Monday, November 25, 2019

Weekly Eats: Double Lasagna Edition

A weekly round up: eats, watches, and reads.  In this week's adventures I went to Trader Joe's, made a lot of lasagna, and experimented with tofu and veggies for meal prep.

Monday and Friday: avocado toast

Tuesday and Thursday: breakfast burritos

Wednesday: omelet with mushrooms and feta

Saturday: a burrito with All The Things.  Bean dip, scrambled eggs, cheese, avocado, and salsa...there's just no way to take a picture of that mess but it was delicious.

Sunday: fruit, string cheese, and cereal bar

Truth time.  Last weekend I made lo mein for lunches and it was pretty bland.  Taking it to work did nothing to improve my enthusiasm for it, so I tossed it and filled the void with work catering lunches.  And some spinach artichoke pasta.

Saturday & Sunday: snacks

Monday (family meal): I'd made meatloaf last Sunday and badly underestimated the leftovers...a single batch of the recipe makes a nice dinner for two with leftovers, not so much when the whole family is here.  My husband had the last serving of loaf, the kids had Costco chicken skewers, and I had a chicken sausage.  We all had the same sides of twice baked potatoes and veg.

Tuesday (family meal): the men finished the chicken skewers and twice baked potatoes, I made a quickie pizza type deal: flatout wrap, marinara, mushrooms and olives, cheese. 

Wednesday (date night): Anne wrote about a Blue Apron meal that caught my appetite.  Looking over the recipe for Cheesy Lime Chicken there was an ingredient that I wasn't familiar with, shishito peppers.  I had questions/concerns: what were they, would I be able to find them, would they be too spicy for my husband, and could I just substitute a green bell pepper?  And the answer was if I'd gone to the regular grocery store I probably would have come up dry but Trader Joe's has them sitting around like they're an everyday ingredient.  Spice wise I read that it's kinda a Russian roulette type of deal, they're mostly mild but every once in a while you'll come across a spicy one.
My opinion: they're not spicy and they were fine for Mr. Mild.  This was a good one although if I had it to do all over again I would have added avocado and made it more of a burrito bowl.  And p.s. I think a green pepper would be a just fine substitute for shishito peppers in this dish.  And p.p.s. note to self, I must make caramelized onions as a side dish more often.

Thursday (fend for yourself night): made a burrito with bean dip, cheese, and the leftover pepper and onion mixture.

Friday (family meal): pizza.  I snagged the pepperoncinis and added some kalmata olives.

Saturday & Sunday (family meals): lasagna throw down.  Here's the thing, I will never be a vegetarian (um I'll never be any kind of diet with a label unless health reasons would ever dictate it), but I also go through phases where I just get sick of eating meat.  I made our traditional family lasagna and also the veggie lasagna that I used to make in my single days (lottsa mushrooms and spinach).  And OMG it hit the spot and was everything that I was craving.  My husband was very happy with the meat lasagna and the kids were...well kids.
Ideally we would all eat the same thing for meals, and I'm sure we will be once I get over my current low-meat phase, but it's just as easy to make two lasagnas as one and we have a good cache of leftovers.

While the lasagnas were baking it was just as easy to mix up some chocolate chip cookies as it was to twiddle my thumbs, so I did and kept the dough in the fridge until we got back from our after dinner dog walk.  Then we had fresh baked cookies and Settlers of Catan (stepson #1 won, I don't have a prayer of ever winning against those guys but I do love playing it.  And stepson #2 would like to point out that he won the last time we played).

Meal Prep
I make a small step toward building up my stash of freezer leftovers (I have big plans for the Thanksgiving weekend in that department) and tested out some food ideas while I was at it.
I did a made up stir fry with Udon noodles, tofu, carrot, red pepper, and Korean BBQ sauce from Pinch of Yum.

The first thing to talk about is the veggie prep.  A few weeks ago we had a cooking class at work and I learned a new way to cut a bell pepper: slice off the stem, set it upside down, and cut the "bells" off.  All of the seeds stay in the core and there is surprisingly little waste.  The other new thing we did was use a julienne cutter for carrots, which makes them the perfect length and width to mix in with pasta.  These ideas were both winners at home.

On the tofu front, I like the tofu that I make at home, but I can't help but notice that restaurant tofu has a much softer interior.  For the first time in my adult life, I used firm tofu instead of extra firm to see if that's part of the difference.  It's much softer (duh) and was harder to get a crispy exterior in the air fryer, but yes it's a step in the right direction and I'll be doing more experiments.

Stepson #1 asked to try the stir fry, and I was thrilled but I knew that it would be terribly spicy for him since I measure sambal oelek like the Galloping Gourmet measures alcohol.  He was still interested and went for it like gangbusters and said that apart from the spice he really liked it, tofu and all.  I was really impressed that he downed the spice.  I just remember how "when I was his age" that spice was really spicy.  I'll be trotting out a mild version of my concoction for family dinners soon.

Trader Joe's Haul Deets

First of all, THANK GOODNESS that Smashing S'mores are back!  Got a bunch of routine groceries including the shishito peppers for Wednesday's dinner, chocolate covered Joe-Joes, and root vegetable fries.

Season 2 of Stan Against Evil

🚨🚨🚨Good Book Alert🚨🚨🚨Good Book Alert🚨🚨🚨Good Book Alert🚨🚨🚨

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff.  This one sucked me in from the first page and I could not put it down.  That is all.


  1. Whoa!!!!! You totally had me at lasagna ;-) Such a great variety...for every meal! With the excess turkey we'll have in a couple days, I should freeze a bunch of it...but I LOVE leftover turkey & gravy (and bread). I could eat it for every meal (and, kind of do for a few days post-Thanksgiving). Happy Thanksgiving ;-)

  2. I love using the Flatout products to make individual homemade pizzas - they are the perfect size!
    That lasagna looked absolute yummy!

  3. This reminds me it's been awhile since I made lasagna. I make a spinach/mushroom version that's so good. Some of those Peppermint Joe Joe's hopped in my cart at TJs as well.