On that Monday night after I had done all of the shopping for the meal plan and made the first two blocks, Pulled Pork and Tomato Sauce, on Sunday, I was ready to begin really trying the whole concept out. I made the Pork and Avocado Tacos. Now the article advises making the meals in the order they are listed on the website because that gives the greatest variety of meals per week and I do try to follow that as best I can but I had a guest coming over on Monday night with dietary restrictions that would not work well with the Spanish Rice with Shrimp. Also, I hadn't finished making the rest of the building block recipes so this was one of the few for the first week that I could throw together.
The Pork and Avocado Tacos went over very well. I had never had pork on a taco before, and I must say, it was very nice. The dressing was delicious although honestly, I skipped the cilantro. We aren't cilantro fans here. I'm also not a huge fan of iceberg lettuce and wish I had just followed my instincts as I learned in lesson 3 and just used the lettuce I wanted to use. The only thing that didn't work that well in my opinion was the veggie mixture was so chunky that it did not want to stay in the taco shells. I ended up only putting a small amount in the shell and eating the rest as salad. Oh and FYI: this entire concoction baked over tortilla chips as nachos - Outstanding! I think I preferred it that way more than any other combination.
After dinner as we are cleaning up and catching up, I started the rest of the building block recipes. Lesson Number 4: get a good oven thermometer! My oven pretty much claimed to never get up to temperature that night and everything roasted just fine. Don't trust appliances! Use thermometers. Now here's a little product placement for you: if you don't buy the butternut squash already cut up and peeled, you must get a Pampered Chef Serrated Peeler. This thing will change your life when it comes to difficult to peel fruits and vegetables. Anyway, there isn't much to say about Roasted Veggies. Everything came off without a hitch on that recipe but bear in mind that you do not want veggies that are blackened just nicely roasted. Blackened can create a bitter unpleasant taste. Both the roasted veggies and the Pulled Chicken went well but I wish I had portion the chicken right away. Don't forget to save all the non meat parts such as the bones and such for making chicken stock!
I was very happy with the Rice Pilaf recipe. I came together easily, was light and fluffy and tasted great. I don't really like peas but they work in the recipe and I'm glad I put them in. My only complaint with this recipe is when I think of rice pilaf I think of it as having orzo in it which I absolutely love. The next I make it I may throw a handful of orzo in there as well. So finally I was done with the building blocks and had successfully made on of the recipes! I'm enjoying this process a great deal and I hope it is helpful to other people as well!