Weekly Eats

We ate out A LOT this week. Mostly because of being busy and away from home…and partly because it’s hard to say “no” to friends who want to go out! Here is our week in food:

Sunday

Lunch: Sat on the outdoor patio at Dockside. Fish tacos for me!

Dinner: Navy bean soup cooked with a ham bone that I acquired from Travis’ grandfather. When we visited him last week a ham was being baked and I asked if I could have the bone to make soup. The answer was yes…as long as I brought them the leftovers!

Monday

Lunch: Had an unexpected trip to the doctor and was there from 11am to 1:30pm. We were starving when we left there so out to lunch it was! We went to Toast and both had the special of the day: fish tacos! 2 days in a row! Very good food and fast service!

Dinner: Orange and soy glazed baby back ribs served with steamed cauliflower sprinkled with nutritional yeast and some roasted asparagus.

orange soy glazed ribs

Tuesday

Lunch: Visited my sister Angela and she made taquitos for lunch!

Dinner: Leftover ribs served with peas and pine nut couscous.

Wednesday

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Grilled flank steak with cilantro chimichurri. Then I mixed a bunch of lacinato kale, a 14 ounce can diced tomatoes and some leftover navy beans to make a delicious side dish!

flank steak and Cilantro Chimichurri

Thursday

Lunch: Was out on business with Travis and we had an early 11am lunch at Cafe Caturra. My choice was the tarragon tuna salad sandwich with a side salad (instead of chips).

Dinner: We got stuck out in the southside waiting for our car to be ready (it got an inspection, a recalled part replaced, 4 new tires and a detail) so we headed to Sushi-O for happy hour appetizers which ended up being all I wanted that night.

Friday

I had a meeting with a friend and financial planner in the morning at Urban Farmhouse and enjoyed a chai latte and a slice of banana bread. The latte was SO frothy!

Lunch: Chicken and spinach wrap from Ellwood Thompson’s

Dinner: This is kinda weird…we never do this…why am I making disclaimers?…we made flank steak again tonight…maybe it was so we could eat more chimichurri…I don’t know. But it was good and so were the roasted brussel sprouts!

Saturday

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Out to eat with 5 of our friends at Portico

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Weekly Eats

What I did and what I ate:

Sunday

Lunch: Salmon cakes and fried eggs

Dinner: Roasted chicken served with lima beans and corn.

Monday

Lunch: Guacamole with tortilla chips. Leftover lima beans and corn.

Dinner: Yesterday was my youngest brother, Isaac’s, 21st birthday and he came over for dinner along with my Mom and my other brother Ben. (I missed my 2 sisters!!! **insert scream here**) We made  Homemade pizza. One vegetarian version with spinach, sliced asparagus, sliced shallots and mozz cheese. One with spinach, crumbled italian sausage, sliced shallots and mozz cheese. For dessert: buckwheat brownies with walnuts and semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Tuesday

Lunch: Quinoa salad with pinto beans, 1 zucchini diced and lightly sauteed, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon chili powder . Served with a dallop of leftover guacamole and a few sprinkles of cheese.

Quinoa salad with guacamole

Dinner: Spaghetti with turkey meatballs and a homemade tomato sauce: diced tomatoes, tons of garlic, shallots. Broccoli on the side.

Wednesday

Lunch: Out to eat

Dinner: Out to eat (again!) at Haiku.

Thursday

Lunch: Leftover quinoa from Tuesday.

Went to visit my friend Dana and her adorable twins Sarah and Leah!

Me and the Holt girls

Dinner: Collard greens and roasted shrimp with grits!

collards, grits and shrimp

Friday

Lunch: Went grocery shopping at Whole Foods and got the salad bar for lunch.

Dinner: Whole roasted red snapper (I did the Asian version)! Steamed broccoli and cauliflower sprinkled with nutritional yeast. Leftover grits.

Saturday

Lunch: We decided to take off to Virginia Beach for a night trip. It’s only about an hour and a half drive from where we live! Stopped at Doc Taylor’s as soon as we got into town and I had a $2 bloody mary and a grilled veggie wrap! Well ok…2 – $2 bloody marys! A great little spot!

Dinner: Enjoyed a big bowl of shrimp pho and some raw oysters at Tautog’s. Then we went by our friends house and around 10pm went out to Abbey Road for some music.

me in va beach

Weekly Eats

Prior to the menu I posted last week we had been on vacation in Key West, Florida for 2 weeks so I was going out for almost every meal. We stayed in a house with a full fridge and grill but… it WAS vaca after all!

My Vitamix went on vacation with us and I made smoothies every morning. I used a ton of different fruits: blueberries, cherries, strawberries, bananas and oranges. Then I add my standard unsweetened almond milk/ vanilla protein powder/ some-sort-of-nut-butter that makes the best breakfast smoothie ever. A few times I made brunch or lunch at home by combining leftovers from restaurants the night before with a fried egg and some sauteed spinach. I think we made dinner a total of 3 nights: hamburgers one night, fresh snapper and asparagus on the grill another night and finally grilled key west pink shrimp with a veg.

Now I’m back home and it’s winter…I’ll get over it when spring gets here…

Sunday

Lunch: Salad bar at Whole Foods. That curry cauliflower with peas is amazing and you must try it!

Dinner: Wasabi Shrimp and a soba noodle stir fry with cauliflower, snap peas, green onions, cilantro and tossed with an Asian vinaigrette. I ate cauliflower twice today!

shrimp and soba noodles

Monday

Lunch: Leftover soba noodles and shrimp from Sunday night

Dinner: Beet salad  with arugula, cucumber, goat cheese, carrots (the beets were leftover from the batch I cooked last Friday for dinner) and seared yellow-fin tuna steaks marinated in a little soy sauce and ginger. Rare to medium-rare is best. Don’t overcook! Also, if you like to spice things up, make a little dry wasabi powder (you can buy it on the Thai/Asian ingredient isle of the grocery store) into a paste with water or sour cream and dip some of your bites of tuna in it!

Tuesday

Lunch: The last of the soba noodles with a fried egg on top!

Dinner: Caramelized chicken with lemons and olives and cheesy cauliflower soup.  I had a very large head of cauliflower that I used on Sunday for the soba noodles and I used less than half of it for that. I chopped it up in advance and saved the rest to make this soup.

2014-01-14 18.31.48

Wednesday

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Beef…as suggested in the recipe I used coconut oil to sear the meat. I used my Dutch oven to sear and cook the meat until it was tender and falling apart (which took about 3 hours). I made cilantro lime quinoa to go with the beef and also made some iceberg lettuce “cups” to eat some of the meat with.

Thursday

Lunch: Salad bar at Whole Foods

Dinner: Out to eat at Selba for dinner and jazz with friends!

Friday

Lunch: Arugula topped with leftover quinoa and grouper from my dinner the night before and a dallop of avocado mashed with lemon juice on the side. No pic because I was on hold with Anthem at the time…for well over an hour!!

Dinner: Filets on the grill. Served with sauteed patty-pan squash with onions and steamed spinach.

Saturday

Lunch: Baked sweet potato fries and a half ham sandwich

Dinner: Going out to dinner at Julep’s for our friends birthday!

Thanksgiving Menu 2013

There were a total of 17 family members at our Thanksgiving table this year! My sister Angela, her husband Troy and their 2 children. My sister Zandria and her fiance Paul from Buffalo. My Mom. My 2 brothers. My Aunt Annette and her fiance G.K….and her daughter Jacquelyn and her new husband Shawn. My Dad. And the three of us!

Zandria and I:

Zandria and I

Isaac, Ben and Devin:

Isaac, Ben and Devin

G.K., our dog Walter and Travis (I’m pretty sure this was after they ate!):

GK, Walter and travis

I went by this checklist as I was cooking (which started on Tuesday!).

my menu checklist

Thanksgiving Menu:

Apps

  • mini crab cakes
  • Plate of Baked brie w/ misc crackers
  • veggies/dip tray

Main meal:

  • Cornbread stuffing with fennel, celery, onions and shiitake mushrooms
  • Butternut squash, goat cheese and mushroom risotto
  • Marinated carrots
  • Cauliflower and potato mash w/ buttermilk
  • Roasted brussel sprouts
  • A 23 pound Turkey: followed these instructions. I added tons of rosemary, lemon, salt, pepper and buttered under the skin and on top before roasting!
  • gravy
  • Roasted Cabernet and Citrus Cranberry Sauce
  • 5 cheese mac-n-cheese (my sister Angela)
  • Sweet potato casserole (Aunt Annette)
  • Collard greens (Mom)
  • Yeast rolls (Mom)

Desserts

Grandma's pound cake

  • Grandma’s pound cake (sorry – secret fam recipe! And it’s baked in a cast iron bundt pan!!)
  • Pumpkin Oatmeal White Choc Chip Cookies (Angela)
  • Pies: Buttermilk, pumpkin and sweet potato (Mom)
  • chocolate cherry cake and buttermilk pie (Aunt Annette)

*All made by me unless noted otherwise.

Tri Tip Pull-Apart BBQ

I haven’t made this roast since back in January which is totally weird because it is awesome-ness! It’s super easy to put together and the leftovers are amazing!

Cover it in spices and sear on both sides:

tri tip searing in a dutch oven

Here’s the roast after adding the stock, tomatoes, onions and garlic:

bbq tri tip roast

We served it up with shallot and garlic green beans and steamed cauliflower sprinkled with nutritional yeast (which is delicious and if you have never tried it do it tonight!!)

dinner

Here’s your close up!

bbq tri tip roast

Tri Tip Tacos

  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 1/2 lbs tri-tip roast (I purchased 2 small ones from Trader Joes that equaled this weight)
  • 14 ounce can tomatoes and green chilies (I used Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup beef or chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/4 cup smoky BBQ sauce (I used Trader Joes)
  • toppings include: shredded cheese, salsa, pickled jalapenos, sour cream, lettuce, limes, cilantro, red onion, avocado

Method

  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, paprika, cumin, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
  • Liberally season the tri-tip roast with the spices and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Place the roast into a heated dutch oven that has been drizzled with EVOO. Sear on both sides. Add onions and garlic when you flip it to the second side. Cover it with the diced tomatoes, beef stock, molasses and bbq sauce.
  • Bring mixture to a low boil, partially cover it and lower the heat to med-low for 2 1/2 hours. At this point I uncovered the pan and let it keep cooking for another 30 minutes or so while I prepped the veggies. Shred meat with 2 forks right in the sauce. Good with or without the bun!

Maple Dijon Chicken with Cauliflower Potato Mash

This was my stove-top last night. To the left the chicken was simmering away in a sauce that’s sort of a spin on honey mustard and oh-so good. I had just added the cooked potatoes to the cauliflower and they were waiting to get pureed. In the back green beans were steaming.

a busy stovetop

These fresh herbs came out of my garden and transformed dinner for sure. The cauliflower potato mash wouldn’t have been the same without the slight-oniony flavor of the chives. The parsley added a nice freshness to the tangy chicken and the rosemary went into the maple dijon sauce the chicken cooked in.

rosemary, parsley and chives

I always forget to take pictures of the finished product (part of the reason I haven’t posted for awhile) but I did snap one pic before digging in!

maple dijon chicken

Maple Dijon Chicken

  • about 1.5 pounds boneless-skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/3 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh parsley for serving

Method

  • Heat a large skillet over med-high heat with a little EVOO. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs and cook on one side until a good sear develops.
  • In the meantime mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Flip the chicken over and add the sauce. Turn the heat down to med/med-low and cook for about 15-20 minutes, basting with the sauce from time to time.

slightly adapted from Table For Two Blog

And now for the mash!

Cauliflower Potato Mash

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 5 small russet potatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup half-n-half
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons (or so) chopped fresh chives, for serving

Method

  • Peel and dice the potatoes and place them in a pot with just enough water to cover them. Cook until fork tender, drain.
  • Meanwhile add the cauliflower florets into a large skillet with the chicken stock. Cover and bring to boil and simmer until soft.
  • When the cauliflower and potatoes are done add the potatoes into the skillet with the cauliflower. Add the half-n-half, salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender, blend until chunky. If mixture is too dry add a slash of chicken stock. Top with chives when serving. No butter needed but it can be added if you wish!