At long last. A weekend in town. More specifically a HEALTHY weekend in town. I started Saturday morning out with my girlfriends. I rode my bike to brunch at Cafe Bernardo downtown (which was so fun) while Kyle and the kids were at the Home Depot craft. Later on, we met up at farmer’s market, where I got a ton of produce, which I then put in the car for Kyle to drive home so that I didn’t have to bike back balancing kale and squash on my back.
The best part about farmer’s market is getting the more unique stuff that stores don’t carry…like this unknown squash (I bought the section, not the whole squash). I have been trying to choose the vendors who don’t wrap things in plastic because then I just put it in my own veggie bag. But it was only in there for a second because I roasted it as soon as I got home.
I’ve never seen a squash like this! It was bright bright orange and oddly crunchy – like a cross between an apple and a carrot – when I cut into it. It roasted up just like a normal root vegetable though. And then, since I had no dinner plans, I decided to use it that night!
But I’ll get to this meal later.
While the oven was on, I got in more prep. I bought this yucca last week with the idea of making my own chips.
I had no idea what I was doing here, but I figured I would just treat it like any other starch (like a potato). I peeled it with a knife because the outside had a weird waxy coating on it and then sliced it into thin rounds. I used my big sharp knife because it was a lot harder to cut than a potato!
Then I spread them out on a baking sheet and sprayed them with oil.
And baked them at 375 for 30 minutes with a few minutes on broil at the end.
They smelled SO GOOD. I had some with Monday’s lunch…
Not to get totally out of order, but here’s the chicken salad and carrots I had with that same meal.
2 breasts of chicken (shredded) + 1cup Sir Kensington’s mayo + 3 celery stalks (diced), 1 honeycrisp apple (diced) + 1 cup pecans + salt + pepper
Should be enough for a few days of lunches!
The yucca chips were really good by the way. The end pieces were a little harder than I’d like, but the thin middle pieces were perfect!
But back to the weekend…since I had a bigger breakfast than usual, I wasn’t too hungry for lunch, so I had some of these lentil and Brussels leftovers from last week.
And then I continued prep mode.
Per my son’s request, I made bacon wrapped dates.
As well as banana bread (per my daughter’s request).
And a few more things, like washing and de-stemming a few bunches of kale, chopping carrots, and making chickpeas in the instant pot.
Eventually it was time for dinner, and by then I had settled on making a kale salad with some of the stuff I had prepped.
I used the lard from the bacon wrapped dates to massage the kale down and then added in made some farro to turn it into a proper hippie bowl.
I’ve made salads with bacon wrapped dates before (because Mr. P is OBSESSED with them) so this isn’t a novel concept in our household, but it is a little different so I will still post the recipe. I’m trying to update my recipe page to get all these new bowls I’ve been making on there. I love looking back when I can’t think of what to make and getting ideas, so hopefully it’s helpful for you guys too.
Kale and Grain Bowl with Bacon Wrapped Dates
- 1 cup farro (~2 cups cooked)
- 1 bunch kale, destemmed and cut into bite sizes pieces
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 cups squash, cubed
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 12-15 slices of bacon
- 12-15 dates
- 1/2 cup roasted almonds
- salt and pepper
First make the bacon wrapped dates, by preheating the oven to 400.
Slice the slabs of bacon in half so you have 24 – 30 pieces. Remove the pits from the dates and slice them in half. Then wrap each date halve with bacon and rest it on a baking sheet with the seam down (so it stays wrapped up). Bake for 15 minutes.
Once the bacon wrapped dates are done and cool enough to touch, set them on a plate and pour off the grease into a large salad bowl with the kale. Massage until the kale is wilted. Add the apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper as you want.
To roast the squash, turn the oven down to 375. Toss the cubes in olive oil and spread out on a greased baking sheet and rosat for 25-30 minutes (until tender when you poke it with a fork).
To cook the farro, use a 2:1 ratio of water:grain and simmer on the stove until it’s tender (or use a rice cooker like I did).
Finally, assemble everything together. You can cut the bacon wrapped dates into smaller pieces if you want and add extra salt and pepper to taste (I used salted almonds so I didn’t need to add any seasonings but feel it out for yourself).
The kiddos loved this one, obviously, and I even managed to sneak myself a few leftover bacon wrapped dates for my lunch salad the next day.
But before I get to Sunday, may I present to you…
My new favorite “every day” chocolate.
Kyle got me this for my birthday because I told him the chuau firecrackers bars are too $$$$ (why I can’t let my husband splurge on me is a question for another time). Let’s just skip over the therapy session and discuss the bar. It’s awesome. And it makes me limit the amount I eat because it has some heat to it! It’s a perfect kick in the mouth that makes you eat slowly and savor every bite. I loooove it. And because it’s Nugget’s own brand, it’s totally affordable!
The banana bread I made was half whole wheat flour and half quick oats and it worked out so well. The kids were SO excited to get some that morning.
P had to be at church early that morning because the choir was performing at al three services. Luckily he ate the banana bread faster than fast and we were out the door. Kyle and V met us for the second service (the one we usually attend) and it was basically the cutest thing. They did sign language with the songs and the kinder kids seemed so small compared to the big 5th graders, although he definitely thinks of everyone as his peers.
Even though we had spent the whole morning together, P wasn’t ready to separate when we finally left church and asked if we could do something special. Knowing V was probably anxious for me to get home and make her lunch, I tried to think of something easy that would still please him…and we settled on a nature walk around our neighborhood. He was thrilled and the weather was gorgeous, so it was a great end to the morning.
For lunch I made a salad of leftovers with kale massaged in balsamic vinaigrette and then topped in the rest of the bacon wrapped dates, manchego, and avo.
It was awesome. And even more awesome eaten in peace with football on, while the kids played together upstairs. They play so well when they are reunited after they’ve been separated for a few hours.
For dinner I made lettuce cups.
Kyle had requested pork and I felt like something lighter because I had a mom’s dessert and drinks night later on, so lettuce cups seemed liek the perfect compromise.
I added fish sauce, tamari, fresh ginger, and green onions to the pork.
I thought two pounds seemed excessive but I was wrong. We ate it all.
The kids had rice bowls at first, but then asked for their own lettuce cups once they saw how we were eating them. I had accounted for this to happen because I know how they operate. Had I given V lettuce without it being her idea, she probably would have been iffy on it. She likes (loves) lettuce of all kinds as long as it has dressing, but plain lettuce is hit and miss.
Anyway, it was delish and it also used up the last of the cilantro which was just barely hanging on for one final meal.
Phew! Feeling all caught up now. On Wednesday. 😛