As I write this post, I’m 12 days into the #cook90 challenge, meaning I’m almost halfway there (if you missed my recipes from week one, check them out here)! And I have to say, cooking this much is kind of exhausting, especially when you do not have a dishwasher. There are always so. many. dishes.
During week two of the challenge, I tried to eat healthy during the week (keyword: tried) and saved indulging for the weekend. I also added a cast iron skillet to my cabinets full of cheap pots and pans and so far I am loving it. I’ve used it almost every day since it came in the mail (thanks, Amazon).
#Cook90 Week Two: My Favorite Recipes
The Beyond Burger. One of my coworkers had recently been raving about the veggie burger that isn’t a veggie burger and after hearing the founder’s story on a podcast (oh the power of marketing) I set out to find the Beyond Burger at my local Whole Foods. If you’re used to the typically veggie burger — the kind that’s made out of well, vegetables — this burger might have you confused. It looks, cooks and (almost) tastes like real meat. It even left behind grease in the pan. It even stays pink in the middle thanks to beets! I would definitely eat again. Also the key to a good burger — Martin’s Potato Rolls.
Overnight Oats with Banana, Maple Syrup and Tahini. I bought a jar of tahini at Trader Joe’s months ago with every intention of making a tahini vinaigrette with it and never got around to it. So when I ran out of peanut butter last week and was craving some overnight oats I knew I had hit the jackpot with this recipe from Bon Appétit. I didn’t follow their instructions for overnight oats because I typically stick to a 1 to 1 to 1 ratio of oats, greek yogurt and almond-coconut milk. This combo makes super think oats, but you can always add extra milk when you’re ready to eat to get it to the consistency of your liking. I also added a scoop of protein powder for some added nutrition. The maple syrup tahini sauce was super easy to make and perfect for a creamy bowl of cold oats. Add this one to your breakfast rotation and you won’t be disappointed.
Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma. This recipe from the New York Times was super simple and packed with flavor. I used this chicken to top my salads for lunch for the week and chicken pitas. This will make your house smell delightful, if roast chicken is your kind of thing. And the turmeric gives the chicken a lovely bright yellow color. I paired this with a chickpea, tomato, cucumber, feta and pickled onion salad over a bed of mixed greens. For the dressing I made another batch of the honey balsamic vinaigrette I mentioned last week. Full disclosure for the chicken pitas I cheated and purchased Sabra cucumber dill yogurt sauce instead of making my own tzatziki sauce, and surprisingly it was really good.
Cheesy Monkey Bread. You can probably tell but the healthy recipe portion of this post is over and we’re onto the good stuff. This was honestly the easiest recipe I’ve made so far and I want to share it with the world because it was so good. Not healthy, but perfect for any upcoming March Madness parties you might be attending. All you need is pizza dough (I used my favorite Idle Hands dough), cheese, butter, spices, garlic and shallots. I highly recommend cooking this recipe in a cast iron skillet so that the sides and bottom of the bread gets all crunch and crusty. Yum.
Mushroom Cheese Ravioli with Rosemary Butter Sauce. This is by far one of the most ambitious recipes I’ve made in recent memory. Thankfully I had a partner in crime in the kitchen (thanks Nicky!) that made making this time intensive recipe all the more enjoyable. We even got a little crazy and made our own ravioli dough. None of the steps for this mushroom, cheese ravioli recipe were particularly hard, but it did take us two hours from start to finish. We added bacon to the rosemary butter sauce because why not, and used some flour to thicken the sauce a bit. I would not recommend making this on a week night, if you’re going to make your own dough. Totally worth it though to put the time into this dish, there was so much flavor in this dish and the fresh herbs really made a difference. I cannot wait to finish eating the leftovers.
Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies. When I came across this recipe from Broma Bakery mentioned on Food Network’s Snapchat channel (yes, I’m one of those people who actually uses Discover), I just about squealed with excitement. The cookies from Levain are my all time favorite, I’d probably make the trip up to New York City just for a bite of these gooey cookies, but now I don’t have to! I whipped up a batch of these and froze about half of the dough for safe keeping. These babies are massive, but it is hard to tell in photos so that’s why I included the photo with the champagne cork for scale. I think the only thing that’s missing are the walnuts which you could always add if you wanted that extra crunch.
Here’s to the next 18 (17 by the time this post goes up) days!