Cucumber Shell Salad

16 oz pkg of medium shell pastaphoto (9)

16 oz pkg of frozen peas

Cucumber

Red onion

Ranch salad dressing

  1. Thaw peas
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, halve and slice cucumber and chop red onion.
  4. Drain and rinse pasta in cold water. In a large bowl, combine pasta, peas, cucumber, and onion. Add 1 cup of ranch salad dressing. Toss to coast. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

http://youtu.be/0URAQo7KnzU

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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]

Salsa Sausage Quiche (Dinner for Two Week 3)

Breakfast: Quiche

Lunch: Roast beef sandwich, Chili burger, or Chili dog, Pretzel nuggets, Fig or Prune

Dinner: Chicken or Beef, Rice or Sweet potato, Bell pepper

Two Meals One Pot Take Three

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, and 2 cans of green chilies in a pot. Add a dash of chili powder and a dash of garlic powder. Heat through.

  1. Cook hamburger patty. Toast a hamburger bun if desired. Spoon chili mixture onto hamburger patty. Top with leftover vegetables, cheese, and/or condiments if you have any or just eat as a chili burger.
  2. Cook a hot dog. Zap hot dog bun in microwave for 15-30 seconds. Spoon chili mixture onto hot dogs. Add leftover sauerkraut, onions, cheese, and/or condiments, if desired or just eat as a chili dog.

Sweet and Savory Brisket

  1. Cut a 3 to 3.5 lb beef brisket in half and place half in a slow cooker. Combine 1 cup of ketchup, 1/4 cup of grape jelly, an envelope of onion soup mix, and 1/2 tsp of pepper in a bowl. Spread half over meat in slow cooker. Top with the second half of the brisket and then the rest of the ketchup mixture.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Slice brisket and serve with cooking juices. The leftovers are great zapped in the microwave as well as made into a roast beef sandwich with a little mayo.

Artichoke Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain and chop a can of water-packed artichoke hearts. Combine artichokes, 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 3/4 cup of mayonnaise, and a dash of garlic powder in a bowl. Place 4 chicken breasts in a greased baking dish. Spread with artichoke mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes.

Salsa Sausage Quiche

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook 3/4 lb bulk pork sausage in a skillet over medium heat. Drain. Transfer to an unbaked pastry shell. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Lightly beat 3 eggs in a small bowl. Stir in 1 cup of salsa. Pour over cheese.
  2. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Sprinkle with another cup of cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer. Serve with extra salsa and sour cream.

Sweet Pretzel Nuggets

  1. Place a package of sourdough pretzel nuggets in a glass bowl. Combine 2/3 cup of vegetable oil, 1/3 of sugar, and 2 tsp of cinnamon in a small bowl. Pour over pretzels and toss to coat. Microwave, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave 3-4 minutes longer, stirring after each minute. Cool to room temperature.

Note: It is sometimes hard to find sourdough pretzel nuggets. Regular pretzels can be used instead. One time I cut up sourdough bread into bite-sized pieces and toasted it before tossing with the oil, sugar, and cinnamon. 

SHOPPING LIST:

Sour cream (smallest one)

Cheddar cheese (8 oz)

Parmesan cheese

Eggs

Hamburger buns

Hot dog buns

6 bell peppers

6 sweet potatoes or yams

6 prunes (dried go well in salads, but eating fresh is great too)

6 figs (dried go well in salad, but fresh are great too)

Beef brisket (3-3.5 lb)

3/4 lb bulk pork sausage

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

Hot dogs

Unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)

Hamburger patties

Can of water-packed artichokes hearts

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

Cinnamon

Garlic powder

Mayonnaise

Ketchup

Grape jelly

Salsa (2 cups worth)

Pkg of sourdough pretzel nugget (15-18 oz)

Vegetable oil

[Also needed: Sugar, Onion soup mix, Pepper]

Week 50

Shopping List:

Caramel ice cream topping

Chocolate ice cream

Malted milk powder

Pecans

Baker’s chocolate

Unbaked deep-dish pastry shell

6 tomatoes

Bacon

4 oz cheddar cheese

Mayonnaise

Blackberries

Bananas

Greek yogurt

Eggs

Walnuts

[Buy a 1/2 L of milk this week. Also needed: whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, coconut oil, agave syrup or maple syrup, vanilla]

 

Breakfast: Doughnut and scrambled eggs

Lunch: Greek yogurt with blackberries and banana and 1/2 a sliced tomato drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper

Dinner: Tomato pie

Dessert: Chocolate malt

 

Banana Bread Doughnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat the doughnut pan with cooking spray and set aside. Note: If you don’t have a doughnut pan, you can either make these “doughnut muffins,” or pour the batter into a bundt pan for one giant doughnut! 

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 1/2 tsp of baking soda, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine 2 Tbsp of coconut oil, 2 ripe mashed bananas, 1/4 cup of agave or maple syrup, 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, 1 lightly beaten egg, and 1 tsp of vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and stir until just combined.

Now it’s time to fill the pan: Pour the batter into a resealable plastic bag (or a pastry bag). Cut off one corner of the bag, and squeeze batter into the prepared doughnut pan, making sure each indentation is about 3/4 full.

Top with 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts pieces, and lightly press them into the batter.

Bake for 14-16 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for a few minutes, then carefully turn out into a wire rack and cool fully. (Note: Baking time will vary if using a different type of pan. Cook until golden and spring back when touched.)

 

Tomato Bacon Pie                                                 (This is one of my favorite recipes!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake a deep-dish pastry shell according to package directions. Cool. Slice 3 tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Place tomatoes in the crust. Cook and crumble 10 strips of bacon. Sprinkle on tomatoes. Combine 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 1 cup of mayonnaise in a bowl. Spoon over bacon in the center of the pie, leaving 1 inch around the edge.

Bake for 30-40 minutes. You may want to cover the edges with foil to prevent overbrowning.

 

Chocolate Malts

Combine 3/4 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of caramel ice cream topping, 2 cups of chocolate ice cream, 3 Tbsp of malted milk powder, and 2 Tbsp of chopped pecans in a blender. Cover and process until blended. Pour into chilled glasses. Sprinkle with grated chocolate, if desired.