Gingerbread Pumpkin Squares (Dinner for Two Week 7)

Breakfast: Gingerbread Pumpkin Squares

Lunch: Corn Salad, Orange Buttermilk Salad, Ham, Nectarine or Peach, Nuts

Dinner: Italian Chicken Dinner or Peachy Pork and an endive

Dessert: Cool Waters Shake

Gingerbread Pumpkin Squares

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking pan with oil or non-stick spray.

Combine 1/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour, 3/4 cup of vanilla whey protein powder, 1/2 cup of oats, 2 tsp of baking powder, 1/2 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of ground cloves, 1/2 tsp of ground ginger, and 1/2 tsp of nutmeg in a medium-sized bowl and stir well. Stir together 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree, 3 Tbsp of molasses, 2 tsp of vanilla, and 3 packets of Stevia in a larger bowl until a smooth mixture forms.

Gradually pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of walnut pieces.

Scrape the batter into the greased pan and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool before trying to remove the cake. Lift it out of the pan with a large flipper and cut into 9 squares.

Orange Buttermilk Salad

Bring a can of crushed pineapple to a boil in a pot. Remove from the heat. Add a package of orange gelatin and stir to dissolve. Add 2 cups of buttermilk and mix well. Cool to room temperature. Fold in carton of thawed whipped topping. Pour into a dish. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Cut into squares. Great side dish to ham.

Creamy Corn Salad

Combine a drained can of whole kernel corn, a seeded and diced tomato, 2 Tbsp of chopped onion, 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, and 1/4 tsp of dill weed in a small bowl. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Peachy Pork

Cut 1 lb of pork tenderloin into 1/4 inch slices. Saute in a large skillet in 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil for 4 minutes. Add 4 minced garlic cloves. Cook and stir 1 minute longer. Stir in a jar of salsa and 1/4 cup of peach preserves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Serve over rice.

Italian Chicken Dinner

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut up a 3 lb fryer/broiler chicken and place in a greased baking dish. Cut up 1 lb of red potatoes into chunks and arrange around chicken. Drizzle with 3/4 cup of Italian salad dressing. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of Italian seasoning and 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover. Bake 20-30 minutes longer.

Cool Waters Shake

Combine 3/4 cup of cold milk, 2 Tbsp of berry blue gelatin, and 3/4 cup of vanilla ice cream in a blender. Cover and process for 30 seconds. Pour into a glass and drink immediately.

Stovetop Snacks

Saute 2 cups of nuts in 2 Tbsp of oil or melted butter over medium-high heat, stirring often, until they begin to brown. Sprinkle with your choice of seasonings (salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, curry powder, etc], tossing the nuts with a wooden spoon. Turn out onto paper towels to cool, then store in an airtight container.

SHOPPING LIST:

Almond milk

Buttermilk

Parmesan cheese

Red potatoes (at least 2 lbs)

6 nectarines

6 peaches

Tomato

3 endives

Onion

Garlic

Ham

1 lb pork tenderloin

Broiler/fryer chicken (3 lbs)

Vanilla ice cream (at least 1 quart)

Frozen whipped topping (8 oz)

Salsa (16 oz)

Can of whole kernel corn (15 oz)

Can of crushed pineapple (20 oz)

Peach preserves

Pumpkin puree

2 pkgs of berry blue and 1 pkg of orange gelatin

Rice

Walnuts

Italian seasoning

Dill weed

Ground ginger

Molasses

Stevia

Chocolate chips

Potato starch

[Also needed: nuts, vegetable oil, butter, favorite seasoning, milk (at least 1 L), mayonnaise]

Chuck Wagon Dinners (Dinner for Two Week 4)

Breakfast: Smoothie

Lunch: Burger or Chili Baked Potato, Cheese Wedges, bananas or strawberries

Dinner: Chicken Cordon Bleu or Cube Steak; rice or baked potato; mixed vegetables

Chuck Wagon Burgers

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine 2 lbs of ground beef, an envelope of onion soup mix, and 1/2 cup of water in a bowl. Mix well. Shape into 8 3/4 inch patties. Grill, uncovered, or broil 4 inches from the heat for 5-6 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, take apart a tube of large refrigerated biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with an 1/8 tsp of seasoning salt. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Split. Top each biscuit with a hamburger.

5-Can Chili Topping

Combine a can of chili with beans, a drained can of mixed vegetables, a drained can of whole kernel corn, a can of diced tomatoes, and a can of green chilies in a pot. Heat through.

Baked Potatoes (4 Methods – Pick the one that works best for your schedule!)

Rub potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and prick them with the tines of a fork.

  1. The original method for (crispy skins): Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lay potatoes directly on the rack or place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes.
  2. The traditional method (soft skins): Preheat oven to 435 degrees. Wrap potatoes in tin foil. Lay potatoes directly on the rack or place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes.
  3. The quickest method (soft skins): Place potatoes in a glass dish and microwave for 5 minutes. Turn over and microwave another 3-5 minutes.
  4. The working-girl method (soft skins): Wrap potatoes in tin foil and place in slow cooker. Cook on low for low for 8-10 hours.

Top with chili, sour cream, chives or green onions, cooked and crumbled bacon, and cheddar cheese.

Broiled Chicken Cordon Bleu

Place 4 chicken breasts on the rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 3 minutes. Turn and broil 3 minutes on the other side. Brush with 1/4 cup of melted butter. Continue turning and basting about 4 minutes.

Place a slice of deli meat on each chicken breast. Broil for 1-2 minutes. Spread 1 Tbsp of honey mustard dressing over each. Top with a slice of deli cheese. Broil for 30 seconds.

Note: You can do them all the same if you want, as in all with ham and Swiss, for example. I like to make them all different so it feels like a different meal when we reheat leftovers the next day. Plus, I prefer stronger flavored cheeses, like sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack, while my boyfriend prefers milder ones, like mozzarella and Swiss. With a variety to choose from, it kind of feels like we went out for dinner at a restaurant!

Seasoned Cube Steaks

Combine 1 cup of soy sauce, 1 tsp of dried minced garlic, and 1 tsp of dried minced onion in a large Ziplock bag. Add 4 cube steaks. Seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes, turning once.

Drain and discard marinade. Place steaks on a greased broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from the heat for about 4 minutes on each side. Serve with mixed vegetables and rice or baked potatoes.

Cheese Wedges

Cut a package of extra sharp cheddar cheese into 1/2 inch slices. Cut each slice in half diagonally. Combine 1/3 cup of seasoned dry bread crumbs and 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes in a shallow bowl. [Note: You can omit crushed red pepper flakes if you don’t like spice.] Beat an egg in another bowl. Dip cheese triangles into egg, then in crumb mixture.

Place on a greased baking sheet. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 2-3 minutes. Serve cheese wedges warm with pizza sauce for sipping.

Strawberry Banana Shakes

Place 2 Tbsp of milk, 1/2 cup of strawberry ice cream,  and 1/2 firm banana (sliced) in a blender. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into glasses. Garnish with whipped cream and a strawberry, if desired.

SHOPPING LIST:

Extra sharp cheddar cheese (9 oz)

4 thin slices of deli cheese (I got one Swiss, one mozzarella, one Monterey Jack, and one cheddar)

Whipped cream

Sour cream

Eggs

Tube of large refrigerated biscuits

Bananas

Strawberries

Chives or green onions

Potatoes (about 20)

4 cube steaks (1 1/4 lbs)

2 lb ground beef

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

4 thin slices of deli cold cuts (I got 2 ham and 2 turkey)

Bacon

Strawberry ice cream

Can of pizza sauce

Can of chili with beans

2 cans of mixed vegetables

Can of whole kernel corn

Can of diced tomatoes

Can of green chilies

Soy sauce

Honey mustard salad dressing

Rice

Envelope of onion soup mix

Crushed red pepper flakes

Dried minced garlic

Dried minced onion

Seasoning salt

[Also needed: Seasoned bread crumbs, Milk, Butter]

Week 52!

Shopping List:

Pint of vanilla ice cream

Buttermilk (smallest one – I think its a 1 L)

Lemon

Lemon extract

6 boneless pork loin chops

Pkg of crushed stuffing mix (6 oz)

Can of apple pie filling with cinnamon (21 oz) [Or just add cinnamon on top afterwards]

Can of chili with beans (15 oz)

Can of mixed vegetables (15 oz)

Can of whole kernel corn (11 oz)

Can of tomato soup (11 oz)

Can of diced tomatoes

Can of green chilies

Dried plums

Carrots

[Also needed: vanilla, vegetable oil]

 

Lunch: Chili and dried plums

Dinner: Pork chops and carrots

Dessert: Milkshake

 

Six-Can Chili

Combine a can of chili with beans, a drained can of mixed vegetables, a drained can of whole kernel corn, a can of tomato soup, a can of diced tomatoes, and a can of green chilies in a pot and heat through.

(I use this recipe A LOT – I honestly ate it every day for two months once and never got tired of it. I found different things to do with the chili and started adding spices and would sometimes add other leftover vegetables I had. It’s still used as a staple in my house.)

 

CheeseShakes                                                                                   (One of the most delicious things in the world…)

Place 1/2 a pint of vanilla ice cream, 1/2 cup of buttermilk, 1/2 tsp of grated lemon peel, 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract, and a very small drop of lemon extract in a blender. Cover and process on high until smooth. Pour into a glass. Refrigerate any leftovers, but I doubt you will have any!

 

Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown 6 boneless pork loin chops in 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, prepare stuffing according to package directions. Spread a can of apple pie filling into a greased baking dish. [Sprinkle cinnamon on top if it’s not included in the can.] Place pork chops on top. Spoon stuffing over chops.

Cover and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer.

Week 50

Shopping List:

Caramel ice cream topping

Chocolate ice cream

Malted milk powder

Pecans

Baker’s chocolate

Unbaked deep-dish pastry shell

6 tomatoes

Bacon

4 oz cheddar cheese

Mayonnaise

Blackberries

Bananas

Greek yogurt

Eggs

Walnuts

[Buy a 1/2 L of milk this week. Also needed: whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, coconut oil, agave syrup or maple syrup, vanilla]

 

Breakfast: Doughnut and scrambled eggs

Lunch: Greek yogurt with blackberries and banana and 1/2 a sliced tomato drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper

Dinner: Tomato pie

Dessert: Chocolate malt

 

Banana Bread Doughnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat the doughnut pan with cooking spray and set aside. Note: If you don’t have a doughnut pan, you can either make these “doughnut muffins,” or pour the batter into a bundt pan for one giant doughnut! 

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 1/2 tsp of baking soda, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine 2 Tbsp of coconut oil, 2 ripe mashed bananas, 1/4 cup of agave or maple syrup, 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, 1 lightly beaten egg, and 1 tsp of vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and stir until just combined.

Now it’s time to fill the pan: Pour the batter into a resealable plastic bag (or a pastry bag). Cut off one corner of the bag, and squeeze batter into the prepared doughnut pan, making sure each indentation is about 3/4 full.

Top with 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts pieces, and lightly press them into the batter.

Bake for 14-16 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for a few minutes, then carefully turn out into a wire rack and cool fully. (Note: Baking time will vary if using a different type of pan. Cook until golden and spring back when touched.)

 

Tomato Bacon Pie                                                 (This is one of my favorite recipes!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake a deep-dish pastry shell according to package directions. Cool. Slice 3 tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Place tomatoes in the crust. Cook and crumble 10 strips of bacon. Sprinkle on tomatoes. Combine 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 1 cup of mayonnaise in a bowl. Spoon over bacon in the center of the pie, leaving 1 inch around the edge.

Bake for 30-40 minutes. You may want to cover the edges with foil to prevent overbrowning.

 

Chocolate Malts

Combine 3/4 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of caramel ice cream topping, 2 cups of chocolate ice cream, 3 Tbsp of malted milk powder, and 2 Tbsp of chopped pecans in a blender. Cover and process until blended. Pour into chilled glasses. Sprinkle with grated chocolate, if desired.

Week 48

Shopping List:

Grape juice concentrate

Vanilla ice cream

16 oz pkg of elbow macaroni

1 lb ground beef

16 oz jar of salsa

10 oz of process cheese (like Velveeta)

15 oz can of chili-style beans

Bacon

Onion

2 cans of whole kernel corn (15 oz each)

2 cans of diced tomatoes (14.5 oz each)

4 potatoes

Small watermelon

3 red peppers (the sweet ones)

[Buy a 1 L of milk this week]

[Note: I overspent last week so I aimed to spend less this week to make up for it)

 

Lunch: Chowder and watermelon

Dinner: Macaroni and 1/2 a red pepper

Dessert: Milkshake

 

Tomato Corn Chowder

Cook 4 strips of bacon in a large pot over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels. Drain, reserving 1 Tbsp of drippings.

Saute a chopped onion in the drippings until tender. Add 2 undrained cans of whole kernel corn, 2 undrained cans of diced tomatoes, and 4 peeled and diced potatoes. Cook over medium heat for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon.

 

Fiesta Macaroni

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook a package of elbow macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, cook 1 lb of ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Drain. Drain macaroni. Set aside.

Combine a jar of salsa and 10 oz of cubed process cheese in a glass bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 3-4 minutes. Stir into the skillet. Add the macaroni and a can of chili-style beans.

Transfer to a greased baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes.

 

Purple Cow

Combine 1/3-1/2 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of grape juice concentrate in a blender. Add 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream (about 2 scoops). Cover and blend until smooth. Drink immediately.

Week 20

Shopping List:

Pkg of instant vanilla pudding mix

Whipped topping (like Cool Whip)

Graham crackers

Can of cream of chicken soup

4 oz of cheddar cheese

Pkg of frozen California-blend vegetables

Rice

150 g deli ham cut as a 1 cm thick steak

2 cans of tomato soup

Chili powder

Oyster crackers

Monterey Jack cheese

Leek

3 pomegranates

Natural cane sugar

[Buy a 1 L of milk this week. Also needed: miniature semisweet chocolate chips]

 

Lunch: Soup and 1/2 a pommegranate

Dinner: Ham and rice bake

Dessert: Ice cream sandwich!

 

Icebox Sandwiches

Mix a package of instant vanilla pudding mix and 2 cups of cold milk according to package directions and refrigerate until set. Fold in 2 cups of whipped topping and a cup of miniature semisweet chocolate chips.

Place 24 graham crackers square on a baking sheet. Top each with about 3 Tbsp of filling. Place another graham cracker on top. Freeze for 1 hour. Wrap individually in plastic wrap. Freeze. Eat frozen.

 

Ham and Rice Bake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine a can of condensed cream of chicken soup and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese in a large pot. Cook and stir until cheese is melted. Stir in a thawed package of California-blend vegetables, a cup of cooked rice, a cup of cubed deli ham, and a sliced leek (just the white and pale green part – compost the dark green part unless you want to make soup out if it).

Transfer to a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup more of cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.

 

Zesty Tomato Soup

Combine 2 cans of condensed tomato soup, 2 2/3 cups of water, and 2 tsp of chili powder in a pot. Heat through. Garnish with oyster crackers and shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

 

Instant Impromptu Soup Tips!

Create instant soup by combining leftover vegetables with chicken or beef broth in a blender and processing until smooth.

OR

Add chicken or beef broth to leftover rice and stir in some lightly sauteed vegetables.

Heat just until warmed through.

Make soup out of leftovers and then freeze to eat on a later date.

Week 17

Shopping List:

Butterscotch ice cream topping

Vanilla ice cream

Granola cereal

Mini semisweet chocolate chips

Caraway seeds

Hot dogs

Swiss cheese

Apple

1 lb ground beef

Onion

Envelope of taco seasoning

2 tubes of large refrigerated biscuits

8 oz of cheddar cheese

3 cans of your favorite soup

Bag of premixed salad

[Buy a 1 L of milk this week. Also needed: sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing]

 

Breakfast: Oatmeal

Lunch: Taco puff and soup or salad

Dinner: Reuben casserole

Dessert: Milkshake

 

Granola Chip Shakes

Combine 3/4 to 1 cup of milk, 2 Tbsp of butterscotch topping, and 2 cups of vanilla ice cream in a blender. The amount of milk you use will depend on how soft or hard your ice cream is and how thick or runny you like your milkshakes. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass.

Drizzle with 2 Tbsp of butterscotch ice cream topping. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of granola and 1 Tbsp of miniature semisweet chocolate chips. Use a knife to swirl topping into shake. Top with another 1/4 cup of granola and 1 Tbsp of chocolate chips. Makes one big milkshake. Split recipe in half if you want a smaller one.

 

Reuben Dogs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and drain 1 cup of sauerkraut. Place in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with 2 tsp of caraway seeds, 1/2 a chopped onion and a peeled and cubed apple. Top with 8 halved-lengthwise hot dogs. Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded Swiss cheese. Bake 3-5 minutes. Serve with Thousand Island salad dressing.

 

Taco Puffs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook 1 lb of ground beef and 1/2 cup of chopped onion in a skillet over medium heat. Drain. Add an envelope of taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. Cool slightly.

Open one tube of large refrigerated biscuits and flatten the biscuits into 4 inches circles. Place in greased baking pans. Spoon 1/4 cup of meat mixture onto each biscuit. Top each with two cheddar cheese slices or 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Open a second tube of large refrigerated biscuits and flatten. Place on top of the cheese and meat mixture and pinch edges to seal tightly. Bake for 15 minutes.