So let’s jump right into this. I said I’d share some of what “meals” look like in my house so here it comes.
I’m not the best chef in the world. And sometimes I’m just plain busy, tired, too hungry, or just don’t feel like cooking. So I’m adding some of the past favorites from the past few weeks. Most of them take very little time and you already have a lot of the ingredients on hand.
Let’s start with when I’m feeling jazzy, creative, and energetic. I go for the slow cooker, stove, and the oven. One thing I made this week because it’s been freezing in South Texas for longer than a week (gasp!) is this roasted chicken and veggie soup. It sounds hard and challenging but the reality is you can buy most all of the veggies pre-chopped if you’re lazy like I am. It’s of course from Danielle Walker’s “Meals Made Simple” book. You guys, if you haven’t checked this book out, go do it!
So what I love about this soup is it feels nourishing. Maybe because of the chicken stock that is packed with protein that kicks my hunger or maybe because of the delicious flavor. (Added bonus: You feel like you’re boosting your immune system just as you would when you eat chicken noodle soup, minus the noodles.) But one thing is for sure. If you’ve felt like you’ve slacked with getting adequate veggie servings for the day, drink this up. You’ll instantly get your quota, or at least for a meal or two!
My mouth is watering just looking at this picture. And I got to eat this soup at least 3 or 4 times this week and froze half because… I. LOVE. LEFTOVERS.
So Jazzy meal #2 for this past week.
Because I love Danielle Walker I’m linking yet ANOTHER one of her recipes in this post. It’s technically a combination of two recipes from her book “Meals Made Simple,” the Braised Pork and the Cuban Pork Panninis. This recipe made a TON of food, which was an unexpected bonus for me since I’ve been trying to actually prep a bit more for each week. I have this tendency of always feeling “behind” when I go into Monday and the craziness ensues. This recipe made so much that I froze half of it, fed my mother in law, nephew, husband, son, and I (2-3x) and still had extra to bring to my sweet neighbor with a family of 5. So like I said a TON of food and if you have extra freezer space, you’ll get plenty of future meals out of this too.
One caveat with this recipe is it takes a little more pre-planning. As in, I planned to make it Monday, but at noon when I got home from the grocery store and realized the recipe called for 10-12 hours of slow cooker time, I knew we wouldn’t want dinner at midnight. So I started the recipe on Tuesday morning when we were stuck inside due to our Ice Apocalypse day. There was quite a bit of ice on the roads making us crazy Texans get the whole day off from work and school. Making this recipe though was truly enjoyable. You guys I felt like Barefoot Contessa or Giadi. I used red wine and onions and garlic and the kitchen smelled heavenly. Oh and p.s. I didn’t have fennel seeds, so I winged it and added some extra salt and pepper seasoning.
My husband is quite the meat eater and he gets pretty burned out on the same ‘ol stuff. And to be honest, he’s not a big fan of leftovers. (I know, poor thing right?) But the thing I love about Paleo and specifically Danielle Walker is she makes you feel like you’re eating an entirely different tasting food with every recipe. I don’t know if I’ve ever actually had a “Cuban” sandwich prior to my diagnosis with Celiac disease, but this has a juicy taste that made me come back for more. I also LOVED the easy homemade savory mayo, prosciutto, and dill pickle sandwiching each panini making it feel like it was special ordered from a deli.
One other caveat. Those “wrap” things are actually grain free wraps that Danielle Walker talks about in her blog multiple times and even shares the recipe. I tripled the wrap recipe and am still pulling out wraps from the freezer 2 months later.
While I did add some extra meals in between there to keep our palettes guessing, I’ll save those for my next post.
I want to just reiterate that cooking is rewarding. It may not always feel appealing, but you are making a masterpiece. Knowing you are treating yourself through food, adding nutrients to your family’s health, and just providing a meal for loved ones and sometimes a neighbor and extended family, it’s worthwhile and life giving.
I owe so much of my road to full health recovery to Danielle Walker. Her story and struggle and personal success are beautiful examples of what true grit can bring to one who keeps falling down, but keeps getting back up one time more. She has been a catalyst for me to keep cooking, trialing and coming up with errors in the kitchen, but always learning something about myself and my health in the process. Her story is today’s ray of light.
**The two meals I featured today can be found in Danielle Walker’s “Meals Made Simple.” Buy it here.