The husband and I spent the last three days in a pool getting SCUBA certified. Next weekend we get to do it all over again. So the thought of planning meals and going to the store was a very tiring one earlier this evening when we got home. I also had the great foresight to pack all my cookbooks last weekend in my packing frenzy. Needless to say, this week is not going to be an exciting culinary adventure.
Wandering around Kroger, I mentally assembled meals and fell back on my go-to lunches: salad. Nothing exciting, but always full of flavor and nutrition.
Strawberry and Edamame Spinach Salad
- 1 c spinach
- 1 c arugula
- 1/4 c black beans
- 1/4 c shelled edamame
- 1/4 c diced strawberries
- 1 T toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1 T raspberry white balsamic vinegar
- 1 T hemp oil
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- Salt and Pepper
- Chiffonade spinach and arugula. Top with beans, edamame, and strawberries.
- Mix vinegar, oil, agave, and salt and pepper, to taste.
- Toss vinaigrette and salad together. Top with pumpkin seeds.
Spinach and strawberries are always a good combo. I added the arugula because I had some from last week I needed to use up. The beans and edamame add a good amount of protein. I had cooked some amaranth to add a grain to the mix, but it ended up as amaranth porridge on accident. The pumpkin seeds add some crunch instead.
It’s going to be a good lunch week!
First, I have to mention my husband’s dinner making skills. He has only made dinner (from scratch) for me twice, and this year’s Valentine’s dinner was just as excellent as the one he made me a couple of years ago. Before we ate, he asked me if I was going to take a picture of it first. I guess photographing my dinner is commonplace at our house now?
This is what I came home to. He even created a menu for the meal. 🙂
He made me a (mostly) vegan meal: breaded tempeh with spaghetti and steamed green beans.
Now onto some recipes!
Usually when I cook through a cookbook, I plan specific items for lunches. This week I decided to just wing it, and I’ve been impressed with what turned out! I made Tuesday’s tomato soup on Sunday so it would be ready to go since Tuesday is always a busy night for us. And I made sure to make extra for lunch. But to go with this easy soup, I needed a sandwich complement. And then, so I wouldn’t get sick of too many sandwich/soup combos, I also mixed up a fantastic salad for a couple of days.
Roasted Tomato Soup
Adapted from Super Natural Cooking
- 8 Roma tomatoes
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 T paprika
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cut tomatoes in half and onion in quarters. Lightly oil a sheet pan and lay vegetables skin side down on the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast at 400 for about 30 minutes or until veggies are soft and starting to brown.
- Puree veggies with garlic in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour into a stockpot and heat with the stock. Season with paprika and extra salt and pepper as needed.
Leftover tempeh on bread with hummus and grilled makes an excellent grilled cheese substitute with this soup! You can also serve with this sandwich:
Cucumber and Arugula Sandwich
- 1 sandwich thin or 2 pieces of whole wheat bread
- 1/4 sliced cucumber
- 2 T hummus (I used a sun-dried tomato basil flavor)
- 1 handful arugula
- Spread 1 T hummus on each side of sandwich thin or bread.
- Layer sliced cucumber on one side and arugula on the other. Combine and enjoy!
Or try pairing the soup with my new favorite salad. Salads are so easy to create and mix together!
- 2 cups arugula
- 1/4 pink lady apple (or any other crisp sweet variety), diced
- 1/4 sliced cucumber
- 2 T dried cranberries
- 1 T pumpkin seeds
- 1 T sesame seeds
- 1 T hemp oil (or olive oil)
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp agave nectar or honey
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine arugula, apple, cucumber, cranberries, and seeds together.
- Whisk oil, vinegar, agave, and salt and pepper to combine. Toss on arugula mixture and serve.
Not only are these easy to make and mix and match, they use similar ingredients and are pretty cheap to put together so you can get a week of delicious, easy, and cheap lunches from just three recipes!
Mix and match however you would like!
When I make my menu for the week, I try to have one or two “special” breakfast items to make on the weekend. But I usually run out of time and the ingredients sit in the fridge all week waiting to be made into something delicious. So this morning I decided to combine last week’s Clean Eating breakfast with this week’s Giada’s Kitchen menu. I made a pot of coffee and went to work on my Potato, Rocket, and Tomato Frittata. The only other time I had made a frittata, I cheated and baked the whole thing in a cake pan to save time and since I wasn’t sure if my non-stick skillet was oven safe. Today I decided to be adventurous and make it the right way on the stove. (I also discovered that my non-stick skillet is indeed oven safe, so I was good to go!) This was super easy and delicious-I had to add a sprinkle of cheddar cheese on top to hopefully entice my husband to eat the tomato and arugula (otherwise known as rocket, hence the name of the dish) despite the fact that it also mostly contained his favorite food-potatoes.
Potato, Rocket, and Tomato Frittata
Once the frittata was done (I was taking no chances doing something else while it finished cooking under the broiler), I started on Giada’s Olive Oil Muffins. This was more exciting to make – I had to substitute out her all-purpose flour and refined sugar. My last attempt at substituting something other than whole wheat flour for all-purpose turned out not-so-good, so I decided for my first attempt at these muffins to stick with the whole wheat flour. And since I haven’t researched other types of unrefined sugars, nor did I have anything else on hand, I used sucanat again. I hesitated on this decision because I was not sure how the molasses in the sucanat would work in an olive oil muffin. But after tasting them, I am definitely thankful I went ahead with the change. These muffins would not have had nearly as much flavor without the sucanat. And they were definitely a perfect complement to the frittata.
Olive Oil Muffins
Olive Oil Muffins
Lightly adapted from Giada’s Kitchen by Giada DeLaurentiis.
- 1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 sp salt
- 1 c sucanat
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tsp lemon zest
- 3 tsp orange zest
- 2 T balsamic vinegar
- 2 T almond milk
- 2/4 c extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 c almonds, toasted and chopped fine
- confectioner’s sugar (for dusting) – cinnamon would probably work wonderfully here too
- Preheat oven to 350. Fill a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Beat egg, sugar, and zest until fluffy. Beat in vinegar and milk. Slowly add the oil while mixing.
- Add the flour mixture until just blended. Mix in almonds.
- Fill muffin tin to the top of each liner. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
- Let cool on a wire rack on top of a sheet pan. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve.
Since I had the house to myself all morning, I got to enjoy this delicious feast along with last week’s Project Runway and the April issue of Real Simple. Perfection!