Okay okay since I cut off last week's post early, I'll give you a little peek into my wonderful Valentines Dinner (and date). We went to a really nice restaurant in Dublin, Pichet. The best part was my appetiser: An insanely delicious suckling pig sausage roll. After our lovely dinner we pretty much waddled through Dublin! Nah, we actually had a really romantic walk. The next morning he surprised me with these beautiful roses!
Our lovely steak dinner and my perfection of an appetiser.
(Plus a snap in front of the Ha'Penny)
Now that I'm done bragging, let's get on to a really wonderful week of healthy meals.
MONDAY: BUNLESS BLACK BEAN BURGERS
My college roommate got me hooked on black bean burgers. Of course, she had the Costco patties. I do not have the luxury of Costco over here in Ireland, so I took to the internet to browse different recipes for my own black bean patties. I decided to follow this recipe by Annie the closest. My main change was to use ground almonds in place of panko. I also used red pepper flakes and dry coriander (cilantro) because it's what I had on hand. Since I've yet to find canned black beans here, I made my own in the crock pot. I threw the beans in, covered them with about 2 inches of water, and cooked on low for 5 hours. To flavour them a bit I cooked them with a couple of bay leaves, cumin, the red pepper flakes, some cayenne and black pepper, and salt. After they'd cooked I formed them into the patties with the rest of the ingredients and cooked them in coconut oil.
The texture didn't change using the almond, so I was pretty happy with that result. To make it even healthier I decided against a full-blown burger. I made a bed of mixed greens, added two patties, and topped that with sliced avocado, diced tomato, and a dollop of sour cream. Costco has some definite competition!
TUESDAY: LEAN STIR FRY
My choice of veggies
I came across this picture from Skinny Taste and it inspired me to try making a healthier stir fry. In place of noodles I used thinly cut carrots and courgettes (zucchinis). I piled on bok choy, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, and snap peas. For flavour I added in some minced garlic and grated ginger. And for the sauce I mixed together roughly two parts soy sauce, one part rice vinegar, one teaspoon honey, and red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and freshly ground black pepper. I chopped up one chicken breast and added that in as well, but I can definitely see myself making this meatless in the future. It didn't need anything extra! I can't recommend this enough. It'd be fun to play around with what veggies you add and what flavours you make with the sauce.
WEDNESDAY: WHOLE WHEAT PESTO PASTA WITH CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI
Killian's started training again so meals are planned around that twice a week. We've decided to try different recipes for whole wheat pasta and chicken. This week we went with pesto and broccoli. While I prepped everything else, I boiled some whole wheat pasta. Check the ingredients on these because they often dye the pasta brown to look healthier but still load it up with sugar and salt. I started by making a seasoning for the chicken. I combined paprika, black pepper, a tiny bit of salt, and some cayenne. After dicing the chicken I tossed it in the seasoning mixture and cooked it about halfway in some coconut oil. I popped the chicken out of the pan, cooked the broccoli for a few minutes, then added the chicken back in to finish cooking through. Once the pasta had finished I stirred it in with two tablespoons of pesto and voila! It was that easy.
THURSDAY: PORK & APPLE SAUCE
I've mentioned our love of Jamie Oliver on my blog before. We'd had this recipe bookmarked for a while now to try out. Killian's not a big fan of pork because it always comes out tasting so dry. I combat this I soaked it in some salt water for about an hour or two before cooking. It definitely seemed to improve the pork! It came out so incredibly tasty. And I didn't even use the sage, which I couldn't get at our store all week. I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to switch things up and have a healthier pork dish that's more veggie focused while not being just a plate of veg. I'll be making this again soon!
FRIDAY: CHICKEN VEGGIE BAKE
My last recipe this week was a chicken and veggie bake. I came across this picture on Pinterest and wanted to try making something similar. So back to chopping up the vegetables I went! I cut up big chunks of broccoli, red potatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms, and courgettes. Then I poured over a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, and a load of minced garlic. I mixed together roughly one part each of Italian seasoning, salt (less on the salt), black pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika, nutmeg (less on the nutmeg), turmeric, and coriander (cilantro). I also threw in a pinch of cinnamon. After combining the seasonings well I tossed it over the top of the veggies and got in with my hands to mix it all together.
Then, I cubed some chicken and tossed that in a mixture of paprika, cayenne, pepper, cumin, and a pinch of salt. I tossed that in with my hands, and finished the whole thing with a fresh lemon and orange squeezed over the top. We served ours with some whole grain rice and it served 4 people. Talk about yummy!!!! I can't get enough of vegetables right now.
On Saturday we had the same pesto chicken pasta before Killian's training and on Sunday we went out to eat. What's your current fave food or dish? I'd love some inspiration for the coming weeks!