Posts Tagged ‘meal plan’

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With my school and volunteer activity schedule these days, I have had to revise my typical meal planning/grocery shopping routine. I am not home from class until later in the evening on two nights and one evening I volunteer and so I am not home until quite late. But my husband is usually home on these evenings, and I like to make sure he is eating well even if I can’t be home (otherwise he’d be – happily – eating frozen pizza every night!). So, I have been utilizing some of my favorite kitchen tools, my slow cooker and pressure cooker, to make things a bit easier. On Sundays or Mondays, I have been cooking up two meals, at least one meal in the slow cooker, sometimes I even get both cookers out and fire them both up. These meals I just then put in the frig for later in the week. The same goes for the pressure cooker (PC).

This morning I have one slow cooker going and I have cooked some dry black beans in the PC for one meal this week (tacos below) and in a bit I am going to cook up another meal in the PC for later this week.

This week’s theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap is cabbage and it is being hosted by Angela’s Kitchen. If you need help meal planning be sure to hop over there and check out what everyone else has on their menu plan this week for some inspiration. I wasn’t even paying attention to the theme for the week, but I have been on a cabbage kick lately myself (love me some spicy slaw!) and this week I have two meals with cabbage as a key ingredient.


Our plan for the week:

Perfect Hominy White Bean Chili from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker and possibly this Raw Kale with Lime-Sriracha Vinaigrette Salad – the chili is in the slow cooker as I type and will be put in the frig for later in the week.

Dilled Cabbage Soup with Rice and possibly veggie burgers on the side – this is  my pressure cooker recipe this week. The recipe comes from Lorna Sass’s Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure. Also going into the frig for later in the week.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza and Salad – we are loving cauliflower crust pizza!!!

Buffalo “Wing” Chickpea Salad – my version is coming soon, inspired by this recipe.

Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Kale Tacos with Spicy Slaw – a recipe in the works for the tacos.

Homemade Black Bean Tamales – from the freezer, if needed.

What’s on your meal plan for the week?


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This week’s theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap is garlic and the hostess is Wendy at Celiacs in the House. Unfortunately I did not plant any garlic last fall, so I won’t be harvesting any this summer. Last year’s crop didn’t do so well and then time got away from me and I never planted any last fall. So I have resorted to buying it at the farmer’s market from my favorite garlic and potato guy. He grows a lot of different varieties of both and we always enjoy chatting.

On deck for the week:

Green -Chile Cheese Tamales with refried beans and kale salad – from the most recent batch of frozen tamales.

Veggie Burgers with Kale Salad Wraps

Spicy Buffalo Chickpea Salad – an interesting salad I found on Pinterest.

Black Pepper Tofu with steamed snow peas and rice

What’s on your menu this week?

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Here’s our plan for the week:

Roasted Tofu with Braised Brussels Sprouts in Mustard Sauce

Chana Dal with Indian Spiced Roasted Cauliflower and Rice – I will use all three cauliflower links as inspiration.

Malaysian-Inspired Tofu Curry with Roasted Broccoli and Rice – curry recipe from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Mujadara with Kale Salad – I have been wanting to try this easy (and inexpensive) lentil and rice dish for a while now. And yes, another recipe from Kalinda at Wheat Free Meat Free this week.

Oops! I am a week behind schedule. The theme is actually artichokes, and the swap is hosted by Heather at Celiac Family. I only recently began to enjoy artichokes, as you can see here and here.

This week’s theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap is Cookbook Inspirations and the swap is being hosted by Wendy at Celiacs in The House. If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you know that I am inspired by many cookbooks. Here is a  list of some of my favorite cookbooks. But it looks like I need to update that list as I have a few new ones!

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Well, it has been a few weeks since I have posted, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking! Although, we have had a variety of things going on, preventing me from experimenting too much in the kitchen.

Last week we had family visiting and we convinced them to help us make a new batch of tamales with my new stand mixer. Can you believe that in 16+ years of being gluten free that I have never owned a stand mixer? Some people probably think that’s a little strange. But if you know me, or have been around here long enough, you know that I am not much of a baker. If I make bread, I now make the no-knead boule which uses no mixer. And so it was the promise of more homemade tamales that finally led me to buy a stand mixer. Mixing masa by hand is not my idea of fun, and I had finally burnt up my hand mixer, after 16 years. So, off to Costco I went for a new mixer!

KitchenAid Pro-Line 575 watts with all-steel gears - for only $250 at Costco! Cheaper and more powerful than the 'Artisan' ones at BBB and Kohls. Woo-hoo!

We made another full batch of Green Chile-Cheese Tamales and a half a batch of sweet ones – Pumpkin Chocolate Chip. They were both wonderful. And now we have a bunch of frozen tamales to grab when needed. Yum.

This past week I was feeling under the weather – between the juniper and Siberian elm pollen – whew! And then I wasn’t sure whether I was getting a cold on top of it all. Turns out it was *just* allergies gone haywire. Whatever you do, don’t believe someone if they tell you to move to the Southwest “for your allergies”. It isn’t true!!! There are certain times of the year when our allergies here are waaay worse than they were back in Chicago and Ohio. So I didn’t feel much like doing anything except make this Miso Vegetable Noodle Soup. (Watch the ingredients in the miso paste, some contain barley! And so I use whatever ‘color’ of miso I can find that is gluten free.  I also just use GF brown rice spaghetti.)

Juniperus monosperma - One-seed Juniper - the evil one in this ecosystem we know as Pinyon-Juniper.

And it's prolific male pollen. ~ah-choo!~

This week I am back to cooking, as long as the juniper pollen stays at bay! I was rooting around in the deep freezer this afternoon and found a few things that could stand to be eaten up, so you’ll see those below. I also worked on our taxes and a revised monthly household budget this weekend so I am feeling especially frugal today!

How much do you spend on groceries and eating out every month? I am curious. I think we spend a lot for a two-person household, but then again we don’t eat out more than once or twice a month, unless we’re traveling or have company, so pretty much ALL of our food is purchased from the grocery store(s). I rarely bake and I don’t buy a whole lot of “prepackaged” gluten free items, I don’t eat much meat, and so I thought we were probably doing well. But in looking back over the past three months, we spend an average of $150 per week for two people, including household and personal items like toilet paper and deodorant. This seems like a lot to me. If you feel comfortable, share below how much you spend each week (or month) on groceries. I know I can reduce our monthly bill…any tips?

This week’s menu swap theme is eggs and Heather at Celiac Family is the host. Despite having our own hens, we don’t do a lot with eggs. I am allergic to them, except when baked. So, hubby eats the majority of our eggs, unless I do get the urge to bake something. Go on over and check things out for more meal planning inspiration.

And now, on to our plan for the week:

Three Bean Tacos – this favorite makes a lot and I think the leftovers are even better the next day as taco salad, nachos, etc.

Quinoa, Shrimp, Avocado and Lemon Salad – minus the shrimp for us, perhaps some chickpeas instead.

Sloppy Lentils with Napa Cabbage Salad with Red Bell Pepper and a Dijon-Ginger Dressing – the lentils are from Stephanie O’Dea’s cookbook, More Make It Fast, Cook It Slow, and pulled from my freezer. And I will need to use up the leftover napa cabbage from last week’s Miso Vegetable Noodle Soup I mentioned above.

Tofu Vegetable Stir-Fry with San-J Peanut Sauce over Rice – I love having the San-J GF sauces handy because I can whip up a quick vegetable stir-fry with frozen vegetables, maybe some tofu and sauce. (Did you see that there is a new-to-me sauce out called Asian BBQ? Sounds delicious!) The sauces are one of those prepackaged items I will buy, especially since I frequently find coupons for them. And since I found a stray package of frozen stir-fry vegetables in the deep freezer…

Pizza with salad or leftover Napa Salad from above – a frozen gluten-full pizza for the hubby and a Chebe one for me, perhaps with some barbecue chicken, balsamic onions, mozzarella cheese, and cilantro for me (my take on CPK’s BBQ chicken pizza). Chebe bread has been a stand-by for us for years. It was one of the first edible pizza crusts around. I just use their Original Cheese Bread mix as my crust. I haven’t tried their actual Pizza Crust Mix. Have you?

So, I am interested to hear…how much do you spend per week or month on groceries for how many people?

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This week I am just hurriedly posting my plan…my brain hasn’t been in meal planning mode, nor much of  a cooking mood. Not sure why. But we still have to eat and I still have to get groceries tomorrow night. So here it is, nothing too extravagant:

Veggie Burgers with Wild Rice Tabouli

Roasted Tofu with Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Asian Vinaigrette

Roasted Fennel, Tomato and Chickpea Soup

Potato and Green Bean Sambar with Brown Rice – from one of our tried and true cookbooks, one of the oldest in our ‘collection’, Indian Vegetarian Cooking from an American Kitchen by Vasantha Prasad.

Five Spice Chicken (Tofu) Noodle Salad

Pierogies with Salad

Be sure to jump over to Celiacs in the House to check out some other menu plans. The theme this week is cauliflower and I think I might have to add that roasted cauliflower with curry to a future plan – it looks delicious!

And in more exciting news, I am finally buying a Kitchenaid stand mixer since the hand mixer I have had since college, and my celiac diagnosis, has finally died after 16 happy years together. Hubby keeps asking for tamales, and I think last year when we made tamales, that it was the beginning of the end for my mixer. So there may be tamales in our (very near) future!

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There are typically two evenings a week that I do not actually make dinner and rely on leftovers or something from the freezer. That is why you typically only see me post four meals or so a week. And this weekend I was finally craving warm soups. As I looked through my cookbooks for some inspiration I realized that there were quite a few soups that sounded especially nice. So today (Sunday), I decided to fire up both crockpots so that a good part of this week’s meals are already made. Yay! I know I will definitely enjoy my forethought even more later this week.

So, can you call soup that you cook and put immediately into the frig, leftovers? Not in my book. Especially since a lot of soups and stews are even better the second day, right?

Black Bean Chili with Winter Squash-Smoked Gouda Pupusas – we ate this for dinner tonight. The pupusas were awesome (recipe from Vegetarian Planet) and the slow-cooker chili recipe came from one of our well-used cookbooks, Fresh from The Vegetarian Slow Cooker.  (Yes, the pupusas were on last week’s menu but we didn’t get to them.)

Corn-Red Pepper-Potato Chowder with massaged kale salad – we still have kale! And the chowder recipe is also from Fresh from The Vegetarian Slow-Cooker, see above.

New Mexican Green Chile and Pinto Bean Enchiladas – it’s been time for pinto beans and green chile but I haven’t yet been in the mood for them until this week, so I am bringing this recipe back out.

Sweet Potato Kale Pizza with Rosemary and Red Onion – I’ll make this on an Udi’s crust and hubby will eat his own glutenous pizza.

Have you moved into a fall food mood finally, like me? Or did you move into winter this weekend with the surprise snow? Thankfully it was still sunny and warm here.


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This week’s host for the Gluten Free Menu Swap is My Gluten Free Home. Her theme is apples, and she recently posted an apple dip recipe. While the apples are just starting to come in at the farmer’s markets around here, I still have end of summer vegetables on my mind,  like tomatoes and sweet corn. For once, I am being overrun with tomatillos and now that the nights are getting cooler, grape tomatoes. And my kale is going gang-busters with the cooler weather again.

And as a nod to the apple theme, I might make some baked oatmeal bars and freeze them. We each eat an apple a day for lunch and the bunch of apples in the crisper drawer were suddenly tasting very perfumy last week. Too perfumy to eat, yuck. I couldn’t figure out what had happened all of last week. Until I discovered that one of the lemons and one of the limes in the same drawer were half rotten. Gah. That’s where the smell came from, but it had already permeated all of the apples. So I am hoping that by baking the apples, the citrus smell will be diminished so I don’t feel like they are going to waste. (Although not much goes to waste around here since the chickens would eat them and “recycle” them into eggs anyway!)

This week’s plan:

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chunky Tomato Salsa – one of our hands-down favorite meals. And we have plenty of tomatoes still.

Kale with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Garbanzo Beans over Polenta – to try and make a dent in the kale.

Stir Fried Tofu with Miso Sauce and rice

Red Beans and Rice – a pantry basics recipe with limited produce, good for the end of the week. I’ll probably serve it up with a massaged kale salad with cherry tomatoes (two birds with one stone!).

Make You Own Pizza – hubby will probably eat a gluten-full pizza and I will use a frozen Udi’s crust.

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This week’s theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap is ‘Grilling’ and it’s hosted by Angela’s Kitchen. We’re planning to escape up north for some camping in the mountains (and hopefully get away from this darn Wallow Fire smoke), so we’ll be grilling!  Or, rather, campfire cooking (did you see Pete’s recent post about their camping trip and the food they ate?). Luckily we are headed to one of the three parks in the state where you can still use a campfire (due to fire restrictions). Otherwise, cooking on a camp stove is too much like cooking at home and you have to admit that campfires are one of the best things about camping, right?

Here’s the plan:

Pasta with Fava Beans, Sage and Garlic – recipe from Vegetarian Feasts by Martha Rose Shulman.

Ma Po Tofu with broccoli and rice – we’ll be omitting the sirloin from this recipe.

Chickpea Curry Simmer Sauce with rice – this will probably be our just-got-home-Sunday-night-and-I-don’t-wanna-cook meal.

Campfire Roasted Sausages with Potato Packets – veggie sausages for the hubby, meaty ones for me. As well, foil packets with potatoes, carrots, onions and bell peppers roasted over the fire (we do these on the grill at home too).

Pie Iron Pizzas with Salad and Pie Iron Fruit Pies – we haven’t used our pie irons in ages! I will be using either Udi’s or Rudi’s bread – can’t remember what is in the freezer, maybe both (Costco now carries frozen Rudi’s!). For the pizza pies we’ll stuff them with sauce, cheese, bell pepper, onion, sausage, etc. For the fruit pies we’ll just use canned pie filling. There’s also the possibility of S’more/Rocky Road pies, with chocolate, marshmallows and nuts inside – and maybe some banana. Yum! I can’t wait!

Pie Iron info for those of you who haven’t experienced them. We have the traditional square ones.

What is your favorite campfire food?

Be sure to head back over to Angela’s Kitchen later this week to see all the links to the other meal plans. And for even more inspiration, check out OrgJunkie for hundreds of meal plans, literally (not GF or veggie but always some that are adaptable!).

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This week’s post is going to be short and sweet. I am still paying close attention to the little leftover things in the frig and pantry. Like this week, a couple of sweet potatoes and part of a bag of regular yellow potatoes. They’re outta here!

This week’s  Gluten Free Menu Swap is hosted by Michelle at Gluten Free Smiles. The theme is garlic. I don’t have anything exceptionally garlicky this week but it is in almost every dish I make. I also grow my own garlic which is super easy, it’s all about timing and watering. I have three different varieties growing this year. (Yes, you grow garlic over the winter and harvest in June/July.)

Be sure to head over to Gluten Free Smiles later this week to catch all of the menus once they’re posted. And you can try OrgJunkie too, if you’re looking for more inspiration.

Without further ado:

Spaghetti and Salad – the basic I’m getting home late meal

Cauliflower Potato Curry with basmati rice – in the pressure cooker from a Lorna Sass cookbook

Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder from Vegetarian Planet

Quinoa Taco Salad

Breakfast Risotto – for breakfast though, not dinner, great for when you have house guests

How do you make sure you don’t have anything growing legs in the pantry?

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This week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap is being hosted by Gluten Free Goodness with a theme of “Food as Love”. Quite fitting, don’t you think? You did remember Valentine’s Day, right?

Well, around here this theme fits. We don’t give gifts or make a big deal out of certain dates or holidays. We just appreciate each other every day and show it in those little ways that couples do. That said, in honor of the holiday, we will be having my husband’s favorite meal – PIZZA! – along with a chocolate dessert for us both – we both love chocolate. In fact this evening I jokingly asked him what he got me for Valentine’s Day and he told me that we were playing by the “Japanese rules” this year. This means that the women buy all the MEN in their lives chocolate. Uh-huh. We’ll see about that…

Last week we didn’t get to everything because we had so many leftovers from the tacos and we ended up going out one night. So this week is a lot of repeats from last week.

Pizza! and Salad

Pasta with Red Lentils and Ginger – from Vegetarian Planet – we have a huge jar of red lentils in the pantry

Enchiladas and Salad – new recipe coming soon!

Green Chile Cheese Tamales – from the freezer, it’s the last of them – boo. Guess it’s time to make more…

Maybe a soup in the pressure cooker with some of the dried beans loafing around in the pantry. Probably from Lorna Sass’s cookbook, Great Vegetarian Cooking under Pressure.

What are you cooking this week?

For more great ideas, be sure to go over to Gluten Free Goodness later in the week to see what everyone else has posted. Or check out OrgJunkie (not necessarily GF or Veg).

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