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.

Orange Pecan Salad

2 oranges or a can of mandarin oranges

Leaf lettuce

Pecan halves

Peach yogurt

Mayonnaise

  1. Preheat oven to 300°
  2. Peel and cube oranges or drain can of mandarin oranges
  3. Toast 1/4 cup of pecan halves on a greased baking sheet for 5 minutes.
  4. Wash and chop up a few leaf lettuce leaves.
  5. Flip over the pecan halves and toast 5 more minutes.
  6. Combine 1/2 cup of peach yogurt and 3 Tbsp of mayonnaise.
  7. Toss together oranges, lettuce, and pecans. Drizzle with dressing immediately before eating.

Variations:

  • Can also use almonds, pistachios, or sunflower kernels instead of pecans
  • Grapefruit, kiwi, apples, or grapes instead of oranges
  • Orange yogurt instead of peach yogurt
  • Plain yogurt with marmalade instead of peach yogurt
  • Add chicken salad or grilled chicken on top to make it a complete meal!

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]

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]

Don’t be Corn-fused (Dinner for Two Week 9)

Lunch: Chicken salad, Cherry salad, Cheerio’ square, Amazeing mix, Grapefruit

Dinner: Breaded ranch chicken or Tuna delight, Rice or Noodles, Arugula or Asparagus

After Thanksgiving Salad 

Note: It’s called After Thanksgiving Salad because the original recipe calls for leftover turkey. If you have some, or would prefer to buy turkey breasts instead, go for it, but since chicken is an easy, cheap substitute, I used it instead.

Cook and shred 4 chicken breasts. Meanwhile, hard boil an egg. When finished, peel and mash the egg with a fork in a bowl. Add shredded chicken, 3/4 cup of mayonnaise, and 1 Tbsp of sweet pickle relish. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Stir in 1/2 cup of chopped pecans just before serving.

Frozen Cherry Salad

Combine a softened package of cream cheese and a thawed carton of whipped topping in a mixing bowl. Stir in a can of cherry pie filling. Drain 2 cans of mandarin oranges. Set aside 1/4 cup for garnish. Fold remaining oranges into cream cheese mixture. Transfer to a loaf pan. Cover and freeze overnight.

Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before cutting. Garnish with reserved mandarin oranges, maraschino cherries, and orange wedges.

Tuna Delight

Combine 1 3/4 cups of thawed mixed vegetables, a can of drained and flaked tuna, and a can of cream of chicken or celery soup in a large pot. Cook and stir until heated through. Serve over rice or noodles.

Breaded Ranch Chicken

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 3/4 cup of crushed Cornflakes, 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, and an envelope of ranch salad dressing mix in a shallow bowl. Dip 8 chicken breasts in 1/2 cup of melted butter, then roll in cornflake mixture to coat.

Place in a greased baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

A-maze-ing Mix

Combine 3 bags of popped popcorn, a box of Corn Pops, and a package of corn chips in several large bowls. Melt 2 packages of vanilla or white chocolate chips in a pot over medium-low heat. Stir until smooth. Pour over popcorn mixture and toss to coat. Spread in two pans. Cool. Store in airtight containers.

Cheerio’ Squares

Place 3 Tbsp of butter and a package of mini marshmallows in a large glass bowl. Microwave, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of peanut butter until blended. Add 5 cups of Cheerios and 1 cup of plain M&Ms. Mix well. Spoon into a greased pan. Press down gently. Cool slightly before cutting.

SHOPPING LIST:

Cream cheese

Parmesan cheese

Eggs

Orange

Arugula

Asparagus

14 grapefruits

12 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Frozen whipped topping

Frozen mixed vegetables

Can of tuna (12 oz)

Can of condensed cream of chicken or celery soup

Can of cherry pie filling (21 oz)

2 cans of mandarin oranges

Jar of maraschino cherries

Sweet pickle relish

Peanut butter

Pkg of mini marshmallows (10.5 oz)

2 pkgs of vanilla or white chips (10-12 oz each)

Ranch salad dressing mix

Crushed cornflakes

Cheerios

Corn pops

Popcorn

Corn chips

Pecans

Rice

Noodles

Baking soda

Canola oil

[Also needed: butter, M&Ms, mayonnaise]

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 50

Shopping List:

Caramel ice cream topping

Chocolate ice cream

Malted milk powder

Pecans

Baker’s chocolate

Unbaked deep-dish pastry shell

6 tomatoes

Bacon

4 oz cheddar cheese

Mayonnaise

Blackberries

Bananas

Greek yogurt

Eggs

Walnuts

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

 

Breakfast: Doughnut and scrambled eggs

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

Dinner: Tomato pie

Dessert: Chocolate malt

 

Banana Bread Doughnuts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Chocolate Malts

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

Week 44

Shopping List:

Pecan halves (2 1/2 cups)

4 chicken breasts

Italian salad dressing

Can of sliced pineapple

Swiss cheese

Cream cheese

Mayonnaise

Raisin bread

5 tangerines

4 bell peppers (Save 3/4 cup of diced pepper for next week)

Yellow onion (Put in fridge to save for next week)

Smoked paprika

Eggs (Use leftovers from last week first! Next week, you will need 4 eggs and the whites of 6 more. Use the rest for breakfast this week)

Low-fat mozzarella

Spinach (Put aside 1/2 cup shredded for next week)

[Also needed: eggs, sugar, cinnamon, olive oil]

 

Breakfast: Eggs

Lunch: Sandwich, sugar pecans, and a tangerine

Dinner: Pineapple chicken, rice, and 1/2 a bell pepper

 

Raisin Sandwiches

Beat a package of softened cream cheese and 1/4 cup of mayonnaise in a mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup of chopped pecans. Spread a couple Tbsp over a slice of raisin bread and top with another slice. It sounds weird but its actually really good!

 

Italian Pineapple Chicken

Flatten 4 chicken breasts to 1/2 inch thickness. Pour 1/2 cup of Italian salad dressing into a shallow bowl. Dip chicken in dressing. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and cook over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm.

Drain a can of sliced pineapple. Add slices to the skillet. Cook for 30 seconds on each side. Place a slice on each chicken breast half. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of shredded Swiss cheese, if desired.

 

Sugar-Coated Pecans

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Beat 1 Tbsp of egg white in a bowl until foamy. Add 2 cups of pecan halves and toss until well coated. Combine 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 tsp of cinnamon. Sprinkle over pecans and toss to coat.

Spread in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool on waxed paper.