Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Need that picture of you...

A couple of times a month, I will be sharing new recipes I have tried as part of our meal plan.  Everything I'm reviewing today has the awesome theme of SIMPLICITY.  There's a pasta meal that will definitely become our "Last minute, I don't know what to cook and I don't have a whole lot of time to think about it" meal.  (Yes, even with meal planning, this still happens!)  This post also has the theme of  forgetfulness as I didn't take pictures of almost any of the meals.  Gah.  I'm sorry.  They all turned out looking relatively similar to what you see under the links...just trust me on that.  Remember, I also repin the pins for all of the recipes I try, my meal plans, and all of my recipe reviews through Pinterest on my board "I Made This" so make sure you are following!


Easy Lemon Chicken with Roasted Brussel Sprouts  -  I forgot to take a picture of this.  That's such a bummer because it was awesome!  The flavor was perfect and I was only halfway through my plate when I told my husband, "Don't have seconds, I'm eating this for lunch tomorrow."  My only beef with this recipe is that the pin called it "Easy Lemon Chicken."  I think we have different ideas of the word "easy."  It's not that it is difficult to make at all, but it does involve multiple steps and several dishes.  I think the pinner was probably trying to describe the simplistic (but oh so yummy) flavor profile.  I also tried a new recipe for the roasted brussels because the ones I have pinned keep getting flagged for being spam.  Whoops?  This one was great, but either I measured the salt wrong, or it calls for way too much because these were definitely a touch on the salty side.  I think you could get away with half of the salt.  We finished it with some freshly shredded parmesan which was delicious (but may have added to the overall saltiness.)  Definitely a repeatable dish.

Mexican Casserole - I also forgot to take a picture of the finished product for this recipe.  Dang it. I loved this so much I ate it for lunch the next day!  We served it with my famous guacamole.  Despite this being a Weight Watchers recipe (which I can sometimes be laden with substitutes that decrease calories, but increase other things that aren't good for you) - it's a relatively clean recipe.  (Relative to other Weight Watchers recipes, I should say.)  I think one change I will make next time is actually to add a little bit more of the chopped jalapenos.  I expected the dish to be a bit spicier and I think just a touch more of a kick would be great.

Pesto Cavatappi with Chicken - If you are looking for an easy, tasty, and cheap weeknight meal for your family, look no further.  The level of skill required this recipe is probably less than what I had as a college student.  Cavatappi is one of my favorite pasta shapes and pesto is one of my favorite sauces, so I knew I was going to love this, but I had no idea it was going to be so flipping easy!  Instead of using a rotisserie chicken (as recommended on the blog), we just made up a little bit more of the same marinade used for the roasted tomatoes and basted some chicken with it on the grill.  It was a snowy day here in Chicago when my husband was out there on the grill, so now I know he really loves me ;)  I also packed this for my lunch the following day and it was delicious heated up as well.

Taco Stuffed Shells - (UGH. I just suck visually as far as this post goes.  No picture of this one either.  Shoot.)  We had a few bumps as we were trying to make this.  First, in a (very helpful) effort to defrost the beef in the microwave (it hadn't totally thawed in the fridge), my husband accidentally cooked the beef a bit (I guess it as more thawed than he expected.)  So, by the time it was browned, it got a little dried out.  The texture of the filling was therefore a bit dry and off putting to me.  Fortunately, some magic occurred in the oven and once it baked for 30 minutes, it was on the road to delicious.  The second bump was that I forgot to pick up taco sauce and I'm not sure I even saw it as part of the recipe.  So instead, I just used salsa on top.  Which might have been better.  I don't know.  I love me some salsa.  The entire meal was a home run for our family. (Though I'm still on the fence about stuffed pastas in might be my only weird food thing.  Eh. Whatever.)


Anyone have any great recipes to share with me?  I'm already thinking about the meal plan for December.  Do tell!

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