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Posts Tagged ‘menu swap’

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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This week’s theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap is Valentine Treats, and our hostess is Angela at Angela’s Kitchen. What kind of treats do you like for Valentine’s Day? Me, I love chocolate anything. But I also can say that I pretty much love anything sweet…

This weekend I made two sweet treats, sugar cookies from a mix (1-2-3 Gluten Free) that was in the cabinet and some mini Strawberry Cheesecakes. The cheesecakes aren’t really blog-worthy as they aren’t especially pretty, despite tasting great! But maybe if I can get a decent picture of them later this week, I will add them.

I have been trying to focus on what’s in the pantry and freezer (don’t I say this almost every week?) and use up some items that are just hanging around in there. This week, I want to use some of the frozen paneer. I also have a partial bag of potatoes that need to be eaten before they grow legs and some fresh broccoli.

Simla Mirch Paneer (Cashew Cheese with a Bell Pepper Sauce) with steamed broccoli and rice – paneer recipe from 660 Curries.

Rosemary Potato Soup – cooked up in the pressure cooker, with some grilled cheese on the side, maybe?

Roasted Tofu with Brussels Sprout and Apple Hash – probably will use Book of Yum’s marinade for the tofu.

Yellow Curry with Chickpeas and Rice

Pierogies and Salad

What sweet treats are you giving or hoping to receive this week?

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This week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap is being hosted by Wendy at Celiacs in the House. Her chosen theme is root vegetables. I just happened to have bought my first parsnips ever this week. I was thinking of just roasting them but what is your favorite way to eat parsnips? Let me know below.

Also on the menu:

Yummy (Grilled) Tofu with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, Onions and Carrots – We’re trying parsnips for the first time. The marinade for the tofu is our all-time-favorite marinade, thanks to Sea at Book of Yum. This time I will probably just make the marinade and place the tofu slabs in a foil lined pan, drizzle with the marinade and then put in the oven to roast with the vegetables. Yum.

Creamy Pumpkin Seed and Green Chile Posole with corn tortillas – a delicious sounding recipe in the latest issue of Sunset magazine.

White Bean and Greens Stew and Grilled CheeseI have been craving grilled cheese!

Roasted Rosemary Potato Soup – I need to use up some potatoes in the pantry.

Pasta with Artichokes, Fresh Spinach, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Feta and Balsamic – this is a make-it-up-as-you-go, throw-it-together dish. Might toss in some pine nuts too.

Pierogies and Salad

Be sure to hop over to Celiacs in the House and see what everyone else has up their sleeve this week.

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Just a quick post with our menu for the week:

Veggie Burgers with Kale Salad Wraps – kale recipe from Lexie’s Kitchen

Chickpeas Romesco with Massaged Kale Salad – I *heart* chickpeas!

Makhani Dal with rice and steamed broccoli – dal recipe from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer

Quinoa Vegetable Soup – recipe from Lorna Sass’s Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure

Make-Your-Own Pizza – I think I might make a socca crust again…

What’s on your meal plan for the week?

Need some inspiration? Check out the other plans over at Celiac Family for this week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap. The theme this week is smoothies but I don’t do smoothies, green or not. But no worries, you’ll find more than smoothies over there…

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I hope you are doing well with your new goals and haven’t fallen off the band wagon yet. If you are trying to eat a healthier diet or just eat more vegetables this year, there are plenty of resources out there. Of course there are lots of gluten free blogs out there. And lots of vegetarian blogs too.

But there are a ton of other resources, most of which aren’t specifically gluten free or vegetarian but still provide me with lots of inspiration. One of the recipes below is from Cooking Light magazine, one from Vegetarian Times magazine, another from Sunset magazine and the other from Food and Wine magazine.

I also make recipes from a lot of blogs. Most of which are not specifically gluten free. Some of my recent favorites are The Taste Space, Dana Treat, Fat Free Vegan Kitchen and Kalyn’s Kitchen. Recipes abound out on the interwebs, so don’t be afraid to look around, especially at all of the non-gluten free blogs. It’s so easy to modify most recipes to be gluten free. So if you need some inspiration, be sure to check out some of my favorite blogs over on the right as I have just updated my links.

Capitalizing on last week’s “Eat More Produce” theme for the Gluten Free Menu Swap, Heather at Celiac Family chose broccoli as this week’s theme. We love broccoli here at our house. We love it steamed, stir-fried, roasted – it doesn’t matter – we eat it and love it. This week we’ll be having it roasted alongside some dal.

And I’ll probably be eating it lightly steamed for lunch at work this week too. It’s so easy to just put some in a glass storage bowl and take to work. Take the lid off, drizzle in a little water before popping it into the microwave for a minute or two, and then I like to sprinkle it with a bit of salt. I don’t need any butter or other sauce. Mmmm…broccoli. What is your favorite way to eat your broccoli?

This week’s plan:

Buttery Pigeon Pea Dal with Roasted Broccoli and Brown Rice – we didn’t get to this last week.

Tempeh and Green Bean Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce with Brown Rice

Italian Chickpea Soup with a Massaged Kale Salad

Spiced Lemon Quinoa

What are your favorite sources of inspiration? Your new favorite blog, magazine? Let me know – I can always use more!

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Happy New Year to you!

Have you updated your goals for the year? I have. And I don’t know about you, but I am working on making some changes. But it can be so overwhelming to contemplate the big changes you want to make in your life. I have learned that it is best to make a plan. (And get some encouragement (or ultimatums) from my husband!) And then start by taking some itty-bitty, baby steps. Whether you want to lose weight, find a new job, create a garden, redecorate your living room. Whatever. Baby steps. You’ll get there. And you will be able to better see that faint light glimmering at the end of the tunnel when you break it down into the small pieces. (Remind me of this later!)

I took some more of those steps today and it feels great. I don’t feel so stuck – you know what I mean?

Another one of my goals is to blog more. The past year has been rough and my relationship with food has not been very friendly so there hasn’t been a lot of new content this year – sorry. (More on this eventually, when I am ready…) I cook most days, but mostly using other people’s ideas and recipes. So I am going to work on pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone a bit. And I am working on my photography skills too. So we’ll see where things go. Who knows. Baby steps, right?

I know a lot of you are looking for “healthy” recipes right now, to go along with those new goals. Especially that one magical weight loss recipe, right? Well, you won’t find the magic one here, but you will find some pretty darn yummy vegetable based recipes! (But be sure to check out the link to Susan’s soup recipe at the bottom of this page. It may be as close to magical as we get.) And most of us could use more vegetables in our diets, right? So make sure you check out the new recipe index if you haven’t already.

With that in mind, this week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap theme is “Eat More Produce” and it is being hosted by Celiacs in the House. Be sure to check out the links on her page for more ideas.

Here’s our plan:

No-Hurry Vegetable Curry with Brown Rice – a slow cooker recipe from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. This makes a lot so we’ll eat this more than once this week.

Buttery Pigeon Pea Dal with Roasted Broccoli and Brown Rice

Roasted Tofu with Roasted Brussels Sprouts – I want to try a new sprouts recipe but haven’t decided on one yet. Perhaps this one?

Enchilada-Inspired Polenta Pie with Salad – a slow cooker recipe from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker

Spaghetti and Salad – by request of the hubby. My favorite pasta is Tinkyada brand, which you can also purchase at Trader Joe’s, if you have one in your area. They sell it as Brown Rice Pasta in penne, spirals or spaghetti. But recently our TJ’s started carrying a gluten free corn pasta too. I bought some but haven’t tried it yet; guess we will this week. I will let you know if we like it!

And for my lunches I am thinking about making this: Susan’s Dirty Little Secret Soup. Warm soup just tastes so great right now…

For a special treat this week, I am making ice cream. I have avoided ice cream for the majority of the fall and I did well avoiding a lot of holiday treats but I have been craving some ice cream.  So I am making Salty Caramel from Jeni’s Splendid Ice  Creams at Home. And possibly the Pumpkin Five Spice or a Kahlua flavored one of my own creation. I can’t wait!

Have you updated your goals for the year?

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