Week 21: Lettuce Eat

From forcing veggies into a rich meal with a side salad, to taking the place of bread, to adding a much-need crunch, a good head of romaine is underrated during the summer months. Read on for proof!

Had in kitchen (mostly from weekend cooking): Olive oil, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt, pepper, berry jam, 1/2 loaf bread, bacon, 1 can crushed tomatoes, leftover mac n’ cheese (from a Friday night homemade dinner), 1/2 package bacon, peanut butter, 1 bunch bananas, berry jam

Bought: 1 bunch celery, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 bunch parsley, 1 avocado, 1 Spanish onion, 1 bag romaine lettuce, 2 plum tomatoes, 1/4 lb maple turkey cold cut, 1 wedge brie cheese, 17 oz container plain Greek yogurt, 2 tilapia fillets, 1/2 rotisserie chicken, 1 bottle organic lemonade + 1 bottle seltzer (for spritzers), 1 lb ground pork, 1 cucumber, 1 head garlic, 2 lemons, 1 red onion, 1 bunch oregano, 1 package pitas

Spent: $44.49 (aka $8.89/day for 3 meals per day)

Daily Breakfast: Greek Yogurt with Granola, Peanut Butter and Banana

MONDAY

Lunch: Weekend Leftovers

Dinner: Rotisserie Chicken with Homemade Chimichurri, Bean Salad, and Leftover Mac n’ Cheese

Comments from Claire: I read a food article a little where the writer meal prepped by making homemade chimichurri sauce and had it with rotisserie chicken and roasted veggies for the week. I liked the idea of the half-homemade, half-not, so I did that this day. I followed this Epicurious recipe which was good but a little too vinegar-y for me. I had that on top of the chicken, and on the side made a version of a bean salad I normally make but swapped out with things I already had open in the fridge–so, chickpeas, corn, red peppers, green and white onion, balsamic, olive oil and salt/pepper. I rounded it out with some homemade mac n’ cheese I had leftover from the weekend as a side.

TUESDAY

Lunch: Leftover Chicken and Sides

Dinner: Three-Ingredient Tilapia Skillet

Claire’s Quips: I was looking to use up a can of crushed tomatoes I bought on accident last week (realized after that the recipe call for diced anyway, oops), and came across this recipe that, with only three ingredients, I couldn’t resist. It came out really tasty and only took about 20 minutes tops to make. As I said the other week, I’m loving tilapia as a go-to at the seafood market of my grocery store since it is so cheap and easy to cook, but still has that melt-in-your-mouth texture. My only quip is that I took this as leftovers for lunch and it did not taste nearly as good the next day (which is kind of my own fault, because fish doesn’t really reheat well anyway) and was a bit stinky in my office microwave…

WEDNESDAY

Lunch: Leftover Tilapia (Note: Fish does not reheat well in an office microwave!)

Dinner: Brie, Berry Jam and Turkey Grilled Cheese

Comments from Claire: As a way to save money but not feel like I’m missing out, I love trying to recreate restaurant meals at home. This was a play on one I ordered from a fancy cheese shop for lunch a while back, and thought, come on, I could totally make this at home! I just used regular multigrain bread since I already had it, but you could swap that out for a nice fresh sourdough or something similar, and I used turkey instead of bacon. With the jam it created that kind of faux-Thanksgiving taste which was delish.

THURSDAY

Lunch: Sandwich

Dinner: Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Comments from Claire: I saw this recipe on Damn Delicious the other day (totally forgot how many great recipes she has!) and thought it would be good for a summer meal since it didn’t require any cooking at all – plus I had the rotisserie chicken already from Monday! These were definitely fresh and yummy, but I realized I like more of the sweet take on chicken salad (think: craisons and walnuts) instead of the more savory take like in this recipe (celery, mustard, basil). Still, the toppings of bacon and avocado helped and it felt like a great meal for warm weather!

FRIDAY

Lunch: Lettuce Wraps

Dinner: Homemade Pork Gyros

Comments from Claire: For the life of me I could not think of what I wanted to eat on Friday night. I was tired from the week, wanted something comforting and fast, but didn’t feel like pasta or salads or chicken or steak or anything. I was Googling summer meals and somewhere gyros came up, and then I came across a recipe from one of my favorite sites, Basically. Decision made! These were just what the doctor ordered, and even though my grocery store didn’t have ground lamb so I swapped for ground pork (which was cheaper anyway), they came out superb. I also add my own different toppings (chopped cucumbers and red onion) and let each person make their own.

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

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