Sautéed Mushrooms

Butter

1 lb fresh mushrooms (white or brown ones will work fine, but my grocery store sometimes offers a 1 lb package of “exotic” mushrooms and includes a little bit of portobello, oyster, shimeji, chanterelle, shiitake, cremini, etc and it’s even more delicious!)

Lemon juice

Soy sauce

  1. Slice mushrooms so all pieces are relatively the same size.
  2. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a large skillet. Add mushrooms, 1 Tbsp of lemon juice,and 1 Tbsp of soy sauce. Saute for 6-8 minutes.

Sautéing is a great way to prepare mushrooms because it concentrates and accentuates the flavor. Make sure pan and butter are hot, but don’t burn it. And use a large skillet to avoid overcrowding the mushrooms. They exude a lot of moisture as they cook so if there are too many in the skillet they will steam rather than sauté. Plus, you need to be able to stir them around in the pan to avoid steaming AND burning. 

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Ribs with Plum Sauce (Dinner for Two Week 20)

Breakfast: Harvest Fruit Compote with Yogurt

Lunch: Green Chili Burritos or Dinner Leftovers + apples, grapes, pears, honeydew

Dinner: Dijon Chicken Kabobs, Ribs with Plum Sauce, or Oven Swiss Steak, rice or potatoes, turnips, corn, beets, radicchio

Dessert: Raw Berry Blueberry Pie & Pudding

Oven Swiss Steak

Trim 2 lbs of boneless round steak. Cut into serving-size pieces. Place in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of pepper. Top with a thinly sliced onion, a drained can of mushroom stems and pieces, and a can of no-salt-added tomato sauce.

Cover and bake for 1 3/4 – 2 hours. Serve over noodles.

Green Chili Burritos

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook and drain 1/2 lb of ground beef. Shred 4 oz of sharp cheddar cheese to make 1 cup. Spread a can of refried beans over 8 flour tortillas. Top each with beef and 2 Tbsp of cheese. Fold ends and sides over filling and roll up. Place seam side down in a greased baking dish.

Sprinkle with a can of chopped green chilies and remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Raw Berry Blueberry Pudding & Pie 

I usually double the recipe, put half in a pie crust and eat the other half as a breakfast pudding. So good – enjoy!

Heat 1/2 cup of water until it just comes to a simmer. Remove it from the heat and add 3 Tbsp of chia seeds. Stir quickly as the mixture becomes gelled. If the mixture is too stiff stir in up to 2 tablespoons additional water until it is pourable. Add 1/4 cup of agave nectar (or sweetener of your choice) to the chia mixture and stir until combined. Add chia mixture to your blender. Cut the tops off of 1 quart of strawberries. Add strawberries & 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries. Start the blender off on 1 (or low) and slowly bring up to 10 (or high) and process for 1-2 minutes until mixture is completely smooth and blended. If making a pie, pour mixture into your prepared pie crust. If making pudding, pour into a bowl. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, though more is better. Cut into slices and serve.

Harvest Fruit Compote

  1. Prep the fruit: Peel the skin off 6 apples, core, and cut into bite sized pieces. Larger pieces will stay firmer whereas smaller pieces will become softer. Cut 3 nectarines and 2 plums into comparably-sized pieces. It’s fine to leave the skin on. Remove the leaf from the top of 10 strawberries and slice in half.
  2. In a large pot with a heavy bottom and solid cover, layer the fruit —  apples on the bottom, then the nectarines, then the plums.
  3. Zest about half of an orange over the fruit. Squeeze 1/4 of a lemon over the top.
  4. Turn the heat to medium-low and cover. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
  5. After 10 minutes, uncover and stir, evenly distributing the fruit. The compote is done cooking when the apples have softened just to the point that they can easily be broken in half with a spoon but aren’t total mush.
  6. Add the sliced strawberries to the top of the pot and cover. Turn down to low heat for one minute, then turn off the heat and let sit.
  7. Serve hot or chilled. Works well over yogurt, ice cream, or all by itself. Will last about a week if properly refrigerated. Wait for the compote to cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge.

Ribs with Plum Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut 5-6 lbs of pork spare ribs into serving-size pieces. Place with bone side down on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Drain.

Combine 3/4 cup of soy sauce, 3/4 cup of plum jam or apricot preserves, 3/4 cup of honey, and 3 minced garlic cloves. Brush some of the sauce over ribs. Bake at 350 degrees or grill over medium heat, uncovered, for 30 minutes, brushing occasionally with sauce.

Dijon Chicken Kabobs

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine 1/2 cup of Dijon mustard and 1 Tbsp of finely chopped green onion in a bowl. Combine 2 cups of fresh bread crumbs and 1/4 cup of minced fresh parsley in another bowl. Cut 1 1/4 lbs of chicken breasts into 3/4 inch chunks. Toss chicken pieces in mustard mix and then coat evenly with crumb mixture. Line a baking sheet with foil. Coat foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Thread chicken pieces onto metal or soaked wooden skewers, leaving a small space between chunks. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Baked, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes.

SHOPPING LIST:

Yogurt (Greek preferably)

Sharp cheddar cheese (4 oz)

Fresh bread crumbs

8 6″ flour tortillas

12 apples (at least 6 of them should be semi-sweet, like Golden Delicious or Fuji)

Grapes

3 nectarines

2 plums

2 packages or strawberries (at least 3o)

Orange

Lemon

6 pears

Honeydew

Green onion

3 turnips

Onion

6 beets

Radicchio

Corn (fresh or frozen)

Parsley (fresh)

2 lbs boneless round steak

1/2 lb ground beef

5-6 lbs pork spareribs

1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Plum jam (or apricot preserves)

Can of refried beans (16 oz)

Can of chopped green chilies (4.5 oz)

Can of mushrooms stems & pieces (4 oz)

Can of no-salt-added tomato sauce (8 oz)

Noodles

[Also needed: Dijon mustard, soy sauce, honey, garlic, pepper]

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]

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]

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.

Week 29

Shopping List:

24 mushrooms

Bacon

1 1/4 lbs of Italian sausage links

1 or 2 small zucchinis

Yellow summer squash

Onion

Can of stewed tomatoes

Rice

Your favorite pasta

1 lb ground beef

Can of tomato soup

Can of chili beans in gravy

Watercress

5 apricots

[Also needed: BBQ sauce, chili powder]

 

Lunch: Chili, mushroom bites, and an apricot

Dinner: Italian sausage skillet and watercress

 

Quick Chili

Cook 1 lb ground beef over medium heat in a pot. Drain. Add can of condensed tomato soup, a can of chili beans in gravy, and 3 tsp of chili powder. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water if you like your chili thinner.

 

Italian Sausage Skillet

Brown 1 1/4 lbs of Italian sausage links in a skillet over medium heat. Drain. Cut sausage into 1/4-inch slices. Return to the skillet to brown completely.

Add 1 or 2 small cubed zucchinis, a cubed yellow summer squash, and 1/2 a chopped onion. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in a 14 1/2 oz can of stewed tomatoes. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve over rice or pasta.

 

Mushroom Bacon Bites

Wash 24 mushrooms. Never submerge mushrooms in water – they’ll absorb too much water and become mushy. Just rinse in cold water and dry with paper towel just before using. Cut 12 bacon strips in half. Wrap each mushroom with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Thread onto metal or soaked bamboo skewers. Brush with 1 cup of BBQ sauce.

Grill, uncovered, over indirect medium heat for 10-15 minutes, turning and basting occasionally with remaining BBQ sauce.

Week 27

Shopping List:

30 caramels

Creamy peanut butter

Peanuts

5 apples

Envelope of brown gravy mix

Jar of sliced mushrooms

Horseradish

4 beef tenderloin fillets (5 oz each)

2 bagels

1 or 2 tomatoes, depending on size

Bacon

4 oz mozzarella cheese

Ranch salad dressing

Spinach

Strawberries

[Also needed: pepper]

 

Lunch: Bacon-tomato bagel, peanut-caramel dip with slices of apple, and a couple strawberries

Dinner: Beef fillets, potatoes, and spinach/strawberry salad

 

Bacon-Tomato Bagel Melts

Split bagel in half and toast half of it. Place cut side up on a baking sheet. Top with 2 slices of tomato and two stips of cooked bacon. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. Broil 5″ from the heat for 1-2 minutes. Serve with ranch dressing.

 

Festive Fillets

Prepare an envelope of brown gravy mix according to package directions. Add a jar of drained sliced mushrooms and 2 tsp of horseradish. Set aside and keep warm. Cook fillets over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet, turning once. Season with 1/8 tsp of pepper. Serve with the gravy.

 

Caramel Peanut Butter Dip

Unwrap 30 caramels. Microwave caramels and 3 Tbsp of water in a glass bowl for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave one more minute. Add 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp of peanut butter and mix well. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir in 1/4 cup of finely crushed peanuts. Eat warm with sliced apples.

Week 25

Shopping List:

Apple juice

Cinnamon sticks

Whole cloves

Apricot preserves (You may have some leftover from Week 6!)

1 lb kielbasa or Polish sausage

Dried apricots (Get 12 if your store offers them in the bulk section. If not, just get a package)

12 fresh mushrooms

Rice

Pkg of frozen California-blend vegetables

Process cheese (like Velveeta)

Envelope of chicken noodle soup mix

Snow peas

5 pears

[Also needed: Dijon mustard. Buy a 2 L of milk this week.]

 

Lunch: Soup and a pear

Dinner: Kabobs, rice, and snow peas

Dessert: Harvest Apple Drink

 

Vegetable Noodle Soup

Bring 3 1/2 cups of milk to a boil in a large pot. Stir in a package of frozen California-blend vegetables and return to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 6 minutes.

Stir in 1/2 cup of cubed process cheese and an envelope of chicken noodle soup mix. Return to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Apricot Sausage Kabobs

Combine 3/4 cup of apricot preserves and 3/4 cup of Dijon mustard. Mix well. Remove 1/2 cup for serving and set aside. Slice 1 lb of fully cooked kielbasa or Polish sausage into 12 pieces. On 4 metal or soaked bamboo skewers, alternate sausage pieces, mushrooms, and dried apricots. Each skewer should have 3 of each. Alternatively, make 6 skewers with two of everything on each.

Grill, covered, over indirect heat for 15-20 minutes. Turn frequently and baste with remaining apricot sauce. Warm the reserved sauce and serve with kabobs. Make rice according to package directions. Serve with kabobs and sauce.

 

Harvest Apple Drink

Bring a can 46 oz can of apple juice, 1/3 cup of packed brown sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks and 6 whole cloves to a boil in a medium pot. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain. Drink warm.