Meal Planning Series, Week 3

Meal Planning Series, Week 3

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Eventually, I will run out of all the recipes I know and use on a regular basis. But until then, this process of sharing my meal plans with y’all is actually super helpful to me as well! It’s forced me to look through my recipes and choose new things to share and proves that hey, I actually do have a pretty good arsenal of recipes under my belt to make some healthy and delicious dinners!

David and I watched the very beginning of a food documentary on Netflix, but we didn’t get through the whole thing because it started to feel very alarmist/sensationalist/the sky is falling and if you don’t eat 100% vegan you’re going to DIE!!! So we stopped watching. But it DID make me consider incorporating a few more veggie-based dinners into my meal-planning, so that will definitely be reflected in this post!

Meal plan for the week:

Breakfast: eggs, hash browns, oatmeal, homemade granola with almond-coconut milk

Snacks: grapes, apples, peanut butter, carrot sticks, hummus, olives, popcorn

Lunch: rotisserie chicken, spinach, shredded carrots, radishes, lemon dressing (lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper)

Dinner #1: Risotto with Asparagus, Peas, and Spinach (Vegetarian)

Dinner #2: Spicy Peanut Noodle Stir Fry (Vegan)

Dinner #3: Charcuterie Board

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If I had to choose a favorite recipe, like EVER, it would have to be risotto! It is the ultimate comfort food to me.

Risotto is also versatile. I normally make it with chicken stock and chicken thighs, but you can also make it vegan by using vegetables and vegetable stock. It’s gluten free. It can be dairy free if you hold off on the parmesan cheese. (At some point, I’d like to experiment by using nutritional yeast instead of cheese… buuuut I wasn’t quite bold enough to try that out on David this week!)

Risotto is not a quick recipe to make. You have to babysit it as you ladle and stir, ladle and stir. But to me, it is totally worth it! My biggest recommendation when you’re making a risotto is to consider the broth you’re using. Store bought chicken broth will do just fine, but the most delicious and savory risotto dishes are made as a result of using homemade chicken stock. (That might be another post by itself, but here‘s where I learned how to make it myself! I just use the bones from a rotisserie chicken.)

Risotto with Asparagus, Peas, and Spinach

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Ingredients

5-6 cups chicken stock

1/2 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed, then chop into 1 inch pieces

1 tbsp. EVOO

1/2 cup onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup white rice

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

1 cup frozen green peas

2 cups baby spinach

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

In a medium pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Cook the asparagus in the chicken stock for 1 minute, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium, so that the chicken stock stays at a simmer.

Bring a large pan to medium-high heat. Drizzle in the evoo, then sautéed the onion and garlic for about 1 minute. Add the rice, and stir continuously for 1 minute.

Ladle 1/2 cup of the simmering broth into the rice mixture and stir to combine. Wait until the rice has soaked up the broth, then add another 1/2 cup of broth. Continue this process of ladling and stirring until the rice is thoroughly cooked, about 20-25 minutes. Add in the parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Then add the peas and spinach, stirring another 2-3 minutes until the peas are cooked and spinach is wilted. Taste for seasoning, and serve. Top the risotto with a little olive oil and parmesan cheese and enjoy!

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This Spicy Peanut Noodle Stir Fry was a new recipe I tried this week! You can find the original recipe here, but I did make several adjustments:

-I used 16 oz of whole wheat spaghetti

-I used extra virgin olive oil instead of sesame oil

-Substitute 5 oz spinach for the tender stem broccoli

-Substitute 1 cup frozen green peas for chestnut mushrooms

-I used 1/2 of a red bell pepper

-I used 3 green onions

-Add 1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces

-Add 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

-Substitute Bragg Liquid Aminos for soy sauce

After making the dish, I realized the noodle to vegetable ratio was a bit skewed. I either need to double the amount of vegetables next time, or reduce the amount of noodles. Also, as much as I love a good slurpy noodle, a shorter pasta (like rotini) might be easier to eat and scoop up with the veggies.

But I loved the flavor combination, and added some extra sriracha at the end! I used a new brand called Ninja Squirrel- it’s my favorite of all the sriracha sauces I’ve tried so far!

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One of my favorite things to order at a restaurant is a good charcuterie board! Sometimes I don’t want a huge, filling meal. I’d rather have a lot of little flavors and textures to mix and match! So I’ve started making my own charcuterie boards at home every now and then, and it’s a lot of fun! (P.S. It’s also a creative way to use up some leftovers!)


Charcuterie Board Ingredients:

Sliced red bell peppers

Carrot sticks

Hot Chipotle Hummus

Green olives

Chicken sausage (leftover from a grilling session the previous weekend!)

Green grapes

Mary’s Gone Crackers

Sliced radishes, drizzled with EVOO and sprinkled with salt and pepper

Miyoko’s Kitchen Double Cream Garlic Herb Vegan Cheese

Baby spinach


Sharing all these recipes has also made me realize that I REALLY need to work on my recipe organization! Currently, my recipes are spread across 4 different binders, and I forget to use some of them because it just takes too long to hunt them down!

How do you store and organize your recipes? Let me know!

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