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]

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Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars (Dinner for Two Week 19)

Breakfast: Pineapple Ham Bake, Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars, or Yogurt

Lunch: Leftovers + prunes, figs, grapes, raisins

Dinner: Italian Flank Steak, Mini Sausage Pizzas, or Honey Mustard Chicken, rice or potatoes with onion, parsnip and shallot

Dessert: Key-Lime Avocado Pie

Italian Flank Steak

Combine 2 envelopes of fat-free Italian salad dressing mix, 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil, and 1 Tbsp of lemon juice. Brush onto both sides of a 1 lb flank steak. Place in a shallow dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Grill over hot heat for 3 minutes per side.

Mini Sausage Pizzas

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook 1 lb of bulk pork sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain well. Beat 2 5 oz jars of sharp American cheese spread, 1/4 cup of butter, and 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper in a small mixing bowl. Stir in sausage. Split 12 English muffins. Spread cheese mixture on cut sides of each muffin half.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.

This pizzas freeze really well. Wrap them individually and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, unwrap, place on a baking sheet, and bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes. 

Key-Lime Avocado Pie

To make the crust: In a food processor, combine 3/4 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut, 1/4 cup of unsalted macadamia  nuts, 1/2 tsp of lime zest, and 1/8 tsp of salt, and chop coarsely. Add 1 tsp of lime juice and 1/2 cup of chopped dates and process until it sticks together. Sprinkle a 9″ pie plate with 2 Tbsp of coconut and pat the crust on top and up the sides of the plate. Chill while making filling.

To make filling: Combine 1 1/2 cup of avocado, 1/3 cup of fresh lime juice, 1/3 cup of honey or agave, 4 Tbsp of refined coconut oil, and 1/4 tsp of salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. You may have to add more lime juice and honey/agave depending on the moisture in the avocado. If it needs more liquid, I recommend adding equal parts of both. Adjust flavors to taste. Pour over crust and chill 4-6 hours. Garnish with zest of half a lime and some lime slices.

Note: Unrefined coconut oil can be used, but it will give the pie a more coconut flavor. I prefer it that way, but some like the traditional key-lime flavor better. 

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper comes over the sides. (You’re going to lift it up later to easily remove the bars from the pan without making a mess.)

Mix 1/2 cup of vanilla whey protein powder, 1/4 cup of your choice of flour, 1/2 cup of rolled oats, 1/2 cup of spelt flakes, 1/3 cup of spelt bran, 1/4 cup of wheat germ, 1/2 tsp of sea salt, 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of nutmeg, 1/8 tsp of cardamom, 1/8 tsp of allspice, 1/2 cup of organic dried apples and 1/2 cup of peeled and grated apple in one bowl.

Mix 2 Tbsp of honey or agave, 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce, 2 Tbsp of melted coconut butter, and 1 tsp of vanilla in another bowl.

Combine well by stirring with a spoon. The batter should be chunky.

Pour the batter into the lined baking pan and use another piece of parchment and even off the surface.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and lift the parchment paper ‘handles’ out. Allow the bars to cool for about 15 minutes and then slice into 8 even rectangles.

Pineapple Ham Bake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 2 undrained cans of crushed pineapple, 2/3 cup of packed brown sugar, 1 Tbsp of vinegar, and 2 tsp of ground mustard in an ungreased baking dish. Mix well. Cut 1 lb of fully cooked ham into bite-size pieces. Stir into pineapple mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Honey-Mustard Chicken

Flatten 4 chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness. Combine 1 cup of dry bread crumbs and 1 tsp of Dijon mustard in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Combine 3 Tbsp of honey and 2 Tbsp of Dijon mustard in another shallow bowl or pie plate.  Dip chicken in honey-mustard mixture and then coat with crumbs.

Cook chicken in 2 Tbsp of butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat on both sides for about 8 minutes.

SHOPPING LIST:

Yogurt

Gluten-free pie crust (9″)

12 English muffins

Bread

Onion

3 parsnips

2 avocados

Lrg bag of potatoes

Shallot

Prunes (6 loose or a container)

6 figs

Apple

4 limes (or 1 lime, plus lime juice)

Dates

Lemon (or lemon juice)

Grapes

1 lb flank steak

1 lb bulk pork sausage

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

2 cans of crushed pineapple (8 oz each)

Dried apples (organic preferably)

Raisins

Spelt flakes

Spelt bran

Allspice

2 envelopes of fat-free Italian salad dressing mix

Coconut butter

Refined coconut oil

2 jars of American cheese spread [like Cheez Whiz] (5 oz ea)

Frozen blueberries

[Also needed: lemon juice, vegetable oil, shredded (unsweetened) coconut, unsalted macadamia nuts, dry bread crumbs, ground mustard, salt, Dijon mustard, vanilla whey protein powder, honey, flour, rolled oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, sea salt, wheat germ, cardamom, brown sugar, agave nectar/syrup, vanilla, cayenne pepper, vinegar, unsweetened applesauce]