Halloween is coming and this is the first year our child is old enough to know what all the hype is about. He caught on rather quickly seeming as how he has yet to put down the pumpkin candy bucket he’s been toting around since we bought it. The kid is is OBSESSED with all things Halloween but, also Spiderman. I originally pinned a no sew tutorial for a ghost costume but then today I remembered that I am not crafty and my pregnant self has no motivation to make a costume. So I compromised and purchased the same Spiderman costume that all the other millions of little boys will be sporting as well. It is unoriginal but he is two, and he will love it. So there is no need for mom guilt.
Speaking of guilt, I am still up to ears in apples from the orchard we went to last week and they are going to go to waste if I don’t start rolling out the apple baked goods this weekend. We have a potluck after church on Sunday so I am sure I can find something that uses an enormous amount of apples! I made good use of the first half of the batch with my first ever completely GF apple pie(pictured below.) It was absolutely delicious and the recipe can be found in the October #1 meal plans
Shelf Cooking – I thoroughly enjoy meal planning (duh read my blog) but I also believe in saving money and not wasting, so I think I’ve found the happy medium for my own family. My invitation, and what I will be doing with my own meal planning from now on is this, whatever time period you meal plan for (two weeks, a month, whatever,) IN ADDITION to your leftover nights, plan at least one or two meals to be “Shelf Cooking” (phrase coined by blogger Jordan Page from Fun Cheap or Free) nights. Meaning, USE WHAT YA ALREADY GOT! Yes you will have to get creative, but that is TWO less meals you have to buy groceries for, or eat out for. Not having to throw out wasted food is a plus as well in my book.
Sugar Substitutes – When a recipe calls for cane or brown sugar I almost ALWAYS use a stevia baking blend or just plain Stevia. I take comfort in knowing I am feeding my family that much less sugar… plus it means I can have seconds guilt free. Winning!
I will no longer be adding the tag “GF” to any of the meals. Everything I make now must be gluten free so if the dish’s original recipe uses a gluten containing substance I will explain how and what I substitute to make it GF.
Snacks & Sweets – Below the dinners I hope you’ll be as thrilled as I to see a Snacks & Sweets section. Some of the recipes in this section I already absolutely love, and some I have yet to try. Some are guilt free and some are reserved for cheat days. Happy snacking!
*-Tried and true family favorite.
B4D-Breakfast for Dinner (There isn’t lot of time in the mornings and we love breakfast food so we eat it for dinner instead)
YoYo- You’re on your own. (Because I don’t believe that someone should have to cook every day of the week)
Not sold on meal planning yet? Check out my crash course guide and I’ll have you convinced!
Traditional Halloween Dinner
*Dinner In a Pumpkin
1 small-medium pumpkin 1 chopped onion
2 Tbsp oil 1 1/2-2 lbs ground beef
2 Tbsp soy sauce 2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 can cream of chicken soup 1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 1/2 C cooked rice 1 (8oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut off the top off the pumpkin and clean out guts and seeds. In a large skillet, saute onions, and meat until browned. Drain grease and add soy sauce, brown sugar, mushrooms, and soup. Simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cooked rice and water chestnuts. Spoon mixture into the cleaned pumpkin shell and replace top. Place entire pumpkin on a baking sheet and bake for one hour, or until inside meat of the pumpkin is tender. Remove pumpkin lid to serve and scoop out the cooked pumpkin meat as your vegetable. Serves 6-8
Worm Ice w/ Drinks
Additional Halloween Themed Ideas
Shelf Cooking – see “Noted” Section for explanation
B4D-*Bacon and Egg Rice Bowls/ Smoothies
B4D- *Waffles w/ Peanut Butter and Bananas / Turkey Bacon
Asian-Style Meatballs / Brown Rice / Roasted Green Beans
I make the sauce from this recipe and serve over the meatballs with sesame seeds
Roasted Hot Dogs / Smores / Deviled Eggs
We are busting out our above ground fire pit this weekend and getting our campin’ food on! This is the GF graham cracker recipe I use
*Make at Home Pizza / Side Salad
Trader Joe’s carries a frozen gluten free pizza crust that we have been wanting to try. Our toppings will most likely consist of tomato sauce, pepperoni, peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
*Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos / Chips and Guacamole
I usually throw in a can of black beans in with the chicken to make them more filling.
Crock Pot Apple Bacon Pork Roast / Roasted Carrots and Potatoes
*5 Star Grilled Chicken/ Quinoa / Fried Zucchini
This recipe comes from my “A Year With Six Sister’s Stuff” Cookbook. Not all teriyaki sauces are gluten free so check that if you need to.
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts 1/4 cup lemon juice
1 c teriyaki sauce 2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp sesame oil chopped green onions to garnish
Combine all ingredients but green onions into a large resealable bag and shake to coat the chicken. Place in the fridge for 8-12 hours to marinate. Turn the bag once during the day. Grill 6-8 minutes on high heat.
*White Chicken Chili/ *Easy Brazilian Cheese Bread / Steamed Carrots
This recipe is from a Six Sister’s Cookbook that we LOVE.
1 lb chicken breast cut into cubes 2 4oz cans chopped green chilis
1 medium chopped onion 1 tsp salt
1 1/2 garlic powder 1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 tsp dried oregano
2 cans white beans rinsed/drained 1/2 tsp black pepper
14 oz chicken broth pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream 1/2 whipping cream (we use half and half)
In a large pan, saute the chicken, onion, and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies, and seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and whipping cream. Serve immediately. Makes 7-8 servings.