Dinner$: A Crazy Week

Let me begin with an apology. I forgot to take photos this week. I snagged a few, but ultimately mostly forgot.

I know you’re wildly disappointed. The people love my mediocre, iPhone food pictures!!! 😉 I’ll try to be better next week.

This week was a doozy. I started my internship and was running from South Austin to Georgetown multiple times a day and was tired. I listened to NPR and Marketplace like a maniac, though! I may be hustling around, but I am very well informed.

Anyway, we hosted a party last Saturday, so when the time came to meal plan for the week we were not super creative. The weather was also on the chillier side and rainy some days, so we went for comfy foods.

Also I want to mention that last night Patrick commented that he doesn’t even miss eating out. And neither do I! It’s kind of awesome. To be honest, I never really cared much about eating out unless it was for something I really craved. We normally just did it when we were feeling lazy or uninspired.

Cooking things that are:

  1. Cheap
  2. Quick(ish) & easy
  3. Fun to make
  4. All of the above

definitely improves the experience! And makes eating out less enticing. Anyway, let’s begin!

Monday: Spaghetti & Meatballs in Red Wine Tomato Sauce (from The Feed Zone cookbook)

YUM. Writing this now I wish we still had leftovers. Not going to lie, this took a hot minute. It’s like a 90 minute recipe because that sauce needs to simmmmmmmmmer. It was even better as leftovers the next day.

This may be the first time I have made my own pasta sauce. Well, this summer I made some from scratch but didn’t use a recipe, so it was a little more onion-y than I would have preferred. This sauce was excellent.

I even got hard parmesan to put in our new (to us) Parmesan grater than I got from Buy Nothing! And, of course, garlic bread. A must. My only regret is not eating this on plain old white spaghetti. I bought whole wheat (because fiber) and it was good, but classic spaghetti would have been even better! Highly recommend this one.

Tuesday: Ramen

LOL. This was not fancy, homemade ramen, y’all. This was the 19 cent ramen that college students joke about. I love me some salty, MSG noodles time to time.

A couple weeks ago I finally got Patrick to try it, because he swore he never had, and he acted like it was just fine. This week, though, he suggested it. We soft-boiled two eggs each (for protein) and didn’t add anything else.

Patrick might’ve overcooked the noodles just a tad. And evaporated too much water out. But we love him anyway.

Last time we had this we had leftover tofu and pickled vegetables from banh mi and I wish we had had them this time around, too! Either way, still delicious. I inhaled this 10 minutes before having to start an online video meeting for school. Fun!

Wednesday: Chili

Another day, another no photo! Does that make sense? Whateva.

It was rainy and dreary all day this day, which meant it was perfect for chili. I don’t follow a chili recipe and – before you jump down my throat – I am not claiming this to be Texas Chili! Why? Because there’s a whole lot of beans and zero meat.

I am particularly proud of this one, though. I bought dried black beans and kidney beans months ago to save money and not buy cans, but I attempted to make them once and didn’t soak them long enough and had a bad time.

When I was making my grocery list, I saw those dried beans and decided to conquer it. SAVING THAT CA$H MONEY!

I soaked the kidney beans and black beans (separately) for roughly 6 hours and then threw them in the Instant Pot (again, separately) for like 20ish minutes? I don’t know, Google it.

Anyway, in the chili went those cooked beans (nailed it), pinto beans, garbanzo beans, frozen diced bell peppers (that we already had in the fridge), some chicken stock I wanted to use up, a Ranch seasoning packet, and a chili packet. We ate it with tortilla chips and cheese and sour cream for me.

Confession time: I always make my chili too soupy. Yes, I could probably let it keep cooking until the water evaporates, but that requires patience. Do you not know me by now?

Moving on!

Thursday: Veggie Burgers & Curly Fries

Awww yeah. A classic. A grilled veggie burger and curly fries.

That’s it. That’s the tweet.

Eaten on a whole wheat brioche bun from Whole Foods that has been in the freezer. Topped with avocado. HEB curly fries (that we put in breakfast tacos the next morning).

I love our mini grill. I love Patrick for making this for me after teaching Bodypump.

Friday: Tuna Cakes with Rice

The photo is art, honestly. So, here’s the deal about tuna cakes. I used to work at a place that made jalapeno tuna cakes with cilantro lime rice. I didn’t become obsessed until after I left.

It’s just such a great pairing. The tuna, with the protein and the fats. The rice, with the carbs. The cilantro and lime and jalapeno with the flavor.

This was not that. I had forgotten to get cilantro and Patrick isn’t really into cilantro… or lime… or jalapeno. Loser. I found some random recipe for tuna cakes and ran with that. I added lemon juice and some salt to my rice, but I’m pretty sure Pat ate his plain…

Regardless, the most important thing to report on about this meal is that we ate it at 4 PM. Like actual old people. The early bird special. I still can’t believe it. We were both hungry and figured we’d just have snacks later.

Don’t judge us. Or do. Whateva.

Have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back next week with our final week of January! I have a feeling we will continue to just cook. I’ve got lots going on, especially in the evening, next week so I’ll be interested to see what our meals and distribution of meal preparing labor will look like.

I’ll report back. Eat something delicious this weekend! And transfer $20 to savings right now.

Okay bye!

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