Recipe Recap: March & April
We have really embraced the goal we set at the beginning of the year to try a new recipe each week. And if there’s any goal I am good at crushing, it’s one that’s related to food, as in “let’s see how much of this all-you-can-eat buffet one person can really handle.” Over the past two months we’ve actually sampled 19 new to us recipes! What can I say? We are overachevers! It’s honestly been a lot of fun and we’ve discovered many that we’ll make again, as well as a few that we probably won’t. But that’s the way the cooke crumbles, right? 😉 Today I am going to give you a rundown of everything we’ve made these last two months complete with my honest opinion. Because there are so many this time around, I’m breaking them up by category to make it easier to navigate. (Note: I know there are still a few more days left in April, but odds are we won’t be trying anything new before the weekend.)
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Dessert Should Always Come First
Ted Lasso Biscuits: These easy to make biscuits modeled after the infamous “Biscuits with the Boss” on Ted Lasso are absolutely melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Buttery, sweet, crumbly in the best way. We’ve made them so many times already and will make them for the rest of our lives. Actually, make a note: I want these served at my funeral. Also, Mumford & Sons music would be acceptable to accompany. But not Forever. It’s my favorite of theirs, but too sad. Maybe I will Wait to let everyone know I’ll be on the other side waiting. Ha.
Breakfast: My Favorite Meal (OK, I like them all)
French Toast Sticks: These particular sticks are oven baked, then brown-buttered and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Really, you’re eating dessert, but the name gives you permission to call it breakfast. I mean, the recipe has eggs. And toast. So… yeah. We loved these! I think we’d just cut the recipe in half next time because it made a ton and our kids are too good for leftovers, which are for the common people.
Eggs in Purgatory: We made these on Easter and they were easy and absolutely delicious! This meal could very well be used for any meal of the day as it’s filled with vegetables and protein. And feta. We all know everything is betta with feta! Except for my forehead which likes to spring up new zits as a way of thanking me for consuming dairy. I tell you what though, this dish is worth it.
Chocolate Smoothie Muffins: I am always trying to find ways to sneak healthy things into my kids’ mouths. These muffins are gluten free, vegan and made with bananas, but butter and spinach. Wilder enjoyed helping me make them – mostly because he got to steal chocolate chips when I wasn’t looking. He ate one when they were warm but then every other time I gave him one, he’d just pick out chocolate chips to eat. Emmy loved them, so that was a win. I thought they were interesting, but I wasn’t in love. I am calling it a win though because even though we were a house divided, one child – who otherwise eats nothing green – was a huge fan.
Paleo Banana Bread: I made this bread and the first time I over-baked it, yet it was still delicious. Luckily it was not quite burnt, but just a little too dark on the edges so still edible. And my thrifty self doesn’t throw food away that is still safe for human consumption. I made it again last week and it came out perfectly! The texture and flavor of this bread are just perfect. Of course, in our house we add chocolate chips, which never hurts.
Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and Roasted Sweet Potatoes: I made this one when Chris was out of town because I knew it wasn’t going to be his cup of tea, or bowl of salad. I absolutely LOVED it and will definitely make it again. I’ve already reused the salad dressing recipe alone because it’s delicious and vegan – made with tahini!
Peach and Arugula Salad: This salad was photographed on a dark night before I got my new iPhone 12 pro, so it’s not worth sharing because you’d be like, “What am I even looking at?” Also, I made this salad because I had bought mint at the farmers market and wanted to use it then totally forgot to put the mint in. Because that is what the inside of my brain is like: all good intentions and messy execution! I also forgot the basil. Even with those missing ingredients, Chris and I both loved this salad. Imagine how great it will taste when we make it again the right way.
Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing: Chris was not a fan of this one, but I loved it enough for both of us. Chris also hates kale, so I feel like he just had a personal vendetta out for this one. I will certainly make it again for myself. Kale, yeah!
Butternut Blackberry Salad: I don’t know about you, but I love me a good mashup song, and sometimes a good mashup recipe. This one combined two different salads to create what we wanted. For the salad body, we used this recipe but toasted the pecans instead of glazing because I didn’t want needless sugar. I added the blackberries and used the maple-dijon dressing from this recipe. It was a mashup as good as Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s Over the Rainbow. Ok, maybe not quite that good, but close.
Soup, There It Is
Note: Apparently I took no photos of soups we tried. It’s not highly photogenic and a little camera shy anyhow.
Loaded Potato Soup: We loved this healthy take on potato soup and took it a step farther to make it vegan. I’m a pescatarian, so we’re always doctoring recipes if they call for meat products. Even without the bacon, this soup was awesome, probably the best healthy version of potato soup we’ve tried. And we’ve made a few!
Lentil & Vegan Sausage Soup: Chris made this soup one evening and we used veggie broth and vegan sausage instead of meat products. That being said, neither of us really liked it. I am sure if you make the meaty version, it’s much better, but we just weren’t fans. Of course, being the thrifty New England-born girl who wastes not, I ate the leftovers all week. So it wasn’t inedible.
Meatless, Not Tasteless, Entrees
Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta: We made this pesto, which replaces cheese with nutritional yeast, and although I was a little leery of whether Chris would like it, but we both loved it! The texture and flavor were amazing and we had extra sauce which I used on a cauliflower crust pizza. Yum! Can’t wait until we have an herb garden so we can make it with our own basil. You may recall me mentioning that we were going to work on the herb garden. Or maybe you don’t. Either way, erase it from your mind. because it hasn’t happened yet. I need one of those Men in Black sticks for this blog to erase all the things I say I am going to do that never happen.
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Bowl: I made this bowl one night when Chris was away and now I have a hankering to make it again. It was delicious and nutritious! I used cauliflower rice for mine. The sauce was yummy! OK, scheduling a bowl night this week STAT.
Chicken of the Sea, and Other Treats from the Ocean
Sheet Pan Salmon with Citrus Avocado Salsa and Potatoes: And this is where my love for sheet pan dinners started. It’s a passionate affair that seems to be standing the test of time. Or at least a couple of months already. Seriously, I love how easy and delicious sheet pan dinners are. We loved this one – the avocado salsa, which isn’t pictured, is a nice touch of texture and flavor. This salmon entree is a fabulous spring dish!
Sheet Pan Salmon Niçoise: First of all, I commend you on your pronunciation. Despite the fact that I won the prestigious high school French award in 1996, I had to listen to a video on YouTube to get it right. My hat’s off to you. We loved this delicious and savory Mediterranean style dish filled with veggies. Anything containing artichokes usually has my vote. I will say, I would roast my veggies a little longer next time before adding the fish, but I love my veggies a bit charred.
Sheet Pan Hawaiian Pineapple Shrimp Tacos: These were full of flavor and the roasted jalapeño and corn sauce was so good! A fabulous summer dish we’ll be making again for sure. As you can see, we (as in Chris) cut the pineapple too large to roast or fit well inside tacos, so next time we’ll cut smaller. Or I’ll just do it myself. 😉
Dijon Almond Crusted Tilapia: I wasn’t sure how this dish would be because it seemed stupidly easy to make. My mind likes to overthink and overcomplicate everything, so surely with only a few easy steps and ingredients this was going to be too good to be true. Well, it was incredibly delicious! And really so easy! I would recommend a spatula to remove cooked fish from pan, because I attempted to use tongs the first time which is why this photo is cropped and you don’t see the filet that’s over to the left. It totally fell apart when I removed it. I assure you, it still tasted great!
Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp Kebabs: This was a simple and tasty recipe perfect for spring and summer dining. You could serve it over rice or a salad, add to a veggie bowl. Use your imagination! We are big fans of lime and cilantro together, so this was a win in our house. You put the lime in the cilantro and mix them both up.
Honey Sriracha Salmon: This recipe is another that makes a great addition to a salad or bowl, or could be served on its own with sides. We tend to love versatile seafood dishes like this because I like a salad and Chris enjoys rice or pasta. it allows us to each enjoy our own version of the same dish. We found this salmon to have just the right amount of sweetness and heatness. Ok, so that’s not a word, but I like how it sounds with sweetness. Screw you, red squiggly line. Around here we make up our own words and dinner.
Awesomesauce! Or maybe not so awesome
Dairy-Free Hollandaise: I had come home from the farmers market with eggs and fresh asparagus and a hankering for an open-faced asparagus sandwich with a poached egg on top. In my efforts to be a healthy and conscious eater, I used this smoked gouda vegan cheese, which I loved, paired with this gluten-free pumpernickel bread – which tasted great once it was grilled. I roasted the asparagus in the oven with salt, pepper, and olive oil, and poached the eggs using my egg poacher which is a life saver if you are afraid of poaching eggs. I wanted to find a healthier dairy-free hollandaise sauce and settled on this one made with tahini. Neither Chris nor I liked it and agreed it had way too strong of a tahini flavor. Next time I may just use a vegan mayo. Otherwise, we both loved our open faced sandwiches!
And that’s everything we have tried over the last couple of months! Tell me, do you see anything here you might try? Did you try any from the last recap I did? And is there anything in particular you’d like to see us try? And finally, what recipes are you loving lately that I need to know about?
Happy feasting, my friends!