I’m surprised I had enough focus yesterday to cook anything, let alone make two meals (to be fair, the chickpea salad was all construction–no cooking). I received a phone call from the sonographer’s office, asking for our insurance information and if we’d like to move our appointment up a day (to yesterday). Um, yes!!!!! So, I sat around my house counting down the hours and minutes until I’d get to see our little baby for the first time.
For lunch, I wanted something light and easy. That’s pretty much been a part of the weekly meal planning–a simple, veggie packed lunch and a bit more complicated (in construction, as well as food make-up) of a dinner. I figure this is the most sustainable way for me to continue meal planning once I go back to work. Simple salad-like dishes to be made the night before and easily packed for work will be the best. I really liked the chickpea salad (or garbanzo bean salad, depending on your name preference), though it didn’t rock Mark’s world.
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
4 roma tomatoes, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1/4 onion, diced
1/4 cup of olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon of oregano
salt/pepper to taste
1. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, green pepper, and onions to a serving bowl.
2. Add the olive oil and squeeze the lemon juice over the veggies (I suggest using a handheld juicer to prevent seeds from getting into your salad). Mix well.
3. Add the spices to taste. It probably would have been a good idea to let the salad sit and marinate in the fridge for a while, but I dug into it right away!
Roma tomatoes ~$1.20
Green pepper ~$.80
Onion ~ $.40
Total ~ $3.84
Was I eating because I was hungry, or did I not know what else to do with myself? Probably a little of both. Plus, our baby boy needs all the good food he can get to help him grow! That’s right, I said a baby boy! After one of the most awe-inspiring moments of my life, we learned that we are having a little baby boy. I am beyond thrilled. I KNEW he was a little boy. That means I will continue to live in a house full of males (1 husband, 1 child, 1 dog, and 2 cats), but that’s okay. I actually like it.
After finding out about our baby boy, we came home and I demanded that Mark and I scour various baby name websites. I’m 95% certain we have our little guy’s name, but we are sitting on it a little longer, you know, before it becomes facebook-official. I think all the daddy preparations (plus some killer allergies) tired Mark out, so he went and napped for a bit. I began dinner. I found this recipe in my Simply in Season cookbook, which is a great resource if you want to work towards eating more locally and responsibly. I also like to use it as a clue as to what veggies might be on sale!
I LOVE stuffed green peppers. My grandpa made the greatest stuffed peppers, with ground beef, rice, onion, and tomato sauce. I noticed a “Mexican” version of stuffed peppers, and I had to try them. It was completely vegetarian, which was definitely needed after our meat binge last night.
Mexican Stuffed Green Peppers
5 green peppers (or possible more, I ended up with a ton of extra filling)
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 can of diced tomatoes with green chiles
3 roma tomatoes diced
1 jalapeno pepper diced
1 tablespoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 bay leaf
2 cups of corn
1.5 cups (1 can) of rinsed black beans
Cheese, to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Also, place a large saucepan with 1 inch of water on the stove, bring the water to boiling.
2. Cut about 1/2 inch off the top of the peppers, pull out the seeds and the white stuff. Steam the peppers in the water for about 5-7 minutes, or until tender. Remove peppers from the water and set aside in a baking dish.
3. In a large frying pan, saute the onions and garlic in 1 tablespoon of oil.
4. Add the tomatoes (both kinds), jalapeno pepper, oregano, cumin, salt, and bayleaf to the frying pan and cook for 5 minutes.
5. Add the corn and black beans to the frying pan, and simmer for 10 minutes more.
6. Spoon the mixture into the peppers, filling to the very top. Make sure the peppers can sit upright. If there is extra of the stuffing mix, place it in the dish beside the peppers.
7. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until heated thoroughly. In the last 5 minutes, sprinkle the peppers with the cheese, allowing it to melt in the oven.
I really liked this dish! It was a fun change from the stuffed peppers I am used to. It was light, but filling with just enough spice. Yum. We have leftovers, so that might be lunch today.
Canned tomatoes ~$1.00
Roma Tomatoes ~$1.00
Black Beans ~$1.19
Cheese ~ $.50
A little more expensive than I would have anticipated, but it turned out to be 2 meals for us. I’m okay with that.
Today MIGHT be a 3-meal day. I’ve already made some raspberry muffins…and my day is pretty empty. Maybe the stuffed peppers as snacks and 3 solid meals cooked today? We’ll see how it pans out. I love being on vacation!