Thursday, July 28, 2011


Now that my basil is in full bloom, I am starting to think about what to do with it all.  My thoughts move quickly to pesto - I love it tossed with pasta, stirred into soup in the fall and adding a dollop to a salad (or whisking right into a homemade vinaigrette!)  I received an email today with this allergen-free pesto that I will definitely be trying in the next week or two so that my whole family can enjoy it!!  I love that the recipe calls for coconut oil, as well!

You could also process your basil with salt, pepper and olive oil and divide it into ice cube trays and then add Parmesan cheese and/or pureed pine nuts to some servings and not to others.  Or just use the cubes for other sauce-making purposes!! 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Menu Plan Week of July 25th

We are back from a wonderful week-long vacation with my family.  Returning from vacation always poses a challenge, especially when we cannot just run out and grab a take and bake pizza (or something along those lines) for a quick dinner.  I ran to the store and picked up chicken tenders (quick cooking) and quickly marinated them in olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper and threw them on the grill.  As a side dish, I boiled some rice noodles and tossed them with butter, defrosted frozen peas and fresh basil from my garden for my husband and I.  My little guy had peas and noodles tossed with olive oil.  All done in about 20 minutes!  If you put your mind to it, a quick and healthy meal is not as intimidating as you would think.

I am looking forward to getting back into a routine and putting some delicious, quick and easy meals on the table! 

Monday:  Crock pot beef roast (add spices of choice and canned, diced tomatoes to the pot, 8 hours on low) with rice and zucchini ribbons (use veggies peel to make ribbons of zucchini, boil for a couple minutes, drain and toss with butter or oil of choice)
tip:  prepare crock pot the night before!

Tuesday:  Crock Pot Summer Fruited Chicken (from my traditional foods menu planner) with green beans and rice

Wednesday:  Leftovers from Monday

Thursday:  Pasta, White Beans and Prosciutto (by Mark Bittman via Parents' Magazine - awesome recipe!)
tip: chop cabbage, onion, garlic and prosciutto the night before.  Cook noodles the night before as well, if desired)

Friday:  Vegetarian Quesadillas with fixings (salsa, guac) and black beans 
tip:  dairy free - I spread guac between two corn tortillas and fry it up - my little guy loves it this way, dipped in salsa!

Saturday:  Grill out - turkey burgers and farmer's market veggies

Sunday:  Whole Roasted Chicken with farmer's market veggies (This slow cooker recipe works well!)

I will also be making a, dairy free version of these pops this week with the awesome silicone push pop holders features in the pops recipe from Amazon (see this link).  A cheaper, healthier version of go-gurt!

See Orgjunkie's blog on Monday for tons of menu planning inspiration!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Menu Plan Monday Week of 7/11/11

This will be a busy week for my family, as we leave for the Milwaukee area for a week-long vacation on Friday!  Traveling always brings a little bit of additional anxiety for those of us Moms that have kids with food intolerances and allergies.  It is all about PLANNING!  I make a list of things to pack in a cooler for my little guy that are car-friendly.  Some great ideas include cubed summer sausage (we love Thousand Hills - local, grass fed beef) and frozen peas in a travel container, frozen grapes, dried apple chips (I can get a box of individual packs of these at Costco), lunch meat roll ups with a little hummus spread in the middle to "seal" the roll-up, and allergy-free breakfast bars (we like Glutino bars for a special treat).

I will be working a couple of days this week, so I am planning my menus based on that.  Quick, easy and crock pot whenever necessary!

Monday:  Crock pot pork tenderloin or chops (yes, I pushed these back yet again so that we could have burgers on the grill on Sunday - I'll blame our busy summer schedule for this!) :) with carrots and rice

Tuesday:  French Chicken (from my Cooking Traditional Foods Menu Mailer) with polenta and green beans
**TIP:  Prep the polenta in an 8x8 baking pan the night before.  We use Bob's Red Mill polenta.

Wednesday:  Breakfast for dinner - Baked Oatmeal (dairy and egg free using coconut milk, ghee and egg replacer)
***TIP:  You can prep this up through the milk mixture and finish making it before baking.  Or bake completely the night before, I am positive it would be just as good re-warmed!

Thursday:  Whatever is in the pantry/fridge and/or leftovers

Friday - Vacation!

Check out Orgjunkie's blog for more menu planning inspiration!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Elevate Wellness: A refresh!

I have officially moved my blog to my new account.  "Elevate Wellness" has always been the goal of my blog, but I feel I have more specific direction now than ever before.  I will continue to focus on the following themes:

  • Food preparation techniques and tools that will elevate not only your wellness but that of your families.
  • Recipes and menu plans for busy families, with tips to get dinner on the table any and every night of the week.
  • Sharing news and information around food that will be relevant to your family.
  • Eating organic/whole foods on a budget.
  • Sharing my path towards a more traditional approach to cooking and eating.
  • Allergy-free cooking.

Of course, this blog will continue to evolve, but by focusing on the themes above, I believe I can be of most value to you each and every week!  If you have other suggestions or ideas, please feel free to contact me!  I am excited to continue to provide you with information and support!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Menu Plan Week of July 5th

We just returned from the cabin after a wonderful 4th of July holiday weekend!  Back to business on the home front - I'll be grocery shopping tomorrow.  Now that my family has shifted our menus to focus on organic produce and higher quality meats, it is imperative that I menu plan to keep our food budget on track!  More to come on this topic - I have some great tips to share and money-savings discoveries that I have made over the past few weeks. 

My husband will be on a golf trip this weekend so the slow cooker will be my best friend to get dinner on the table for my little guy and I!!!

Wednesday - Chicken quesadillas
**I will use leftover chicken from the roasted crock pot chicken last week, which I shredded and stuck in the freezer.  I will simmer the chicken with stock, salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder until the liquid is absorbed.  Use your favorite tortillas and fixings and you have a meal!

Thursday - Italian Beef sandwiches (crock pot, from my menu mailer) and green beans.  Google "Crock Pot Italian Beef" for lots of great recipes!

Friday - Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts and rice (leftovers for lunch this weekend!)

Saturday - Hot Dogs, pasta and veggies

Sunday - Slow Cooker Pork Chops with sides to be determined!  (I never got to these last week!)