Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mia Cooks: Prep for the Week Edition

Christine and I had a chat earlier this week about better planning for food - it's too easy to be slammed with work and eat whatever instead of eating real food.

We agreed that the best way to stay accountable would be to cook every Sunday (or once a week if I have Sunday plans) and do a #miacooks along with it. I don't blame you if you want to mute my twitter feed every Sunday.

Today, I got up, felt rested, then wandered over to farmer's market. When Chadd asked what I got, I said, "If it was green, I bought it," which is pretty accurate.

(not pictured: ricotta, greek yogurt, and mozzarella from Blue Ridge Dairy)

I spent the afternoon cooking, with a couple of #sportz breaks, most notably a "restorative yoga" class which was basically guided nap time. Suffice to say, I feel incredibly peaceful today.

Here are all the recipes that showed up on #miacooks this afternoon:

Bacon Brussel Sprouts
I had these at a barbecue the other weekend and they totally blew my mind. I've made them twice in the past week.

You need:
- Brussel Sprouts
- 3-4 slices Bacon
- Salt
- Cayenne Pepper
- Olive Oil

1) Cut sprouts. Take the rinsed sprouts and cut off the stem bottom, then chop the sprouts in half. 

2) Prep the sprouts. Drizzle the sprouts with a little olive oil. Add sea salt and cayenne pepper.
3) BACON. Chop uncooked bacon into small pieces and add to the brussel sprouts.

4) Bake. Pop the sprouts into the oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes (check a couple of times, they'll start browning, but be easily stabbed)

Kale Chips
Best snack food. Ever.

You need:
- Kale
- Salt
- Cayenne Pepper
- Olive oil

1) Rinse and thoroughly dry kale. Seriously - it needs to be DRY. 
2) Cut kale into chip sized pieces and toss with oil, salt and pepper.

3) Bake. Spread kale onto a baking sheet and cook in 350 oven for 15-20 minutes (check a few times, it should be totally dried out, but not totally brown)

4) Storage - I put my kale chips into ziplock bags so they don't get stale. I wouldn't throw them into fridge, either.

I really love this pesto recipe - I put it on spaghetti squash, shrimp, chicken, or eat it with carrots. It's a very basic, but delicious recipe.

You need:
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1/2 c. macadamia nuts
- 1/2 c. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- salt and peper

1) Prep. Clean up the cilantro (rinse, take out any brown leaves)
2) Mix. Put all ingredients into food processor.

4) Enjoy over pretty much anything.

Christine's Death Metal Chili
I took Christine's Chili Recipe and made it tonight so I could have a bunch in the fridge/freezer for emergencies. Her other soup recipes have blown my mind, so I knew this would be good. Let me assure you - it's delicious. Our recipes are a little different - I used Rotel and you'll see she has tempeh in her recipe. Soy makes me sick, so I avoided it. I also added cayenne pepper (have you seen a theme in all these recipes yet?)

You Need:

1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups kale, ripped to shreds
2 (14.5 oz) cans Italian style diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans
1 (15 0z) can pinto beans
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp sugar or honey
1/2 Tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

1) Prep. Chop up the onion and garlic, drain the beans, but keep the tomatoes in their water (also: don't mind me, I didn't see I needed two different kinds of diced tomatoes, so I used Rotel instead). Shred some kale.
2) Sautee the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until translucent (2-3 minutes).
3) Add everything else to the pot and cook on medium for 20-30 minutes.

4) Enjoy!

I love chard for getting my greens - it's a little less spicy than kale and a little faster to cook. Chard has almost a buttery taste to it. Think spinach, but a little more rich.

1) Clean chard - rinse and dry.
See why it's called "Rainbow" Chard?

2) Chop off the stems, then chop the chard into 3rds.
3) Heat up olive oil in a skillet, add a little garlic and toss in the chard.

4) Cover and cook for 2 minutes, then stir, then cook another 2, for maybe 6-8 minutes.

Tonight's dinner was a quick one, but a Chadd favorite. 

Lemon Artichoke Chicken
This is an easy easy dish, takes maybe a half hour from start to finish. 

You need:
- chicken (we used about 1.5-2 pounds of boneless, skinless breast)
- 2 shallots
- 1 can artichoke hearts
- 1/4 c. capers
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tsp lemon juice

1) Chop up shallots and quarter the artichoke hearts, preheat oven to 375.
2) Season chicken with a little salt and pepper, maybe garlic salt or whatever you prefer.

3) Melt butter in the pan
4) Sautee the shallots for a minute or two
5) Add ingredients - artichoke hearts, capers, and lemon juice

5) Add chicken and sear on either side quickly
6) Bake for 10-12 minutes (check to make sure it's cooked through - it'll be just slightly pink when done and finish cooking in the pan.)

I also made some sweet potatoes earlier in the day.The recipe is here. I quickly threw some asparagus into the oven with olive oil and salt and pepper. When that came out, I put some lemon juice over it.

I've got a couple more things I want to make for the week, but I'm out of steam for the afternoon and with the time change, I'm going to tuck myself into bed.


  1. This is awesome! I found myself cooking along with you yesterday. I usually prep a couple things on Sunday, but I need to up my game as well. Definitely making that chili next weekend!

    1. Yaay! We're slowly over turning Fitfluential, one home cook at a time!

      I think it would be fun to do a big group cook one day - everyone bring ingredients and ziplocks/tupperware and hang out while we all cook together.

      And the chili...holy moly, it's awesome. you'll love it. I doubled it and froze a bunch. Christine eats it with avocados, so I grabbed a bunch of those too - btw, have you tried the "chocolate mousse" from PP? It's...avocados...and I'm scared/skeptical.

    2. I'd be down for that! And I have tried the chocolate mousse... it's interesting but it kind of grows on you. Make sure it's nice and cold. Do not eat at room temp.

  2. These sound so delicious, thank you for some new dishes to rotate into the regulars.

  3. Interesting, I always make my pesto with pine nuts. Definitely will have to try with macadamia!

    1. Normally, I do too, but when I saw this recipe, I was like...well, why not! It's not too much different - less of the pine nut after taste, which I appreciated.