Even though we are on vacation, Sunday is Breakfast for Dinner day! Since we cannot be buying a ton of vegetables and then have to throw them out because we can’t take them on a road trip, I had to be more inventive with my shopping. Harmon’s, a local grocery store here in Utah, has a very comprehensive salad bar and a lot of containers of pre-cut vegetables. So I bought a container of carrot sticks and celery sticks, one onion, a few mushrooms, a stalk of broccoli (which was partially used on Saturday for penne with shrimp and broccoli), and a container from the salad bar with some cabbage, snow peas, and cooked bacon (the bacon was for John’s omelet.) We bought a dozen eggs when we first arrived figuring they would be useful for breakfasts and Sunday dinner. All in all we have spent less than $100 for food for four dinners and three breakfasts. Going out to eat would be much more expensive in dollars and calories!
My dinner was simple to prepare. After some minimal chopping up, I started the mushrooms and onions in a little oil first, then added the carrots and celery followed by the broccoli florets and the snow peas. For seasoning I used salt, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, soy sauce (free packets next to the sushi at the grocery store), and some Taco Bell fire sauce packets that we have accumulated and brought from home. The eggs were simply scrambled in a separate pan and put on top.
We are on vacation! This is our 50th wedding anniversary road trip!! We have already spent two driving days where we went through some beautiful and also some desolate country. Here are a couple of pictures-
We are settled for a few days in St. George, UT where we are staying at a condo with a fully equipped kitchen. The first night we made chicken wings and cole slaw and Saturday night we made penne with broccoli and shrimp. we took a few shortcuts since this is vacation after all! The shrimp was already cooked and the salad that we started with was pre-made. I did chop up some onion and the broccoli. We seasoned the vegetables with salt, garlic powder, oregano, and red pepper flakes. The sauce was a combination of pasta water and olive oil. I cooked the onion first and added the broccoli and shrimp in with a cup of hot pasta water right ahead of the cooked pasta.
Certainly I like eating out when on vacation but I also like shopping in different markets and cooking some of my own food. It keeps me better under control.
This dish also comes with a gingery soy vinaigrette which I had not put on yet.There are so many contrasts in this bowl. The cauliflower rice and the salmon are warm while all the other components are cold. The vegetables are crunchy but the avocado and the edamame are creamy. The vinaigrette is full of contrasts as well, acidic, salty, and a little sweet. I posted the recipe for the dressing last week when we had a similar dish but made with shrimp. Salmon, shrimp, or tofu bowls belong in your weekly rotation. They are easy to make, good for you, and delicious to eat!
A new ingredient that we have been using is Carba-Nada pasta. It still has carbs but way less than regular pasta. And it tastes great! We also have a handheld spiralizer as a new gadget. So although we only used a total of 4 ounces of pasta we each ended up with a GBOF, a giant bowl of food!
Our dish has onions, garlic, salt, oregano, red pepper flakes, mushrooms, two stalks of broccoli, and two zucchini. The zoodles that we made we tossed into the vegetable combo at the same time as the cooked pasta. With zoodles you have to be careful not to cook them much or they turn into mush. Depending on whether you want ot keep it vegan or not you can add some parmesan cheese as a garnish.
Sunday night is always our make-your-own breakfast-for-dinner night. While John always makes a ham, cheese, mushroom, and onion omelet, I need a dish which takes me a bit longer to eat. More and more I have been gravitating to a vegetable stir-fry seasoned with salt, pepper flakes, and soy sauce and topped with soft scrambled eggs.
Rummaging around in the produce drawer I find mushrooms, a piece of an onion, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, celery, and cabbage. I spray olive oil spray in a pan and then start cooking in the order above starting with the mushrooms and ending with the cabbage. So while one ingredient is cooking I am busily chopping the next one to go in. Efficient!
I cook the eggs at the end in a separate little frying pan and then lay them on top with a squirt of sriracha. My dinner is tasty and satisfying plus I have partially cleaned out my produce drawer!
Chana dal is probably our favorite Indian dish. It is a stew of dried split chickpeas with spices, onion, ginger, garlic, and spicy tomatoes. I make it in my Instant Pot where it cooks under pressure for 15 minutes. I serve mine with a layer of raw kale followed by cauliflower rice and then the Chana dal on top. My sisters are always telling me that they do not like Indian food because they do not like curry as if every Indian dish is a curry. This delicious dish is curry-free but there is no convincing some people. For extra spice I like to drizzle some sriracha on top.
BTW due to a shortage of chile peppers sriracha is not being produced this summer. We tried looking for some last week and it has disappeared from all the stores around here. Some people must be hogging all the available sriracha!
Finally here is a picture of the wildfire on the ridge behind our house. Pretty scary.
We were supposed to have this dinner on Thursday but shortly before 5 o’clock we were put on advisory to be ready to evacuate due to a wildfire on the ridge behind our house. So we spent an anxious few hours waiting to see what would happen. Many thanks to all the fire fighters and coordinators from our town, county, and state for putting together a response that stopped the fire before it got totally out of control. Anyway, we never got around to making this dish and settled for some scrambled eggs later in the evening.
I constructed my low bowl with raw kale on the bottom, a terrific melange of sauteed onions, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, and fennel next, a perfectly roasted piece of tilapia (thanks to John) on the vegetables, and a spicy, sweet tomato sauce on top.
The sauce was made by combining a can of Original Ro tel with a couple of tablespoons of ketchup, a squirt of sriracha, a half teaspoon of both sugar and fish sauce, and the juice from half of a lemon. I plunge blended it to get a smooth sauce. It went well with both the fish and the vegetables.
I think that our tilapia dinner was a pleasure to behold with its bright colors and delicious to eat!
Wow, what a giant bowl of food! I cut down my pasta portion but added a bunch of zoodles. There are a lot of vegetables in this as well and a little bit of oil. This is the perfect vegan meal for me. Here’s how I made it.
First I sauteed mushrooms, onions, and garlic in a teaspoon of oil. John was heating the salted pasta water to boiling while I was doing this. The pasta that we are using by Carba-Nada cooks really quickly so I need to have the mushrooms, etc. cooked by the time he puts the pasta in. When he adds the fettuccine to the boiling water, I add the cut up broccoli and a half cup of the pasta water. I cover it and let it cook for about 3 minutes at which point the pasta is done. He adds the the fettuccine to my mixture and I add the zoodles, fresh basil and oregano, another half cup of pasta water, and stir it all around. Done.
I topped my bowl with a drizzle of good olive oil and a couple of twists of black pepper. This was amazingly delicious and filling!
Temperatures today soared to 100+F so we needed a dinner which would not heat up the kitchen. The components of this shrimp bowl are mostly raw. The cauliflower rice can be heated up in the microwave and the shrimp are a fast stove top cook.
The soy vinaigrette is especially delicious. Mix together 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce, 3T white vinegar, 2T vegetable oil, 2T chopped green onions, 2T minced ginger, and 1/4t toasted sesame oil. You may want to consider putting in a dash of some sort of sweetener. We like plenty of the dressing so we make a double portion.
I set up bowls of the ingredients and let each person assemble their own bowl. This dish is such a hit around here that we usually make it either with salmon or shrimp once a week. You could probably make your bowl with chicken, pork, or beef as well. I am thinking of trying it with tofu too!
If you are thinking, “wow, that looks a lot like last Monday’s dinner”, you would be mostly correct. Significant differences, though, abound. The topping on my burger has changed from cheese to a mix of mayo and sriracha and the cole slaw features fennel along with cabbage. So, different, you see?
Mad props to John who cooked the burgers to a perfect rare/medium rare. Our daughter rated them the best cooking job on a burger ever! That is high praise from someone who usually makes her own dinner rather than eat ours.
I had an excellent weight loss the first week of this low carb diet so I guess I will try it for another week. I do crave something crunchy, though. I tried fooling myself with celery dipped in pub cheese last night but it is definitely not as satisfying as popcorn or chips. Sigh.