I managed to complete Week 3 of my November Challenge.
If you missed Week 1 and Week 2, be sure to check those out.
As in the rounds before, I’ve included links to where I’ve pinned the recipe to Pinterest. I’ll also let you know if I made any substitutions and my opinion of the dish.
Let’s dive in!
I didn’t write down how much salsa I needed prior to the trip to the grocery store (you’ll notice a trend over the week). 16 oz. is not 2 1/2 cups. I compensated the difference by adding more water to the mixture. I already had shredded cheese in a Mexican blend so I used that. I’m sure I added more cheese than was called for since I love cheese. I did not add sour cream to the end of the cooking process. Some in the family don’t like sour cream. I added it to the top of mine prior to eating. I was going to slip in some butternut squash puree because I had some left over…but I forgot.
Miss Sunshine didn’t try it on account of the salsa and her dislike of tomatoes. The rest of us loved it.
Assessment: Into the family rotation it goes! I may work on tweaking leaving salsa out of a portion, but that will be trial and error with liquid requirements.
The next night was leftovers for those who were home. I made up a salad to go with the leftovers and decided to make this dressing. I still had some fresh oregano so I substituted that instead of using dried. Some comments were that they cut down on the amount of vinegar. I love vinegar. I’m the girl who will sit down and eat the entire bag of salt and vinegar chips. I thought it was fine. I had the hubby test it before adding it to the salad. He thought it was good as well. No teens were joining into the salad eating so I didn’t ask their opinion. Since I had leftovers for lunch, I only ate the salad and added feta cheese to the top of mine.
Assessment: Yum!! And no strange ingredients!
Miss Sunshine had a final soccer practice this night. It was a “fun” practice and ended up being at a different location than where I originally thought it would be held. My chosen recipe of the night was more time-consuming so I put it off until the next day. This meant I needed a recipe to make when we got home from practice and it needed to be with ingredients already contained in my home.
That was when I stumbled across this recipe.
I followed it exactly. Luckily, I did have canola oil and that is what I used. I decided to use these CorningWare mugs that we sometimes use for eating soup. I wasn’t sure how much the mixture would rise and I didn’t want to have to clean out the microwave. A smaller mug would have been fine. I cooked it for about 1 1/2 minutes. Times will vary with different microwaves.
To my surprise, it was actually good. I topped it with my remaining Talenti gelato (the brownie cuts the milky taste), grabbed two spoons, and Miss Sunshine and I devoured it.
Assessment: This was a very quick and very easy recipe. I may make it on occasion for fun.
Spicy Ethiopian Lentil Stew and Indian Style Rice.
I had been planning this meal for some time. The lentil stew requires a spice called berbere spice blend. I looked at my grocery store and could not find it. During a future spice shopping expedition, I did discover that they carried it… but had alphabetized it under “A” because its description on that label was African Inspired…berbere spice blend. At this point, I had already ordered it from Amazon. I used a heaping Tbsp because I was worried about spiciness.
This recipe is pictured with a yellow rice so I found a recipe to make. My rice was not as yellow. I’m sure more turmeric would have fixed that.
Mr. D, the hubby, and I all tried both. We liked it. The hubby and Mr. D added sriracha because they like to
abuse their tastebuds eat spicy food.
Big Mr and Miss Sunshine only tried the rice. Miss Sunshine thought the rice was a little bland. I could see what she meant, but have no clue as to why since it’s laden with spice. Big Mr doused his rice in sriracha and happily ate it.
I had the same experience as the last time I tried Indian food. It’s good, but after a bit, it seems unappealing. I really think it’s cumin. The smell of cumin makes me sort of nauseous. Strange? Yes. But it is what it is. I will keep trying because the benefits are so good.
Assessment: While I wouldn’t make the stew weekly, I did like it a lot. I will keep working on a finding a rice that I actually enjoy.
Blueberry and Spinach Smoothie.
Normally I would not include this photo… but I have no others. Bear in mind, I’m not a food photographer and ignore its flaws.
My smoothie did not come out a purple as the author of the recipe. I don’t drink milk so I substituted unsweetened vanilla almond milk. This may have attributed to the color change or I may have packed my spinach tighter. I opted for honey. I also add ice because I like a slushy smoothie. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t care about the color so much as long as it tastes good. This one was tasty and packed with superfoods.
I needed a quick meal and this one said it took 30 minutes. Bingo! Here’s the problem when you are in a hurry. You don’t always read things fully. The hubby ran to the grocery store to pick up what I needed. I wrote 1 can of diced tomatoes. That’s what the recipe says on Pinterest…and it’s true…but when you go to the actual recipe it says 1 (28 oz) can. I didn’t discover this until I was ready to make the meal with my 1 (14.5 oz) can. So I did what any good cook does…I worked with what I had. I happened to find a 14 oz can of tomato sauce in the pantry and used that in place of the other portion of diced tomatoes. I’m sure this changed the overall end result, but nothing else could be done. It tasted like many other casseroles that are similar and I don’t think ziti is my favorite pasta shape because I don’t love it thickness.
Assessment: It’s not likely that I will try this again. I did not properly follow the recipe so don’t let my assessment sway you from trying it if it strikes your fancy.
Guacamole Stuffed Chicken Nuggets.
I don’t know what to say about these except that I loved them.
I was a little nervous about the ground chicken because I don’t often use ground turkey or chicken. But I’m a huge lover of avocado and cilantro so they were right in the sweet spot of my palate.
Big Mr. doesn’t like cilantro so he didn’t try them. The hubby said he could have done with a little less cilantro, but that didn’t stop him from devouring them. Mr. D liked them. And even Miss Sunshine liked them.
I did read where somebody substituted spinach and I can see how that would be tasty as well. Also, I will note that she reminds you to check the internal temperature which I did. And I recommend cooking them on low because the outside appears done before the inside actually is.
I also like that these didn’t include wheat. Once again, I am going to be trying to cut back on that. I don’t have celiac disease, but I do have digestive issues. I’ve cut it out completely in the past (under my doctor’s knowledge) and I feel better when I eat less of it. Plus, for some reason, I seem to maintain an extra 10 pounds when I’m regularly eating wheat (my doctor thinks this may be due to the fact that when I am gluten free, I naturally eat less processed foods. That may be the case!)
Assessment: Major Win.
Did you see any recipes this week that you think you’ll end up trying?
Be sure to check out week 4 and the final round in lessons learned.
Let your light shine!
16 thoughts on “Recipes Tried In November – Round 3”
I’d try your lentil stew and rice. The rice I would cook this way: Saute the rice in EVOO with some onion and wee bit of garlic til just beginning to toast then add Turmeric, and a pinch of Saffron and as much broth veggie or chicken as the rice would need. Cover it and let it cook til done. It won’t be nearly as bland as rice can be. 🙂
I will definitely have to try your version of rice! I do find cooking it in broth makes it much more palatable to me and I like that I don’t see cumin in your list ;).
Jasmine Rice cooked that way is really good too with Indian, and Asian foods.
Cumin might an acquired taste. 🙂 I eat Mexican food quite a bit and a lot of the dishes use cumin so I’m used to it.
Lentil stew and rice FTW, yes, please. The guac stuffed chicken, yes, please. Chicken and avocado is one of my favorite combos.
I’m sorry people care about the color of their smoothies. These must be the same people who care about the prints on cloth diapers — I can’t relate.
Thanks for trying and sharing 😀
The stew was so good! It was spicy, but not too crazy for me. I’m thinking those chicken nuggets will definitely have to go in to rotation. I originally found a different recipe of hers, but I don’t have a meat mallet for stuffed chicken breasts.
LOL. I can’t relate to caring about smoothie color (or diaper prints for that matter) either. I’m known to make “kitchen sink” smoothies to get as much good stuff packed into a drink as I can. They aren’t always pretty…but they are mighty tasty. 🙂
That mexican casserole looks amazing! I’m hungry just looking at it. Damn. lol
That one ranked high! Finding something that the majority in the house like is a real rarity. 🙂
Very impressive dishes.
Each one of these dishes seems so appetizing, Amy! I especially loved the blueberry and spinach smoothie. Is it a good breakfast idea?
Thank you Agness! I think the blueberry and spinach smoothie would make a good breakfast idea. I usually eat a little more protein at breakfast, so I would probably add protein powder myself.