Meal planning follow through

You know how I talked about my love of meal planning? Well, it’s true. I LOVE it. Unfortunately, I often get a little too ambitious/excited about all the delicious things I could be making, so I make a crazy long list and then don’t really follow through. I often get tired after a day of work or upset about something, and end up eating random stuff instead of following through with the plan.

This week, however, I was on a mission to finally make things that have been on my to-make list for AGES. I bought the ingredients weeks ago and this week was the week!!! Wanna see what I’ve been up to in my kitchen? Come, come!!

Jen posted about these salmon burgers last August during her burger week and raved about them. I love smoked salmon and thought it was such a fun addition to the mix.

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Unfortunately wild salmon is very lean and I overcooked these. They tasted like dry smoked salmon patties – the sauce was the only saving grace. I mixed greek yogurt with sriracha and diced grape tomatoes. They added some spice and freshness. :)

The next night I wanted to make something with goat cheese. I cooked some ww pasta, sauteed mushrooms and spinach, threw in some leftover lamb sausage and then topped it all with creamy sundried tomato and goat cheese sauce.

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I was a bit disappointed with how thin the sauce turned out… but it ended up thickening significantly as it cooled.

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Adam actually said this was one of the best things I’ve made in a while! After a few bites I was hooked too – creamy and slightly tangy, with a pronounced sun-dried tomato flavor and just a hint of nuttiness from walnuts.

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Btw, I only used 2-3T of sun-dried tomato olive oil (from the jar the tomatoes were in) instead of 7. This was plenty rich as is!

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Next up, a craving hit. I NEEDED cheesecake asap. Although I live across the street from the Cheesecake Factory, I stay away from their 1,000+ calorie slices.

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Instead, I went with an old (healthier!) favorite – honey yogurt cheesecake bars (ick, my photos have improved over the years, huh?).

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I did have some meyer lemons so meyer lemon cheesecake bars were born (I added a bunch of juice and zest and subbed agave nectar for honey to let the lemon flavor stand out).

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Can you see how light these are? They taste decadent but also very airy unlike the more traditional dense cheesecakes. I really love this recipe!

Agave isn’t as sweet as honey so these weren’t sweet enough for my liking (and the meyer lemon flavor was still lost) so I drizzled some maple syrup over the bars once cooled. I guess they ended up being maple syrup cheesecake bars! :D

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Whatever you call them, these were delicious! How would you make the lemon flavor be more pronounced? I was afraid about too much liquid if I continued to add lemon juice….

Last recipe! I told you I was busy in the kitchen this week!!! GRANOLA.

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While most of you (from what I read ;) ) seem to be obsessed with cereal and granola and need a lock on your cupboards, I’m much more of a trailmix/nut/cookie girl. Cereal, as delicious as it is, isn’t a “trigger” food for me.

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That was apparently because I’ve never made homemade granola – totally different ball game! I made Flour Bakery‘s granola last month and was amazed at how much I loved it. In fact, I ate a whole container-worth in just a matter of a few days… and it was supposed to be “for Adam.”

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So this week I tried again. I followed NY Times’ recipe for olive oil granola (found through Tri to Cook).

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I thought you could just throw everything in and bake, but I learned a lesson here. Yeah, someone didn’t read the instructions well! :shock: Add the dried fruit at the end - my beautifully sweet dried apricots turned into rocks!!! No worries, I picked them out and carried on with my newly established granola obsession.

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Adam said it was the best granola he’s ever had!! I actually can’t choose between this one and Flour’s – both are fantastic. A little salty, crunchy, nutty. Yeah, I’m going to be honest – this granola has been enjoyed more often than not, straight out of the jar. And I’m ok with it :D

If you meal plan, how often do you deviate from the plan? I was so proud for following through because there is not much better than a delicious homemade meal. :mrgreen:

On next week’s agenda – take ice cream and granola bars off the list. I hope to report back next week with some pictures for evidence ;)

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