My favorite pizza topping is tomato. Not tomato sauce, fresh slices of tomato. Why did I decide to make pizza in the first place? Maybe it was because I had a small amount of shredded mozzarella cheese that I wanted to use up.
So, I bought a bag of tomatoes from Aldi. Even though I didn't have too much shredded cheese in the bag, I still wasn't able to use it all up, and now I had four more tomatoes to go along with it. And, I'm gonna detour away from the pizza for a moment to show you a couple of other tomato-y things.
One of the things I made with the other tomatoes was tomato rice. This wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. I know I was thinking, "hey, I could use up a tomato in this!" But it actually called for diced tomatoes and tomato paste, so this didn't really help me cut down on my tomatoes.
I was able to use up some tomatoes (and mozzarella!) in my tomato and mozzarella panini. This was probably way too much effort for a workday lunch, but it was pretty good! I actually made it twice, and the second time I added basil and mint because I felt like it needed something leafy inside. It was a little strange, but I thought it was a good addition.
But before I made it, I actually went and bought a log of mozzarella because I was worried that my shredded mozzarella wasn't going to be enough. I used up all of the shredded stuff, and then I still had a lot of the mozzarella log left.
And I know. You're seeing a never ending cycle now, where every time I finish using up one ingredient, I still end up having too much of another. Does it ever end???
I don't know. But I'm gonna make more pizza tonight.
This time I won't buy more tomatoes or mozzarella. Hopefully.
Two years ago, back when this blog was in its infancy, I made a post on Greek turkey rice. This week, I had a few ingredients that would work well for this dish, so I decided to make it again. I remembered it being good and easy to make.
Well, I still don't disagree with that statement, but after a few chill meal-making sessions, I went back to flailing like crazy. There were flying pieces of rice, spinach, chicken broth, and lemon zest. This is why I gotta write down my recipes in advance.
(Throwback to when I took pictures of food right underneath the spotlight! Not as nice as the pictures my sister would take though.)
Also, I used ground turkey from a tube. I didn't realize you could buy ground meat in a tube, but the tube was cheaper than the non-tube form. I don't know if I'll ever do that again. I mean it tasted fine, but it was weird. Any time I tell my family I'm cooking ground turkey I know they'll respond with "TURKEY?!" and I can see them making a disgusted face that says "why would you ever do that".
Hey, I'm just following a recipe.
You know what else is in the ingredients list? A lemon. But this recipe doesn't even call for lemon, just lemon zest. Now I've got "Naked lemon slices" in my leftovers.
Unfortunately there were no sun-dried tomatoes in either Target or Trader Joe's, (I know, these are terrible places to grocery shop. But I was there for other reasons.) so I was missing that extra pop of color/flavor. I also didn't put the aesthetic lemon slices in the middle of the pan.
But that doesn't matter. It tasted good. That's what really counts.
Summer is exhausting. Kids are out of school and everyone's on vacation, and sometimes you just need a vacation after your vacation. I'm slowly getting back to having a normal routine though.
You might be wondering, "Hey! What happened to your $30 a week thing? You only lasted two weeks!" Yeah, it might be a while until I try that challenge again. I'm trying to focus on just eating and exercising well, and I don't want to have to think about saving every penny I can.
But I told myself I'd get back to the blog, so here are three things I made this week:
I've made this yellow rice so many times, but it was always with chicken. The chicken was always my least favorite part of the dish, so it just made sense to only make the rice part. And then I can pair it with other things, like a fried egg! This rice tastes even better if you stir-fry it the day after.
Man, they really make dishes sound fancier when they put so many ingredients in the name of the dish. This was really easy to make, and the flavor was really good, but I don't know how to get my salmon to have that nice color on it. Maybe mine was so pale because I only cooked it for 15 minutes. But it's salmon! I can't have overcooked salmon! I might try roasting it for say, 8 minutes, and then broiling for 5 more minutes next time.
That salmon recipe called for the zest of two whole lemons. You know what that left me? Two naked lemons. And I totally forgot about them when making this salad, so I still have two naked lemons. Anyway, I don't really love kale or salmon in my salads, so I'm not sure why I decided to make this. I did like the dressing though. I used whatever kale came in the bag I got from Aldi, but I think this would have been better with lacinato kale.
So I mentioned in a previous post that Aldi had really thin asparagus. Normally I wouldn't buy any, but they were on sale for the past two weeks, so I went and looked for the bag with the thickest stalks (which were still really thin). I needed an asparagus recipe and I came across Crispy Parmesan Asparagus Sticks from How Sweet Eats.
It seemed like a great idea since I had both Parmesan and breadcrumbs, and the recipe actually called for super thin asparagus. But I started breading them, and I realized how much of a pain it is to bread asparagus. Way too much effort for a tiny asparagus stalk.
I also had some potatoes that looked like they were getting kind of sad and growing too many eyes, so I sliced them up and made these Roasted Potato Wedges with Shawarma Sauce from Budget Bytes. The sauce was way too salty so I think that should be cut in half. I would probably also just cut the whole sauce recipe in half because now I have a bunch of Shawarma sauce and I need to figure out what to do with it.
And I completely forgot to take pictures of this Unstuffed Bell Peppers rice dish that I made (also from Budget Bytes). It was a quick and easy dish. My sister did remember to take one photo of it, combined with the potatoes and asparagus.
More rice dishes!
I still had those olives sitting in my fridge from the Greek Chicken we cooked a few weeks ago, and I wanted to use them up. And I guess olives means another Greek dish.
I really like the skillet rice dishes from Budget Bytes, and I hadn't made the Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet yet so I figured I'd give that a try. This was really easy to make, and all of the flavors worked really well together.
The only modifications we made were using fresh spinach instead of frozen (because frozen spinach doesn't taste as good), and using cilantro instead of parsley (duh).
We may end up making all of the rice dishes in Budget Bytes before my sister leaves.