A full meal prep: breakfast, lunch, dinner, + snacks

A full meal prep: breakfast, lunch, dinner, + snacks

I’ve mostly been in the habit of doing meal prep for my work lunch, and often a make ahead breakfast scramble. Today, I’ve gone full meal prep mode, thanks to upcoming work training for the next couple of weeks. This is also a reflection of me gaining back about 12 lbs or so, from the previous 33 lbs I’d lost as of July 2019.

What I’m prepping for this week:

A healthy lunch meal of chicken, broccoli, & butternut squash, also including a prepped salad.

I’m ready for meal prepped salads this week. Gotta love Costco. All of this was $18! Dressing cups from the Dollar Tree. 1 lb of organic baby spinach, 2.5 lbs organic celery, a 24 oz mediterranean salad kit, & 2 lbs campari tomatoes.

What I intended to be chili, but accidentally put my riced cauliflower into the onion & celery that was cooking, is now more of a “hearty bean soup”. Oops. That’s for dinner after work.

Hearty Bean Soup:

8 stalks of celery, finely diced

1 medium sweet onion

1 x 16 oz pkg of riced cauliflower

Sauteed the above in coconut oil, added pink himalayan salt & black pepper.

32 oz beef broth (+ 2 cups of water later)

1/4 c. Cento double concentrated tomato paste.

1 & 1/8 tsp cumin

1 tsp San Antonio chili powder

1 & 1/8 tsp kirkland signature 21 spice seasoning blend

2 cans of black beans drained & rinsed.

Simmer on medium for 30 min. Reduce heat & simmer on low for another 45 minutes.

Hearty bean soup

I’ve found the trick to prepping salads ahead, and keeping greens from getting soggy. I put tomato and cucumber type wet veggies in a separate little baggie (or another small container) & put that inside the salad container. Dressing cups also work well. I bought a new set of food storage containers, but they don’t contain enough of the same size. Hence, the 3 different sized salad containers. I made the salads while my soup was simmering.

Spread about evenly between 5 salads was this:

1/2 of a 1 lb tub of baby spinach – chopped

Mediterranean salad mix – – left out 2 vinaigrette packets & croutons (but saved for meatloaf)

8 celery stalks finely diced

8 campari tomatoes – cut in 1/2 & then into 1/4’s.

Balsamic vinegar – about 1 & 1/2 tbsp into each dressing cup.

Next, is something I’ve written a few blogs on a year or 2 ago. My make ahead breakfast scramble. Sometimes, I’ll make it with a layer of ground sausage on the bottom of eggs

But today, my bigger Cuisinart round pan (I think a 3 qt sautee pan) needs to be washed yet. Plus, I have chicken sausage links to use up in the freezer.

9 eggs (4 are XL size, 5 M/L eggs – both are locally raised chicken eggs)

1 tsp heavy cream

Pink himalayan salt

1 tsp taco seasoning (approximately)

Shredded aged white cheddar (kerrygold dubliner cheese)

Grated Romano cheese

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes (for just eggs, no sausage or vegetables)

In addition to the salads, my lunch for work will be baked chicken with broccoli & butternut squash.

7 boneless skinless chicken breast (smaller tenders) & a light amount of coconut oil on the bottom of a non-stick 9 x 13 pan.

Pink himalayan salt & kirkland signature 21 spice seasoning mix

A bit of soy sauce

2 x 1 lb pkgs of diced butternut squash

1 x 1 lb pkg of broccoli florets

Spread butternut squash & broccoli on top of salted & seasoned chicken.

Cover with foil

Bake at 375° about 45 minutes – – & I’m skipping pictures of the final chicken, broccoli & squash – use your imaginations 😎

~ Snacks ~

In addition to a small snack sized bag of raw almonds, will be these bars that I couldn’t resist – also from Costco.

A perfect combination of chocolatey, salty, & sweet.

Chocolatey protein bars

Loaded garlic bread with vegetable marinara

Loaded garlic bread with vegetable marinara

I haven’t made this in a while, but I got some day old artisan hearth baked roasted garlic bread. Now it’s been in my fridge for a few days, I’m obligated to make loaded garlic bread.

I started by making the marinara sauce with some extra vegetables. I used up some spinach and chard and diced zucchini that I had frozen previously. I made sure to drain liquid off it once it thawed.

1/4 c. Cento double concentrated tomato paste.

Leftover spinach & chard leaves & diced zucchini & yellow squash – put into food processor. Drain liquid again.

Olive oil

15 oz can tomato sauce

Pink himalayan salt & black pepper

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp kirkland signature 21 spice seasoning blend

Fresh basil

Start with olive oil, add food processor mix of spinach, chard, & zucchini squash. Add tomato paste & stir in as it cooks.

Add salt, pepper, onion powder, 21 spice seasoning blend, & basil leaves to mixture. Stir well.

Tomato paste with vegetables & seasonings

Add tomato sauce, a bit more salt & a sprinkle of seasoning blend. Stir as it cooks.

I like to hollow out some of the bread a little bit if I’m doing loaded garlic bread.

Melted garlic butter

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter with 2 cloves of chopped garlic. Brush garlic butter over hollowed out rustic Italian bread. Spoon sauce mixture into hollowed out part. Add grated aged white cheddar (kerrygold dubliner cheese).

Spoon remaining sauce and add more shredded aged white cheddar. Preheat oven to 425°.

Loaded garlic bread

Topped with cherry tomatoes from my balcony garden. One of the perks of living in Texas!😎 Fall tomatoes are still fruiting at the end of October!

Balcony garden cherry tomatoes & basil

Baked at 425° for about 15 minutes.

Baked, & then topped with grated romano cheese.

Delizioso 😎

Loaded garlic bread
Nothing fancy Saturday dinner

Nothing fancy Saturday dinner

Corn tortillas

Ground beef cooked with a chipotle salsa

Aged white cheddar (Kerrygold)

Diced tomatoes and lettuce

Sliced avocado with pink Himalayan salt

I used my electric skillet to fry the corn tortillas with cooked ground beef. Topped with lettuce, tomato, white cheddar, and avocado. I meant to add sour cream I specifically bought… but I forgot it. Oops. My next one will get sour cream.

A Pina Colada made using some frozen “Philly ice” which is similar to an Italian ice, and spiced rum.

Saturday dinner.

Egg roll in a bowl & always hungry lately.

Egg roll in a bowl & always hungry lately.

I’m getting back into the habit of making most of my food for the week ahead of time, aka meal prep.  This evening, I made both “egg roll in a bowl” and a creamy spinach soup. I’m also contemplating a mix of brownies with some added PB2 powdered almond butter. I feel like I’m always hungry lately.  I’ve stumbled upon popcorn topped with melted butter and/or coconut oil, a bit of honey, plus cinnamon sprinkled on top of that.  I kept wanting to eat more of it. Then I discovered brushing coconut oil and honey mixture on toast, also topped with cinnamon. Then at Costco, I picked up some chocolate dipped Nature Valley protein bars.  Needless to say, despite most of what I cook being “healthy-ish”, I’ve stumbled into an “eating too much” phase.

For the creamy spinach soup, I’m not including a final picture, as it’s tasty, but the consistency doesn’t lend it to be very photogenic. I’m physically going back into work this week, and the soup is for after I get home to eat.

The “egg roll in a bowl” is for my work lunch, although I’ve had some tonight. It’s quite delicious.

I’ve used MyFitnessPal to create my recipe. My number of servings, especially for my soups, is usually an estimate. The egg roll in a bowl has 5 boneless chicken tenderloins (where MFP shows it as 576 grams).

I diced & sauteed 3 carrots, 1 large yellow beet, 1 rutabaga in one pan. I cooked 1 smaller chopped head of green cabbage with salt in another pan. I used diced green onions, pink himalayan salt & black pepper, and fresh ginger & garlic with the chicken. All sauteed in coconut oil.

Egg roll in a bowl – quite delicious

Perhaps next time, I’ll use my air fryer that I finally got from storage and actually make egg rolls. That was my original idea. I decided to do this instead.

Creamy spinach soup recipe
Creamy spinach soup recipe continued

Pasta something….

Pasta something….

Even as I was about to start cooking, I wasn’t quite sure what exactly I wanted to make. I knew it was going to involve zucchini, pasta, and garlic & onions sauteed in a mix of butter and olive oil. I also bought fresh mozzarella cheese the other day, and I’ve got some pecorino romano cheese left. I thought about either of these two recipes I found: Lidia Bastianich’s Pasta alla Chitarra all’Amatriciana or this Taste of Home’s Caramelized Onion & Garlic Pasta.

In the end, I still made something a little different than both of those. I need to get back into the habit of meal prep for a week of work, now that I’ll be physically going to work soon. This reflects me making a week’s worth of food. Someone asked me how I don’t get tired of eating the same meal. Nope, not really. Occasionally by Friday I’m tired of my meal prep. But, it so happens that I typically really enjoy my own cooking.

Locally grown zucchini

I decided to make a separate zucchini dish. I sliced most of this large zucchini to top with the fresh mozzarella cheese, and then oven roast with some salt and pepper. I saved part of the zucchini, and I diced it to put in my pasta sauce.

My pasta sauce was pretty similar to the Bolognese I attempted recently. Except I used ground turkey this time.

Bolognese sauce recipe:

1 large sweet onion sliced

6 cloves of garlic diced.

2 celery stalks finely diced

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 tbsp of butter

6 oz tomato paste

8 oz tomato sauce

14.5 oz diced tomatoes

Pink himalayan salt

Black pepper

1 tsp kirkland signature 21 spice no-salt seasoning mix

1 & 1/2 c. diced zucchini

3 oz dry red wine

Sliced onions

Sautee onions, garlic, and celery in both olive oil and butter. Add ground turkey. Add 6 oz tomato paste & 1 can diced tomatoes. Add salt, pepper, & 21 spice no salt seasoning mix. Stir as meat is cooking. Add 8 oz tomato sauce. Stir while meat continues to cook. Add diced zucchini and 6 leaves of Basil last

1 package pasta of your choice. I used whole wheat rotini. Start cooking pasta.

Preheat oven to 425 for zucchini with mozzarella.

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to use up all of my fresh mozzarella for these. So, some only have a half a slice of fresh mozzarella sprinkled with pink salt and black pepper. I picked up some new (but inexpensive) non-stick plans at the grocery store, so I’m testing them out with this.

Zucchini and fresh mozzarella

Bake at 425 for about 9 minutes. While baking, I grated some pecorino romano cheese. Flipped to broil for about 2 minutes.

Pasta with Bolognese, and zucchini with fresh mozzarella
Can’t forget a little wine.
No bake strawberry cheesecake, chicken coconut curry

No bake strawberry cheesecake, chicken coconut curry

Dinner tonight was for a guest visiting from out of town. I started with the no bake strawberry cheesecake last night. I also modified this recipe here.

My modified strawberry cheesecake recipe:

2 packages of cream cheese

1 & 1/4 c. whipped heavy cream

1/2 c. Powdered sugar + A couple tbsp extra

8 tbsp of sour cream

1/2 tsp maple extract (I was out of vanilla)

3 cups of strawberries purreed & thickened.

1 tsp lemon juice

Add in powdered sugar & maple extract while whipping the heavy cream, I use a whisk attachment on my kitchenaid hand mixer. I’m not one who has, or has ever used the stand mixer. Luckily, I don’t know what I’m missing there. Start to mix in sour cream and softened cream cheese. I added the lemon juice last. Once blended together, add about 1 cup of purreed strawberry.

Refrigerate 8 hours if possible. After that, add a layer of strawberry puree on top, then a few more strawberries on top.

Chicken Coconut Curry

My version of chicken coconut curry, a bit milder, because I’m a wuss for hot spice. I made extra sauce because my guest likes spicier food than I can handle. I premade several of this spice mix into Ziploc bags ahead of time. Since I’m using brown rice, I usually start with setting my rice to cook first

1 & 1/2 TSP curry powder

2 TSP cumin

1 TSP cayenne pepper

2 TSP turmeric

Black pepper & pink himalayan salt

1 lb finely diced carrots – save 1/2 cup for sauce.

1 & 1/3 cup chopped sweet onion (save 1/2 cup for sauce)

1 & 1/3 cup finely diced gold potato.

Sautee 1/2 c. of onions & carrots in coconut oil. Add 2 tbsp of grated or finely diced ginger, & 2 garlic cloves.

Add 1 can of coconut milk (full fat, no lite coconut milk)

Bring to a low boil, add about 1 tbsp of cornstarch

After well mixed & getting thicker, add 3 tbsp of heavy cream & 2-3 tbsp of honey.

While curry sauce is cooking, add remaining diced carrots, onions, & potato to a pan with coconut oil. Let sautee for a bit, before adding chicken breast tenders. Add salt & pepper to chicken. Add a bit of ginger & garlic.

Keep stirring curry sauce.

Coconut curry sauce

Rice should be about cooked by now. After chicken is cooked, remove from that pan, and place in curry sauce pan. Spoon brown rice into the former chicken pan, with remaining cooked carrots, onions, & potatoes. Sprinkle pink himalayan salt. Stir rice into sauteed vegetables.

Cooked brown rice, with sauteed carrots, onions, & potatoes.
Coconut curry chicken
Coconut curry chicken with brown rice, diced carrots, onions, & potatoes.
No bake strawberry cheesecake

Of course, dessert is my no bake strawberry cheesecake.

Split Pea Soup with Veggies

Split Pea Soup with Veggies

When the temperatures drop from 100° to 57° & then to 49° in 2 days, another batch of soup was in order. Although by the time I had my few missing vegetables today, 64° was a little less chilly. Here is my split pea soup with sauteed vegetables & 4 strips of bacon added. I also swapped out celery in favor of bok choy.

1/2 large yellow onion (1 & 1/4 c. diced onions)

1 bunch golden beets diced

3 lg carrots diced

1 bunch of bok choy diced

4 strips of bacon

Sautee onions, carrots, & golden beets in coconut oil in one pan.

Add pink Himalayan salt.

Bacon & bok choy in 1 pan, onions, carrots, & golden beets in another pan.

Sautee bok choy with 4 strips of bacon in another pan. Add in 4 diced garlic cloves.

Rinse & cook 1 & 1/2 c. green split peas to directions.

1 qt chicken stock

2 tsp Kirkland Signature No-salt 21 spice blend

After the onions, carrots, & beets were sauteed, & while the peas finished cooking, I added 1 quart of chicken broth to the veggies. Add 2 tsp Kirkland No-salt seasoning mix. Simmer.

Once the peas were fully cooked, I blended them with my hand mixer. Then, I added the sauteed vegetables in broth, and bacon. Simmer for 15 minutes.

I left the water in when blending the cooked peas, so it’s a little thinner than last time I made pea soup.

Still very delicious!!

Split pea soup with veggies and bacon.
Apple-Onion Savory-Sweet Corn-Cakes

Apple-Onion Savory-Sweet Corn-Cakes

Yes, I’m still on a pancake making kick.  Here’s the latest pancake variation I’ve made today.

I had forgotten about some stone-ground blue cornmeal in my refrigerator, so that’s how the idea came about.  I decided to do a cross between corn cakes with apples,  and the Asian inspired green onion pancake.  One trick I learned from a cornbread recipe, when using stone-ground cornmeal, is to soak it in milk for a little bit.

Apple-Onion Corn pancakes. Makes 12 medium pancakes.

Because my new electric skillet is so hot, I needed to adjust to 325° from 350° previously, in order to make them cook through without burning. Still about 2 minutes on each side of the pancakes.

Apple-Onion corn pancakes !!

Top these with some honey!

Yummy savory & sweet corn pancakes!
Balsamic Potato Salad,  Quinoa Salad, Corn, & Chicken

Balsamic Potato Salad,  Quinoa Salad, Corn, & Chicken

I first made this balsamic potato salad back in April, early on in this Corona-Apocalypse 2020.  I mixed balsamic vinegar with honey, salt & pepper, & sauteed onions. I wasn’t going to buy balsamic on my recent visit, but it was $3 off, so only $9 for 1 liter. It even has the “made in Italy” certifications.

Balsamic vinegar, honey, pink Himalayan salt & cracked black pepper.
5lb bag of baby potatoes, also from Costco 😄😂
The red bell pepper is for the quinoa salad, sauteed in with diced onions. Later, I tossed in green onions & balsamic vinegar to give them a light sautee.
You’d think this was an advertisement for Costco, but I’m just a regular member. Kirkland Balsamic, honey, & pink salt + pepper 

Once the potatoes were cooked, I took 1/2 C. of balsamic & 1/2 C. of honey, & microwaved 25 seconds to thin out the honey. Sprinkle pink Himalayan salt & cracked black pepper into mix, then whisk it. Poured that mix onto the cooked potatoes. I found that dumping the potatoes between the bowl and kettle, was easier than stirring it. Made a 2nd smaller mixture of honey & balsamic & poured more onto potatoes. The last thing I added was sauteed onions. I put it in the fridge, & moved on to the quinoa salad.

As for the quinoa salad, after cooking, add sauteed red bell pepper, green onions, pink salt, & 1/3 C. balsamic vinegar. Stir & add fresh grated Romano. I put it in the freezer to cool faster, before adding tomatoes & cucumbers. Then both potato salad & quinoa salad went into the freezer for a faster cool down. I was getting hungry at this point, and still had corn on the cob to make. I highly recommend trying steak seasoning on your corn, specifically Penzey’s Mitchell Street Steak seasoning is great on corn.

Potato Salad:

5 lbs baby potatoes

1 yellow onion sliced & sauteed.

1 C. of Balsamic vinegar (may add more beforeeating)

About 2/3 to 3/4 C. Honey, warmed to thin it.

Pink Himalayan salt

Cracked black pepper

Quinoa Salad:

1 & 1/4 C. Quinoa, dry & cooked to directions

1 red bell pepper

2 cucumbers

Campari tomatoes (about 6)

Green onions

Balsamic vinegar

1 in 1/4 cup dry quinoa. One red bell pepper

As I mentioned, I put both salads in the freezer to cool faster. Now, I’m ready for corn on the cob.

Also, I’m cheating with a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Otherwise, everything else is homemade. Close enough. I also have fresh, locally grown watermelon.

Perhaps you can enjoy one or both of these salads with your Labor Day weekend meal! 😃😎

Hearty Carrot Soup

Hearty Carrot Soup

Sometimes when I go to Costco, I’m not sure what I want from the produce section. I decided to pick up a 6-LB bag of organic carrots for just $4.50. Carrot soup was now on my upcoming menu.

As someone who has chronic pain issues, as well as minor coordination issues at times, I don’t have the best knife skills. I picked up this handy chopper at Bed Bath and Beyond for less than $20. Another great kitchen gadget I bought recently.  I honestly thought it wouldn’t last very long, because the hinges are plastic, but it hasn’t broken in 6+ months of use. It even cuts potatoes if you cut wedges first. I found that out when I randomly decided I was buying a 10 LB bag of yellow gold potatoes, which I ended up making potato soup with it. Also thanks to Costco here.

Handy chopper I bought
Sauteed celery, onion, 3 carrots, 1 bell pepper, ginger, & garlic cloves

Cut up the remainder of 6 lb of carrots, put in stock pot with 3 & 1/2 c. chicken broth, & 5 c. of water.  After carrots have boiled for a few minutes, add in sauteed carrot, onion, & celery mixture.  Let the carrots cook on a medium boil until soft.  Add in seasonings.

After soup mixture is cooked, let it cool down some.  Then, use a blender or a food processor to puree soup. I planned to add additional diced celery, riced cauliflower, & some leftover frozen zucchini noodles I had. Let everything cook on medium simmer for at least 30 minutes.

6 LBS carrots – 3 carrots set aside for sauteed soup base.

2 bunches of celery

1 & 1/2 yellow onions

5 – 7 garlic cloves depending on size.

Fresh ginger

1 green bell pepper

3 & 1/2 C. Chicken broth + 5 C. of water + 2-3 C. Water added to riced cauliflower & zucchini in pot.

2-3 TSP Kirkland No-Salt seasoning blend 21 spice

2 TSP Turmeric

Pink Himalayan salt

16 oz riced cauliflower

Leftover frozen zucchini noodles

1 & 1/3 C. Heavy cream

I wanted a pureed carrot soup, but I also wanted to add in chunky vegetables to give heartiness and texture.  I pureed the leftover zucchini noodles – before I added back 1/2 of the carrot puree to stock pot – that has cauli-rice, 2-3 C. water, & additional seasonings.  Cook 20 minutes on medium-high, until celery is cooked.  Add remaining pureed soup to stock pot.  Stir in about 1 & 1/3 C. heavy cream.  Simmer 15 minutes. 

Enjoy! Today turned out to be a cloudy day, it even started to sprinkle when I was almost done making this soup. Perfect day for summer soup. Plus planned leftover soup for the week.

The soup could be made vegetarian / vegan with vegetable broth and canned coconut milk.

Finished carrot soup
Caramel Mocha Cake

Caramel Mocha Cake

This is another cake I made 1 year ago, & brought it to work. Another one of my famous (at work) doctored Duncan Hines cakes.

Caramel Mocha Cake with Espresso Cream Frosting & filling

1 & 1/2 TBSP ground espresso dark roast (decaf).

1 TBSP Watkins Caramel Extract

1/2 TSP vanilla extract

1/4 C. So Delicious unsweetened vanilla coconut milk. mixed with:

3/4 C. Brewed cold coffee. Mix with 1/4 C. coconut milk

All of the above ingredients added to yellow cake mix.

1 pkg Duncan Hines classic Butter Golden cake mix (sub melted coconut oil for butter).

1/2 C. Unrefined coconut oil (soft/melted).

Topping & filling for layer cake:

2x 16 oz heavy whipping cream

1/2 C. Powdered sugar

1/4 C. Unsweetened bakers cocoa powder (mix cocoa powder with dry powdered sugar – before adding to whipped cream – for best results). I also mixed in a little dry decaf espresso but I don’t remember how much I put.

Bake cake mixture divided into 2 square cake pans.

Once cake is cooled, layer in cocoa-whipped cream. Then add a topping of the cocoa-whipped cream.

Decorated cake with Kraft caramel bits, white chocolate chips, & pecans. Finished cake was not overwhelmingly sweet tasting. I even could have used a touch more caramel extract.

Layered Caramel Mocha Cake
Doctored up Duncan Hines Caramel Mocha cake
Half eaten caramel mocha cake
Cauliflower – Jasmine rice & green beans, with chicken

Cauliflower – Jasmine rice & green beans, with chicken

Nothing too fancy here today. I cooked up some of my brown jasmine rice, I also sauteed some riced cauliflower with onions and coconut oil. As I was catching up on dishes prior to cooking, I started re-watching the Big Bang Theory from season 1 on streaming. Funny stuff!

I cooked boneless skinless chicken in coconut oil as well, and tossed the green beans on top to cook.

I seasoned everything with the Costco no salt 21 seasoning blend, some of my Penzeys revolutions spice blend, as well as pink salt. I did add chicken broth to the jasmine rice as it was just about finished.

A combo of Jasmine and cauliflower rice, green beans, & boneless chicken

1 pound boneless skinless chicken tenders

3 cups of green beans roughly

1/2 onion diced

16 oz of riced cauliflower thawed.

1 cup brown jasmine rice (dry).

Sautee the riced cauliflower in coconut oil with onions and seasoning, once jasmine rice is cooked, combine the two together. Sprinkled a little more Penzeys Revolution spice blend on everything.

Nothing fancy, but definitely tasty!

Caramel protein pancakes.

Caramel protein pancakes.

I’ve been playing around with the recipe that I posted a little while back about almond flour pancakes. I vary the amounts of almond flour to regular all-purpose flour. I just prefer the texture better. I’m not Gluten Sensitive or anything like that. I’ve just thought it would be healthier to use almond flour.

This time, I added Premier Protein caramel Shake along with some milk. I found that about a 55% to 45% ratio of all purpose flour to almond flour produces the consistency that I like. I’m also glad I invested the $19 into an electric griddle. Best kitchen investment I’ve made recently.

I cut up 4 lb of plums again before making these. Although this time I only microwaved them for about 2 minutes with some honey

Diced plums for pancakes
Dry and wet pancake ingredients
Recipe. I forgot to write: 3 & 1/4 TSP baking powder.
Pancakes cooking on my new electric griddle pan. 350° 1-2 mins each side. Used 1/3 cup to pour pancakes. Makes 12-14 pancakes.

I’ve been used to doing meal prep for work for about 2 years. I had even gotten into the habit of preparing a breakfast bake for the week. So now, I make a few extra pancakes for a couple days. They’re not too bad microwaved with a little honey & fruit.

Caramel protein pancakes topped with diced plums and honey.
Zucchini Noodle Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

Zucchini Noodle Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

I finally decided to try making zucchini noodles today. I got an inexpensive handheld spiralizer. For the price I paid, it works pretty decent. I did cut my finger just a bit, but that’s my own fault.

I’m not real experienced with making homemade Alfredo, so this turned out a little thinner than I wanted. I got it thicker the last time I made it, but I don’t remember what I did differently. Oh well. Still tasty.

Spiralized 5 zucchini into noodles

1 lb of boneless chicken cooked with onions, pink salt, black pepper, & white pepper.

1 lb broccoli florets

Alfredo sauce seasoned with black pepper, white pepper, & onion powder, & pink salt.

Fresh sliced campari tomatoes & grated Romano cheese on top.

Zucchini Noodle Alfredo

Quite tasty, but I will have to work on my alfredo sauce skills.

Zucchini Noodle Alfredo, plus another delicious Costco Wine.

Pineapple coconut layer cake & semifreddo

Pineapple coconut layer cake & semifreddo

This is something that I made 1 year ago, for a work potluck party.  Although  people have suggested it, part of the reason I don’t have a restaurant or something, is because I don’t make the same things consistently. I kind of wing it when I make something. Therefore I don’t remember 100% how I did all of the cake add-ins to this. It will probably not be the same if I tried to make it again.  Which is why I only do this for me, & sometimes to bring to work.

Once again, I got the idea for making semifreddo from Create TV’s A T K. I’ve never even tried to make ice cream or custard prior to this. So this was quite the nerve-wracking undertaking making this for work. But it all turned out good.  Everything disappeared at work.  At least I finally invested in a cake carrier prior to bringing this one to work. 😃 It was getting pretty awkward bringing my desserts to work prior to that.

Homemade semifreddo & pineapple coconut layer cake! About gone! 😚
Everything that went into my homemade semifreddo and pineapple coconut cake, plus the eggs & coconut cream not pictured.

I’ve learned that Duncan Hines is an excellent base to doctor a cake from. I’ve never made a cake from scratch, and I have no intention of trying to start making cakes from scratch now. I once read an article about how some professional Bakeries start from mixes (often Duncan). Also, that people who swore they could “tell the difference” in scratch vs box mix, couldn’t actually tell the difference when put to the test.  I do make other things like cookies from scratch. I always add things to a box mix, like milk instead of water. I believe I added a bit of crushed pineapple & coconut cream into this mix. I divided & baked into 3 round layer pans. I also don’t have the kind of fine coordination skills to cut a cake into layers without making a disastrous mess.

I often make the filling & the frosting the same thing. I don’t like a very sweet frosting. This is mostly cream cheese with heavy whipping cream.
I purposely added lemon juice, because I didn’t want it to be too sweet with everything else I was adding to the cake, and the filling/frosting, and the semifreddo
Finished semifreddo. Just a bit of vanilla and banana extracts, and shredded coconut, topped with pineapple.

Although I got the original idea from watching create TVs America’s Test Kitchen, I didn’t want to make a chocolate semifreddo, so I looked for another recipe. I came across a YouTuber Laura Vitale. I watched the custard part several times while making it, as this was brand new to me. I did adapt the recipe slightly. I didn’t have vanilla beans, I used a bit of vanilla extract, a bit of banana extract. I added shredded coconut & just a bit of coconut cream to it. Since I was bringing it to work, I also doubled the recipe. The Duncan Hines mixed I used was the butter golden mix, although I used melted coconut oil.

My hand scribbled double recipe I adapted. Semifreddo
My adapted semifreddo recipe continued.
Homemade semifreddo with vanilla & banana extract, a bit of cream of coconut, & shredded coconut. Topped with pineapple.
Fried Taco Pizzas or Chicken Enchilada Pizzas

Fried Taco Pizzas or Chicken Enchilada Pizzas

I debated posting this since I didn’t do much to make this food look pretty. A while back, when I made enchiladas, I opened up a can of sauce and needed to add stuff to it to make it where I could eat it. So, I had a lot of leftover enchilada sauce. I got some corn tortillas yesterday, and decided that this was what I was going to make. I did not turn on my oven today. I used my new griddle pan. I brushed the corn tortillas with coconut oil before putting them on the griddle.

Boneless skinless chicken breast

Enchilada sauce

Sauteed red and green bell peppers and sauteed onions. ( I cooked the chicken on top of the bell peppers)

Slices of mild cheddar cheese

Avocado on top.

Chicken enchilada pizzas or fried tacos
Fried corn tortilla taco… or chicken enchilada Pizza
Quinoa Bacon Salad

Quinoa Bacon Salad

I wasn’t sure what I was going to make when I pulled the bacon out to thaw.  I was already thinking about using some of the quinoa I have.  I’m also still trying to use up the spinach as per Wed’s blog post, & I still had a few campari tomatoes left, & 2 carrots.

Quinoa salad with bacon it is.

1 lb bacon cooked

1 cup dry quinoa cooked

3 cups chopped spinach in food processor

2 carrots chopped & put in food processor.

5 campari tomatoes diced

Pink Himalayan salt

A couple tbsp of balsamic vinegar at the end. Topped with fresh grated Romano cheese.

Quinoa salad with spinach, bacon, Tomatoes, shredded carrots, balsamic vinegar & Romano

I also whipped up a quick drink. Pomegranate liqueur, triple sec, Black cherry sparkling water. 🙂

Quinoa salad & a pomegranate mixed drink