After All, We Eat With Our Eyes…

Last week started out as a week where I just couldn’t be bothered with, well, much of anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary. Cooking dinner? Necessary. Filming it? Less so. (Part of it was the week, part of it is the aggravation of such a small memory card for my vlogging camera, I need to update it soon!)

But I didn’t like the idea of not doing a video–I actually enjoy putting up videos each week (if nothing else, the novelty hasn’t worn off) so I decided to do a little something different for the menu video and I hope you like it.

Direct link for the feed readers: Draw My Menu, 4.24.16

Now that the trailer’s over, let’s get to the main attraction:

Meals At Home 4/18-4/24

Meals At Home 4/18-4/24

Monday: Grain Salad w/Carrot-Ginger Dressing and a Fried Egg
From Bon Appetempt (and, yes, I realize I left out the second ‘p’ in the video), this was a simple salad with the promised “showstopper” dressing. Being able to make the carrot ginger dressing without miso is a nice change and means we have a new dressing for the salad rotation that also gives us more veggies, too.

Tuesday: Lemon-Parmesan Chicken + Spinach Salad
Aside from the pucker-power of the dressing, this chicken recipe from Mise en Place was just aboslutley delicious. It’s not often I feel like setting up a 3-step breading process, but this one was worth it. I’ve yet to see gluten-free panko anywhere yet, but even with the regular gf crumbs it’s damn tasty. I suppose I could crush some corn flakes if I wanted the different texture… Okay, I definitely have to try that next time!

Wednesday: Cheese-Stuffed BBQ Meatloaf + Green Beans + Sweet Potatoes
A freezer meal “classic” (if something can be a classic when we’ve only been doing freezer meals for a few months!), this is always a good Wednesday night supper because there’s seldom a reason to hurry dinner to the table since payroll almost always keeps Todd until 8pm at the office. The nice thing about this particular meatloaf (aside from the layer of cheese in the center and the sweet bbq sauce on top, that is) is the chopped peppers inside–it changes things up just enough so that it doesn’t feel like boring meatloaf.

Maybe next time I’ll do a couple of the Cordon Blue-style meatloaves (with ham and cheese inside) that Todd’s a fan of, I bet they’d freeze just fine!

Thursday: Pepper Pesto Pork and Zoodles + Sweet Corn
I had plenty of the Red Pepper Pesto from Table for Two from the last time I used it and decided it would go as well with the zucchini noodles as anything else. It was a successful experiment, and I’ve put the super-simple recipe down below.

Friday: Impromptu night out at Sweet Grass Dairy
I forgot, when I was making this week’s menu, that Friday was the Rose Parade and all. While we briefly entertained the idea of walking back home, having supper, and then walking back downtown for the fireworks, we decided we were more likely to stay home rather than venture back out, so hung out downtown. I have a full recap of the Friday and Saturday Rose Festival coming in video form, just as soon as I get it edited (it’s almost 3 hours of footage!), but dinner at Sweet Grass Dairy did not disappoint!

Saturday: Tomato Sauce w/Italian Sausage + Polenta-Style Grits
It’s a good thing I remembered to put the Crock Pot on before we went out to Art & Bark in the Park because once we got home both Todd and I were beat and took some long naps! All I had to do once I convinced myself to leave the fluffy blankets was to make the grits. It might take 30 minutes to make good grits (don’t even bother with the quick stuff, it’s not worth it) but very little of that time is active cooking.

Sunday: Baked Thai Salmon Chicken + Green Peas + Rice Noodles
I’ve been a bit spacey lately (Todd allows that I have had a lot on my mind) and one of those space cadet moments was completely forgetting to put salmon on the shopping list. Even though it’s on the same piece of paper as my menu. Thankfully, the sweet chili sauce worked just as well on chicken thighs as it would have on salmon, and dinner was saved. (Yes, I could have gone to the store for the salmon, but it wasn’t a compelling reason to switch out of pajamas on an otherwise go-nowhere Sunday.)

A successful kitchen experiment deserves to be shared, so here is the basic run-down of the Pork and Zoodles meal, above.

Pepper Pesto Pork and Zoodles

Serves 4

6 medium zucchini, spiralized
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
4 oz red pepper pesto
4 boneless pork loin chops
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large saute or frying pan, add zucchini strips and cook 5-10 minutes, until they start to cook down a bit. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in red pepper pesto to coat the zoodles, then push the zucchini and sauce to the edges of the pan and fill the center with the pork chops.

Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook until the pork is done, 10-15 minutes depending on thickness.

Top with Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

And with that, I happily turn the dinner reins over to Todd for the week. Since it’s my birthday this Saturday, he’s making a lot of my favorites over the course of the week: grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, burgers fresh off the grill, and butter chicken as well. Yum!  And we’ve already decided that if there’s a night he doesn’t feel like cooking (hey, it happens), sushi will be the alternative.

What’s on your plate this week?

~Jenn

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