Homemade Almond ButterI researched several recipes to figure out how to make nut butters. For my first batch I wanted to use up some almonds from our freezer and it ends up that's the most difficult one to make. It seems almonds take the longest to process, about 20 minutes with a standard food processor. Might as well give it a shot though! I figured if it burned out my food processor, I'd get a new (bigger) one. :)
|homemade almond butter|
I might have toasted the almonds a little longer than I should have because the almond butter ended up looking and maybe tasting a little dark. Not burnt at all, just darker than expected. They were skin-on almonds, so that gave it a darker color and maybe that also contributed to the deeper flavor. Sonny D kept asking if it was chocolate (because of the brown color) and I had to tell him no. I had thought about adding chocolate, but I wanted to keep it simple this first time.
This was SO good. I didn't eat much of it, but used it for Sonny D's sandwiches for preschool. I made sure to label them as "homemade almond butter" in case anyone there thought it was Nutella since it looked pretty similar. Didn't want to be branded as a neglectful mom serving her son essentially frosting for lunch since it's my son's first few weeks at this preschool. :)
For my next batch of nut butter I'm going to make hemp seed butter (I'm such a hippie!), possibly regular or maybe that will be my first chocolate batch. I ordered hemp seed online since it's a separate trip to a specialty store if I buy it in town and I never need anything else at that store and rarely make it over there. When the box arrived I realized it was more than I was expecting, there were four bags in the order, so I've got a ton of hemp seeds that I don't know what to do with other than putting a single tablespoon in my morning oatmeal.
Asian MeatballsI threw together Asian meatballs with some ground turkey and seasonings. I was out of eggs, so I used a flax "egg" as the glue to hold them together and I think it worked out quite well. I used my larger cookie scoop to shape them, but I forgot that meat shrinks when you cook it, so they ended up a little smaller than expected. I think I need an even-larger cookie scoop for things like this.
Sonny D hasn't been eating the Greek yogurt I buy for him so I used some of it to make pancakes for dinner. I'm a huge fan of breakfast-for-dinner meals... well, breakfast is great any time!
I mixed together rolled oats and an equal amount of almond milk at lunchtime to give it time to hydrate. When I came home we added a frozen banana (when it melts it disappears into the batter) and some vanilla yogurt and other ingredients. We whizzed the batter up with the immersion blender and poured out pancakes onto the electric skillet at 275 degrees.
|banana, oatmeal, and yogurt pancake batter|
These pancakes weren't noticeably flavored by the oatmeal or yogurt, but I liked knowing they were in there.
Cheesy Sausage Pasta SkilletI liked how this was all made in one skillet. I browned the sausage, then added the chicken stock, pasta, veggies (secret shredded zucchini!), and a bit of leftover evaporated milk. It cooked pretty quickly, maybe 15 minutes after adding the pasta? Then at the end I crumbled in some leftover cheese slices from our soup party to make it cheesy. Nothing goes to waste in our house!
|cheesy sausage pasta skillet|
Broiled Fish FiletsSonny D usually loves fish and recently Husband Jeff mentioned that he prefers swai to walleye or tilapia, so I decided to make broiled fish. It comes together really quickly. I mixed together flax seed meal and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I tried a simple dredging of egg wash then the seasoned breading, but the breading mixture didn't stick too well. C'est la vie. I threw them under the broiler for 10 minutes and we were ready.
|Fish coated in flax seed meal and Parmesan|
The taste was good, I liked the nuttiness of the flax seed meal. The flavor of the Parmesan was lost and it could have used some salt and maybe some herbs, but I liked it a lot. I served this with a box of Near East wheat pilaf made with chicken stock, which was delicious.
Roasted Sweet Potato SaladThis was brown rice, roasted sweet potato (roasted a couple days ahead of time), toasted sunflower seeds (threw them in the oven with the sweet potato for the last few minutes), three slices of bacon chopped up, some frozen leftover feta cheese from our soup party, and a simple dressing of red wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, soy sauce, and black pepper.
|Roasted sweet potato salad.|
Husband Jeff thought the bacon didn't really add much, but I liked it. It was a slight smoky, meatiness that hung out in the background without being too much. The salty feta was a great complement to the sweet potato.
Sonny D's Salad
|Sonny D's dinner salad.|