My favorite part of the the day is still lunch

It’s so easy to get out of the groove of blogging… I haven’t been posting any recipes lately, but I’ve sure been cooking a ton. We meal plan and prep pretty much as often as humanly possible. It makes us feel better both physically and financially, and I honestly just love being in the kitchen.

One thing I’ve realized in the past year is that I’m 27 years old and my favorite part of the day is still lunch. My favorite go-to lately had been making Asian inspired rice bowls. The best part about these bowls is that you can really throw in whatever you have on hand and they can be completely customized. If your favorite fast casual restaurant style is Chipotle, or really anything bowl-related, then keep going for this recipe, which is really more of a guideline.

My staple veggies are almost always some combination of: zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, bok choy, snap peas, cabbage, and thinly sliced radishes that are soaked in vinegar and fresh ginger. 

For the meat, I’ve done meatballs (more ambitious) or just ground pork with a sauce (less ambitious). I like making mini meatballs with either chicken or turkey. Just be sure to use egg, bread crumbs, and some sort of sauce to keep them flavorful and moist.I usually form the meatballs and cook on 350 for about 20ish minutes.

We almost always have Hoisin in the fridge, so I’ll throw that into the meatball mixture, or just cook it into the ground meat mixture and it’s super flavorful. I’ve also been experimenting with Gochujang sauce lately and am loving it because it adds the best kind of heat.

For prep, I usually just cook everything separately and then construct the bowls as they would at Chipotle. Brown rice, white rice, choose your veg + protein, and then throw on a garnish if I have them (sesame seeds, scallions, sriracha for the fiancé, etc.).

Pro tip: I like making white rice, but adding some fresh ginger and a sprinkle of turmeric. The colors once the entire bowl is together are incredible and all of the flavors just pop.

These bowls are great for meal prep because they are pretty inexpensive, they’re easy to make, and they freeze really well. Plus, it reminds me of the day after Thanksgiving when you just open the fridge, pile everything onto a base of mashed potatoes, and revel in the greatness of cooking. Is that just me? Oh, well.


Slow Cooker Spiced Honey Apple Pork

There may be nothing better than a fall crock pot experiment that turns into a keeper recipe. Armed with dozens of golden delicious apples after a trip to the orchard I searched for recipes that were more savory than sweet. When I found one similar to mine below, I made a few key changes and created something I think we will be making over and over again this winter! fullsizerender

2+ pounds of boneless pork loin (I used about 2.4 for this recipe)

6 medium golden delicious apples (any green apple would work)

1/4 cup of honey + hot chili honey

Apple pie spice, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder

Thinly slice the apples and cover the entire bottom of the crock pot with a layer of apple slices (about 3 apples). Coat generously with apple pie spice and then drizzle with about half of the regular honey. Season both sides of the pork with a generous amount of smoked paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder (you want these flavors to infuse into everything) and then place it on top of the apples. We received Mike’s Hot Honey in a DIY pizza kit from Bespoke Post and I thought it would be the perfect kick to this recipe. Drizzle it on top of the pork instead of the regular honey. Then, layer the remaining apples and sprinkle again with the apple pie spice. I drizzled the remaining honey and some of the hot honey on top and set it on low to cook for 6 hours.

For a side dish, I made a box of pearl couscous and cooked in some raw baby spinach to sneak some veggies into the meal.

After 6 hours, the pork chops were still perfectly in tact, but fell apart easily when eating with a fork. They were incredibly moist and even held up as leftovers in the microwave.

So simple and had my fiancé raving about how delicious it was. Something to make again and again!

Crockpot Thai Peanut Chicken + Veggies

I was searching for a recipe over the weekend that required little-to-no grocery shopping (based on what I had in the pantry) and came across this one for Thai Peanut Chicken that I had pinned a few weeks ago. The recipe looked great, but I wanted to add more veggies and I didn’t have crunchy peanut butter, so I made some changes and it turned out absolutely delicious.

Crockpot Thai Peanut Chicken + Veggies

1 1/2 lbs of chicken breasts IMG_5551

1 large green bell pepper

1 packet of fresh snow peas

1-2 large carrots

1 white onion

Rice (brown or white)

For the sauce:

1/4 cup of House of Tsang Bangkok Peanut Sauce

1 tbs lime juice

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tbs honey

A sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)

Place the chicken breasts in the crock pot and cover completely with the sauce. Set to low and cook for 5-6 hours. When the chicken has about an hour to go, shred the chicken and then let it keep cooking. Meanwhile, chop your vegetables to be sauteed on the stove. Finely chop the carrots and add to a saucepan on medium-high with some salt, ground ginger and sesame oil. As you chop the onion, pepper and snow peas, add to pan, stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables have started, cook your rice as normal (2-1 water ratio), but substitute one cup of water for broth from the crockpot.

When the rice is finished, serve with the veggies and chicken and drizzle some of the leftover Peanut Sauce on top. Be sure not to overcook the vegetables– they should be a little bit crunchy so that they add some texture to the dish. For me, the dish made about 5 generous servings.

I really, really loved this dish and will definitely be making again!