Category Archives: Cooking on Sundays

Cooking on Sunday: Pantry Medley Mix

IMG_20160807_134001

I wasn’t feel well last week so didn’t end up doing a lot of grocery shopping. I also noticed that the freezer was starting to fill out so decided to do another pantry/freezer clean out (read about my first one here) to make way for other foods. The medley of meals this week include:

  • steak with mushrooms, onions, green beans and mushroom burger mix (saute the mushrooms and onions after the steak, it smells and tastes amazing!)
    • basting and cooking the steak in butter is heavenly

mushroom and onions

  • mushroom burger mix with tuna cakes (I still have so many cans of tuna left!),
    • Mix 2 cans of tuna with 2 eggs, chopped green onion, salt and pepper, bread crumbs, crushed red chili pepper flakes. Mold into 1/4 cup sizes and bake in oven for 22 mins.

meatballs and tuna cakes

  • homemade tomato sauce with lasagna sheets and turkey meatballs
    • Sauce: chop up veggies and tomatoes and place in a pot and simmer until it thickens (you can add tomato paste too)
    • Pasta: break up sheets of dried lasagna and boil until al dente (about 8-10 mins)
  • stir fry veggies and vermicelli
    • Chop up desired veggies and saute them in a frying pan
    • Prepare vermicelli according to package instructions. Add to veggies
    • Whisk together: 3 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp hoisin sauce, 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar and pour over veggies and vermicelli, stir until mixed

Not much of a recipe week, more of a put things together that taste good and keep it simple. Happy cooking 🙂

Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

Cooking on Monday because it’s a long weekend!

IMG_20160801_161151

With it being a long weekend, I spent most of the time outdoors and with friends and family – very much needed. Also, the weather has been really nice so I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen but there’s no shorter way to do meal preps. To avoid being too hot in the kitchen, I did everything in batches and in the oven so I wouldn’t have to stand over the stove. For this week, I made: baked porkchops with roasted veggies, Napa cabbage slaw, carrot soup, tofu “jerky” and mushroom barley burger mix (I defrosted it and broke it up in a pot and mixed with collard greens).

Porkchops

Baked Porkchops

Ingredients:

  • 5 porkchops, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven at 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Rinse the porkchops and pat dry with paper towel.
  3. Mix salt, pepper and brown sugar together. Massage into the pork on both sides – get it right in there.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes and flip over for another 15 minutes.

IMG_20160801_110939

Carrot Soup

(adapted from Thug Kitchen’s cookbook)

Ingredients:

  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 5 stalks celery
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1  1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F. Peel and chop the carrots. Chop the celery. Toss with olive oil, cumin and salt. Roast in oven for 35 minutes, until the carrots are tender.
  2. Once the carrots have cooled, place in food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Add more water to get to desired consistency.
  3. Garnish with herbs if you have some on hand.

Tofu jerky

Tofu Jerky

Ingredients (from Thug Kitchen’s cookbook):

  • 1 package of firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mince fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha or similar hot sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, thickly sliced

Directions (adapted from Nacho Average Cook):

  1. Open and drain a package of tofu. Pat the tofu dry with paper towel or a cloth towel.
  2. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a shallow, flat pan (I use a Pyrex dish).
  3. Slice the tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices and place into marinade. Set aside in fridge for at least 2 hours.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Place marinated tofu slices on a single layer and set the marinade aside.
  6. Put in oven for 15 minutes. Then remove and flip. Bast with more marinade on each piece and put back in oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, flip once more and bast with more marinade and put back in oven for 5 minutes.
  7. Let cool and enjoy on its own or in a salad.

Napa Cabbage Salad

Napa Cabbage Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 6 leaves kale, thinly sliced
  • 4 stalks green onion, thinly sliced
  • Tofu jerky marinade
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Directions:

  1. Rinse and dry Napa Cabbage and kale leaves. Thinly slice them and put them in a large container.
  2. Thinly slice the green onion, can include white bit if you like (I do).
  3. Mix the lime juice with the leftover tofu jerky marinade. Toss with salad when ready to eat.

Hope you had a good Monday and happy cooking 🙂

Tagged , ,

Cooking on Sundays: Eggplant Rollatini, Salad and Meatballs

IMG_20160724_223431
After spending most of the weekend outside at festivals (T&T Waterfront Night Market and Rib Fest at Fort York Garrison), meals for this week were pretty simple and full of vegetables. Eggplant rollatini (lasagna rolls with eggplant instead of pasta sheets), cauliflower salad, and kale salad with avocado dressing. I haven’t been eating as much red meat lately to the point where my iron count was too low to donate blood this weekend – so I got some turkey and made meatballs. Recipe links are below. Happy cooking 🙂
Eggplant rollatini2

Eggplant Rollatini – recipe from The Kitchn

Cauliflower salad

Cauliflower Salad – recipe from Tasty/Buzzfeed

Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Meatballs – adapted from DareBee and made with ground turkey instead of ground pork

Kale Salad with Avocado Dressing – adapted from The Kitchn recipe (I didn’t take a separate picture)

Tagged , , , ,

Cooking on Sundays: Nicoise Salad in a Jar and Baked Salmon

Now that I’m done my travelling for this summer, it’s back to cooking and eating better. Vacation took a toll of my body – who can resist having seafood everyday in Halifax? The inspiration for this week’s menu came from having dinner with a friend and her talking about wanting to cook in larger batches so she wouldn’t have to cook everyday. We got talking and I was telling her that there are many ways to cook in larger quantities in a more efficient manner, such as using a slowcooker or baking multiple items in the oven at the same time. This allows for you to complete other tasks without having to stand at the stove top and have to keep an eye on things.

Vegetables for the week

I chose a Nicoise salad because it’s packed with vegetables and protein. Also, it’s easy to store it all in a jar and take it to work. I made the dressing and stored the tuna separately so that it wouldn’t make the salad too wet and last longer. I had frozen salmon in the freezer so it was easy to pair it with roasted vegetables. I was craving green things this week so that’s what I got.

Nicoise salad in a jar

Nicoise Salad

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the salad:

  • 5 large eggs, sliced
  • 15 fingerling potatoes, sliced
  • 3 handfuls green beans
  • 2 5-ounce cans tuna packed in oil, drained
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 3 cups salad greens (I got to use some greens from my balcony garden!!)
Greens from garden

Kale and greens from my balcony garden

Directions

  1. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, minced garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the oil, and whisk continuously until the dressing is emulsified.
  2. Cook the eggs, potatoes and green beans.
  3. Slice the potatoes and eggs into 1/2 inch slices.
  4. Assemble the jar in the following order:
    • grape tomatoes
    • green peppers
    • green beans
    • potatoes
    • salad greens
    • eggs
  5. Serve with dressing and mix with tuna.

Baked salmon and veggies

Baked Salmon and Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 4 frozen salmon, defrost and pat dry
  • 2 zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 500g cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven at 350F.
  2. Defrost the salmon overnight in the fridge or in the microwave.
  3. Chop up the zucchini, cauliflower, mushrooms and green pepper.
  4. Place in a large bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Put the vegetable pan into the oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Spread the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper over the salmon fillets.
  7. Put the salmon pan into the oven with 15 minutes left on the vegetables.
  8. Portion out the salmon and vegetables into containers.

Happy cooking 🙂

Tagged , , ,

Cooking on Sundays: Canada Day Edition

IMG_20160703_232314Since it was Canada Day long weekend, I decided to stock up on veggies and take my time to put together some meals for this upcoming week. I’m also going on vacation so only have to make six meals (lunches/dinners) since breakfast is always steel cut oats. Since I had more time to shop, I visited my local farmer’s market, supermarket and produce store to get all my vegetables.

Veggies1

I was inspired by a friend’s meal this week to try and make a collard greens wrap and just my luck, they were really fresh at the farmer’s market so I went for it and made a chicken hummus collard greens wrap. To go with the wraps, I paired it with a potato salad and some cabbage/carrot slaw. As well, summer vegetables looked really good so made a simple veggie bake to go with the baked chicken breast.

collard greens1

Chicken Hummus Collard Greens Wrap

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast, baked and shredded
  • 12 collard leaves
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 8 stalks asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces
  • Hummus, store bought or homemade (mine was homemade)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • Pepper

Directions

  1. Trim the white ends of the collard leaves as well as try to pare down the rib so that it’s flush with the leaf thickness.
  2. Simmer 2 inches of water in a large pan with salt and lemon juice. When it starts to simmer, turn heat down and place your first leaf in the water. Submerge for 30 secs and remove from water. Set aside on top of paper or kitchen towel to dry. Repeat for all leaves.
  3. Heat the pan with the canola oil and place the cut asparagus and pepper into it. Toss until asparagus is cooked yet firm.
  4. To assemble, place 2 leaves overlapping with the stems away from each other. Layer hummus, chicken, carrot and asparagus onto the leaves. Roll like a burrito with tucking in the sides as you roll. Repeat until all rolls are done. Then enjoy!!

collard greens2

potato salad

Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 baby red potatoes, washed and cut into quarters
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 stalk green onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp hummus
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Boil the potatoes until soft yet firm. About 15 mins. Rinse and run under cold water to cool.
  2. Mix together the carrots, cucumber, potato, green onion, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, hummus, salt and pepper.
  3. Place in fridge for at least 1 hour before serving. It just tastes better cold!

Veggies3

Summer Veggie Bake

Ingredients

  • 2 small zucchinis, sliced in rounds
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced in rounds
  • 1  baby summer squash, de-seeded and sliced
  • 9 stalks of asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 stalk leek, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450F.
  2. Cut up the leek and wash it thoroughly. Here is a great Youtube video on how to wash it – I had to look it up.
  3. Put 1 tbsp of olive oil in the pan and put leek slices into the pan and saute until soft. Add the garlic for an additional minute.
  4. Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil into your baking dish (mine’s a 2 qt) and spread around with paper towel until lightly coated. Place sauteed leeks on the bottom of the dish.Veggies2
  5. Layer tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash, alternating slices. Place asparagus in between the rows.
  6. Drizzle the remaining olive oil and salt and pepper over veggies.
  7. Put in oven and bake for 45 mins or until veggies are soft. Serve with baked chicken breast.

Hope you had a great weekend and happy cooking 🙂

Tagged , ,

Cooking on Sundays: Baked Mushroom Burgers

Mushroom burger2

I have been eyeing this mushroom burger from Host the Toast for a while and never really got to making it. I saw cremini mushrooms on sale this week and jumped on the idea of creating this delicious veggie burger. There were a couple of changes to the recipe depending on what I had in my kitchen as well as being baked in the oven instead of fried on the stove top.

Mushroom burger1

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups hulled barley, cooked
  • Oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup old cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cups panko bread crumbs, or as needed

Instructions

  1. Cook the barley according to package and set aside.
  2. Pre-heat the oven for 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In the meantime, chop up the onion, garlic, cremini mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.
  4. Saute the mushrooms, add the onion and then the garlic until all soft.
  5. Put mushroom mixture in a food processor with half of the cooked barley. Pulse until mixed and has a paste-like consistency still with some chunks of mushroom.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the processed mushroom mix with the remaining barley, old cheddar cheese, basil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and eggs.
  7. Place mixture in fridge for 30 minutes. When ready to cook, pull it out from the fridge and add the panko bread crumbs a little at a time until the mixture is sticky but not wet. Shape the patties by placing mixture into a ½-cup dry measuring cup and flipping it over onto your baking tray. Flatten the patty with the back of the cup.
  8. Place on the center rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Flip over and bake for additional 10 minutes.
  9. Pair it with your favourite bun and toppings.

I had it with a crusty Kaiser, slaw, cucumber and spicy mayo! Happy cooking 🙂

Tagged , , ,

Cooking on Sundays: Butter and Vegetables

Butter potato

Butter Potatoes and ZucchiniAfter a couple of days in Montreal, I have a new found appreciation for the flavours that butter brings to a dish. I stayed with some friends of mine and when we cooked, butter was often the first and last thing in the pan. The aromas that melted butter produces is truly heavenly.

Having been on the road and visiting my parents for Father’s Day, it was an easy decision to make a simple and delicious dish – baby potatoes, red peppers, green and red onion all sauteed in butter as well as sauteed zucchini sticks with the cilantro sauce from last week. I paired it all with meatloaf I had in the freezer.

vegetables

Realizing that it wasn’t going to be enough food, I went and got more vegetables and made a stir-fry. Tossed everything together and a meal was done 🙂

vegetables2

vegetable stirfry

Tagged , ,

Cooking on Sundays: Shrimp Pasta and Pork Loin with Cabbage Slaw

This weekend started out with a Saturday night taco fiesta since it’s a very easy meal to customize for everyone (there was a vegetarian in the group). We ended up doing steak tacos with all the fixings: sautéed peppers, mushrooms, corn, beans, beans, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa complete with a lemonade citrus rum punch. IMG_20160611_174449On Sunday, I only made a couple of meals since I’m travelling for work this week.

Seafood is not something that I often cook because it’s unfamiliar to me, other than salmon – so I took it upon myself to try it out in a small batch. At the grocery store, I circled the frozen seafood section, trying to figure out what to buy and how to best cook it. There was someone standing near the frozen shrimp area and I asked her perchance if she knew what was the difference between the shrimp brands and how best to cook it. She was a nice Portuguese lady and was super helpful. Her advice was to: defrost the shrimp, melt some butter in a pan, add some garlic and herbs to it, put shrimp in and sauté until it’s pink, and then finish it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. As she tells me this, all I can imagine was the sweet smell of butter mixed with garlic. I bought the shrimp and decided it was time to conquer cooking it.

I also tried a new grocery store, one that had been recommended to me time and time. If you’re in Toronto, check out Fiesta Farms (Christie and Dupont Sts.). They are independently owned and have been in the neighbourhood for over 20 years. They have a great selection of organic foods and meats. Prices are comparable to the big box chains. I was trying to figure out on what my second meal should be when I saw an organic head of red cabbage and decided to make a slaw with apples to be paired with pan fried pork loin. It’s nice when ideas pop up and you run with it.

Shrimp Pasta

Butter Garlic Shrimp with Spaghetti tossed in Cilantro Sauce

Ingredients

  • Frozen shrimp, defrosted and shelled – use as many as you want
  • 1 glove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon butter (1 for shrimp, 1 for vegetables), room temperature
  • Spaghetti – as much as you want
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 lemon wedge

Sauce Ingredients (adapted from this Eating Well recipe)

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup tahini , at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Boil a pot of water and follow instructions on package to make the spaghetti.
  2. Cut up the zucchini, onion, garlic and cilantro and set aside.
  3. In a frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon on butter and add the minced garlic. When it smells heavenly (about 30 seconds), add the shrimp and sauté until it’s pink on both sides.
  4. Add the cilantro and toss a couple of times.
  5. Finish with a squeeze of lemon.Saute shrimp
  6. Put shrimp aside and add the second tablespoon of butter to the pan. Melt and add onions (second heavenly smell).
  7. When the onions are translucent, add the diced zucchini and sauté until cooked.
  8. For the sauce, add the cilantro, tahini and lemon juice into a food processor.
  9. Pulse until the ingredients are blended into a paste. Pour over spaghetti and shrimp.

Pork loin and slaw

Pork Loin with Cabbage and Apple Slaw

Ingredients

  • Pork loin – you decide how much meat you want to consume
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 1 Gala apple, diced
  • 3 sprigs green onion, diced
  • 1 handful cilantro, diced

Dressing Ingredients (adapted from this Detoxinista recipe)

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey, as needed for sweetness
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried red chilli pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a frying pan, heat up the tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Pat both sides of the pork loin dry and sprinkle salt and pepper. Place into frying pan.
  3. Fry both sides and until the centre is no longer pink. Set aside.
  4. Cut up the red cabbage, Gala apple, green onion and cilantro. Mix it all in a bowl and set aside.
  5. Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the cabbage slaw. Place in the fridge for flavours marinate.
  6. When ready to eat, cut up the pork and serve with the slaw.

It was a very successful cooking weekend altogether. Happy cooking 🙂

Tagged , , , , ,

Cooking on Sundays: Egg Noodles and Portabello Mushrooms

Sesame noodles

This week, I tried two new recipes, both came with recommendations. For the first one, a friend introduced me to the New York Times’ cooking website and I was instantly obsessed. There are thousands upon thousands of recipes on the site and I was drawn to the “Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles” for a couple of reasons. The first and foremost, I love noodles. Second, the recipe was versatile – simple enough that I had most ingredients in my pantry and I could add my own twist to dish as per the comments section. There is a very engaged readership and most comments are helpful or bring some insight into what makes the dish. For my version, I added a lot of vegetables, tofu and did my own version of the sesame sauce. It added a lot more colour and texture to the dish.

For my second recipe, a co-worker had stuffed portabello mushrooms with spinach and feta for lunch last week and it looked very delicious that I had to try it for myself. The recipe had it paired with a lemon rice, which I opted out with and went with roasted vegetables instead, since I had leftovers from last week. I also omitted some ingredients such as the golden raisins and slivered almonds, since I didn’t have either.

Also, due to some health concerns, I’ve been trying to cut back on eating a lot of red meat so I’ve gone with making the noodles vegetarian. I may add from shrimp or salmon to it but will add that later on in the week.

Sesame noodles2

Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles (recipe adapted from New York Times Cooking)

Ingredients

  • 400g pre-cooked Miki Noodles (Chinese egg noodles)
  • 1 package firm tofu, diced
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 1 1/2 mini cucumbers, seeded and sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 stalks green onion, sliced
  • 1 handful cilantro, sliced (optional)

Dressing Ingredients

  • tablespoons sesame oil, plus a splash
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 5 red Thai chilis, finely sliced
  1. Wash and chop up all vegetables.
  2. Put some canola oil into a frying pan and add onions. Cook until translucent, add garlic, carrot, broccoli and red pepper. Sauté until vegetables have softened but still firm.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and follow cooking instructions (mine only needed to be in for 30-40 seconds because it was already pre-cooked). Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again and toss with a splash of sesame oil.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons sesame oil, the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame paste, peanut butter, sugar, ginger, garlic and Thai chilis. Set aside.
  5. Drain the water from the tofu container and dice into cubes. Pat dry with paper towel.
  6. In a second frying pan, heat up some canola oil and place diced tofu into the pan. Do not over crowd the pan – do multiple batches if need be. Turn and fry all sides and drain excess oil on paper towel.
  7. Once all the noodles, vegetables and tofu are prepared, assemble the ingredient all together and toss with dressing.

Stuffed portabello mushrooms

Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms (adapted from Canadian Living)

Ingredients

  • 4 portobello mushrooms, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoon shreddded old cheddar cheese
  1. Arrange mushrooms, stem side up, on lightly greased rimmed baking sheet. Bake in 450 F (230 C) oven until browned and tender, about 15 minutes. Using tongs, tip mushrooms to discard any liquid; pat dry with paper towels.
  2. In a frying pan, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion and garlic until garlic is fragrant, 1 minute. Add spinach; cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. When no liquid remains, remove from heat. Stir in feta cheese. Spoon into mushrooms. Sprinkle with old cheddar cheese. Broil until cheese is melted.

If you have any favourite vegetarian recipes, post them below because I’d love to try them out! Happy cooking 🙂

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Cooking on Sundays: Meatloaf and Salads

IMG_20160529_171211

Even though it’s only May, the weather has been super hot and will continue this week. To combat that, I’m sticking with a salad/sandwich combo for lunch and meatloaf with roasted vegetables for dinner. It was super simple to prep since I didn’t want to be in the kitchen with the stove on. Below are some simple recipes that you can put together in very little time.

Chickpea Salad

This is adopted from a recipe I had at a friend’s place – super easy since it’s mixing vegetables together with a dressing. I usually go with what I already have in the fridge and need to use up.

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2/3 English cucumber, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 cup Edamame beans (I use PC Frozen ones)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 handful curly parsley, finely chopped

Dressing (I usually go with 1/3 part lemon juice, 2/3 part olive oil ratio. It all depends on your taste but it’s my basic dressing recipe.)

  • Olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Garlic, minced (the more the merrier unless you’re taking it to work, might want to hold back on putting too much)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Cut up all vegetables. Mix the dressing ingredients together. Pour dressing over cut vegetables and enjoy!

Tuna Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of flaked tuna, drained
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 onion, diced finely
  • 3 TBSP plain yogurt (I use PC 2% Lactose Free Yogurt)
  • 3 TBSP mayonnaise
  • 1 TSP Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate for 2 hours minimum and serve with bread, crackers or on a bed of salad greens. I went and got bread at a local bakery – did a taste test and it was excellent.

Meatloaf (recipe and instructions from Allrecipes.com, with a couple of modifications)

I didn’t have any protein in the fridge so I decided to get a family sized tray of ground beef and figured meatloaf was the best choice. Having never made it before, my roommate tried this allrecipes.com one and it turned out great (moist and delicious). I made a couple modifications since I didn’t have some things on hand. There’s another recipe I want to try next time so I can compare the moistness of the two.

Meatloaf Ingredients

Glaze Ingredients

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the carrot, celery, onion, mushrooms, and garlic in a food processor, and pulse until very finely chopped, almost to a puree. Place the minced vegetables into a large mixing bowl, and mix in ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, and egg. Add herbs, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Mix gently with a wooden spoon to incorporate vegetables and egg into the meat. Pour in bread crumbs. With your hand, gently mix in the crumbs with your fingertips just until combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Form the meatloaf into a ball. Pour olive oil into a baking dish and place the ball of meat into the dish. Shape the ball into a loaf, about 4 inches high by 6 inches across. Or, make two smaller loafs
  4. Bake in the preheated oven just until the meatloaf is hot, about 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together white sugar, ketchup, Dijon mustard, and hot sauce. Stir until the white sugar has dissolved.
  6. Remove the meatloaf from the oven. With the back of a spoon, smooth the glaze onto the top of the meatloaf, then pull a little bit of glaze down the sides of the meatloaf with the back of the spoon.
  7. Return meatloaf to oven, and bake until the loaf is no longer pink inside and the glaze has baked onto the loaf, 55 more minutes. 

Share in the comments below what easy recipes you use. Happy cooking!

Tagged , , ,