Parmesan Breadsticks – 64¢/breadstick

Grated Parmesan cheese

Italian seasoning

White bread dough (Thaw it 24 hours ahead of time if its frozen)

Butter

Pizza sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and 1 1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning in a shallow bowl. Set aside. Divide dough into 32 sections. Roll each into a 5″ rope. Twist two pieces together. Moisten ends with water and pinch to seal.
  3. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a small bowl.
  4. Dip in dough sticks in butter, then in cheese mixture.
  5. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-14 minutes. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

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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]

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars (Dinner for Two Week 19)

Breakfast: Pineapple Ham Bake, Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars, or Yogurt

Lunch: Leftovers + prunes, figs, grapes, raisins

Dinner: Italian Flank Steak, Mini Sausage Pizzas, or Honey Mustard Chicken, rice or potatoes with onion, parsnip and shallot

Dessert: Key-Lime Avocado Pie

Italian Flank Steak

Combine 2 envelopes of fat-free Italian salad dressing mix, 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil, and 1 Tbsp of lemon juice. Brush onto both sides of a 1 lb flank steak. Place in a shallow dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Grill over hot heat for 3 minutes per side.

Mini Sausage Pizzas

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook 1 lb of bulk pork sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain well. Beat 2 5 oz jars of sharp American cheese spread, 1/4 cup of butter, and 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper in a small mixing bowl. Stir in sausage. Split 12 English muffins. Spread cheese mixture on cut sides of each muffin half.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.

This pizzas freeze really well. Wrap them individually and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, unwrap, place on a baking sheet, and bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes. 

Key-Lime Avocado Pie

To make the crust: In a food processor, combine 3/4 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut, 1/4 cup of unsalted macadamia  nuts, 1/2 tsp of lime zest, and 1/8 tsp of salt, and chop coarsely. Add 1 tsp of lime juice and 1/2 cup of chopped dates and process until it sticks together. Sprinkle a 9″ pie plate with 2 Tbsp of coconut and pat the crust on top and up the sides of the plate. Chill while making filling.

To make filling: Combine 1 1/2 cup of avocado, 1/3 cup of fresh lime juice, 1/3 cup of honey or agave, 4 Tbsp of refined coconut oil, and 1/4 tsp of salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. You may have to add more lime juice and honey/agave depending on the moisture in the avocado. If it needs more liquid, I recommend adding equal parts of both. Adjust flavors to taste. Pour over crust and chill 4-6 hours. Garnish with zest of half a lime and some lime slices.

Note: Unrefined coconut oil can be used, but it will give the pie a more coconut flavor. I prefer it that way, but some like the traditional key-lime flavor better. 

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper comes over the sides. (You’re going to lift it up later to easily remove the bars from the pan without making a mess.)

Mix 1/2 cup of vanilla whey protein powder, 1/4 cup of your choice of flour, 1/2 cup of rolled oats, 1/2 cup of spelt flakes, 1/3 cup of spelt bran, 1/4 cup of wheat germ, 1/2 tsp of sea salt, 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of nutmeg, 1/8 tsp of cardamom, 1/8 tsp of allspice, 1/2 cup of organic dried apples and 1/2 cup of peeled and grated apple in one bowl.

Mix 2 Tbsp of honey or agave, 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce, 2 Tbsp of melted coconut butter, and 1 tsp of vanilla in another bowl.

Combine well by stirring with a spoon. The batter should be chunky.

Pour the batter into the lined baking pan and use another piece of parchment and even off the surface.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and lift the parchment paper ‘handles’ out. Allow the bars to cool for about 15 minutes and then slice into 8 even rectangles.

Pineapple Ham Bake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 2 undrained cans of crushed pineapple, 2/3 cup of packed brown sugar, 1 Tbsp of vinegar, and 2 tsp of ground mustard in an ungreased baking dish. Mix well. Cut 1 lb of fully cooked ham into bite-size pieces. Stir into pineapple mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Honey-Mustard Chicken

Flatten 4 chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness. Combine 1 cup of dry bread crumbs and 1 tsp of Dijon mustard in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Combine 3 Tbsp of honey and 2 Tbsp of Dijon mustard in another shallow bowl or pie plate.  Dip chicken in honey-mustard mixture and then coat with crumbs.

Cook chicken in 2 Tbsp of butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat on both sides for about 8 minutes.

SHOPPING LIST:

Yogurt

Gluten-free pie crust (9″)

12 English muffins

Bread

Onion

3 parsnips

2 avocados

Lrg bag of potatoes

Shallot

Prunes (6 loose or a container)

6 figs

Apple

4 limes (or 1 lime, plus lime juice)

Dates

Lemon (or lemon juice)

Grapes

1 lb flank steak

1 lb bulk pork sausage

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

2 cans of crushed pineapple (8 oz each)

Dried apples (organic preferably)

Raisins

Spelt flakes

Spelt bran

Allspice

2 envelopes of fat-free Italian salad dressing mix

Coconut butter

Refined coconut oil

2 jars of American cheese spread [like Cheez Whiz] (5 oz ea)

Frozen blueberries

[Also needed: lemon juice, vegetable oil, shredded (unsweetened) coconut, unsalted macadamia nuts, dry bread crumbs, ground mustard, salt, Dijon mustard, vanilla whey protein powder, honey, flour, rolled oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, sea salt, wheat germ, cardamom, brown sugar, agave nectar/syrup, vanilla, cayenne pepper, vinegar, unsweetened applesauce]

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]

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 46

Shopping List:

Tube of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

2-3 oz mozzarella cheese

Pizza sauce

12 cherry tomatoes

1 lb smoked turkey sausage (fully cooked)

2 green peppers

Onion

Rice

Envelope of Italian salad dressing mix

6 hoagie buns

12-16 oz of sliced luncheon meat (I got a variety of salami, ham, and turkey)

12 thin slices of cheese (I got a variety of Swiss, cheddar, and brick)

Bag of chips (Plain pairs the best as a side dish so it doesn’t overwhelm the main attraction of the meal)

Jar of pickles

5 figs

[Also needed: oregano, butter]

 

Lunch: Sandwich, chips, pickles, a fig, and mozzarella puffs

Dinner: Kabobs with rice

 

Hot Hoagies

Combine 3/4 cup of softened butter and an envelope of Italian salad dressing mix. Spread 1 Tbsp inside each of 6 hoagie buns. On bottom of each bun, layer one slice of meat, two slices of cheese, and another slice of meat. Replace tops. Spread 1 Tbsp of butter mixture over top of each bun.

Place on a baking sheet. Broil 6 inches from the heat for 2-3 minutes. Eat with chips and pickles.

 

Colorful Kabobs

Cut 1 lb of fully cooked smoked turkey sausage into 1/2 inch chunks. Cut 2 green peppers into 1 inch pieces. Cut an onion into wedges. Thread a cherry tomato onto six metal or soaked wooden skewers. Alternate the sausage, green pepper, and onion wedges on skewers, ending with another tomato.

Grill, uncovered, over medium-hot heat for 10-15 minutes. Remove meat and vegetables from skewers and serve over rice.

 

Mozzarella Puffs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take apart a refrigerated tube of buttermilk biscuits and make an indentation in the center of each biscuit. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of dried oregano. Cut a 2-3 oz block of mozzarella cheese into 10 cubes, 3/4 inch each. Place a cube in the center of each biscuit. Pinch dough tightly around cheese to seal.

Place seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet Spread 2 Tbsp of pizza sauce over tops. Bake 10-12 minutes.

 

Week 38 – Bonus Recipe!

Shopping List:

Semisweet chocolate chips (12 oz)

Butter-flavored shortening

Crisp rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)

Pkg of Milk Duds (10 oz)

6 chicken breasts

2 jars of apricot preserves (12 oz each)

Envelope of onion soup mix

Rice

Bread

Provolone or mozzarella cheese

Pepperoni

Pizza sauce

5 oranges

2 shallots

Bananas

[Also needed: butter]

 

Breakfast: Muffin

Lunch: Grilled cheese, an orange, a banana, and a treat

Dinner: Chicken and rice

 

Pizza Grilled Cheese

Butter one side of two slices of bread. Place one slice in a skillet, butter side down. Top with a slice of provolone or mozzarella cheese, 6 slices of pepperoni, 3 Tbsp of pizza sauce, 1 Tbsp of minced shallot, and second bread slice, butter side up.

Cook over medium heat until golden brown, turning once. Eat sandwich with additional pizza sauce for dipping, if you want.

 

Saucy Apricot Chicken

Place 6 chicken breasts in a slow cooker. Combine 2 12 oz jars of apricot preserves, an envelope of onion soup mix, and a chopped shallot. Spoon over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Serve over rice.

 

“After-School” Treats

Combine 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of butter-flavored shortening in a large glass bowl. Cover and microwave about 2 minutes. Cover and microwave for about 2 minutes. Stir until well blended. Stir in 5 cups of crisp rice cereal until well coated.

Combine a package of Milk Duds and 1 Tbsp of water in another glass bowl. Cover and microwave for 1 minute. Mix well. Stir into cereal mixture. Spread into a buttered pan. Cover and refrigerate for 30  minutes. Cut into bars.

 

Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 2 tsp of baking powder, 1 tsp of baking soda, 1 tsp of cinnamon, and a dash of salt.

In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of apple sauce, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of milk, a mashed banana, and 1/4 cup of honey.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Fold in 1 cup of grated zucchini.

Fill lightly greased muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Week 36

Shopping List:

Tube of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

Tomato sauce

Italian seasoning

10 slices of pepperoni

Monterey Jack cheese

4 bone-in pork loin chops

Long grain rice

Orange juice

Can of chicken with rice soup

Can of sliced potatoes

Pkg of frozen creamed spinach

Dried basil

5 nectarines

2 parsnips

Applesauce (You can eat all but 1/2 cup of it)

[Also needed: vegetable oil. Buy a 1L of milk this week]

 

Breakfast: Applesauce

Lunch: Soup, mini pizza, nectarine and a glass of orange juice

Dinner: Casserole with roasted parsnips

 

Spinach Potato Soup

Combine 3 cups of milk, a can of sliced potatoes, a thawed package of creamed spinach, 1/2 tsp of dried basil, and 3/4 tsp of garlic salt in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool slightly.

Transfer mixture to a blender. Cover and process until small pieces of potato remain. Return to the pan and heat through.

 

Pork Chop Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown 4 pork loin chops (bone-in) in 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a large skillet. Drain. Place 1 1/3 cups of uncooked long grain rice in an ungreased shallow baking dish. Pour 1 cup of orange juice over rice. Top with pork chops and a can of condensed chicken with rice soup.

Cover and bake for 40-45 minutes.

 

Lunch Box Pizzas

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Flatten 10 buttermilk biscuits into a 3 inch circle and press into a greased muffin cups. Combine 1/4 cup of tomato sauce and 1 tsp of Italian seasoning. Spoon 1 tsp into each cup. Top each with a slice of pepperoni and about 1 Tbsp of shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Bake for 10-15 minutes. Eat right away or store in the fridge.

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.