Sunday, March 2, 2014

Menu planning. My new favorite sport.

With a new job brings new schedule.  And mealtime challenges.

It's no secret I like to be fed.  Whether that's me cooking or someone cooking for me, I just like the foods.  Lately, Mondays, I pretty much can't cook and be in bed at a decent hour bc I have things due first thing on Tuesday.  So I've been taking work home.  Depending on how the week goes, Thursday may or may not be a work night too.  Add to that Hub's new Tues/Thurs 10-week real estate class and dinner is just a mess.  I mean, he's not even home to eat those days!  (I miss him.  But the remote is all mine.  Bwahhahahaaa.)

So how to get fed with max yum & minimum weeknight stress?

I went to the local Asian store for the first time recently.  It's right down the street & I CANNOT believe I've never been before!  It looks like a convenience store from the outside.  But is surprisingly ginormous inside.  All sorts of produce.  Exotic seasonings and marinades.  Fresh seafood.  To include whole fish.  (I've been talking mad game about filleting one.  Think I found a friend to join me!  More on this to come.)

So anyhoo, at the Asian store I got a Korean apple/pear marinade.  I was pretty excited about it.  I marinaded 2 medium-sized pork tenderloins in that for about 36 hours.  Sunday, I seared them on the on the cast iron and finished them in the oven.  We had them on Hawaiian rolls.  (I love anything with Hawaiian rolls by the way.  Sliders.  Ham.  Or on their own.  Hawaiian rolls are the best.  THE BEST.)  And sides were roasted broccoli, roasted red potatoes, asparagus, and brown rice.

Good dinner and great leftovers.  We had them for lunch & dinner throughout the week.  I also made a double batch of spicy Asian lettuce wraps Sunday afternoon and we had those as well.  Add one night out for Mexican and I didn't have to cook a single weeknight.  I must say, I felt pretty good about myself!  Food was good and it just took a productive Sunday.

Open face sammies with apricot horseradish sauce
A look-forward-to lunch
Lettuce wrap pic fr the interwebs - but pretty much identical
So that was last week.  Menu planning this week, way harder.  I enjoyed last week so much, nothing seemed as good.  Spaghetti?  Boring.  Meatloaf.  Good, but not quite there.  Roast?  Think we just had one.  I finally landed on a slow cooker shredded BBQ chicken.  Seemed versatile.  Could go on buns, nacho chips or I could make a salad.  Menu-planned - check.

It was 60-something degrees & gorgeous yesterday.  The Memphis Tigers BEAT Louisville and a super exciting, close game that had the Forum absolutely rocking.  So thinking about that BBQ chicken?  Yes, please!

Buuuuut today, Sunday, it is freezing, raining, and we're under ice storm warning.  BBQ chicken?  Not so much.  My taste buds want something more comfy.  Quick change of plans.  Winging it, so we'll see how it goes.  I got chicken breasts, a bunch of spinach, and goat cheese.  I plan on caramelizing onions, mixing with sauteed garlic spinach/goat cheese and stuffing the chicken breasts with that mix.  I'm making a large batch of that tonight which should yield plenty of leftovers.  For tomorrow, I defrosted a big mac & cheese casserole from the freezer (recipe here - I subbed ground turkey and added spinach).  With either a night out or quick fish dinner, the week seems covered.  I'll let you know how it turns out!

We will test any of that for you.

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