Chocolate Cookie Breakfast Cereal (Dinner for Two Week 15)

Breakfast: Chocolate Cookie Breakfast Cereal

Lunch: Cherry Coke Salad, Fruit Medley, Salad with French Salad Dressing, Papaya or Peach

Dinner: Mac and Cheese Tuna Casserole or Beef and Bean Skillet, Zucchini Pancakes, Egg Noodles, Green pepper or Leafy greens

Dessert: Bananas Foster Loaf Cake

French Salad Dressing

Combine 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, 2 Tbsp of vinegar, 3/4 tsp of salt, 1 minced garlic clove, and a dash of pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well. Store in the refrigerator.

Mac and Cheese Tuna Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a package of macaroni and cheese according to package directions. Stir in a can of cream of celery soup, a drained and flaked can of tuna, and 1/2 cup of milk. Pour into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and minced fresh parsley. Bake, uncovered, for 2o minutes.

Bananas Foster Loaf Cake                               Gluten-free, Dairy-free!

3 – 4 large bananas
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter or shortening, in 1 piece
1   large egg plus 1 large egg white
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1   cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1   tsp baking powder
1   tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
½ cup canola oil or melted coconut oil (unflavored or virgin)

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°. Grease a loaf pan. Trim both ends off each of 3 bananas so the bananas will fit crosswise in the pan. Peel the ends and the long pieces and halve the long ones lengthwise. Transfer to a plate.
2. In a large, heavy skillet, bring ¼ cup sugar and 2 Tbsp of water to a boil, without stirring. Cook until the water evaporates and the mixture just starts turning amber. Remove from the heat and swirl in the butter with a fork. Add the banana pieces cut side down and cook over low heat for 1 minute. Transfer the banana pieces to the prepared loaf pan, arranging them crosswise, cut side down. Drizzle the remaining caramel on top.
3. Transfer 1 cup of the banana ends (add more banana if necessary to equal 1 cup) to a medium bowl. Mash with the remaining ½ cup sugar. Beat in the egg, egg white and vanilla.
4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the banana mixture and oil and whisk until blended. Scrape the batter over the bananas in the pan and bake 50-55 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes and then invert onto a serving platter and let cool completely.

Chocolate Cookie Breakfast Cereal

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free corn flour
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp Stevia
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the middle. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spray the pan first with some cooking spray so the paper sticks to it. Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Mix peanut butter with warm butter or coconut oil until there are no lumps. Stir in water. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
  • Spread the batter as thin as possible on the cookie sheet with a spatula. About 1/8″ is good. Try to keep the same thickness throughout the batter. Bake for about 22-25 minutes. Leave oven on and remove baking pan. Carefully place on a cutting board (be sure parchment is removed too, it can go back in the pan for the next step.) Cut strips of dough with a pizza cutter or serrated knife, then cut into squares. 1/2 inch is a good size that fits well on a spoon.
  • Arrange cereal squares back on sheet pan in a single layer. Put back in the oven and bake for another 3-5 minutes per side, flipping once. Be sure to watch they do not burn. Your cookie cereal will crisp up more as it cools. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Egg Noodles

Beat 1 egg, plus 3 yolks until light and fluffy in a mixing bowl. Add 3 Tbsp of cold water and 1 tsp of salt. Mix well. Stir in 2 cups of all-purpose flour. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth. Divide into thirds.

Roll out each portion to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut noodles to desired width. Cook immediately in boiling salted water or chicken broth for 7-9 minutes. Drain. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.

Zucchini Pancakes

Shred 2 zucchinis and lightly beat 1 egg. Combine zucchini, egg, 2 Tbsp of biscuit/baking mix, and 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls and flatten. Fry until golden brown. Turn and cook the other side.

Fruit Medley

Combine a can of peach or apricot pie filling, 2 drained cans of fruit cocktail, a drained can of pineapple chunks, and a drained can of mandarin oranges in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Stir in a few slices of banana to each serving just before eating.

Cherry Coke Salad

Drain a can of crushed pineapple, but reserve juice. Set fruit aside. Bring pineapple juice and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a pot. Add 2 packages of cherry gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Stir in a can of cherry pie filling and 3/4 cup of cola. Pour into a serving bowl. Refrigerate until slightly thickened. Fold in reserved pineapple. Refrigerate until firm.

Bean and Beef Skillet                              I usually double the batch and use half as a dip for tortilla chips as a late night snack

Cook 1 lb of ground beef and a chopped onion over medium heat in a large skillet. Drain. Stir in a can of baked beans and 1/4 cup of ketchup. Heat through. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Cover and cook on low until cheese is melted.

SHOPPING LIST:

Cheddar cheese (12 oz)

Parmesan cheese

Eggs

2 onions

2 zucchinis

3 green peppers

Leafy greens

Parsley

Bananas

Papaya

6 peaches

2 lb ground beef

Can of tuna (6 oz)

2 cans of baked beans (28 oz)

Can of condensed cream of celery soup (11 oz)

1 can of crushed pineapple, 1 can of pineapple chunks

2 cans of pie fillings – one cherry and one peach or apricot (21 oz each)

2 cans of fruit cocktail

Can of mandarin oranges

2 pkgs of cherry gelatin

Tortilla chips

Can of cola

Biscuit/baking mix

Gluten-free oat flour

Cocoa powder

Fine sea salt

Natural peanut butter

Gluten-free all-purpose flour

Pkg of macaroni and cheese

[Also needed: ketchup, vegetable oil, salt, all-purpose flour, butter, vanilla extract, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, canola oil, coconut oil, milk, vinegar, garlic, pepper]

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]

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]

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.