Sunday, March 5, 2017

week of February 27

Beef and Barley Garden Stew - one of my favorite use-whatever-random-veggies-I-can-find recipes.  Start with sautéing ground beef and chopped onions, add some garlic, throw in a bunch of chopped tomatoes or a couple cans of undrained diced tomatoes, then finish with some broth and whatever chopped veggies sound good to you.  Season to taste.  I also like to add about 1/2 cup of barley to make the finished product thick and more stew-like.  This pot included potatoes, turnip, carrot, parsnip, cabbage, and celeriac.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Beet, Feta, and Arugula Salad with homemade vinaigrette - my contribution to our community group dinner.

Greek Pasta Chicken Salad - I use some of this dressing to marinate the chicken.  I mix the cooked chicken with cooked penne pasta, chunked cucumbers and tomatoes, sliced kalamata olives, crumbled feta cheese, and toss it with more of the dressing.  My family devours this!  And my son was thrilled when he realized that the entire meal, which I serve in one large bowl, has something included from every food group!

Pizza and salad

Date-night in: Swiss Chard Tacos with spiced black beans while kids ate leftover pasta salad

Acorn Squash with Rice Pilaf (again!)

Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars - a new breakfast that we all enjoyed in the morning, and as a snack the next few days.  I made several changes from the original recipe that are reflected below:

2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp coconut oil (not melted)
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 heaping scoop plant-based protein powder
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
6 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp maple syrup
juice of one lemon
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup sliced almonds (or any kind of chopped nut)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 8x11 baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the banana, maple syrup, oils and vanilla.  Using electric or hand mixer, mix until smooth.  Add in the oats, protein powder, cinnamon and salt and mix until well combined.  Mixture will be wet.  Transfer the mixture to the pan.  Smooth it out with a spatula and press it down evenly.  Bake for 10 minutes.

While bottom layer is baking, in the same mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the topping layer until well combined.

After first layer is done baking, remove pan from oven.  Pour topping layer over and spread it out evenly, pressing it down into the base layer.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Allow the bars to cool and set for 15-20 minutes before slicing into square servings.  Store in refrigerator.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

week of February 20

*Spiralized Sweet Potato, Kale and Bacon Quiche - I made my first-ever quiche crust!  It worked!  Some changes I made to this recipe: used half whole wheat flour, used pastry cutter instead of food processor, used 8 eggs, and mozzarella cheese.

Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Pilaf - I love this meal.  Half the enjoyment for me is making up the pilaf recipe as I go.  This time I included some rotisserie shredded chicken, celery, onion, garlic, toasted almonds and craisins with the wild rice cooked in chicken broth.

Dinner at neighbors' home

Brats, sweet potato fries, salad (Dad's dinner of choice when Mom's not home)

BBQ out with friends

Sunday, February 19, 2017

week of February 13

This week I got sick, so my husband stepped in and helped big time with dinners.  And no one went hungry.

Chicken Fried Rice - leftover rice makes for the best fried rice!

Sausage with roasted vegetables

Eggs, Bacon, and Daddy Cereal (AKA Post Great Grains Raisins, Dates & Nuts)

Costco Pizza

Mexican pile-up

Sunday, February 12, 2017

week of February 6

*Oven Fajitas - super easy . . . my family ate the entire pan!

*Pizza Sandwich Melts - another delicious meal with no leftovers.  See below for recipe.

Honey Garlic Chicken with edamames and shared with friends

Vegetable and Cheese Frittata from SNED by Heidi Swanson with sourdough whole wheat bread - I used cauliflower and topped it with mozzarella cheese

Green Lentil Soup to share with a refugee family

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies for community group dinner

Pizza Sandwich Melts, from One-Pan Recipes by Better Homes and Gardens:

Use ciabatta rolls.  Cut rolls in half.

Cover large roasting pan with tin foil.  Preheat oven to 350.

Line pan with bottoms of the bread rolls.  Use the following ingredients to layer on the roll bottoms:
one 12-oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup thin strips green sweet pepper
3 to 4 oz. sliced pepperoni
one 2.25 oz. sliced pitted ripe olives, drained
Top with 6 oz. shredded smoked mozzarella cheese

Spread cut sides of roll tops with one 8-oz. can pizza sauce (or make your own) and place on top to make sandwiches.

Combine the following and then pour evenly over sandwiches:
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

Bake, covered with foil, for 25 minutes at 350.  Remove foil and bake 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted and roll tops are light brown.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

week of January 30

Mexican Pile-up


Stuffed Bell Pepper soup from a freezer meals cooking party.

Dinner at Bidwell with friends - I highly recommend the wood-fired Moonpie pizza!

Dinner with my aunts and uncles . . . I took this apple crisp for dessert.  Next time I'll try mixing apples and pears.

Thai Beef with Coconut Rice

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Week of January 23

Popcorn, Apples, Nutnana smoothies - first night of my husband being away, so I kept it simple and fun for the rest of us =)

Green Lentil Soup from Super Natural Every Day.  I love lentils.  And soup.  This was a delicious combination.  I only blended half the lentils to keep some texture in the soup.  Make sure to add a little water or broth when reheating.

Roasted Chicken Legs - my plan was to make this for dinner, but I didn't make it to the right store in time to buy harissa.  Instead, I tossed some halved cherry tomatoes, one lemon cut into eight slices, one red onion cut in wedges, and a few potatoes cut into chunks with some crushed garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  After spreading on a roasting pan, I nestled drumsticks into the veggies, added a little more seasoning to the chicken, then roasted at 400F for about 45 minutes.  It worked great!  Similar to this meal, but even simpler.

Sweet Potato Sausage Hash - served over greens with a fried egg on it.

Paleo Sweet Potato Chili to host community group

Chickpea Wraps for lunch, from SNED by Heidi Swanson - my husband and I both enjoyed this.  I wrapped my chickpea filling in collard green leaves as a wrap.  My husband used a whole wheat tortilla for his wrap with garden greens.  And my oldest gingersnap ate as much as I did using saltine crackers as his scoop!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Week of January 16

Baked Potatoes

*Sweet Potato Miso Soup with Roasted Chickpeas - we shared this with friends.  She and I liked it, but no one else (kids and my husband included) were that impressed.

Dinner with Uncle Steve and Aunt Vallerie



Sunday, January 15, 2017

Week of January 9

*Paleo Sweet Potato Chili - I did not expect this chili to have such great flavor!  We put a little cheese on top of ours because we aren't committed to paleo eating (and because, let's be honest, cheese helps my kids get excited about their food!), but it didn't need it.

Potato, Chicken, and Green Bean Bake

British Steak and Mushroom Pie - we discovered meat pie while living in England.  It became my son's favorite food and he still requests this every year for his birthday dinner.  I've experimented with several changes, but I think the original recipe is still the way to go.

Egg Scramble Deluxe - my fancy name for the "use it up" meal.  It's basically a really big omelette without shape!  Cook bacon or warm up leftover meat.  Saute chopped veggies (our favorites are peppers, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions).  Scramble eggs and just before they're done cooking, add the cooked meat, veggies, and some grated cheese.

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken

*Perfect Cinnamon Rolls - these are AMAZING!  And they are HUGE.  Prepare to share and freeze.

Kale Salad from Super Natural Every Day.  Another great, simple recipe from Heidi Swanson.  I made this on Monday and ate on it all week for lunch.  I swapped about 1 Tbsp coconut oil for some olive oil and added a teaspoon of an asian chili sauce for a little kick.  The leftovers keep well, but, not surprisingly, the kale and coconut chips lose their crisp when reheating.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Week of January 1

I love cooking.  I love trying new recipes.  I love talking with friends about food and recipes and cooking and eating.  I love sharing recipes that I've found and love with other people.  And I refer to this little blog space often to remember what I've made, what we've liked, and to share recipes with people.  So instead of trying to post individual recipes, I'm going for a weekly meal approach.  I'll star the recipes that were new and hopefully do a better job of tracking what I make for future reference.

Mexican Pile-Up - a family favorite: you pile up whatever you want!  Our staple ingredients are: rice, taco meat, chips, lettuce or spinach, black beans or refried beans, chopped tomatoes, grated cheese, cilantro, salsa.  Other taco-type toppings are welcomed when I have them.

Anniversary date night.  Kids had pizza.

*Cinnamon Chili Pork - this was absolutely delicious and everyone in the family liked it - winner!  My youngest asked for a bowl of the red pepper apple salsa for her birthday meal!

Kids were invited to the neighbors' for a last-minute dinner playdate, so we had date night leftovers.

*Roasted Sausage with Mushrooms, Squash, and Polenta - I love polenta, but hadn't tried roasting it before.  Delicious!

1 16-ounce tube refrigerated cooked polenta, cut into 1/2-inch slices and halved (I get mine at Trader Joe's)
2 cups sliced fresh cremini mushrooms
2 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lb. uncooked mild Italian sausage links
1 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 425F.  In a 15x10-inch baking pan combine polenta, mushrooms, and squash.  Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Prick each sausage a few times with a fork.  Place in pan with veggies.  Sprinkle with rosemary.
Roast 25-30 minutes, or until sausages are done, stirring once.  If desired, top with additional rosemary.
Recipe taken from Better Homes and Gardens' One-Pan Recipes magazine

New Breakfast recipe:
Yogurt Biscuits from Super Natural Every Day, by Heidi Swanson.  This is a new cookbook for me and I'm excited to cook my way through it this year with a friend!  It's definitely worth a look from your local library if you enjoy simple, interesting, whole food recipes that are easily adaptable for family-friendly eating.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Menu Swap

Jessie and I did another menu swap a few weeks ago.  I love sharing recipes with her because I get to think of my dear friend as I prepare food each night, and her menu is always great!

Thai Chicken Pizza - this was my favorite meal of the week!  The flavors and different textures were great.

Korean Beef Bowl - throw a simple veg on the side of this quick crowd pleaser for an easy dinner

Chicken and Vegetable Dumpling Soup - I'd actually made this before a long time ago, but was grateful for the reminder of this delicious soup.  We liked it so much, I made it again this week with turkey leftovers and homemade turkey stock.

Creamy Chicken and Quinoa Casserole -  this is a fancier version of your grandma's broccoli rice casserole - comfort food

Broiled Tilapia Tacos - Jessie loves tacos, so I can always count on her menu including a new version to try.  These are great, and it's worth hunting down a ripe avocado to make the sauce

Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps - this was my youngest daughter's favorite meal.  She and I are both suckers for beans and rice.  Add a crispy tortilla, wrap in foil, and you have an easy picnic meal!

Refried Beans - I made these to put on nachos for my extended family and everyone was raving about them.  I've done them in the crockpot before, but I liked the flavor of these better.

Aunt Jo's Sweedish Pancakes - the ones I was able to make without destroying were delicious, but I needed Aunt Jo to come for breakfast to give me a tutorial on how to make her pancakes!

Moon Pies - YUM!  Make these!  And if you make the mistake I did and DOUBLE the amount of butter for the pies AND the filling, your family will thank you all the more!

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