Making Meals, Sticking with It

It's hard to believe that at this time my kitchen is packed up, and well, it just doesn't even exist.  My things are all out of the house, and all we are left with are some suitcases and other things to get us by until we get to Japan in a few weeks.  As far as the kitchen is concerned, I am left with plastic forks, knives, spoons, and paper plates and bowls.  There is limited ways to cook food, and so for the most part, I don't.

But before all those things were packed, and after Italy, I did fit in a few last meals in our kitchen here.  Making at least 2 weekly meals is my goal, but I knew this move would come in the middle and there was just no way to prep a whole meal with nothing in a kitchen, so I am alright with taking a break until we are settled in Japan.  So, like I said, there were a few more meals made here.

First up is a pizza like stuffed roll.  Too bad it didn't quite go as planned.  Never fear, food does not have to look 100% as good as planned to taste 100% as good as planned.

My filling consisted of soy crumbles and zucchini.
I did use some prepackaged French loaf dough.
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To my filling I added some tomato sauce.
After cutting the dough down the center, I rolled it out to make a place to "fill".  Then I topped with mozzarella.
I rolled them up and sealed them together at the seams.
Or so I thought!
Within seconds of starting to bake I realized I may not have sealed them as well as I thought and this would not do.  Oh well!  Looks like pizza and will probably taste like pizza, just not a pizza roll.  It was a success regardless of looks!

Next up was a pepper chickpea soup.  I love to make soups.  I love that I can add whatever I want and have a different creation every time.
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I used a tomato base along with a can of veggie stock, and then added those to my sauteed veggies.  Near the end I tossed in the chickpeas so they would not get too mushy.  This was a huge success!
It seems I like chickpeas.  My third meal also contains them.  I made some spicy potatoes from some that my next door neighbor gave to us.  He had the biggest harvest he has ever seen and has no idea why, but he has tons and tons of potatoes this year.  We have been happily eating them, and will certainly miss them when we move.  To make these potatoes I just chop them in chunks and coat with Old Bay seasoning.  I don't add anything else.  Then I bake them in the over for 30-45 minutes.
The focus of this meal, however, was the chickpeas.  I sauteed up some peppers, onions and garlic.  Once these were getting soft, then I added the chickpeas.  Again, I waited so they did not completely turn to mush.
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This made an awesome meal, and not to mention some awesome leftovers.
My final meal that I prepared in my kitchen was a salmon dish.  We had frozen salmon and I knew for sure this would have to get eaten or it was going to wind up in a friends freezer.  I marinated the salmon with pineapple juice, low sodium soy sauce, fresh grated ginger and red pepper flakes.
To go with this I made those same Old bay potatoes, and steamed up a side of green beans.
To top my fish I sauteed some garlic and olive oil, then tossed in some soy sauce to coat these cherry tomatoes.
Then the fish was ready to be plated up and served.
I think this dish turned out beautifully!
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It is a little sad to know my "kitchen" is gone, but I am please to know that whenever I was here (except for a few times with visitors) I was able to cook dinner twice a week.  When I set this goal it was to make meals that required me to actually cook, not just heat things up.  I am always in a rush and running around, so I found I rarely had time to actually cook, and I have a very short attention span.  But I realized this is not a good enough excuse to not cook more often.  I needed to slow down and spend some time connecting in the kitchen with my true passion for food.  I wanted to get this skill down before we are parents because I want my kids to see me cook and feel comfortable in the kitchen.  It was important to me and so I made this a priority.  I have made many great meals and I am actually impressed with myself.

Thank you all for sharing in my adventure in the kitchen.  Next time you see me going at it, I will be in Japan!

Stay tuned for more posts of things that have happened since Italy, a month ago.  Still working at getting caught up.

QUESTIONS:  How often do you cook dinner?  What is your favorite dish to cook?


bejellyfish said...

I try to cook dinner 3 to 5 times a week in my kitchen, but I am also in the process of moving and the kitchen is all packed up!

My favorite meal to cook is kimchi bokumbap. It is easy and quick to throw together if you have a rice cooker, and also inexpensive if you buy your rice, kimchi and sesame oil in bulk! Nom nom nom!

Gina; The Candid RD said...

Congrats on sticking to your plan of cooking this week! Everything sounds delicious, and I'm all about using canned foods. I actually make dinner 99% of the time, but never following a recipe, just throwing things together. I'm lucky Nick isn't picky.

Safe travels Melinda!!!!

Jessie said...

I had to laugh out loud at the picture of the un-rolled pizza roll - I've definitely had kitchen incidents like that ;)

Good for you for sticking with cooking, even in the midst of your big move. Having moved a few times over the last few years, I know how tough that can be - and our moves were no where near as crazy as yours!

Good luck with the move! I can't wait to see your new digs!

Mer said...

I cook dinner once a week and matt usually does 2x. I like to grill b/c it's easy and there are less pots to clean, LOL! See you in 12 days!!

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