Saturday, October 31, 2009

Menu Plan 10/31-11/7

Last week actually turned out pretty well as far as following the plan goes.  My favorite meal from last week as Pot Roast w/ Carrot Souffle.  I also served some Rosemary Yukon Gold potato wedges alongside.  The Kale Chips were interesting...I might try the concept again with some other veggies.

Saturday:  Mustard-Maple Salmon w/ Sauteed Spinach & Quinoa
I left this TBD on last week's menu.  Wild-caught Coho salmon is on sale this week.  I like to sautee my spinach with some garlic and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  I think the quinoa will be pretty straightforward...cooked in broth.

Sunday:  Hot Dogs/Sausages & Chips w/ Fruit Salad
There's a block party at church this afternoon where they'll be serving hot dogs.  However since DS's eczema has been bad lately, we're keeping a pretty tight reign on eating out with him.  I'm thinking we'll  bring our own "safe" food and go have a picnic dinner afterward. 

Monday: White Chili w/ Cornbread
I'm thinking the slow cooker for this one -- boneless, skinless chicken thighs, with white beans of some sort and jarred salsa verde.  Maybe I'll mix some mexi-corn into the cornbread for variety.

Tuesday:  Shepherd's Pie
Another quick and easy one.  I may cheat with instant mashed potatoes if I'm pressed for time.  The plain ones are safe.   

Wednesday:  Dinner out
Food allergies are a real pain to deal with at again I'll be packing in dinner for DS -- safe tortillas, refried beans, and maybe some chicken. 

Thursday:  Apricot-Salsa Chicken w/ Rice & Broccoli
This is a super-simple recipe -- chicken breast + equal parts salsa & apricot/peach preserves.  I've seen variations on this all over the place.  It work well as a "dump chicken" recipe for the freezer.  Depending on the texture you want, I've used chicken thighs and done a long slow cook to make them fall apart.  I'm going to double this to take to another family.

Friday: Cuban Pork, Black Beans, & Yellow Rice w/ Mangoes
I'm basing this dish on this recipe.  I'll be using "fresh" beans and homemade yellow rice. 

Saturday: Potato Gnocchi/ Spinach & Cheese Ravioli w/ Salad

For more recipes, check out Menu Plan Monday at

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Carrot Souffle

I based my recipe on this recipe from Recipezaar.  Then I started making modifications to it.  So here's my version.

Carrot Souffle (Serves 4)
1.5 lb carrots, peeled & cut into a few pieces
1/2 c coconut milk
2 egg yolks or egg replacer
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 c brown sugar
1 t baking powder
1/4 c non-dairy milk alternative (I used So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage)
  1. Steam or boil your carrots til soft.  Then roughly mash them with a fork or potato masher.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.
  3. Place coconut milk, vanilla, carrots, eggs, and bron sugar in a blender.  Blend til very smooth.  This is going to take a bit.  I usually have to stop and move things around a bit.  It works best too if the liquids are on the bottom.
  4. Pour your carrot puree into a glass casserole dish (I use an 8x8 square or smaller with this amount).  
  5. Mix in the baking powder.  You can also add in a couple of tablespoons of flour at this point to make a stiffer souffle if you like. 
  6. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.  
My younger child loves this.  My husbands says it tastes like pie! 

You can vary the seasoning -- ginger or nutmeg would be a natural fit with carrot.  I was also thinking that some orange flavor would go nicely, so maybe using some orange juice (and less sugar, I bet) or orange extract instead of vanilla.  This is a great holiday recipe too.

Posted to  Our Krazy Kitchen's Fall Recipe Roundup

Pot Roast

Pot Roast (Serves 4-6)
1.5 lb top sirloin, trimmed
1 t ground pepper
1 t paprika
1 t salt
1 c water
2 t Beef Better Than Bullion
1 T Worcestershire sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced/grated
1/2 onion
  1. Sirloin and seasonings in a crockpot.  Add liquids and place the onion half on top. 
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Remove meat & onion from crockpot.  Pour juices into a small saucepan.  Return meat to the crockpot to keep warming. (I usually turn off the crockpot at this point).
  4. Boil the pan juices over medium-high til reduced to about 1/4 of the original.  You can add a bit of flour or cornstarch at this point if you want to make your gravy thicker.
Note:  You can include the traditional carrots and potatos as well.  Place them on the bottom of the crockpot and add the meat on top.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Potato Soup

Potato Soup (Serve 4+)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3-4 sliced of bacon, chopped
8 sm-med potatos, peeled & cubed (I used Yukon Gold)
1 lg clove garlic, smashed
3c chicken broth
1/4c milk (or milk alternative, I used some coconut milk)
salt & pepper to taste
chives & crumbled bacon (opt)
  1. Add onion and bacon to a large pot over medium heat.  Saute til onion is translucent and bacon fat is rendered.
  2. Add in potatoes & garlic.  Stir.
  3. Cover most of the way with chicken broth.  Cook over medium-low heat til potatoes are tender.
  4. Use a stick blender to puree soup to desired level of smoothness.  I like to leave mine a bit lumpy.  You can do this is a regular blender...but be careful!
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning.  Add in the milk and reduce to low heat til ready to serve.

Menu Plan 10/25-10/31

Last week's menus got made for the most part with a smattering of last minute improvs.

The Ranch Chicken & Bacon Pasta Salad was a definite winner.  I made up a batch of DF-SF Ranch Dressing and thinned it out a bit to simulate the bottled dressing the recipe calls for.  I also added in a couple cups of chopped romaine lettuce.  Will definitely make that again!

The Cranberry Skillet Chicken was decent although I followed the suggestion in one of the comments and used 1 c homemade cranberry sauce, 1 T ketchup, 1 T mustard, 1 T worcestershire, and 1/4c cider vinegar.  Next time I'll omit the vinegar entirely -- not really necessary imo.  Plenty sweet also without the addition of extra sugar or all that ketchup.

I'm not sure what's going to happen this week.  As of Sunday morning, both kids are sick...hopefully we'll be able to get in to see the dr. tomorrow.  Fingers crossed it's not flu.

Sunday:  Potato Soup + Kale Chips + Vegan Pumpkin Cake
This used to be more of a loaded baked potato soup back in our old dairy days, but it's still fun with bacon and onion and good seasoning.

The Kale Chips are an experiment...not sure how they'll turn out.  Stay tuned. 

This is my husband's birthday, so there'll be cake too.  The cake is really a vegan pumpkin bread recipe that uses coconut milk, but I like to make it in a bundt pan to make it more like a cake.  I'll probably do a simple powdered sugar glaze on top for decoration.

Monday:  Roasted Italian Sausage & Antipasto Salad w/ Garlic Bread
I'm thinking rotini pasta with green olives, peas, and chopped pepperoni tossed with one of my favorite dressings -- Brianna's Real French Vinaigrette.

Tuesday:  Pot Roast w/ Potatoes & Carrot Souffle
I'm going to use a pot roast recipe I got from our local grocery uses Top Sirloin (which was conveniently on sale this week) seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, and fresh garlic.  I'm going to do a carrot souffle on the side...I omit the butter and puree it....yum! 

Wednesday:  Pad Thai
This is just a kit from the grocery soy -- woohoo.  I'll add in scallion, chicken, & egg...maybe some peanuts.  Garnish with lime.

Thursday:  Beef & Broccoli Fried Rice
This is going to be something sort of simple thrown together I'm betting. 

Friday:  School Festival -- dinner out
One of our favorite local restaurants is catering...fried catfish....yum.  Really hoping everyone is well by then.

Saturday:  TBD
Probably a make-up of something that didn't get made earlier in the week.

For more menu plans, check out MPM @

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Menu Plan 10/18-10/24

Sunday:  Dinner @ church

Monday:   Ranch Chicken & Bacon Pasta Salad
From the Cooking During Stolen Moments blog.  I'm going to be tinkering with a new product -- So Delicious Coconut Milk beverage -- to see if I can replicate a non-dairy/non-soy ranch dressing.  I'm probably going to have to reserve some of each of the ingredients since the kids object to mixed up foods.

Tuesday: Breaded Pork Chops w/ Roasted Asparagus & Baked Apples
HEB's running one of their 5for$5 specials again this week on whole pork loins.  The last time they did this I bought a 7lb whole loin (for $7) and got two large pork roasts + about 10 thick pork chops out of it.  I'm planning to pick up one again this week. Asparagus also on sale this week....South American maybe since I think of asparagus as a spring crop.  Rounding out the fall theme with some baked apples....I have a new favorite -- Honeycrisps. 

Wednesday: Sausages w/ Grapes & Balsamic Vinegar w/ Couscous & Salad
This is a very interesting dish -- Italian sausages and whole grapes roasted in the oven topped with balsamic vinegar.  Normally I'd serve it with pasta, but in the interests of speed and varying things up, I'm thinking couscous.

Thursday:  Cranberry Skillet Chicken w/ Wild Rice & Green Beans
My in-laws had us over for dinner last week, so this menu got bumped from last week's plan.

Friday: Carnitas w/ Spanish Rice, Tortillas, and Sauteed Squash
The carnitas are frozen from Costco...seriously salty but quite tasty. 

Saturday:  Out or FFYN

For more menus, check out Previous Food Stuffs Menu Plans or visit Menu Plan Monday on

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Apple-Pecan Pancakes

Apple-Pecan Pancakes
by 3KillerBs

The Verdict:  A+
I found this recipe on recipezaar last week.  It was fabulous!  Definitely more involved prep time than my usual pancake recipe, but really delicious. I loved the hint of lemon, the crunch of the pecans, the crisp bits of apple....

The only modification I made to the recipe was using rice milk in place of regular milk and the So Delicious Coconut Milk beverage in place of the heavy cream. 

The recipe says it makes 3 doz pancakes....I got about 8, but I made mine really big (like almost plate sized). 

I wish I'd taken a picture, but we were too busy eating.  The kids were totally silent if that gives you an indication of their opinion.  Even picky DD ate around the bits she was suspicious of without comment. 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Menu Plan 10/11-10/17

I noticed that this was my 14th or 15th menu plan.  I don't know if everyone reaches a point where the fun starts to wear off, but I just haven't been feeling the love lately.  Last week was a real slog to MAKE myself stick to the plan.  I guess I'm glad I did....

I've been working on a new jogging program for the last 6 weeks.  (The Couch to 5K plan from if anyone is interested.)  I'm at the stage where things are getting significantly more challenging, but on the other hand I'm really seeing the results.  Seeing those results (clothes fitting better, realizing my recovery time is dropping, going further than I could just a few weeks ago, etc.) is what's keeping me motivated -- along with having a plan to follow and check off as I go.  I need to get that sort of perspective going on my meal planning too.

Here's to a better attitude and a fruitful week of working my menu plan!

Sunday: Rotisserie Chicken w/ Zucchini and Shells
Store-bought rotisserie chicken to the rescue.  Served with lightly cooked zucchini along with shells in homemade cheese sauce for the grown-ups and salt & olive oil for the kids.

Monday:  Chicken "Pot Pie"
I said I was going to make one of these a couple weeks ago, but it never got done.  We'll try again with the chicken leftover from last night.  I'm probably going to do it Rachel Ray style w/ a biscuit topping rather than a pastry crust.

Tuesday:  Egg Salad Pitas with Fruit & Chips
Sandwich night is quickly becoming a favorite of's such a relief after a long day at work.

Wednesday:  Cranberry Skillet Chicken w/ Wild Rice & Green Beans
Since I've been trying to cut back on our use of tomatos (they seem to make DS itch more), I'm always on the lookout for new sauce ideas.  I love cranberries too -- very fall.

Thursday:  Mushroom Turkey Meatloaf w/ Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Vegetables
From the Oct. 2009 ed. of Bon Appetit...with a few modifications to make it dairy-free.  Served with mashed potatos and roasted rutabaga, turnips, and parsnips (I'm trying to be more adventurous).

Friday:  Pizza!
What can I say -- it's popular with everyone and pretty easy for me.  Take-out is such a hassle when you're trying to avoid certain foods, but I miss the fun of it.  This is a decent compromise.  Plus I take a certain pride in knowing I made it all myself. 

Saturday:  Apple-Pecan Pancakes
This was one of the featured recipes on recipezaar this week.  Pancakes were so popular last week that I thought it'd be fun to do again.  I may modify this one slightly...we'll see, but I love apples and pecans.  Yum!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Italian Chicken Roll-Ups

Well these were fun and different.  I particularly like the cooking technique -- they're steamed in foil. 

Italian Chicken Roll-Ups (serves 4)
4 thin chicken breast pieces (I halve my breasts horizontally)
1/2 c filling -- this is really whatever you want -- pesto, sun dried tomato something, etc.
4 sheets aluminum foil

1/4 c toasted pinenuts (we toast ours in the hot air popper -- thanks Alton!)
1/4 - 1/2 c chopped fresh herbs (I used basil & tarragon)
2 scallions
zest & juice of 1 lime
1 t olive oil (just enough to help hold it together but not enough to make it loose)
salt to taste
  1. Start water to boiling in the bottom of whatever you use for steaming.
  2. Combine filling ingredients in food processor and chop to a rough paste.  
  3. Lay a piece of chicken on a piece of foil.  Spread 1-2T of filling all over the top.  
  4. Roll up the chicken (length-wise).
  5. Wrap the foil around it tightly, twisting the ends to secure it.  You'll end up with something that looks like a Christmas cracker.
  6. Place foil packets in the steamer basket and steam for 10 minutes.
  7. Carefully remove from the steamer and check to make sure they're fully cooked by piercing it with a wooden skewer.
  8. Slice into roulades.
The Verdict:  B+
These were quite tasty.  I needed to work on my filling just a touch.  Next time I will also pound my chicken to a more even thickness before rolling.  All in all though, it was quick and easy.  The chicken was moist but fully cooked, and the presentation was nice.

Chicken Verde

I've renamed this recipe from Tomatillo & Chicken Tostadas.  This is the second Rachel Ray recipe (from Just in Time) on this week's plan.

Chicken Verde (serve 4+)

1 zucchini, quartered and chopped
4 scallions, chopped
12-16 oz of cooked chicken, shredded
1 t cumin (I used a good bit more b/c I love cumin)
1/2c - 1c tomatillo salsa
juice of 1 lime
  1.  Saute zucchini til it starts to soften.
  2. Add in remaining ingredients except lime and cook to heat through.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.
The recipe originally called for serving on crispy baked tortillas topped with cheese.  I was going to do that minus the cheese with my favorite uncooked tortillas.  Then they turned out like this:

Hahaha.  So needless to say ours were not tostadas/chalupas (there was much debate at our house about the proper terminology). 

You could also serve as a filling for soft tacos.

The Verdict:  B+
The flavors were excellent.  This particular execution was a little wonky, but I'll certainly try the basic concept again.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Provencal Tuna Salad

This was a really yummy recipe.  It billed itself as a 15 minute deal, but it took me a bit longer than that to put the tuna salad together.  However, it's a great make-ahead kind of thing.

This is very slightly modified from the recipe of the same name from Just In Time by Rachel Ray.

Provencal Tuna (serve 6+)
18 oz tuna (water-packed, drained)
2T olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
6 sprigs tarragon, chopped
10 basil leaves, chopped
3 T capers, drained
1-2 shallots, chopped
1/2 olives, pitted & chopped

The Verdict: A+
I loved this.  I don't know about the rest of my family, but this hit all sorts of good flavor things for me.  I think what really makes this dish for me is the tarragon. 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Menu Plan 10/4-10/10

I've been going through my cookbooks again and I've got quite a few new recipes.  I'll post them as I make them if they're any good.

Sunday:  Crispy Mustard Chicken w/ Fries & Salad
Bumped from last week's plan

Monday:  Roasted Asparagus Pasta *New*
I'm melding together a couple of recipes from one of my pasta cookbooks.  Right now I think the dish is going to involve roasted asparagus, roast garlic, and pinenuts. 

Tuesday:  Provencal Tuna Sandwiches w/ Chips *New*
This is a Rachel Ray recipe -- tuna w/ tarragon, basil, olives, shallots, and capers served on toasted bread.  The original calls for toasting the sandwiches with cheese -- some of us may do that, but we'll see.

Wednesday:  Tomatillo & Chicken Tostadas w/ Black Beans and Corn *New*
Another Rachel Ray recipe -- shredded chicken (HEB makes a pre-made shredded chicken for enchilladas, etc. that is dairy & soy free that we like to use), zucchini, and tomatillo salsa served on baked flour tortillas. 

Thursday:  Italian Chicken Roll-Ups w/ Couscous and Carrots *New*
I was intrigued by the cooking method in this one -- thin chickn breast pieces spread with pesto and rolled up in foil & then steamed.

Friday:  Bean burgers w/ Broccoli and Sweet Potato Wedges
Bean burgers are a San Antonio trademark -- right up there with puffy tacos.  Hamburgers are topped w/ refried beans, fritos, salsa, and cheese.  I'll omit the cheese for those who're sensitive.  Optional add on of guacamole if you want a really messy burger or pickled jalapenos if you want it hot.

Saturday:  Taco Soup
My mom used to make this soup all the time during the winter.  I'm going modify the recipe some to use up some leftovers from Wednesday's dinner plus some stuff hanging out in the freezer.  I'll post the recipe later this week.

Need more menu ideas? Check out Menu Planning Monday on

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sugar Cookies -- Belated Birthday Party Post

So I meant to post about this earlier, but it's just been too busy.  For DD's actual birthday I made the egg-free/ dairy-free Chocolate Cake that I've posted before.  However, for her party, I wanted to make something more portable/less messy since we were not going to be at home.
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