Friday, February 16, 2018

Food for Thought

Welcome to the post where I actually cooked these things in the last week or so. . .not months ago.

This week I had a plan, sort of.  I forgot Lent started and so I had to toss out one meal because it was all about the meat and one meal I didn't so much plan - tonight's.

If you're looking for the meat and the non-meat recipes, I've got a few below.

We've done a lot of soups this season.  I guess my thought is it's winter, and even though there's been pretty much no snow, I still need the food that would go with it.  Enter Creamy Potato Kielbasa and White Cheddar Soup   It was really good.  Creamy without being heavy, but hearty enough to feel like a meal.  I used a buffalo jalapeno sausage, which put a nice zing in the soup and because of some lactose sensitivity in the family I put cheese on top, instead of stirring it in; which might account for the lightness of the broth.

I love bowl meals for nights when I don't know who will be here and when.  These Taco Bowls weren't really any different from others, but the meat had good seasonings and was less dry than some.  I loved the Pico - I need to remember to make that more often.  I used farrow instead of cauliflower rice, but would really like to try the cauliflower rice one of these days.

Slow Cooker Rotel Chicken Soup - see, more soup - but I used all thighs instead of splitting it with breasts.  I just find that thighs hold up so much better in the slow cooker.  I was going to get pickled jalapenos to add in, really I was, but totally forgot to put them on the list.  Even without them it was flavorful.  Leftover Pico from the Taco Bowls and avocados are a must.

Clearly not going to be a traditional Jambalaya, but this One Pan Jambalaya  was AHMAZING!  Tons of flavor.  I left the shells on the shrimp and I believe that helped them cook perfectly and not get rubbery and dry - even when I reheated it the next day.  

Trying to keep in mind the fish thing, at least once a month - if not more often - even outside of Lent.  This Creamy Salmon Piccata was delicious.  I left out the heavy cream and used lactose free whole milk instead.  If you worry about over-cooking salmon, which can happen easily, go for slightly undercooked.  Not only is it okay, as long as you've handled it safely to begin with, but carry-over cooking is likely to cook it to perfection.  If the fat is dripping out on to your cooking surface, while cooking, you've gone too far.  Stop and cover to keep warm.

I think this Tasty Lentil Tacos recipe is the second I've done with lentils.  I like them as a replacement for beans or quinoa in our meatless meals.  This filling was well flavored and had a good texture - reheated well too.  It would be good on a salad, in a burrito or on nachos.

I had some left-over rolls, so I made up these Italian Pulled-Chicken Sliders to use them up.  Seasonings were perfect.  Sometimes there's too much liquid in my slow cooker meals, so before things got rolling, I poured off some of the extra liquid the chicken was leaching.  I think that helped with the flavor not being watered down.  I use my go-to Marinara.  Toasting and cheese are a must.

I made this Bacon Tomato and Spinach Spaghetti with some hesitation because I struggle with getting heavy ingredients in recipes, like tomatoes, to stay mixed in with the pasta.  I don't know what was different with this recipe, but something about the sauce totally worked and suspended the heavier items.  Plus it was really good!  A simple, but filling meal.

This Peanut Butter Brownie Baked Oatmeal is a very decadent for a breakfast for me - and higher in calories than I would normally do to start the day.  It's still under 4
00 calories a serving though.  But it was so good.  I loved the ribbons of peanut butter I'd hit now and then.  I was well into the recipe when I found that I didn't have any cocoa.  I pulled my handy Substitution Bible down and subbed an ounce of unsweetened chocolate for the missing cocoa.  Also, microwave the peanut butter to liquefy it for better "drizzling and cutting in."  Oh, and I used my regular peanut butter, but if natural is your thing, go for it.  For that matter if you do other nut butters, you could to those too.

I've got few plans this weekend and a 'fridge with a few leftovers to clear out.  It's supposed to be nice, before another round of snow, so here's to hoping I can walk outside instead of in circles in my house.

Happy Friday,


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