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]

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Cinnamon, Spice, and Everything Nice Fruit Dip (Dinner for Two Week 13)

Breakfast: Coconut granola and strawberries

Lunch: Pasta bean or French bean salad, Fruit dip with apples, pears, strawberries, pineapple slices, apricots, and watermelon

Dinner: Ravioli casserole or Oven-roasted potatoes, Chayote squash or Chinese cabbage

Dessert: Cake

 

Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake

  1. Place 10 egg whites in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 1/4 cup of white rice flour, 1/4 cup of tapioca flour, and 1/4 cup of potato starch together twice. Set aside.
  2. Add 1 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar, 3/4 tsp of salt and 3/4 tsp of vanilla to egg whites. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold in flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.
  3. Gently spoon into an ungreased tube pan. Cut through the batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake on the lowest oven rack for 45-50 minutes. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.
  4. Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate. Top with fresh fruit. I recommend balls of cantaloupe, cape gooseberries, and kiwi as it makes the cake look more interesting that your typical berry mix. 

 

Coconut Granola

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine 3 cups of whole-rolled oats, 1/4 cup of chia seeds, 1/2 cup of raw sliced almonds, 1/2 cup of unsalted sunflower seeds, and 1/4 tsp of salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup of coconut oil, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and 1/4 cup of honey.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry , and mix well so the oat mixture is fully coated.
  5. Spread mixture in an even, single layer on the prepared baking sheet. (Work in batches or on multiple sheets if necessary!)
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  7. After removing the granola from the oven, stir in 1/2 cup of coconut flakes. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

 

Pasta Bean Salad

Cook a package of tricolor spiral pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, place a package of frozen California-blend vegetables in a glass dish. Cover and microwave for 7-8 minutes. Drain. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water.

Drain a can of sliced ripe olives and drain and rinse a can of your favorite beans. Combine pasta, vegetables, olives, and beans in a bowl. Combine 1 1/3 cups of Italian salad dressing and 1/2 tsp of garlic salt. Pour over salt and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

 

Ravioli Casserole                              I usually double the recipe using a second kind of ravioli for variety throughout the week

Preheat oven to to 350 degrees. Cook and drain a package of cheese ravioli. Spread 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce in an ungreased baking dish. Layer with half of the ravioli, 1 1/4 cups of spaghetti sauce, 1 cup of cottage cheese, and 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

[8-10 cups of cooked ravioli may be used instead]

 

Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice 2 lbs of red potatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Combine potatoes, 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, and an envelope of dry onion soup mix in a large Ziplock bag. Shake until well coated. Empty bag into an ungreased baking pan.

Cover and bake for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer.

 

Cinnamon ‘n’ Spice Fruit Dip

Combine 2 cups of whipped topping, 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg in a small bowl. Store in the fridge. Serve with fresh fruit – apples, pears, pineapple slices, and strawberries are best.

 

French Bean Salad

Cook and crumble 3 bacon strips. Combine 2 cups of thawed French-style green beans, 2 Tbsp of chopped onion, and bacon in a serving bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup of ranch salad dressing. Refrigerate until serving.

 

SHOPPING LIST:

Cottage cheese (16 oz)

Mozzarella cheese (16 oz)

Parmesan cheese

2 apples

2 pears

6 apricots

5 cape gooseberries

Kiwi

Pineapple

Watermelon

Cantaloupe

Chinese cabbage

3 chayote squash

2 pkgs of strawberries

2 lbs red potatoes

Onion

Bacon

Whipped topping

Frozen French-style green beans

Pkg of frozen cheese ravioli and pkg your favorite frozen ravioli other than cheese (28 oz ea)

Pkg of frozen California-blend vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)

Can of sliced ripe olives (2 oz)

Can of your favorite kind of beans

Can of whole kernel corn (15 oz)

Can of condensed cream of chicken soup (11 oz)

Ranch salad dressing

Spaghetti sauce (28 oz)

Coconut oil

Dry onion soup mix

Pkg of tricolor spiral pasta

[Also needed: brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vegetable oil, Italian salad dressing, garlic salt, salt, maple syrup, honey, coconut flakes, vanilla extract]

Chow Mein (Dinner for Two Week 12)

Lunch: Pasta salad, Pear or Rhubarb, Peanut butter popcorn bars

Dinner: Chicken and broccoli chow mein or Turkey and stuffing pie, Cooler

 

Tricolor Pasta Salad                              I usually double this one and sometimes add chickpeas

Cook a package of tricolor spiral pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, place a package of frozen California-blend vegetables in a glass dish. Cover and microwave for 7-8 minutes. Drain. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water.

Combine the pasta, vegetables, and a drained can of sliced ripe olives in a bowl. [Add chickpeas if using them.] Combine 1 – 1 1/3 cups of Italian salad dressing and 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of garlic salt. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving. 

 

Turkey and Stuffing Pie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If using raw turkey, cook 2 cups worth. If using deli, cube 2 cups worth. If using leftovers, shred 2 cups worth. Prepare 3 cups worth of stuffing (or use leftovers). Press stuffing onto the bottom and up the sides of a well-greased pie plate. Top with turkey and 1 cup of shredded Swiss cheese. Beat 3 eggs and 1/2 cup of milk. Pour over cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. 

 

Chicken and Broccoli Chow Mein

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook and cube 2 chicken breasts. Chop up broccoli. Combine a can of cream of chicken soup, a can of chicken with rice soup, and a can of evaporated milk in a bowl. Stir in chicken and broccoli. Transfer to a greased baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Stir. Sprinkle with chow mein noodles. Bake 5-10 minutes. 

 

Peanut Butter Popcorn Bars

Pop 3 bags of popcorn. Place in a large bowl. Set aside. Bring 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of light corn syrup to a boil in a pot over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. 

Stir in 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. Mix well. Pour over popcorn and mix under well coated. Press into a buttered pan. Cool slightly before cutting. 

 

Sunny Citrus Cooler

Combine a can of pineapple juice, 2 cans of thawed orange juice concentrate, and 3/4 cup of lemonade concentrate in a pitcher. Add 6 cups of ginger ale or white soda and mix well. Serve over ice. Garnish with orange slices. Refrigerate leftovers. 

 

SHOPPING LIST:

Swiss cheese

Eggs

Orange

6 pears

Rhubarb

Broccoli

Brussel sprouts

Celery

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Turkey (Leftovers, deli, or cook enough to get 2 cups worth)

2 pkgs of frozen California-blend vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots) [16 oz ea]

2 cans of frozen orange juice concentrate

Lemonade concentrate

Can of pineapple juice (46 oz)

Can of condensed cream of chicken soup

Can of condensed chicken with rice soup

Can of evaporated milk

Can of chow mein noodles

Can of chickpeas

2 cans of sliced ripe olives

Ginger ale or white soda

Light corn syrup

Popcorn

Stuffing

2 pkgs of tricolor spiral pasta (16 oz ea)

Whole-rolled oats

Chia seeds

Raw sliced almonds

Sunflower seeds

Garlic salt

[Also needed: sugar, vanilla, creamy peanut butter, milk, Italian salad dressing]

Banana Pops (Dinner for Two Week 11)

Lunch: Artichoke or Cottage cheese veggie salad, Taco tidbits, Apples or Grapes

Dinner: Chow mein chicken, Broccoli or Rapini

Dessert: Banana popsicles

Artichoke Heart Salad

Drain a can of artichoke hearts and cut each heart into quarters. Drain a can of sliced ripe olives. Chop a green pepper. Thinly slice green onions. Combine artichokes, olives, 1/3 cup of green pepper, and 1/3 cup of green onions in a bowl. Add 3/4 cup of Italian salad dressing and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Cottage Cheese Veggie Salad

Peel, pit, and chop a large, ripe avocado. Chop a tomato. Slice 1/4 cup of stuffed olives. Combine 3 cups of small-curd cottage cheese, avocado, tomato, and olives in a serving bowl. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of sliced green onions.

Chow Mein Chicken

This recipe yields one batch, but I usually double the recipe anyway because it’s so good!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook and cube two chicken breasts. Combine a can of cream of chicken soup, a can of chicken with rice soup, and a can of evaporated milk in a bowl. Stir in chicken. Transfer to a greased baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Stir. Sprinkle with a can of chow mein noodles. Bake 5-10 minutes. Add a drained can of sliced water chestnuts before baking for extra crunch, if you want.

Banana Pops

Cut a ripe banana into wedges. Combine 1 cup of vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup of orange juice, and the banana in a blender. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into Popsicle trays or pour into small plastic disposable cups and insert Popsicle sticks. Freeze until firm, about 5 hours or overnight.

Taco Tidbits

Place 6 Tbsp of butter in a glass dish. Cover and microwave for 60-70 seconds. Add 3 Tbsp of taco seasoning. Stir in 8 cups of Corn Chex until evenly coated.

Microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Heat 1 – 1 1/2 minutes longer. Stir. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Heat 1 minute longer. Cool.

SHOPPING LIST:

Eggs or egg whites

Cottage cheese (24 oz)

Parmesan cheese

Vanilla yogurt

Orange juice

Bananas

6 apples

Grapes

Avocado

Tomato

Green onions

Green pepper

Broccoli

Rapini

Stuffed olives

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

2 cans of condensed cream of chicken soup (11 oz ea)

2 cans of condensed chicken with rice soup (10.5 oz ea)

2 cans of chow mein noodles (3 oz ea)

2 cans of evaporated milk (5 oz ea)

Can of sliced water chestnuts

Can of artichoke hearts (14 oz)

Can of sliced ripe olives (2 oz)

Taco seasoning

Corn Chex

Cereal

Cornstarch

White rice flour

Tapioca flour

Cream of tartar

[Also needed: butter, sugar]

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

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

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

After Thanksgiving Salad 

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

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

Frozen Cherry Salad

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

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

Tuna Delight

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

Breaded Ranch Chicken

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

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

A-maze-ing Mix

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

Cheerio’ Squares

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

SHOPPING LIST:

Cream cheese

Parmesan cheese

Eggs

Orange

Arugula

Asparagus

14 grapefruits

12 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Frozen whipped topping

Frozen mixed vegetables

Can of tuna (12 oz)

Can of condensed cream of chicken or celery soup

Can of cherry pie filling (21 oz)

2 cans of mandarin oranges

Jar of maraschino cherries

Sweet pickle relish

Peanut butter

Pkg of mini marshmallows (10.5 oz)

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

Ranch salad dressing mix

Crushed cornflakes

Cheerios

Corn pops

Popcorn

Corn chips

Pecans

Rice

Noodles

Baking soda

Canola oil

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

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]

Chuck Wagon Dinners (Dinner for Two Week 4)

Breakfast: Smoothie

Lunch: Burger or Chili Baked Potato, Cheese Wedges, bananas or strawberries

Dinner: Chicken Cordon Bleu or Cube Steak; rice or baked potato; mixed vegetables

Chuck Wagon Burgers

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine 2 lbs of ground beef, an envelope of onion soup mix, and 1/2 cup of water in a bowl. Mix well. Shape into 8 3/4 inch patties. Grill, uncovered, or broil 4 inches from the heat for 5-6 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, take apart a tube of large refrigerated biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with an 1/8 tsp of seasoning salt. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Split. Top each biscuit with a hamburger.

5-Can Chili Topping

Combine a can of chili with beans, a drained can of mixed vegetables, a drained can of whole kernel corn, a can of diced tomatoes, and a can of green chilies in a pot. Heat through.

Baked Potatoes (4 Methods – Pick the one that works best for your schedule!)

Rub potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and prick them with the tines of a fork.

  1. The original method for (crispy skins): Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lay potatoes directly on the rack or place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes.
  2. The traditional method (soft skins): Preheat oven to 435 degrees. Wrap potatoes in tin foil. Lay potatoes directly on the rack or place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes.
  3. The quickest method (soft skins): Place potatoes in a glass dish and microwave for 5 minutes. Turn over and microwave another 3-5 minutes.
  4. The working-girl method (soft skins): Wrap potatoes in tin foil and place in slow cooker. Cook on low for low for 8-10 hours.

Top with chili, sour cream, chives or green onions, cooked and crumbled bacon, and cheddar cheese.

Broiled Chicken Cordon Bleu

Place 4 chicken breasts on the rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 3 minutes. Turn and broil 3 minutes on the other side. Brush with 1/4 cup of melted butter. Continue turning and basting about 4 minutes.

Place a slice of deli meat on each chicken breast. Broil for 1-2 minutes. Spread 1 Tbsp of honey mustard dressing over each. Top with a slice of deli cheese. Broil for 30 seconds.

Note: You can do them all the same if you want, as in all with ham and Swiss, for example. I like to make them all different so it feels like a different meal when we reheat leftovers the next day. Plus, I prefer stronger flavored cheeses, like sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack, while my boyfriend prefers milder ones, like mozzarella and Swiss. With a variety to choose from, it kind of feels like we went out for dinner at a restaurant!

Seasoned Cube Steaks

Combine 1 cup of soy sauce, 1 tsp of dried minced garlic, and 1 tsp of dried minced onion in a large Ziplock bag. Add 4 cube steaks. Seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes, turning once.

Drain and discard marinade. Place steaks on a greased broiler pan. Broil 4 inches from the heat for about 4 minutes on each side. Serve with mixed vegetables and rice or baked potatoes.

Cheese Wedges

Cut a package of extra sharp cheddar cheese into 1/2 inch slices. Cut each slice in half diagonally. Combine 1/3 cup of seasoned dry bread crumbs and 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes in a shallow bowl. [Note: You can omit crushed red pepper flakes if you don’t like spice.] Beat an egg in another bowl. Dip cheese triangles into egg, then in crumb mixture.

Place on a greased baking sheet. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 2-3 minutes. Serve cheese wedges warm with pizza sauce for sipping.

Strawberry Banana Shakes

Place 2 Tbsp of milk, 1/2 cup of strawberry ice cream,  and 1/2 firm banana (sliced) in a blender. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into glasses. Garnish with whipped cream and a strawberry, if desired.

SHOPPING LIST:

Extra sharp cheddar cheese (9 oz)

4 thin slices of deli cheese (I got one Swiss, one mozzarella, one Monterey Jack, and one cheddar)

Whipped cream

Sour cream

Eggs

Tube of large refrigerated biscuits

Bananas

Strawberries

Chives or green onions

Potatoes (about 20)

4 cube steaks (1 1/4 lbs)

2 lb ground beef

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

4 thin slices of deli cold cuts (I got 2 ham and 2 turkey)

Bacon

Strawberry ice cream

Can of pizza sauce

Can of chili with beans

2 cans of mixed vegetables

Can of whole kernel corn

Can of diced tomatoes

Can of green chilies

Soy sauce

Honey mustard salad dressing

Rice

Envelope of onion soup mix

Crushed red pepper flakes

Dried minced garlic

Dried minced onion

Seasoning salt

[Also needed: Seasoned bread crumbs, Milk, Butter]

Tangy Pork Tenderloin (Dinner for Two Week 2)

Breakfast: Smoothie and/or Omelette

Lunch: Burrito, Reuben spread and cocktail rye bread and a Plum or Pommegranate

Dinner: Pork Tenderloin and Potatoes or Tuna Casserole and Beets

Two Meals One Pot [Take Two]

Combine 2 cans of chili with beans, 2 cans of drained mixed vegetables, 2 drained cans of whole kernel corn, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 2 cans of green chilies in a pot, and 2 dashes of chili powder. Heat through.

a) Zap a tortilla in the microwave for 15-30 seconds. Scoop chili mixture onto tortillas and wrap up burrito-style! Add any leftover vegetables, beans, cheese, or toppings you have lying around, if you want to. It’s good with just the chili mixture too though!

b) Beat 2 eggs with a splash of milk. Spoon a couple scoops of chili mixture into a coated pan or a non-stick egg pan. After 30 seconds, pour the egg mixture on top. Do not touch it for one minute. Flip it over. If you have any leftover cheese, add it at this stage. Let cook for another mixture. Use your flipper to fold it in half and slide onto the plate.

Swiss Tuna Bake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 4 cups of cooked egg noodles, 1 1/2 cups of shredded Swiss cheese, 1 cup of mayonnaise, and a can of drained and flaked tuna in a large bowl. Spread 1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs into a greased baking dish. Spread noodle mixture over crumbs. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup more of seasoned bread crumbs. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Tangy Pork Tenderloin

  1. Place 2 1lb pork tenderloins in a large Ziplock bag or shallow glass container. Combine 2/3 cup of honey, 1/2 cup of Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp of chili powder, and 1/4 tsp of salt in a bowl. Set aside 2/3 cup. Pour remaining marinade over pork. Turn to coat. Seal or cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning occasionally.
  2. Drain and discard marinade. Grill pork, covered, over indirect medium heat for 8-9 minutes on each side. Warm the reserved sauce in a pot and serve with pork.

Reuben Spread

  1. Chop 1 lb fully cooked ham. Shred 4 cups of Swiss cheese. Drain an 8 oz can of sauerkraut. Combine ham, cheese, sauerkraut, and 1/2 cup of Thousand Island salad dressing in a glass bowl. Cover and microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring once. Serve on cocktail rye bread.

Cherry Berry Smoothies

  1. Combine 1/3 cup of cherry juice, 2.5 oz of vanilla yogurt, 1/3 cup of frozen unsweetened raspberries, 6 seedless red grapes, and 1 tsp of sugar in a blender. Cover and process until well blended. Pour into a glass. Drink immediately.

SHOPPING LIST:

Vanilla yogurt

1.5 lb Swiss cheese

Eggs

Cherry juice

Cocktail rye bread

Seasoned bread crumbs

Tortillas

Seedless red grapes

6 plums

4 pommegranates

6 potatoes

6 beets

2 1lb pork tenderloins

1 lb deli ham

Frozen unsweetened raspberries

8 oz can of sauerkraut

2 cans of chili with beans

2 cans of mixed vegetables

2 cans of whole kernel corn

2 cans of diced tomatoes

2 cans of green chilies

6 oz can of tuna

Egg noodles

Vanilla whey protein powder

Oats

Chili powder

Thousand Island dressing

Dijon mustard

Mayonnaise

Baking powder

[Also needed: honey, salt, sugar]