Andrew and I suffer from the same affliction – we love going out to eat.  Seriously, we could eat all of our meals out and be perfectly content.  But, alas, this isn’t super responsible.  I’ve been making a conscious effort to cook more meals at home.  This takes more effort than I anticipated, especially since I don’t get home from work until 7:00pm.  I use this meal planner from Kris Carr to map out our meals and my weekly shopping list.  It’s not safe for me to enter Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s without a list!  Here are some of my recent go-to recipes.

As you know, I am a green smoothie lover and make smoothies for our breakfast every morning.  I’m still loving the pineapple smoothie and avocado toast that I blogged about earlier.

I recently made the Fudgy Chocolate Banana Flax muffins from Daphne Oz’s book Relish and can’t get enough.

Seriously – do everyone in your house/office/life a favor and make these.

*1/2 cup organic coconut oil, softened to room temperature or melted
*1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
*4 medium overripe bananas, mashed
*2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1/4 cup water
*2 large eggs
*1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
*1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder
*1/2 cup wheat germ
*2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
*1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, pulsed in food processor or chopped (I threw them in whole and lived to tell about it!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large muffin pan with paper liners.
2. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, a hand mixer, or two forks, cream oil and sugar. Add bananas, applesauce, vanilla, and water and beat until smooth. Beat in eggs.
3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, wheat germ, flaxseed, baking soda, and salt. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Spoon batter into muffin liners until they are almost full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out just damp with small crumbs attached. Place muffins on a cooling rack and let them cool for at least 5 minutes before digging in.  To store the muffins, place them in a zip-top bag with a paper towel and remove as much air as possible; store in cool, dry place.

I have a love affair with The Friendly Toast and Andrew says that my whole body smiles when he mentions going to the Toast.  One of my favorite meals is the Guy Scramble and I’ve done my best to recreate it (and lighten it up) at home.

My inspiration - The Guy Scramble from Friendly Toast.  Yum!
My inspiration – The Guy Scramble from Friendly Toast. Yum!

Stephanie Scramble
*2 egg whites + 1 whole egg
*1 chopped avocado (I love avocado but you could use 1/2 or – gasp – omit it)
*1/2 cup black beans
*1/3 cup salsa (use your favorite)
*shredded jack cheese (I use Daiya dairy free)
*salt and pepper to taste

Scramble eggs and turn off heat.  Mix in all remaining ingredients and enjoy!

I don’t have anything earth-shattering to contribute for lunch.  I bring a salad with me most days but try to change up the ingredients so I don’t get bored.  My favorite mix-ins are: kale, spinach, sliced almonds, peppers (mix of yellow, red and orange), radishes, beets, cucumber, raw broccoli, broccoli sprouts, pea shoots, and feta cheese.  I usually drizzle balsamic vinegar on top instead of dressing or mix in some salsa.

Pinterest is your friend when looking for new recipes.

Simple Shrimp and Guacamole Tostadas from Bev Cooks
This are sinfully delicious and beyond simple.  Especially if you follow my lead and use cooked frozen shrimp and buy guacamole instead of making your own.  Every time I makes these (which is probably too often) Andrew says, “That was fast.”  Sign me up for a fast and tasty weeknight dinner.  You can find the original recipe here but below is my tweaked version.

*6 corn tortillas
* 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (or Daiya dairy free cheese for me!)
* 1 package of your favorite guacamole (I love Wholly Guacamole and Trader Joe’s Avocado’s Number Guacamole)
* juice from 1 lime
* 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 1 pound frozen cooked shrimp, thawed
* 1 tablespoon ground cumin
* 2 tablespoons chili powder
* 1 teaspoon crushed red or green pepper
* 1 teaspoon garlic salt
* 1 red bell pepper, cut into small slices

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Evenly divide the cheese on the tortillas and heat for 2-3 minutes.
3. Toss the shrimp with the cumin, chili powder, crushed pepper flakes, garlic salt, and lime juice.
4. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high. Heat the shrimp on one side for 1 minute; flip and heat for 1 more minute. Remove from pan.
5. To the pan, add the sliced red bell pepper. Saute for 2 minutes, scraping the browned bits from the pan, seasoning the peppers.
6. Spoon the guacamole over each tortilla, followed by shrimp and red bell pepper.

No-Bake Summer Lasagna from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, June 2010

*1/2 cup ricotta
*3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
*3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
*Coarse salt and ground pepper
*8 lasagna noodles, broken in half crosswise
*1 small garlic clove, minced
*2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
*2 zucchini (about 1 pound total), halved if large and thinly sliced
*1 tablespoon torn fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving

1. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, and 2 teaspoons oil; season with salt and pepper. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles according to package instructions; drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add garlic and tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until slightly broken down, about 3 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil and zucchini to skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to another bowl and stir in basil.
3. Place some tomatoes on four plates; top with a noodle and small spoonfuls ricotta, zucchini, and more tomatoes. Repeat layering twice, then top with remaining noodles and tomatoes. Garnish with basil.

Chicken and Black Bean Burritos from Cooking Light, December 2010

*1/4 cup water
*2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
*1/2 teaspoon chili powder
*1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
*2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast
*1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
*3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
*1/2 cup refrigerated fresh salsa
*4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
*1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
*Cooking spray

1. Bring first 6 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in shredded chicken and green onions.
2. Combine beans and salsa. Spoon 1/4 cup bean mixture and 1/2 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. Roll up.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 2 burritos. Place a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of burritos, and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Remove from pan, and repeat procedure with the remaining 2 burritos.