Earlier this year, we set a goal of eliminating most of the microwave cooking in our home.
As a result, the stockpile of homemade frozen meals that got us through the workweek no longer held much significance. I could make the meal from scratch in the same time it took to defrost it in the oven.
This was a huge adjustment at first; trying to carve out time in an already hectic schedule to prepare supper for two, but with a bit of re-prioritizing I made it happen and have actually come to look forward to the time Kevin and I spend in the kitchen preparing our meal together. Granted, he usually stands at the kitchen island talking with me as I prepare dinner, but hey, it still gives us a chance to catch up and decompress from a hectic day!
Despite every effort to coordinate the meals with grocery lists and meal plans, very little planning goes into it in the end. I generally open the fridge around 5pm daily, take stock of the ingredients on hand, shuffle into the pantry to see what sorts of flours, grains and pulses I have available to me, ponder possible meal options, then go for it.
This process is usually easier at the beginning of the week when we have lots of new groceries in the house than Friday when I’m stuck with the odds and ends. Magically, no matter what state our fridge is in, I’m always able to create something good. Maybe not blog-worthy, as we call the recipes that make it to the blog, but good enough to enjoy during day to day life.
The week before last, I’d decided to delay grocery shopping to the end of the weekend, change into my pajamas and just wing dinner. We had 1 lb of ground chicken, a couple eggs, frozen parsley leaves, 1 lemon, 1 leek, 1 carrot, 2 yellow onions and 1 parsnip. It wasn’t enough to make a salad, meatloaf or full-on burgers, so I got creative.
It was the first time I’d used steamed onions as the base to a salad, lemon zest in a chicken patty, or enjoyed a parsnip that wasn’t roasted. It was all good. So good in fact, that we’ve enjoyed this dinner 3 times since with variations depending on what’s in the fridge that day of course! Here’s yesterday’s version…
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup egg whites
- ½ cup frozen edamame *see note
- ½ cup fresh corn *see note
- 1 leek, diced (white part only)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 lb. lean ground chicken
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
- ¼ tsp dried sage
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp dried rosemary
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
- Cook edamame and corn by boiling water in a medium-sized saucepan. Add edamame and corn, boil for 4 minutes. Strain and set aside.
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix with hands until incorporated.
- Measure 4oz. or a heaping ⅓ cup for each serving and place each on prepared baking sheet.
- Cook patties in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 180F.
- Serve with steamed veggie salad (below) or stuff into a gluten-free wrap or burger bun.
You can start out by mixing all the veggies and egg with a fork in a large bowl, but once the meat comes in, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Woo! I love mashing the ingredients around with my hands, reminds me of when my dad would ask me to help make burgers with him.
If you have a scale, use it to measure out the patties! If you don’t it worked out to be a heaping 1/3 cup. I bet it was closer to 1/2 cup, I was just too lazy to go to the kitchen to get another measuring cup. Heh, at least I’m honest!
Do you like my new scale? Look at that beauty! I picked it up last week with the intention of sometime, maybe, possibly starting to add gram measurements to my recipes sometime in the future… stay tuned.
Last but not least, here’s the salad recipe. Don’t discount the steamed onions, I swear they are delicious in every way possible.
Simple Steamed Veggie Salad
Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free
Yield: 400 grams (about 3 cups) warm salad Servings: 2
Lightly steamed vegetable salad with parsnips and yellow onion.
- 2 carrots, julienne cut/matchstick
- 2 parsnips, julienne cut/matchstick
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup snow peas
- 1 tsp extra virgin coconut oil
- sea salt + freshly ground pepper
- Steam veggies for 5 minutes, remove from steamer and place in a bowl.
- Add in coconut oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and serve!
In other news, I’ve updated my recipe page so that you can search for nut-free and candida friendly recipes! Note that nut-free does not include coconut-free and that ‘candida friendly’ is based on the candida elimination diet that I use in my practice and may not cater 100% to your personal candida journey. To view recipes in these sections, all you have to do is go to my recipepage, go to the ‘Browse By Category’ section under the thumbnails and search bar, and select ‘Dietary’, then find nut-free and candida friendly.