5 Days Of Home-cooked Meals | Try Living With Lucie | Refinery29

October 12, 2019 0 By William Morgan

I’m Lucie Fink and this week is
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I sometimes find it very challenging to commit
to making my meals from scratch.
Especially living in New York City where I
have every single culture’s cuisine at my
disposal, 24/7, about two steps from my door.
But getting delivery or takeout all the time
can start to add up really quickly.
And when I truly think about it, I love cooking
at home and knowing exactly what I’m putting
in my food.
So this week I’m taking on a task that many
of you have requested on this series for years
and years.
And I’m doing Five Days of Home of Cooked
Each day of this week is going to focus on
a different type of meal from a different
food influencer or chef, and everything is
gonna be cooked by me right here in that kitchen
of my brand new apartment.
Now you may or may not know this from watching
other videos of mine, but earlier this year
Michael and I moved in to what I have dubbed our
It’s our first apartment that we’re sharing
as husband and wife.
I already said this in my empty apartment
tour video, but the kitchen has got to be
my favorite room in this entire apartment.
Everything is entirely new.
All the appliances were just put in and they’ve
never been touched.
Something that I love about this kitchen is
that the refrigerator and the dishwasher
are sort of hidden appliances.
So they just look like cabinets, but they’re
actually in there.
And not only was this kitchen newly renovated
and never lived in before we got here, but
as soon as we moved in we had the kitchen
professionally organized with a personal organization
So everything is labeled and neatly put away.
Head on over to my YouTube channel and my
Instagram account for more of that.
As you can see, there are about three levels
of cabinets here and to reach the top I have
to stand on a step stool.
We made sure to put the items that
we use every day lower down.
Then, items that we use sometimes are in the
middle shelves, and items that we use just
for special occasions are up top.
This is kind of a pop up cutting board on
wheels that we keep in the kitchen.
And that’s because there is some counter
space to cut on, but we really like cutting
this way facing the windows.
It just makes the kitchen feel more open and
bright, and we get the sunlight on our face.
So— our face?
Are we one face?
And now before I get too carried
away with proclaiming my love for my kitchen,
let’s dive into the episode.
I knew that I’d be focusing most of my meals
this week on savory lunches and dinners.
So I wanted to make sure that at least one
day of this week was dedicated to my favorite
meal of the day: breakfast.
Although breakfast is my favorite meal of
the day, I do often find myself skipping out
on it.
The moment I wake up I feel like I just want
to get started with my day.
I don’t think I have enough time to have this
elaborate meal,
so I usually just pop some toast in the toaster,
maybe I’ll make some eggs.
And then if I feel like I have a little bit
extra free time, perhaps I’ll sauté some
vegetables from the night before.
But long gone are the childhood days of sweet
breakfast plates loaded with pancakes piled
up, and butter and maple syrup.
When I thought about making a breakfast recipe
for this video, the first person that came
to my mind was Rachel Mansfield.
She’s a food blogger whose Instagram makes
me drool every single time I open it.
I think most, if not all, of her recipes are
gluten free
and she’s known for using really high quality
ingredients to make delicious food in a healthy
On Monday I made her gluten free Pumpkin Chocolate
Chip pancakes which are packed with protein
for a power start to my day.
I started by mixing all the wet ingredients
in one bowl: the pumpkin, eggs, and the milk.
Next I mixed all the dry ingredients: almond
flour, protein powder, cinnamon and baking soda.
And whisked to combine.
And I actually added in a little bit more
chocolate chips than the recipe called for.
You can never have too many chocolate chips
in your life.
I added some coconut oil to my skillet, and
then I heated it up a bit before pouring in
the batter.
I used my soft mixing spatula to flip the
pancakes because the only other spatula we
had on hand was a metal spatula, and I didn’t
want to scrape up my non-stIck pan.
I made way more pancakes than I could ever
possibly eat for one meal.
So I had leftovers for at least the next day.
But for breakfast on Monday I piled high a
plate with four large pancakes, added a pad
of butter on top, and then poured maple syrup
on top of the entire thing.
I sat myself down at my kitchen table with
a cup of coffee, the plate of pancakes, and
the newspaper, and I soaked up the morning
Let’s see what’s going on in the world today.
On Tuesday I wanted my home cooked meal to
be a
meal prep meal.
I’ve already done Five Days of Meal Prepping
and I thought it would be useful if one of
these days was focused on making food that
would last me for the rest of the week.
I find that I gravitate towards different
types of bowls when it comes to meal prep.
And that’s because they’re really versatile
and they’re simple and perfect for busy days
on the go.
Alyssa Gagarin is the lovely meal prep expert
that guided me through Five Days of Meal Prep,
so I followed Alyssa’s recipe for burrito
bowls and I used her signature Cauliflower
Rice recipe as the base.
To start with, I riced the cauliflower
in my blender, mixing it with a couple cloves
of garlic, generously drizzled olive oil on
top, and then seasoned it.
After popping that into the oven to bake,
I moved on to chopping up some peppers and
prepping the other ingredients for my bowl.
I threw the peppers in a pan and sautéed
them in a bit of oil with some salt and pepper.
And then once my peppers were tender and my
cauliflower rice had cooked a little, I rinsed
and drained some black beans, sliced a lime,
and prepared to assemble my bowls.
I portioned out the cauliflower rice, the
sautéed peppers,
black beans, and some premade pico de galIo.
Then I garnished each with a lime and some
cilantro on top.
I ate one of these bowls for lunch immediately
on Tuesday, and then I popped the other three
in the fridge for lunch for the rest of the
While I of course love being able to eat meals
with Michael, the reality is that our schedules
don’t always align properly to allow for this.
On Wednesday, knowing that Michael was gonna
be out a little bit late for a business school
presentation, I decided to try something
new and to make an enchilada skillet dish.
Highly ambitious, a recipe from my friend
Monique over at her blog, Ambitious Kitchen.
Making dinner for one is a big feat.
Not only do you have to come up with the idea
of what you want to eat based on your own
personal taste, but you also have to do everything
100 percent on your own with zero kitchen
To make things easiest for myself, I chose
this one pan recipe, and as an added bonus
this was a great opportunity to break in our
new cast iron skillet from our wedding registry.
First I diced up the onion, I pressed the
garlic in my fancy little garlic press,
and then the jalapeno pepper.
Before preparing myself to tackle the butternut
Oh god.
That’s big.
Cubing this butternut squash was a full ordeal.
Let me tell you, it is not as easy as it seems.
Either that or I got a very unripe squash.
But it was tough.
Furthermore my cutting board kept sliding
around so I had to put a towel beneath it
to stabilize it for safety.
I also cut the corn tortillas into strips
to add in later.
Once all the veggies were chopped, I sautéed
the pepper, onion and garlic until the onions
looked translucent.
Then I added in the squash to cook it a little
longer, and I spiced it all up with chili
powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
Is it que-men or koo-men?
Comment below.
Once the squash was tender, I added in black
beans, tortilla strips, a can of enchilada
sauce, and a bit of cheese, and left that
to simmer.
And just before I popped it into the broiler
for a few minutes, I sprinkled some more cheese
on top.
One thing I love about summer and early fall
is that especially if you’re eating dinner
on the earlier side, the sun is still up and
it’s still light outside.
I don’t love eating meals in the dark so it’s
great to have the sun still shining at dinnertime.
I didn’t feel like setting our dining room
table for one, and the kitchen is actually
the room in this apartment that gets the best
So I just hopped up on the counter and enjoyed
my solo meal there.
I would just like to point out that this recipe
does actually make way more than one person
can reasonably eat in one meal.
So even though I was cooking just for myself,
I did wind up giving my leftovers to Michael
when he got home from his presentation.
Cooking with a partner is the absolute best.
It makes the process go by a lot quicker,
plus you could have some fun together or you
could have deep and meaningful conversations
along the way.
On Thursday we pulled out a recipe from my
friend Liz Moody’s book, Healthier Together.
This book is all about cooking meals with
the people that you love and I don’t love
anyone more than Michael.
Here’s our recipe.
We chose one of her most popular recipes in
the book: Crispy Orange Chicken with Lemon-Ginger
Broccoli Rice.
Liz told me that this dish tasted like Panda
Express and I was incredibly excited to make
it because it was gluten free and Michael
has a gluten allergy.
Alright, so first step.
You chop these.
I’ll peel this.
Get ready for me to tell you that you’re holding
a knife wrong.
That’s totally fine.
Bring it on.
We switched sides.
Just zesting my orange.
Just chopping my ginge.
We are working so close together.
I don’t know if we’re ever going to actually
get to the chicken, but I’m having fun with
all this.
We’re gonna get there.
We’re on the way.
Amazing work.
Thank you.
To make the orange sauce we first combined
the vegetable broth, rice vinegar,
orange zest and juice, coconut sugar, ginger,
garlic, tamari, and toasted sesame oil in
a small saucepan.
And once it was reduced by one quarter, we
added the arrowroot powder, whisking until
the sauce thickened.
We set up a frying station next to the stove
with a beaten egg in one bowl, and some arrowroot
powder in another.
And I think we can move on to the chicken.
Excuse me!
We dipped the chicken in the egg, and then
dipped it in the arrowroot powder before adding
it to a pan sizzling
with coconut oil.
And our entire apartment quickly started to
smell amazing.
Meanwhile we put the broccoli in our blender
to make broccoli rice.
That looks so good.
And next we added in the lemon zest and juice.
After that was done we added the fried chicken
in the orange sauce, and coated the chicken
We added in the broccoli rice and salt, and
cooked until the broccoli had softened.
We plated our dinners and devoured it immediately.
Alright, time to eat.
Moment of truth.
Really good.
Yeah, very good.
I’m going to eat this all right now.
Cooking together is something that we don’t
do nearly enough, but we always say we’re
going to do more of.
I think that having this beautiful kitchen
space and having all these helpful new kitchen
appliances will definitely entice us to cook
But if you’ve been wanting to cook more, the
best thing you can do is just start cooking.
Find a recipe online, buy the ingredients
and cook something for yourself tonight.
Right now.
This day.
Stop making excuses and just get cooking.
One of the other things that I’ve been really
excited about since moving to this new apartment
is hosting dinner parties here so that we
can share this space with our friends.
Even though we still don’t have our couch
yet, as you can see, it was a very memorable
On Friday, before the sun went down, I threw
an early dinner party with some of my Refinery29
For this entire dinner party spread I consulted
She’s a food blogger and an influencer, and
an overall food goddess, so I knew that she
would be the perfect person to give me recipes
for everything from the charcuterie board,
to the dinner entree, to the dessert.
Because it’s the most time consuming and I
didn’t want to get stressed at the very end,
I started by making my cake first.
I chose her Chocolate Chip Tahini cake recipe.
First I combined the eggs and the tahini,
along with the coconut sugar, almond milk
and vanilla extract.
Then I mixed the dry ingredients in a separate
Almond flour, coconut flour, and baking soda.
Then I added the dry to the wet, stirring
in the chocolate chips, and pouring it all
into an eight inch round pan.
The recipe called for an eight inch square
pan but if you watch my apartment search story
video you know that I hate squares and rectangles.
So I went with a round pan.
Also, I think that a round pan makes for more
elegant cake slices.
As the cake was baking in the oven, I got
started on the frosting.
The frosting was very simple with no dairy
or oil, just cocoa powder, almond butter,
maple syrup and a bit of almond milk.
I ended up slightly improvising the measurements
because it didn’t look like enough frosting
for my entire cake.
It probably would’ve been enough if I just
wanted to frost the top of the cake but I
wanted to frost the top and the sides, and
I wanted it to be extra thick.
So I just dumped more cocoa powder, more almond
butter, more maple syrup, mixed and mixed
and mixed.
And I wound up with a giant bowl of frosting.
As the cake was cooling, I began making her
Avocado Cream Pasta recipe.
First I sliced some cherry tomatoes lengthwise,
spread them out on a baking tray face up,
drizzled them with olive oil, salt and pepper,
and popped them in the oven.
Then I made the avocado sauce.
In my blender I mixed avocados, garlic, lemon
juice, olive oil and basil.
I had no idea what this would taste like,
but I took one lick and I was in avocado basil
Everyone please.
Oh my God.
Seriously it was unbelievable.
If you like avocados or basil or the taste
of pesto, you have to try this recipe.
Next I cooked the pasta, and her recipe called
for the wheel shaped pasta, which is the perfect
call for this dish because the avocado cream
gets kind of stuck in the spokes.
I combined the noodles with the sauce, the
roasted tomatoes, and fresh arugula, then
I garnished it all with some fresh basil and
Simple, beautiful and delicious.
Lastly, I set to work on building
a charcuterie board.
I displayed the brie and white cheddar on
my stunning new stone cheese board, and then
I added some prosciutto, salami rolls with
a bit of extra mozzarella from my fridge,
crackers and grapes.
It was a total beauty.
When my guests first came over we started
by devouring the charcuterie board.
Then I set the table for some people’s pasta
dish while the others sat on throw pillows
by the coffee table, and for dessert we all
gathered cozily on the floor and I cut the
tahini cake for us all.
It was so delicious and I think the dinner
was a big hit.
I hope you liked getting a glimpse into life
inside our new apartment, and our new kitchen
in particular.
Let me know which day in this episode was
your favorite, and also comment your favorite
recipe below, because you know I’m going to
be doing more cooking in there.
For some more behind the scenes content in
this apartment, be sure you’re subscribed
to my YouTube channel and are following me
on Instagram both @luciebfink.
Give this video a thumbs up if you’re into
cooking home cooked meals or just eating them.
And feel free to share your own tips about
cooking or meal prep to help me build this
skill into a new habit.
Now I’m curious, what’s a new skill that you’ve
been wanting to learn or something new that
you’ve been wanting to try?
Let me know and maybe I’ll turn it into a
five day challenge in the near future.
As always, thank you for coming back to another
episode of Try Living with Lucie, and we’ll
see you right here next time on Refinery29.
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