Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce, Low-Fat Blue Cheese Dressing & Other Salad-Like Things

Creamy Cucumbers

Great summer recipe. If using as a side dish, cut recipe in half. 

1 cup mayo

1/4 each of cup of sugar and vinegar

1/t tsp of salt

4 cucumbers

  1. Slice cucumbers
  2. Combine mayo, sugar, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Add cucumbers. Stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.

I wouldn’t let this salad sit for more than 4 days in the fridge. As a single person, I make all the dressing on Sunday, but only slice two of the cucumbers. Then I mix the cucumbers with half the dressing in a large container and pour the remaining half of the dressing in a small container. Wednesday evening I slice the second pair of cucumbers and mix with the rest of the dressing. This recipe makes enough for me to have 6 good-sized portions for lunches and 4 smaller portions to accompany dinner.

 

Stuffed Apple

A great thing to bring to work for lunch or with you on a hike.

2 Tbsp of peanut butter

1 Tbsp of honey

1 tsp of raisins

Apple

  1. Core the apple. I don’t have an apple corer so I just use a paring knife. The tunnel needs to be a decent size.
  2. Combine peanut butter, honey, and raisins in bowl. Spoon into the center of the tunnel.
  3. Wrap in saran wrap for transport.

 

Low(er)-Fat Blue Cheese Dressing

My salad of choice for this is: assorted baby greens, grated red beets, yellow bell pepper, blueberries, blackberries, halved red grapes, walnuts, dried cherries, assorted seeds, blue cheese

1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese

1 cup of fat-free plain yogurt

2 Tbsp of chopped onion

2 garlic cloves

4 Tbsp of blue cheese

  1. Mince garlic cloves.
  2. Combine cottage cheese, yogurt, onion, garlic, and 2 Tbsp of crumbled blue cheese in blender and process until smooth. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp of blue cheese (crumbled, obviously).
  3. I also add another couple Tbsp of blue cheese to the entire salad because I love blue cheese, obviously.

 

Sugar-free Cranberry Sauce to Cranberry-Apple Salad

I wanted to make this salad for my friend who can’t have any kind of processed sugar. I originally started making this salad with store-bought canned cranberry sauce, but over the years I have learned how to make cranberry sauce at home that is WAY better (probably because my recipe entails brandy, rum, Grand Marnier, and amaretto), but it still contains sugar. This was an experimental recipe that I deemed successful! 

Bag of frozen cranberries

3/4 cup of pineapple juice (make sure it’s 100% juice and no sugar added)

1/2 cup of applesauce (again, make sure it is UNsweetened with NO sugar added)

Orange

2 apples

2 ribs of celery

1 cup of chopped walnuts

  1. Put cranberries, pineapple juice, applesauce, and 1/2 cup of water in pot and bring to boil.
  2. Keep on medium heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes.
  3. Reduce to a simmer. Zest the entire orange. Add zest to sauce. Cut orange in half and squeeze both halves to add juice to sauce as well. You can use a juicer if it is easier, but I don’t have one.
  4. Simmer 10 minutes and then remove from the heat.
  5. Cool completely and then store in fridge for at least 4 hours prior to mixing with remaining ingredients.
  6. Dice apples. Don’t peel them.
  7. Thinly slice celery ribs.
  8. Combine cranberry sauce, apples, and celery. Cover and refrigerate.
  9. Chop walnuts.
  10. When ready to serve, stir in walnuts.

I’m used to things being a little sweeter, so I will probably add 2-3 Tbsp of honey to the cranberry sauce next time, but that is totally optional.

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Baked Tomatoes

4 Tomatoesphoto (15)

Salt

Pepper

Brown sugar

Ritz Butter Garlic Crackers

Butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cut 4 tomatoes into 1/2″ slices. Arrange in a greased baking dish.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
  5. Crush 3/4 cup worth of cracker crumbs and crumble over top of tomatoes.
  6. Dot with 4 Tbsp of butter.
  7. Bake for 25-35 minutes.

Must Love Olives Salad

photo (1)2 celery ribs

2 garlic cloves

Olive oil

Olives

*Either 1 can of pitted ripe ones and 1 jar of stuffed ones or get a variety from the deli section of the grocery store. My favorite combination is to get a combination of black olives, green olives stuffed with blue cheese, and green olives stuffed with jalapenos. Olives stuffed with garlic are good too, but since there is already garlic in this recipe, I usually go with something else. You will need 11 oz of olives total.

  1. Drain and chop the olives.
  2. Chop the celery
  3. Mince the garlic cloves
  4. Combine olives, celery, and garlic in a bowl. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

 

Potato Sloppy Joe Bake (Dinner for Two Week 28)

Breakfast: Super Duper Healthy Breakfast Cookies, Potato Sloppy Joe Bake
Lunch: Bean Burritos, Herbed Cheese and Tomato Sandwich, banana, dark chocolate, and mangoes, nectarines, oranges
Dinner: Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut Squash and asparagus, avocado, broccoflower, broccoli
Dessert: Peach Crisp
Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut Squash
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 Tbsp pf minced garlic, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, and 1/2 tsp of dried rubbed sage in a small bowl. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Rub garlic mixture under loosened skin. Place chicken, breast side up, on rack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Place rack in broiler pan.
  3. Cut 12 oz of red potatoes into wedges. Cube and peel 8 oz of butternut squash – should end up with 1 1/2 cups.
  4. Combine potatoes, squash, butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Arrange vegetable mixture around chicken. Bake at 400° for 1 hour or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 165°. Let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin.
Herbed Cheese and Tomato Sandwich
Spread 1 Tbsp of spicy brown mustard on an English muffin. Add 1/4 cup of cottage cheese on one half. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of chopped chives and garlic powder to taste. On the other half, add 2 slices of tomatoes, 1/4 of a sliced avocado, and a leaf of butter lettuce.
Potato Sloppy Joe Bake
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cook 1 lb of ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Drain. Add a can of sloppy joe sauce and a can of cream of potato soup. Place a package of frozen cubed hashbrown potatoes in a greased baking dish. Top with beef mixture.
  3. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover. Bake 10 minutes longer. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bean Burritos
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook enough long grain rice to equal 1 cup. Combine a can of refried beans, 1 cup of salsa, rice, and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese in a bowl. Spoon about 1/3 cup off-center of each of the 12 flour tortillas. Fold the sides and ends over filling and roll up.
Arrange burritos in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Peach Crisp
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel and roughly chop peaches directly into baking dish. You can use a vegetable peeler and a paring knife, but you can also blanch stone fruits to get the skin off.
In a food processor, blend 1/2 cup of flour, 3/4 cup of brown sugar, a pinch of salt, and 6 Tbsp of chilled cubed butter or Earth Balance with several on-off pulses or only until the mixture looks like a coarse meal. Add 1 cup of quick or rolled oats and pulse a few more times to break them up.
Spread topping over fruit. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Depending on the juiciness of the fruit and how full you filled your dish, you may want to put some foil below the pan in the oven to catch any overflow.

Super Duper Healthy Breakfast Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl mix 1 cup of rolled oats, 1/4 cup of almond meal, 2 Tbsp of chia seeds, 1 cup of coconut flakes, 1/2 cup of chopped mixed nuts, 1 cup of mixed dried fruit, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp of allspice.  In a separate bowl, mash 3 bananas with a fork until it’s all gooey.  Add 1/2 cup of applesauce and 1 tsp of vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, and mix until is well incorporated.  If the mixture seems too dry, just add more applesauce.  Place heaping tablespoon-fulls onto a cookie sheet, mold into rounds, and press down slightly.  Bake for 20 minutes.

 

SHOPPING LIST:

Butter or Earth Balance

Low-fat cottage cheese

12 flour tortillas (6-7″)

English muffins

Lemon

3 mangoes

2 bunches of bananas

8 peaches

6 nectarines

6 oranges

Tomato

Chives

Asparagus

4 avocados

Broccoflower

Broccoli

Butter lettuce

Butternut squash

12 oz red potatoes

1 lb ground beef

3.5 lb roasting chicken

Pkg of frozen cubed hashbrown potatoes (32 oz)

Can of sloppy joe sauce (15.5 oz)

Can of condensed cream of potato soup (11 oz)

Unsweetened applesauce

Spicy brown mustard

Dried rubbed sage

Dark chocolate

[Also needed: cheddar cheese, rolled oats, almond meal, chia seeds, coconut flakes, mixed nuts (pecans), mixed dried fruit (raisins/blueberries), salt, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla extract, flour, brown sugar, garlic, pepper, cooking spray, butter]

Garlic Rosemary Turkey and then What to Do With the Leftovers (Dinner for Two Week 25)

Breakfast: Croissant or Danish

Lunch: Leftovers + pomegranate, raspberries, apple, grapes

Dinner: Garlic Rosemary Turkey, Pesto Turkey Penne, Mock Lobster with mac n cheese and coleslaw, Pork Roast, rice or potatoes, tomatoes, squash, black salsify

Flourless Honey-Almond Cake

  1. Take 4 eggs out of the fridge 15 minutes before starting recipe or submerge them in lukewarm (not hot) water for 5 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper.
  3. Toast 1 1/2 cups of whole almonds. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes, stirring once.
  4. Process almonds in a food processor or blender until finely ground.
  5. Separate the eggs with the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another.
  6. Beat egg yolks, 1/2 cup honey, 1 tsp of vanilla, 1/2 tsp of baking soda, and 1/2 tsp of salt in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer (or use a paddle attachment on a stand mixer) on medium speed until well combined. Add the ground almonds and beat on low until combined.
  7. Beat egg whites in another large bowl with the electric mixer (use clean beaters on a hand-held mixer or the whisk attachment on a stand mixer) on medium speed until very foamy, white and doubled in volume, but not stiff enough to hold peaks, 1 to 2 minutes (depending on the type of mixer). Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the nut mixture until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  8. Bake the cake about 28 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and gently remove the side ring. Let cool completely.
  9. Remove the cake from the pan bottom by gently sliding a large, wide spatula between the cake and the parchment paper. Carefully transfer the cake to a serving platter. To serve, drizzle the top of the cake with 2 Tbsp of honey and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of toasted sliced almonds. (To toast sliced almonds, cook in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for 2-4 minutes.)

Tomato-Mustard Pork Roast

Cut a 3 lb boneless pork roast in half. Place in a slow cooker. Combine 1 can of tomato sauce, 3/4 cup of soy sauce, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 2 tsp of ground mustard. Pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours. Remove roast to a serving platter and keep warm. Skim fat from pan juices and thicken for gravy.

Mock Lobster

Cut 1 1/2 – 2 lb of partially thawed cod/haddock fillets into 2″ x 2″ pieces. Place in a skillet. Cover with water. Add 1 1/2 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of seafood seasoning and 1 tsp of paprika. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Drain.

Cover with cold water. Add 3 Tbsp of vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Drain. Serve with melted butter, seafood sauce, macaroni ‘n’ cheese, and coleslaw.

Garlic Rosemary Turkey

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 6-8 small slits in the skin of a whole 12 lb turkey. Insert 6-8 whole garlic cloves between skin and meat. Cut two lemons in half and squeeze two halves inside the turkey and leave them inside. Squeeze remaining lemon over outside of turkey. Spray the turkey with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with 2 tsp of dried crushed rosemary and 1 tsp of rubbed sage.

Place on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour. Cover and bake 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours. Serve with gravy.

Save 2 cups of cooked turkey for the recipe below.

Pesto Penne

Cook 8 oz of penne pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, whisk together an envelope of pesto sauce mix, 3/4 cup of milk, and 1/4 cup of olive oil, in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Add 2 cups of cooked cubed turkey (or chicken). Heat through. Drain pasta. Add to the sauce and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

SHOPPING LIST:

Parmesan cheese

Eggs

Croissants (I like chocolate ones best!)

Danishes (I like apple ones best!)

Coleslaw package and dressing

3 tomatoes (try yellow ones for a change)

2 yellow squashes, depending on the season

6 black salsify

6 apples

Grapes

2 lemons

3-6 pomegranates

Raspberries

3 lb boneless pork roast

2 lb whole turkey

1 1/2 – 2 lbs of fresh or frozen cod or haddock fillets

Can of tomato sauce (8 oz)

Penne pasta (8 oz)

Macaroni ‘n’ cheese (like Kraft Dinner)

Envelope of pesto sauce mix

Envelope of gravy mix

Seafood seasoning

Dried rosemary

Rubbed sage

Whole almonds

Semi-sweet chocolate (4 oz)

Coconut sugar

Dried tart cherries

[Also needed: (whole) milk, olive oil, salt, (salted) butter, vinegar, paprika, honey, vanilla, baking soda, sliced almonds, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, ground mustard, cream of tartar]

Pasta with Sausage and Tomatoes (Dinner for Two Week 24)

Breakfast: Vegan No-Sugar Oat Drops

Lunch: Cheesy Crab Burritos + grapefruit, pomegranate

Dinner: BBQ Steak Flatbread, Pasta with Sausage and Tomatoes, Broiled Orange Roughy, rice, yellow beets, yellow bell peppers, lettuce

Dessert: Crepes with peaches, raspberries, and icing sugar

Broiled Orange Roughy (or Red Snapper or Haddock)

If frozen, thaw  1 1/2 lbs of orange roughy, red snapper, or haddock fillets. Place fillets in a shallow dish. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of garlic powder. Combine 1/4 cup of melted butter, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of soy sauce. Pour over fish and turn. Marinate for 10 minutes.

Drain and discard marinade. Place fillets on a broiler pan. Broil* 3-4 inches from the heat for 10 minutes, turning once. Sprinkle with paprika.

*Can also be cooked on an outdoor grill for easy kitchen clean up

Cheesy Crab Burritos

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine a package of softened cream cheese and 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese in a mixing bowl. Stir in a flaked package of imitation crabmeat. Spoon down the centre of 8 flour tortillas. Roll up tightly and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with salsa.

Serve with a green lettuce (I recommend lettuce, yellow bell peppers, and yellow beets), rice, and beans.

Crepes

I featured the recipe I use for crepes last week. I made them again this week, but with raspberries, peaches, and icing sugar instead of sliced strawberries.

https://theshortchef.wordpress.com/2014/05/24/pizza-burger-and-fries-dinner-for-two-week-23/

No-Sugar Vegan Oat Drops

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of regular rolled oats (or whatever type of oats you have on hand), 1/4 cup of almond meal (or another nutmeal of your choice), 1/2 cup of finely chopped mixed nuts and 1 cup of coconut flakes. Stir in 1/2 tsp of allspice and 1 tsp of cinnamon. Add 1 cup of dried fruit/chocolate chips/berries (I usually do 1/3 cup of each but if you truly want no-sugar, skip the chocolate chips). Stir. Make sure the dried fruit do not stick together in big batches.
In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup of canola oil (or oil of your choice), 3 mashed banana and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until well combined. 

Take a large cookie cutter and press spoonfuls of the batter into it. Remove cookie cutter.  Or simply form balls with your hands and flatten slightly. Bake for about 20 minutes.

***Applesauce or 2 eggs could be subbed for mashed bananas, if you prefer***

Pasta with Sausage and Tomatoes

Cook and drain a package of your favorite pasta according to box directions. Cook 1 lb of bulk Italian sausage in a skillet over medium heat. Drain. Add 2 cans of diced tomatoes (don’t drain them) and 1 1/2 tsp of chopped fresh basil or 1/2 tsp of dried basil. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Serve immediately over pasta.

BBQ Steak Flatbread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grill and cube a small round steak. Place a prebaked Italian flatbread on a pizza pan. Spread with 2/3 cup of honey garlic BBQ sauce. Sprinkle with a chopped red onion, cubed steak, and 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake for 10 minutes.

SHOPPING LIST:

Cream cheese (8 oz)

Cheddar cheese (8 oz)

Mozzarella cheese (8 oz)

Soy milk

Non dairy butter alternative

Eggs

 Prebaked Italian flatbread (14 oz)

8 10″ flour tortillas

3-6 grapefruits

3-6 pomegranates

Raspberries

One other kind of berry

Lemon

2 peaches

Bananas

Red onion

6 yellow beets

3 yellow bell peppers

Lettuce

Fresh or dried basil

Paprika

Round steak (small)

1 lb Italian bulk sausage

Pkg of imitation crabmeat (8 oz)

1 1/2 lb fresh/frozen orange roughy, red snapper, or haddock

2 cans of diced tomatoes (16 oz ea)

Can of your favorite beans

Salsa

Pkg of your favorite pasta (12 oz)

Rice

[Also needed: honey garlic BBQ sauce, rolled oats, coconut flakes, cinnamon, allspice, salt, almond meal, mixed nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, vanilla, cornstarch, sugar, poppy seeds, icing sugar, garlic powder, butter, lemon juice, canola oil]

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]

Chocolate Panna Cotta Notta (Dinner for Two Week 17)

Breakfast: Olive Oil Granola, Breakfast Kabobs, Breakfast Treats, Cinnamon bun

Lunch: Black currants, blackberries, blueberries, dried plums

Dinner: Salsa Fish, ginger and garlic rice, zucchini or cauliflower

Dessert: Blueberry Pudding Cake or Chocolate Panna Cotta Notta

Chocolate Panna Cotta Notta

In a saucepan add 2 cups of almond milk and 4 tsp of agar agar powder. Let it sit for 5 minutes to allow agar agar to soften.

In a medium bowl add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, 1/4 cup of coconut oil, and 1/4 cup of agave nectar. Stir to combine ingredients thoroughly and set aside.

Bring almond milk/agar mix and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract to a simmer, then reduce and cook for 8 minutes.  Add chocolate mixture and stir to combine for 30 seconds.  Remove from heat.

Pour into 4 ramekins or small glasses.  (Use ramekins if you plan to turn out onto plates.  Use glasses if you intend to serve panna cotta’s in their own containers.)

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

To release panna cotta from ramekins – run a knife around edges of panna cotta and place individual ramekin into warm water for approximately 30 seconds.  Put plate on top of ramekin and turn over to release panna cotta from ramekin.

Top with chopped almonds and flaked coconut for extra flair.

*You can also use a vanilla bean, instead of vanilla extract in this recipe.  Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds.  Place the pod and seeds in the almond milk and agar agar mixture just before you start to simmer the mixture.  Remove the pods before adding in the chocolate.

Salsa Fish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 2 lbs of fish fillets in 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs. Brown fillets in 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a skillet. Arrange in a greased baking dish. Top with 1 1/2 of salsa, 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup of shredded provolone cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 7-10 minutes.

Blueberry Pudding Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Oil a circular deep ceramic pie or gratin dish.

In a mixer combine 3/4 cup of almond meal, 3/4 cup of gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1/4 tsp of xantham gum, 2 tsp of gluten-free baking powder and 1/4 tsp of salt. Mix on low speed until combined.
Mix 2/3 cup of soymilk (or regular skim), 1/3 cup of agave nectar, and 1/3 cup of egg whites in a smaller bowl. Add to the dry ingredients in the mixer and mix well to form the batter.

Place 2 cups of frozen blueberries on the bottom of the pre-oiled dish. Place the ceramic dish on top of a cookie sheet to catch drips during baking. Pour the batter on top of the berries. Mix 1/4 cup of turbinado sugar with 1 Tbsp of arrowroot. Sprinkle the sugar mixture on top of the batter. Pour the boiling water carefully on top of the whole thing and bake for 55-60 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Notes: 3/4 cup of regular all-purpose flour can be substituted for the gluten-free all-purpose flour mix and xantham gum if you are not on a gluten- or wheat-free diet. 

Refrigerate the leftovers. It’s great cold, especially with coffee!

Cornstarch can be substituted for arrowroot. 

For an extra special touch, make a batch of fresh whipped cream with a little agave nectar and a tsp of hazelnut or almond extract. Yum!

Olive Oil Granola

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats, 1 1/2 cups of raw pistachios, 3/4 cup of pumpkin seeds, 1/2 cup of wheat germ, 1/2 cup of ground flax seed, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of cardamom, and mix together. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 3/4 cup of pure maple syrup and 1/4 cup of light brown sugar, and whisk until fully combined. Add wet mixture to the oat mixture, and stir to fully coat.

Spread the granola mixture in an even, single layer on rimmed, parchment-lined baking sheets, working in batches if necessary.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Stir 1 cup of shredded coconut into the mixture prior to the final 10 minutes of baking.

Remove from the oven and fully cool before serving. Store in an air tight container.

Breakfast Treats

Wrap plain smoked sausage with half a strip of bacon. Secure with a toothpick. Place in a baking dish and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Breakfast Kabobs

Cut a package of brown ‘n’ serve sausage links in half. Drain a can of pineapple chunks. Alternatively thread sausages, pineapple chunks, and mushrooms onto metal or soaked bamboo skewers. Brush with 2 Tbsp of melted butter and some maple syrup.

Grill, uncovered, over medium-hot heat, turning and basting with syrup, for 8 minutes. Serve with your favorite egg dish.

SHOPPING LIST:

Whipped cream

4 oz mozzarella cheese

4 oz provolone cheese

Soymilk (or regular skim)

Almond milk (unsweetened)

24 pack of eggs

Cinnamon buns

10 mushrooms

Zucchini

Cauliflower

Garlic

Ginger

Black currants

Blackberries

Pkg of brown ‘n’ serve sausage links

Plain smoked sausage

Bacon

2 lbs fish fillets (walleye, bass, or perch)

2 pkgs frozen blueberries

Can of pineapple chunks (20 oz)

Salsa

Ground flaxseed

Cardamom

Xanthum gum (or regular all-purpose flour)

Arrowroot

Turbinado sugar

Agar agar powder

Agave nectar

Hazelnut or almond extract

Dried plums

Almonds

[Also needed: butter, pure maple syrup, light brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, extra virgin olive oil, shredded/flaked coconut, gluten-free all-purpose flour, baking powder, seasoned bread crumbs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, coconut oil]

Chocolate Cookie Breakfast Cereal (Dinner for Two Week 15)

Breakfast: Chocolate Cookie Breakfast Cereal

Lunch: Cherry Coke Salad, Fruit Medley, Salad with French Salad Dressing, Papaya or Peach

Dinner: Mac and Cheese Tuna Casserole or Beef and Bean Skillet, Zucchini Pancakes, Egg Noodles, Green pepper or Leafy greens

Dessert: Bananas Foster Loaf Cake

French Salad Dressing

Combine 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, 2 Tbsp of vinegar, 3/4 tsp of salt, 1 minced garlic clove, and a dash of pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well. Store in the refrigerator.

Mac and Cheese Tuna Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a package of macaroni and cheese according to package directions. Stir in a can of cream of celery soup, a drained and flaked can of tuna, and 1/2 cup of milk. Pour into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and minced fresh parsley. Bake, uncovered, for 2o minutes.

Bananas Foster Loaf Cake                               Gluten-free, Dairy-free!

3 – 4 large bananas
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter or shortening, in 1 piece
1   large egg plus 1 large egg white
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1   cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1   tsp baking powder
1   tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
½ cup canola oil or melted coconut oil (unflavored or virgin)

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°. Grease a loaf pan. Trim both ends off each of 3 bananas so the bananas will fit crosswise in the pan. Peel the ends and the long pieces and halve the long ones lengthwise. Transfer to a plate.
2. In a large, heavy skillet, bring ¼ cup sugar and 2 Tbsp of water to a boil, without stirring. Cook until the water evaporates and the mixture just starts turning amber. Remove from the heat and swirl in the butter with a fork. Add the banana pieces cut side down and cook over low heat for 1 minute. Transfer the banana pieces to the prepared loaf pan, arranging them crosswise, cut side down. Drizzle the remaining caramel on top.
3. Transfer 1 cup of the banana ends (add more banana if necessary to equal 1 cup) to a medium bowl. Mash with the remaining ½ cup sugar. Beat in the egg, egg white and vanilla.
4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the banana mixture and oil and whisk until blended. Scrape the batter over the bananas in the pan and bake 50-55 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes and then invert onto a serving platter and let cool completely.

Chocolate Cookie Breakfast Cereal

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free corn flour
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp Stevia
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the middle. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spray the pan first with some cooking spray so the paper sticks to it. Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Mix peanut butter with warm butter or coconut oil until there are no lumps. Stir in water. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
  • Spread the batter as thin as possible on the cookie sheet with a spatula. About 1/8″ is good. Try to keep the same thickness throughout the batter. Bake for about 22-25 minutes. Leave oven on and remove baking pan. Carefully place on a cutting board (be sure parchment is removed too, it can go back in the pan for the next step.) Cut strips of dough with a pizza cutter or serrated knife, then cut into squares. 1/2 inch is a good size that fits well on a spoon.
  • Arrange cereal squares back on sheet pan in a single layer. Put back in the oven and bake for another 3-5 minutes per side, flipping once. Be sure to watch they do not burn. Your cookie cereal will crisp up more as it cools. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Egg Noodles

Beat 1 egg, plus 3 yolks until light and fluffy in a mixing bowl. Add 3 Tbsp of cold water and 1 tsp of salt. Mix well. Stir in 2 cups of all-purpose flour. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth. Divide into thirds.

Roll out each portion to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut noodles to desired width. Cook immediately in boiling salted water or chicken broth for 7-9 minutes. Drain. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.

Zucchini Pancakes

Shred 2 zucchinis and lightly beat 1 egg. Combine zucchini, egg, 2 Tbsp of biscuit/baking mix, and 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls and flatten. Fry until golden brown. Turn and cook the other side.

Fruit Medley

Combine a can of peach or apricot pie filling, 2 drained cans of fruit cocktail, a drained can of pineapple chunks, and a drained can of mandarin oranges in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Stir in a few slices of banana to each serving just before eating.

Cherry Coke Salad

Drain a can of crushed pineapple, but reserve juice. Set fruit aside. Bring pineapple juice and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a pot. Add 2 packages of cherry gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Stir in a can of cherry pie filling and 3/4 cup of cola. Pour into a serving bowl. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. Fold in reserved pineapple. Refrigerate until firm.

Bean and Beef Skillet                              I usually double the batch and use half as a dip for tortilla chips as a late night snack

Cook 1 lb of ground beef and a chopped onion over medium heat in a large skillet. Drain. Stir in a can of baked beans and 1/4 cup of ketchup. Heat through. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Cover and cook on low until cheese is melted.

SHOPPING LIST:

Cheddar cheese (12 oz)

Parmesan cheese

Eggs

2 onions

2 zucchinis

3 green peppers

Leafy greens

Parsley

Bananas

Papaya

6 peaches

2 lb ground beef

Can of tuna (6 oz)

2 cans of baked beans (28 oz)

Can of condensed cream of celery soup (11 oz)

1 can of crushed pineapple, 1 can of pineapple chunks

2 cans of pie fillings – one cherry and one peach or apricot (21 oz each)

2 cans of fruit cocktail

Can of mandarin oranges

2 pkgs of cherry gelatin

Tortilla chips

Can of cola

Biscuit/baking mix

Gluten-free oat flour

Cocoa powder

Fine sea salt

Natural peanut butter

Gluten-free all-purpose flour

Pkg of macaroni and cheese

[Also needed: ketchup, vegetable oil, salt, all-purpose flour, butter, vanilla extract, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, canola oil, coconut oil, milk, vinegar, garlic, pepper]

Cinnamon, Spice, and Everything Nice Fruit Dip (Dinner for Two Week 13)

Breakfast: Coconut granola and strawberries

Lunch: Pasta bean or French bean salad, Fruit dip with apples, pears, strawberries, pineapple slices, apricots, and watermelon

Dinner: Ravioli casserole or Oven-roasted potatoes, Chayote squash or Chinese cabbage

Dessert: Cake

 

Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake

  1. Place 10 egg whites in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 1/4 cup of white rice flour, 1/4 cup of tapioca flour, and 1/4 cup of potato starch together twice. Set aside.
  2. Add 1 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar, 3/4 tsp of salt and 3/4 tsp of vanilla to egg whites. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold in flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.
  3. Gently spoon into an ungreased tube pan. Cut through the batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake on the lowest oven rack for 45-50 minutes. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.
  4. Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate. Top with fresh fruit. I recommend balls of cantaloupe, cape gooseberries, and kiwi as it makes the cake look more interesting that your typical berry mix. 

 

Coconut Granola

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine 3 cups of whole-rolled oats, 1/4 cup of chia seeds, 1/2 cup of raw sliced almonds, 1/2 cup of unsalted sunflower seeds, and 1/4 tsp of salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup of coconut oil, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and 1/4 cup of honey.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry , and mix well so the oat mixture is fully coated.
  5. Spread mixture in an even, single layer on the prepared baking sheet. (Work in batches or on multiple sheets if necessary!)
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  7. After removing the granola from the oven, stir in 1/2 cup of coconut flakes. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

 

Pasta Bean Salad

Cook a package of tricolor spiral pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, place a package of frozen California-blend vegetables in a glass dish. Cover and microwave for 7-8 minutes. Drain. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water.

Drain a can of sliced ripe olives and drain and rinse a can of your favorite beans. Combine pasta, vegetables, olives, and beans in a bowl. Combine 1 1/3 cups of Italian salad dressing and 1/2 tsp of garlic salt. Pour over salt and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

 

Ravioli Casserole                              I usually double the recipe using a second kind of ravioli for variety throughout the week

Preheat oven to to 350 degrees. Cook and drain a package of cheese ravioli. Spread 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce in an ungreased baking dish. Layer with half of the ravioli, 1 1/4 cups of spaghetti sauce, 1 cup of cottage cheese, and 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

[8-10 cups of cooked ravioli may be used instead]

 

Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice 2 lbs of red potatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Combine potatoes, 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, and an envelope of dry onion soup mix in a large Ziplock bag. Shake until well coated. Empty bag into an ungreased baking pan.

Cover and bake for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer.

 

Cinnamon ‘n’ Spice Fruit Dip

Combine 2 cups of whipped topping, 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg in a small bowl. Store in the fridge. Serve with fresh fruit – apples, pears, pineapple slices, and strawberries are best.

 

French Bean Salad

Cook and crumble 3 bacon strips. Combine 2 cups of thawed French-style green beans, 2 Tbsp of chopped onion, and bacon in a serving bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup of ranch salad dressing. Refrigerate until serving.

 

SHOPPING LIST:

Cottage cheese (16 oz)

Mozzarella cheese (16 oz)

Parmesan cheese

2 apples

2 pears

6 apricots

5 cape gooseberries

Kiwi

Pineapple

Watermelon

Cantaloupe

Chinese cabbage

3 chayote squash

2 pkgs of strawberries

2 lbs red potatoes

Onion

Bacon

Whipped topping

Frozen French-style green beans

Pkg of frozen cheese ravioli and pkg your favorite frozen ravioli other than cheese (28 oz ea)

Pkg of frozen California-blend vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)

Can of sliced ripe olives (2 oz)

Can of your favorite kind of beans

Can of whole kernel corn (15 oz)

Can of condensed cream of chicken soup (11 oz)

Ranch salad dressing

Spaghetti sauce (28 oz)

Coconut oil

Dry onion soup mix

Pkg of tricolor spiral pasta

[Also needed: brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vegetable oil, Italian salad dressing, garlic salt, salt, maple syrup, honey, coconut flakes, vanilla extract]