I wanted to give a quick update since I’ve actually been making and re-making a few of the following recipes in the past several months since my first PoY post. Of course my plan — which was intended to get me outside of my box and making new things — quickly led to me re-making the new things I had discovered! Ha ha. Anyway, the big winners of this group were the eggplant “pizza” (a quick and easy weeknight meal), the Korean BBQ Bangkok burritos (an excellent weekend meal with to-die-for flavor — that ginger pear sauce!), and the crockpot lentil and split pea stew (make it on a weekend and have delicious lunch set for the whole week ahead). And, most recently, the avocado tomatillo dip (a healthy, super quick guac-like dip). So happy to have these recipes in my rotation.
9) Eggplant “pizza” — I riffed on these here. They make a nice quick weeknight meal that steps your game up from, say, a quesadilla, but I wouldn’t make them to impress dinner guests. The next, however, I would…
10) Korean BBQ Bangkok Burritos: These were a HIT. Matt said he liked them even better than the brown butter scallops with risotto, and while they are completely different meals, that says a lot. I used savoy cabbage thinly sliced, blanched and dressed with extra yum-yum sauce in place of kimchi. I also made only a half recipe of the steak and cooked it on the stovetop instead of in a crockpot, covering the meat and sauce with a lid and simmering it on low for about 2 hours. I highly recommend drizzling your burrito fillings with some of pear-ginger sauce left in that pot.
11) Crockpot Lentil Stew: I currently have a massive Costco-sized load of green lentils sitting in my cupboard, and I’m a sucker for soup, so this recipe called my name. I tossed the kale in early instead of at the end because I like my kale cooked! Adding kale after the soup is done cooking to me would equate to not wanting to eat the soup for at least 3 days while it softened up. Anyway, this soup is delicious and I have already made it several times. I especially like it with a little red wine and thinly sliced bratwurst thrown in to the mix.
12) 5 Ingredient “Creamy” Kale Pasta: I hate to say it, but this was a flop. I should have known the cashew “cream” sauce would taste like cashew butter, but I went through with the recipe anyway thinking that the garlic and lemon would mask that flavor. It didn’t. I suppose if I had used raw cashews instead of the lightly roasted ones I buy from Trader Joe’s it would have had less of a cashew flavor, but I still don’t think it would taste right to me. Unless you’re really into vegan hippie-style food, skip this one. (I love cashews by the way. I’m just not a big fan of turning them into a pseudo cream sauce.)
13) Garlic butter white wine shrimp linguine: Thankfully we were right back in the game with this one. An absolute hit and so easy. It was also my first time cooking with sage! I love the herby flavor a little minced sage and parsley lend this dish. Darn good as leftovers for lunch the next day too.
14) Korean steak bowls: Though this recipe is for a salad, I turned it into a hot meal by sauteing the bell peppers in olive oil while the steak cooked and drizzling them with some of the extra sauce and serving it all over rice. This meal was yummy but not over the top yummy. I haven’t revisited it the way I have the slow-cooked pear and ginger steak from the Bangkok burritos.
15) Avocado tomatillo dip: Matt and I made this alongside a highly indulgent homemade queso dip, and Matt actually said he wouldn’t have minded if all we had was this very healthy tomatillo sauce! I’d say that’s the biggest win possible — when healthy tastes better than indulgent. This stuff is like a sauce-y version of guacamole. We used lemon instead of lime and regular red salsa (¿salsa roja?) instead of salsa verde and it was great. This is the perfect recipe to keep in mind going into the new year!
As a final note, I want to send my heartfelt condolences to Lindsay and Bjork for their recent loss. Lindsay, if you ever read this, I’m so sorry about your sweet little baby Afton. My heart is broken for you both, and I know that he had wonderful parents during his all too brief stay in this world. Much love to both of you, to Afton, and to your family.