This is one of my “Oh my gosh it’s 5PM and I don’t know what to make for dinner” meals. It’s simple, easy and from start to finish takes about 20 minutes. I usually keep some shrimp in the freezer for moments like this, but if you have the chance to grab them fresh, even better. My mom cooks with shells on, I’m a shells off gal (Q prefers the mess-free kind of shrimp), but either one works. The nice part about this recipe is that it is a one pot wonder. You cook the orzo, then add the shrimp to the same pot, easy peezy!


This recipe makes enough for about 6 portions, so Q and I have it for dinner, and then usually lunch for the next two days. The only thing I do is add the avocado each day, so for dinner I add it directly to our plates and do the same for lunch, otherwise it tends to get a little mushy and brown. Feel free to add/remove anything you like to the mix! I’m an artichoke gal, so I load them up. I think olives would work, or eating it alongside some hummus and pita!




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Weekly Meal Planning

by Koko on February 15, 2013

in Meal Planning

This week has flown by! Q has a 4-day weekend and I took the time off of work so we could spend time together before he heads off to training. This morning, Q and I are enjoying pancakes and coffee, catching up on our TiVo,  pretending it is Saturday and enjoying the snow falling outside!


This past Monday, I took my College Algebra final. I passed the final and my class and let out the biggest sigh of relief. I’ve been so anxious about this class and now that it’s done, I can finally be excited about starting my masters next month! I registered for classes, started buying books and am getting back into the “being a student” mindset. Having not been in school for 5 years, I have to get back into my student mentality!



Saturday – Our usual Saturday dinners are made up of whatever we have left in the fridge from the week. For this week’s dinner, we threw together some brown rice, chicken, mushrooms, broccoli, and brussels sprouts and tossed it in the wok with some teriyaki sauce for a delicious Chicken Stir-Fry.


SundaySpicy Black Bean Soup with Chicken – We tweaked our usual recipe that uses turkey sausage to incorporate the diced chicken we had in the fridge. It was a little thick, like a gumbo, and we put it over brown rice and topped it with cheese and avocado.


Monday – I had some big plans to try something new and make a Shrimp and White Bean Gratin, but when it came time for dinner, I was in the mood for something simple. I used some extra sauce from last week’s Shrimp, Avocado and Brown Rice bowls and marinated my shrimp in it. We cooked the shrimp in a hot saute pan, roasted some broccoli and made brown rice in the rice cooker for an easy meal.


Tuesday was Q and my make-shift Valentine’s Day, so we made grilled cheeses with homemade bread and Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup.


Wednesday – Our weekly Turkey Skillet!


Thursday – For our actual Valentine’s Day, we just repeated our Tomato Soup and grilled cheese meal, if it’s good why change it? And for tonight, we are thinking of making Grilled Chicken with Chimichurri Sauce and Spanish Rice that I found in the Ten Dollar Dinners book I got at the Fancy Food Show.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Q and I are going to see the movie “Side Effects” tonight, I’ll let you know how it is!

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Weekly Meal Planning

by Koko on February 9, 2013 · 3 comments

in Meal Planning, Recipe

Oh hey there! It’s been a little bit of a busy week over here. I’ve been finishing up my Algebra class (taking my final on Monday), Q’s been getting out on the earlier side from work and I’ve been a subbing machine. Q and I are enjoying spending time together before he leaves for his training in a few weeks and loving the warmer weather (it’s going to be 23 degrees today!).



MondayShrimp, Avocado and Brown Rice Bowls – We hadn’t had these in a little while and I forgot how easy they are! This was a 20-minute meal and the only cooking that’s involved is sautéing the shrimp. Other than that, you mix the sauce, cook or reheat the rice and dice the avocado! Also this is delicious cold or hot, so it’s a perfect next-day lunch.


TuesdayTurkey Skillet– our go-to weeknight dinner. We used some of our California avocados and Trader Joe’s salsa (imported from LA) to top our creations. If you haven’t tried this easy meal yet, I highly recommend it! It makes enough for 2 dinners and 2 lunches.


WednesdayLettuce Cups with Peanut Sauce. I made tofu for me and chicken for Q (he’s not a tofu kind of guy). I roughly used this recipe, but added some soy sauce, used only green pepper and added some sesame ginger seasoning. I like to have a base recipe and then interpret it to what tastes we like.


Thursday – I was planning on making this Tortellini and Sausage Soup, but at 5:30 when I went to start dinner, I realized it was going to take an hour, which was longer than this hungry fiancee wanted to wait. So I pulled an audible and we cooked the tortellini and sausage separately and added some pasta sauce. Dinner in 20 minutes it is!


Friday- Last week, I wanted to make this Rustic Mushroom Tart, but we ended up making something else. I had all the ingredients for the tart and thought they would also make great toppings for pizza! So we rolled out our favorite pizza dough, sautéed the mushrooms and leeks, added cheese, marinara sauce and a little truffle salt and we were set. This was my favorite pizza we’ve made so far. I’ll do a full post for this recipe later this week!


Q and I are heading out to go dog mushing this afternoon, I am SO excited!

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Q and I have been working our way through the Cooking for Two 2012 (America’s Test Kitchen) magazine we picked up a few weeks ago. We’ve been basing our weekly menu planning on recipes from the magazine and I can honestly say we have loved everything we’ve made from it. This meal was one of our favorites.

The shrimp dish was easy and a one-pot meal, which I love. We decided at the last minute to cook the polenta as a side instead of our usual brown rice and it was a bit more challenging than anticipated. Not so much on the cooking side, but on the stirring constantly side. Q and my arms were both exhausted by the end. It’s pretty much like risotto, you just keep stirring and adding a little water and stirring. I just want to forewarn you before you jump into it that it’s a little labor intensive, but well worth it!


PS I had my first family day with Q and his company today and had a GREAT time. I baked and cooked some goodies that I’ll share next week. Hope everyone is having a great Friday, Q and I are sitting on the sofa exhausted after a busy day!

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