So I've had carrots sitting in my fridge for a while. Carrots last a while, so it's not a big deal, but I really wanted to get rid of them. For some reason when I was trying to think of a way to use them up, my mind went to hummus.
I love hummus. I love anything with chickpeas. But I think store-bought hummus is pretty terrible so I always make it myself. Apparently authentic hummus is really creamy and smooth but I like mine to have more texture in it. One of my best friends also really likes hummus. She's the same one who occasionally makes gumbo and lets me have some. I had planned a hang-out with her on Saturday, and I wanted to do something nice.
Now I like to make different variations of hummus, and this time I went with jalapeño cilantro hummus. The last time I made this, my friend told me it wasn't jalapeño-y enough. Which really just means it wasn't spicy. I usually de-seed jalapeños when I use them, but for this batch, I used two jalapeños and I mostly kept the seeds in it.
The verdict? It was delicious. Seriously, this is like the best my hummus has ever tasted. I brought the hummus and some pita bread over to my friend's place and she finished it all the same day.
Oh, but I also used some in Mediterranean Hummus Bowls. This recipe has become one of my go-to's.
I know what you're thinking! What about those carrots? Well, don't worry, I didn't forget about them. I had to make more hummus anyway, so I cut up some carrots to dip in the hummus. And I considered taking a picture of it, but it's literally just hummus and carrots, and that's kind of boring. Delicious though.
Day 42 (Wednesday): During this whole quarantine, I've made sure to have chicken breast stocked at all times. I know chicken breast is kind of boring, but my sister has gotten really good at cooking it well.
Seriously, it was really good chicken. We also had some scalloped potatoes and asparagus to round out the meal.
What a nice fancy, American meal.
Day 43 (Thursday): After eating that chicken and that shepherd's pie, I was starting to feel really sluggish, so I wanted to have something a little bit lighter. I stared at my whiteboard for a while until deciding on making some Greek chicken wraps.
Except I had pita bread, so it wasn't actually wrapped. My sister also made me some french fries since I told her I really wanted some (: We had to be a little creative for the hummus, since I realized in the moment that we didn't have any lemons. We replaced that with some vinegar and orange, which was a really strange combination. Not my favorite hummus, but it was still edible.
The sandwiches all put together were really good though! Once again, my sister did a great job cooking the chicken.
Day 44 (Friday): We ordered takeout. Yup, we finally supported a local business and got some fried chicken. It was alright. The cornbread was dry. I don't take pictures of food I eat at a restaurant, so I don't have a picture of the fried chicken we ordered.
Day 45 (Saturday): Rounding out the American-ish meals, we decided to make meatloaf!
We put the dry cornbread in this, which I think was a good use of it. I think it turned out great.
I know meatloaf isn't very visually appealing, but it had really good flavor. My sister loved it.
Sunday we're hitting up the Asian store and the Mexican store, so that'll spice up our meals for next week.
Okay, I know we're not really quarantined, but I didn't know what else to call this blog post. I had some pictures of things I made before my sister visited. And I know I can't tie these all together nicely, but whatever. Enjoy the pictures!
I've been on a hummus kick for the past few months. Back when I could still go into the office, I would snack all the time. I don't think I went a single hour without eating something. And the cafe in the office doesn't exactly offer the most healthy options.
So, I'm trying to make sure I have healthier snack options. And since I love chickpeas, that also means I love hummus. And homemade hummus is way way better than anything you can buy at the store.
Remember those fish tacos I made a while back? I actually bought the family pack of tilapia, so I needed to do something with the rest of the filets. I saw a chimichurri fish recipe on Budget Bytes, and you know I love chimichurri.
I was going to buy a head of cabbage for this, but I saw a pack of coleslaw mix on clearance for $1 so I grabbed that instead.
You know a post about lots of food I make wouldn't be complete without tacos. Sweet potatoes were on sale at Aldi, and I also saw these tiny little tortillas at Trader Joes that I impulse bought!
Since the potatoes at Aldi come in 3 lb packs, I still had to so something with the rest of them. So why not continue making more Mexican-inspired dishes?
The chipotle chili powder in the lime crema was a great addition. I think I'm going to always add the chipotle powder in the future.
And to finish off the sweet potato recipes, I also made some beef stew. The sweet potatoes made the whole dish sweeter, which was nice.
For something completely different, here are some pierogies! That I bought from the store, because sometimes I need an easy meal.
Dumplings! The best freezer meal and completely worth the hour of prep time that goes into making a large batch.
And tacos again! Because I love tacos! All recipes on this page get a 5/5 star rating from me. Hopefully I'll remember to post more often in the future.
So, my sister's school got canceled for who knows how long, which means she's back with me! And since she's back, you know what that means. We make lots of food and take lots of pictures.
So, when we got home we went grocery shopping, and my mom told us to buy two week's worth of groceries. So we bought a lot of food. But, there is zero chance that we managed to get enough for two weeks. I don't even think we bought enough food for one week. We went through a whole pound of broccoli in one meal!
We're trying really hard to not go grocery shopping again until all our veggies are used up. I think we can last a couple more days. Maybe. But I will not sacrifice healthy, well-balanced meals for this. I know eating veggies with dip might seem like a weird thing to have for lunch, but look at the different flavors! I have all the food groups represented. And I can use up my whole thing of celery, which is great because I don't really like celery.
And we bought so much fruit! Which is crazy for me, since I don't really like fruit that much. But my sister can turn that fruit into delicious smoothies, and I love smoothies.
Of course this means we have to be a little creative. Out of limes? Let's use lemons instead. Out of cilantro? What else do I have that's green? Have the wrong kind of cheese? Doesn't matter, I'll just use what I have.
Yes, I made tacos and replaced limes with lemons, green onion with cilantro, and queso fresco with feta. And it was better than any other taco from a hipster restaurant that I've ever had.
Yeah, we're now officially out of fresh green things to use as garnish. Lesson learned? Buy way way way more vegetables next time.
My mind has been so distracted about work that I haven't been able to really give this blog much thought. I'm even eating out more, and my body is not happy with that. Anyway, I am still cooking regularly, so I feel like I should at least update this with pictures every so often.
I really like getting bagels from Giant Eagle, which means I also end up buying cream cheese, but one block of cream cheese is just so much cream cheese that I end up with lots of leftover cream cheese. So then I look up recipes with cream cheese, and for some reason, it's always just a bunch of pasta. This was good though. I'd make it again, but I probably won't put it in my "go-to recipes".
I also bought a bag of Poblano peppers from Giant Eagle because I needed one for that enchilada recipe I made a few weeks ago. What was annoying was that I only needed one pepper and I had to buy five because Giant Eagle only sells these in bags, and I did not want to take the extra ten minutes to trek to Whole Foods. So I looked up Poblano recipes and I came across hummus. I love hummus (as I love chickpeas), but store-bought hummus is usually so bad. The problem with making hummus though, is that I have to take out my food processor, which is a pain in the butt because it's annoying to wash, and it takes me forever to figure out how to put it back in the box. But hey, I have it, so I really should make use of it more often.
This hummus was delicious, but it really could have used a second Poblano pepper. I'll have to make hummus more often, as it's a great healthy snack that I can bring to work. Plus, what else am I gonna use my jar of tahini for?
Sometimes I eat so much pasta and tacos that it makes me really miss Asian food. I also feel like I need more vegetables in my system, and this is one of my favorite dishes to order at the local Chinese restaurant. We actually made this once when my sister was here! I figured I'd try this out on my own, and it turned out to be a super oil-splatter-y mess, but it did taste good! Next time I need to be better about really drying the green beans before throwing them into the pan. I also really should have used a larger pan. This is going to go into my "things I want to cook for my mom or dad when they visit" list.
More Asian food! I was just browsing recipes and I stumbled across this, and the picture looked really good, so I wanted to make it myself. Of course, when I made it, it didn't look nearly as good as the original recipe's picture. The marinade was delicious, but I still haven't quite gotten the hang of using my cast iron skillet. I was supposed to let the beef really brown, but it wasn't quite doing that. There was also so much marinade, and I probably could have cut it in half. I also should have cut the pieces of beef much much thinner. I'll have to try this again sometime.
Now this is one of my go-to recipes. Of course I still haven't taken a decent picture of it yet. What's nice about this dish is that I can pair it with whatever starch I want. Rice, pasta, or bread all work really well. And I just happened to have a whole take-and-bake baguette sitting in my freezer.
With Aldi now stocking pizza dough for less than $1, making pizza is really convenient. Especially because whenever I buy shredded cheese, it comes in these giant bags and I never know what to do with all of it, so I snack on it. I'd definitely rather be cooking with the cheese instead. Tomatoes are also one of my favorite pizza toppings (tomatoes, not tomato sauce). I should have put more green onions on this, but I totally forgot about them until the last minute so I awkwardly placed them in-between tomatoes at the end.
I should really buy a round pizza dish so I can actually make it circular next time. Oh, and maybe a pizza cutter.