Summer Sippin’ (Dinner for Two Week 8)

Lunch: Snowball Peaches, Green Salad with Balsamic Salad Dressing, Papaya or Guava

Dinner: Hamburger Casserole or Beef Bake, Bell Pepper or Artichoke, Mint Iced Tea Cooler or Lemonade Slush

Balsamic Salad Dressing

Combine 3/4 cup of tomato juice, 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, an envelope of Italian salad dressing mix, and 2 tsp of sugar in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well. Store in the fridge.

Salad suggestion: Leaf lettuce and red cabbage with carrots, grilled asparagus, a can of drained mandarin oranges, chopped or dropped cherries, and cranberries

Snowball Peaches

Beat 2 packages of softened cream cheese and 2 Tbsp of apricot preserves in a small mixing bowl until blended. Drain a can of pineapple tidbits. Stir 1 cup of pineapple into cream cheese. Drain 3 cans of peach halves and place peaches cut side up on a lettuce-lined serving platter. Fill with cream cheese mixture. Garnish with fresh mint.

Tortilla Beef Bake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef over medium heat in a skillet. Drain. Stir in a can of cream of chicken soup. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of crushed tortilla chips in a greased shallow baking dish. Top with beef mixture, a jar of salsa and 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 more cup of crushed tortilla chips. Bake 3 minutes longer.

Hearty Hamburger Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 1 lb of ground beef over medium heat in a skillet. Drain. Stir in a can of ready-to-serve chunky vegetable soup and set aside. Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions. Spoon half into a greased baking dish. Top with beef mixture, 1/2 cup of shredded cheese, and remaining stuffing. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes.

Mint Iced Tea Cooler

Steep 3 peppermint-flavored tea bags in 7 cups of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Discard tea bags. Pour tea into a pitcher or large bowl. Stir in 1 cup of cranberry juice and 3/4 cup of pink lemonade concentrate. Cover and refrigerate overnight (so flavors can fully blend). Serve over ice.

Lemonade Slush

Combine 1 1/2 Tbsp of partially thawed lemonade concentrate, 2 Tbsp of milk, 1 1/2 Tbsp of water, 1/8 tsp of vanilla, and a drop of yellow food coloring in a blender. Cover and process. Crush 2 ice cubes. While liquid is processing, slowly add crushed ice. Process until slushy. Serve immediately. Enough for one serving.

SHOPPING LIST:

Cheddar cheese (8 oz)

2 pkgs of cream cheese

Leaf lettuce

Red cabbage

Carrot

Asparagus

3 bell peppers

2 artichokes

 Cherries

Cranberries

3 guavas

Papaya

Fresh mint

Cranberry juice

Tomato juice

2 1/2 lbs of ground beef

2 lemonade concentrates (one pink and one yellow)

Can of ready-to-serve chunky vegetable soup (19 oz)

Can of condensed cream of chicken soup

Can of pineapple tidbits

Can of mandarin oranges

3 cans of peach halves (15 oz each)

Salsa (16 oz)

Apricot preserves

Package of instant stuffing mix (6 oz)

Peppermint-flavored tea

Italian salad dressing mix

Tortilla chips

Yellow food coloring

Balsamic vinegar

[Also needed: milk, vanilla extract, sugar]

Gingerbread Pumpkin Squares (Dinner for Two Week 7)

Breakfast: Gingerbread Pumpkin Squares

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

Dinner: Italian Chicken Dinner or Peachy Pork and an endive

Dessert: Cool Waters Shake

Gingerbread Pumpkin Squares

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

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

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

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

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

Orange Buttermilk Salad

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

Creamy Corn Salad

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

Peachy Pork

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

Italian Chicken Dinner

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

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

Cool Waters Shake

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

Stovetop Snacks

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

SHOPPING LIST:

Almond milk

Buttermilk

Parmesan cheese

Red potatoes (at least 2 lbs)

6 nectarines

6 peaches

Tomato

3 endives

Onion

Garlic

Ham

1 lb pork tenderloin

Broiler/fryer chicken (3 lbs)

Vanilla ice cream (at least 1 quart)

Frozen whipped topping (8 oz)

Salsa (16 oz)

Can of whole kernel corn (15 oz)

Can of crushed pineapple (20 oz)

Peach preserves

Pumpkin puree

2 pkgs of berry blue and 1 pkg of orange gelatin

Rice

Walnuts

Italian seasoning

Dill weed

Ground ginger

Molasses

Stevia

Chocolate chips

Potato starch

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

Fruit Galore! (Dinner for 2 Week 6)

Lunch: Sunshine Salad or Fruit Salad with Maple Cream Fruit Topping; Pear or Date; Roasted Mixed Nuts

Dinner: Turkey Broccoli Hollandaise or Fisherman’s Specialty; Black Salsify or Eggplant; Mock Champagne Punch

Maple Cream Fruit Topping

Combine 1 Tbsp of all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup of maple syrup, and 1 egg in a pot until smooth. Ad 1 Tbsp of butter. Bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until completely cooled. Whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream. Fold whipped cream into flour-maple syrup-egg-butter mixture.

Spoon on top of fruit salad or sliced melons.

Fruit Salad Suggestion: Sliced strawberries, bananas, kiwis, cubed honeydew melon, and squeeze a lime on top of everything to keep fruit tasting fresh and to prevent browning in the fridge.

Sunshine Salad

Drain a can of pineapple tidbits and a can of mandarin oranges, but reserve the liquid. Combine a package of instant lemon pudding with reserved fruit juices in a large bowl. Fold in pineapple, oranges, and 1 cup of quartered strawberries. Chill for at least 2 hours. Add a few slices of banana to each serving just before eating.

Turkey Broccoli Hollandaise

Cook and cube two turkey or chicken breasts or use leftover cooked chicken or turkey from a previous dinner. You will need approximately two cups worth.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place 1 inch of water and 1 cup of fresh broccoli florets in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a package of stuffing mix and an envelope of hollandaise sauce mix according to package directions.

Spoon stuffing into a greased baking dish. Top with 2 cups of cooked chicken or turkey. Drain broccoli. Arrange over turkey/chicken. Spoon sauce over the top. Sprinkle with a can of french-fried onions. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.

Fisherman’s Specialty

Crush 30 crackers into a pie dish or shallow bowl. Beat 2 eggs and a tsp of lemon-pepper seasoning in another shallow bowl. Dip 6 bluegill, crappie, or perch fillets in egg mixture, then coat with cracker crumbs. Sprinkle with another tsp of lemon-pepper seasoning.

Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a skillet. Fry fillets for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Roasted Mixed Nuts

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine 1 lb of mixed nuts 1/4 cup of maple syrup in a bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of brown sugar and an envelope of ranch salad dressing mix. Stir gently to coat.

Spread in a greased baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool. Store in an airtight container.

Mock Champagne Punch

Combine equal parts of white grape juice and ginger ale in a punch bowl or individual glasses. Garnish with strawberries and raspberries.

SHOPPING LIST:

Heavy whipping cream

Eggs

Broccoli florets

6 black salsify roots

Eggplant

2 bunches of bananas

2-3 flats of strawberries

2 flats of raspberries

Honeydew melon

Lime

3 kiwis

6 pears

6 dates (If you don’t like to eat them on their own, chop them up and add to green salads)

6 bluegill, perch, or crappie fillets (2-3 oz each)

Chicken or turkey (use leftovers, breasts, deli, whatever works, but you will need roughly 2 cups worth)

1 lb mixed nuts

Saltine crackers

Can of french-fried onions

Can of pineapple tidbits (20 oz)

Can of mandarin oranges (11 oz)

Package of instant lemon pudding

Package of stuffing mix (6 oz)

Hollandaise sauce mix

Ranch salad dressing mix

Lemon-pepper seasoning

Ground cloves

White grape juice

Ginger ale

Maple syrup

All-purpose flour

[Also needed: brown sugar, vegetable oil, butter]

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.

Week 34 – Bonus Recipe!

Shopping List:

Can of apricot halves

Orange juice concentrate

Pint lemon sherbet

4 chicken breasts

12 pepperoni slices

Mozzarella cheese

Can of pizza sauce

Fresh parsley

4 hamburger buns

Can of pineapple slices

Cheddar cheese

Mushrooms

Lemon

[Buy a half liter of milk this week. Also needed: peanut butter]

 

Breakfast: Muffin

Lunch: Sandwich and a glass of lemon water

Dinner: Chicken, rice, and sauteed mushrooms

Dessert: Apricot drink

 

Frothy Apricot Drink

(This recipe yields 4 cups of drink. Only make what you can drink so I would recommend quartering or halving the whole recipe)

Place a can of apricot halves with juice, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1/4 cup of orange juice concentrate in a blender. Cover and process until smooth. Add a pint of lemon sherbet. Cover and process just until combined. Pour into glasses and drink immediately.

 

Pizza Chicken Roll-Ups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flatten 4 chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness. Place 3 slices of pepperoni and 1 slice of mozzarella cheese on each. Roll up tightly. Secure with toothpicks. Place in a greased baking dish. Spoon pizza sauce over roll-ups.

Cover and bake for 35-40 minutes. Uncover and top with 4 more slices of mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer. Sprinkle with minced fresh parsley.

 

Peanut Pineapple Bun

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a hamburger bun, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Spread with peanut butter. Place a pineapple slice on the bottom half and a slice of cheddar cheese on the top. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Place cheese-topped buns over pineapple.

 

[Over the last couple months I had come $3-$7 under budget on each grocery trip. Instead of spending it on additional items, I put it away in a jar until I had enough to buy the ingredients for these delicious muffins! It costs about $30 total, but I had a lot of leftover ingredients to use for other things later.]

 

Healthy Carrot and Apple Muffins

Preheat oven to 375°F and line standard-sized muffin pan with muffin cups. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of maple syrup, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 6 oz of yogurt, and 2 tsp of vanilla. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of quick-cooking oats, 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 2 tsp of baking soda, 1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon, 1 tsp of ground ginger, and 1/2 tsp of salt until thoroughly mixed. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until all ingredients are evenly moistened. Stir in 3 peeled and grated carrots, 2 peeled and grated apples, and 1/2 cup of dried fruit (I used raisins, cranberries, and cherries).

In a small bowl, use a pastry cutter or fork to press together 1 Tbsp of cold butter, 1 Tbsp of brown sugar, and 1 Tbsp of flour until crumbly. Add 2 Tbsp of oats, 2 Tbsp of sesame seeds, and 1 Tbsp of ground flaxseed, and press together until they form a uniform crumbly mixture.

Fill each muffin cup almost to the top with batter.  Sprinkle a spoonful of the topping over each muffin.  Bake for 20-22 minutes.

Week 31

Shopping List:

Cream cheese

Can of crushed pineapple

1/4 lb (or 115 g) of ground ham (You may have to go to a butcher to get this. Some groceries stores don’t offer it)

Box of crackers

Snack rye bread

4 pkgs of ramen noodles

Spaghetti or pizza sauce

4 oz of mozzarella cheese

3 oz package of pepperoni

Pint of strawberries

White wine – I recommend a drier Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, or an American Chardonnay (use apple juice as a substitute if there is an aversion to alcohol)

Lemon

Cauliflower

Cape Gooseberries

[Also needed: lemon juice, sugar, olive oil]

 

Lunch: Soup, crackers, rye bread and spread, and cape gooseberries

Dinner: Pizza, cauliflower, and a glass of white wine

 

Strawberry Soup

Hull 1 pint of fresh strawberries. Combine strawberries, 1/2 cup of white wine, 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 Tbsp of lemon juice, and 1 tsp of grated lemon peel in a blender. [Note: If using apple juice instead of wine, use 1/4 cup of sugar instead and then add more later to taste] Cover and process until smooth. Pour into two bowls, cover, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

 

Noodle Pepperoni Pizza

Discard seasoning packets from 4 packages of ramen noodles or save for another use. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in an oven-proof skillet. Press noodles into the skillet, evenly covering the bottom of the pan. Cook about 5 minutes.

Pour 1 cup of spaghetti or pizza sauce over the crust. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and a 3 oz package of pepperoni that you have cut into strips. Broil 4-6 inches from the heat for 3-4 minutes.

 

Pineapple Ham Spread

Combine half a package of cream cheese, an 8 oz can of crushed pineapple, and 1/2 cup of ground ham in a bowl. Eat with crackers and snack rye bread.

Week 30

Shopping List:

Cranberry-apple juice (1 gallon)

46 oz can of pineapple juice

6 oz lemonade or orange juice concentrate

Can of pineapple rings or tidbits

Cranberries

Mint

Lemon-lime soda (like 7Up or Sprite)

1 lb of perch fillets (or haddock)

Pancake mix

Boneless sirloin tip roast (about 4 lbs)

2 envelopes of Italian salad dressing mix

Jar of mild pepper rings

18 hoagie buns

Zucchini

Cantaloupe

[Also needed: pepper, oil]

 

Lunch: Hoagie and a few slice of cantaloupe

Dinner: Perch, roasted zucchini with sea salt, pepper, and olive oil, rice, and a glass of juice

 

Italian Beef Hoagies

(This recipe is huge, so I recommend freezing half of it right away and then either thawing it out when you are finished eating the first half or saving it for another week when you find yourself short on food or money. Also note that this is a slow cooker recipe so it will take about 9 hours)

Place a 4 lb boneless sirloin tip roast that has been cut in half in a slow cooker. Combine 2 envelopes of Italian salad dressing mix and 2 cups of water and pour over meat. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove meat and shred with a fork. This is the point where you should freeze half if you are going to. Freeze half the buns as well. Return the half you are not freezing to the slow cooker. Add half a 16 oz jar of mild pepper rings (don’t drain it) and heat through. Spoon 1/2 cup of meat mixture on a hoagie bun.

 

Perch Fillets

Pour 1 1/2 cups of lemon-lime soda in a shallow bowl. Add 1 lb of perch fillets and let stand for 15 minutes. Combine 2 cups of pancake mix and 1/4 tsp of pepper in another shallow bowl. Remove fish from soda and coat with pancake mix.

Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry fish for 2-3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.

 

Cranberry Quencher

Fill half your glass with cranberry-apple juice. Pour in pineapple juice until the glass is 3/4 full. Stir in a Tbsp of lemonade or orange juice concentrate. Garnish with a pineapple ring, a couple cranberries, and a couple mint leaves. Play with the juice proportions to suit your taste.

 

Week 19

Shopping List:

Pineapple juice

Orange juice

Ginger ale

Navel orange

Lime juice

4 chicken breasts

2 lbs ground beef

3 cans of baked beans

Can of tomato juice

Can of V8 juice

Envelope of chili seasoning

Your favorite leafy greens

3 grapefruits

Bread

Veggie of your choice to add to the greens to make a salad

[Also needed: 2 quarts of cranberry juice from last week, lemon juice, honey, soy sauce]

 

Lunch: Chili, bread, salad, 1/2 a grapefruit, and a glass of punch

Dinner: Chicken, rice, and greens

 

Picnic Fruit Punch

Combine 2 quarts of cranberry juice, 3 cups of pineapple juice, 3 cups of orange juice, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice in a large container. Slice naval orange and add to juice. Refrigerate. When you are ready to have a glass, pour 2 parts juice to 1 part ginger ale with some ice and an orange slice. You can play with the portions depending on how sweet/bubbly you like your punch.

 

Honey-Lime Grilled Chicken

Combine 1/2 cup of honey, 1/3 cup of soy sauce, and 1/4 cup of lime juice in a Ziplock or shallow glass container. Mix well. Add 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves and turn to coat. Seal or cover and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.

Drain and discard marinate. Grill chicken, uncovered, over medium heat for 6-7 minutes on each side.

 

Baked Bean Chili

Cook 2 lbs of ground beef over medium heat in a Dutch oven. Drain. Stir in 3 cans of baked beans, a can of tomato juice, a can of V8 juice, and an envelope of chili seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Week 23

Shopping List:

Apple juice

Pineapple juice

Orange juice

Ginger ale

Orange or pineapple sherbet

2 lbs of haddock or cod fillets

Graham crackers

Saltine crackers

Fresh or frozen broccoli

Onion

Can of reduced-sodium chicken broth

Cornstarch

Can of fat-free evaporated milk

Peas

Grapes

 

Lunch: Soup and grapes

Dinner: Fish nuggets, rice, and peas

Dessert: Sherbet punch

 

Low-Fat Broccoli Soup

Combine 2 cups of chopped fresh or frozen broccoli, 1/2 cup of chopped onion, and a can of reduced-sodium chicken broth in a pot. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Puree half the mixture in a blender and return to the pot.

Whisk 2 Tbsp of cornstarch and 3 Tbsp of fat-free evaporated milk in a small bowl until smooth. Gradually add the rest of the can of milk. Stir into the broccoli mixture. Bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes.

 

Fish Nuggets

Heat oil in an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer to 375 degrees. Cut 2 lbs of haddock or cod fillet into 1 inch cubes. Secure with  toothpick if necessary. Finely crush about 16 graham crackers to make 1 cup of crumbs and 25 saltine crackers to make 3/4 cup of crumbs and mix together with 2 tsp of seasoning salt in a shallow bowl. Roll fish cubes in crumb mixture until coated.

Fry nuggets, a few at a time, for 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

 

Fruity Sherbet Punch

Pour equal parts of apple juice, pineapple juice, and orange juice into a glass, filling it about halfway. Add ginger ale filling glass to be 2/3 full. Top with a scoop of orange or pineapple sherbet. You can play around with the juice and ginger ale portions to find the combination you like the best.

[My perfect proportion: 2 oz of each juice and 4 oz of ginger ale]

Week 21 – Special Week! 5 Recipes for $50!

Shopping List:

Orange juice

2 cans of crushed, unsweetened pineapple

6 chicken breasts

Carton of whipped cream cheese with onion and chives

Bacon

Pkg of brown-and-serve sausage links

4 tart apples (like Granny Smith, Braeburn, or Pink Lady)

4 pita breads

Lettuce

Raspberries

Plain lowfat vanilla yogurt

Eggs

Your choice of fresh fruit for on top of tarts – I really like strawberries

Polenta or Yellow corn meal

Lemon

[Also needed: maple syrup, almond meal, baking powder, salt, unsalted butter, sugar, oats]

 

Breakfast: Tart

Lunch: Pita, raspberries, and juice

Dinner: Chicken, rice, and lettuce

Dessert: Cake!

 

Pineapple Orange Drink

Place 3/4 cup of orange juice, 1/4 can of crushed, unsweetened pineapple and 2 ice cubes in a blender. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into a chill glass.

 

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Flatten 6 chicken breasts to 1/2 inch thickness. Spread 3 Tbsp of whipped cream cheese with onion and chives over each breast. Dot with 1 Tbsp of cubed butter and sprinkle with salt to taste. Roll up. Wrap each with a strip of bacon. Place, seam side down, in a greased baking pan.

Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes. Broil 6 inches from the heat for 5 minutes.

 

Apple Sausage Pitas

Slice a package of brown-and-serve sausage links. Cook sausage and 4 peeled and thinly sliced tart apples in a skillet until heated through and apples are tender. Add 1/4 cup of maple syrup and heat through. Cut 4 pita breads in half. When ready to eat, zap pita in microwave for 20 seconds and fill with sausage mixture. Enough filling to fill 8 pita halves.

 

Yogurt Tartlets

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Stir together 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup of oats, and  1 tsp of salt in a medium bowl.  Melt 7 Tbsp of butter over medium heat in a large saucepan.  Once melted, add 2 Tbsp of natural cane sugar and 2 Tbsp of maple syrup and stir until evenly incorporated.  Add flour/oat mixture, stir to mix, and continue to cook for two minutes.  Dough will turn slightly whiter in spots and will start to smell toasted as it cooks.

Turn the dough out onto a cutting board or other heatproof surface.  Divide into 6 portions.  When cool enough to touch, press each portion into the bottom and around the sides of a 4 inch tartlet pan.  Freeze tartlet crusts for 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup of plain lowfat vanilla yogurt, 2 tsp of lemon juice, and 2 Tbsp of maple syrup.  Lightly beat 2 eggs in a small bowl, then stir into yogurt just to incorporate.  Divide yogurt mixture evenly among tartlet pans.  Bake for 23-25 minutes.  Refrigerate baked tartlets for 2-3 hours before serving.  Serve cold, topped with fresh or dried fruit.

 

Lemon Polenta Cake

Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper and spray the bottom and sides of the pan with nonstick spray.
Whisk together 2/3 cup of polenta, 1 3/4 cup of almond meal, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp of salt in a medium bowl, and set aside.
Melt 14 Tbsp of unsalted butter and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Crack 3 eggs into bowl and beat gently.
Working in stages, gently mix together 1/3 of the butter mixture, 1/3 of the dry ingredients, and 1/3 of the beaten eggs. Repeat this process twice more with the remaining ingredients, until all ingredients are just incorporated.
Fold in the zest of one lemon, and pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes.
Just before the cake is finished – after about 30 minutes of baking – make the glaze. Heat the juice of one lemon and 1/2 cup of sugar plus 2 more Tbsp of sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.
While the cake is still hot, use a toothpick to poke small holes all over the cake. Spoon the glaze evenly over the cake, and spread as necessary. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to prevent sticking, before you release it. Cook slightly, and enjoy!