Gluten-Free Bacon Bread (Mastered!), Coconut Pecan Cinnamon Buns, and Cast-Iron Fry Biscuits!

Cast-Iron Fry Bread

This recipe is one of my all-time favorites. Only five ingredients, less than 5 minutes of prep and 12 minutes of baking time, its perfect for last minute company and simple enough to make every day, if desired. I often have a couple of these with coffee in the morning for breakfast. Or if I want to get fancier, I make scrambled eggs and fried potatoes. I also like these way better than dinner rolls to accompany soup.

  • Butter
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Place 3 Tbsp of butter in a cast iron pan and place in oven for 2 minutes.
  3. In a measuring cup, place  1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp of salt and then fill the rest with all-purpose flour until it equals one cup altogether. Or, you can put 1 cup of all-purpose flour in a bowl and then take out 2 tsp of flour and then add the 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder. Or, you can use 1 cup of self-rising flour (which is exactly what I just described but prepared for you to buy in the store). I make this recipe often enough that I feel the extra cupboard space the little bag of flour takes up is worth the few minutes I save every time I make this recipe.
  4. In a bowl, combine flour (and salt and baking powder) and 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Dust clean and dry counter-top with more all-purpose flour. Turn dough onto flour and knead 4-5 times.
  5. I do this next part with my hands, but I’ll also tell you how you can do this “properly”. I rip off pieces that are relatively the same size and then pat them into little 2″ patties. I call them “rustic-looking”. Or, you can pat the dough out to 1/4″ thickness and cut a biscuit cutter.
  6. Place in the cast-iron in a single layer. Use a fork to turn biscuits over to coat in butter. Bake for 12 minutes.

Coconut Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

I really want to love cinnamon buns. I love cinnamon and I love the icing, but the sugar-addict in me never wanted to eat beyond the top. I find most cinnamon buns are dry and doughy. So I came up with this recipe. This recipe should make a LOT of icing. My logic behind it is this: If we saturate and bake the rolls in a soup of icing, they can’t possibly be dry, right? When you take the rolls out of the pan, there will be a sea of icing left behind. These rolls are gooey and messy, but SO good. Because they are so sweet, I only eat half or a quarter of one at a time, so I swear I’m probably eating less sugar overall than one whole, huge store-bought or bakery roll. Well, except for the fact that I usually eat the leftover icing out of the pan with a spoon…

  • Sugar – Both regular and icing/confectioners
  • Cinnamon
  • Tube of refrigerated breadsticks or cinnamon rolls
  • Butter
  • Vanilla
  • Whipping Cream
  • Milk or orange juice
  • Pecans
  • Can of evaporated milk
  • Egg yolks
  • Sweetened flaked coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Chop 1 cup of pecans. Bake 2/3 cups of chopped pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan for 8 minutes, stirring halfway through. Cool completely.
  2. Combine 1 Tbsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in a small bowl. Remove breadstick or cinnamon roll dough from tube. Do not unroll it or take it apart. With a serrated knife, cut into 8 slices if using breadsticks or 10 slices if using cinnamon rolls. [The cinnamon rolls usually come in tubes of five, so cut each in half as if you were cutting open a dinner roll to spread butter.] Dip both sides of each slice in cinnamon-sugar.
  3. Place in a greased baking dish, NOT a baking sheet or else the icing will make a huge mess.
  4. Cook 1/3 can of evaporated milk, 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 lightly beaten egg yolks, and 1/3 cup of butter in pot over medium heat. Stir constantly for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat. Stir in 2/3 cup of coconut, the toasted pecans, and 1 tsp of vanilla. Transfer mixture to bowl. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes.
  6. This can be done by hand or with electric mixer. Combine 1 2/3 cup of icing sugar and 2/3 cup of butter. Mix slowly or on low until well blended and then increase spreed and mix for 3 minutes. Add 1/4 tsp of vanilla and 2 tsp of whipping cream and beat for 1 minute more. Add 1/2 tsp of milk (or orange juice) and mix slowly. If needed, add 1/2 tsp more.
  7. Carefully fold the two icing mixes together.
  8. Bake rolls without icing for 15 minutes. Take out of oven, pour icing on top, and sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup of chopped pecans. Place back in oven to bake for 5 more minutes and then turn off the oven, but leave the rolls in there for the final 5 minutes. This allows the heat to continue baking the rolls without drying out the icing too much.

Gluten-Free Bacon Bread

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have read a status a while back about my failed attempt at this recipe. I was wrong, actually. The bread, though it looked like a pile of mush, tasted delicious. My mistake was not in the ingredients or even in the technique, but in the baking formation. When I make this bread avec gluten, I roll the dough into balls, assemble it in a sort of dome on a baking sheet, and bake it that way. The result is this mound of amazing that is easy to pull apart with ones fingers, which makes it ideal for parties. I tried to do the same thing sans gluten, but since garbanzo flour absorbs liquid differently than wheat flour, it kind of just looked like a pile of barf on my baking sheet. I tried again, but put it in a square baking dish, the one I usually use for Nanaimo bars, and it cooked more evenly resulting in better consistency.

  • Garbanzo Fava Bean Flour
  • Potato Starch
  • Tapioca Starch
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Coconut Palm Sugar
  • Dry Instant Yeast
  • Eggs
  • Canola Oil
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Sea Salt
  • Bacon
  • Olive Oil
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Envelope of Ranch Salad Dressing Mix*
  1. Prepare a square baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. I used a 9″ x 9″.
  2. Whisk together 2 1/4 cups of garbanzo-fava flour, 1/2 cup of potato starch, 1/3 cup of tapioca starch, 2 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum, 1 Tbsp of palm sugar, and a packet of dry instant yeast. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together 1 1/4 cups of warm water, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of canola oil, and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. Mix well. Add dry ingredients (except salt). Stir for about a minute, add 1 1/4 tsp of sea salt, and then mix for a couple minutes more. I use a wooden spoon to stir for this recipe as I feel like its the only thing I have strong enough to handle the thickness of the dough and still mix adequately.
  4. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, dice up 12 strips of bacon. Cook them over medium heat in a skillet for 5 minutes. They will seem a little uncooked, but that’s okay because they are going to be finished off while the bread is baking in the oven. Drain on paper towels.
  6. Shred 1 cup worth of mozzarella cheese.
  7. After the 30 minutes has passed for the dough, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil, bacon pieces, cheese, and envelope of ranch salad dressing mix and mix lightly.
  8. Turn batter into prepared baking pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place for another 30 minutes.
  9. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cover with foil. Bake 10 minutes longer. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Then turn the pan to the side and scoot bread out a little so the steam can escape, but leave it in the pan. Let cool for another 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely. Eat within 3 days. Wrap in plastic and store on counter or in cupboard. Freeze leftovers (if there are any!) to use as yummy gluten-free croutons for future salads.

*Instead of buying an envelope of ranch salad dressing mix, mix together 1 tsp of dried parsley, 3/4 tsp of pepper, 1 tsp of seasoning salt, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder, 1/4 tsp of onion powder, and 1/8 tsp of dried thyme, and use that instead.

Advertisements

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]

Gluten-Free Upside Down Lemon Meringue Pie (Dinner for Two Week 18)

Breakfast: Cinnamon Bread or Cinnamon Bun Doughnut

Lunch: Leftovers + elderberries, grapes, plums, or pomegranates

Dinner: Turkey Asparagus Casserole, French Bread Pizza, Saucy Spareribs, or Sesame Ginger Chicken, rice or French fries, Jerusalem artichokes, jicama, kohlrabi or mushrooms

Dessert: Upside Down Lemon Meringue Pie

Cinnamon Bun Doughnuts with Vanilla Glaze

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray doughnut pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 3 Tbsp of light brown sugar, 3 Tbsp of regular sugar, 1 tsp of baking powder, 1 tsp of cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, add 1/4 cup of applesauce, 2 Tbsp of lowfat buttermilk, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp of vanilla and 1 Tbsp melted butter. Whisk or stir to combine.  Slowly add to the dry ingredients. Stir until *just combined.* Do not overmix.

Using a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off, pipe the batter carefully into prepared doughnut pan making sure each cavity is only 2/3 full. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan, about 5 minutes. Dip into glaze.

While doughnuts are baking or cooling, combine 1/2 cup of icing sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. Add 2 tsp of milk or cream, one teaspoon at a time. Dip the donuts into the glaze after they’ve cooled for 5 minutes out of the oven.

 

Saucy Spareribs

Brown 2 lbs of pork spareribs in a large nonstick skillet. Drain. Add 2 cans of cola and 1 cup of ketchup. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Remove ribs and keep warm. Transfer 2 cups of sauce to a pot. Bring to a boil. Combine 2 Tbsp of cornstarch and 2 Tbsp of cold water in a small bowl. Stir into sauce. Bring to a boil. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Serve over the ribs.

Note: Can also be made in the slow cooker. Combine all ingredients, set to low, and cook for 4-6 hours. 

 

Sesame Ginger Chicken

Combine 2 Tbsp of soy sauce, 2 Tbsp of honey, 1 Tbsp of toasted sesame seeds, and 1/2 tsp of ground ginger in a small bowl. Set aside. Pound 4 chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness. Grill over medium-hot heat, turning and basting frequently with soy sauce mixture, for 8 minutes. Cut 2 green onions with tops into thin strips. Garnish chicken with green onion.

 

Gluten-Free Upside Down Lemon Meringue Pie Part I – Filling & Topping

Put 4 egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk well.

In a pot, whisk to combine 1/3 cup of cornstarch, 1 1/2 cups of water,  1 1/3 cups sugar and 1/4 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add about ¼ of the hot mixture to the egg yolks. Whisk well. Add the rest of the mixture to the eggs gradually, whisking well. When all the hot mixture is added to the egg yolks, pour the mixture back into the saucepan, turn the heat to low and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly. The mixture should be thick. Take mixture off the heat and gently stir in 3 Tbsp of cold unsalted butter, 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 Tbsp of finely grated lemon zest.

Put mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, placing the plastic wrap right on the surface of the lemon mixture. Refrigerate until cold – about 2 hours.

Whip 1 cup of heavy cream with one tsp of sugar until stiff peaks form but do not over mix.

Just prior to serving, pour the lemon mixture into the meringue pie crust. Top with whipped cream. Garnish with lemon slices.

Gluten-Free Upside Down Lemon Meringue Pie Part II – Crust

Spray a 9 inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment beat 2 egg whites, 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar and 1/4 tsp of salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very stiff and glossy. Rub a little of the mixture between your thumb and forefinger and see if the mixture feels gritty. If so continue to beat until smooth, this will mean the sugar has completely dissolved. Add 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract and mix in well.

Spread mixture into the prepared pan forming a shell by spreading the mixture up the sides of the pie plate. Bake for 50 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue crust in the oven for another hour. Remove from oven and allow it to cool completely.

This crust is best used the day it is baked as humidity will soften the crust. It is also preferable to fill the crust just prior to serving.

 

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Combine 1/2 cup of warm milk, 1/2 cup of warm water, a quarter-ounce package of yeast and 2 tsp sugar in a measuring cup and let sit for 10 minutes until foamy.

While the yeast is resting, combine 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 3 Tbsp softened butter, 1 1/4 tsp of salt and 1 Tbsp cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the water mixture to the dry ingredients and knead on a floured surface or in a KitchenAid until smooth.

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place dough ball in. Cover with a cloth and let rise for 1.5 hours in the warmest spot of the house.

While the dough is rising, mix together 3 Tbsp butter with 1.5 tsp cinnamon and 1 Tbsp sugar in a small bowl. After the dough has risen to double it’s size, roll out with a rolling pin on a floured surface to a long rectangle. Smear the butter mixture all over the top and roll up tightly.

Place dough in a greased loaf pan, cover with cloth and let rise for another hour in a warm spot.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together an egg and 2 Tbsp of warm water and then brush all over loaf. Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool and slice.

French Bread Pizza

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook 1/2 lb of ground beef over medium heat in a skillet. Drain. Stir in a can of pizza sauce and a drained jar of sliced mushrooms. Set aside. Cut a loaf of French bread in half lengthwise and then into eight pieces.

Spread meat sauce on bread. Place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Note: Feel free to add veggies or sub out the meat for something else. 

Turkey Asparagus Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook a package of frozen chopped asparagus in a small amount of water for 2 minutes in a small pot. Drain. Place in a greased baking dish. Cook and cube two turkey breasts. Top asparagus with turkey. Combine a can of cream of chicken soup and 1/4 cup of water. Spoon over turkey.

Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with a can of french-fried onions. Bake 5 minutes longer.

Note: Chicken can be substituted for turkey. 

SHOPPING LIST:

Heavy cream

Lowfat buttermilk

Eggs

Mozzarella cheese (8 oz)

Loaf of French bread

Elderberries

Grapes

 4 lemons

6 plums

4 pomegranates

6 Jerusalem artichokes

3 jicamas

Green onions

3-6 kohlrabis

Mushrooms

1/2 lb of ground beef

2 lbs pork spareribs

2 turkey breasts (or chicken)

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

Pkg of frozen chopped asparagus

Can of condensed cream of chicken soup

Can of pizza sauce

Jar of sliced mushrooms

Can of french-fried onions

Applesauce (unsweetened)

Unsalted macadamia nuts

Sesame seeds

Yeast

Whole wheat flour

2 cans of cola

[Also needed: milk, butter (unsalted), all-purpose flour, cinnamon, salt, sea salt, sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla extract, soy sauce, ground ginger, ketchup, cornstarch, light brown sugar, baking powder, icing sugar, cream]

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]

When Things Get Blue (Dinner for Two Week 16)

Breakfast: Pancakes or Waffles with Blueberry Sauce Supreme

Lunch: Green salad with Thousand Island or French Salad Dressing or Broccoli Waldorf Salad, pear or watermelon

Dinner: Savory Roast Chicken with rice and Sauteed Mushrooms or Sausage Spaghetti Spirals with salad, sugar snap peas/watercress

Sauteed Mushrooms

Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a skillet. Add 1 lb of sliced fresh mushrooms, 1 Tbsp of lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp of soy sauce. Saute for 6-8 minutes.

Waffles

  1. Preheat waffle iron. Beat 2 eggs in a large bowl with a hand beater until fluffy. Beat in 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 3/4 cups of milk, 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 1 Tbsp of sugar, 4 tsp of baking powder, 1/4 tsp of salt, and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.
  2. Spray preheated waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot.

Foolproof Pancakes

  • STEP 1

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Have a baking sheet or heatproof platter ready to keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 2 Tbsp of sugar, 2 tsp of baking powder, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Set aside.

  • STEP 2

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of milk, 2 Tbsp of melted unsalted butter (or oil), and 1 egg. Add dry ingredients to milk mixture. Whisk until just moistened. The key is to not overmix. A few small lumps here and there are fine.

  • STEP 3

Heat a large skillet (nonstick or cast-iron) or griddle over medium. Fold a sheet of paper towel in half, and moisten with oil; carefully rub skillet with oiled paper towel.

  • STEP 4

For each pancake, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto skillet, using the back of the spoon to spread batter into a round (you should be able to fit 2 to 3 in a large skillet).

  • STEP 5

Cook 1-2 minutes. Flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook 1-2 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter; cover loosely with aluminum foil, and keep warm in oven. Continue with more oil and remaining batter. (You’ll have 12-15 pancakes.) Serve warm, with desired toppings.

Blueberry Sauce Supreme

Combine 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of orange juice concentrate, and 2 Tbsp of cornstarch in a pot. Stir until smooth. Add 3 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Serve on top of pancakes, waffles, ice cream, granola/yogurt, muffins, pies, cheesecake, desserts…

Thousand Island Dressing

Combine 2 cups of mayonnaise, 1/4 cup of chili sauce, and 1/4 cup of pickle relish in a bowl. Store in the refrigerator.

Salad Suggestion: Lettuce, leeks, okra, persimmons, pineapple, and roasted pumpkin seeds. Leftover nuts, seeds, cheese, dried fruit

Salad Suggestion: Lettuce, spinach, snow peas, apple, tangerine, and figs. Leftover nuts, seeds, cheese, dried fruit.

Broccoli Waldorf Salad

Combine 6 cups of broccoli florets, a large chopped red apple, 1/2 cup of raisins, and 1/4 cup of chopped pecans in a large serving bowl. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of coleslaw dressing. Toss to coat. Refrigerate leftovers.

Savory Roast Chicken

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a broiler/fryer chicken breast side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Combine 2 Tbsp of melted butter, 3 Tbsp of lemon juice, and either 1 Tbsp of minced fresh savory or 1 tsp of dried savory. Brush over chicken. Bake, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally with the pan dripping.

Sausage Spaghetti Spirals

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 1 lb bulk Italian sausage and a chopped green pepper over medium heat in a skillet. Drain. Stir in 5 cup of cooked spiral pasta and a jar of meatless spaghetti sauce. Mix well.

Transfer to a greased baking dish. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer.

SHOPPING LIST:

Mozzarella cheese (6 oz)

Green pepper

LOTS of lettuce (like 3 bundles or 3 mixed boxes), plus a bag/box of spinach

Leeks

Okra

Broccoli florets (enough for 6 cups)

Snow peas and sugar snap peas

1 lb mushrooms

Watercress

6 pears

Watermelon

2 persimmons

Pineapple

2 red apples

Tangerine

2-3 figs

Blueberries (3 cups worth – fresh or frozen)

1 lb bulk Italian sausage

Broiler/fryer chicken (2.5 – 3 lbs)

Frozen peas

Orange juice concentrate

Jar of meatless spaghetti sauce (28 oz)

Coleslaw dressing

Chili sauce

Spiral pasta

Old-fashioned rolled oats

Wheat germ

Raw pumpkin seeds

Raw pistachios

Fresh or dried savory

[Also needed: butter, lemon juice, pecans, raisins, mayonnaise, relish, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce]

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]

No-Fuss Crust Pizza (Dinner for Two Week 10)

Breakfast: Mocha, Doughnut and Raspberries

Lunch: Chicken salad or sandwich or croissant, Pomegranate, Apple snack

Dinner: Pizza, Avocado or Broccoflower, Pineapple cooler

Dessert: Cake

Apple Snack                               Low Cal!

Peel, core, and slice 4 Golden Delicious apples into rounds. Arrange apples in two rows in an ungreased glass baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup of apple juice over apples. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and 1 Tbsp of grated lemon peel. Cover and microwave for 7 minutes, turning after 3 1/2 minutes.

Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Cake                                Gluten-Free!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans (19 oz)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp of confectioners sugar for dusting

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. Place the chocolate chips in a glass bowl. Cook in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds after the first minute.
  3. Drain the can of garbanzo beans. Combine beans and eggs in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Add the sugar and the baking powder, and pulse to blend. Pour in the melted chocolate and blend until smooth, scraping down the corner to make sure chocolate is completely mixed. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

 

Apple Cider Doughnuts                              Vegan variation in brackets

INGREDIENTS
  • butter, oil, or non-stick spray
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour (spelt flour works too)
  • ¼ cup and 2 Tbsp sugar (raw sugar works great too)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • 1 egg (flaxseed egg can be substituted for vegans)
  • 2 Tbsp milk (or sub vegan milk substitute)
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp white vinegar (can be omitted for a denser, more cake-like doughnut. I prefer the fluffier version though)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub a doughnut pan with butter (or brush with oil or use non-stick spray).
  2. Add flour, ¼ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Whisk together apple cider and egg in another bowl. Add milk, canola oil, vanilla extract, and white vinegar and whisk to combine.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and gently mix until just combined (don’t overmix!).
  5. Evenly distribute in doughnut pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Whisk together 2 tablespoons sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. When doughnuts are safe to touch, but while they’re still warm, dip each side into the cinnamon-sugar mixture, pressing and twisting to get good coverage. Serve and enjoy!

 

Chicken Salad                               Two variations in one recipe

Cook and shred 8 chicken breasts. Hard boil 2 eggs. Peel and mash the eggs with a fork in a bowl. Add the shredded chicken, 1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise, and 2 Tbsp of sweet pickle relish.  Salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Salad: Place 1 cup of chicken salad on top of a bed of lettuce. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of chopped pecans.

Sandwich: Place 1 cup of chicken salad on a slice of bread and top with another slice. Salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of chopped pecans.

Croissants: Spice things up by making a sandwich out of a croissant and 1 cup of chicken salad.

No-Fuss Crust Pizza                            

Recipe yields one pizza, but shopping list included enough ingredients for two. Feel free to experiment with toppings!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook 1 lb of ground beef over medium heat in a skillet. Drain. Stir in 1 can of pizza sauce. Dismantle 2 tubes of buttermilk biscuits. Quarter the biscuits. Place in a greased baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes. Chop and diced a tomato and a green pepper, slice 3 mushrooms, and drain a can of black olives. Sprinkle vegetables on top of pan along with 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Pineapple Cooler

Combine 1 cup of unsweetened pineapple juice, 2 Tbsp of lemon juice, and 1 can of lemon-lime soda in a pitcher. Stir well. Serve over ice.

Morning Mocha

Brew 1 cup of coffee. Combine the coffee, 2 Tbsp of half-and-half cream, 1 Tbsp of chocolate syrup, and 1 tsp of sugar in a pot. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is heated through. Ladle into a large mug. Stir with a cinnamon stick. Give it a quick taste and add 1/8 – 1/4 tsp more sugar if you like it sweeter. Top with whipped cream.

SHOPPING LIST:

Mozzarella cheese (12 oz)

Cheddar cheese (8 oz)

Whipped cream in a can

Eggs

4 tubes of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (12 oz each)

Bread

Croissants

Lettuce or mixed greens

Green pepper

3 mushrooms

Tomato

3 avocados

Broccoflower

14 pomegranates

4 Golden Delicious apples

Raspberries

Lemon

3 lbs ground beef

12 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Pineapple juice

2 cans of pizza sauce (15 oz each)

Can of black olives

Can of garbanzo beans (19 oz)

Cinnamon sticks

Chocolate syrup

12 oz can of lemon-lime soda (Sprite or 7Up)

Apple cider

Apple juice

Lemon juice

Icing sugar

[Also needed: sugar, coffee, half-and-half cream, mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, pecans, baking powder, cinnamon]

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]

Two Meals One Pot (Dinner for Two Week 1)

Lunch: Spaghetti or Tacos; Honey-Glazed Snack Mix; Elderberries or Grapes

Dinner: Beef Stroganoff and Broccoli or Chicken Fried Rice; Mashed or Roasted Rutabaga or Corn

Dessert: Glass of Low-Fat Eggnog

 

Two Meals One Pot

Combine 2 cans of chili with beans, 2 drained cans of mixed vegetables, 2 drained cans of whole kernel corn, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, and 2 cans of green chilies in a large pot. Heat through.

A) Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Spoon chili over noodles. Top with any leftover cheese if you have any.

B) Zap taco shells in microwave for 15-30 seconds. Spoon chili inside shells. It’s good just like that, but if you have any leftover vegetables, cheese, beans, or other toppings – go ahead and add them! My favorite is iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, green onions or chives, sliced black olives, and cheddar cheese.

 

Chicken Fried Rice

Cook a package of fried rice mix according to package directions. Stir in 2 cups of cubed cooked chicken, 1 1/2 cups of cooked broccoli florets, and a can of drained sliced water chestnuts. Heat through. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.

 

Beef Stroganoff

Combine a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, 2 Tbsp of onion soup mix, 2 Tbsp of beef broth, and 1 Tbsp of quick-cooking tapioca in a slow cooker. Let stand for 15 minutes. Cut 1 lb of stew meat into 1 inch cubes. Stir meat into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 minutes. Serve over noodles or mashed potatoes.

[As tempting as it is, don’t lift the lid unless the recipe instructs to stir or add ingredients. The steam during cooking creates a seal, so every time the lid is lifted, it loses 15-30 minutes worth of steam, so it won’t be ready in the time allotted and will have to stay in the crock pot even longer.]

 

Low-Fat Eggnog

Combine 11 cups of cold fat-free milk and 2 tsp of vanilla extract in a large bowl. Combine 2 packages of instant sugar-free vanilla pudding mix, artificial sweetener equivalent to 1/3 cup of sugar, and 1/2 tsp of nutmeg in another bowl. Whisk into milk mixture until smooth. Refrigerate until serving.

 

Honey-Glazed Snack Mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 8 cups of Crispix cereal, 3 cups of miniature pretzels, and 2 cups of pecan halves in a large bowl. Melt 2/3 cup of butter. Stir in 1/2 cup of honey until well blended. Pour over cereal mixture and stir to coat. Spread into two greased baking pans.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool in pan for 3 minutes. Remove from pan and spread on waxed paper to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

 

SHOPPING LIST:

3L of skim milk

Mozzarella cheese (4 oz)

Taco shells (soft or hard – you choose!)

Potatoes

Elderberries

Grapes

5 rutabagas

1 lb beef stew meat

Cooked chicken (2 cups cubed)

Frozen broccoli florets

Can of condensed cream of mushroom

2 cans of chili with beans

Can of sliced water chestnuts

2 cans of mixed vegetables

3 cans of whole kernel corn

2 cans of diced tomatoes

2 cans of green chilies

Beef broth

Onion soup mix

2 boxes of noodles: one spaghetti, one rotini or twisty egg noodles

Pkg of fried rice mix (6 oz)

Nutmeg

Honey

Miniature pretzels

Pecans (2 cups worth)

2 pkgs of instant sugar-free vanilla pudding mix (Make sure it’s not the kind that is supposed to be cooked)

Artificial sweetener (I like Splenda)

Quick-cooking tapioca

Vanilla extract

Crispix cereal

Whole wheat pastry flour (or gluten-free flour of choice)

[Also needed: Butter]

Week 51 – Turned into Italian week somehow…

Shopping List:

Pkg of frozen corn dogs (16 oz)

Pizza sauce

Ripe olives (Buy a small can or 3-6 loose olives if your grocery store has that option – Safeway does, which is where I shopped in college. You’ll be chopping them up anyway so it doesn’t matter if they are whole or sliced)

Jar of sliced mushrooms (4.5 oz)

Mozzarella cheese

2 pkgs of angel hair pasta with Parmesan cheese dinner mix (5 oz each) [If you can’t find these, see recipe below]

Can of tuna (12 oz)

Butter-flavored crackers

Pkg of mixed green salad

Garlic bread (or make your own – see below)

Blueberries

Butternut squash

Whole wheat pastry flour

Vanilla whey protein powder

Ground cloves

[Also needed: Italian seasoning, butter]

 

Lunch: Pizza corn dogs and blueberries

Dinner: Pasta, garlic bread, mixed green salad, and butternut squash

 

Butternut squash: They are so good for you, but so big that it’s hard to know what to do with all of it. I divided mine into quarter portions and cubed to eat differently over 4 nights. The first night I roasted it with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. The second night, I sauteed and adding it to my green salad with some blueberries as well. The third night I boil the cubes for 15(ish) minutes and then mashed with butter, salt, and pepper. The forth night I folded it into the pasta to switch it up. I don’t remember if I steamed it or sauted it before I did that though. I wouldn’t put it in the pasta the first night as it’s not the most ideal pairing. It was fine since it was towards the end of the week when I was getting a little bored leftover pasta anyway.  You could also make butternut squash soup out of it – one of my favorite things in the world, but you’ll need a few more ingredients for that and I couldn’t afford them at the time. Another grab option is folded into risotto – but again, this is something I usually only indulge in when my parents take me out to dinner…

 

Angel Hair Tuna

Prepare 2 packages of angel hair pasta with Parmesan cheese dinner mix according to package directions (or see guideline below). Drain and flake a can of tuna. Stir tuna and 1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning into pasta. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes to thicken. Crush 15 butter-flavored crackers (about 3/4 cup) and toss with 1/4 cup of melted butter. Sprinkle over top of pasta.

 

Pizza Corn Dogs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove sticks from a thawed package of corn dogs. Cut doughy ends off so that both ends are flat and then cut into 1 inch slices. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Spread with 1/2 cup of pizza sauce. Top with 3 Tbsp of chopped olives, a drained jar of sliced mushrooms, and 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

 

Homemade Angel Hair Pasta with Parmesan Cheese Guide

Prepare angel hair pasta according to package directions, except do not add butter, margarine, or salt to the water. After draining and rinsing the pasta, toss with either: 1 Tbsp of melted butter and 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese OR heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a small saucepan and add a dash of salt, a Tbsp of finely chopped fresh herbs or 1/2 Tbsp of dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, 2 Tbsp of chopped fresh parsley or 1/2 Tbsp of dried parsley, 2 cloves of sliced or minced garlic, and a dash of chili pepper flakes, heat for 1 minute, toss with pasta, and top with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper. You can leave out anything you don’t have. There isn’t really a right and wrong – just use this as a guideline!

 

Homemade Garlic Bread Guide

Slice a loaf of French or Italian bread (only slice off what you are going to eat that night). Mix together the following ratio – 2:1:1:0.5 of butter, olive oil, finely chopped fresh parsley (or dried parsley, but then only use a third), finely chopped garlic. So for example, mix together 1 Tbsp of butter, 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 Tbsp of fresh parsley or 1/8 Tbsp of dried parsley, and 1/4 Tbsp of garlic. Use a pastry brush to spread on bread. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (going with the ratios – Parmesan cheese would be a 4 – so if using 1 Tbsp of butter, use 2 Tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese). Wrap loaf in foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Then open foil and bake for 5 more minutes. OR, if you are only doing a couple slices, place on a baking sheet and broil. Every oven is different. Mine only takes a minute on each side so turn the light on in the oven and literally keep your eyes on it.