Exhaustion and meal planning and my freezer status

Lately, people have been telling me I look tired. I don’t know whether I should feel bad for looking tired. Does it mean I also look disheveled? I am tired because work was exhausting this week, and I also had two exams. I look tired because I AM tired. Bah.

Another thing the exhaustion leads to is a messy, messy house. My house is embarrassingly messy. I have two bags of laundry that have been waiting to be folded since Thursday. But no time, no motivation… I need to fold these soon :(

Anyhow, I haven’t updated on meal planning since I decided to take the plunge, and I can say that the first couple weeks were pretty solid. It wasn’t until this past week of super busy-ness that I barely cooked. But anyway, I discovered a few tasty recipes, and I also am getting better at winging ingredients in recipes that I don’t have or don’t want to go out and make a special trip for. Here are a couple keepers:

Nom Nom Paleo’s Asian Chicken Thighs – I don’t have the paleo ingredients (like fake soy sauce and paleo fish sauce), but this is good with all those non-paleo ingredients anyhow. I hate restrictive diets, but one thing I can take away from the good ones (like paleo and nutritarian) is eat FRESH and eat lots of whole foods. I don’t plan to replace my soy sauce stash with coconut aminos, but I will eat healthy fruits, veggies, and meats.

Asian Salmon Bowl with Lime Drizzle – I foolishly attempted to squeeze limes over a shotglass (my measuring cup shot glass) and was getting lime juice everywhere but inside the shotglass, so I instead just squeezed the limes into the pot. Probably a foolish idea, because I could taste the lime, which means I put way too much for hubby. But whatever, I liked it :)

Salmon with Spicy Cucumber Pineapple Salsa – I love textures and juxtaposing flavors, so this salsa is great with salmon, which can be kind of boring to just eat by itself. I made a spicy one for me and a jalapeno-less one for hubby. Since this one just said “1 lime” instead of “3 tbsp lime”, I didn’t have to guess how much lime was a good amount, and it wasn’t over limey. Also, normally I pair salmon with rice, so this was a good way of consuming lots of cucumbers.

Jjim Dak – I love cooking Korean food because once you have the main ingredients, you’re pretty much set. Just insert veggie here, insert meat here, insert carb here, and you’re done. I made this with rice noodles because that’s what I had, and it was fine :D Lots of veggies, lots of flavors… delicious!

Things I want to try soon:

Dweji Bulgogi – on the menu for tonight!

Skillet Cheesy Chicken Rotini w/ Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce + Burrata – it just looks so gloriously cheesy…

Everyday Pad Thai – must make pickled jalapenos to eat with this!

Butternut squash dip with tahini, EVOO, spices, garlic, lemon juice (for veggies) – but only because I have had a butternut squash sitting on my kitchen counter for 2 months and I need to use this ASAP.

These balls. I bought too many dates, and I need to use them. This is made with dates, sunflower seeds (but I’ll use almonds because I have them at home), and coconut. Might need to get some coconut.. I wonder where i can buy a tiny amount of it.

This roast, but with pork. Would that work? :/ We’ll see.

So where am I in the freezer cleanout? Hmmm… only marginally better… (new items indicated by an asterisk)

MEAT
Pork shoulder – chili?
Freezerburnt london broil
4 servings unmarinated chicken
2 serving marinated chix legs
3 spicy Costco sausages
Sockeye salmon
Anchovies (for gook)
Veggie burger
*samgyupsal – will use tonight
*pork from mom
*marinated asian thighs

VEGGIES
Green beans
Had a ton of 1/8th bags of corn that i just ended up tossing

PACKAGED (i.e., Trader Joe’s stuff)
Pad see ew
Soba noodles
Hash browns
Kimchi dumplings
2 jasmine rice (emergency rice)

FRUITS
Mango
Pineapples (used daily for smoothies)

DESSERTS
Samanco
Lemon bars
Mango bars
White trash
Chocolate croissants – ate 1 (out of 4)
Pie crusts
Cool whip (2) – bought it to frost a cake, never made the cake

Closing thoughts:

Meal planning is tough when you’re stressed and have little time. When you’re focused on studying because you have little time after work to study, it makes cooking (and cleaning) a chore. But I’m committed to healthy eating. I’ve been doing well with grocery budgeting  – I have been under my budget each week by at least $10-30, though it helps that I didn’t cook anything this past week (except chili, over a campfire). My life will be in a disarray for I’m assuming the next 2 years while I pursue this new future of mine, but it will be worth it. All this tiredness and studying and little time for people and hobbies is a necessary evil, a means to an end. Freedom is just around the corner. I hope…

And just random: