Ribs with Plum Sauce (Dinner for Two Week 20)

Breakfast: Harvest Fruit Compote with Yogurt

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

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

Dessert: Raw Berry Blueberry Pie & Pudding

Oven Swiss Steak

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

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

Green Chili Burritos

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

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

Raw Berry Blueberry Pudding & Pie 

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

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

Harvest Fruit Compote

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

Ribs with Plum Sauce

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

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

Dijon Chicken Kabobs

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

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

SHOPPING LIST:

Yogurt (Greek preferably)

Sharp cheddar cheese (4 oz)

Fresh bread crumbs

8 6″ flour tortillas

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

Grapes

3 nectarines

2 plums

2 packages or strawberries (at least 3o)

Orange

Lemon

6 pears

Honeydew

Green onion

3 turnips

Onion

6 beets

Radicchio

Corn (fresh or frozen)

Parsley (fresh)

2 lbs boneless round steak

1/2 lb ground beef

5-6 lbs pork spareribs

1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Plum jam (or apricot preserves)

Can of refried beans (16 oz)

Can of chopped green chilies (4.5 oz)

Can of mushrooms stems & pieces (4 oz)

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

Noodles

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

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

Breakfast: Cinnamon Bread or Cinnamon Bun Doughnut

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

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

Dessert: Upside Down Lemon Meringue Pie

Cinnamon Bun Doughnuts with Vanilla Glaze

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

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

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

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

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

 

Saucy Spareribs

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

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

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

 

Sesame Ginger Chicken

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread

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

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

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

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

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

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

French Bread Pizza

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

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

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

Turkey Asparagus Casserole

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

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

Note: Chicken can be substituted for turkey. 

SHOPPING LIST:

Heavy cream

Lowfat buttermilk

Eggs

Mozzarella cheese (8 oz)

Loaf of French bread

Elderberries

Grapes

 4 lemons

6 plums

4 pomegranates

6 Jerusalem artichokes

3 jicamas

Green onions

3-6 kohlrabis

Mushrooms

1/2 lb of ground beef

2 lbs pork spareribs

2 turkey breasts (or chicken)

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

Pkg of frozen chopped asparagus

Can of condensed cream of chicken soup

Can of pizza sauce

Jar of sliced mushrooms

Can of french-fried onions

Applesauce (unsweetened)

Unsalted macadamia nuts

Sesame seeds

Yeast

Whole wheat flour

2 cans of cola

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

Chocolate Panna Cotta Notta (Dinner for Two Week 17)

Breakfast: Olive Oil Granola, Breakfast Kabobs, Breakfast Treats, Cinnamon bun

Lunch: Black currants, blackberries, blueberries, dried plums

Dinner: Salsa Fish, ginger and garlic rice, zucchini or cauliflower

Dessert: Blueberry Pudding Cake or Chocolate Panna Cotta Notta

Chocolate Panna Cotta Notta

In a saucepan add 2 cups of almond milk and 4 tsp of agar agar powder. Let it sit for 5 minutes to allow agar agar to soften.

In a medium bowl add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, 1/4 cup of coconut oil, and 1/4 cup of agave nectar. Stir to combine ingredients thoroughly and set aside.

Bring almond milk/agar mix and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract to a simmer, then reduce and cook for 8 minutes.  Add chocolate mixture and stir to combine for 30 seconds.  Remove from heat.

Pour into 4 ramekins or small glasses.  (Use ramekins if you plan to turn out onto plates.  Use glasses if you intend to serve panna cotta’s in their own containers.)

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

To release panna cotta from ramekins – run a knife around edges of panna cotta and place individual ramekin into warm water for approximately 30 seconds.  Put plate on top of ramekin and turn over to release panna cotta from ramekin.

Top with chopped almonds and flaked coconut for extra flair.

*You can also use a vanilla bean, instead of vanilla extract in this recipe.  Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds.  Place the pod and seeds in the almond milk and agar agar mixture just before you start to simmer the mixture.  Remove the pods before adding in the chocolate.

Salsa Fish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 2 lbs of fish fillets in 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs. Brown fillets in 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a skillet. Arrange in a greased baking dish. Top with 1 1/2 of salsa, 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup of shredded provolone cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 7-10 minutes.

Blueberry Pudding Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Oil a circular deep ceramic pie or gratin dish.

In a mixer combine 3/4 cup of almond meal, 3/4 cup of gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1/4 tsp of xantham gum, 2 tsp of gluten-free baking powder and 1/4 tsp of salt. Mix on low speed until combined.
Mix 2/3 cup of soymilk (or regular skim), 1/3 cup of agave nectar, and 1/3 cup of egg whites in a smaller bowl. Add to the dry ingredients in the mixer and mix well to form the batter.

Place 2 cups of frozen blueberries on the bottom of the pre-oiled dish. Place the ceramic dish on top of a cookie sheet to catch drips during baking. Pour the batter on top of the berries. Mix 1/4 cup of turbinado sugar with 1 Tbsp of arrowroot. Sprinkle the sugar mixture on top of the batter. Pour the boiling water carefully on top of the whole thing and bake for 55-60 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Notes: 3/4 cup of regular all-purpose flour can be substituted for the gluten-free all-purpose flour mix and xantham gum if you are not on a gluten- or wheat-free diet. 

Refrigerate the leftovers. It’s great cold, especially with coffee!

Cornstarch can be substituted for arrowroot. 

For an extra special touch, make a batch of fresh whipped cream with a little agave nectar and a tsp of hazelnut or almond extract. Yum!

Olive Oil Granola

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats, 1 1/2 cups of raw pistachios, 3/4 cup of pumpkin seeds, 1/2 cup of wheat germ, 1/2 cup of ground flax seed, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of cardamom, and mix together. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 3/4 cup of pure maple syrup and 1/4 cup of light brown sugar, and whisk until fully combined. Add wet mixture to the oat mixture, and stir to fully coat.

Spread the granola mixture in an even, single layer on rimmed, parchment-lined baking sheets, working in batches if necessary.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Stir 1 cup of shredded coconut into the mixture prior to the final 10 minutes of baking.

Remove from the oven and fully cool before serving. Store in an air tight container.

Breakfast Treats

Wrap plain smoked sausage with half a strip of bacon. Secure with a toothpick. Place in a baking dish and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Breakfast Kabobs

Cut a package of brown ‘n’ serve sausage links in half. Drain a can of pineapple chunks. Alternatively thread sausages, pineapple chunks, and mushrooms onto metal or soaked bamboo skewers. Brush with 2 Tbsp of melted butter and some maple syrup.

Grill, uncovered, over medium-hot heat, turning and basting with syrup, for 8 minutes. Serve with your favorite egg dish.

SHOPPING LIST:

Whipped cream

4 oz mozzarella cheese

4 oz provolone cheese

Soymilk (or regular skim)

Almond milk (unsweetened)

24 pack of eggs

Cinnamon buns

10 mushrooms

Zucchini

Cauliflower

Garlic

Ginger

Black currants

Blackberries

Pkg of brown ‘n’ serve sausage links

Plain smoked sausage

Bacon

2 lbs fish fillets (walleye, bass, or perch)

2 pkgs frozen blueberries

Can of pineapple chunks (20 oz)

Salsa

Ground flaxseed

Cardamom

Xanthum gum (or regular all-purpose flour)

Arrowroot

Turbinado sugar

Agar agar powder

Agave nectar

Hazelnut or almond extract

Dried plums

Almonds

[Also needed: butter, pure maple syrup, light brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, extra virgin olive oil, shredded/flaked coconut, gluten-free all-purpose flour, baking powder, seasoned bread crumbs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, coconut oil]