Food update

Eats

I started eating walnuts last year. For awhile I was eating them as dessert. I’d have fresh berries, walnuts and whipped cream. It was a good lower carb option for dessert for me. I kinda stopped doing that for awhile, no idea why, but I wanted to revisit the idea of eating “real food” more often.

Walnuts, especially, are really good food you. They are the best nut you can eat. Better than almonds, much better than peanuts. And I’ve been finding that they are pretty filling! The downside is that like all nuts, they are pretty high in calories so I have to watch how many I eat!

Last week my lunches were:

Green and red leaf salad with:

Steak

Feta

Walnuts

Carrots

Raw Peppers

Cucumber

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

The salads were really filling and I felt good after eating it. I will be doing a variation of this for my lunches for awhile I think.

Last Friday night, Michael and I also tried a pre-made cauliflower pizza crust. I got it at Whole Foods. It was really expensive (like $5.99) for a small pizza (4 slices total). But I wanted to try it as an alternative to regular dough. (We usually use the Trader Joe’s dough for our homemade pizza nights.)

The good thing about the cauliflower crust pizza, it’s lower in calories and carbs. The bad thing? It’s a pain in the butt to make, time consuming and doesn’t always work well. We had a LOT of failures when we first tried making it ourselves.

So how was the Whole Foods Cauliflower pizza? Really good.

We topped it with cheese, pizza seasoning, pepperoni, olives, Mamas Lil Peppers and baked it a little longer than it suggested. It was crispy and delicious and had great texture.

The pizza was great but it’s NOT low carb. It’s actually pretty high in carbs. But it IS gluten free, so that’s good if you need that. It’s low in calories, which is nice. But it’s also small. (Four servings total, so enough for 2 people.)

I’d like to try Trader Joe’s cauliflower crust pizza next.

Amazon currently has a deal on the Kitchenaid Spiralizer and we got one! We are really excited to try it out.  The deal is really good, so check it out before it’s done. I planted one zucchini plant in our veggie garden this year and I’m looking forward to lots of zoodles.

Finally, in meal prep land — for lunches this week I made this beef and broccoli:

Here is the recipe:

QUICK BEEF AND BROCCOLI MEAL PREP

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, optional
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 12 ounces broccoli florets, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan of 2 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, vinegar, sesame oil and Sriracha, if using.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat.
  4. Stir in broccoli, green onions, rice and soy sauce mixture until well combined, allowing to simmer until heated through and the broccoli is tender, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Place mixture into meal prep containers, garnished with sesame seeds, if desired.

Notes

From: https://damndelicious.net/2017/06/24/quick-beef-broccoli-meal-prep/

http://www.110pounds.com/?p=54652

I am looking forward to having this for lunch (I also added some kimchi to it for lunch). I skipped the rice, too.

(UPDATE: It was DELICIOUS!! So good and very filling. Did not need the rice at all.)

QUESTION: Try any good recipes lately?

Hoppy Birthday

On Saturday night we had Michael’s mom and stepdad over for her birthday dinner. I opened a bottle of the Stoller Chardonnay and I prepped a little bit of the veggies while Michael prepped the chicken.

I found this recipe.

Garlicky Greek Chicken

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 lb. chicken thighs
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb. asparagus, ends removed
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 1 lemon, sliced

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and oregano. Whisk until combined then add chicken thighs and toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  2. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, preheat oven to 425°. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining tablespoon olive oil. Season both sides of marinated chicken with salt and pepper, then add chicken skin-side down and pour in the remaining marinade.
  3. Sear until the skin becomes golden and crispy, about 10 minutes. Flip chicken and add asparagus, zucchini and lemons to the skillet.
  4. Transfer pan to oven and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=54632

The recipe needed a little tweaking, which we figured out after the fact. But I think it’s a good idea. The execution was just a little off.

What attracted me to the recipe was that it sounded refreshing and good for a spring dinner. The asparagus was great and I loved the zucchini in it, too.

Michael marinated the chicken thighs in the lemon juice/garlic/herb mix. Then he cooked the thighs in the skillet, then put everything in the Dutch Oven and baked it. I still don’t understand how this recipe was “Greek”??

The flavors were all great. But like I said at the start, the recipe needs to be changed. First, we’d cook the chicken entirely in the skillet (like usually do). Doing it in the skillet then the oven made the skin not crispy–which is the best part. The veggies were good in the oven, but the cook time in the recipe for the oven portion was not correct, either. We had to bake it longer. So next time, all skillet!

Dessert was Baskin Robbins ice cream! Yum.

On Sunday I went swimming and took care of some stuff around the house and then Michael and I got to have a little afternoon date. A friend had offered to babysit for us and we finally were able to take her up on it!

We got pedicures first. It was nice to just relax back in the massage chair and be pampered. Michael commented that he didn’t understand why more men didn’t do this because it’s a luxurious, relaxing experience. I laughed and said I know. It’s not really about getting your nails done! 😉

Then we went to happy hour for dinner at Hop Jacks in Happy Valley.

We’d never been before but I’ve seen it a million times on our way home from Mount Hood and was curious. They bragged about the coldest beer in town. Michael got a Long Island Iced Tea (what?!?) because he hadn’t had one in years. (I think it’s been at least 15 years for me.) and I got a Boneyard RPM and yes–it was very cold!

We got some nachos and queso for dinner. It was pretty good! The place felt kinda like a Red Robin I guess? We got there about 4:30 and it wasn’t very crowded but by the time we left an hour later it was packed with a line out the door. They have happy hour every day from 4-6.

It was a nice way to unwind after a busy weekend!