This post feels like a sponsored post for Trader Joe’s, but I assure you it is not. They are kinda awesome though in terms of price and quality. And we happen to do the majority of our shopping there. Sure, you could find more local/organic/etc stuff at WFs, but TJs is definitely on their game and does a pretty good job of keeping with the food trends while remaining true to their consumer’s desire for affordable but popular products. So yeah, as I warned you, this week was heavy on the packaged (semi-pre-made) stuff to assist me in my pregnant and lazy state. Could be any day now…fingers crossed.
No chalkboard photo again this week because it still has random drawings on it, unrelated to our menu.
An easy Saturday night dinner with TJs ribs, cornbread, and Caesar salad.
I made the cornbread the previous day using Bob’s Red Mill mix and canned coconut milk so P could have it too. He loves cornbread.
On Sunday we had pork tacos with a cabbage salsa slaw and avocado. I used green cabbage and TJs peach and mango salsa (to give it a fruity twist). I tossed the cabbage in the salsa a while before we ate so it could soften up a bit and take on some of the salsa flavor too.
I had leftover shells from a million years ago but since they were sealed in an air tight container they were still crunchy and delicious.
In case you were wondering the ingredients in the carnitas are: pork, water, vinegar, salt, sodium phosphate, marinade (water, orange juice concentrate) and pepper. Not bad, right?
I microwaved it in a glass bowl (it’s already cooked so just needs to be re-heated) with a bit of water in the bottom and saran wrap on top, which steamed it nicely so it easily chopped up in a semi-shredded / semi-pulled state. Super simple and thanks to the fairly basic marinade, I can see it being good in a million different recipes thanks to the ability to take on the flavor of whatever dish you are using it in.
I had three tacos and Kyle had four. I bet soft corn tortillas would be delicious as well. Simple can be great.
The next night was Monday which meant co-op “school” with P til 4:30 and minimal time to cook. Usually these are crock pot nights for me but this Monday was easy enough that I just did it all once we got home. A steak salad with TJ’s grass fed beef sirloin roast.
It looks weird when you open it but it was, in fact, super easy to remove from the plastic. I have mega issues with things wrapped in plastic so this is a point worth mentioning for me. Goat cheese? Don’t get me started! And sausages!?! Ugh. It’s like the stupidest system ever!!! There’s no way to NOT make a mess, and with certain products (i.e. cheese) you lose 25% in the process. Lame.
The only ingredients in the grass fed beef are: beef sirloin, sea salt, and pepper. And it comes already cooked and perfectly sliced. Happy dance.
I made a salad with spring greens, quinoa, goat feta, dried cranberries, and a red wine vinaigrette (olive oil infused with garlic, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, maple syrup, sea salt and pepper.
Looks fancy for how quickly it came together.
On Tuesday we had bibimbap with pickled cucumber and ground pork based on this recipe. I’ve never had (authentic) bibimbap and I don’t really know how to say it so I always call it a bipitty bopitty boo bowl. I’m a freak, I know. I wish they had a bibigo in Davis. That place was yums.
I would have bought the bool kogi from TJs (I think it’s a new product) since it’s basically meant for exactly this recipe but (1) it wasn’t pre-cooked and (2) it had sesame in it’s marinade which meant P couldn’t have any. Instead I got ground pork (from WF) so we could all eat it. P lovesssss pork. Okay, he loves all cuts of pig – bacon, ham, you name it. It’s alarmingly ironic given my dietary background.
The rest of the contents of the bowl included brown rice, shredded carrots, quick pickled cucumbers (for me, not Kyle), crushed up seaweed snacks, with a fried egg and sririacha on top. Completely delicious.
Wednesday was burgers and slaw. We had leftover cabbage which I tossed in a mayo, vinegar, salt and sugar blend. I like mine really mayo-ified and Kyle’s not a big vinegar person so this was not the healthiest of meals by any stretch. C’est la vie, right? At least there was something green on the plate.
Sorry about the funky lighting in this pic – the iPhone can only do so much. This was Kyle’s plate btw (hence the cheese). I made the burgers plain (without anything beyond an egg, salt and pepper). I think patty-cakes likes saying hamburger just as much as he likes eating them. He says it in a funny accent, which I have basically encouraged because it makes me crack up so much. I can’t describe it, but you’ll just have to trust me, it’s amusing.
We got back pretty much right at dinner time on Thursday thanks to an afternoon zoo visit, so it was good I had leftover cornbread ready to go (all of P’s food was leftovers as well).
I paired it with pork belly sautéed with collards. Boom, dinner is served!
This cut of meat (and product in general) is new to me, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect upon opening it, but as with the rest of the already cooked meats from TJs, it was super easy to use.
I just chopped it and added it to a pan. Then added collards and later deglazed the pan with some white wine. So simple I think my two year old could have done it.
Kyle basically fell in love with pork belly after this.
TGIF!!!!! The glorious weekend arrived and we celebrated with the most home-made thing all week…shrimp and veggies in a coconut milk broth, served over quinoa.
Both the veggies and the shrimp were frozen so I basically did nothing but dump them in a pan with garlic infused olive oil, but shhhh…it looks fancy. How fun is the name Harvest Hodgepodge. I liked it a lot. P pounded heaps of shrimp like I knew he would and reluctantly ate the veggies (he loves most veggies but this medley was new for him and had a few things he didn’t recognize, but he still cleaned his tray, because quite simply I don’t allow picking out foods and leaving some behind). Anyway, after he had his share of the shrimp and veg I added in coconut milk, tamari, fish sauce, fresh ginger, and the juice from one lime to make a broth. Simmered it while feeding him quinoa, a home-made dried fruit/seed bar, avocado, and grapes.
The quinoa was made by the rice cooker, so essentially I stirred things for dinner. The struggle is real. Ok, I’ll give myself a little credit, the combo of flavors int he broth was kinda fantastic and I should have maybe paid more attention to the exact amounts because had I written it down it would have been post worthy for sure.
I’m guessing that next week will be more of the same in terms of semi-pre-made eats. Not exactly inspiring, but I figure if nothing else it may give you a glimpse into my current reality. It’s not hospital food and it’s not take-out…yet…
As for desserts…well, in addition to our beloved Pound Plus obsession, I have been seriously splurging in the bulk bins and raw foods sections of WF and the Co-op. Yikes. I need to reign it in asap. But for reals, why is Righteously Raw chocolate soooooo goooooood. Sigh. It wouldn’t be so terrible if I was able to make one bar last longer than one serving but they are small. The colored candies that look like pastel M&Ms are sunflower butter filled chocolates (co-op bulk bin$$$) and naturally a few extra squares of pound plus went undocumented because anything less than four chunks in one sitting is unacceptable. Kyle and I are so bad for each other because neither of us has any self control. Or maybe that means we are perfect for each other.