Come inside my kitchen!
As I become more and more inclined to eat healthier and cleaner, trying to give my body more of what it needs and essentially what it wants, I find myself cooking at least 6 days a week now. I don’t mind the work. Maybe just the dishes. I find a sense of calm in cooking, it’s one of the only times during the day where my mind isn’t wasting gas on processing thoughts, worries and concern. It’s great. It’s a shared passion with my boyfriend, so it works out perfectly. We love trying out new things and including all sorts of ingredients that make food tastier. In an attempt to eat healthier and cleaner, we’ve cut out the fatty member of the meat family, pork and we also stopped eating carbs after 5 pm. This isn’t the easiest of tasks though. Pasta, bread, and potatoes are what fill you up! But they’re also useless when you’re going to spend the majority of the rest of your day inside or sitting. My body likes to frequently remind me what food pisses it off, so processed items are also almost completely eliminated. There are exceptions, but for the most part, our sauces and dressings are also homemade. Here are the meals we’ve made in the past few weeks. Maybe you’ll feel inspired. I was inspired to share. Especially because eating well (both healthy and satisfying) has become such a big part of my life!
P.S. All meals are made on a tight student-budget. I’ve learned that being low on funds does not mean I have to eat like crap and have the same boring lunch everyday! My next food-related post will include easy to follow steps and maybe even prices!
Shrimp Fried Rice:
My version was a little different than the recipe below, like we unfortunately didn’t have any ginger at home (I love cooking with ginger!), we used white onions and we didn’t have edamame, so we diced up red bell pepper instead. Also, we cooked the rice fresh for this meal. I will definitely make this again and plan to try out different variations like with new veggies and more eggs. It’s so easy to make for lunch and it’s also tasty and filling. Two thumbs up for shrimp fried rice!
I call it seasonal because I used white asparagus as one of the toppings. It smiles at you from every vegetable stand in Germany right now and it’s also so freaking delicious, so we just couldn’t resist. White asparagus isn’t easy to prepare, but I’ll share more details on that in a later meal. You can get so creative with homemade pizza, I think it’s definitely worth taking the time to make it from scratch! I looooved making the dough, I felt like a little kid working on an art project again! The first time I did this was with a group of friends and I think this is the perfect meal to do with a bunch of people. Also, we made this from left overs! Pizza is a perfect ‘lets scrape everything together in the fridge’ opportunity!
Ingredients: White asparagus, tomatoes, deli chicken slices, sliced mozzarella, Hollandaise sauce, and Edamer cheese strips since we didn’t have shredded cheese at the time
Sauce recipe: Tomato paste, water, sugar, ‘butter herbs’, pepper
Dough recipe here.
Broccoli, Lemon & Parmesan Soup:
The picture isn’t the best. The lighting was pretty bad, but let me assure you, the soup was absolutely spectacular tasting. That’s probably why I didn’t take the time to get a good picture before I dived in and grubbed. I love making soup and so I was very excited for this new recipe! It’s important to keep in mind though, that a little goes a long way. The soup is a bit heavy. Broccoli is filling enough on it’s own, but the Parmesan is was really made it taste rich. I could have put in a bit less and it still would have tasted wonderful. A small bowl is also filling, I definitely did not need that baguette, but it fits nicely with the soup so make some room!
A whole bunch of my favorites on one plate! If you’re going to go carb-free in the evening, but are worried about being full, this is the choice meal. My hunger was more than satisfied. I especially love boiled egg, tomatoes, green beans, and tuna, but it was difficult to figure out how to eat this meal. I didn’t like mixing anything together, but I didn’t know what order to eat in, so I just sort of rotated through each thing. I probably looked so weird when I was eating. We used black olives here, but if it were up to me, I’d just leave them out entirely. But that’s just me!
Stuffed Bell Peppers over Greek Orzo Pasta
Gah! Red bell peppers, beef, zucchini, delicious pasta, sweet sauce, what more could you ask for in a meal?! Since we had the pasta (I call them rice since that’s what they look like), we didn’t stuff the peppers so much, but I would have liked more inside! I could make this weekly and be happy. Tom experimented with the sauce which turned out alright, but I don’t know if I’d have THAT weekly. Orzo is seriously a mouth orgasm though, it’s no ordinary noodle. I plan to experiment more with it! I’ve also made this with white rice and steak inside– also scrumptious!
Ingredients: Orzo, large, ripe bell peppers, ground beef, diced zucchini, kidney beans
Sauce: tomato paste, whipping cream (sour cream also works), a little water, cinnamon, sugar, pepper
BBQ Chicken & Avocado Salad
The salad was pretty before the chicken was even added, but after we cut up and flavored the chicken, we thought why not combine it all? It was a good choice. This is an avocado dominated salad which you can’t go wrong with! The BBQ and red onion flavors are strong, so a very basic dressing was all that was needed. I loved it. It’s definitely a repeater!
Ingredients: white chicken breast, white onion barbecue sauce (you can use any kind though), avocado, tomatoes, kidney beans, diced red onions, cucumbers, radish
Salad dressing: lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, pepper
Chicken Schnitzel & White Asparagus with Golden Potatoes
This picture does not do the food justice. I’m trying to eat smaller portions in general and this meal made it so hard not to over-do it. I knew the sauce is very fatty though so I didn’t eat more than you see, but I definitely wanted to. So, here is your typical German meal. We rarely prepare German meals because I just don’t think we would know how, but I am glad we managed it here. The schnitzel is store-bought, don’t be fooled. I’d love to do schnitzel on my own and I’ll try one of this days, just give me time. The asparagus had to be properly cut and peeled because it has a rough, thick skin on it that starts two inches below the top. I didn’t peel enough off though, so it was tougher to chew. But the tops tasted like heaven. Of course it goes hand in hand with (oops, store bought) Hollandaise sauce. Yum!
Ingredients: What you see is what you get. Golden potatoes, frozen chicken schnitzel filets, fresh white asparagus, Hollandaise sauce, pepper
Inspired by an amazing brunch I had in Chicago recently, I attempted to make my own skillet. This wasn’t the same because the store closed before I could buy bell peppers (I replaced them with zucchini- the next best thing) and it still came out tasting all kinds of yummy. Below the mess, sit perfectly crunchy, red, country potatoes. On top came the sliced steak strips, zucchini, scrambled eggs, and shredded Gouda cheese. The one I had in America had Chedder cheese, different kinds of bell pepper and larger pieces of potato. But whatever. 🙂
Baked Feta, Tomatoes & Onions with Green Beans
Healthy and yummy! Feta is always amazing. I could eat it everyday. I could eat feta and tomato every hour. I just loved how we prepared this. Tom put the feta, onion and tomato inside foil and baked them in our little oven. I personally would have preferred more tomato slices, red onions and maybe zucchini or squash and garlic inside. Next time! Any type of sheep-milk based cheese works too!
Ingredients: frozen green beans, butter, ‘butter herbs’, pepper, ‘Hirten cheese’, tomatoes, white onions