Week 25: New Go-To’s

Each meal I made this week had potential to be in my new arsenal of go-to dishes. You know those dishes that are simple, fast and come out delicious every time? That you know you can turn to during a busy week or whip up for a last-minute get-together? That you have memorized and have made countless times? That you KNOW you can count on? Yeah, I think each of these will be that for me–and maybe for you too!

Had in kitchen: Sugar, fresh basil, vegetable oil, salt, pepper, seasoned breadcrumbs, eggs, chili powder, hot sauce, olive oil, mayo, bread, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, tortillas, balsamic, handful mixed greens, peanut butter

Bought: 1 can seasoned black beans, fish sauce, soba noodles, instant jasmine rice, 2 bottles seltzer, 3 apples, 3 oranges, 1 clove garlic, 2 jalapenos, 1 avocado, 2 limes, 1 white onion, 1 package pre-sliced peppers and onions, 1 cucumber, 1 package hummus, 1 bag frozen shelled edamame, 1 block queso blanco, 1 lb fresh shrimp

Spent: $44.04 (aka $8.81/day for 3 meals per day)

Daily Breakfast: Toast with Apple, Peanut Butter and Cinnamon (left)


Lunch: Weekend leftovers

Dinner: Shrimp and Basil Stir-Fry with Jasmine Rice (top photo)

Claire’s Quips: My fire escape herb garden is slowly dwindling, but I had a few heads of basil left that I figured I could bring some life back into. This marinade for the shrimp was really tasty, and one I had most of the ingredients for on hand from past recipes, so I’ll definitely keep this one in my back pocket. Like everyone else in the reviews said, I couldn’t find Fresno chilies at my grocery store but subbed for jalapenos (one with seeds, one without). I served on top of Jasmine rice, and I’m not sure if my portions were too small (since I halved this recipe and then saved some for lunch the next day), but I wasn’t quite full enough. I think it would’ve been good with some vegetables but not sure what–maybe garlicky string beans? Feel free to comment if you have any ideas!


Lunch: Leftover Shrimp

Dinner: Homemade Black Bean Burger with Cucumber “Fries” (aka just cucumbers cut into wedges)

Comments from Claire: Came across this recipe last week, and knew I had to give it a go. I usually just have frozen black bean burgers so I loved the idea of making my own version – and these were so easy and had such a good texture that I think I’m going to do it more often! I already had a loaf of bread so I used that instead of getting buns, and just topped with some slices of queso fresco, smashed avocado, and hot sauce. It was great but I think would have been even better with tomato, lettuce and onion, as Ree had it!


Lunch: Black Bean Burger

Dinner: Cold Soba Noodle Salad (with shrimp instead of chicken)

Comments from Claire: Ok, so this recipe didn’t come out quite as good as I wanted, but I also think it’s because I messed the proportions up. I just cooked my whole 1/2 lb. of noodles, and my whole bag of edamame. I also just eyeballed the sauce, and it was a little lacking in seasoning for me (may have been because there were too many noodles). I do think the rice wine vinegar overpowers the soy sauce though, so I wouldn’t do equal amounts. This recipe also was originally made for kids, so I could’ve used some extra spice! I do like the idea of having this kind of salad in my rotation though, so I’ll keep working on a perfect sauce to go with it.


Lunch: Salad

Dinner: Grilled Veggie Wrap

Comments from Claire: I picked up pre-sliced peppers and onions to make this meal easy-peasy. Cooked those in a grill pan, and then threw in a tortilla with some sliced cucumber, greens, hummus and balsamic dressing. Yum!


Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Out to Eat

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

One thought on “Week 25: New Go-To’s

  1. […] Comments from Claire: Pasta is such a great cheap meal. You can get a bag or box of pasta for like $1, and can make anything into a topping/sauce. I made my favorite (so simple and delicious), Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce. Had it also with a side of that grilled chicken, topped with some leftover over grilled peppers and onions from last week. […]


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