Monday, June 3, 2013

Menu Monday: Cooking for Two!

I am thrilled to be returning to regular cooking and meal planning now that Brian is home. It actually makes me a little sad that he gets home from work before I do and usually has dinner at least halfway done by the time I pull in the driveway, but I am loving our joint return to the kitchen. We had developed some really good habits regarding eating at home in our first year of living together, and I'm really happy we've fallen easily back into it. This time of year is wonderful for cooking, much fresh and in-season produce! We have definitely been taking advantage. Today I'm sharing a few favorite meals (that I remembered to photograph) from the past month or so!

I tore this recipe for Blush Macaroni and Cheese out of April's Cooking Light just before Brian came home. We've already made it twice! This recipe uses a modest amount of cheese, making it a pretty guilt-free macaroni dish. We use whole wheat pasta as well.

You'll notice that I am having a full-fledged blogger obsession with Iowa Girl Eats (in the least creepy way possible). I have always loved Kristin's recipes, but her blog has been a staple for me when meal planning for the past month or so. I haven't gone wrong with any of her recipes, including this mayo-free Honey Roasted Chicken Salad served with a side salad drizzled with the best aged balsamic vinegar ever.

We celebrated Cinco de Mayo with yet another recipe from Kristin, Fresh Margarita Chicken with Cilantro Lime Rice. The chicken was incredibly flavorful and cooked up well on the grill! I mixed some homemade salsa (the Pioneer Woman's recipe is the best I've tried) with an avocado for the "salsamole" on top.

My favorite steak fajita recipe is from Rachel (who I'm actually linking up with today for Menu Monday!) This time around, I deconstructed the fajitas for a delicious steak salad served with corn, black beans, pico de gallo and a homemade cilantro lime vinaigrette. I will echo Rachel in saying that you have to try this steak really is the best!

I've tried a few different at-home takes on P.F. Chang's infamous lettuce wraps with varying degrees of success. While Kristin's recipe isn't an exact replica (yes, this is from Iowa Girl Eats, yet again), the flavors of this meal are a great interpretation. I also liked that the filling wasn't super greasy, making this an easy, light meal.

Spicy Roasted Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese is another fun take on the classic pasta dish, and I love that you can adjust the veggies to whatever is in season or suits your tastes. It was the perfect amount of spicy, as well.

In my mind, Ina Garten can do no wrong. I see her as a very "back to basics" chef, which made her recipe a natural choice for Homemade Meatballs. Meatballs are one of those things that seem easy in theory, but I've never been 100% happy when making them from scratch. I switched it up a bit by using all ground beef (I'm not a huge pork or veal fan). While I loved the actual meatballs, I wasn't as big on the time I'll drop them into the best tomato sauce ever and call it a day.

What's for dinner in your house this week?


Corinne said...

Wow! That's a lot of great looking dishes! Thanks for sharing some of your favorites - I'm bookmarking some for myself ;)

Mrs. Jones said...

I can't wait to try that mac and cheese recipe with tomatoes from our garden!! Thanks for sharing it!

Lauren said...

The chicken dish with the cilantro lime rice sounds delicious! I'm always looking for easy meals for two, so thanks for sharing these :)


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