Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What's for Dinner?

Don't you hate that question?  I get so annoyed with the redundant question and the conversation.  Paul and I used to have it everynight on my way home from work.  Now that we are in a new era, we are on to new dinners too.  We realized rather quickly that it was time to get good at getting healthy food we make at home into our bellies before 8pm at least 6x/week.  We've been doing great, which is pretty awesome if you ask me since, pre-Sammy this wasn't the case.  Our ability to go out to eat for dinner is pretty non existent now that Sam seems to put himself to bed no later than 7:30pm.

At first, we were so busy acclimating to our new lifestyle that we were getting "take out" from Wegmans.  It's actually a pretty good price and fairly healthy.  Also, if you live across the street like we do, it is also very convenient.   You get a whole chicken and 4 sides for $10.  Like everything else though, this gets old after a while and still isn't cheaper or healthier than making food at home.

Now, we are diligent about meal planning and started making a majority of our dinners on the weekend.  Like many nursing mothers, I noticed certain foods upsetting Sam's stomach, out went foods with red sauce and foods made dairy.  Giving up dairy has by far been the hardest for me.  Not being able to eat whatever I want is about the only thing that has been hard with breastfeeding.

Here is a sampling of recipes what we've come up or used that make good nursing friendly prepare ahead to cook later meals.  A few of these meals are actually derivations of great food that was brought to us from our friends during our baby honeymoon phase.

Lomo Saltado, one of my fav restaurant meals:  We generally slice the peppers and onions, marinate the meat and throw it in the fridge for the night or the next day.  This is one of those meals that makes awesome leftovers.  It taste even better the next day.

Whole Chickens baked over red and sweet potatoes: Our neighbor Kristen made this for us.  It was awesome!  I loved the mushiness of the potatoes from sitting in the chicken juices while they cooked.  This is an awesome meal to prepare a night or two before.  We buy the two pack of roasting chickens from costco and then bake both at once so that we have enough for one or two dinners, several lunches and a few derivations of meals there after.

Meals from the whole chicken:
  • Greek Chicken Salad
  • Chicken panninis with pesto and avocado (Bailey supervises my food, just in case something should fall)

  • Chicken Soup: First I make stock, than use the stock to make soup
    • stock: crockpot the carcases and water for 10 hrs, than strain into a big pot to remove bones and the lemons, garlic, carrots stuffed inside the birds.
    • soup: used strained stock from the crockpot, add back in remaining chicken, carrots, celery, onions and noodles (right before serving).

Chicken Picatta: This was a pinterest find.  Awesome, easy, uses kitchen staples and delicious!  We make this all the time.  Pinterest has been awesome for meal ideas.  Here is a pic from pioneer woman's blog

Salmon with brown sugar and mustard sauce: This was one of my favorites that was brought to us by our friend Mandie.  I've made this over and over again.  It was so good and much better than the way I used to make Salmon!  Here is my made in my head recipe based on what she brought over:
  • Sizeable piece of salmon, 2 portions plus enough for lunch
  • 3-4 tbsp of dijon mustard
  • 2-3 tbsp of brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • wine and chicken stock to coat the bottom of a pyrex (keeps salmon moist)
  • combine olive oil, panko crumbs and parmasean cheese in a bowl
  • Coat the Salmon in the dijon mustard and brown sugar, cover with the panko mixture
  • Bake at 375-400 until done
I serve this with a side of carrots, mixed with a little sliver of butter, brown sugar and the remaining panko mixture.  The easiest thing is to make a tin foil packet and put the carrots in there and put both the salmon and the carrots side by side in the oven.  In the pic below, I served it with the leftover potatoes from the chickens.

Coconut Thai Shrimp and Rice:   This is a recipe that our friends Stephanie and Matt made for us a long time ago when we went to their house for dinner.  It taste very impressive, however is quite easy to make.  It's even easier to eat, because it is delicious.  Here's a pic from Stephanie's blog.

Stuffed Pork Loin: During the holidays, I always make a pesto, sundried tomato and cheese torte.  It has perfect holiday colors and everyone loves it.  With the leftovers, I usually stuff chicken breasts and serve it over pasta.  This time, I tried it with a pork loin and potatoes.  Cut the loin lengthwise, stuff it with the torte mixture.  Put the loin in a pyrex over top of some red and sweet potatoes, bake on 350 until done. You could also serve it over spaghetti.  The melted torte from the loin makes a great sauce over the noodles.  A foodgawker.com picture:

What are some of your go to recipes?  Do share, I'm sure these are going to end up being on the list of "you want that again" soon enough?


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