You know what’s glorious? Coming home from a vacation and NOT going grocery shopping, NOT meal prepping, and NOT starving because of the former two. Creatively re-purposing and remaking leftovers into new (and healthy) dinners might just become a regular adventure post-holidays.
I’ve also just started up a weekly Imperfect Produce CSA Box which means more menu planning around seasonal produce. FYI, that link is my personal referral code, and you (and I) get $10 off if you use it. One of my fitness-loving friends talked me into it and I can’t wait until our first box arrives on Friday with our delightfully hideous yet perfectly scrumptious fruits and veggies. I feel like there’s a future Disney movie plot buried here somewhere. I’ll be reviewing the service once I receive my first box, in case you’re curious.
The theme this week was based around the literal pile of tomatoes we ended up with come Labor Day. I’m honestly amazed that they made it home un-squished even with the dog and all of our suitcases swishing around in the back, but they arrived at our apartment still beautifully red and ready for cooking up.
I did not expect this gazpacho recipe to be my favorite of the bunch, but oh baby was it. You’ll notice the lack of grilled shrimp to top it, though (don’t worry, a little arugula, sour cream & croutons were perfect instead). Have you ever bit into a forkful of food and thought to yourself — ‘Oh, this is what food poisoning tastes like. Coooool.’ — Yeah, there’s not much more disappointing than staring at a plate full of shrimp you know you really shouldn’t eat. At least there wasn’t for me that Tuesday night.
The gazpacho though? Amazing. Wonderful. Perfection. Sherry vinegar is apparently worth the effort of searching it out, who knew?
The surprising flop for me? The tomato & mozzarella salad. I was legit too excited to take a non-blurry picture before diving in, but it was oddly only so-so. Now, I don’t blame the recipe (and I did choose to omit the parsley because I’m not a huge fan) but I think the mozzarella we had just wasn’t flavorful enough. If I had a do-over, I’d pair it with a much saltier cheese like feta or cotija.
This buttermilk ranch dressing though? Yeah, I’m glad I blended up this one in bulk. It made for a healthy and fresh tasting spinach and tomato salad for a light dinner. Mr Never Cooks paired it with some leftover chicken, but I’d go with a fried or hard boiled egg myself.
The Burrito Bowl.
Maybe you’ve been making this baby for years. Maybe you haven’t even tried it before. All I can say is that nothing has saved my butt more often for a dinner party or last-minute guests like this gift to mankind.
Oh, your new partner is vegan, gluten-free & thinks that bell peppers are too spicy? Well step right up friend, because this one is for you. Did I mention that you can feed an army with maybe an hour in the kitchen? Boom.
- Get that chicken cooking right when you get home. I LOVE my Instant Pot for this. Six breasts, one hour (including getting up to and down from pressure).
- Now the rice. If it’s brown it’ll take about as long as the chicken. White rice maybe half that time at most.
- Beans –> into a pot –> add spices (go wild) –> heat low and slow
- That corn was frozen. Sure, some may judge, but I didn’t see any left at the end of the night so I’ll call it a win.
- Crumbled feta
- Sour cream (Greek yogurt works well too)
- Bell peppers, chopped
- Tomatoes, our star of the week, chopped
- An amazing local cider — totally optional but highly recommended