa Clark. I love her philosophy on cooking dinner because it is similar to mine: changing one's mindset from a protein and two sides to putting together meals from a variety of small dishes to create a meal. Her recipes are easy to adapt and to mold into something of your own. It's a beautiful book and I can't recommend it enough. Huge thanks to Heather for recommending it!
Our Sunday supper was spicy roasted shrimp with eggplant and mint (page 131 for those of you who have the book), a meal I've made several times, a meal I have adjusted accordingly because I thought we had harissa in our pantry but it turned out that we had piri piri type spice instead and that's what I've been using since the first time I've made this dish. It's a satisfying dish that we serve over rice to ensure a) that we have leftovers and b) that our toddler eats something, anything, for dinner.
Breakfast: cereal for the kid and husband, a Clio yogurt bar to get me through the first hour of the day and coffee. For second breakfast I made a pimento grilled cheese with ham before running out the door to my gentle yoga class.
Lunch: chicken and dill dumplings from Trader Joe's with a Russian style side salad consisting of Persian cucumber, tomatoes, green onion, dill, and sour cream as the dressing.
I promise there's dumplings under all that dill and green onion!
Charlotte's Lunch: this was the last lunch of the school year and, I'll be honest with you guys, I've been slacking on the creativity front. I've been feeding her the same thing for the past couple of months with the sandwich shapes being the only thing that changed.
Nutella on organic white bread, organic meat stick slices, cheese, almonds, and apple slices.
Charlotte's YUMOBX Panino bento box was the real MVP this year, totally worth the $30 price tag.
Snack: y'all really think I'm going to go to an Asian supermarket and not walk out with several bags of the flavored Kit Kat bars? This trip's picks were green tea (an all time favorite) and strawberry.
Dinner: Originally I had planned to make Blue Apron's Suchuan-Style Pork Noodles but as it turns out I was missing half of the sauce ingredients I thought I had in the pantry. This is a mistake I often make so I had to improvise. Honestly, it's more fun that way...sometimes. Attempting this recipe also gave me an excuse to break out our meat grinder attachment for the Kitchen Aid because our local Aldi doesn't sell ground pork and I wasn't about to make another stop after being in the car for four hours on Sunday. Long story short, I ended up making Bon Appetit's Udon Stir-Fry without realizing it.
It was delicious and we'll be making it again and again!
I made a separate version for Charlotte because the original recipe I was attempting to make was going to be too spicy for her.
Breakfast: cereal, Eggo waffles with Nutella.
Lunch: a second serving of the udon noodle stir fry. I took a rare shortcut by using ginger and garlic from a tube and to be honest with you will probably be taking more of this shortcut moving forward. It's less clean up and tastes (almost) the same!
These fresh udon noodles are officially part of our fridge staples that we'll keep stocked at all times.
Individual packs means perfect portions and less waste.
Dinner: Blue Apron's General Tso's Chicken. This is another variation on the classic that I made a while back. It was quick, easy, and delicious.
Breakfast: cereal for the kid and husband and a double-smoked bacon sandwich from Starbucks for me. It was the last day of school so I had several teacher gift related errands to run before yoga and before picking up Charlotte from school. I knew I wouldn't have time to eat lunch at a normal time and needed something that would fill me up for a while.
Lunch: a poke bowl from Harris Teeter. It was better than I thought it would be and will definitely get it again.
Charlotte's Lunch: end of school year pizza party followed by an ice cream social. Needless to say, she did not nap.
Dinner: the summer vacation vibes hit me hard and a packed schedule earlier in the day made me miss meal prep time so we went out to our favorite local bar and restaurant for dinner. Not even sorry about it.
Breakfast: cereal for the kid and husband and a Clio yogurt bar for me.
Lunch: balsamic marinated portobello mushroom burgers with apple slices. I successfully turned on our grill after about five minutes of inhaling gas. Our grill is connected to the home's gas line and is slightly different from ones we've had in the past. Don't worry, I'm fine, and the grilled portobello mushrooms turned out awesome!
Dinner: Greek Chicken Skewers with saffron cous cous and homemade tzatziki sauce. If you're looking for a quick meal, this isn't it. I call this an "all day meal" because you're working on it most of the day. First to make the fresh marinade and to cut up the chicken breast, then to slice up the veggies and make the tzatziki sauce, and then skewer and grill the ingredients and make the cous cous. It's totally worth all the work.
Breakfast: Eggo waffles with Nutella at home and an almond milk vanilla latte for me and a lavender kambucha for Charlotte from Lincoln's Haberdashery.
Lunch: Lancaster's BBQ before Charlotte's three year well check. I opted for their "famous" fried chicken dinner with a side of homemade hot sauce, mashed potatoes with gravy, and green beans.
Dinner: pizza by the pool with DD's Munchkin's for dessert.
Breakfast: prosciutto and egg on English muffin.
Lunch: Guess what I made again? If you guessed an udon noodle stir fry you'd be correct! This time I threw in a ton of leftover veggies from this week's meals and the noodles were as delicious as the first three times I made them this week.
Dinner: the weather was pretty crappy so we scrapped a trip to the pool and went shopping before dinner instead. And since we were out and had no real dinner plans we ended up at La Unica, one of our favorite spots in town for Mexican food.
Brandon ordered the ceviche with tortas.
I went for my usual order of carne asada.
The rain held off long enough for us to enjoy ice cream cones for dessert.
Vanilla for Charlotte.
And cookies and cream for me.
Breakfast: egg sandwiches on English muffins.
Lunch: leftovers and pan fried gyoza from Trader Joe's with homemade dipping sauce.
Dinner: low country seafood boil at our friends' house. Our contribution was Brazilian cheesy bread (also known as Pão de Queijo or popovers). This was the largest batch I've ever made at around 90 pieces and they were all gone before the seafood hit the table.
It was a delicious week, leaning heavy on Asian flavors and ingredients, relying on our old time favorite restaurants, and enjoying a few treats.
What was your favorite meal this week?
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