It’s Labor Day Weekend and I couldn’t have told you that three days ago. I had no idea that it was even September. What are months anyway when you have a newborn?
We had big plans once I figured out Pat had an extra day off. I left the house TWICE. It’s been nuts. Grocery shopping, Goodwill and THEN TJ Maxx. And it looks like Joe is skipping a nap today. We’re living that #vacationlife. I can’t wait to pay for a skipped nap later tonight when he’s screaming for dinner after I make him 8 different dinners.
Friday we played in the few leaves that have fallen in our front yard, went and BOUGHT coffee (a big no, no in our world), and wore long sleeved shirts in the morning. Fall is upon us people and I’m about to get realllllll annoying.
Slow Cooker Cuban Beef
We ate the leftovers of this on Monday of last week. If you bowl them up with rice, sour, cheese, hot sauce, and tomatoes it tastes very similar to Chipotle bowls. Yum.
Cut slits in your roast and put 3 cloves of the minced garlic in the meat. Cover meat with salt and pepper. Get a non-stick skillet going and add enough olive oil for your roast.
Sear the meat 5 minutes on each side. You want each exterior just to brown.
Get your slow cooker out and on a low setting. Put meat in the crockpot. Add the remaining 3 cloves of minced garlic to the crockpot along with all the remaining ropa ingredients. Let cook on low for 7-8 hours until the meat falls apart.
Shred the meat and taste. If it needs more salt and pepper, you know the drill.
Make the rice or quinoa according to the package. Serve the meat and liquid over your choice of rice or quinoa. We have had the meat with both and they are equally as good. The meat also makes great burritos, quesadillas, etc. Enjoy.
Orange Kale Salad
We got the inspiration for this recipe from my friend Jackie. We lived together in Argentina where we ate more meat and drank more whiskey than both of us could ever believe. She's now some form of doctor who has time to make delicious plant-based meals. You can follow her on instagram @plantbasedpanacea. If you are a veggie lover, you won't be disappointed.
I have been into kale since I've been consistently pregnant for the last four years. Regular lettuce of any sort honestly weirds me out when it gets wilted and slimy. Kale just doesn't do that to you. It's a little crunchier, but my taste buds appreciate that much more than they do a slimy meal. This salad is very simple, yet surprisngly filling.
Wash kale and brusselsprouts. Chop up kale and add to a big bowl.
Make sure to stem brussel sprouts and then throw them in a food processor. Shave 'em up and throw them into your big bowl.
Dice up avocado and add to big bowl. Throw in your cranberries and slivered almonds. Add those to the bowl and throw the whole thing in the fridge.
Add all dressing ingredients together and whisk. Add salt, pepper, and sometimes I throw in some sugar to taste. Throw dressing on top of your salad and enjoy.
We make these all the time because they are easy, simple, cheap, and Joe will eat them. So many wins. It's also one of those cheap meals that you actually look forward to. If we are being super preppy, we make a bowl of black beans on Sundays and add these to them. If we don't have our shit entirely together, we just use what is listed below. We have black beans this week, so we officially have our shit together.
Oil or butter up two skillets.
In one of the skillets, fry up your choice of tortillas. Set aside.
In the other skillet, scramble up your eggs.
Line your tortillas with goodies. I always do sour cream, then hot sauce, cheese.
Add eggs to each tortilla. Top with tomatoes. Add fruit on the side. Voila.
If you have black beans, I always layer those under the eggs. Grosses me out less. I like beans, but I don't like to see them. These usually make about 8 burritos for us.
Apple&Sweet Potato Chop Salad
Another keeper from sproutedkitchen.com. She's the queen of vegetarian meals that don't make me feel like a vegetarian.
I randomly chose this to eat a few weeks ago because we had all the shtuff, but it ended up being amazing in my mouth. So, we added it to our meal prep list and here we are. Try it! You will love it.
First thing that I do is cook up the sweet potatoes. Get your oven going at 400 and dice up the sweet potatoes. Throw them on a lined pan. Douse them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Let them cook for about 25 minutes.
While that cooks, get your quinoa cooked up according the directions on the box. This usually takes about 20 minutes of simmering as well.
I usually have hard boiled eggs on hand, but if you don't, boil two of those bad boys for 15 minutes. Peel and let cool.
Dice up your apples and grate your asiago.
In a separate bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients together and set aside.
When all that above food starts to finish cooking, let it cool for a few minutes and throw your baby kale in a big bowl.
When your "stuff" is cooled, throw the potatoes, quinoa, eggs, asiago, apples, and dressing together. Eat immediately. It is a very hardy salad, but tasty.
Meat and Cheese
Ok, so this is one of our life hacks. Friday evenings are mainly about the wine/beer and less about the food. So, many a Friday evening we resort to a very affordable meat, fruit, and cheese platter. Sounds fancy, but I assure you, it's all from Aldi. They have capicola and prosciutto at Aldi for pretty cheap and decent selection of cheeses that make you feel kinda fancy. We always have fruit. Throw it on a wooden cutting board, add wine, and you feel fancy as fuck.
First things first, crack open a beer.
Arrange your meat, cheese, and fruit on a cutting board.
Finish 5 more beers and graze on that semi-fancy tray you made.
We are serving these puppies with potatoes and green beans. Sometimes we sit down and eat them as a family and sometimes we sit on the couch, watch Moana, and veg.
When making the burger patties, mix the meat with Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, mustard, and pickle juice. Once they are done, it's off to the grill where they get cooked at high heat at about 5-6 minutes each side. This works great for medium sized burgers, but if you are making some monsters you will need to adjust your cook time.
The potatoes are pretty straight forward. Dice them up to about 1 inch cubes and cover them with salt, pepper, & olive oil. These bake at 450 for about 20-25 minutes.
Butter up a skillet and cook green beans on medium heat for 7-8 minutes. We like them crsipy.
Vegetable Barley Soup
This is a basic vegetable soup with added "ump" by putting barley into it. We ate the leftovers of this for our Monday dinner.
Cook all ingredients EXCEPT barley on low in slow cooker for about 7-8 hours.
Cook barley to instructions on box. Add to soup as needed. You can add it altogether, but we find if you add it to the soup entirely it gets really gummy. So, we just add it to a bowl when we eat one.
Make the rolls. I'm not gonna write instructions for these. I know in my heart that you can handle making packaged rolls.