Archive for May, 2009

Menu Plan Monday – Week Of 6/1/09

May 31, 2009

This week is pantry/freezer shopping, although we managed to spend a lot on groceries anyway because we stocked up on paper products, maple syrup, and sale items.

Monday – Thai Chicken Fettucine (this was so popular last week that I am making it again)

Tuesday – Crockpot Ginger Beef & Carrots

Wednesday – Italian Sausage and Pasta with Vegetables

Thursday – Icelandic Meat Soup, garlic bread

Friday – Tuna Pasta

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Nutty Baked French Toast

May 31, 2009

Although my family prefers “regular” French toast, this is a good way to have a nice homemade breakfast when you don’t have time to prepare it in the morning, or if you want breakfast to bake while you are busy doing other things (feeding a baby, cleaning the house, taking a shower, etc.)

3 eggs
2 cups milk (goat, hemp, or rice)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
8-12 slices bread (depending on size, any kind of bread works)
2-3 Tbsp. almond butter

Topping:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Grease a 9×12 baking dish. Mix first 4 ingredients together. Put half the bread into the pan, spread with the almond butter, and top with the rest of the bread. Pour the batter over the bread. Mix topping ingredients together and spread over top layer of bread.

You can wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight or freeze, if desired.
When ready to bake, bake uncovered at 400 F for 30 minutes (if frozen, you will need to bake longer).

Feeds 4 hungry adults/teens, or 8 children (or some combination of the two), or 8 adults as part of a buffet. If you want to stetch it out even further, you can throw some bacon on a baking sheet and bake that along with it, see tips on baking bacon here.

Strawberry Honey Muffins

May 27, 2009

I was experimenting around with making a no-refined-sugar muffin recipe, and I was pretty happy with the way these came out. The strawberries add a little bit of squishy texture, so I’d like to try these muffins with another filling, like carob chips or blueberries. They have a nice honey taste.

1/2 cup margarine or coconut oil
2/3 cup honey
1 egg
2 cups sprouted spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour (or half whole wheat, half white if you want)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup goat milk, hemp milk, or rice milk
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries

Mix margarine/oil and honey. When well-mixed, beat in egg. Mix dry ingredients and add alternately with milk to the mixture. Fold in strawberries.

Fill 12 muffin cups with the mixture (grease if not using liners).

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Menu Plan Monday – Week of 5/24/09

May 25, 2009

Monday – Gingered Greens & Tofu, Coconut Basmati Rice (both from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home: Fast and Easy Recipes for Any Day)

Tuesday – Crockpot Chicken Makhani

Wednesday – Thai Chicken Fettucine (I’ve been wanting to try this for a few weeks, and chicken was on sale)

Thursday – Lemon Garlic Drumsticks, asparagus, brown rice

Friday – Potluck at church, bringing either Teriyaki Chicken or Chicken Orient Express

The weekend will probably involve sausage or meatballs and bread made into garlic bread, all from the freezer. We might be getting a quarter cow worth of beef, so I’d like to use up some food from the freezer.

Clean Out The Fridge Pasta Salad

May 23, 2009

In honor of Memorial Day weekend, I thought I would post the pasta salad recipe I made to bring to a picnic. I didn’t want to go to the store, so I found things in the fridge and cabinet that I could use.

Broccoli flowers – about 2 cups
3-4 carrots, sliced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small jar of artichoke hearts in oil
1 lb. pasta (rotini are good, can be gluten or wheat free)
balsamic vinegar (about 1/4 cup)
olive oil (about 1/4 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
basil and/or Italian seasoning

Boil pasta according to package directions and drain. Steam broccoli and carrots until just cooked. Mix oil, vinegar, garlic, and seasonings in a bowl. Mix vegetables and pasta and toss with dressing.

Other things that could be added if you have them in the cabinet/fridge:
black olives
chopped fresh tomatoes
red pepper insead of green pepper

Meal Recap

May 23, 2009

We tried all new dishes this week, and they were all great. We ended up switching out the planned meal for Friday for the bacon, tomato, and chive frittata from The Scandinavian Cookbook , because the bacon and tomatoes needed to be used up, and I hadn’t gotten around to making goat cheese for Friday’s meal. It was really good and fast to make (great for a Friday!), and I imagine it will become a summer meal favorite, especially if we end up getting chickens.

The Spiced and Fragrant Chicken was great too. The chicken legs that I got had bits of chicken liver stuck to them for some reason (eww, commercially processed chicken, but it was so cheap we had to buy it), but that actually enhanced the dish. It seems like it would be a good recipe for whole chickens that you boil to make stock, and just throw the meat and liver into the sauce and cool it in the sauce a while (or maybe just put the sauce and spices and chicken into the freezer, and then cook it a little longer when you reheat it so the flavors have time to cook together). The recipe makes probably a generous meal for 4, plus leftovers.

Chicken Taco Bake is a new family favorite (and cost us almost nothing because we were using leftover turkey that was from a free turkey), and everyone loved the cortido. I am going to have to try more lacto-fermentation for sure.

I loved the curried lentils, but no one else did, so they aren’t going into a regular rotation.

And other than the texture from the starch, the Ginger Beef & Carrots was another good one (and we like to have several crockpot meals to alternate from, since I am trying to use the crockpot twice a week).

I like trying new recipes, because I get bored and also because I like us to have some variety in our diet. Plus, I’ve been trying to test out both cheap and make-ahead meals; I’m hoping to do a real freezer cooking session one of these weeks.

Crockpot Ginger Beef & Carrots

May 22, 2009

(From Better Homes and Gardens Crockery Cookbook)

The original recipe has you add a cornstarch/water mix for the last half hour (turning up to high), but we decided that it gave the sauce an unpleasant texture, so we will leave it out. We felt it needed a little more soy sauce and ginger, I will play with that next time, but otherwise it was good.

1 1/2 lbs. beef round, cut into cubes (Frugal note – if you buy a bottom round roast, you can get it much cheaper per pound than steak or stew beef, and then just cut it up for multiple recipes and freeze the extra)
4 medium carrots, cut diagonally in 1/2 inch thick slices
1/2 cup scallions, cut diagonally
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1/4 cup soy sauce (may want more)
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger (may want more)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
9 oz package frozen snap peas

Put beef, carrots, scallions, and garlic into crock pot. Mix stock, soy sauce, ginger, and red pepper, and pour over beef/vegetable mix. Cook on low heat for 10-12 hours (or high 5-6 hours). Turn to high heat setting and add peas. When hot, serve with rice.

Book Review: The Scandinavian Cookbook

May 19, 2009

My library has a great program where you can request a book for them to purchase, so I chose this one because it looked and sounded great, and I wanted to read it. This is not a really allergy-friendly cookbook, but The Scandinavian Cookbook is an amazing cookbook. The photos are absolutely beautiful.

There are plenty of recipes for people with special diets, including spelt buns and plenty of meat and fish dishes, or recipes than can be altered to accommodate. The cookbook is organized into months, so you can eat seasonally. Some recipes that sound especially great are several types of smørrebrød, Frittatas with bacon, tomatoes, and chives (one I may try soon because chives are growing in my garden and eggs were on super sale this week), Wienerschnitzel with braised potatoes, Chicken liver pate with aquavit, Gravlax with sweet mustard sauce, Lamb shanks with apricots and spices and parsley mashed potatoes. There are plenty of less Scandinavian-specific recipes, if you don’t love pickled herring and pate, as well as plenty of great breads and desserts (not very wheat free, though, and lots of dairy recipes). Still, I think I am going to get a copy of this book when I have extra spending money.

Menu Plan Monday – Week of 5/18/09

May 18, 2009

Last week when I bought the chicken on sale, I made a few meals to freeze. One of them was Peanut Butter Chicken, using boneless thighs instead of breast. It was so good! If I can get apricot jam on sale, I am definitely making a big batch of this next time I get chicken on sale. We had some in the cabinet, so I was able to use it up.

Monday – Spiced & Fragrant Chicken (from same batch cooking), salad, rice (make extra rice for Tuesday)

Tuesday – Chicken Taco Bake, using leftover turkey from the freezer instead of chicken, Cortido

Wednesday – Curried Lentils & Cauliflower (from Feeding the Whole Family), brown rice

Thursday – Crockpot Ginger Beef and Carrots (from Better Homes and Gardens Crockery Cookbook), rice

Friday – Baked Mac & Cheese (trying a recipe my mother gave me, will post later)

Honey Brownies

May 17, 2009

I wanted brownies that weren’t made with sugar; it was hard to find a recipe that didn’t use semisweet chocolate, so I put together my own recipe. This was a hit with everyone.

2 eggs
2/3 cup margarine
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sprouted spelt (or whole wheat pastry) flour
pinch salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Beat eggs. Beat in margarine and honey. Add cocoa powder and beat until smooth. Add vanilla. Mix together flour, salt, and baking powder, and fold in. Fold in chopped walnuts.

Put in 9″ square pan and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (may use a larger pan and bake for less time).