salmon

Inspiration

One of the things that I liked about doing Sunbasket for a few weeks, besides getting to try new things we wouldn’t normally try, is it inspired us to try some recipes on our own–like we used to do. When we first started dating, we’d get together on the weekends and try new recipes (our favorite cookbook was one of Martha Stewart’s) and we’d try new recipes each week. We’d open a bottle of wine and spend several hours in the kitchen cooking, talking, having fun.

That has obviously changed. Sadly, the leisurely cooking evenings kind of disappeared, especially when we had Logan. Quick dinners were a must. We definitely got into a rut with the same five or six meals and it got boring. So Sunbasket was a nice change.

In the spirit of that, we tried some fun recipes that were really good.

The first was one of the Sunbasket recipes in one of the books we got in our deliveries. It was slightly hard to follow the recipe because there weren’t measurements, but we were able to “wing it” and kind of guess on the amounts of stuff. And it was SO DELICIOUS! It might be one of my favorite meals we’ve had in a long time,

Salmon with Dijon sauce, quinoa, and green beans

The above is the recipe we worked off. Michael cooked the salmon and green beans and I made the dijon sauce (it was so so good!!). I subbed out wild rice instead of the quinoa because it was quick and easy.

Topped everything with the sauce, capers and chopped parsley.  Everything was so delicious. I am still thinking about that meal and the sauce was amazing. Like, want-to-lick-the-plate amazing. We will most definitely be making a variation of this recipe again soon!

The next recipe was kind of a “throw everything in the pot” kind of meal, but it turned out great. We had leftover chicken from when Michael smoked it, plus I had to use up the chicken broth and coconut milk from the previous recipe. So…coconut chicken curry soup!

I didn’t follow a recipe so I’ll just give a rough idea of what I did. What’s nice about this soup is that can add whatever veggies or meat you have on hand. Tofu would be great. Broccoli, spinach or kale would be good, too.

Saute in toasted sesame oil:

Diced onion

Diced Shallots

Cubed Sweet Potatoes

Chopped Carrots

Green Beans

Minced Garlic

Add 3 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup water and bring to a boil then reduce heat

Add a can of coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)

Add turmeric, curry powder, pepper and powdered ginger

Add 1 spoonful of Ground fresh chili paste

Dash of fish sauce

Let simmer for as long as you want

When you’re ready to eat the soup, squeeze some fresh lime juice in it and top with cilantro. 

The soup turned out great. I was really happy with it. It was savory, sweet and spicy–all my favorite things! And, I had the soup for lunch the next day and it was EVEN BETTER!

Finally, the last new recipe we tried was this one from The Kitchn:

Skillet Chipotle Chilaquiles with Eggs

The flavors in this dish were really tasty. We both loved the smokiness of the chipotle peppers and sauce.

We will most definitely make this dish again! The only flaw was our fault, the eggs were overdone so they weren’t runny and that kind of makes the dish.

 

Topped with cojita cheese, avocado chunks, diced red and white onions, cilantro and a little bit of lime juice. So so good! Another winner!

Sun Basket Week 1

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that we tried the “Imperfect Produce” weekly box subscription. We tried it for a little over a month and I ended up cancelling it. I didn’t like that I felt so much pressure to use up the produce quickly because it was often on the verge of going bad.

A few years ago, Michael and I tried Blue Apron a few times and we really liked it. We liked the recipes we tried but in the end, the cost was a factor for me so we didn’t continue it. Since then, I’ve been seeing the “meal services” options get a lot better. Now there are ones that are diet-specific, which is cool. I decided to give Sun Basket a try because I liked that we had the option of doing gluten-free or Paleo diets.

I signed up with a discount code for the first week. I downloaded the app, which is nice and very easy to use. A bonus with the app: you can choose your three meals for a month out. I already have the next month of weekly deliveries all planned out.

When I tried to decide which meals to pick, I chose this way:

  1. An ingredient that is something we haven’t tried or something that isn’t “Common” on my grocery list.
  2. A recipe that is simple but is a little more interesting than a dish we could come up with ourselves (for example, I saw a few “bean and rice bowl” meal options and I skipped those because that’s not very creative and that’s something we can do on our own.)
  3. Gluten-free/Paleo/Low Carb option.

Week One

The first meal we made from the box was a Moroccan dish: Moroccan lamb merguez patties with warm carrot salad

630 calories,  Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free

I’m not sure how long it actually took to make because I did a bunch of prep and then a little while later Michael made the lamb patties and started cooking. But it felt like a fairly easy recipe to make.

The verdict: delicious! We were both really happy with it. The arugula salad with raisins, chopped almonds and tahini dressing felt light and healthy. I loved the roasted carrots, so did Michael and he’s not a fan of roasted veggies. The lamb patties were good, too.

It was a great dinner for a first time out.

Next up:

The second meal was salmon with broccoli:  Roasted salmon and broccoli with almond-date tapenade

470 calories, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Lean & Clean, Mediterranean, Diabetes-Friendly

This was a good dinner for a busy weeknight meal. It was pretty quick and easy to make. It wasn’t all that different than our typical dinner (we do salmon and broccoli all the time) but it was nice trying it with toppings!

The date-almond-dill-mint tapanade was really good! It was not something I would have thought to put with salmon but it had a nice flavor and a different texture that went well with the dinner.

The harissa sauce was interesting. It wasn’t spicy–it was kinda smoky? Overall it was a good meal but not super impressive, basically because we do salmon and broccoli once a week. 😉

The glass of rose went nicely with dinner, though!

Lastly: Superfast Southeast Asian chicken salad with sesame-lime dressing

490 calories, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Lean & Clean, Diabetes-Friendly

This was another easy and quick recipe. I prepped the salad and everything and then Michael cooked the chicken while I put Logan to bed and read him stories. The meal was good and low in calories. My opinion was that it wasn’t anything special. It’s not that far off from meals we make on our own (we do a lot of salads like this) but I did like the unique flavors (the toasted sesame oil dressing with apricots and cashews).

Michael liked the meal but thought it would be better with seared ahi tuna. We could easily make it on our own and try that.

The first week of meals was overall pretty good. The lamb dish was my favorite. We are going to keep trying Sun Basket to see how it goes but I am also on the fence about doing it long term because it IS rather spendy. Stayed tuned!

What’s cool is that in the box they send a recipe book of all that week’s meal options so you can make some of the other recipes on your own if you want. I marked a few of them to try.

I have a discount code, if you want to use it!