Wednesday, August 13, 2014

using pinterest as a cookbook

I really do love the usefulness of pinterest, that is if you actually USE it. I use it in many different ways from inspiration boards, diy ideas, blog promotion, classroom tools, and as a cookbook. Two weeks ago I powered through and did some honest to goodness meal planning. I hit up my pinterest board and searched for summery recipes, sorting until I found a handful that looked good, seemed easy, and shared similar ingredients.
I made a menu then circled same ingredients. I checked our pantry and fridge to see what we had on hand and went back to switch things around so that we were using what we had. I made two grocery lists, one for the farmer's market and one for the grocery store. I felt super productive. I love it when that happens. I also made a tart from the mama a-go-go's peaches (it is a happy tree).
I sent the mister to the farmers market as I had training at school to attend. The next day I hit up multiple grocery stores and picked up both the items on my list and the items the mister was not able to get at the farmers market. I brought everything home, did some chopping, made an awesome spinach and strawberry salad (w store bought strawberry poppyseed dressing) and served it up with a grocery cooked rotisserie bird and fresh baked crusty bread. We actually eat this salad a lot. It is super tasty. I use white onion or red onion, whichever I have at home. I also put the berries and the onion in this gadget and twist away. Speeds up the prep time, I love it!
The day after that I utilized half of the remaining chicken to make schwarma inspired sandwiches. I could not find lavash bread (made me miss L.A.) so made do with subpar pita (also made me miss L.A.), mixed greens, fresh tomatoes, red onion,  lemon cukes from the garden, hummus and tahini. It was really good! No photos folks. Mister gives me flack for being techy/trendylike and taking food photos so not every dish was documented. We served up the sandwiches with fresh fruit. They were super tasty.
Day three used up the remaining chicken inspired by this recipe. I mixed bbq sauce into the chicken and grilled up some sandwiches using the mixture, cheddar, and red onions. We had salad on the side using cukes and cuke blossoms from the garden.
After that, the order of what I made gets a bit hazy but we enjoyed a Greek inspired orzo salad that was best at room temperature. The recipe for the dressing was tasty but I think I need to double it up next time. The orzo salad served as the meal itself and we had leftovers for lunch and one other dinner.
I then made a white bean salad from dried beans that I had popped into the crockpot to cook over night. They got overcooked and while super tasty were also super mushy so the photos may look weird but it was really good! The white bean salad was served up with the meatballs from this recipe (which includes the white bean salad). Loved these! I never really make meatballs because it seems like too much work but when you thnk about how you can freeze them and reheat them so easily it is super worth it. Actually went really fast and these were really, really, good!  The second night we enjoyed the meatballs with the orzo salad and used the white bean salad as a lunch entree.
Next up was this salad. Oh my word! This one is so so good I ended up making it twice! I did not use romaine but used mixed greens and switched out the peppers (I'm allergic) for tomatoes, did not use jicama (mister is not a fan), and added avocado. It was the main meal. This one is a bit labor intense what with al lthe chop, chop, chopping. Keep the dressing in a jar and it keeps nicely i nthe fridge for two to three days. Also, don't go heavy on the dressing. I forgot I had already dressed my plate so I dressed it again and while I do not generally add a lot of dressing to my salads this was far too much and made it difficult to finish. When you make the tortilla strips, use a thin
We rounded out the week with this salad and it was really good even though I was worried about the mango and avocado in it. We added chicken to it the second time we ate it.The other half of the cabbage turned into slaw (I make a mean slaw) that we served up with ready made pulled pork for sandwiches. A quick, easy, tasty, dinner protocol from Ms. Za. We enjoyed ours with super not good for you curly fries courtesy of the freezer department. I get all anxious when I resort to premade meals not because I feel like I am failing my family but ore so for all sorts of environmental/moral reasons. Eeps.
So, there ya go,  more than a week's worth of easy meals to feed 2-4 people at a time. Possibly less, we tend to eat super small portions but you know your family best. I will be making all of these of the recipes called for sumac, I cannot remember which one, perhaps the white bean salad. Either way I did not feel I needed to go purchase a new spice that I could possibly be allergic to so I skipped it and it was fine...whatever it was. I need to plan another week now as we are being lazy and eating eggs for dinner but I am so so so lacking in inspiration at the moment. Enjoy!


  1. Pinterest is my favorite kitchen accessory! ;) Your week of meals looks awesome! Gonna have to try some of those recipes...

    1. I hope you do! just revisiting this post inspires me to make another batch of the chicken salad. Sooooo good!