Meal Planning

Sun Basket Week 3

This is the last post for awhile. We’ve done this experiment for three weeks and enjoyed the diversity and the unique recipes we wouldn’t normally try. But the cost was a little out of our budget and honestly, I was looking forward to being able to experiment more with new recipes on our own. That is not to say that I am quitting Sun Basket, but I am skipping the next few weeks of delivery and when I see a week that sounds really good to me, I might try it. I am thinking once a month this would be a good service to do.

Week Three

Spanish shrimp fritters with artichoke relish

420 calories, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Mediterranean, Diabetes-Friendly

The first meal of this box we did the shrimp fritters. I did all the prep work and then Michael stepped in to make the fritters while I put Logan to bed.

There was a medium amount of prep involved in this particular dish, but it wasn’t too bad. We both really liked the texture and flavor of the roasted green beans. As for the fritters, I was especially excited about this recipe because it sounded so unique. I was a bit disappointed. The flavors were kind of bland. Michael thought the fritters needed to be cooked at a higher temperature next time and I agree. I wanted them to be slightly crispier.

The green beans were great. The relish was just ok. I liked the concept and would recreate it, but I would probably use a different flavor profile–like spicy/cajun seasoning for the fritters and a corn and onion relish instead.

The serving size for the green beans also seemed a bit big. We got three servings out of what they sent. Which was fine with me because I had the beans for lunch the next day!

Spicy Balinese chicken with cucumber-cabbage salad

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

We LOVED this one. It was pretty easy to make and it was absolutely delicious. It was definitely MY flavor profile (I love everything spicy and curry-ish) and Michael is less interested in those flavors. He is not a fan of Indian food but I love it and I keep trying to sneak in recipes that are SORT of Indian that I think he’ll like. I’m glad he liked this one.

The chicken was great (boneless chicken thighs) and delicious. Lots of flavor, lots of spice and the chicken wasn’t dry. I liked the cashew dressing and the chopped cashews on top.

I was a little nervous about the mint–mint can be really overpowering, but it worked. All of it was great. This was definitely a winner and we will definitely make it again! Be aware–it IS spicy! Which is nice, because most “spicy” recipes are not spicy at all. I thought it would be nice with a dollop of plain greek yogurt on top of the chicken, too.

Taiwanese noodle soup with pork and baby greens

470 calories, Dairy-Free

I was really looking forward to this recipe. The weather is turning cooler and darker and I am feeling more tired and like I’m possibly fighting off a cold. So a hearty, warm, flavorful soup sounded really good.

This recipe had a little more prep and more steps involved, but it was ok. First off– we both loved the freshly made ramen noodles. They were amazing! So much better than store-bought, dried noodles. Second, the kitchen smelled amazing.

How was the soup? It was pretty good! We both felt like it was missing something but it still tasted really good. We decided we’d make it again and use 2 cups of beef broth and 3 cups of water for the soup broth (instead of just 5 cups of water like the recipe said).

It was kinda like pho but not exactly. We topped the ramen and pork with fresh onions, raw minced garlic and the cilantro. All the flavors of the toppings were really nice in the soup. And we both added sriracha! It was a great fall soup for dinner.

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

Two Low Carb Dinners

I wanted to share two recipes with you that we tried last week. Here is the first:

Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs:

Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs |Paleo
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
From: http://www.joyfulhealthyeats.com/balsamic-braised-beef-short-ribs-paleo/
Ingredients
  • 2-3 lbs. of bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • ½ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 4 whole dried dates
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Spice Blend:
  • 2 tablespoon of course sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together course sea salt, dried rosemary, dried sage, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper.
  2. Pat dry bone-in beef short ribs. Rub spice blend into both sides of the short ribs.
  3. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add coconut oil to pan and sear the short ribs for 2-3 minutes per side or until slightly browned.
  4. Put the short ribs in a slow cooker with a tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, whole dried dates, and smashed garlic cloves.
  5. Cook for 4-6 hours on low or until beef is tender.
It doesn’t look pretty but it tasted really good! I made some sesame cucumber salads to go with it and the tartness of the salad was the perfect combo with the ribs.

We each had one (they were pretty big beef ribs) and then a few nights later had the leftovers and we both agreed that they were even better reheated as leftovers.

Michael made this dinner, even though crock-pot cooking isn’t something he likes to do, and it was really good! We both want to make it again in the future.

The second “recipe” wasn’t really a recipe but it was “lowish” carb and on the diet plan. I picked up the carrot “noodles” from Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago and we finally tried it.

Here are the stats on the carrot noodles:

8grams of carbs in a serving of carrot noodles. I also bought a jar of low carb spaghetti sauce. I hadn’t tried this brand before and another reader recommended a low carb marinara but it was really expensive when I finally found it! This particular bottle was half the price of the other one so I grabbed a jar to test it out.

A serving of this marinara was 5 grams of carbs. I also loved that it didn’t have a ton of sugar in it like a lot of red sauces have. We had some Trader Joe’s Turkey Meatballs on top with some fresh parmesan and opened a not-so-low-carb bottle of wine to go with dinner:

So how was the dinner? Really good! We both liked it a lot.

The carrots weren’t overpowering in flavor. They were slightly al dente, but I’m so used to eating spaghetti squash instead of real pasta noodles that it didn’t feel weird to me. The sauce? Fantastic! We both LOVED it! It was super spicy. We’d definitely make this dinner again.

I did comment that it needed some garlic bread. 😉