Whoa, June is already over half way over! Summer is flying by, and shows no signs of slowing down. In case you haven’t noticed, we have big plans this summer.
On Friday, our friend Bethany had us over for dinner, drinks, and lady-time. She made an amazing gluten-free pasta meal complete with gf appetizers, too! She's the best. Check out her recipe and blog here!
This week, I’m thrilled to be a bridesmaid my friend Kathryn’s wedding. We’ve been buds since 8th grade, and I can’t wait to be a part of her special day. Seems like not so long ago that we were playing snake on our Nokia brick phones, prank calling boys, and having sleepovers.
Saturday was Kat’s Bachelorette Party, and we did things up right. A-town style. We started things off at the W in Midtown, had an amazing dinner at South City Kitchen, had a little lingerie shower, then hit the town. Things didn’t wrap up until about 4:30 AM. It was awesome.
Kathryn’s got some great friends, and I had a fabulous time getting to know them. At dinner, my being gluten-free came up in conversation when I asked our waiter for a gluten-free menu (yep, they had one). I, of course, love to talk about it, so I filled their ears. That conversation got me thinking about the FAQ’s I get on a consistent basis, so I’m going to address a few of them for those of you that are dying to know.
So this is how we do it...
1. What do you eat for lunches?
· Nope, I don’t eat sandwiches, you’re right. During the week, I try my best to bring dinner leftovers from home. Thanks to our handy dandy Google doc meal plan, this usually works out. When it doesn’t, I go grab a quick bite to eat at some gluten-friendly establishment near my office. My faves are Whole Foods, Chipotle, and Farm Burger.
2. What do you do for dinners?
· Meal planning. It’s probably the best thing we’ve started doing, not only my dietary needs, but also for our wallets. Every Monday, we plan out each dinner for that week by scouring Pinterest and the weekly ad at Kroger. We plan for things that have ingredients that are gluten-free, and also happen to be on sale. We also take into account what we already have at home. No food-wasting here! Some of our favorites are Stir-Fry, Red Beans & Rice, and Mexican. A typical weekly meal plan looks like this:
3. Aren’t gluten-free products expensive? How do you afford them?
· Yes, they are, and no, I don’t. For the most part, I stick with naturally gluten-free things like rice, corn, quinoa, fruits & veggies, meat, etc. We buy the fresh stuff mostly. It really doesn’t cost that much more (especially when its on sale), and we avoid the preservatives and overly processed nonsense. As far as snacks go, I really love these.
4. What do you miss the most?
· Pizza and beer. Boom. I love(d) pizza, but I will say that we’ve found a few great gf pizza places in Atlanta, like Cameli's and Do. Mellow Mushroom’s gluten-free crust isn’t bad either. I also miss fast food, but strictly due to the convenience of being able to eat on the road.
5. Do you ever cheat?
· Not intentionally. It’s not worth it, believe me. I’ll try bites of things, or sips of things, but never more than that. It’s not as hard as it seems, I promise.
6. How do you go out to eat?
· I really hate being a burden when I go out to eat, so I try to be as flexible as possible. I can pretty much find something anywhere. After a year, I’ve gotten really good at it. I can decode a menu pretty well. And I will say that when dinner is up to me, I frequent places that I know have gluten-free menus. No thinking required. Also, I can always count on Mexican places to have plenty of options for me. We eat a LOT of Mexican.
There you have it. How I do it in a lazy nutshell.
Anyway, it had been a while since we tried something new, so Chris and I were both on the hunt for new recipes. My mom inspired me to look into cooking in aluminum foil. Since summertime is so busy, we haven’t had as much time (or desire) to clean.
We like pork, especially our Teaspoon Tenderloin, and we've ventured into fried pork chops, but this time we opted for something different. Foil cooking is great because all of the mess stays in the packets, then you just throw them away. I wanted a good, filling, balanced meal with minimal mess, so these Pork Chops in foil were just the ticket. We adapted our own little version of this recipe.
BBQ Pork Chops in Foil
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¾ cup BBQ sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp canola oil
- A pinch of Cajun seasoning
- A pinch of Italian seasoning
- 8 small red potatoes, cut into quarters
- 1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 boneless pork chops
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Chop the veggies.
In a large bowl, whisk together ketchup, BBQ sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, oil, Cajun seasonings, Italian seasonings, chili powder, and pepper.
Dip the pork chops into the sauce, coating both sides. Then place aside on a plate.
Then add the veggies to the remaining sauce and toss until coated.
Tear off a large sheet of aluminum foil. Place one pork chop in the center of the foil. Then scoop 1/4 of the veggie mixture onto the piece of pork. Repeat 2 more times. Then fold the foil into packets and place on a large baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the pork is done and the veggies are tender.
We want to try grilling with foil soon! We’ll share Chris’s recipe choice next week.