Well I suppose my son’s runny nose and watery eyes this morning is my cue that it’s time to hunker down and hibernate for the next four months. The last thing I want is another cold while being pregnant so if I Lysol everything we own, and never leave the house we should be good right?
I am still feeling the effects of too much Halloween candy over here. I have been in a brain fog all day and I would be willing to bet I can blame it on the gross amounts of tootsie rolls I put away last night. Not to mention the goodies I slaved over for dessert that evening (pictured below) and then proceeded to eat my weight’s worth. Our dinner in a pumpkin was a huge hit as usual. I just finished off the last of the leftovers tonight. YUM.
The Holiday itself rocked our socks off! It was our first year trick or treating and B loved every minute of it. All day we practiced saying, “trick or treat,” letting me put the candy in his bucket, and then saying, “Thank you, happy halloween!” Instead he mixed up all the words and said them at random times and insisted they put the candy in his hands so he could inspect it before dropping it in the bucket himself. He was very pleased with his spoils and hasn’t stopped asking, “canny pease mamma more canny?”
On to healthier food options below…
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!
Shelf Cooking – see “Noted” Section for explanation
B4D – Gluten Free German Pancakes / Spinach and Cheese Omelettes
Found this recipe from Tara Thueson’s Gluten Snob Instagram. She posts all her tried and true recipes, so I have been wanting to try them too! I’ll probably add some vanilla to the batter.
1/4 C salted butter 1 C Pamela’s Gluten Free Flour (or an all purpose flour)
1 C Milk 6 Eggs
Place butter in a 9×13 glass baking dish. Place in oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Add remaining ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Once butter is melted pour batter into the pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. You know it is done when the edges are browned and it doesn’t jiggle when the pan is moved. We serve ours with peanut butter and syrup.
*Quinoa Fiesta Enchilada Bake / Warm Corn Tortillas
Chicken Soup /* Copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits
GF note: I just use an all purpose gf flour for the biscuits
This recipe comes out of Brianna Monson’s Allergy Free Cookbook for the Family. We will half this recipe since it makes so much.
4 C water 2 32 oz chicken broth
2 C chopped celery 4 cups chicken or turkey cooked and chopped
3 C sliced carrots 1 C diced onion
1/2 tbsp salt 2 tsp garlic salt
1 tbsp basil 1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/3 C instant rice
Pour water and chicken broth into pot. Add meat and vegetables to pot. Add spices and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours on medium. Add rice and cook five minutes longer.
Crock Pot Smothered Pork Chops / Mashed Potatoes / Peas
GF note: Make sure your mixes are all gluten free and use the recipe below to substitute the canned soup. For the chicken soup, leave out the thyme and mushrooms. I usually add extra bouillon and salt than it calls for.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine the following ingredients and microwave for 2 minutes or until thickened to desired consistency.
1 1/4 c milk 2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp thyme 4 oz mushrooms chopped fine
1/4 tsp garlic 1 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp salt
I’m planning to pick up a Costco rotisserie chicken and use it for this dish and the chicken soup.
Mom’s Lasagna / Fried Zucchini
9 lasagna (GF) noodles Hamburger (about 1 and ½ pounds)
Medium sized onion, chopped Salt / pepper / oregano
1 large can spaghetti sauce cottage cheese
shredded mozzarella cheese shredded cheese blend
grated Parmesan cheese
Cook noodles in boiling water following package directions; drain. Cook hamburger with onion and spices. Add oregano to spaghetti sauce. In greased 9 x 13inch baking dish, make layers in order: noodles, spaghetti sauce, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese. Repeat. Bake in moderate oven (350°) about 30 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted.
*Homemade Pizzas (GF)
We have leftover red sauce in the fridge and I’ll pick up a GF pizza crust from Trader Joe’s. Our toppings will consist of pepperoni, fried peppers and onions, cheese, and mushrooms.
*Tangy Chicken(GF)/ Brown Rice/ Roasted Broccoli
2 Tbsps ketchup
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ cup water
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
Good pinch of stevia
1 tsp dry mustard powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chili powder
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a sauce pan, mix and simmer for 3-4
minutes then set aside. Place chicken breasts in a 9 x 13 baking dish then pour sauce over the chicken. Coat the chicken in the sauce.Cover baking dish tightly with foil, bake 10 minutes at 450°F, then 1 ½ hours at 350°F. Remove chicken from the oven. Using two forks, pull the chicken apart. The chicken will soak up the sauce and become ultra juicy and flavorful.
Snacks & Sweets
This recipe comes out of Brianna Monson’s Allergy Free Cookbook for the Family. Her recipe is very allergy friendly but I will be using dairy containing ingredients and stevia instead of sugar.
3/4 C dairy-free margarine 1 1/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla 1/4 C dairy-free chocolate chips
3 tsp egg replacer plus 4 tbsp warm water (2 eggs if not using a replacer)
1/2 C cocoa 1 C rice flour
1/2 C tapioca starch 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cream of tarter 1 tsp baking soda
Combine margarine sugar and vanilla and a mixer. In a small bowl melt chocolate chips and add to margarine mixture. Combine all ingredients and mix for three minutes. Press into an 8 x 8 pan and bake at 350° for 30 minutes (mine turned out a bit dry the first time so check it at 20 minutes)