Weekend Update

Feels weird to post about our weekend knowing so many people went to bed on Sunday likely reflecting on their own weekend, and woke up to their world turned upside down. I wrote this post on Sunday night before hitting the hay and as we crawled in bed we smelled smoke. I headed to the kitchen to make sure all the burners were off and we hadn’t left the oven on. We had no idea we’d awake to the terrifying news of widespread fires throughout the North Bay on Monday. We’re so grateful Roberto’s parents who live in the area are fine, but the number of people who have been displaced is devastating. If you’re looking for ways to help see here.

On Friday night we celebrated my stepdad’s birthday at local South Indian restaurant, Dosa, which was amazing! We had only been once before and were stuffed before we even got to the main course (yes samosas, yes lamb sliders, yes yes yes). The cocktails were excellent as well; I ordered their Gin & Tonic and Roberto got the Steph Curry, but we ended up trading 😬.

I slept in again on Saturday which is super out of character. On weekdays nothing can get me out of bed (#chronicsnoozer), but on the weekend I’m typically up and at em at least 3 hours before R. Once we got going we went for a run down along the Marina Green and got to see all the setup for the Fleet Week festivities. After we whipped up a quick breakfast (let’s be honest, brunch) and got cleaned up we headed to my friend Marissa’s for the airshow. She is the hostess with the mostess and had the best view from her roof! I’ve seen the Blue Angels more times than I can count growing up in San Francisco and it never gets old or less impressive. The weather always manages to be perfect and it’s such a great weekend out.

After taking in the airshow we got in our grocery shopping and headed to the movies for the first time in a long time. Roberto loves scary movies and we really wanted to see ‘It’, but there weren’t any seats available at Kabuki so we headed to our local theater and saw ‘Battle of the Sexes’. It was so excellent!!! I wish I had daughters to take to it. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t know much about Billie Jean King and her story, but it was so inspiring… highly recommend! ‘American Made’ is on our list too. We ended the evening with a nightcap at California Wine Merchant. Perfect little date night!

On Sunday, we got all our cooking done early and headed to another friend’s roof to take in one final showing of the Blue Angels (like I said… never gets old!!!). Roberto whipped up some Frosé using a recipe similar to this one and it was delish. The cherry on top of a great weekend? Postmating a Sunday night burrito from Tacobar… YES.PLEASE.AND.THANK.YOU.

Menu for the week:

 BreakfastLunchDinner
Monday 10/9K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
R - Leftover Moussaka
K - Sushi (not in the original meal plan 😬)
K - Leftover Moussaka
R - Jerk Chicken Tacos (1/5)
Tuesday 10/10K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
K - Leftover Moussaka
R - Greek Turkey Meatballs and Shepherd's Salad (1/4)
Jerk Chicken Tacos (3/5)
Wednesday 10/11K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
R - Jerk Chicken Tacos (4/5)
K - Work Lunch
Work Event ❤️
Thursday 10/12K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
K - Jerk Chicken Tacos (5/5)
R - Greek Turkey Meatballs and Shepherd's Salad (2/4)
Pistachio-Crusted Salmon (2/2)
Friday 10/13K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Greek Turkey Meatballs and Shepherd's Salad (4/4)Cal Game!

Whole30 Moussaka

We made this Whole30 fave moussaka last week and of course had leftovers since it makes a ton of servings and I may or may not have splurged on CMG Friday which is becoming our best/worst payday Friday tradition (yes we’re geeks and refer to our lunch spot by ticker 🤓). We gotta stop the bi-weekly burritos and the nerdy abbreviations.

Turkey Meatballs

Roberto made up his own recipe, but this zucchini one from Gina is excellent. I think he just put onion, oregano, Italian seasoning, and lemon pepper in his. He made his usual Shepherd’s salad with fresh tomatoes from our friend’s family garden (thanks, Roscoe!) and cucumbers, olives and feta. I eyeballed some greek yogurt sauce from this recipe.

Jerk Chicken Tacos

This recipe is from Gina’s first cookbook and I’m including it below. We made it in our latest obsession, the Instant Pot, instead of the slow cooker and it worked perfectly. It took about 8 minutes in the Instant Pot, but if you only have a slower cooker it will take about 2 hours on high.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2tbsp Jerk Seasoning
  • 1tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice

Season chicken with a little salt and jerk seasoning then toss in slow cooker/Instant Pot with the liquid. She includes a mango salsa, but Roberto isn’t into sweet and savory so we’ve been sticking to our homemade aioli. You can whip up a quick mayo using light olive oil, an egg, and an immersion blender (recipe here). From there I use a 3 to 1 ratio of mayo to Sriracha. Roberto is obsessed and thinks it’s some magic secret sauce but it’s literally just a few ingredients. We have the mild version of the jerk seasoning and it’s still super hot so don’t forget some avocado to keep your tacos cool and creamy!

Pistachio Crusted Salmon

Another super simple easy recipe. We have this little food processor that has stood the test of time, but we’re debating upgrading our gear to a bigger processor like this or this. We’re pairing the salmon with asparagus and sweet potatoes for a complete meal.

Weekend Update & Meal Plan

Happy Monday Tuesday! This weekend was jam packed, but a good one. On Friday evening we drove up to Petaluma to surprise Roberto’s mom for a very belated birthday celebration. Roberto’s dad was the perfect accomplice, sticking to his undercover role even after we had arrived: “I have no idea what he’s doing here! He almost gave me a heart attack!” An Oscar for Oscar! We went to dinner at The Shuckery in Petaluma and it was awesome! I honestly wanted one of everything on the menu, but we stuck to oysters, ceviche, and calamari for starters and Roberto and I split the Poke Bowl and Fish tacos for dinner.

On Saturday morning we headed back to the city so I could get changed and ready for Roberto’s cousin’s fiance’s bridal shower (ya follow?). It was so beautiful and great to see some of his extended family that we don’t see often. Can’t wait for their wedding this fall! I got her this baking set since I have a real-life obsession with those non-stick pans. Then I headed back to the city just in time to do a quick grocery shop and catch the big fight (whew 100 miles in 12 hours)! Our friends graciously hosted a bunch of us and this Irish lass was really hoping for a McGregor win despite the fact that everyone said it was nearly impossible. All the experts were right, but it was a blast to watch with friends. If you haven’t seen this video, I highly recommend it to pump yourself this week.

We had a lazy Sunday morning and continued powering through Ozark. After promising we’d only watch ‘one more episode’ at least three times, we pried ourselves away to get our prepping for the week done. Once we had most everything cooked up we decided we had to get outside so we went for a quick run before meeting up with friends for dinner at Delarosa (is it even the weekend if we don’t eat here at least once?). Our pals are getting married next week in Baltimore so it was so nice to be able to steal some of their time especially in the midst of their busy week. If you have any recommendations for DC or Baltimore let us know!!!

 BreakfastLunchDinner
Monday 8/28K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Cilantro Lime Quinoa (2/4)K - Birthday Party Potluck (Bringing Watermelon-Tomato Salad)
R - Work Event
Tuesday 8/29K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Cilantro Lime Quinoa (4/4)Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus and Zucchini (2/4)
Wednesday 8/30K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus and Zucchini (4/4)Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers (2/4)
Thursday 8/31K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers (4/4)Dinner at SFO
Friday 9/1Baltimore & DC!Baltimore & DC!Baltimore & DC!

 

Watermelon-Tomato Salad

I’ve already fangirled over this, but it really is that good. After a particularly foggy couple weeks, it’s going to be over 70 here in SF this week and this salad just tastes like summer.

Cost/serving: $1.15

Cals/Fat/Carbs/Protein: 99cals/5.5g/10g/3g

Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Lime-Cilantro Quinoa

I’m clearly really into my new Instant Pot… love that this recipe used practically zero dishes and was so quick. It was also delicious… I could not stop snacking on it while I packed everything up so here’s hoping there is still plenty left in Roberto’s lunch. We used chicken breast instead of thighs since that is just our preference and Roberto made some fajita veggies instead of corn for his bowls (picky picky). We also skipped the tomatoes… mostly out of laziness (just didn’t feel like chopping them up at the end of our prep). We’ve done shredded salsa chicken before, but I feel like the chipotle paste was a game changer (we got ours at Sur la Table).

Cost/serving: $3.96 (my way a.k.a. double the corn)

Cals/Fat/Carbs/Protein: 598cals/93g/13g/54g (my way a.k.a. double the corn)

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus and Zucchini

No, we aren’t having this two-weeks back to back (although that isn’t out of the question). We made the mistake of not prepping it on Sunday last week and surprise surprise after getting home late after work we didn’t feel like cooking so we had a frozen pizza (or two).

Cost/Serving: $2.11

Calories/Fat/Carbs/Protein: 186cals/5g/8g/32g

Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers

In another episode of things we didn’t prep ahead of time and didn’t end up making was the stuffed turkey bell peppers from last week. We ended up grabbing some bison on the fly and making burgers. I like this simple recipe and added some homemade BBQ on top. This week we used the turkey to make… more burgers. If you check-in weekly you know these are a go-to. Roberto puts his own spin on them, but the one linked above was the original inspiration.

Cost/Serving: $1.59/serving

Calories/Fat/Carbs/Protein: 196cals/4.1g/5.3g/34g

Have a great week!

Weekend Update & Meal Plan

Happy Monday! We had the b.e.s.t. weekend visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Seattle. The last time we saw them was Thanksgiving and Roberto was doing his first round of Whole30 so it has definitely been a while since they were able to actually enjoy his company. We flew up Thursday after work and they took the day off on Friday to hang with us. We visited a bunch of delicious restaurants and went on an epic hike, so I’ll post a round up soon since we bounced around a few of the suburbs outside of Seattle and the Emerald City itself. We were delayed at Sea-Tac yesterday so we had plenty of time to get our meal plan and grocery list organized. All I wanted to do was get in bed when we got home (those Rivera sibs tuckered us out), but we soldiered on to TJs so we’d have a good start on our week. It was a total nightmare and they were out of a lot of a lot of the things we normally grab which reminded us why we always shop on Saturday or first thing Sunday.

Last week we were trying to figure out how much money we actually save by making our meals since our company has a cafeteria that is pretty cheap (we’re able to get hot meals or a salad for under $5 compared to $10+ anywhere else). I like knowing what is in the meals we make and I’m not sure I could do the salad bar five days a week, but we wanted to know if we were saving that much. We decided to do a quick and dirty calculation to get an idea of the cost of each meal. I’m excluding anything we had in our pantry/fridge/freezer such as EVOO, tomato paste, frozen green onions, seasoning etc. and didn’t get fancy enough to factor in the value of our time. With the exception of the Salmon, all of our meals are under $3/serving so that’s pretty tough to beat even with our very affordable cafeteria. When I compare it to what we spend on Starbucks breakfast and coffee it’s not even close. I’m also adding in the calorie and macro information if you’re curious since we normally put it in MyFitnessPal anyway. Let me know if it’s helpful or you have questions!

Here’s the plan:

 BreakfastLunchDinner
Monday 8/21K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Leftover 15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls (2/2)Sous Vide Salmon with Cauliflower Mash (2/4)
Tuesday 8/22K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers (2/4)Sous Vide Salmon with Cauliflower Mash (4/4)
Wednesday 8/23K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers (4/4)Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus and Zucchini (2/4)
Thursday 8/24K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Spinach, Chicken, Strawberry, and Goat Cheese Salad (2/4)Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus and Zucchini (4/4)
Friday 8/25K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese FrittataSpinach, Chicken, Strawberry, and Goat Cheese Salad (2/4)Date Night <3 (surprisingly NOT sushi)

Breakfast

I absolutely loved my frittata last week so we’re stickin’ with that for now. Roberto’s been having the same breakfast for 6 months so no change there…

Cost/Serving of K’s Breakfast: $1.98

Calories/Fat/Protein/Carbs: 242cals/14g/21g/6g

Cost/Serving of R’s Breakfast: $2.85

Calories/Fat/Protein/Carbs: 320cals/10g/26g/34g

Leftovers

Roberto had a couple work lunches come up last week so we have these bowls left over. They were SO good. Highly recommend.

No cost cause I don’t have the receipt from last week 😬

Calories/Fat/Protein/Carbs: 403cals/4g/41g/51g

Sous Vide Salmon with Cauli Mash

My coworker recently posted a video of her cooking dinner in a plastic bag submerged in hot water and I was intrigued immediately. When I asked her for the deets I was disappointed to find out the device was $200, so I put it into my mental “save for” bucket. But then I saw this article pop up and decided I’d be willing to invest for under $100. Sous vide is the process of cooking food in vacuum sealed bags in a temperature controlled water bath and is famous for its ability to cook food evenly (i.e. ensuring the middle is cooked without drying out or overcooking the outside). I looked at a few recipes to get the gist of it and combined my fillets with salt, EVOO, and a few sprigs of thyme. We’re having it tonight so I’ll report back!

Cost/Serving: $4.53

Calories/Fat/Protein/Carbs: 246cals/13g/31g/13g

Santa Fe Turkey Stuffed Peppers

We’ve been doing a lot of meatballs and turkey burgers lately so we’re switching it up this week. I like this recipe but Roberto normally puts his own spin on it. He insists cooking the peppers before filling them with turkey cuts down on how watery the peppers can be. We haven’ prepped these yet so I’ll have to come back and refine how he ends up actually making them.

Cost/Serving: $2.76

Calories/Fat/Protein/Carbs: 293cals/10g/39g/13g

Spinach, Strawberry, Chicken, and Goat Cheese Salad

Yup, we’re doing this again. We were delayed getting home last night and just needed something quick and easy to fall back on. It’s a family fave: Roberto grills the chicken with his magic mix of spices and I hull and chop the strawberries. That’s it.

Cost/Serving: $2.80

Calories/Fat/Protein/Carbs: 215cals/4g/30g/11g

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Asparagus and Squash

If you read weekly you know this is one of R’s go-tos. The main ingredients for the marinade are Dijon and rosemary, but I couldn’t give you exact ratios (promise I’m working on getting the deets to the secret sauce!!!). Pre-Roberto my go-to was always this fig balsamic one from Skinnytaste since I always had both ingredients in the cupboard.

Cost/Serving: $2.11

Calories/Fat/Protein/Carbs: 186cals/5g/32g/8g

This is actually lighter on calories than I realized so maybe we’ll add some quinoa.

Have a great week and let me know if you think we should try!

Weekend Update & Meal Plan

Happy Monday… er Tuesday… little behind over here as usual! This weekend, one of Roberto’s best friends from college came to visit on Friday night with his girlfriend. Even though they’re only a couple of hours away we hadn’t seen them in over 6 months. We put out feelers for what they wanted for dinner earlier in the week and to our delight they chose sushi, which just happens to be our regular Friday night routine. Instead of ordering for pickup or delivery which is our m.o. we headed to our neighborhood favorite, Naked Fish, for a tableful of rolls and nigiri. After dinner, we headed back to our place where Roberto whipped up some Kentucky Mules and we queued up pics from our trip to Peru and Colombia. Our friends are 6,000 times more athletic and outdoorsy so in turn, they showed us incredible pictures from Mt. Whitney. Ever since Roberto and I did the Inca Trail, he’s been trying to convince me to take on the highest summit in the US and seeing some of their incredible photos is making me reconsider the hike. We ended the night watching Valley Uprising, an awesome documentary about the climbing counterculture in Yosemite National Park that began in the late 1950s.

We woke up on Saturday and after grabbing some emergency coffee we headed straight to Rose’s for brunch. Amazingly, I had only been to the local café once before despite the fact that it’s a neighborhood staple and just a block away from our church. They are famous for their breakfast pizza, but I went for their Chicken-Tarragon Sausage with Poached Eggs, Polenta, and Spicy Tomato Sauce. SO. GOOD. I’ll be looking for an at home Shakshouka recipe to try to replicate this deliciousness. After digesting we all headed out for a quick run with these fitness freaks and I could barely keep up with the crew.

We spent the rest of the afternoon doing chores and grocery shopping. We recently got rid of a couple bookcases that were seriously messing with our Feng Shui. They were also conveniently holding boxes and boxes of my childhood relics so I spent a majority of Saturday afternoon going through high school homework (and watching Scandal). I am such a hoarder… I got rid of a lot, but still saved some Spanish homework I’m hoping to show off to Roberto and some adorable cursive lessons I’m thinking of framing since they just look so silly and outdated. We ended the day with takeout from Delarosa (pancetta pizza and crab arancini obvi) and watched 13th on Netflix. This documentary has been on my must watch list for a while, but after the hatred, racism, and violence that we saw in Charlottesville this weekend, I was feeling the need to educate myself on the institutionalized racism in this country. It was eye-opening and a must watch if you haven’t seen it. Ideas for what you can actually do to help are here.

The beauty of getting our shopping done on Saturday is that we got right to meal prepping after grabbing coffee and breakfast on Sunday morning rather than cooking late into the night which is what usually ends up happening. We ended with a 4-mile walk up and over the Lyon Street steps which is always our favorite way to get out of the house and end the weekend.

 BreakfastLunchDinner
Monday 8/7K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Leftover Spinach, Chicken, Strawberry, and Goat Cheese Salad (2/2)Leftover Pasta (2/2)
Tuesday 8/8K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls (2/6)Roberto's Turkey Meatballs and Green Beans (2/4)
Wednesday 8/9K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls (4/6)Roberto's Turkey Meatballs and Green Beans (4/4)
Thursday 8/10K - Broccoli, Turkey, Green Onion, and Goat Cheese Frittata
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls (6/6)Travel Meal
Friday 8/11Seattle!Seattle!Seattle!

Breakfast

I have been in a major breakfast rut. My AM salad attempt was a major failure. I think if I could throw a poached egg over some lettuce on the weekend I’d be more into it, but I just didn’t dig it as a make-ahead meal. I went back to my frittata roots this weekend and I was not disappointed in my mix… this week I went with broccoli, green onions, turkey, and goat cheese (which is a recurring theme in my life right now tbh).

Leftovers

How’d we end up here if we planned our meals last week? We grilled the chicken for our salads but hadn’t put everything together in easy grab and go containers and so of course when we were running late (as usual) on Thursday we just couldn’t get it together. On Friday I just brought the whole dang bag of spinach to work and WW helped me hull and chop the strawberries in the kitchen at the office (I shared my lunch with her of course). Roberto was too busy to eat 😞 so we still had two servings leftover for lunch yesterday. Still delish! On Sunday night Roberto whipped up some quick pasta with broccoli, frozen langostino, mushrooms, and alfredo. We made enough servings for us to have last night so we wouldn’t need to make a whole other meal.

15-Minute Chicken Shawarma Bowls

This recipe showed up in my Instagram feed last week and looked so good I immediately saved it to try. The recipe calls for rotisserie chicken, but I obviously wanted to put my new Instant Pot to the test so I took my friend Summer’s advice and within ten minutes had perfectly moist shredded chicken for this dish (I got extra chicken to stretch this into 6 servings). Our new chopper made the cukes a breeze and everything else came together equally as fast. So excited for this lunch today!

Roberto’s Turkey Meatballs and Green Beans

I’ve mentioned these 100 times. So good. Not so secret ingredient: Tomasso’s (we literally bought three jars this week just in casers).

We are off to Seattle this weekend to visit my brother-in-law and sister-in-law (there has to be a shorter grammatically correct way to say that…) so it’s a short week!

Have a good one and as always send any must-try recipes my way!

 

Weekend Update & Meal Plan

Happy Monday… hope you had a great weekend! After trying out Mac’d with friends on Wednesday and hitting up Mission Bowling Club on Thursday with Roberto’s coworkers we were pooped by Friday night (homebody alert). We skipped our normal sushi dinner routine and pretty much got right in bed when we got home. On Saturday we had a family party to celebrate Roberto’s grandfather’s birthday and say farewell to his cousin who’s leaving us for LA. Roberto has lots of family locally, but with everyone’s schedule we don’t get to see them as often as we’d like. These parties are always a good opportunity to see everyone and for Roberto to catch up on some razzing with his cousins. From there we raced back to the city so I could meetup with a couple girlfriends for dinner. One of my bestest friends from college was in town and I hadn’t seen her since our wedding over two years ago (shameful!!!). We headed to Causwells for their famous burger and it was sooo good to catch up. Love it when it feels like no time has passed even when it’s been (way) too long. Love you Macca!
We spent yesterday doing our usual Sunday routine: grocery shopping & meal prepping. We also made the mistake of starting Ozark and got immediately sucked in. I am even more obsessed with Julia Garner after recognizing her from my other current TV obsession:  The Americans (see here).

Anywho, here’s what we’re eating this week:

 BreakfastLunchDinner
Monday 8/7K - Let's be real I had a Chorizo breakfast sandwich from Starbucks this AM #noregrets
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers & Roberto's Shepherd's Salad (2/4)Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala with Cauliflower & Peas (2/6)
Tuesday 8/8K - BLTA Salad with Eggs
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers & Roberto's Shepherd's Salad (4/4)Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala with Cauliflower & Peas (4/6)
Wednesday 8/9K - BLTA Salad with Eggs
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Thai Coconut Shrimp Curry with Spicy Green Beans (2/4)Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala with Cauliflower & Peas (6/6)
Thursday 8/10K - BLTA Salad with Eggs
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Spinach, Goat Cheese, Strawberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad (2/4)Thai Coconut Shrimp Curry with Spicy Green Beans (4/4)
Friday 8/11K - BLTA Salad with Eggs
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Spinach, Goat Cheese, Strawberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad (2/4)Dinner with Friends!

Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers and Roberto’s Shepherd’s Salad

I never got around to making the skinny tzatziki last week so we had a bunch of cucumbers to use up. We were originally planning on having these stuffed peppers, but went for something a little more Mediterranean to go with Roberto’s Salad (cukes, tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives, olive oil). I’ve mentioned this recipe 100 times. Not a ton of ingredients, super delish, grill ’em up and throw some avocado on top. Roberto also got this chopper to speed up his breakfast hash (potatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, etc.) and it came in super handy for all the cukes (we’re kinda obsessed).

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala with Cauliflower and Peas

Gina posted a picture of this recipe on her Instagram last week and I immediately mentally bookmarked it for our meal plan this week. The only problem? I didn’t have a pressure cooker. I ran out and grabbed this one yesterday and dove right in. The hardest part of the recipe was measuring out all the spices, but after that it was super quick. You can also make this on the stove top if you double the cooking time, or this slow cooker one from my Whole30 days is great. We’re planning to have this over TJ’s frozen brown rice. Let me know if you have good pressure cooker recipes… so excited to see what this bad boy can do!

Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp and Spicy Green Beans

This is another go-to we hadn’t done in a while. Works out well if you’re doing the Chicken Tikka Masala since neither recipe uses a full can of coconut milk on their own. We get the microwaveable green beans from TJs and then Roberto seasons them with some red pepper flakes. So good.

Spinach, Goat Cheese, Strawberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad

Roberto picked out every single blackberry from one of his salads last week after realizing he “doesn’t like blackberries in salad.” Alrightyyyyyy then. So we doing this classic combo. Fast, easy, goat cheese. I picked up these little squeeze bottles since the tiniest piece from this set wasn’t cutting it. Also debating getting these… too extra?

Do you have any awesome instant pot recipes? If so, please share!!!

Weekend Update & Meal Plan

Happy Sunday… hope you’ve had a great weekend! We were pretty low-key over here. We stayed in on Friday and spent so long trying to decide what movie to watch that it got too late to watch a movie. Are we the only people this happens to? The indecision is real. Let me know if you have any recs for good flicks that are streaming. We’re always afraid to start a new TV series late at night for fear that we’ll stay up till 4 am watching the whole first season, but I feel like I have way more must see TV on my list than movies these days.

I went to a new workout class yesterday morning (Shockwave at Equinox!) and I’m already sore. I ate healthy for like two hours immediately following so I’m waiting for that six-pack to come in any minute now. Speaking of six packs… queso. We had to cancel Tuesday’s date night, but we made up for it last night with tacos and margs (and obviously a bowl of aforementioned melted cheese) at Tacolicious. We hadn’t been since they moved locations a year ago which is a miracle since we used to order it every dang week for football Sundays. It was also the currency we used to pay our friends to help us paint our house when we first moved in (thank you, friends!!!). It was just as delicious as I remembered with less of the dark cramped feel of their old spot. We ended the night watching John Wick 2. I would never have picked this in a million years, but we watched it with my brother and sister in-laws for Thanksgiving almost two years ago. Well, they watched it and I fell asleep immediately…blame the tryptophan, not poor Keanu. When we saw the second one had been released Roberto insisted I rewatch the original so we could see the sequel. It’s super over the top action packed (and gory!!!) in an almost hilarious way, but both films are 85-90% on Rotten Tomatoes so I’m not the only one who can’t look away from this B-movie series.

Earlier this afternoon I met up with my friend Sara who I haven’t seen in 6,000 years since she’s been off traveling and pretty much just living her best life. We went to Off the Grid’s Presidio Picnic and shared an empanada from El Sur. She also gave me her leftover Chicken Biryani from DUM Truck which I inhaled the minute I got home. So good. Thank you, Sasa! We’re spending the rest of the evening cooking for the week and here’s what’s on deck:

 BreakfastLunchDinner
Monday 7/31K - BLTA Salad with Eggs
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Greek Meatballs with Greek Salad and Pita and Hummus (2/4)Salmon with Green Goddess Dressing and Bacon Brussels Sprouts (2/4)
Tuesday 8/1K - BLTA Salad with Eggs
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Greek Meatballs with Greek Salad and Pita and Hummus (4/4)Salmon with Green Goddess Dressing and Bacon Brussels Sprouts (4/4)
Wednesday 8/2K - BLTA Salad with Eggs
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Basil, Blackberry and Grilled Chicken Salad (2/4)Dinner with Friends 🧀🐹
Thursday 8/3K - BLTA Salad with Eggs
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Basil, Blackberry and Grilled Chicken Salad (4/4)R - Work Event
K - Shrimp Tacos (1/3)
Friday 8/4K - BLTA Salad with Eggs
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Shrimp Tacos (3/3)TBD, but most likely sushi 😬🍣

BLTA Breakfast Salad with Eggs

While perusing The Defined Dish (see below) I stumbled upon her recent post ‘why you should eat salad for breakfast.’ It’s basically what Roberto has every morning so I figured I would reluctantly try to get some veggies in earlier in the day too. Her first picture with bacon and poached eggs inspired me, but the rest is all Julianne Hough. Let me explain. When I saw this pic of Jules on her honeymoon I needed to know what she ate immediately.  The internet told me she has steamed eggs with tomato and avocado for breakfast (I don’t know what I ever expect the answer to be, but I’m always holding out hope someone found some magical burrito ingredient). Anyways, I set about Googling and found out her method (which is essentially a fry/steam combo) is different than everybody else’s definition of a steamed egg, but the latter sounded like a delicious make-ahead so I’m giving it a go. In summary, yes I’m basing my breakfast on an Instagram picture and fully aware that my “One time Julianne Hough ate tomatoes, avocados, and eggs for breakfast so I ate tomatoes, avocados, and eggs for breakfast” essentially makes her my real life Regina George, but if it gets me to eat more veggies who really cares.

Greek Turkey Meatballs with Roberto’s Shepherd’s Salad

We have lean ground turkey every week and I love Roberto’s traditional meatballs with Tommaso’s, but we’re switching it up and trying these from Skinnytaste this time. We’re planning to serve with what Roberto calls his Shepherd’s Salad: tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, kalamata olives & feta with a drizzle of olive oil. I also plan to make Gina’s skinny tzatziki and have some whole wheat pita and hummus on the side. Reminds me of our honeymoon in Greece 💙🇬🇷 💙

Sheet Pan Green Goddess Salmon with Bacony Brussels Sprouts

Fun fact: we almost spelled brussels sprouts wrong on the menu at our wedding and I still have a panic attack every time I have to write it out. Just more ways vegetables are victimizing me. Anywho, my work wife discovered The Defined Dish while we were doing our Whole30 back in March and still uses her for recipe inspo. She had this salmon last week and said it was amazing so now I obviously have to make it myself 👯. It’s not going to be Whole30 compliant since I’m subbing out what we’ve got (i.e. regular mayo and non-compliant turkey bacon), but it looks quick and easy so I’m hoping it lives up to WWs rave reviews. Love this Goldtouch sheet pan from William Sonoma for sheet pan recipes since practically nothing sticks, but we typically use a Silpat to make things extra easy.

Basil, Blackberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad

Bringing this back this week since it was so delish the first time around AND I remembered the basil this week a.k.a. a key ingredient that’s also in the title. Winner winner chicken dinner (lunch). It’s so quick to just grill thinly sliced chicken breast or shrimp and throw it all in a mason jar so we’ve made these quick and easy salads one of our go-to’s each week. Also, it doesn’t hurt that we’ve deemed goat cheese another key ingredient.

Shrimp Tacos

No, we did not get enough tacos last night. Please stop your judging. We’re just planning to grill up some shrimp and throw them in corn tortillas with cabbage, sour cream, salsa, and avocado for me. I apologize if this is one of those things everyone knew except me (like the whole how to chop an onion debacle), but ever since I learned you could make your own hard shell tortillas it’s been a game changer. We do ’em in our toaster oven since it heats up fast, but any old oven will work.

Let me know if you have an awesome recipe you think I should try and have a great week!

 

Weekend Update

spruce-cocktail-pepper-whiskey

Happy Monday… hope you had a great weekend! Ours was 100% low-key and just what we needed after a few busy weeks. We hadn’t gone out for a good old fashioned date in a while so on Friday we headed to Spruce for dinner. We normally try not to repeat restaurants since there are so many we haven’t tried in the city, but I’m willing to break that rule for Spruce. Roberto had gotten us a reservation, but we ended up giving up our table so we could sit at the bar instead which is first come first serve. Pretty sure we’re the only crazies who do that, but it’s a livelier vibe and a little less stuffy. We always start with cocktails and Roberto’s tried and true order is the ‘Smoke and Fire’ which has whiskey and chili a.k.a. all his favorite things. I went with the ‘Summer in Provence’ this time which has gin, lavender, and creme de violette which gives it the pretty purple hue. We split a couple dishes and ended with their beignets because of course.

spruce-cocktail-lavender-gin-provence

The rest of the weekend was decidedly less glamorous. We spent it doing some long neglected chores and ordering take-out which leads me to… meal-planning. I’m bringing back our weekly meal plan for selfish reasons because I honestly need it to keep me accountable. I don’t feel like we ever fully got back in the groove after our big trip to Peru and Columbia and that was TWO MONTHS AGO. We’ve been especially bad the last few weeks where we got home late on Sunday from weekends away. We either skipped meal prepping completely or did it halfheartedly. I also got into the convenient habit of ‘forgetting’ my lunch, opting for gargantuan sandwiches instead… no bueño. So we’re back in the saddle this week; Roberto and I divided and conquered on our meals so he went with two of our ‘go-to’s and I grabbed some new recipes I wouldn’t want to forget at home.

 BreakfastLunchDinner
Monday 7/17K - Avocado Toast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Basil, Blackberry and Grilled Chicken Salad (2/4)Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers & Watermelon Salad (2/4)
Tuesday 7/18K - Avocado Toast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
K - Basil, Blackberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad (3/4)
R - Work Conference
K - Giants Game = Ballpark Food!
R - Work Dinner
Wednesday 7/19K - Avocado Toast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
K - Basil, Blackberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad (4/4)
R - Work Conference
Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers & Watermelon Salad (4/4)
Thursday 7/20K - Avocado Toast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Roberto's Pork Tenderloin with Brussels Sprouts (2/4)Grilled Mahi Mahi with Lemon Parsley Potatoes (2/4)
Friday 7/21K - Avocado Toast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa
R - Arugula, Fried Egg, Sausage and Roasted Potatoes and Veggies
Roberto's Pork Tenderloin with Brussels Sprouts (4/4)Grilled Mahi Mahi with Lemon Parsley Potatoes (4/4)

Basil, Blackberry, and Grilled Chicken Salad

So confession right off the bat here: my version doesn’t have basil. Not on purpose. I literally deliberated at the store between organic and non-organic trying to evaluate which looked the least sad (TJs is so hit or miss for produce). When I got home I looked all over for it convinced I had put it away in the pantry or the freezer (not unusual for me in the least) and finally had to admit to myself that I never grabbed any after all that deliberation. Basil or not this came together super fast and I devoured it for lunch today (delish!). I don’t consider myself a salad girl… that’s never my go-to, but I’m rethinking that after today. As always, I used my favorite grill pan for grilling the chicken indoors (I like to buy the thinly sliced chicken breasts since they cook faster). I also brought back mason jar salads which I had literally every day when I first graduated college. I’m sure my former roommate has nightmares about me psychotically assembling these things every dang week… I’m convinced this period in my life is why I’ve been so anti-salad until now.

Roberto’s Pork Tenderloin

This bad boy remains a mystery to me. I know it involves Dijon and rosemary, but that’s about all I’ve got. That and that Roberto makes it a point to show me how he diligently removes all the silver skin each time, which I always skip because ain’t nobody got time for that. I know he’s hoping if he reminds me enough times I’ll pick it up, but instead, I’m just leaving the pork tenderloin to him. Hot tip from the chef: brown the meat on the stovetop before finishing it in the oven… total game-changer and it makes the lean meat way juicier. We use our favorite non-stick pans, but I admit they’re a little pricey. Using a classic cast iron would achieve the same thing (I still haven’t mastered the cleanup of these yet!).

Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Lemon-Parsley Potatoes

This is another one from Cooking Light. I picked up their magazine on a whim last week and everything looked so summery and delicious… I’ll probably be cooking from this for the next few weeks. We gave our grill-pan a workout this weekend… using it in just about every meal except the pork tendy. I have another herb confession on this one: I grabbed the wrong parsley. Who knew there was more than one kind??? Not me. I used the one that is basically for decoration and it made my little sauce super bitter. As usual, Roberto came to my kitchen rescue and salvaged it with his magical abilities. I still had to Google how to cut an onion until this year so progress, not perfection? (If you’re wondering, this is how… I won’t tell anyone you asked.)

Spinach Feta Turkey Burgers & Watermelon-Tomato Salad

We typically have some type of burger once a week because it’s easy, and these are in the running for my favorite. We stopped having buns at home post-Whole30 and instead have been eating these over lettuce. Seems like a responsible swap right? Well, we’ve also been baking up french fries and throwing them into our weird burger salad… totally not in the spirit. This week I decided to skip the fries and instead make this Watermelon-Tomato salad to accompany the burgers Roberto whipped up. Update for those following along on Instagram: I successfully cut up the watermelon and kept all my fingers #winwin. This.salad.was.so.good. Bring it to your potlucks, eat bowls of it by yourself, share it with everyone you know. That good.

Have a great week and let me know if you have any good recipes to get me out of this recipe rut?

Spicy Grapefruit Margaritas

Spicy grapefruit margarita cinco de mayo
📷: Milou & Olin

I wanted to share our favorite margarita recipe for those of you celebrating Cinco de Mayo (or just Friday)! We love these so much they were one of our signature drinks at our wedding. Often spicy margaritas are made with jalapenos, but we prefer the smoky kick that cayenne simple syrup gives these.

First things first you’ve got to whip up your simple syrup. Like the name implies it’s super simple and once I realized how quick (and cheap!) it was to make my own I never looked back.

Cayenne Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (more if you’re feelin’ spicy!)

This recipe makes extra because once you taste one of these spicy margaritas you’re gonna want another. It takes longer for the simple syrup to cool than it does to make it so you’ll thank yourself for having some extra on hand. I store leftovers in these glass bottles and label the concoction with these chalkboard labels and this pen (instead of actual chalk). I’m pretty confident you’ll finish this simple syrup before it goes bad, but for safety’s sake, it should last about a month in the fridge.

Directions: Heat water, sugar, and cayenne in a saucepan until the sugar is fully dissolved. Allow the mix to chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

That’s it. Promised it was easy.

Spicy Grapefruit Margaritas

  • 1.5 oz silver tequila
  • 1oz cayenne simple syrup
  • 4oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
    • No time to juice your own grapefruits? You did just make your own simple syrup after all. Trader Joe’s has a good option in their cold section that contains only ruby red grapefruit juice. If you’re going store bought just be sure to check your labels as many contain more grape or apple juice than grapefruit.

Combine all ingredients and use a big old ice cube cause you’re fancy like that. My coworkers can also attest that this recipe is great in a big batch if you’re serving a crowd (kind of partial to this copper pineapple dispenser that’s on sale).

Custom drink stirrers from tulleANDtwig. I’m obsessed with Rita’s shop and just found at least 16 other things I need.

Whole30 // Results and Recap

The Rules

If you haven’t read up on the program, Whole30 requires you to cut out all added sugar and artificial sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes, and dairy. You’re also prohibited from using the few food groups you are allowed to eat to recreate any “healthified” versions of baked goods, junk foods, or treats. Lastly, you are not supposed to weigh yourself, take measurements, count calories, etc.

The Rebellion

So notice how I said you are not supposed to weigh yourself, measure yourself, count calories, etc. Yeah, I did all that (besides measuring myself because I get tangled up every time I try to mess with a tape measure). Whole30 purists would say that I didn’t do the plan at all since I broke this cardinal rule, but I say to each their own. If you couldn’t already tell based on the fact that I enjoy writing about personal finance in my free time I’m a total data geek. So while I can definitely appreciate the importance of how you feel and not being defined by numbers… I also love numbers dearly. I didn’t track my calories with the intention of restricting them. On the contrary, I wanted to ensure I was eating enough and I was also curious to see how much of my diet ended up being comprised of carbs, protein, and fat. Lastly, I absolutely love my Fitbit Aria Scale and was curious to see not only how my weight changed, but also how it affected my body composition. Which leads us to…

Read More

Whole30 // The Final Countdown and Reintroduction

Woohoo, last four days! Well… sorta… they should really call it the Whole42, because after I complete my 30 days on Thursday I’m supposed to start a reintroduction process that will take another 12 days. Womp womp. Still, I’m excited to finish up my thirty days and get started on this little experiment. I’m convinced I have a stomach of steel so I’m not expecting to have any adverse reactions, but you never know.

Week Four Recap

So about that whole stomach of steel thing…I didn’t feel great last week. It wasn’t anything major I just felt a little queasy and didn’t have much of an appetite. I was promised tiger blood! Whatever is going on certainly didn’t stop me from asking the following questions… e.v.e.r.y.n.i.g.h.t. “Should we just order pizza and eat it in bed?” and “What should we drink tonight… white or red?” Ah, Whole30 jokes… I’m clearly losing it towards the end and Roberto can’t wait for me to get some new material.

Other than the whole not wanting to eat anything part, last week was uneventful. My biggest challenge was the soccer game on Friday. Roberto whipped up some shrimp with fresh tomatoes and bell pepper, but we were running late so I inhaled a RxBar as we ran to the stadium knowing there would be nothing inside I’d be able to eat. Then I watched as everyone else enjoyed their pretzels, nachos, chips and beer. Le sigh.

We had friends over on Saturday night and Roberto made bison burgers for the group. We had buns, cheese, and non-compliant condiments for the rest of the crew and I was the only party pooper who didn’t partake in the wine or whiskey. We’re attending the same friends’ engagement party this weekend so I’ll definitely be raising a glass to them! That means  I’ll be doing a Whole31 through Friday and reintroducing wine on Saturday. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Week Five Meal Plan

 BreakfastLunchDinner
Sunday 3/26Hard Boiled Egg and Apple with Almond Butter (Late Breakfast)Leftover Fishsticks
Monday 3/27K - Open Face Breakfast "Sandwich"
R - Spinach, Fried Egg, and Sausage and Potato Hash
K - Turkey Meatballs (1/4)
R - Leftover Shrimp
Steak and Mashed Potatoes (2/4)
Tuesday 3/28K - Open Face Breakfast "Sandwich"
R - Spinach, Fried Egg, and Sausage and Potato Hash
Slow Cooker Coconut Lime Chicken (2/4)Steak and Mashed Potatoes (4/4)
Wednesday 3/29K - Open Face Breakfast "Sandwich"
R - Spinach, Fried Egg, and Sausage and Potato Hash
Slow Cooker Coconut Lime Chicken (4/4)Ground Turkey Meatballs and Green Beans (3/4)
Thursday 3/30K - Open Face Breakfast "Sandwich"
R - Spinach, Fried Egg, and Sausage and Potato Hash
R - Ground Turkey Meatballs and Green Beans (4/4)
K - Cobb Salad
Blackened Tilapia Salad (2/4)
Friday 3/31 (No Meat)K - Open Face Breakfast "Sandwich"
R - Spinach, Fried Egg, and Potatoes
Blackened Tilapia Salad (4/4)Scallops and Brussels sprouts
Saturday 4/1 (Reintroduce Wine)TBDEngagement Party (Hoorah!)

The Breakfast Plan

I used to eat a homemade breakfast sandwich every day, and I’m trying to recreate it this week now that I’ve discovered my potato pancake “toast.” I essentially created mini frittatas like I made in weeks one and two. Instead of making one large one, I put the sauteed spinach, mushrooms, and egg whites into ramekins to create five little sandwich sized frittatas (basically flat round egg muffins). I’m planning to layer those on top of potato pancakes along with avocado and compliant turkey bacon. Yummm. The only thing missing from my old mix is the pepperjack cheese.

Steak and Mashed Potatoes

Nothing too fancy here, we just wanted to switch up our proteins. We hardly ever eat red meat so chicken, ground turkey and pork tenderloin are our go-tos, but we felt like we needed a change. We bought filet mignon and while it was a little pricier than what we’d normally spend we figured we’d more than made up for it with all the wine we aren’t buying. No meal prep needed on these since we’ll just give the fillets a quick sear in these pans.

Ground Turkey Meatballs

Roberto’s recipe was so delish last week that I requested it again this week… we have a Tomasso’s addiction.

Slow Cooker Lime Chicken over Cauliflower Rice

I loved the sound of the flavors in this recipe, but I wanted to make it even easier than it already was so I threw everything in the slow cooker (except the cilantro… you know I didn’t buy herbs). It smelled amazing and I can’t wait to try it this week.

Cobb Salad

We were just one meal short with the shrimp leftovers we had so I’m planning to do a quick and easy “Cobb Salad” and just throw some hard boiled eggs and turkey bacon over lettuce. Work wife has some Tessamae’s Ranch Dressing so I’ll have to see if I can steal some.

Blackened Tilapia

This is another pre-Whole30 recipe we love that we’re modifying. We’ll obviously skip the sour cream and the brown sugar, but it will be quick to mix up the other spices and grill the fish later in the week. Since tortillas are out we’ll have it over lettuce with salsa and I’ll be adding avocado (of course!).