Sunday, August 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday Week of 8/22

Happy Monday!  After a very relaxing weekend, we have just a few more days before we head back to Milwaukee for a long weekend!  There is always a fine line when it comes to grocery shopping during weeks like these - making sure we have enough food to get us through but that nothing goes to waste!  Planning is obviously key to this!  (And to avoid any or all take-out meals, which are not really an option for us anyway!)

I also want to provide you with the link to this amazing baked oatmeal recipe (via Just One Bite) that I have made twice and my family cannot get enough of it!  As it says in the recipe, it is worth doubling the recipe.  It is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner! :)  Here is the link.  To make this allergy friendly, I sub in Ener-G egg replacer, plain coconut milk for milk and coconut oil for the butter.  I do not add any nuts (but it would be SO good to make it with nuts - one of these days I'll make two separate batches so my husband and I can try it that way!)

Last but not least, I saw this link via Fresh and Natural Foods on Facebook for a Blueberry Basil Quinoa Tabouli and I am making a batch of this for lunches this week.  YUM!

Here is our plan for the week!

Monday:  Pasta with meatballs, salad
tip:  I use two pounds of beef and bake all of the meatballs, once cooled I freeze them in a Ziploc for another no-fuss meal!

Tuesday:  Coconut Chicken Tenders (no egg, sub-in olive oil) with green beans and potato wedges
tip:  slice chicken breasts into strips the night before; mix flour, salt and pepper in a storage container and shredded coconut in another so they are ready for assembly!

Wednesday:  Leftovers

Thursday:  Beans and Rice with Grassfed Beef Kielbasa, roasted veggies

Friday:  Off to Milwaukee!

For more menu inspiration, visit Orgjunkie's blog!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Homemade Frozen "Go-Gurts"

Thanks to A Nourishing Home's recipe for push-pops, I purchased silicone push-pop molds from Amazon (here) and got to work!  I used the recipes posted via the link above as inspiration for my own "go-gurt" recipe below.

The silicone molds work really well and are very easy to use.  The tops fit tight.  For my 22 month old, it is a bit difficult for him to push and hold the pop up.  I run warm water over the mold, pop it out and then turn it upside down  (narrow side up) and wrap a little napkin around the bottom for him to hold it with. It stay really frozen while he eats it, so it does not drip at all.  I just have to push the napkin down a little bit right at the end.  This is an awesome treat that you can feel really good about (I have to admit, I love them, too!)

Mix and match fruits and veggies for various combinations!  Take a look at the recipes that A Nourishing Home created for lots of inspiration.  She has a ton of Popsicle and push-pop recipes on her Facebook page!

You will see I use strawberries in my recipe.  A quick tip - I buy them fresh (organic) at Costco.  As soon as I come home with them I wash them, dry them and thinly slice them.  I split the total amount in half and add to two separate zip top bags.  I lay the bags flat in the freezer and use them for smoothies, these "go-gurt" pops, oatmeal, or for eating straight out of the bag!  (Very easy for a toddler to eat a thinly sliced frozen strawberry!)

Frozen "Go-Gurts" (Dairy Free)

1/2 cup frozen organic strawberries (approx. 5 whole large frozen berries)
1/4 cup frozen organic raspberries
1 cup cultured coconut milk (see photos below so you know what you are looking for!) or other dairy liquid (plan drinkable yogurt, whole milk, etc).
2 tbsp. raw honey
1 tbsp. ground flax

Add all ingredients to blender, blend until smooth.  Add additional liquid if needed in order to obtain smooth consistency.

Recipe above, blended

Stand molds in a tall glass, pour mixture into measuring cup to easily pour into molds

Once sealed, place glass into freezer overnight.  Enjoy anytime you (or your little one) is looking for a cold treat! :)

Menu Plan Monday Week of 8/15

We just returned from a great weekend up north with family.  Two weeks and then another trip out of town to Milwaukee for more family fun - and THEN we will be home for quite a few weeks in a row.  Phew!  It has been a crazy summer!  I am proud of the strides my family and I have made from a cooking and food perspective and look forward to having time this fall to dig even deeper into the traditional foods approach to eating.  I have also done a lot of work to figure out how to shop on a budget while eating almost 100% organic (You ask - Is that even possible?!  My answer - YES!)  More to come on this... 

Here is our menu plan this week!

Monday - Out!  (A "walking date" with a friend around Lake Calhoun, then Chipotle!!)

Tuesday - BBQ Chicken Breasts (you must check out this recipe - looks amazing!), rice, green beans
tip:  brine them the night before, take out of brine and refrigerate until you are ready to rub/cook them.  Prepare rice in advance and refrigerate or freeze in family-size portions until ready to use.

Wednesday - Beef Roast sandwiches (frozen leftovers, yay!), kale chips, pasta

Thursday - Mexican Quinoa with all the fixings
tip:  this is great leftover - you could even prep it Wednesday night and warm it for dinner on Thursday, would work great that way!)

Friday - Date night in (i.e. easy dinner for the little guy, take out or easy grill out for us after bedtime!)

Saturday - Maple Dijon Turkey Burgers (from Cooking Traditional Foods), potatoes and green beans

Sunday - Crock Pot Pulled Pork, (I've tried this one, it is awesome!) corn and black bean salad, peas
tip: prep crock the night before

Go to Orgjunkie's blog for more menu inspiration!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Menu Plan Monday Week of 8/8

Another busy summer week ahead!  We will be headed up north for a long weekend so a short menu plan this week.  Enjoy!

Monday:  Leftovers from Sunday (taco fixings - reinvent them into a quesadilla or a salad!)
**tip:  I make dairy free quesadillas by spreading guac on a tortilla and frying it up with some coconut oil in a frying pan.  Tastes great!
Tuesday:  Crock pot beef tips (never got to it from last week) with green beens and rice
**recipe is from my trraditional foods menu mailer but you can find lots of recipes here

Wednesday:  Grilled skin-on chicken breasts with lemon/olive oil/basil marinade, snap peas and caprese salad

Thursday: Headed to the cabin!  (Dinner at Chipotle - great allergy-friendly kids meals!  We ask for the kids meal tacos with no shells and let Ben munch on the corn chips that they serve in a mini-bag for the kids!)

Friday - Sunday:  Cabin!

For more menu inspiration visit Orgjunkie's blog!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nourishing Snacks

I think the biggest challenge when converting my family to a traditional foods diet (while still being allergy-friendly!) has been weaning us off processed foods almost 100%.  My cupboards used to be full of processed foods - crackers, chips, cereal, granola bars, etc.  I am proud to say they are only about 50% full now (and mostly with rice, pasta and other non-processed staples), but it will take some time to completely convert (and, let's be honest, there will always be busy times when we will have to grab a granola bar or a bowl of cereal)! 

The most challenging time of day for me comes at snack time for my little guy (and for my hubby and I)!  This is where planning and preparation are SO key.

In the past few weeks I have dug up quite a few great resources that I would like to share with you.  Even if you can implement just a couple of these "non-processed" snack ideas into your repertoire, you and your family will be that much better off!

My go-to snacks for Ben include:
Apple slices dipped in coconut milk yogurt
A sprouted corn tortilla spread with Sunbutter (we love Food For Life brand tortillas)
Frozen grapes (I keep baggies of them in the freezer) with ham or turkey roll-ups
Homemade granola and sliced grass-fed beef sausage sticks with peas (toss the sliced sausage with frozen peas!  So easy and great on-the go!)
Now I am/will be layering some of these ideas into the mix:

Top 10 Snacks from A Nourishing Home

Easy Pate (yes, liver pate - one of my near-term goals is implementing this incredibly nutrient-dense organ into our diets.  Everything I read and anyone I speak with who follows this diet swears by pate... my little guy loves dipping things so I think this is my best shot at getting him to eat liver!)

e-Book:  Healthy Snacks to Go by Kitchen Stewardship (I just purchased this book for $6.95 and just finished making the granola which turned out great (not soaked because I just can't have my oven on that long in the summer.  But I will do this in the winter!)  The highlight are the "LaraBar" recipes...  great for my hubby and I for pre- or post-workout snacks!)

If you have favorite homemade snacks that you would like to share, please comment here or email me! 

Happy Snacking!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Menu for Week August 1st

Another busy week on tap for us!  We have a couple of nights out and I am trying to layer in some vegetarian meals, as well! 

This is my last week of my menu plan with Cooking Traditional Foods.  I am thrilled with not only the plans but the education it has provided me with regards to traditional cooking techniques.  It has allowed me to learn without being overwhelmed.  I still have a long way to go, but these menus have provided my family with a solid base of recipes.  I have ventured out to find other resources, as well.  I look forward to sharing them with you here!

Monday:  Dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Tibesar!

Tuesday:  National night out...  grass fed burgers (bring your own meat) and salads (pot luck)

Wednesday:  Moroccan chickpeas

Thursday:  Whole roasted chicken with potatoes and green beans (making more bone broth!)

Friday:  Crock pot beef tips (from menu mailer)

Saturday:  Hosting our Wine Club Summer Paella Party:  Kitchen Window's Paella with a Tres Leches Cake from Cafe Latte (if you have never had this, you MUST order it for your next party!)

Sunday:  Ground turkey tacos (make your own taco seasoning via this recipe!) and all the fixings with refried beans