Saturday, November 28, 2009

Menu Plan 11/28-12/6

The biggest hit of last week was Friday's dinner.  Meatball Kebabs plus our new favorite recipe -- Oven Baked Fries.  We rounded the meal out with assorted fresh veggies (baby carrots, grape tomatos, olives, and some marinated cucumbers). 

My personal favorite however was the Turkey Curry, but that was much less popular with the under 6 crowd.

We're still eating on our not Thanksgiving turkey so I've got 2 more turkey leftover menus this week.  

Sunday Lunch:  Turkey Tacos w/ Cranberry Salsa
My favorite dish at Thanksgiving this year was a raw cranberry relish that one of DH's cousins made.  It had jalapeno, cilantro, diced red bell peppers, onion, and orange juice.  Really a cranberry salsa.  I didn't get the exact recipe, but I think I'll try and replicate it this week. We still have plenty of turkey breast to get rid of.  I'm linking to a recipe that I found online.  The cranberry salsa is a little different, but it can serve as a stand-in until I work out my own recipe.

Sunday Dinner:  Crock-Pot Herb Pork Roast w/ Baked Apples and Roasted Carrots and Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pudding
This pork roast looks excellent.  However, having tried the insert the garlic clove pieces into the roast technique before to mixed results, I'm going to instead microplane the garlic and use it in the rub.  The pumpkin pudding recipe I'm going to make without the protein powder.  I'm thinking it's going to be sort of like Pumpkin Panna Cotta.

Monday:  Pork & Noodle StirFry
I'm going to save a bit of the pork roast to make a stir-fry.  Asian-style sauces are always a bit of a challenge with our dietary restrictions, so I may just have to pull out some ingredients beforehand for DS who will be happy with things plain. 

Tuesday:  Turkey Souiza over Cornbread with Sauteed Greens
I should call this my south by southwest meal.  I'm modifying the turkey recipe -- adding some coconut milk into regular corn for the "creamed corn" and some coconut milk yogurt for the sour cream probably with a little extra lemon juice to give it some tang.  My usual cornbread recipe has eggs and AP flour in it, so I'm going to try a gluten-free recipe I found on recipezaar.

Wednesday: Dinner at Church
They're having very not DS-safe chicken and dumplings, so I'll pack him his own dinner. 

Thursday:  Pumpkin Risotto w/ Grilled Chicken-Apple Sausage & Green Salad
I love risotto and this recipe sounds like fun.  I'll probably use butternut squash unless I can find a pie pumpkin at the store.    

Friday:  Leftovers
I'm going out for a girls' night out!  DH and the kids can clean out the fridge or raid the pantry.

Saturday:  Out
DH and I are going to a party.  The kids will probably just each hotdogs or similar.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Oven Baked Fries

We have been making sweet potato fries for quite awhile but have never really taken the time to work out a technique for classic french fries.  Frozen fries and tater tots are hard to find because almost all of them involve soybean oil.  We used to buy some great frozen fries from Alexia, but our usual source (Costco) hasn't had them in lately.  Plus they're not cheap...this is certainly MUCH cheaper.

We've tried frying a few times, but it's such a mess and I hate the smell of grease.  Blech!  So the oven it is and with a french fry cutter and a rimmed baking sheet with a rack it's pretty easy.

Oven Baked Fries (serves 3-4)
4 small russet potatoes* (4-6" long), peeled
1 T olive oil
1 t kosher salt
herbs/seasoning salt (opt)
*the size that comes in the 5lb bags not the big baking potatoes
  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.  
  2. Cut the potatoes using a french fry cutter (smaller sized squares work better) and place them in a large microwave safe dish.  I usually use an 8" square pyrex.
  3. Microwave the potatoes for 5-7 min (depending on the strength of your microwave).  Ours is fairly wimpy so I went with 7.
  4. While they're still in the pyrex add the olive oil and seasonings and turn them to coat. 
  5. Place a baking rack on a large (9x13+) rimmed baking sheet.
  6. Using tongs place the fries on the baking rack in a single layer.  This is a little tedious, but if you do it now you won't have to do any turning later.
  7. Bake for 15-20 min. til done.  
That's it.  They're soft on the inside and reasonably crispy on the outside.  It's not like deep-frying but it is a passable substitute.

Kofta/ Meatball Kebabs

Yet another bastardization of a classic ethnic dish.  These are great just plain, or you could thread them along with veggies for a more complete meal.  My kids really like these.

Kofta (serves 4)
~1lb ground meat* (I've used beef, turkey, lamb)
1 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t cinnamon
3/4t Hungarian paprika
*These turn out better with slightly fattier meat - 85/15
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a rimmed baking sheet with lightly oiled aluminum foil.
  2. Place spices in a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Add in meat and mix thoroughly.
  4. Shape into small approx. 1" meatballs.
  5. Thread onto skewers (I've found metal ones work best) and place on the prepared baking pan.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes.  Remove and drain on paper towels for a few minutes.
These are great served over rice or couscous.  Or you could put them in pita with hummus, tahini, or tzatziki.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turkey Curry

This was a good enough that I felt I should post it -- an excellent use for leftover turkey breast. 

Turkey Curry (serves 2-3)
1 T olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2-3 c broccoli florets, roughly chopped
1 carrot, shredded (I used a veg. peeler to make thin ribbons)
3/4 lb cubed, cooked turkey breast
2 t red Thai curry paste (was very mild w/ this amount)
1 t Chicken Better Than Bullion
3/4 can light coconut milk
  1. Heat olive oil in heavy pan over medium-high heat.  Saute onions til they become translucent.  Chop the other vegetables.
  2. Add broccoli and carrots to the pan.  Cover and allow to cook til the broccoli is soft.
  3. Add in turkey, curry powder, and bullion.  Heat through.
  4. Add coconut milk and stir.  Simmer over low heat (light coconut milk will separate if it boils).  
  5. Serve over brown rice.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Menu Plan 11/22-11/28

Well, my favorite from last week hands-down was the Chicken Kofta w/ Quinoa Pilaf.  Actually I ended up making them with ground turkey instead.  I'll be doing it again at the end of this week...will post the recipe then.

I've mentioned before that my DS has pretty bad eczema which we've always believed was at least partially related to food sensitivities.  Hence the reason that most everything I make is without dairy or soy.  We've recently decided to take him off eggs and wheat as well.  The eggs aren't really a problem, but I'm still trying to figure out my way around wheat-free baking.   So if anyone has any awesome wheat-free/gluten free muffins/cookies/quick bread/etc. recipes that aren't too complicated I'd love to hear them.  I have xanthan gum and a large bag of Bob's Red Mill gluten-free AP flour. 

Sunday:  Roast Turkey w/ Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Fresh Cranberry Sauce
I hadn't roasted a turkey in quite some time...I forgot just how long they take to defrost & cook.  However, not I've got a huge amount of meat to work with for the rest of the week/ to put in the freezer for later.  I also really love making cranberry's always just seemed magical to me that it's so easy. 

Monday:  Creamy Turkey & Mushroom Noodle Casserole
I'm modifying the recipe linked above to include turkey instead of chicken.  It's a nice dairy-free creamy sauce.  Since DS is wheat-free for now, I'll use tapioca starch in lieu of AP flour.

Tuesday:  Crockpot Pork Roast w/ Baked Fruit and Quinoa
Not quite sure yet how I'll season this pork roast.  Quinoa is getting to be very popular with me though -- I especially like it when I make it with chicken's pretty boring all by itself.  

Wednesday:  Turkey + Veggie Curry w/ Brown Rice
It's been a few weeks since we had a curry...nothing too earth shattering here -- turkey, coconut milk, curry powder/paste, broccoli, carrots, etc.

Thursday:  Leftovers
I'm just assuming that our schedule will be all out of kilter on Thursday even though we're not cooking.  Who knows when/where/what we'll eat.  

Friday:  Taco Night
This is always popular with everyone -- DD because she can try to make an entire meal of nothing but tortilla chips and DS because he LOVES beans and rice (and tortilla chips).  

Saturday:  Meatball Kebabs w/ Rice Pilaf & Roast Carrots
This was so good that I'm going to do it again.  Stay tuned for the "recipe" -- my spice mix really.  I'll be sure to pay better attention when I do it this time.  Hopefully I can replicate it.  Rice with saffron, almonds, golden raisins, and maybe peas plus some carrots roasted with a honey glaze. 

For more menu plans, visit Menu Plan Monday at

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Menu Plan 11/15-11/21

Another week of doing a pretty good job sticking with the plan.  The Chicken Tikka Masala was excellent and even better the second day.  Substituting the So Delicious coconut milk yogurt in the marinade worked great.  Also enjoyed the Chocolate Chip Cookie "Pie" DH and the kids made me for my birthday -- another dairy & soy free dessert for those of you in the market for such things.

Sorry for the lack of linked recipes this week.  It's another week of pretty simple stuff...kind of makes for boring reading though, I know.  I'll try and post the pea soup recipe soon though.  It's good and kind of a different take on pea soup. 

Also sorry for mistakenly posting that I was serving White Chicken Chili this week on Laura's MPM link.  That'll teach me to just press submit after updating the hyperlink.  That was two weeks ago, but I linked it again just in case someone came particularly looking for that. 

Sunday:  Dinner out
One of DD's friends from school had us over for a cook-out. Gorgeous weather -- love San Antonio in the fall!

Monday:  Soup & Sandwiches
Leftover green pea soup with BLTs sandwiches.

Tuesday:  Roasted Apple Sausages and Squash
Butternut squash, sliced bell peppers, and sweet onions roasted with Aidells Chicken Apple sausages. 

Wednesday:  Bacon-Wrapped Fillets, Roast Potatoes, & Salad
These were on special a few weeks back -- $2.99/twin pack...they've been hiding out in the freezer since then.  

Thursday:  Chicken Kofta, Quinoa Pilaf, and Crudites
DH suggested this one...a chance to try out our fun new metal skewers.  Middle-eastern inspired chicken meatballs with a quinoa pilaf.  Olives, hummus (Tribe's brand is safe), and maybe some cucumbers and carrots.

Friday:  Chicken Fingers w/ Baked Zucchini Chips and Corn
The kids' favorite -- oven baked chicken fingers.  Since DS is eliminating wheat, I'm going to try out some tortilla crumbs I found....hopefully they'll crisp nicely.  Then I'm going to try my hand at some zucchini chips -- thin sliced, toss in a ziploc with olive oil and some salt -- bake in a single layer at 425.

Saturday:  Roast Turkey w/ Cranberry Sauce and Sweet Potatoes 
We love Thanksgiving food and since we're not hosting the family dinner this year, DH wants to be sure to have his fair share of leftovers.  So we're going to roast our own turkey.  Look for lots of turkey leftover recipes next week. 

Want more menus -- check out Menu Plan Monday at

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie "Pie"

This is another vegan recipe that I've adopted as my own.  I've found that vegan recipes are a great way to find dairy-free recipes...then you just have to sub out any soy products.  

This dessert is most like a really large cookie that's served in wedges like a pie.  Enjoy Life makes soy-free chocolate chips. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie "Pie" (Serves 8-10)

3/4 c whole wheat four
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t cocoa powder
1/2 c sugar
1 c oats (old-fashioned/quick)
1/2 c chocolate chips/chunks
3 T oil
1/4 c applesauce
1/4 c milk/milk substitute
1 t vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Combine dry ingredients (flour through chocolate chips).
  3. Mix wet ingredients (oil through vanilla).
  4. Combine together and spread evenly in a round glass dish.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Menu Plan 11/8-11/14

Last week went pretty well.  I only bumped one meal because we had dinner with my in-laws one night.  I think my favorite meal from last week was the White Chicken Chili although really everything turned out well. 

I'm not feeling especially inspired this week, so there's lots of simple stuff or old standbys this week.

Sunday:  Cuban Pork, Black Beans, & Yellow Rice w/ Mangoes
This one got bumped from last week.  Pork marinated in lime and cilantro. 

Monday:  Pork Tacos with Baked Apples
Trying to keep it simple on our busiest nights -- using pre-prepared pork from the grocery store. 

Tuesday:  Grilled Chicken, Tater Tots, and Roasted Broccoli
Boring but pretty easy -- and hopefully pleasing to the kids.  I like how roasted broccoli is just a little crunchy.  Tater tots can be tough to find soy-free...the Cascadian organic brand are what I get usually.

Wednesday:  Chicken Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice and Curried Cauliflower
I'll be using coconut milk products in lieu of the dairy. 

Thursday:  Pizza
The kids have been asking for pizza again.  I'm thinking of making some pesto to jazz up the pizza for the adults. 

Friday:  Out
DH and I are going out to celebrate my birthday!

Saturday:  Potato Skins with Green Pea Soup
This is going to be an interesting experiment.  I'm thinking of topping the potato skins wtih bacon and goat cheese.  The soup is one I haven't made in a long time.  It uses frozen green peas instead of dried split peas.  Much fresher flavor with lemon and mint accents.  I'll post the recipes later this week.

Check out Menu Plan Monday at for more menus and recipes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili (Serves 4)
1/2 - 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 T cumin
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1 t salt
1 c chicken broth
1/2 c jarred tomatillo salsa or 12-15 tomatillos, quartered
2 cans (or 4-5c) white beans, drained but not rinsed
  1. Combine chicken, spices, broth, and salsa/tomatillos in a crockpot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours til chicken shreds easily.
  2. About an hour before serving time, add in beans. 
  3. Serve with extra salsa or a splash of Tabasco-style hot sauce.

For more crockpot recipes, checkout Crockpot Wednesdays @ Dining With Debbie

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