I feel like I should include a warning to not read any further on an empty stomach…
Monday: Cheese-Stuffed Cheeseburgers, Grilled Zucchini, and Potato Wedges
It was Labor Day and while we didn’t have any other plans, grilling out seemed like a really good idea. To increase the chances of the inner cheese staying in place, I used the colby-jack cheese snacks you buy for lunches (though cheese cubes could work too) cut in thirds, one stick per burger, with the lightly-seasoned meat wrapped around it. Then, because there’s no such thing as too much cheese, I topped them with a slice of provolone.
To cut down on kitchen mess, I sliced and tossed the zucchini in oil and herbs then transferred them to a plate. In the same bowl I tossed the steamed potato wedges with more oil and different spices before transferring to a baking sheet and popping in the oven. Then, I used that same bowl to mix the ground beef with egg, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire* sauce. Any remaining seasonings from the previous dishes can only improve the burgers!
Tuesday: Leftover Night!
We ended up with several extra lunches since a couple of Todd’s dinner selections from the previous week made more than 4 servings. By the time I got home on Tuesday night with a headache and video editing that was going to take all evening, leftovers seemed like a fabulous idea.
Wednesday: Sweet Potato-Bacon Mac & Cheese with a Green Salad
Inspired by a recipe on Spoon University, I followed the spirit but not the specifics. Turns out? Sweet potato makes a fabulous substitute for the enriched white sauce I usually use on homemade mac & cheese! I microwaved a large sweet potato then blended it with about a cup of pasta water and a splash of milk. Meanwhile, I sauteed the bacon with green onions and a red bell pepper, then added the sweet potato puree to the pan along with some shredded Gouda (which I had on hand, unlike nutritional yeast). It was still a little thick, so I added in more of the reserved pasta water along with the quinoaÂ rotelle pasta and then let the mix rest on low while I put together the salads.
Thursday: Caprese Chicken with Bacon, Green Beans
Another find from Spoon University, only this time I actually followed the recipe! It’s hard to go wrong with a caprese combo, and wrapping it in bacon just makes it more of a sure-fire win.
Friday: Seafood & Sausage Paella, Glazed Carrots
Quickest paella ever! I used a yellow rice blend purchased as is, along with the frozen seafood mix we’d picked up from Sam’s Club and a pound of spicy sausage. Toss it in the rice cooker and go on with your life. To speed up the carrots, I first steamed a bag of baby carrotsÂ in the microwave, then combined half a stick of butter with half a cup or so of brown sugar on the stove, added the carrots and continued to cook, covered, until the paella was ready.
Saturday: Blueberry Pancakes and Eggs
I tried out a new-to-me brand, Pamela’s Pancake and Baking Mix, and I’m really impressed! This was the first batch of gluten-free pancakes that wasn’t thick as biscuit batter to start, and they cooked up super fast and light. Thank goodness I added some frozen blueberries and vanilla extract, though, or they’d have been pretty bland. Next time I’ll add a bit of sugar and maybe some cinnamon for flavor. Todd likes his eggs over-medium, so I continue to try to flip them without breaking the yolks. I find this easier in an omelet pan, but I was using the griddle and, well, three outta four ain’t so bad, right?
Sunday: Marmalade Chicken Thighs, Arepas, and Not-Exactly-CreamedÂ Spinach
A marmalade that’s more tart than sweet is best for these chicken thighs, which otherwise only need olive oil, salt and pepper. I’d made a frozen a huge batch of marmalade ages ago andÂ may have overdone it with the natural pectin because it is thick, thick, thick. So I cooked it down with some champagne jelly (a batch that I made pre-wedding that never gelled, so it’s more like champagne sauce) and it was just perfect. In lieu of that, I’d suggest a splash of white wine or brandy and a little water. Arepas are like little cornmeal pancakes or fritters with a bit of cheese, and my not-exactly-creamed spinach is close to the steakhouse staple but skips the heavy white sauce. Just a little butter, garlic oil, and cheese added to cooked spinach.
What’s on your menu this week?