First, an announcement: I’m the Featured Blogger on BlogHer Food! At least for yesterday and today. I’m very excited and honored to be featured. Now, for a wrap-up of this past week and what is planned for this week. We finally made it through an entire week where we didn’t veer from our menu plan! I also did quite a bit of baking and cooking this past week otherwise. Here is a brief rundown in words and pictures of our culinary adventures.
I made chicken stock in the pressure cooker for the first time according to a recipe over at Hip Pressure Cooking. It was so easy and fast compared to usual! Definitely no more excuses for not making my own! I used it in several recipes, including the following two. The Greek Chicken and Vegetable Ragout was good, though too lemony for my husband’s tastes. I used purple potatoes which added some vibrant color to the dish. I took the leftovers and tossed it with pasta because there was so much sauce. adding a little butter and parmesan cheese. We much preferred it this way! The Chicken Pot Pie Bundles were tasty. I have never used egg roll wrappers before – they were interesting to work with and extremely delicate. It took me a while to find them in the grocery store too, though I eventually did by the refrigerated tofu. If you are watching your sodium though, these are higher than you might want (410 mg for 3 wrappers). Good thing I used my own chicken stock in the recipe to help me cut back in other ways in the overall recipe.
Also, mid-week I was scouring my pantry for a snack and decided to whip up the Meal Makeover Mom’s Grab-and-Go Granola Bars. These were fantastic and so easy to make! These will definitely be a regular snack around our house and a much better alternative to store-bought granola bars. I used the Cinnamon Harvest Kashi cereal in them as well as raisins, dried cranberries and an almond/cashew nut mixture.
My Spring pumpkin craving continued yesterday when I decided to make Spiced Pumpkin Biscuits. I love this biscuit recipe but this was the first time I had tried the pumpkin version. I did substitute whole wheat flour for half of the flour in the recipe. My husband has now requested that I make the either the Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls from last week or these biscuits daily. Still not going to happen, but yummy for an occasional treat.
The homemade hamburger buns also turned out great. The recipe came from The No-Salt Lowest Sodium Baking Book. I have made these before, though it has been a while. It really is easy, especially with a bread machine. I go through phases with my bread machine and lately I’ve been using it more often. It really doesn’t take long and I love fresh bread. Also, the hamburgers themselves were delicious. I don’t make them very often, but my family gobbles them up when I do. While I don’t measure out my ingredients, here is what I mix together:
Lean grass-fed ground beef
1/2 small onion, diced
Montreal steak seasoning
Splash of beer
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
Egg (to help bind it all together)
I did do something a little different because my mixture had too much liquid in it. I added some ground flax meal to the mix to help absorb some of the liquid. It worked great, and my family had no idea. Ground flax meal adds protein, fiber and omega-3 fats, which are heart healthy.
Here is this week’s menu plan:
Monday: Tofu Stir Fry
Wednesday: Snobby Joe’s (aka Lentil Sloppy Joes) with Steamed California Vegetables (using leftover homemade hamburger buns)
Thursday: Chicken & Apple Sausage Quesadillas from No Whine with Dinner with Avocado & Grapefruit Salad
Saturday: Black Pepper Salmon and Cucumber Vinaigrette from Gourmet*, Quinoa and a Fresh Vegetable (whatever I pick up at the Farmers market that morning)
*I can no longer find the recipe online so I’ll post soon – this is one of my favorite salmon recipes!
Sunday: Mother’s Day! (family dinner)
Have you had any great culinary finds lately?