Steak Tacos

I love taco night. Here is a delicious version!

creative noshing

This weekend, we went hiking through an ecological preserve. Lots of different bird varieties are here right now, especially Mallard ducks. We must’ve seen at least 50 of them. We also spotted a few rag tag attempts at shelter, surely from homeless people in the area. Certainly disconcerting and sad.

After a few hours of traipsing through trails that led into open alcoves of low lying foliage where we threw tennis balls to the dogs, we decided to head back home. On the way home, my husband offered to cook us a delicious taco dinner. While I cook most of our meals, he knows his way around the kitchen and especially loves to grill on the weekends. Sometimes it is nice to sit back and be cooked for, especially when it is as delicious as this.

Steak Tacos

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Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots

I have always love green beans. Even the soggy ones that were served in the school cafeteria as a kid. These are so much better!

creative noshing

I love fresh green beans in any shape or form, but when you can mix them with bacon and caramelized shallots, I mean come on. It almost seems like I am cheating. I mean getting this much yummy flavor into something shouldn’t be this easy!

You get the sweet caramelized shallots bring out the sweetness of the green beans and the smoky saltiness of the bacon mixes well with the bites of ground pepper. The grassy-ness of the parsley brings out the fresh earthiness of the green beans while the lemon brightens the flavors, giving the meal a little zip.

Enjoy everyone!

Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots

Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots Sauteed Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots

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Winter Meal Plan – 8

 

Breakfast

Snack 1

Lunch

Snack 2

Dinner

Monday

2 Scrambled eggs and a grapefruit

25 almonds or other nuts or seeds available

Farro Salad and Apple

String Cheese

Cabbage Rolls

Tuesday

Omelet and banana Yogurt Cabbage Rolls and apple Gorilla bar Grilled Chicken, Farro Salad, steamed broccoli

Wednes-day

2 Scrambled eggs and a grapefruit Yogurt and 25 almonds or other nuts or seeds available Cabbage Rolls and apple Banana and String Cheese or favorite cheese Leftovers

Thursday

Omelet and a banana Dried fruit and nut/seeds Tuna Sandwich and apple Gorilla bar Salmon roasted in butter and Sautéed green beans

Friday

Omelet and grapefruit Yogurt and banana Farro salad and apple Hummus and carrots Pan Roasted Chicken with steamed green beans and rice

Saturday

English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich and Grapefruit  String cheese or favorite cheese and nuts Tuna sandwich and apple Popcorn Leftovers

Sunday

French Toast and citrus Dried fruit and string cheese Tuna sandwich and apple Hummus and carrots Steak Tacos

 

In order to save time and money, I make a meal plan every week. This is my meal plan for next week.

Also, I like to have a good mix of quick to grab convenience foods and fast prep meals interwoven into my week. I have lots of recipes that are consistently in our diet, but I also like to try new recipes. Next week I will be trying a couple of new recipes that get pretty high ratings on other cooking sites.

Anyway, happy cooking everyone!

 

Farro Salad

Every month we take a trip to Costco to load up on bulk items, such as flour, rice, canned beans, and canned tomatoes, etc… I have to admit, I love shopping there. Sure at first the crazed busy shopper experience got on my nerves, but now I am a pro. I know how to navigate the store, going in a counter clockwise direction around the store. This navigational trail seems to put us out of the course of frenzied craziness and only on the outskirts of traffic. If you must put yourself through the gauntlet of traffic, wait no, you want to swim upstream at this store!

Anyway, last week I picked up a large sack of farro, thinking hmmm… I have never had farro before. Looks healthy… says its organic… I wonder what that tastes like… Sold! (So if any of you have farro recipes, send them my way!)

Farro tastes like rice and barley mixed together. It has a nice chewiness to it. I made a cold salad out of it which was such a delicious side dish to grilled chicken, but also ate it on its on as a lunch. Anyway, enjoy everyone.

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Ingredients

Continue reading Farro Salad

Argentinian Inspired Empanadas

These Argentinian Empanadas are so delicious. I like to add extra veggies to them to make them more well rounded.

creative noshing

I have had a pretty blah day. Nothing much happened except I watched a few movies that I recorded over the weekend. I pulled a muscle in yoga class the other day. Went too deep into a back bend, so I am out of commission until I re-cooperate.  It was stupid and I was foolishly trying to be too competitive with myself. I should have known when my yoga instructor said, “Wow, you are really going deep into your back” and my chest swelled with pride that that was a bad sign. It isn’t the first idiotic thing I have ever done and by far it is not the worst. A saying that we had at my last job was, “for every idiot proof system devised, a new improved idiot will arise and overcome it.” Oh well. So I bring you an empanada that I made last week to use up…

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Berry Smoothie

I love smoothies! Especially when I have a sweets craving and I don’t want to turn to a cookie.

creative noshing

Below is my favorite smoothie recipe. Of course you could add a few of your favorite fruits: mango, papaya, pineapple, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, etc… That’s what I love about smoothies, they are so versatile.

If you have any leftovers, you can place in a container and freeze. Later you can scrape it for a delicious fruit ice similar to a granita. A healthy and delicious sweet treat.

Today in yoga, our instructor read a Rumi poem called the guest house that really struck a chord with me. Enjoy!

THE GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out

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Mixed Vinaigrette

This vinaigrette is easy and delicious. The perfect quick dressing for a work week lunch and nice enough for company.

creative noshing

Over the past year, with all of the fresh produce available to me, I have become a salad convert. Where I use to cringe at the the thought of a salad, now I delight in the idea of creatively bringing the salad together.

First and foremost are the veggies and fruits available through my CSA and local farmers markets. This week, alongside all the apricots, plums, broccoli, celery, and fresh mixed greens were the first picks of Gravenstein apples and lots and lots of zucchini and squash, not a problem, I love these items. I chose to grill my zucchini giving it a charred smokiness. To round out the succulent smokiness, I used the tart crunchy apple and sweet plum.

When choosing a protein for my salad this week, I chose to heighten the smokiness with bacon and used a Toma cheese which is a semi-hard cheese that has a buttery flavor with a…

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Cuban Chicken

An earthy spice rub marries well with the bright citrus marinade! Enjoy.

creative noshing

I have been practicing yoga for three years now and I am still in the beginner classes, but life is about the journey. I have to accept where I am at and trust that one day, the beginner classes will seem easy to me and I will know when it is time to move on.  Anyway, today in yoga class, my instructor brought up the idea of complimentary contradictions.

In yoga, for example, we have to put our bodies through positions that may seem contradictory, in order to get freer and more open. I guess you could apply that way of thinking to all parts of life, such as last night, when I returned home from the grocery store starving. These are my weak moments when I want some fatty deliciousness, instead I fed myself something more complimentary to our new goal of practicing moderation. This flavorful chicken is great…

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Kale and White Bean Soup

This soup is perfect for the winter months. Something warm, cozy and filling.

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One of the many things that I love about receiving a CSA box, other than the extreme freshness, is that we have to adapt our menu to what we receive. It is part of the fun of it, kind of like being a contestant on the cooking show “Chopped.” This past week, we received 2 lbs of kale (dinosaur and maribar). Having made kale chips and stewing them down with chard into a southern style greens dish  just recently, I decided to turn to the internet for some inspiration.

Gourmet magazine ran a recipe for Kale and White Bean Soup back in 2002 that had pretty good reviews so yesterday, after a slow morning of putt-zing around the house doing a few random chores and drinking my standard weekend 3 cups of  late morning coffee before accomplishing anything, I set out to make a huge industrial amount of stock. I do…

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