Wednesday, July 8, 2009

In a food rut...

Travis and I are in a food rut.

Actually, we're almost always in a food rut.

Although Trav loves to cook, and I don't mind it, we're almost always...

a) too busy
b) too lazy... or ...
c) completely uninspired!

It's no good at all.

We grocery shop sporadically, and eat out way more than we should. What's more - when we eat out - it's the same old stuff.

That's really the biggest problem - no matter if we're cooking in, or eating out, we're always eating the same stuff. So boring, and generally not very flavorful or healthy.

Last night, we got home late from meetings and needed to grab something relatively fast. We made a bold step and headed over to a nearby Lebanese restaurant that we'd always talked about going to, but never actually visited.

We walked in, completely ignorant, having no idea what to order. It was kind of fun in a way!

We ordered takeout, and came home with... (excuse the photos, it was dark out...)

a combination plate of chicken tawook, kafta kabob and beef shwarma and...

an order of baba ghanouge (blend of roast eggplant, tahini, garlic, and lemon)

Our meal came with a lebanese salad with homemade dressing and lots of fresh pita!

Oh my goodness was it good! The combo was plenty to share, and everything was just so fresh and flavorful. We really enjoyed it. Such a nice change from our usual blah fare.

Which brings me to cooking. We want to get better... we really do! We always have the basic meats on hand - steaks, chicken, ground beef and turkey - in the freezer, and have a great farmers market down the street to utilize. I think we just get bored of basic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti, and the likes.

We're going to plough through our cookbooks (we have a ton!) and see if we can pull out some recipes that meet the following qualifiers for our lifestyle...

a) quick (this is key!)
b) flavorful
c) light (it IS summer after all!)

How about you? What are your favorite weeknight recipes? Do share - we need inspiration!

And on a completely unrelated note... Look what sprung up outside our house!

I thought that we had just a bunch of grasses taking over everything, and almost dug them up when I weeded and mulched the beds in the front of our house (closest to the street, across the sidewalk) and am SO glad I didn't!

I realized that they must be day lilies awhile ago, and was expecting bright orange flowers. Instead, we have these beautiful dark red ones! Sooo pretty! Can't wait for them all to bloom!

Happy Hump Day to you all! Don't forget to share some recipes with me!


Derek and Arwen said...

I have a great healthy stuffed mexican shells (or it's also been called taco pasta...) recipe, I could give you the jist off the top of my head, but I'll get you the real recipe once I get home, but basic ingredients are shells, ground turkey, corn, salsa, beans, cheese, and i love it. super easy to make, freeze, reheat, and take to work for lunches! if you don't see the recipe in a day..remind me- pregnancy brain makes me forget everything!

Carrie Kendall said...

I love the website: It's where I get all of my recipes and as long as I pick one that is rated four stars or more it almost always turns out. I will admit three failed dinners since Adam and I have been married - on those nights it's pizza or mac and cheese.

Here are our current favs:
Chicken on the grill - I always leave the green pepper off for no particular reason.
Corn cobs on the grill - the parmesan butter is great!
Mini Meatloaves - just be careful not to over cook. Freeze the leftovers, they're still good later! Our favs are the italian and mexican versions.

Hope these help!!

Joanne said...

Thanks ladies!

Carrie - I printed the recipes off and look forward to trying them! I'll let you know how they turn out!

Arwen - Can't wait to get your recipe... sounds yummy!

Beth said...

I'm a Kraft Foods fan too. If you sign up through their site you can get recipes via email and a free quarterly magazine full of recipes. The recipes are on the website too, but there's something about getting a full-color food magazine at your door every few months. :)

And of course, I love Not usually the healthiest, but ohhhh goodness are the recipes yummy.

Derek and Arwen said...

I second Beth's post about the recipes at , TO DIE FOR!
HEre's the Mexican Stuffed Shells recipe:
-24 jumbo shells
-1 lb. ground turkey
-2 c. salsa (any kind you like)
-8 oz. can tomatoe sauce
-1 c. frozen corn
-1/2 c. black beans (i use the whole can)
-1 c. Fat free mexican cheese
-sour cream
-extra salsa
-1/4 c. sliced olives (or more!)
-1/4 c. sliced green onions

Cook pasta, and cool down. Brown turkey, stir in salsa, tomatoe sauce, corn, and beans. Let bubble together for about 5 minutes. Spoon this into the shells.

Place shells in a 9x13 dish sprayed w/Pam. Sprinkle shells with cheese, cover with foil and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Take foil off for last 5-10 minutes to let cheese get crispy. Serve with sour cream, salsa, olives, and onions.

Technically this serves 8 people...It's pretty easy to freeze and reheat.

Joanne said...

Thanks for all the great ideas you guys!!