May has been one of the months that has tested my resolve for staying at home and cooking. I have no logistical explanation as to why – other than we live in Texas and it has been unusually hot. But admittedly, I have also been starving so it may be mind over matter too. Instant gratification. Six weeks ago I started a new walking challenge through Step Bet. I have increased my steps to be consistently over 10,000 steps most of the week and then two days a week I am at 13,000 so I think I am just hungry. All of the time. And eating out is easier – in theory at least. That is, until I examine the cost, the extra calories (or Smart Points for my WW comrades) and the fact that Steve and I are homebodies and we usually prefer to come home at night and just be at home.
All of this is just to say that this month’s meal planning has been shuffled, moved, and bumped as necessary based on my whim. It has also meant we have prepared our Go To Meals more often than usual this month (more to come on those details).
Looking back on the month, there were some One –Time recipes that were just good, meaning I’m glad we tried them but I doubt they will make it to our list again. There were some Oldies but Goodies that will always be on our list. And there were our Go-To Meals (yes, there is more than one!) that are easy and just taste good.
Of course, there were some Just Fabulous meals this month, too. So fabulous they deserve their own post…so stay tuned! The others I’ve mentioned, The One-Timers, the Oldies but Goodies and the Go To Meals are posted this month and will be posted going forward on a periodic basis. And yes, for those with no patience, I’ve also included the recipes for the Just Fabulous meals, too, but you’ll have to wait for my critiques.
- Stracotto di Manzo (Italian Pot Roast): Recipe from the Weight Watchers Yes! Italian Cookbook. I fully support the Yes! Italian cookbook. But I do not recommend this recipe. Maybe I did something wrong but it was bland, boring and unremarkable – qualities you never want in your food!
- Chicken & Goat Cheese Burritos: Recipe from the Weight Watchers Tacos and More Cookbook. I even modified this WW recipe because I have discovered Ole Xtreme Wellness Tortillas. They were nothing to write home about. We thought the filling was the best part and probably would have been served as a meal just on its own.
- Food and Wine Creamy Lemon Pasta and Side Salad. A delicious debacle from Food and Wine that deserves a blog post all its own so I can explain why I read, re-read and then screen again all of our recipes before we make them. Hint: No WW member would choose to put 3/4 cup of olive oil in the recipe! The recipe can be found here.
- Zucchini Noodles with Lobster Tail: Recipe for the zucchini noodles was from Two Peas and Their Pod and it was great. We added two Lobster Tails from Fish Fixe. We followed the directions on the lobster tails and the recipe for the zucchini noodles to the letter. Admittedly, we had ourselves a great dinner! My only complaint: not enough food. I should have planned more protein or an additional side. Or toast. It is all relative! So this is currently a One-Timer as is but I will modify to (maybe!) get it on the Go To Meal dinner rotation. The fabulous zoodles recipe is here.
- Sundried Tomato, Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Chicken: Recipe from Yammie’s Noshery. This recipe was just good. Not great. I think the issue was the size of the chicken breasts I used, meaning I was not able to “stuff” as much stuff as I would have liked. I love the concept of this recipe but it just did not deliver in the end. I may contemplate modifications as I experiment with various “fillings” for fish and chicken. But for now, it’s a One-Timer. The recipe can be found here.
- Sonoma Cutrer Scallops and Cauliflower Puree: Recipe from Sonoma Cutrer. This was date night at home #2 for the month of May. I had such high hopes for this recipe. It was so very labor intensive what with making the puree and the topping for the scallops that I honestly expected the meal to be spectacular after all of our hard work. But it was just bland. The flavors were simply missing. The delivery was just acceptable. It was just another recipe that I’m glad I tried (another One-Timer) but it will not make our list again. The recipe can be found here.
The Oldies but Goodies:
- Stuffed Salmon (from Central Market) + Mushrooms. Central Market sells salmon stuffed with a spinach mixture. It is another staple at our house that I keep telling myself that I am going to try to recreate at home. But then reality hits and the lack of time gets the better of me and I just add it to the grocery list and buy it pre-made, yet again!
- Baked Chicken + Cauliflower. I love chicken (especially since it was added to the zero pointed food list for WW). I will season it with salt and pepper and just bake it. A long time ago I scoured the internet trying to figure out how long to bake chicken. You can find recipes for everything 15 to 45 minutes at varying temperatures from 350 to 450. I found a fabulous recipe for baked chicken that gives me the crisp outside and tender, juicy inside. I really just use it for the cooking. Here it is: bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is done to your liking. Take it out and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Highly suggest trying the recipe…it is on the blog Health Recipes.
- Tilapia + Butternut Squash (The Butternut Squash recipe was in this prior blog post!). This is one of the Stapleton/Clark Go-To Meals. We have it so often that it will have its post here shortly. For now, I will say: Fish + Vegetable = Easy Dinner
- Salmon Patties + Brussels Sprouts. We love crab cakes. We love salmon. We decided canned salmon. It is not a substitute for tuna much to our dismay. But then my Dad recommended using the rest of the canned salmon and make salmon cakes. I found a fabulous recipe for them by Cucina De Yung. Amazing flavor, easy preparation and quick cooking. Plus they make great leftovers (always a bonus for us!).
The Fabulous. You’ll have to stay tuned for the complete critiques on these recipes but here are the recipes.
- Southwest Beef and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. Fabulous recipe from Platings and Pairings.
- Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles. From Skinny Taste.
- Chicken, Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo. From Food Fanatic.
- Chicken Rollatini with Spinach Alla Parmigiana. Again, from Skinny Taste.
- Steak + NYT Broccoli + Roasted Rosemary Red Potatoes. The winner in this dinner was the Sauteed Broccoli with Toasted Garlic, Orange and Sesame from The New York Times Cooking This was date at home #1 for the month of May. Awesome success. We have already made again!
Comment below and let us know if you try any of these recipes. And definitely let us know if we need to revisit any of the One-Timers. We are always into second chances for recipes!