Weekly Eats

This might become a regular thing I do. I cook a lot but don’t always have a new recipe to share. Also sometimes I forget to take pictures but I still like to talk about what I eat. Next week I may also include the smoothies I eat for breakfast. Depends on if I feel like it!!

Sunday

Dinner: Grilled bone-in pork chops seasoned with salt and pepper. Served with roasted brussel sprouts and pine nut couscous.

Monday

cheesy tortilla and guac

Lunch: cheesy corn tortilla topped with guacamole and a few sliced black olives on the side

Dinner: Spinach Stuffed Shells…similar to my Manicotti recipe but with extra garlic instead of mushrooms and large shells instead manicotti…duh!

Tuesday

Lunch: Out at Kenji (sushi and miso soup)

Dinner: Secret Sauce Chili (with ground beef instead of turkey this time)

Wednesday

Lunch: leftovers

Dinner: Seared salmon, sauteed beet greens and quinoa (cooked with chicken stock – after cooking I tossed in some chopped walnuts and parm cheese, then drizzled with EVOO and a splash of red wine vinegar)

Thursday

banana cake

Lunch: smashed avocado on toast, cantaloupe, a few tortilla chips and a slice of banana cake! Travis’ grandfather turned 96 and I made the cake for him. Yes 96!!

veal

Dinner: veal picatta, roasted brussel sprouts (twice in one week because they’re in season and SO good!) and leftover quinoa

Friday

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: beet salad (arugula, goat cheese, walnuts, cucumber) and cornish game hen with whiskey, apricot and citrus glaze on top of grits. I modified this recipe to create an awesome masterpiece that I promise to post about soon.

Saturday

Collards and fried eggs

Lunch: Collard greens with runny fried eggs. Um um um ummm!!

Dinner: We have plans to go to out to Heritage with friends later.

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Crispy Quinoa Sliders with Zucchini and Chives

Crispy Quinoa Sliders

Today I was all by myself. No class. No boyfriend working from home. No appointments or anywhere to be. What did I decide to do? I worked out. I cooked a homemade lunch and dinner. I hung pictures. I planted some house plants and worked in my herb garden. I relaxed with my laptop. I also looked up recipes that included chives because with 3 plants growing I have plenty.

These quinoa sliders were a bit of work but well worth it. They are crispy, a very flavorful. Cheesy, garlic-y and onion-y…they didn’t need the buns that the orginal recipe suggested. As I ate them, I imagined making them for family or for a get together with friends. It’s one of those things you would make that would impress people because they wouldn’t expect vegetarian burgers to taste so good!

Here’s a look at the mix before it was fried up:

Quinoa Sliders mix

I placed the sliders on parchment paper to cool after cooking:

Crispy Quinoa Sliders

Today for lunch I ate two of the quinoa sliders with a baked sweet potato! They were perfect together and gave me the energy I needed to work around the house!

Crispy Quinoa Sliders and a sweet potato

Crispy Quinoa Sliders with Zucchini and Chives

  • 2/3 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  • Two slices of wheat bread, torn into pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  • In a medium saucepan, cook the quinoa in 1 1/3 cup vegetable broth until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork and leave uncovered to cool for about 15 minutes.

  • In a food processor, pulse the bread until coarse crumbs form; you should have about 1 cup. In a bowl, whisk the eggs. Squeeze the liquid from the zucchini and add the zucchini to the eggs. Stir in the cheese, chives, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix in the quinoa and bread crumbs. Let stand for 10 minutes.

  • In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Using a 1/4-cup measure, form 1/2-inch-thick patties.¬†Add 6 patties to skillet and cook until golden on the bottom, 3 minutes. Flip and cook for 3 more minutes. Remove first 6 sliders and place on parchment paper. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the skillet, and form the 6 remaining patties. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, until crisp. Serve with buns, lettuce, tomatoes, onion and pickles if desired.

Recipe Slightly Adapted from Food and Wine

Quinoa, Spinach and Shrimp Salad

I made this salad twice last week. Once as dinner for Devin, Travis and I and then again on Saturday for lunch with my sister Zandria. I thought I would tease you by posting the picture and showing you how good it looks…but I didn’t measure so there isn’t a reliable recipe yet! I tossed cooked quinoa with fresh baby spinach, drained canned pinto beans, diced red onion, cilantro and cooked shrimp. Then I made a¬†vinaigrette with extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lime juice, cumin and chili powder and tossed it over the salad. Serve at room temp. Delish!!

Quinoa, Spinach and Shrimp Salad

Crispy Quinoa Granola

I had no idea that quinoa could be so good as “granola”! It’s like eating crunchy little bursts of energy! Look how this chunk of granola stuck together like a mini granola candy bar…that piece was the first to get eaten!

Crispy Quinoa Granola

Quinoa is a seed that is very high in protein and low in fat. I used organic quinoa that I purchased from Whole Foods. Also I had some sliced almonds on hand so I didn’t need to chop them.

Crispy Quinoa Granola

I enjoyed this granola on a little plate while doing my homework…

Crispy Quinoa Granola-good by iteself

…and on top of frozen yogurt from Sweet Frog (I actually resisted getting any toppings at the store so that I could top it with my granola!)

oa Granola- on Sweet Frog fro yo

Crispy Quinoa Granola

  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup local organic honey
  • 1/2 cup dried golden raisins
  • *Note: Can easily be doubled and fit on one baking sheet.

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Chop ¬Ĺ cup almonds. In a medium bowl, combine ¬ĺ cup quinoa, ¬Ĺ cup pumpkin seeds, ¬Ĺ cup chopped almonds, and ¬Ĺ teaspoon kosher salt. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil and ¬ľ cup honey to thoroughly combine. Spread onto a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, stirring a few times during baking. Add ¬Ĺ cup golden raisins (or any dried fruit) and let cool 15 minutes. Break any large chunks into small pieces and store in an airtight container.

Recipe from A Couple Cooks

BluePrint Cleanse – Preparation Day 2

My day:

Breakfast

  • warm water with freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1 banana

Exercise

  • walked 5 miles
  • 1 honey crisp apple

Then I drove to King William to visit my sister Angela and my two beautiful nephews!

Laine is 2 1/2 months old. He makes owl noises (hoo-hoo) and is SO adorable!

my nephew, 2 1/2 months

my nephew, 2 1/2 months

His older brother at only 18 months is all about tools. Here is with a “play” drill bit in his mouth. (No! I did not eat any goldfish! Yes, I thought about it.)

nephew #1, 18 months

Lunch

  • Mixed greens and butter lettuce salad with pomegranate arils, shaved fennel, avocado, shallots and orange with a citrus dressing (orange zest, juice, extra virgin olive oil and a little kosher salt and pepper). I made one for Angela and one for me ūüôā
  • Earl grey tea

Me and my nephews

Dinner

BluePrint Cleanse – Preparation Day 1

Day 1 is about over and so far I’m feeling great!

Here’s what I ate:

Breakfast

  • 1 baked sweet potato sprinkled with cinnamon
  • 2 large cups Lemon Zinger tea
  • room temp water

Exercise

  • walked 5 miles

Lunch

  • 1 serving quinoa (1/4 cup), cooked in water and 1 leek (cut in half, washed¬†thoroughly¬†and cut into thin half moon shapes)
  • 1 can Whole Foods skipjack¬†tuna packed in water. I planned to wait until dinner to have any fish but I was really hungry when I started cooking the quinoa (it takes about 15 minutes to cook).I had planned to do my shopping for the week at Whole Foods in the afternoon so the cupboards were bare.
  • 1 cup Lemon Zinger tea

Snack

  • My younger brother Isaac works at Whole Foods in Short Pump and I got to see him! Bonus!¬†I bought a container of pre-cut organic pineapple while I was shopping and ate it after unpacking the groceries.¬†

Ingredients for Fennel and Orange salad

Dinner

  • Baked Salmon with a little pepper and a couple of sprays of Bragg Liquid Aminos.
  • Butter lettuce salad with pomegranate arils, shaved fennel, avocado, shallots and orange with a citrus dressing (orange zest, juice, extra virgin olive oil and a little kosher salt and pepper).

Salmon on Fennel and Orange salad

Today was a lot of work in planning what I was going to eat over the next couple days and then shopping for everything. One thing I didn’t¬†realize¬†until after I made my blog post last night is that I have to do a three day “post cleanse” after my three days of juicing. The suggested menu is about the same as the three preparation days. That makes a total of nine days of needing to be very conscious about what I eat. Apparently it’s really important to slowly introduce food back to your system.

The brand of juice I decided to go with is the BluePrint cleanse. I ordered three days of their Foundation Cleanse. It’s organic, raw and¬†unpasteurized.¬†There are a couple of reasons I decided to buy the juice instead of making it myself:

  • Reason #1: I don’t own a juicer.¬†I have never juiced before and I don’t know how I will feel about it. I want to make sure that I like it. If this works out then I might do this every few months. In between it would be cool to make juices for breakfast or lunch.
  • Reason #2: It’s easier. My spring semester at school started last week and the BluePrint juices are bottled and numbered according to the order you need to drink them during the day. I can take them to class in a cooler bag if I need to…EASY!

Quinoa Spinach Mac ‘n Cheese

Quinoa Spinach "Mac n Cheese"

I’m doing a three day juice cleanse Wednesday – Friday of next week. It requires a lot of planning! For example for three days before the cleanse I can only eat salads, fruit and vegetables (steamed or raw). Tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday are my three preparation days to get my system ready for the three days of juicing. I can have some fish tomorrow but no meat on Monday or Tuesday. The only other thing I can have is some brown rice (or quinoa) or a sweet potato. I also can’t have coffee, sugar or dairy. Coffee, sugar AND dairy.

COFFEE, SUGAR AND DAIRY…ahem. I’ll get over it.

I used that as an excuse to make something cheesy tonight.¬†Cheesy¬†but still healthy. Quinoa and spinach are healthy kick start to the next six days of me being good ūüôā

I ate this for dinner tonight along with a baked sweet potato.

Quinoa Spinach "Mac n Cheese"

I plan to make posts for the next six days documenting what I eat (and don’t eat) and how I feel during my cleanse. Follow along if you’re interested!

Quinoa Spinach Mac ‘n Cheese

  • 3 tablespoons butter¬†
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 dashes nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces, shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 bunches fresh baby spinach (I used a 16 ounce bag of¬†Whole Foods brand organic frozen spinach)
  • FOR THE TOPPING:
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium saucepan add 3 tablespoons of butter and flour and heat over medium heat. Whisk continuously until a paste forms. Whisk in milk. Increase heat to medium/high and bring to a boil whisking the whole time. Stir in the nutmeg, salt and cheddar cheese. When cheese sauce is smooth remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl mix together the cooked quinoa, cheese sauce and spinach.
  • Transfer the mixture into a casserole dish. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  • In a small bowl mix together the butter and bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole. (I skipped this step because I was out of panko. I just topped the casserole with parm cheese and left the extra butter and panko off. I’m sure they would have added a nice crunch!)
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, until bubbly.
  • Remove from oven and enjoy!

From Two Peas and Their Pod