Dinner Plan Week 2

Last weeks dinner plan went surprisingly well. I cheated on Saturday, but that was it. I normally have a lot going on on weekends so I think I’ll just do the weekdays from now on. Then we can eat leftovers or something simple on Saturdays. I’ll be happy as long as I get 5 decent meals in every week – and then I can take the weekend off.

Here is what last week looked like. But I didn’t eat the rice, of course. That was for Andy.
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And here’s my plan for this week. I also have a couple of lunch/snack recipes that I’m planning on trying out, so that should be fun. I just bought a whole pack of smoked salmon that is making my fridge smell delicious! (If you like smoked salmon as much as me, that is.)

  • Monday: Zucchini Lasagna
  • Tuesday: Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs with Vegetables
  • Wednesday: Creamy Baked Chicken
  • Thursday: Tacos (Taco Salad for me)
  • Friday: Fried Sausages and Mushrooms with Vegetables

Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala

I love all types of Indian food, and nothing beats making dinner in a crockpot, so when I found this recipe at Tablefortwoblog I just had to try it out. I’ve actually had it bookmarked for weeks.

Ingredients:

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins, or about 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 lbs.)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 (29 oz.) can of tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. Garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1-3 tsp. cayenne pepper (depending on your heat preference)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • Chopped parsley or cilantro, for topping

I made some necessary changes because I was missing a couple things. I used curry instead of garam masala, my can of tomato puree was only 28 ounces, and I skipped the cornstarch all together.

It’s such a great and simple recipe, but there is a bunch of chopping to be done. First you want to chop the chicken and onion, and mince the garlic and ginger.
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Then you want to mix together everything but the bay leaves, cream, and cornstarch. I have a big crock pot, so I mixed everything in there. If you don’t you might want to use a big bowl. After it’s all completely mixed, add the bay leaves and put it to cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
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After it’s done cooking mix together the cream and cornstarch in a small bowl and add it to the crockpot to thicken it up. Let it cook for another 20 minutes before you serve it with rice.
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PS: Pay attention to the measurements. I didn’t, and ended up reading “tablespoon” everywhere it said “teaspoon”… Needless to say it was a lot spicier than intended. So I added a bit more yogurt before cooking it, and I was surprised at how much I still liked the finished result. It will definitely clear out your sinuses, but if you love “Indian spicy” I would say to give it a try! (Although I only added one tablespoon of salt, not two!)

Back To A Healthy Diet

Being back from vacation means going back to better habits. No candy and no more eating out. I really haven’t kept it up at all this year after several weeks of being sick, but now I have no more excuses! I’m going back on a low carb diet (lchf). I did it for about a month and a half back in November, along with regular workouts, and I felt ten times better. I started with filling up our empty fridge, and right now I feel more motivated than ever before.
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I really can’t remember the last time we had this many vegetables in the house. But I am loving it! (And, yes, I do know that bananas and tomatoes are fruit. But still.)
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I’ve always thought structure is the key behind keeping up with a diet, a workout regime, or any other lifestyle changes, so I’m writing down this weeks dinner plan. Hopefully I will stick to it and make another one next week. Although I’m leaving one day open for each week – this time It’s Sunday.

Today’s dinner was a success. I haven’t tried this recipe since I posted it on the blog, so I had forgotten how delicious it is. This time we also added fresh cilantro, which really hit the spot!
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Birthday Festivities, Part 2

Yesterday was the second of a three to four day birthday celebration for Maren! It will (most likely) be concluded on Friday after her party. It really should be called your “birthday week”. Or month. Anyway. We went out for sushi at Utage, one of our favorite places in Athens.
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You can’t have a birthday dinner without a saki bomb! The waitresses even made us do the chant.
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Am I the only one who thinks sushi is automatically more fun when it comes in a boat??
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Me and Andy went with a more boring option and shared four rolls. But it was still delicious, and you never leave Utage without being uncomfortably full! I swear they were extra good this time.
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Cajun Jambalaya

Andy found this recipe on Foodnetwork.com for our Louisiana themed party yesterday. We doubled the recipe since the original is only 4 servings (the one I have posted here is NOT doubled, however). But, to be honest, this recipe has so many ingredients that I will probably just do the same next time too. It is easier to make a bunch and save the rest for later – and it’s so good that I bet we will end up eating way too much of it anyway. Keep in mind that this is a pretty spicy dish!

Ingredients:

  • 12 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped (we used a few extra)
  • 4 ounces chicken, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning, recipe at the bottom
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves (remember not to eat them!)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 3/4 cup rice (not cooked)
  • 3 cups chicken stock (we used chicken bullion powder)
  • 5 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced (I’m going to use a little less next time)
  • Salt and pepper

First, mix the seasoning in a bowl (the recipe is at the bottom). You will end up with 2/3 cup of it even though you only need a tablespoon for this recipe. In another bowl combine shrimp, chicken and Creole seasoning, and work in seasoning well. Set it aside for later.
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In a large saucepan heat oil over high heat with onion, pepper and celery for 3 minutes.
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Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces.
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Stir in rice and slowly add broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
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When rice is just tender add shrimp and chicken mixture and sausage.
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Cook until meat is done, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning.
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Ah, it was so delicious! We made a lot, but all of it was gone by the end of the night. We still have enough for another skillet of it, though, so we’ve been debating whether or not to make it again right away.

Creole Seasoning: (this will, unfortunately, yield 2/3 cup)

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt (use 1, it is salty enough already)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
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Cauliflower Au Gratin

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 8 ounces of mushrooms
  • 5 slices of bacon
  • About 1/2 a tablespoon of straight chicken base or bullion
  • 1/2 a cup of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • A couple handfuls of grated cheese

Cut the cauliflower into pieces, and chop up the bacon and mushrooms. Let the cauliflower boil until it’s well done (10-15 minutes) – I added some chicken bullion to the water for flavor. While it was boiling I fried up the bacon and mushrooms in a pan. When the cauliflower is done, strain out the water and use a paper towel to pat it dry.
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Add the cauliflower to a pan and then mix together the sour cream, bullion, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Spread the mixture on top of the cauliflower, using a spoon. The next time I will definitely be adding more of this – it was delicious.
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Top it all of with the mushrooms and bacon, and spread as much cheese as you want on top.
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Bake it for 10-15 minuted on 440 degrees, and it will come out smelling amazing. I’m suddenly starting to realize that I actually like cauliflower (when it’s not plain). There are so many recipes to try out!
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I served it with my ground sausage mix/sauce which, if you like sausage, goes really well along with any type of cauliflower. The last time we ate it with mashed cauliflower, but this was even better!
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Breakfast Burritos

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    Ingredients: For four burritos, using small (8 inch) tortillas.

  • Four tortillas
  • Three eggs
  • Pepper for seasoning
  • Four slices of bacon, chopped
  • Two sausages, chopped – preferably smoked (I used Kroger’s bratwursts)
  • Sour Cream
  • Salsa
  • Shredded Cheese (I used Mexican cheese)
  • Any other ingredients you like in your burritos. We kept it simple, but bell pepper, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, and so on would also have been really good.

1: Scramble the eggs with as much pepper as you’d like and put them aside. 2: Fry up the bacon until it’s almost done and empty out most of the grease. 3: Add the sausage and fry for a few more minutes. 4: When everything is done add the eggs back again and mix it all together.
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Prepare your tortillas with all the toppings you like on it. We only used sour cream and salsa, but it was still really delicious! At least that way it’s a very simple recipe.
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Now just add the cheese and you’re good to go! (If you can close it all up.)
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On a side-note: I’ve added a page called “recipes” under my header where you can find an index for all the recipes I post on the blog. That way you won’t have to scroll through the categories to find anything!