Meal Plan: August 9-14

My first week back to work went well, the schedule is pretty ideal for being able to see my baby lots! And how could I not want to see this face as much as possible?? I mean, look at her!
IMG_1623.JPGOk, now to the food!

Saturday: Homemade Ahi Sushi
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IMG_1942.JPGA family from church (thanks Tammy!!) gave us fresh caught Ahi, so what better way to enjoy such a treat than in it’s original state!
We used soy paper, spread sushi rice on the paper, then laid cucumber, artificial crab meat mixed with a little mayo and sriracha, avocado, and green onion. Then we carefully and tightly rolled up the sushi and topped with the fresh ahi.
For dipping sauce we made unagi sauce (equal parts soy sauce, mirin, and sugar that is reduced down). It was SO GOOD!!

Sunday: Ahi Sushi…again
It was so good the first time around, so we had it again!! ūüôā
This time we had it with yummy egg drop soup
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Monday: Sweet Potato Zucchini Fritters
So I didn’t exactly follow the recipe…at all…I more used this recipe as an idea, so here is my version!

Grate the following into a bowl:
1 zucchini
1 sweet potato
1 onion
Add to the bowl and mix well:
2 eggs
4 tablespoons of flour
a little salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika
Heat vegetable oil in a pan. Place a spoonful of the mixture into the oil, saute until brown, flip and repeat. Place the cooked fritter on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
In the mean time, place a cooling rack on a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the cooked fritters on the cooling rack and place in the oven, bake about 10 minutes.
I topped the fritters with an aoli made from mayo, garlic powder, ground coriander, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice.

Tuesday: Tex Mex Orzo
IMG_1982.PNGThis one pot meal was super easy and delicious! I added some chopped avocado when I served it!

Wednesday: 5 Ingredient White Chicken Chili
IMG_2022.PNGI made a half batch of this and it was enough for dinner for both of us plus leftovers for lunch. In true VanGent fashion, I put my own twist on it by adding a can of diced tomatoes and a bunch of kale…delicious!
I served it with this homemade focaccia bread. IMG_1999.JPGSince I can’t eat dairy, I topped the bread with sea salt (I only put half the salt in the bread), rosemary, and thinly sliced onions.

Thursday: Grilled Veggie Sandwichthi

IMG_2023.PNGThis is always a hit in our house. So easy and delicious! This time we made it on the focaccia I made last night (see recipe above).

Stay tuned for next week’s meal plan!

Grilled Veggie Bruschetta

The longer we cook vegetarian, the more we try and find unique recipes! This grilled veggie bruschetta is our take on Jamie Oliver’s smoky veg bruschetta, but with a few of our own changes (like we always do…not good recipe followers)!

This bruschetta is so unique and was great on homemade tortilla chips from our favorite Artisan Blue Corn Flax Seed tortillas (just cut into wedges and bake until lightly browned, flipping once)

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It was also great leftover on BBQ pizza on whole wheat na’an!!

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What you need:
1 ear of corn
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 eggplant, sliced
1/2 onion, thickly sliced
1/2 bell pepper, cut in half
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice and zest if 1/2 lemon
1-2 Tbsp basalmic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil

Shuck the corn and place on a piece of foil, add the lemon zest and a little salt and pepper, wrap in the foil to grill. Arrange the sliced veggies on the grill or in a grill basket. Grill for about 10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly charred and veggies have grill marks (the corn will take about 15 minutes)

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Cut the corn off the cob, chop the veggies, and add to a medium bowl along with the minced garlic, vinegar, oil, and lemon juice. Adjust seasonings to taste and ENJOY!

Lemon Risotto with Summer Vegetables

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This was a very delicious recipe I found. ¬†Unlike the others, this one wasn’t modified much. ¬†You can find the original recipe here. ¬†Here’s the recipe, along with our adjustments (this one takes about an hour, and it’s pretty much all active cooking time). ¬†Enjoy!

Here are the ingredients:

  • 8 ounces¬†asparagus (about 10 stalks), trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces¬†sugar snap peas (about a healthy handful), trimmed and cut in half
  • 5 teaspoons¬†extra-virgin olive oil (to be used at different times)
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced or sliced, any color (we used green)
  • 4 3/4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup¬†finely chopped shallots
  • 1 cup¬†uncooked Basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup¬†dry white wine (if you live in SoCal, check out Wiens for some great wines- we used their White Crowded for this)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup¬†(2 ounces) grated fresh pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup¬†chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon¬†unsalted butter
  • Salt-free seasoning

Directions:

  1. Fill a large sauce pan about 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Put asparagus and peas in water and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cool water.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.  Add zucchini, squash and bell pepper and saute for about 7 minutes, or until browned and tender.  Season vegetables with no-salt seasoning while cooking.
  3. Add vegetable broth to a medium sauce pan and warm over medium heat (but don’t bring it to a boil). ¬†Keep it warm.
  4. Heat remaining olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add shallots, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until they get tender. Stir in rice, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup broth; cook 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Reserve 1/4 cup broth for the end. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (20-25 minutes total).  About halfway through cooking rice, add the 2 cloves of minced garlic.  Stir in asparagus, peas, zucchini, squash and bell pepper ; cook 1 minute more or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 cup of broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, chives and grated cheese.
  5. Eat.  Enjoy.

Grilled Veggie Sandwich

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This amazing sandwich is definitely one of our favorites right now, and is a go-to meal when we don’t feel like cooking much. We normally grill it outside, but this time I made it on my indoor grill pan and it was actually just as good! (Plus Matt had just gotten home from summer camp and was too tired to grill)
This recipe is from allrecipes.com but is slightly altered (I can never follow recipes directly…)

Ingredients for sauce:
1/4 cup mayo (I use olive oil mayo)
1 T lemon juice (also great with orange or lime!)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. (We have also used other sauces for our sandwich, like leftover baja sauce from fish tacos)

Ingredients for sandwich
1/2 zucchini, cut into strips
1/2 bell pepper, cut flat
1/2 tomato, slices
2 slices of onion
Bread of choice (see below description for our favorite, but any kind will do)
Feta to sprinkle on the bread (optional)

Arrange cut veggies on a grill pan or on the grill and sprinkle with no-salt garlic herb seasoning.

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Once the veggies start to get grill marks, flip and grill the other side (should only take about 5 minutes on each side).
While the veggies are cooking, spread some mayo on one side of the bread (we have tried thick cut loaves, ciabatta, focaccia, but our favorite by far has been naan). Sprinkle feta on top of the sauce.

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Once the veggies have been removed from the grill or grill pan, place the bread, sauce side up, and grill until the bread starts to brown.

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Once the bread is done, assemble the sandwich and ENJOY!!

Orzo Salad with Spicy Ranch Dressing

I’m not a huge fan of pasta salad, but this dish completely changed my mind!

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1 C uncooked orzo
1 can of corn, drained and rinsed
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
3 green onions, diced
6 cherry tomatoes, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 T mayo
1/4 C ranch
3 T lime juice
1 t chili powder
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 avocado, cut in wedges

Cook the orzo, drain and rinse. Combine orzo, corn, beans, tomatoes, green onions, and bell pepper (also good with broccoli)

Combine ranch, mayo, lime juice, chili powder, and garlic. Pour the dressing over the other ingredients and mix. Service and top with avocado! ENJOY!

Pad Thai

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We love Thai food, especially Pad Thai. The homemade version tastes JUST like a restaurant, if not better! This is a compilation of several recipes I found online. This is so incredibly easy!

1 package pad Thai rice noodles (linguine) (about 8 oz dry)
2-3 eggs scrambled (or egg whites)
2T rice wine vinegar
3T fish sauce
2T soy sauce
6T brown sugar, packed
2tsp sriracha (or to taste)
1 C bean sprouts
3/4 C low sodium chicken broth
1/4 C crushed peanuts
2 green onions, chopped
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Soak rice noodles in boiling water for about 8 minutes or until al dente.
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Cook scrambled eggs in a wok with vegetable oil. Add drained noodles followed by sauce ingredients (everything except bean sprouts, green onions, and peanuts).

Mix and simmer until sauce thickens and noodles are coated. Once the sauce begins to thicken, add the bean sprouts.

Just before serving, add the peanuts and green onions, and stir to incorporate

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*this would also be amazing with more veggies (carrots, zucchini, bell peppers), shrimp, or chicken.