So here’s the first installment!
It wasn’t until I started to upload photos of our meals that I realized last week was apparently the week of dinners in bowls in our house. I’m not sure if it’s a cold and dreary January thing or what but lately I just want to eat meals that taste like comfort food in a bowl. I’ve found myself gravitating toward vegetable-packed recipes that incorporate a lot of nutritious ingredients in one big dish. Soups, stews and pasta recipes are calling to me and our meals from last week make that quite apparent!
Since I’m someone who is always interested in what other people are eating and loving, I thought maybe we could use these posts to share links to recipes we’re all enjoying so we can get meal planning ideas from each other as well so please feel free to drop a link below and let me know what recipes you’re making and raving about in your house this month!
(Note: You’ll notice I only have photos of our meals from Monday through Friday in this post and that’s because I typically only meal plan for Monday through Friday. Often one of the meals I plan for a weeknight will get pushed to the weekend in favor of leftovers during the week and I like to leave the weekends open to whatever we’re feeling in the moment, whether it be takeout, something simple at home, etc.)
A Week of January Dinners
Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo from Pinch of Yum
As you can tell from this picture, I didn’t use orzo pasta in this Pinch of Yum recipe but that’s only because we didn’t have any on hand. I simply substituted a mixture of wheatberries and Banza chickpea pasta wheels and it was fabulous! I was slightly intimidated by the recipe since the creamy consistency of the broth comes from eggs (no cream or milk!) and you have to slowly, slowly add the egg + lemon juice mixture to the broth to prevent it from scrambling but it turned out well and we loved it! It was a smooth and creamy soup with the perfect amount of bite from the lemon. Note: This soup is a great way to use up any leftover chicken you may have on hand. I prepped a big batch of shredded chicken in our pressure cooker on Sunday night and simply used a bunch of it here!
Lentil Soup from Chocolate Covered Katie
I made this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog two weeks ago and it popped up on our dinner menu again last week for good reason! It was the perfect winter lentil soup recipe — flavorful, packed with vegetables and even better as leftovers the next day! When I made it again last week, I added some ground venison I defrosted from our freezer to the soup to give it a little more staying power and while the original vegetarian version is fabulous, Ryan and I agreed we loved it even more with this addition. The venison made the soup taste a little heartier and I know this is a soup we’ll be making again and again in our house. (I simply cooked the venison in a skillet and then added it to the soup at the end.)
Healing Lemongrass Chickpea Thai Green Curry from Ambitious Kitchen
You know a recipe is a winner when you cannot help but text your mom about it! Right after I made this dish, I texted my mom to tell her she must add it to her must-make list because I know how much she and my dad love Thai food. It’s a vegan recipe that’s perfectly warm and comforting and also very nutritious and absolutely packed with flavor. I actually didn’t even use lemongrass in the recipe only because I couldn’t find it at the grocery store when I was shopping last weekend, but it was still wonderful without it. The only change I made to this recipe was to add some chopped zucchini and chicken thighs to the mix and it was great and didn’t seem to impact the flavor at all.
Egg Roll in a Bowl from Peace, Love and Low Carb
We are a cabbage-loving family, so it’s no surprise we love this recipe so much. If you spend any time on Pinterest and pin Paleo recipes from time to time, you’ve likely seen no fewer than 50 variations of Egg Roll in a Bowl recipes floating around. I’ve tried a handful of them but always come back to this Pinterest find because it’s the most flavorful while still being incredibly easy to throw together on a busy weeknight. I like to serve ours on a bed of brown rice and really enjoy the various textures in this dish. Bonus: It reheats really well for lunch the next day! (Note: I highly recommend using ginger paste or fresh ginger in place of the ground ginger in this recipe. It makes a big difference and really brightens the flavors.)
Mac and Cheese from Pinch of Yum
I was craving something warm and comforting on Friday night and whipped up this mac and cheese for our crew. The sauce is actually made with a combination of pureed butternut squash, caramelized onions, milk, salt and chicken broth mixed with shredded cheese and was creamy, buttery, smooth and pretty much perfect. The only thing that left me baffled was just how much sauce it made! I followed the recipe — and it has tons of positive reviews — but I had a ton of sauce in the end that pretty much drowned our pasta. To make the recipe easier, I actually used frozen cubed butternut squash rather than chopping my own squash up and I also used two different kinds of pasta (pasta wheels and penne rather than the elbow macaroni because that’s what we had), but I cannot imagine it made that much of a difference? I even ended up saving some of the sauce to use for leftovers another night! The bottom line: We liked this recipe but next time I’ll definitely double the pasta portion knowing we’ll have plenty of sauce to cover the noodles.