Blueberry Fest! (Dinner for Two Week 27)

Breakfast: High Protein Apple Squares or Healthy Glazed Lemon-Blueberry Scones

Lunch: Leftovers + apricot or cantaloupe

Dinner: BBQ Beef Patties with potatoes and purple cabbage or carrots or Chicken Nugget Casserole with spaghetti and salad

Dessert: Gluten-Free Blueberry Cobbler

Gluten-Free Blueberry Cobbler

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl gently toss together 16 oz of fresh or frozen blueberries, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 Tbsp of cornstarch and 1 Tbsp of lemon juice.  Pour into a buttered baking dish. Grind enough slivered blanched almonds in a food processor to equal 1 cup or measure out 1 cup of almond meal. In another bowl mix together ground almonds/almond meal, 4 Tbsp of butter, 1/4 cup of sugar, an egg and a pinch of salt until well combined.  There’s really no simple way to spread the mixture on top of the blueberries, so I recommend just digging in with your fingers and spreading across the top as evenly as possible.  Bake for 25-35 minutes.  Let cool at least 10 minutes before eating.  Serve hot or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream!

High Protein Apple Squares

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine 1 cup of vanilla whey protein powder, 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour, 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of cloves, 1/8 tsp of cardamom, 1/8 tsp of nutmeg, and 2 tsp of baking powder in a large bowl.

Combine 6 packets of Stevia, 3/4 cup of fat-free cottage cheese, 2 tsp of vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup of egg whites (about 4 eggs-worth) in a separate bowl. Look to see if your vanilla whey protein powder is sweetened. If it isn’t, you will need to add more Stevia. Mix well to combine. There will be lots of cottage cheese chunks and yes, they will be visible in the squares after they are baked. This is precisely the kind of thing that would gross my boyfriend out so I would throw it all in a blender to smooth everything out.

Remove the core of a tart apple and using either a box grater with large holes or a food processor, grate the apple into a bowl. Set aside. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir to incorporate evenly. Finally, pour the apple into the bowl and stir again to combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.

Let the pan cool slightly, then remove the entire cake from the pan and cut into 16 squares.

Healthy Glazed Lemon-Blueberry Scones

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Put 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 1 Tbsp of sugar, 1 Tbsp of baking powder, 1/2 tsp of baking soda, 1/4 tsp of salt and 1 Tbsp of lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor or into a medium mixing bowl and pulse or stir until well blended. Add 1/4 cup of chilled and cubed butter and 1/4 cup of olive or canola oil and pulse or stir with a wire whisk or fork until crumbly. If you’re using a food processor, transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.

Add 3/4 cup of milk or buttermilk and 1 cup of fresh or frozen berries and stir gently just until the dough is combined.

Pat the dough into a circle that is about 1” thick and 8”-9” in diameter on the cookie sheet. To get a brown, crunchy top, brush them with a little milk and sprinkle with sugar. Cut the circle into 8 wedges with a knife or pastry cutter and separate them on the sheet so that they are at least an inch apart.

Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven.

To add glaze, stir together 2 Tbsp of lemon juice and 1 cup of powdered sugar in a small bowl until well-blended. Feel free to add more/less powdered sugar to make the glaze your desired consistency. Brush or drizzle glaze on top of scones, and serve.

Chicken Nugget Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a package of frozen chicken nuggets in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Top with a can of spaghetti sauce, 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, and 1 tsp of Italian seasoning.

Cover and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Serve with spaghetti and salad.

Salad suggestions: Mixed greens with pepper (purple ones are fun!), artichoke hearts, cape gooseberries, kiwi, and grapefruit.

BBQ Beef Patties

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine an egg, 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce, 3/4 cup of crushed Cornflakes, and 1 tsp of salt in a bowl. Add 1 lb of ground beef and mix well. Shape into four oval patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Place in a greased baking pan. Spread with 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce.

Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes. Drain.

SHOPPING LIST:

Parmesan cheese

Mozza cheese (4 oz)

Cheddar cheese (12 oz)

Fat-free cottage cheese

Eggs

Purple cabbage

6 carrots

Pepper

Lettuce

Arugula

Cape gooseberries

Kiwi

Grapefruit

6 apricots

Cantaloupe

Apple (tart one like Granny Smith or Northern Spy)

Fresh/frozen blueberries

1 lb ground beef

Pkg of frozen chicken nuggets

Vanilla ice cream

Can of spaghetti sauce (26.5 oz)

Can of refried beans (16 oz)

Can of artichoke hearts

BBQ sauce

Salsa

Italian seasoning

Cloves

Buckwheat flour

Long grain rice

Spaghetti noodles

[Also needed: salt, crushed Cornflakes, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, baking powder, Stevia, vanilla, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, almonds/almond meal, butter, coconut flakes, rolled oats, chia seeds, mixed nuts, mixed dried fruit, allspice]

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Pizza, Burger, and Fries (Dinner for Two Week 23)

Breakfast: Chewy Coconut Almond Raisin Granola Bar, Fruit and Nut Bars

Lunch: Leftovers + cranberries, guava, papaya, grapefruit

Dinner: BBQ Chicken/Veggie Pizza, Cheeseburger ‘n’ Fries Casserole, tomatoes, butternut squash, carrots, persimmons

Dessert: Crepes with strawberries

Fruit and Nut Bars

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Coarsely chop 3 cups of dried fruit and 1 1/2 cups of dry roasted nuts until most pieces are relatively uniform in size. Set aside.
  3. Whisk 1/3 cup of flour, 1/8 tsp of baking soda, and 1/8 tsp of baking powder together in a large bowl until evenly combined. Add 1/3 cup of brown sugar, fruit, and nuts, and mix to coat all fruit and nuts with the flour mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat an egg with 1/2 tsp of vanilla about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir egg into flour mixture until evenly mixed.
  6. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Smooth out the top with a spatula.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Crepes (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

  1. Whisk 3 eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of soy milk, 1 tsp of vanilla, and 3 Tbsp of melted butter (or nondairy butter alternative). Whisk in 3/4 cup of cornstarch, a pinch of salt, and 1 Tbsp of sugar. Stir in 1 tsp of lemon zest and 1 Tbsp of poppy seeds. Let batter rest for half an hour.
  2. Four minutes before cooking, heat wide pan (at least 6-7″) to medium high heat. When hot, add a little bit of butter (or alternative) and spread across the pan evenly. Remove pan from heat to prevent smoking.
  3. Stir the batter and pour ⅛ of a cup into the pan. Quickly spread the batter with a tilt and rotate motion or by using a thin spatula to cover the bottom of the pan evenly. Return the pan to the heat.
  4. Cook the crepe for one minute, loosening the edges with a spatula as it cooks. When the top of the crepe should looks almost dry, flip it over. Cook the other side for a minute and transfer the crepe to a plate.
  5. Repeat the process until you’ve made as many crepes as you want. Add a little butter to the pan periodically to keep the crepes from sticking.
  6. Serve with sliced strawberries. Mmm!

Chewy Coconut Almond Raisin Granola Bars

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil so that some foil hangs over the edges of the pan. Butter the foil and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of old-fashioned oats, 1/2 cup of wheat germ, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 2 Tbsp of ground flaxseed, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/8 tsp of ground ginger, 1 cup of shredded coconut, 1 cup of raisins, 1/2 cup of sliced almonds and 1/4 cup of unsalted peanuts.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp of honey, 1/4 cup of melted unsalted butter (1/2 stick) and 1 Tbsp of fresh orange juice. Pour over the flour mixture and toss together with a fork. The mixture will be dry but sticky. Blend together until all of the dry ingredients are moistened by the honey mixture.

Dump oat mixture into the prepared baking dish. With clean, slightly oiled fingers (or a fork), firmly press the oat mixture into the dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes. The baked granola will still be soft even after it’s baked, but will harden as it cools.

Remove baked granola from the oven and cool for 30 minutes. Place the baking dish in the refrigerator for about an hour before slicing. Don’t skip this step or it will crumble.

Use the overhang foil flaps to remove the baked granola. Use a large, sharp knife to cut block into 12 bars. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in an air tight container. Will last, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook and cube one chicken breast. Place a prebaked Italian bread shell crust on a pizza pan. Spread with 2/3 cup of honey garlic BBQ sauce. Sprinkle with a small chopped red onion, cubed chicken, and 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake for 10 minutes.

Unexpected guests? Cut one of these pizzas up into strips and serve as an appetizer when friends pop by unexpectedly. They are fast to whip up which will give you extra stalling time while you think of what to serve for the main course. Suggestion? Cheeseburger ‘n’ Fries Casserole. See below. 

Game night? Make one or two of these babies with chicken and then one more with no chicken, but load on the interesting veggies instead. I recommend cubed rutabaga, corn, and cubed sweet potato. Kids coming? Make a happy face out of the veggies to make them seem fun. Or lay out the ingredients and let them decorate their own. You’ll be the most happening place in town. 

Cheeseburger ‘n’ Fries Casser0le

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 2 lbs of lean ground beef in a skillet over medium heat and drain. Stir in a can of golden mushroom soup and a can of cheddar cheese soup. Pour into a greased baking dish. Arrange a package of frozen crinkle-cut French fries on top. Bake, uncovered, for 50-55 minutes.

SHOPPING LIST: 

24 oz of mozzarella cheese

Eggs

Soy milk (or other nondairy milk)

Non dairy butter alternative

3 prebaked Italian bread shell crust (14 oz)

3 red onions

3 tomatoes

Butternut squash

6 carrots

3-18 persimmons (depending on size)

Rutabaga

Corn

Sweet potato

Cranberries

Strawberries

Guava

Papaya (1 large or 3 small)

3-6 grapefruits

Lemon

Orange

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 2 cups of leftover cooked chicken)

2 lbs lean ground beef

Pkg of frozen crinkle-cut fries (20 oz)

Can of golden mushroom soup (11 oz)

Can of cheddar cheese soup (11 oz)

Honey garlic BBQ sauce

Old-fashioned oats

Unsalted peanuts

Dried fruit – I recommend apricots, dates, and cherries

Dry roasted nuts – I recommend pecans and almonds

[Also needed: wheat germ, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ground flaxseed, ground ginger, shredded coconut, raisins, sliced almonds, honey, unsalted butter, vanilla, sugar, cornstarch, poppy seeds, flour, baking soda, baking powder]