Since we all have significantly more time on our hands with the Shelter-in-Place order, I decided to embark on a cooking/baking journey! I was always hesitant to commit to regular meal preparation and cooking mainly because I always felt too impatient to prepare the ingredients and wait for the food to cook. With the help of Pinterest, I have a newfound appreciation for trying out new recipes! Below is a current collection of all the meals I have created. Click the pictures for the link to the recipe! Happy cooking!
French Toast: this recipe was very easy to follow and I had fun following along! I had never made french toast before, and with how great it turned out I look forward to making this recipe again! I altered this recipe slightly by adding brown sugar on top of the warm toast. Also, I highly recommend using brioche bread for french toast as it is the sweetest and softest! Pair this with a side of scrambled eggs and chicken apple sausage for a well-rounded breakfast!
Avocado Toast with Fried Egg: this is the most simple and highly rewarding breakfast I can think of! Only a few ingredients are needed, and this meal is packed with lots of protein! I enjoy the less than 5 minute start to finish time it takes for this recipe!
Waffles: this recipe requires a waffle maker and I used a double sided waffle maker from Black and Decker. Making the batter took some time, so this recipe is ideal for mornings where you have at least 30-40 minutes to dedicate to create this meal. I decided to pair the waffles with turkey sausage and scrambled eggs. The waffles were fluffy and sweet, and paired well with warm syrup on top!
Shrimp Kale Salad: this one does not have an embedded link because it is my own creation! I recently took a liking to kale, and I learned about all the incredible health benefits kale provides! From there, I wanted to create a meal that I can eat for lunch that is light, healthy, & tastes great! I used an assortment of bell peppers, avocado, chipotle garlic seasoned shrimp, topped with champagne pear vinaigrette. This salad keeps me full for hours!
Lemon Butter Garlic Chicken: this recipe was fairly simple to follow along with, and the outcome was great! The secret is in the sauce: the sriracha and the red chili pepper flakes brought some soft heat that ended up being my favorite flavor of the dish. I decided to pair it with a side of brown rice.
Beef and Broccoli Lo Mein: this is my favorite recipe of the whole list! It was easy to make, delicious, and the portions lasted for 3 extra meals! I love broccoli, so I was excited that this recipe incorporated it in this stir-fry dish. The sauce was incredible! The sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, were only some of the key ingredients in the sauce that made it a perfect balance of sweet and tangy!
Creamy Garlic Butter Tuscan Salmon: this recipe had alot of moving parts! I enjoyed the complexity of the recipe, and I decided to pair this with a side of brown rice and asparagus. My favorite part of the recipe is the parmesan cheese and sun-dried tomatoes!
Honey Glazed Pork Loins: as far as the recipe for the meat, I got that from Pinterest and altered it slightly to add honey in the sauce. I decided to pair the meat with baked potatoes and sweet corn. This combination was one of my favorites!
Grilled Shrimp Foil Packets: This was the most interactive and hands-on recipe so far! What excites me about this recipe is all the different elements within the foil: andouille sausage, potatoes, shrimp, corn, and all the garnishes and sauces! Easiest clean up because we were able to bake this with in the foil and toss the foil once it was out of the oven.
Homemade Pizza: I embedded a link to a pizza recipe on Pinterest, but honestly I freestyled this one! When you think about it, homemade pizza should really incorporate as much or as little of your ingredients as you see fit. I chose to use pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, basil, marinara sauce, pesto sauce to top the dough. The pre-made pizza dough is from Bi-Rite, and the pizza was big enough to serve 2 people. The proportions of each item were estimates, it was baked at 500 degrees for 20 minutes, and it turned out amazing!
Stuffed Bell Peppers: I’ve been eying this recipe for a while because it looks so unique! I have always wanted to try it and I was excited to get the ingredients together in order to make it. I altered the recipe by using ground turkey instead of ground beef. Within the bell peppers, I stuffed the cooked turkey and brown rice, seasoned with tomato paste, oregano, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and topped with cheddar cheese and parsley. The recipe called for 6 bell peppers, but I made 4 and was full after only 1 of them!
Marinated Short Ribs & Homemade Mashed Potatoes: immediately after the first bite of this dish I said, “this might be my favorite one of all!” I love every element of the dish, and the fact that the combination of items was my own choice! I looked up three different recipes: for bok choy, mashed potatoes, and the meat. The bok choy was seasoned in garlic, sesame oil, and soy sauce to name a few, and paired well with the potatoes and meat. The mashed potatoes were hands-down the best part of the meal! The butter-to-milk-to-sour cream ratio needs to be just right! I made perfect mashed potatoes on my first try & I’m proud of that! The meat is from Trader Joe’s and already pre-marinated, so I decided to add a brown sugar coating to the meat to add additional sweetest! Definitely will try this combination again!
Blueberry Muffins: I had extra blueberries in my fridge and decided to attempt these muffins! They were delicious and I can’t wait to make them again!
Fudge Brownies: this was my first time baking brownies from scratch! It was a fun afternoon project and they turned out great!