Monday, October 10, 2016

Weekly Food Round-up │ Week of Oct 3

Another week gone, just like that. In other news, I saw a hashtag this week on Instagram that said "#FALLelujah" and I think I'm officially adopting.

Last week I started a Weekly Food Round-up Series that helps me keep track of the weeknight meals I make. Most of them are simple, clean eating recipes that require minimal prep time and re-use main ingredients to help save money and time. 

Find last week's meals here.

This Week

Monday │ Sesame Chicken Potstickers

Original Recipe found at Damn Delicious

Confession; This totally wasn't on my weekly meal planner. In fact, do yourself a favor and don't plan to sear a 2lb pork shoulder and crockpot-it (is that a verb?) at 7am on a Monday morning. Because you WILL forget and realize halfway through the day you're going hungry tonight. 

But thanks to Leslie over at With a Side of Chocolate and a little mid-day convo, I was craving Chinese food. I don't know if these technically count as Chinese but the name was 'Sesame Chicken Potstickers' and it was everything I hoped for, without all the artificial ingredients.

The recipe was easier than I thought (all raw ingredients in the won ton wrappers so not really any prep time). The hardest part was figuring out how to make the damn things look pretty. 

Recipe says it makes 36 potstickers, we ate 30 of them between the two of us. Plus some steamed edamame. Hungry yet? These freeze well, so we'll be enjoying the other 6 sometime soon.

Tuesday │ Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas

Original Recipe found at Gimme Some Oven

When I said do yourself a favor and don't plan to sear and crockpot a 2lb pork shoulder on a Monday at 7am, don't do it on a Tuesday at 8am either. I set the smoke detectors off in our house and nearly gave myself and my dog a heart attack. Picture this; work clothes (heels and all) running around slinging open windows and doors, turning on all the fans and frantically waving a cookie sheet below the detectors to make them stop. Happy Tuesday to me!

Tuesday was #NationalTacoDay, and we're going to pretend I forgot to cook the pork on Monday because I was planning for tacos. 

I had half a 4lb pork roast left that I had frozen a month or two back and put it in the fridge over the weekend to thaw. In my 8am fog, I actually messed the recipe up and instead of cutting it into 3 inch cubes I put the whole 2lb roast in the cast iron skillet to sear. Might be why my smoke detectors went off. 

Mess up aside, this recipe could easily be a weeknight staple moving forward. The pork fell off the bone in the crock pot, the oven broiling made it crispy but didn't dry it out and the only additional flavor it needed came from the fresh cilantro and white onion on top. I sprayed some olive oil on one side of each tortilla and threw it on the skillet to lightly brown before serving. I also made a homemade guac in my wanna-be Magic Bullet for an app and served with tortilla chips.

One question; How on earth did I forget the margaritas?!

Wednesday│ Baked Brie Appetizer & Homemade Pizzas 

Original Recipe found at Pillsbury

The easiest, most deliciously gooey, flaky, sent-straight-from-Heaven appetizer in the world. My go-to 'impress your guests' app that takes 25 minutes and looks like this (insert all the heart eye emojis possible). It was gone in less than 10 minutes.

Cocktails & Creatives Original Recipe 

Is there really anything better than homemade pizzas? Completely customizable, minimal prep time and easy to share. Best of all, it uses up all those random leftovers I always seem to have lying around. I'm one of those people that hates eating the same meal two nights in a row. I'm also one of those people that could eat pizza all day every day. Match made in Heaven.

For our version of homemade pizzas, I love to use the pre-made raw dough from Harris Teeter's deli section. They have both wheat and white options available and one ball of dough can easily make two medium-sized pizzas. 

Kevin was having a few guys over for the baseball playoffs and what better way to feed 5 hungry men than these pizzas? Bottom picture was one of the guys plates (I whipped up some caesar salad to get those veggies in too), I think it was safe to say they liked them!

Pizzas Made; Top right to bottom left; Ricotta, Mozzarella & Sausage, Lemon/Garlic Shrimp Scampi, Maple BBQ pork with Honeycrisp apples & red onion, Pepperoni with Hot Honey. Not pictured: Basil Pesto with Balsamic Glaze.

Thursday│ Chipotle 

When a planned meal turns into a last minute hair appointment and a refrigerator pickup at 8pm, Chipotle to the rescue. Generally I wouldn't have bailed on dinner but when you find a $50, fully functioning, less than 6 year old fridge and you've been searching for a garage "beer locker" for 3 months, you don't miss the opportunity. Even if that means you and your boyfriend show up at a strangers house in your work clothes and a dolly.

If you haven't heard of Chipotle, I'm truly sorry because you're missing out. Albeit a few e-coli scares (still ate it), it's a quick, fresh alternative to a homemade meal. If it's not 9pm and you're not starving it could easily make two meals.

My order is the same every time; Burrito Bowl to-go. Brown Rice, black beans, fajita veggies, mild salsa, corn salsa, pinch of cheese, lettuce and sour cream on the side. Top with Cholula hot sauce and inhale (hence the terrible picture, #Hangry).

Friday│ Chipotle Lime Carnitas Salad

Original Recipe found at Cafe Delites

This flavorful & colorful salad finished out the week strong and used up all the remaining leftovers from the week. 

I found this recipe inspiration on Cafe Delites but it called for ingredients that I didn't have on hand and weren't carried by my local Food Lion. I decided to get a little creative and make a spin off using homemade tortilla strips (leftovers from when I trimmed the tortillas to a smaller size for the Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas). Boiled then roasted corn from half-ears I had in the freezer. Sauteed mixed peppers (re-using next week!), lime, avocado and a homemade Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Vinaigrette from All Recipes. Holy taste bud explosion!

This week got a little off track on Thursday when we had to make an emergency refrigerator scoop. Totally worth it though because now I have twice the fridge and freezer room... which only means more grocery shopping! Next week, look for quinoa as the main ingredient I use for multiple nights!