Week 20: 3-Ingredient Meals

Looking back at this week I realized all but one meal consisted of only three ingredients (well, three main ingredients), and the one meal that was more than three could easily be cut down to that–if you really wanted to stick with a theme! Read on for some truly minimalist cooking.

Had in kitchen: Whole wheat bagels, provolone (cold cut), pepperoni (cold cut), 3 Italian sausages (leftover from weekend), mini peppers (leftover from the weekend), red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, feta cheese, garlic, small container with leftover peas and brown rice (random ingredients from last week)

Bought: Asparagus, ham (cold cut), 1 can Cannellini beans, 1 bag mixed greens, 1 avocado, 4 kiwis, sliced berries, 1 pint grape tomatoes, 1 red onion, 2 limes, 1 mango, coconut Greek yogurt, 1 dozen eggs, 1 can stewed tomatoes

Spent: $29.27 (aka $5.85/day for 3 meals per day)

Daily Breakfast: Whole wheat bagel topped with coconut yogurt and fruit

Claire’s Quips: My intention was for the yogurt to act as a cream cheese “fake-out,” and though it didn’t quite work (could anything really replace cream cheese?) it was still yummy and looked pretty.

MONDAY

Lunch: Leftover pasta from Sunday

Dinner: Grilled Asparagus with Eggs in Wine Vinegar

Comments from Claire: I get a lot of my recipes online or make them up myself, but sometimes I have the urge to go scour my beloved cookbooks and see if anything catches my eye. I saw this recipe for Eggs with Vinegar in the Food52 Genius Recipes Cookbook I received as a gift, remembered that asparagus and eggs is a go-to French dish, and thought the vinegar would compliment the asparagus as well. I grilled the asparagus in a grill pan until they had some nice char marks and were the texture that I like (not too crunchy), and then topped with the vinegary-and-buttery eggs. I also had some ham cold cuts I used for sandwiches over the weekend, so I grilled a few slices of ham to have with it as well. This was so delicious and so simple! Good for summer too since it didn’t require a lot of time over heat.

TUESDAY

Lunch: Asparagus & eggs

Dinner: Tropi-Cobb Salad

Comments from Claire: I saw this in my Healthyish newsletter this week and thought it seemed like a nice, fresh take on salad for warm weather. I was going to make the vegetarian version with spiced chickpeas, but was in a lazy mood so instead just had some cold cut roll-ups on the side. Over all I loved the mix of sweet and creamy with the mango and avocado and the bite of the onion – definitely some nice different textures going on here. According to the photo I also topped with feta cheese since I had it in the fridge!

WEDNESDAY

Lunch: Salad

Dinner: Sausage and Peppers with White Bean Puree

Comments from Claire: I had sausage and peppers in my fridge from two completely separate recipes, but when I saw them sitting there next to each other I was like, DUH! My original plan was to cook the sausage in a pan, add sliced peppers and saute until soft, and then near the end add a can of stewed tomatoes to make that typical saucy combination. I ended up just omitting the canned tomatoes and instead cooking those cherry tomatoes I had leftover from yesterday’s salad until they burst. It would’ve been good with the stewed tomatoes because it would’ve made more of a sauce, but the fresh tomatoes were still good. I also had wanted to find a substitute for the typical pasta base, and picked up Cannellini beans not really being sure what I would do with them, but knowing they went well with Italian food. I randomly had the idea to mash them and when figuring out how to properly cook them in the microwave, I ended up loosely following a recipe I thought I found online (but can’t find any trace of now). Anyway, basically I mixed the beans (with some of their liquid) with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese in a food processor, and then heated the mixture up in the microwave. I actually real love this idea – it reminded me of mashed potatoes because of the starchiness and made the whole meal feel even more comfort food-esque. Plus it’s low-carb and heart healthy!

THURSDAY

Lunch: Leftover Bowl

Dinner: Carnitas Plate (leftover from previous weekend)

Comments from Claire: This was pretty much just a leftovers plate – I had spicy pulled pork from tacos and a few servings of rice and peas, so I just made a plate and topped with some halved grape tomatoes and avocado to add some freshness.

FRIDAY

Lunch: Leftover Carnitas

Dinner: Out

See you next week! To see what I’m eating in the meantime, follow me on Instagram or Twitter @ClaireLeaden

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