Assignment #2

My two new vegetables this week were spaghetti squash and Brussel sprouts:


I’ve been wanting to try spaghetti squash for a while.  I enjoyed Brussel sprouts in a meal cooked in class last week, so I thought I’d also give it a try.  This was not a great week for meal planning in our household.  So, while heating up water for Mac & Cheese for the kids, I thought I’d cook these veggies for my husband and I.

I followed the directions on the squash sticker and cooked it in the microwave, first for a minute so I could slice it in half and remove the seeds, and then for another 15 minutes face down in a little water. It came out great!

I then sautéed a little garlic in butter, then added the squash and voila!  Super easy.


I peeled and cut the Brussel sprouts, then tossed in some olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted in the oven.  Also super easy!


The first night, we ate just the squash and sprouts.  Not very exciting – a protein would help a lot!  Plus, the flavor of the Brussel sprouts was a bit strong for our tastes.


Night two, we used leftovers as a side dish with steak.  And added BBQ sauce for dipping the Brussel sprouts.  Much better!


Day 3, I ate the remaining Brussel sprouts with some plain Greek yogurt for lunch.  Not bad!


I will definitely like to try the spaghetti squash again, using different sauces.  I’m not sure about the Brussel sprouts.   But, it was great to try something new this week!


Home Assignment 1

Meal planning:

My husband typically does the weekly “basics” shopping on Saturday mornings for things like milk, breakfast and lunch ingredients, snacks, etc.

On good weeks, I select recipes for the week and then do a second shopping trip for meat and produce for the week’s meals.  These weeks go pretty well – we have a plan for the week, and make balanced dinners.  On other weeks, there is no meal planning or secondary shopping trip.  Dinners during these weeks tend to consist of GF pasta with jarred sauce, taco salad, and other quick-to-throw-together meals.  We probably have 2/3 good weeks.

Last fall, we joined Hello Fresh for several months.  As part of the membership, we selected several meals each week, and then received a box containing the ingredients and recipe cards.   The recipes were well-balanced and easy to follow, and they introduced us to many new ingredients, cooking techniques, and meals.  We don’t subscribe anymore, but we do still frequently cook from the fantastic recipe cards that we received with our meals.


My 2 kids and I have celiac disease, so we have a gluten-free pantry.  It is pretty well-stocked – beans (canned and dry), white/brown rice, a variety of oils and spices, and a gluten-free flour mix are used frequently.

Meals this week:

Fortunately, this was a good week, and I had already selected and shopped for several meals before our first Cooking for Wellness class.  Both of these meals were from Hello Fresh recipe cards.

Meal #1: Warmly-spiced chicken thighs

I forgot to take pictures while cooking, but here is the recipe card:


Instead of the sugar snap peas, we included green beans we had in the fridge.  The chicken thighs were rubbed in a blend of garlic, cumin, lemon zest and paprika.  We cooked white rice with this one, because we didn’t have time to make brown rice.  My kids (9 and 12 years old) prefer dark meat to white, so this was pretty well-received at the table.  My daughter and I ate the leftovers the next night.

Meal #2: Hoisin glazed meatballs

This is one of our favorite of the HelloFresh meals.  Very quick to prepare, and tasty.  We made this Sunday, so I had plenty of time to make a big batch of brown rice in the rice cooker before starting the meal:


I got to practice my new knife skills cutting the green onions and ginger to add to the meatballs.



Then, I mix in an egg and the meat:


and roll up the meatballs:


After cooking for a while, I spooned on the Hoisin glaze, then cooked a bit longer. I had a hard time finding gluten free Hoisin sauce – I ended up buying this on a shopping trip in Duluth a few months ago:


The snow peas were cooked on the stove for about 5 minutes with oil, salt, and pepper:


Final meal:


Very tasty!  My husband and kids will eat the leftovers tonight while I am learning about soups and stocks.