This week’s meal-plan (1/14-1/18)

It’s mid-January; how is everyone’s health resolutions coming along? How is shopping for healthy foods while trying to save money, working out?

I’m still learning and figuring out what works the best for us, what is available in our area, and how to make our meals the most nutritious they can be.

Our local farmers market is closed for the winter and so is one of the local CSA’s, so we are still a little behind with the produce.

We did find eggs from pastured hens through Craigslist, though! And we found a great grass-fed meat provider near us as well.

While I can wait for the hot weather to come back to town, I look forward to planting my first real garden at our first house! I especially want to grow and can tomatoes.

We have been getting back to eating healthy and recovering from the sugar over-load of the holidays. My husband has been working long hours and I have a wiggly 8 month old, so our meals are easy to prepare or quick to cook.

  • Monday: Chicken fajita salad (fajitas made in crock-pot)(chicken, bell pepper, onion, romaine and spinach, cheese, sour cream, salsa, avocado, lime juice)
  • Tuesday: Grilled sirloin steaks with broccoli and sweet potatoes
  • Wednesday: Chili with no beans, topped with avocado and cheese
  • Thursday: Lemon pepper chicken, beets and carrots, green salad
  • Friday: Stew with onion, carrots, and sweet potato

Lunches: Leftover dinner from the night before

Breakfast: Eggs and bacon, cheese omelet, eggs and linguica

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This week’s meal plan

Last week we fell off the wagon a little bit. Starting with my husband’s birthday, I consumed far too many grains and it made itself known. I broke out with these really annoying bumps on the backs of my arms and legs. Plus I felt icky all week.

Back to business!

I have a ton of squash and peppers in my fridge right now from my CSA box. I think I am starting to grow tired of the summer squash! I’ve been craving beets and sweet potatoes lately and couldn’t pass them up – especially since they were local and on sale!

All the fish we bought was wild caught and all the meat and chicken we purchased was organic and 100% grass fed. All of our produce was from local, organic farmers as well.

Also on my list to make is hummus to dip peppers, carrots, and cucumbers. I have all the ingredients, just need to blend them together. Plus I still need to make that delicious-looking tomato pesto!

This week’s dinner menu:

Monday:
Pan grilled Mahi Mahi
Served with mashed sweet potato and green beans

Tuesday:
Lemon-pepper chicken in the crockpot
served with summer squash and a beet salad

Wednesday:
Stir-fry beef with onions, peppers, garlic, and squash
served with quinoa

Thursday:
Cauliflower Crust vegetable pizza (experimental)
served with a beet salad

Friday:
Hamburger patties with bacon and avocado
served with baked sweet potato fries

Saturday:

BBQ pork chops
served with fruit salad and spinach salad

Gazpacho Recipes

We picked up our CSA box yesterday; it was full of an assortment of vegetables and fruit and even a very tasty watermelon. The weekly newsletter included two recipes for gazpacho. I’ve never made gazpacho before, but it seemed like a great way to use several different vegetables at once.

There was a recipe for Watermelon Gazpacho from All Recipes, and a recipe for Gazpacho Soup from Raw Foods Diet Center.

The Watermelon Gazpacho had a lot more ingredients so I decided to try the Gazpacho Soup.

Continue reading

Dinner Menu for a Week

What's for dinner?

This Post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday

While I don’t always enjoy grocery shopping, I do enjoy meal planning. I meal plan for two weeks at a time (hello paycheck). I love Excel, I love making lists, and I enjoy being organized so before I do my grocery shopping, meal plans are a must for me. Having a plan and a stocked house makes it easier for us to eat at home and to eat healthier as well.

Most of our produce comes from our CSA box. For the season, we can expect potatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, berries and pit fruit. We have also had beets, radishes, melon, and chard. Having a CSA box supports the local organic farming community and helps us eat seasonally.

Most of the food we buy at the grocery store is animal products and other proteins. We buy grass fed beef and chicken, wild caught fish, organic nuts and nut butters, organic eggs from chickens that are free range and grass fed, and whole milk dairy products that are local and organic (and although not raw, they are not ultra-pasteurized or homogenized). We always try and buy seasonal, local, and organic whenever possible, even if that means we drive a little farther to do so or grocery shop at more than one location.

Usually the only produce I buy that isn’t from California is bananas (because we don’t have them here!). And I love bananas. I eat them in smoothies quite often. Otherwise we buy produce from the farmers market or organic produce from CA at the grocery store, if we need more than what came in our CSA box.

Breakfast and Snacks:
I don’t plan out breakfast or lunch. My husband usually takes leftovers from dinner for lunch the next day, so we don’t usually have to worry about buying additional lunch foods, maybe just snacks. For breakfast we usually some sort of egg (omelet, eggs with tortillas and salsa, etc), with bacon or sprouted grain toast, steel cut oatmeal, yogurt with fruit and granola, peanut butter and banana smoothies, fruit smoothies, or nuts and fruit. Click HERE for other ideas. Snacks include nuts, cucumber slices, vegetables and hummus, and fruit.

Dinner Plan:
Friday: Sirloin steak with peppers, onions, and potatoes
Saturday: BBQ with the in-laws (Chicken-legs, tri-tip, fruit salad, vegetable skewers, tomato salad)
Sunday: Grilled lemon-pepper white fish with corn, peppers, squash, and onions
Monday: Vegetable Pizza with salad
Tuesday: Roasted Chicken with root vegetables
Wednesday: Leftover chicken tacos with sprouted corn tortillas, cabbage, salsa, sour cream, avocado and black bean salad
Thursday: Garlic-pepper pork tenderloin with garlic squash and green salad

Ingredient List:
Sirloin steak
Chicken Legs
Fish (you pick! We usually get some sort of white fish)
Whole chicken
Pork tenderloin
Pizza crust
Corn tortillas
salsa
sour cream
black beans
kidney beans
Oil and vinegar for salad dressing
Salad fixings – cooked beets, nuts, cheese
lemon
garlic
Cheese for pizza (we use raw cheddar and Parmesan)
Seasonings – pepper, garlic, salt, Italian seasoning, chili powder, paprika, etc.
Olive, palm, or coconut oil to cook with
CSA veggies:
Corn on the cob (enough for one meal + 2 cobs for black bean salad)
squash
mild peppers
lettuce or other salad greens
onions
potatoes
tomatoes
eggplant
avocado
carrots
cabbage

Stay tuned this week for more recipes!

What are you cooking for dinner?

Summer Garden Recipes

Just a small portion of this week's CSA veggies

Yesterday I attended a class at a local nursery and garden shop about how to cook with your summer bounty. While I don’t really have a garden (just a couple containers), our CSA box is full of lots of summer garden goodies.

The nursery staff showed us how they make a few of their favorite dishes using items they grow themselves. We even got a little mini-cookbook and were able to sample the goods. I didn’t try the banana and apricot or blueberry muffins, but I imagine they were pretty tasty. I had spearmint ice tea which wasn’t overpowering but still refreshing and I enjoyed the basil and Parmesan rounds as well as the bruschetta topping. They also served a cowboy caviar with blueberries instead of beans, which made it light and perfect for hot days.

Here are few recipes from the class:

Chavelle’s Bruschetta

Heirloom tomatoes
1/2 Walla sweet onion
Fresh basil, coarsely chopped
2-3 cloves crushed garlic
Grey or sea salt
1-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (the more aged the better)
Olive Oil
Baguette

Chop tomatoes and onions. In a small bowl, add the vinegar then whisk in olive oil and garlic. Add the tomatoes and onions. Stir gently. Stir in basil and salt and pepper to taste. Bruschetta is best served after a few hours, at room temperature. If not serving immediately, omit the basil until right before you serve. Spoon on grilled or toasted baguette slices.

Rounds of Pesto (from the cookbook California Sizzles)
Makes 36

3/4 cup slivered basil leaves
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (grate yourself or buy a good quality cheese already grated)
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
French baguette

Stir together basil, cheese, garlic and mayonnaise until blended. Spread each piece of bread with a generous amount of mixture. Broil bread approx. 3-4 minutes on a cooking sheet, until bubbly and lightly browned.

These were pretty tasty but I try and avoid too much bread. This mixture might be tasty on squash rounds or other veggies.

Teresa’s Mixed Berries with Marscarpone-Limoncello Creme
Serves 8

3/4 cup chilled whipping cream
4 oz container marscarpone cheese
3/4 c sugar
3 tbsp limoncello
8 cups assorted fresh berries
3/4 c raspberry preserves
1 tbsp grated lemon peel

Combine cream, marscarpone, 3 tbsp sugar, and limoncello in a large bowl. Beat until soft peaks form. In another bowl, combine 1/2 sugar, berries, preserves, and lemon peel. Toss gently. Divide berry mixture into 8 dishes and top with cream mixture.

Quick and Easy Garden Pizza

Use leftovers and extra veggies for a simple meal

I’m a fan of Food Renegade, and as part of their Fight Back Friday, here is simple recipe for a healthy meal with lots of vegetables.

Sometimes we have trouble eating all the vegetables we get in out CSA Box or sometimes we just don’t feel like cooking. The solution?

Easy Garden Pizza

Ingredients:
Premade or precooked crust – I use organic gluten-free or sprouted-wheat crust
Olive Oil
Seasonings (basil, pepper, garlic, etc)
Vegetables (we use organic vegetables from our CSA Box or garden)
Cheese (we use raw cheddar, mozzarella, Parmesan, or goat cheese)

The winning combo for us this vegetable season?
Yellow squash
Eggplant (a great way to use this veggie if it’s not your favorite)
Leeks
Red onions
Peppers
Tomatoes
Garlic

I brush the crust with olive oil and 2 spoonfuls of fresh organic salsa. I sprinkle minced garlic throughout.
I top with sliced and chopped vegetables, then sprinkle with cheese. (if using leftover meat, place on the pizza before the cheese).
I then sprinkle basil and sun dried tomato flakes all over the pizza.

Place on a pizza stone after following crust directions for temperature. Should be ready in 8-12 minutes. We find the pizza pairs perfectly with a fresh salad with oil and balsamic vinegar.

This recipe can easily be changed to be gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian.
A friend of mine uses veganaise as a dip to serve with pizza.

Don’t be afraid to use whatever vegetables you have on had. You can put anything on pizza and it can be healthy!

Summer Berry Goodness Part 1

Over the next few weeks I am sure that I will be posting lots of blueberry recipes. We usually get about a container of blueberries every week from our CSA box and although I love blueberry things, I’m not a huge fan of just plain blueberries.

Yesterday I had an amazing urge to eat berry pie; blackberry, huckleberry, blueberry, or any combination of dark tangy berries. Flour and sugar filled desserts I am trying to stay away from, so I created something to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Easy Mini Almond Banana Muffin Tops with Blueberry Compote

Muffins covered in yummy blueberry compote

I didn’t mean for them to turn out like muffins (I was aiming more for a crisp cookie), but these tasted yummy just the same.

Makes 4 small servings or two large desserts

Ingredients:
Blueberry Compote
1- 1 ½ Blueberries
2 TBSP lemon Juice
1 tsp Stevia Powder
1 tsp honey
(Or sweeten to taste)

Put all ingredients into small sauce pan and toss to coat. Set burner to medium low heat. Crush berries and stir occasionally. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until berries have popped and mixture is mostly liquid.

Almond Banana Muffin Tops:
1 egg
2 TBSP butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp honey
½ Banana
¾ Cup Almond Flour
¼ Cup Coconut Flour
¼ tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a bowl, mix together egg, butter, vanilla, honey, and banana. Add flours and baking soda and mix until blended smooth. Split between 4 greased muffin cups or spoon onto baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until they start to brown and are firm to touch

Spoon blueberry compote over muffins. Drizzle plain yogurt (I love the Strauss plain whole milk yogurt with no sugar added), or if you can’t resist; your favorite vanilla ice cream.

My husband might tell you that I licked my bowl clean. I will then tell you that there is no proof.

The next morning for breakfast I had a bowl of yogurt with some of the blueberry compote on top and a piece of muffin. So delicious.

a piece of muffin with lots of yogurt and blueberry compote on top