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]

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]

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 20

Shopping List:

Pkg of instant vanilla pudding mix

Whipped topping (like Cool Whip)

Graham crackers

Can of cream of chicken soup

4 oz of cheddar cheese

Pkg of frozen California-blend vegetables

Rice

150 g deli ham cut as a 1 cm thick steak

2 cans of tomato soup

Chili powder

Oyster crackers

Monterey Jack cheese

Leek

3 pomegranates

Natural cane sugar

[Buy a 1 L of milk this week. Also needed: miniature semisweet chocolate chips]

 

Lunch: Soup and 1/2 a pommegranate

Dinner: Ham and rice bake

Dessert: Ice cream sandwich!

 

Icebox Sandwiches

Mix a package of instant vanilla pudding mix and 2 cups of cold milk according to package directions and refrigerate until set. Fold in 2 cups of whipped topping and a cup of miniature semisweet chocolate chips.

Place 24 graham crackers square on a baking sheet. Top each with about 3 Tbsp of filling. Place another graham cracker on top. Freeze for 1 hour. Wrap individually in plastic wrap. Freeze. Eat frozen.

 

Ham and Rice Bake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine a can of condensed cream of chicken soup and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese in a large pot. Cook and stir until cheese is melted. Stir in a thawed package of California-blend vegetables, a cup of cooked rice, a cup of cubed deli ham, and a sliced leek (just the white and pale green part – compost the dark green part unless you want to make soup out if it).

Transfer to a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup more of cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.

 

Zesty Tomato Soup

Combine 2 cans of condensed tomato soup, 2 2/3 cups of water, and 2 tsp of chili powder in a pot. Heat through. Garnish with oyster crackers and shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

 

Instant Impromptu Soup Tips!

Create instant soup by combining leftover vegetables with chicken or beef broth in a blender and processing until smooth.

OR

Add chicken or beef broth to leftover rice and stir in some lightly sauteed vegetables.

Heat just until warmed through.

Make soup out of leftovers and then freeze to eat on a later date.