For this month’s Secret Recipe Club I was paired with Stephanie from Dessert Before Dinner. I find a bit cruel to be assigned to two sweet blogs (last week it was Annie’s Noms) just before and in the middle of my first Whole30. A true test of strength indeed! But none the less, as soon as I could again eat real foods, I couldn’t wait to indulge with one of Stephanie’s recipes.
I am obsessed by one lunch spot by my office: Dishes. It’s one of these catch-all deli joints with salads to order, sandwiches, soups, baked goods and a hot/cold salad bar by the pound. Except it’s super elevated. Think couscous almond cranberry salad instead of fried rice. Crispy coconut shrimp instead of soggy mystery meat. But it’s not the pay-by-the-pound bar counter or even the baked goods I go for, it’s the prepared dessert.
Fried rice used to be an old standby for us. Have a lot of veggies? Chop it up and saute with a bit of egg and soy sauce. Add some chicken or beef if you’re out for more protein. And one of the best parts about dishes like fried rice is you can easily make double or triple the batch, enough for leftovers and lunches for the week ahead. But at some point the fried rice stopped. I’m not really sure why; I guess we just got tired of eating it. And sometimes (ok, most of the time), takeout was easier, despite the less healthy version.
This month has absolutely flown. First we were on vacation in Scotland and Ireland for two weeks. The following two weeks we had back to back weddings, then my birthday (yay!) then family time. Needless to say, I haven’t had nearly as much time in the kitchen or with my blog as I would have liked. The lazy part of me, said it’s okay, just skip a month of the Secret Recipe Club. No one will care… But I would care. The Secret Recipe Club is a wonderful opportunity to explore other blogs. Too often do I find a wonderful recipe on a friend’s blog, thinking I’m going to make that right away! Months go by and the recipe still sits on Pinterest, still to be attempted. But SRC forces me to at least once a month, try something new. This month I was assigned to Heather’s It’s Yummy to My Tummy. Like me, Heather uses the kitchen to escape. There were so many great recipes to try, but again, the time thing.
About six months ago I bought my first jar of coconut oil. It was about a year coming. I was dying to make something with it but never had a recipe in mind so held off buying some for a long time for fear of wasting it. After my first purchase of coconut oil, it continued to sit in the pantry for another several months, still no ideas flowing through my head.
Finally it was time to open the stuff. Baby steps. I cooked up some sautéed chicken with it. The second big step was granola. Replacing my standard canola oil with coconut oil in my simple granola recipe made the flavors burst. I was getting hooked. What happened if I baked with it? The Secret Recipe Club as always gave me a great base to experiment with.