Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 200 - Cold Shrimp Plate

Baked Shrimp, Berry Salad, Wasa Crispbread, Goat Chevre, Cucumber Slices
Two hundred days of lunches!  Woooohooo!

Let's celebrate with a grown up, classic cold lunch, shall we?

Scouring for leftovers last night, I came up with some leftover baked shrimp, berry salad, wasa crispbread, goat chevre, and cucumber slices.  I spread the goat cheese on the wasa and alternated topping it with berries, or a combo of shrimp and cucumbers.  Delicious! Pin It Now!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day 199 - Buffalo Turkey Sliders

Buffalo Turkey Sliders, Potato Salad, Fruit Salad

Ok, this is probably one of the more unappealing pictures for one of the more delicious things I've ever made.  I made up this recipe based on what I had in my fridge, and it was SO GOOD.  Turkey burgers stuffed with cheese and buffalo sauce, on slider buns with provolone and tomato.  Beyond tasty!  The provolone was totally unnecessary, but still appreciated!  Had two leftover sliders for lunch today with fruit salad and potato salad.  I ended up actually packing the burger patties in a separate container for microwaving, and at the rest cold.  Perfection!

I know these don't look pretty, but they are much prettier in person and delicious!  You should definitely try them.

Buffalo Turkey Sliders

1 lb ground turkey
8 slider buns, any kind (I used King's Hawaiian)
1 egg white
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded colby-jack cheese
1/4 cup buffalo sauce (I used mild)
toppings of your choice

In a large bowl, mix turkey, bread crumbs, cheese, egg, and buffalo sauce with your hands until well blended.  Shape into 8 slider patties, about the size of two golf balls.  Cook over medium high heat in a non-stick skillet until dark brown on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side.  Place hot onto slider buns, add toppings of your choosing, and enjoy!

These burgers will fall apart on the grill, so be sure to cook these stovetop.  They will come out very soft and gooey - as long as there is no pink in the middle, you're burgers are fully cooked - enjoy how they melt in your mouth! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 198 - I Really Just Want A Cookout

Turkey Hotdog with Wheat Bun, Berry Salad, Baked Beans, Potato Salad
So, in menu planning this week, I realized that I'm really just in the mood for a constant cookout.  Hotdogs, burgers, barbeque, whatever.  So, I made myself a big batch of potato salad and baked beans, and we'll see what else this week brings!

Today's lunch was a turkey hotdog on a wheat roll, potato salad, baked beans, and fruit salad.  I try in the summer to buy up lots of fruit, cut it up, and keep it in the fridge all week for healthy eating!  I try...I don't always succeed.  But I succeeded this week, making a delicious mix of strawberries, cherries, and blueberries.  Get ready to see a lot of this fruit this week.

Look at all that beautiful fruit!

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 197 - Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits
I love shrimp and grits.  It's shrimp!  AND grits!  What more could you ask for in a food? 

There is great debate as to whether Shrimp and Grits as a dish orginiated in Charleston or on the Louisiana/Mississippi/Alabama/Florida coast (affectionately known as the Gulf Coast to those of us from the area, even though we acknowledge that there are many other gulfs in the world!).  Now, I've lived both in Mississippi and in South Carolina, and I'm not sold on who actually invented this delightful dish...nor am I sold on which is better than the other.  The Charleston version always has bacon (yay!) and gravy (ew), while the Gulf version usually has sausage (ew) and creole spices (yay!).  So, mine is...a little of both.

I took some to lunch today, even though the picture I snapped was in the bowl last night before I devoured it.  If you're reheating grits, I recommend pouring a little milk or chicken broth over it before heating - grits dry out after a while, so the added moisture is needed.  And I always use the Southern Living Cheddar Cheese Grits Casserole when I'm cooking to impress - has never failed me!

Shrimp and Grits

1 batch of cheddar cheese grits
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 slices thick cut bacon
1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper (I use red, but green is fine), chopped
1/2 cup white wine or light colored beer, whatever you have on hand
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 T olive oil
1-2 T creole seasoning

Bake up your grits.  Don't eat them too soon, even though you want to!  Slice bacon into small bits and cook in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  As soon as bacon begins to crisp up, add in mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and creole seasoning, cooking for about 5 minutes or until softened.  Pour in wine or beer and bring to a simmer.  Toss in shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes, or until shrimp is pink.  Spoon over grits and serve hot! Pin It Now!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Day 196 - I Love Spaghetti

Spaghetti with Meatballs, Corn, Orange Slices

I know I've posted spaghetti before, and sometimes I take it to lunch and just don't post so that y'all don't see how much I eat it - but really, I love it.  My boyfriend makes it for me about once every other week or so, not only because I love it but because we also both always have the ingredients for it at our houses.  As such,  he made some last night when I was just too tired to even look at a kitchen, and it was so tasty.  I "borrowed" some of the leftovers for lunch today, which I packed with corn and oranges.  Yum! Pin It Now!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 195 - Avocados Stuffed wtih Shrimp Salsa

Avocados Stuffed with Shrimp Salsa, Mandarin Orange Segments, Wheat Crackers
I love walking into the farmer's market these days and seeing all the fresh, delicious produce.  I saw some avocados this week that looks delicious, and then I started thinking that a lot of the leftovers I'd have this week (shrimp, corn, tomatoes) and some of my pantry staples (oil, vinegar, lemons, frozen edamame) would make a delicious stuffing for those Avocados.  And so, the  "avocado stuffed with shrimp salsa" was born!  Ok, not born, I know other people have made them, too, but I made this recipe out of leftovers, and it's the first time I've made it!

So.  Delicious.

Had half for a snack last night, packed two halves for lunch today, and I have another half which I may feed to by boyfriend tonight, if he's really, really lucky!

I packed my two halves for lunch today with mandarin orange sections and some wheat crackers.  You definitely need to try this one!

Avocados Stuffed with Shrimp Salsa

2  ripe avocados
1/2 cup cooked shrimp
1/3 cup cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup cooked corn kernals
1/3 cup shelled edamame
1 T olive oil
1 T lemon or lime juice, divided
1 T minced jalapeno, optional
1 t finely chopped cilantro
dash of salt and pepper, as needed

Cut avocados in half and discard the pits.  Scoop out just a little of the center of each avocado to make room for your stuffing.  You may chop up this avocado and put it in your salsa, or just eat it as you scoop it out like I did!  Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice over the faces of the avocado, coating the surface of the flesh well - this will prevent them from browning.  Chop shrimp and tomatoes into smaller pieces, about the size of the edamame.  Stir together shrimp, tomatoes, and remaining ingredients in a small bowl.  Spoon mixture in equal parts into avocados.  You may either serve immediately, or chill a few hours in advance of serving.

This is how open your avocado "cup" for the stuffing should be after you scoop out some of the avocado flesh.  Isn't that beautiful?!

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 194 - Baked Shrimp

Twice Baked Potato, Baked Shrimp, Grape Tomatoes, Orange Slices

This lunch is all leftovers, and wow were they good last night!  I'm hoping they're just as good for lunch today!  Last night I had a big green salad, twice baked potatoes (I'm on a kick with these that needs to end now), and baked shrimp.  So, for lunch today I packed a leftover potato, leftover shrimp, cherry tomatoes leftover from my salad making, and some orange slices.

I can't wait for lunch!

Baking these shrimp was super easy.  They'd be delicious on pasta, salad, or - as I had them last night - on their own.  These are so easy, even your culinarily-challenged friends could make them.  You should try it!

Baked Shrimp

1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 T olive oil
2 T adobo seasoning
1 T butter, melted

Gently toss together all ingredients and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake at 425F for 10 minutes.  Shrimp should be delicately pink, and the oil should be sizzling.  Serve hot, or chill in refrigerator for use in cold dishes.  Enjoy!

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Day 193 - Potatoes Benedict

Potatoes Benedict

 Alright, friends, I'm aware this is cheating - I did not take this to work, nor would I.  But I made it for brunch yesterday, and it was so good that I have to share.  I'm calling it...Potatoes Benedict!  Essentially, it's a bacon-hashbrown muffin topped with a poached egg and some hollandaise sauce.  A little different, and very tasty.

I'm going to give you the recipe details for the potato muffins, which I topped with poached eggs, and this hollandaise recipe.  This makes a dozen muffins, and I served two per person.  Enjoy!

Potatoes Benedict
1 lb shredded hash browns (I used Simply Potatoes)
1 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese
3 strips of bacon
1/4 cup sour cream
1 T salt
1 T black pepper
12 eggs, poached
Hollandaise Sauce

In a large bowl, mix together potatoes, cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper.  Cook bacon until crisp, crumble, and add to potato mixture, stirring well.  Spoon potatoes into a well greased muffin tin, filling each cup about to the top.  Bake at 400F for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and run a knife around each cup.  Flip potato muffins over and let cool while you're poaching your eggs.  Top each muffin with one egg and a generous drizzle of hollandaise.  Serve immediately, perhaps with some grilled asparagus and toasted English muffins! Pin It Now!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Day 191 - Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Apricot, Herbed Rice, Pan Seared Pork Chop.

Still have leftover pork chops from the other day!  So I packed it for lunch with some herbed rice, another apricot, and roasted brussels sprouts.

Now, if you hate brussels sprouts when they're boiled and steamed, you absolutely must try them roasted.  I promise, it's like a totally different food!  They take on this sweet, nutty flavor and get all crispy and delicious!  Mine look very dark because they're covered in balsamic...and a little over-charred.  You should definitely cook them until they're visibly golden and crisp, at least!  Try it!

Delicious Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 lb brussels sprouts
2 T olive oil
1-T vinegar, your favorite type
salt and pepper, to taste

Wash brussels sprouts and pat dry.  Trim ends and cut in halves or quarters.  Place in a bowl and drizzle with oil and vinegar, tossing very gently with a spoon.  Lay sprouts (flat side up or down, I do both) on a lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake at 400F for 20-30 minutes, or until dark golden.  Serve immediately.

Party trick:  Soak toothpicks or wooden cocktail picks in water for 30 minutes.  Stack about 3 brussels sprout halves on each stick and bake that way.  Serve as a party appetizer with horseradish or a lemon-garlic aoli.  You're welcome! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Day 190 - Pork Chop and Mushroom Pasta

Mushroom Pasta, Seared Pork Chop, Green Peas, Apricot.

Tried out a new recipe last night from Martha Stewart for Mushroom Pasta. Yummmm!  Creamy like alfredo sauce, but a little lighter.  I made mine with spaghetti instead of fettuccine, as called for, for the very important reason that I only had spaghetti in my pantry!  I served it last night with some pan seared pork chops and green peas.  Packed it all up for lunch today with some orange sections, and it was very nice for lunch indeed! Pin It Now!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Day 189 - Tilapia and Rice

Tilapia, Rice Pilaf, Sugar Snap Peas, Apricot.

Had some delicious tilapia yesterday pan-fried with some Adobo seasoning and olive oil.  Made an extra piece and put it in the lunch box with some leftover garlic rice pilaf (from a box), sugar snap peas, and an apricot.  Tasty and healthy! Pin It Now!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Day 188 - Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp and Scallops, Red Cherries, Broccoli.

Some days, you need to make fancy comfort food.  That's what I needed last night.  It's just been a rough week (ok, rough month), and it was time for some cream sauce to make it temporarily better.  And so, fettucine alfredo from scratch, with shrimp and scallops.


This is not healthy.  Do NOT make this if you are watching your weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, or anything else.  This is the epitome of indulgence, and it's delicious.

I added some cherries and broccoli at lunch to make it at least somewhat nutritious.  I added in shrimp and scallops, but this would be delicious with just about any seafood or chicken.  I'll give you the recipe for the sauce, which matches about a pound of pasta, cooked.  You will love it!

Alfredo Sauce

1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons cornstarch
salt, to taste
1 pound dried pasta, cooked al dente 

In a medium sized non-stick pot, melt butter.  Stir in garlic and saute just until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Pour in cream and wine; heat over medium-low heat until just barely bubbling on the sides.  Stir in cornstarch and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low immediately and whisk together until thickened.  Add in parmesan and salt, if necessary, whisking until smooth.  Toss with hot, cooked pasta and any other toppings desired (seafood, chicken, broccoli, asparagus, etc.).  Serve immediately and enjoy!
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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Day 187 - Cheerwine Pulled Pork

Cheerwine Pulled Pork, Potato Salad, Baked Beans.
Made pulled pork this week for two friends who recently had a baby.  And, since dad is a Carolina Boy, I made Cheerwine pulled pork?

What is Cheerwine, you ask?  It's a softdrink originating in the Carolinas.  It's like a fruitier, lighter Dr. Pepper.  Anyway, they make pulled pork with it a lot, because it's really tasty, and so that's what I did, along with potato salad and baked beans.  And, of course, kept some for myself.  Had some for dinner the other night, and then brought the leftovers for lunch.

If you've never made pulled pork, try it this way.  I promise, you'll thank me.

Cheerwine Pulled Pork

1 5-lb pork picnic shoulder
1 12-oz can Cheerwine (or Dr. Pepper, or Coca-Cola, or anything else dark and sweet)

Spray the interior of a 5 quart crock pot with cooking spray.  Place pork shoulder in the crock pot, pouring Cheerwine over the top.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.  When pork falls apart with a gentle prod of a fork, you're ready to go.  Pull out pork with tongs (it should shred on its way out), makings sure not to include bones or fat.  Place pulled pork in a separate container.  You may or may not reserve the juices leftover, as desired.  Serve hot or cold.

If you want to keep hot, pour bones, fat, gristle, juice, etc out of crock pot, reserving at least a cup of juices.  Place pork and liquid back into crock and keep on the warm setting. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Day 186 - Green Salads Are Good for You!

Green Salad, Cherries, Boiled Egg.

Had a nice, leafy green salad yesterday with some fish.  So I packed up the leftovers with some extras for lunch today.  Mixed greens with parmesan cheese, tomatoes, and pumpernickel croutons with a vinaigrette, served up with dark red cherries and a boiled egg.  Healthy!  Easy!  Delicious!  Yay! Pin It Now!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Day 185 - Baked Chicken Breast Leftovers

Baked Chicken, Feta and Pita Crostini, Caesar Salad, Orange Sections
Ah, leftovers!  My favorite part of Monday!

Last night had some tasty baked chicken which had been marinated in Italian Dressing - so I made an extra for lunch today.  Boxed it up along with some feta-pita crostini, caesar salad, and orange sections.

Chicken breast or fish filet and a big plate of salad is a weeknight regular in my kitchen.  I think I have it once or twice a week because it is easy and healthy.  And it's always good to get some greens in you!  They also make great lunch leftovers.  Many nights, I'll mix the salad together minus the dressing, spoon it in a box for lunch, then toss that's night salad with dressing and add a little dressing on the side in my lunch box.  Couldn't be easier, and that way I always have freshly dressed salads! Pin It Now!