Potato Sloppy Joe Bake (Dinner for Two Week 28)

Breakfast: Super Duper Healthy Breakfast Cookies, Potato Sloppy Joe Bake
Lunch: Bean Burritos, Herbed Cheese and Tomato Sandwich, banana, dark chocolate, and mangoes, nectarines, oranges
Dinner: Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut Squash and asparagus, avocado, broccoflower, broccoli
Dessert: Peach Crisp
Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut Squash
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 Tbsp pf minced garlic, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, and 1/2 tsp of dried rubbed sage in a small bowl. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Rub garlic mixture under loosened skin. Place chicken, breast side up, on rack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Place rack in broiler pan.
  3. Cut 12 oz of red potatoes into wedges. Cube and peel 8 oz of butternut squash – should end up with 1 1/2 cups.
  4. Combine potatoes, squash, butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Arrange vegetable mixture around chicken. Bake at 400° for 1 hour or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 165°. Let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin.
Herbed Cheese and Tomato Sandwich
Spread 1 Tbsp of spicy brown mustard on an English muffin. Add 1/4 cup of cottage cheese on one half. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of chopped chives and garlic powder to taste. On the other half, add 2 slices of tomatoes, 1/4 of a sliced avocado, and a leaf of butter lettuce.
Potato Sloppy Joe Bake
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cook 1 lb of ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Drain. Add a can of sloppy joe sauce and a can of cream of potato soup. Place a package of frozen cubed hashbrown potatoes in a greased baking dish. Top with beef mixture.
  3. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover. Bake 10 minutes longer. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bean Burritos
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook enough long grain rice to equal 1 cup. Combine a can of refried beans, 1 cup of salsa, rice, and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese in a bowl. Spoon about 1/3 cup off-center of each of the 12 flour tortillas. Fold the sides and ends over filling and roll up.
Arrange burritos in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Peach Crisp
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel and roughly chop peaches directly into baking dish. You can use a vegetable peeler and a paring knife, but you can also blanch stone fruits to get the skin off.
In a food processor, blend 1/2 cup of flour, 3/4 cup of brown sugar, a pinch of salt, and 6 Tbsp of chilled cubed butter or Earth Balance with several on-off pulses or only until the mixture looks like a coarse meal. Add 1 cup of quick or rolled oats and pulse a few more times to break them up.
Spread topping over fruit. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Depending on the juiciness of the fruit and how full you filled your dish, you may want to put some foil below the pan in the oven to catch any overflow.

Super Duper Healthy Breakfast Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl mix 1 cup of rolled oats, 1/4 cup of almond meal, 2 Tbsp of chia seeds, 1 cup of coconut flakes, 1/2 cup of chopped mixed nuts, 1 cup of mixed dried fruit, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp of allspice.  In a separate bowl, mash 3 bananas with a fork until it’s all gooey.  Add 1/2 cup of applesauce and 1 tsp of vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, and mix until is well incorporated.  If the mixture seems too dry, just add more applesauce.  Place heaping tablespoon-fulls onto a cookie sheet, mold into rounds, and press down slightly.  Bake for 20 minutes.

 

SHOPPING LIST:

Butter or Earth Balance

Low-fat cottage cheese

12 flour tortillas (6-7″)

English muffins

Lemon

3 mangoes

2 bunches of bananas

8 peaches

6 nectarines

6 oranges

Tomato

Chives

Asparagus

4 avocados

Broccoflower

Broccoli

Butter lettuce

Butternut squash

12 oz red potatoes

1 lb ground beef

3.5 lb roasting chicken

Pkg of frozen cubed hashbrown potatoes (32 oz)

Can of sloppy joe sauce (15.5 oz)

Can of condensed cream of potato soup (11 oz)

Unsweetened applesauce

Spicy brown mustard

Dried rubbed sage

Dark chocolate

[Also needed: cheddar cheese, rolled oats, almond meal, chia seeds, coconut flakes, mixed nuts (pecans), mixed dried fruit (raisins/blueberries), salt, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla extract, flour, brown sugar, garlic, pepper, cooking spray, butter]

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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]

Vegetables Galore! (Dinner for Two Week 5)

Lunch: Potato Salad or Green Salad with Buttermilk Dressing; Pear; Trail Mix

Dinner: Meat Loaf, Ham, or Chicken Strips with Hot Mustard Dip; Roasted Squash; Potatoes

Buttermilk Salad Dressing

Combine 3/4 cup of 1% buttermilk, 2 cups of cottage cheese, and an envelope of ranch salad dressing mix in a blender or food processor. Cover and process for 20 seconds. Pour into a small pitcher or bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Stir before serving with salad/veggies.

Salad Suggestion: Mixed greens (or your favorite kind of lettuce), cubed squash, tomato, grapes, raisins, apple, celery, green onions and leftover dried fruit, nuts, cheese

Pimiento Potato Salad

Cook 2 lbs of small red potatoes (about 12). Thinly slice 4 green onions and 3 celery ribs. Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch slices. In an ungreased dish, layer half of the potatoes, onions, celery, and a drained jar of pimientos. Repeat layers. Pour an 8 oz bottle of Italian salad dressing over all. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir before serving.

Easy Meat Loaf

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly beat 1 egg. Crush 33 butter-flavored crackers. Combine the egg, a can of French onion soup, and the cracker crumbs. Crumble 1 lb of lean ground beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into a loaf. Place in a greased baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Pour a can of golden mushroom soup over loaf. Bake 1 hour longer. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Honey-Dijon Ham

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place a 3 lb boneless fully cooked ham on a greased rack in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes. Combine 1/3 cup of honey, 2 Tbsp of Dijon mustard, and 2 Tbsp of brown sugar. Brush about 3 Tbsp over ham.

Bake 10-15 minutes longer. Stir 1 Tbsp of water into remaining glaze. Heat through and serve with the ham.

Trail Mix

Combine 2 lbs of roasted peanuts, 2 lbs of cashews, 1 lb of M&Ms, 1 lb of raisins, and 1/2 lb of flaked coconut in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container.

Hot Mustard Dip

Combine 1/4 cup of ground mustard and 1/4 cup of vinegar in a small pot. Let stand for 30 minutes. Whisk in 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 egg yolk until smooth.

Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture just begins to simmer and is thickened, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk in 2 Tbsp of honey. Store in the fridge. Serve with pretzels, chicken strips, or anything else you like to eat with hot-and-spicy sauce.

SHOPPING LIST:

1% buttermilk

Cottage cheese

Eggs

Potatoes (12 small red and 6 medium-large yellow)

Green onions

Celery

Lettuce or mixed greens

2 yellow squashes (one spaghetti for roasting, one of something else for salad)

Tomato

2 small bunches of grapes (green and red)

Apple

10 pears

1 lb lean ground beef

3 lb boneless fully cooked ham

Frozen chicken strips

Can of condensed French onion soup

Can of condensed golden mushroom soup

Jar of diced pimientos (2 oz)

Italian salad dressing

Butter-flavored crackers

Ranch salad dressing mix

Ground mustard

Pretzels

Dry roasted peanuts (at least 2 lbs)

Cashews (at least 2 lbs)

Raisins (at least 1.5 lbs)

M&Ms (at least 1 lb)

Flaked coconut (at least 1/2 lb)

Vinegar

Brown sugar

[Also needed: sugar, honey, Dijon mustard]

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 29

Shopping List:

24 mushrooms

Bacon

1 1/4 lbs of Italian sausage links

1 or 2 small zucchinis

Yellow summer squash

Onion

Can of stewed tomatoes

Rice

Your favorite pasta

1 lb ground beef

Can of tomato soup

Can of chili beans in gravy

Watercress

5 apricots

[Also needed: BBQ sauce, chili powder]

 

Lunch: Chili, mushroom bites, and an apricot

Dinner: Italian sausage skillet and watercress

 

Quick Chili

Cook 1 lb ground beef over medium heat in a pot. Drain. Add can of condensed tomato soup, a can of chili beans in gravy, and 3 tsp of chili powder. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water if you like your chili thinner.

 

Italian Sausage Skillet

Brown 1 1/4 lbs of Italian sausage links in a skillet over medium heat. Drain. Cut sausage into 1/4-inch slices. Return to the skillet to brown completely.

Add 1 or 2 small cubed zucchinis, a cubed yellow summer squash, and 1/2 a chopped onion. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in a 14 1/2 oz can of stewed tomatoes. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve over rice or pasta.

 

Mushroom Bacon Bites

Wash 24 mushrooms. Never submerge mushrooms in water – they’ll absorb too much water and become mushy. Just rinse in cold water and dry with paper towel just before using. Cut 12 bacon strips in half. Wrap each mushroom with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Thread onto metal or soaked bamboo skewers. Brush with 1 cup of BBQ sauce.

Grill, uncovered, over indirect medium heat for 10-15 minutes, turning and basting occasionally with remaining BBQ sauce.