Sunday, September 30, 2012

Menu for September 30 - October 6, 2012

September 30 – October 6, 2012

breakfast – apple pumpkin bake, veggie juice
lunch - taco salad
dinner - spicy roast chicken, butternut squash, roasted root veggies

breakfast – veggie hash & eggs, veggie juice
lunch - leftovers
dinner – grilled steak w/applewood rub, spaghetti squash with sauteed veggies

breakfast – grab bag (pancakes/waffles from freezer), veggie juice
lunch – pizza soup
dinner - grilled Catalina chicken, vegetable lasagna (sans noodles)

breakfast – veggie omelets, veggie juice
lunch – chef salad
dinner – stuffed meatloaf, broccoli casserole

breakfast - vegetarian red flannel hash, eggs, veggie juice
lunch - leftovers
dinner - chicken a la king w/paleo butter biscuits, carrot salad

breakfast - breakfast tater tot casserole
lunch – tuna patties with side salad
dinner - beef roast, potatoes, carrots

breakfast – waffle iron hash browns, eggs, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers/clean out the fridge
dinner - crockpot beef in mushroom gravy, green beans, mashed faux-tatoes

Friday, September 28, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip

This is a nice sweet appetizer for upcoming holiday parties, or a yummy snack for the kids (or adults!)

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. softened butter
  • 3/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. chocolate chips (can be mini or regular size)
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans (optional)
Mix & chill.  Serve with graham crackers.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ambrosia Rice

A delicious dish that can be used as a side dish or light dessert!

Ambrosia Rice
  • 16 oz. pineapple tidbits in juice, drained
  • 15 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2 c. cooked rice, chilled
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
  • 2 c. seedless red grapes
  • 1/2 c. chopped dry apricots
  • 8 oz. container strawberry yogurt (can also be raspberry or peach)
  • dash of cinnamon (optional)
Mix thoroughly.  Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for later, up to 2 days.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bratwurst and Sauerkraut Skillet

I'm not a huge fan of sauerkraut, but this was pretty good!

Bratwurst and Sauerkraut Skillet
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 Tbsp. butter (not necessary if you keep your bacon drippings)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 2 lb. sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. apple cider or apple juice
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 to 2 lb. fresh bratwurst
  • 2 medium apples, cored and sliced into 12 wedges each 
Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove from pan, drain, and crumble; set aside.  Drain off all but 2 tbsp of dripping in pan (or use butter or margarine if you prefer); add onion and garlic to drippings; cook over medium heat until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sauerkraut, potatoes, water, apple cider, brown sugar, bouillon, and caraway seeds. Bring to a boil over heat. 

Meanwhile, brown bratwurst in another skillet over medium heat until browned, turning to brown all sides.  Add to sauerkraut mixture when it comes to a boil; then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.  Add apples, and cook, covered, for 5-10 minutes more or until apples are tender.  Stir in the bacon; serve.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekly meal plan for September 23 - 29, 2012

September 23 – 29, 2012

breakfast - chunky monkey dairy-free smoothies, hard boiled eggs, veggie juice
lunch - bratwurst & sauerkraut in apple cider
dinner - crockpot beef bourguignon, Monte Carlo veggie mix, peach pie bites

breakfast - pancakes from freezer, veggie juice
lunch - leftovers
dinner - pizza frittata (back by popular demand!), steamed veggie mix, salad

breakfast - eggs & veggie hash
lunch – Mexican “lasagna”

breakfast - ham, spinach and mushroom frittata, veggie juice
lunch – creamy broccoli & ham soup
dinner - meat & mushroom spaghetti sauce over spaghetti squash, Italian salad

breakfast - spaghetti squash patties, fried eggs, veggie juice
lunch – spicy beef sausages, tomato & cucumber salad
dinner - spicy baked cod, coleslaw, steamed carrots, pineapple & lime granita

breakfast – grain-free waffles, veggie juice
lunch – salmon patties, side salad
dinner - steak pizzaiola, Chateau veggie mix, sweet potato brownies

breakfast - waffle hash browns, omelets, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers/clean out the fridge
dinner - primal chicken strips, oven roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli, grain-free fruit crisp

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Olive Garden Style Vegetarian Lasagna

We don't eat pasta, but this sure sounds good!

Olive Garden Style Vegetarian Lasagna
A bountiful vegetable mixture, a rich ricotta cheese mixture, and a homemade, cream sauce make this vegetarian lasagna well worth the extra effort.

Alfredo Sauce:

  • 1/2 lb. Sweet or salted butter
  • 12 oz. Heavy cream
  • Fresh ground white pepper
  • 1 1/2 C. Fresh Parmesan -- grate
  • 18 slices Mozzarella cheese -- 1/2 oz. ea
Ricotta Mixture:
  • 1 pint Ricotta cheese
  • 2 oz. Romano -- grate
  • 3 oz. Mozzarella -- shred
  • 2 Tbs. Green onions -- slice
  • 2 tsp. Fresh parsley -- chop
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. Dried oregano
  • 1 1/4 C. Alfredo sauce – cooled
Vegetable Mixture:
  • 4 C. Broccoli florets
  • 2 C. Carrots; sliced 1/4" -- then chopped
  • 4 C. Mushrooms -- slice 1/4"
  • 2 C. Red bell peppers -- dice
  • 1 C. Green bell pepper -- dice
  • 1 C. Yellow onion -- dice
  • 2 C. Zucchini -- slice
Lasagna noodles


Lay out enough dry lasagna noodles in a 9x13 pan to ensure you have enough to make 3 full layers, with very little overlap on each layer. Remove the dry strips and cook according to package instructions until barely "al dente" and drain. 

Alfredo Sauce: Heat water to a boil in the bottom of a double boiler. Add butter, cream and pepper to the top pot and heat until butter is completely melted, then stir in Parmesan until melted and blended. Remove top pot and set aside to cool. Divide the sauce into 2 equal portions. Refrigerate 1 portion for use later. 

Ricotta Cheese Mixture: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and blend thoroughly with a rubber spatula. Set aside at room temp. 

Vegetables: Combine all veggies and mix well. 

Assembly: Coat the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking dish with vegetable spray. Lay out cooked lasagna strips (about 4) to cover entire bottom. Spread 1-1/4 c of the Ricotta mix evenly over the strips. Top with 8 c of veggie mix and spread out evenly. Lay out 9 of the mozzarella slices to cover the veggie layer. Repeat this layering. Top the second layer of mozzarella slices with lasagna strips and spread them evenly with 1-1/4 c ricotta cheese mix to finish. Cooking: Spray a sheet of foil with vegetable spray and cover the baking dish tightly with the foil, sprayed side down. Bake in a preheated 375~ oven for about an hour or until the internal temp is 165~. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for a few minutes, covered, before cutting and serving. Immediately prior to serving, heat the reserved portion of Alfredo Sauce and ladle the hot sauce over each slice of lasagna as it is served. Serves 8.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pizza Frittata

Oh, WOW!  That's what my kids said, so I know this is a good one!

Pizza Frittata
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan and/or Romano cheese
  • 1 c. whole milk (I used coconut milk)
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 4 oz. pepperoni slices, cut into quarters
  • 15  to 24 oz. of your favorite pizza sauce (I make homemade)
  • 8 oz. shredded mozzarella or pizza mix cheeses
Preheat oven to 400°.

Add eggs, Parmesan or Romano cheese, milk, and salt and pepper to a blender.  Blend until smooth and well mixed.  In ovenproof skillet (I used cast iron), drizzle 1 to 2 Tbsp. of olive oil and heat over medium heat.  Pour egg mixture into skillet and cook over medium heat until bottom is set.  Place skillet in oven for 10 minutes. 

Combine pepperoni and pizza sauce.  Remove skillet from oven when done and spread pepperoni and sauce over eggs.  Top with shredded cheese and bake another 10 minutes.

Let cool slightly before slicing into wedges.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Creamy Baked Rice

This is a fabulous and easy side dish to throw together in a minute and bake alongside the main entree!

Creamy Baked Rice
  • 3/4 c. uncooked white rice
  • 14 oz. can chicken broth
  • 10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
  • 4 oz. can mushroom pieces
  • minced onion, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased casserole dish.  Bake at 350° for one hour.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Crockpot Ruby Chicken

Crockpot Ruby Chicken
· 2 pounds Chicken, pieces
· 1 medium Onions, chopped
· 2 tablespoons Oil
· 2 teaspoons Salt
· 1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice
· 1 can Orange juice, concentrated
· 2 teaspoons Orange peel, grated
· 1 pound Cranberries
· 1 cup Sugar

Night before: Chop onions, thaw orange juice and chicken, measure spices. 

In the morning: add ingredients to crockpot. Cover and cook 8−10 hours on low. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekly meal plan for September 16 - 22, 2012

Another week of not having to buy groceries -- yay!  That's right, this menu is planned completely from what's on hand in my pantry, freezers, refrigerator, and garden.

September 16 – 22, 2012

Sizzling Sunday:
breakfast – omelets with ham/peppers/onions, veggie juice
lunch – homemade beefy veggie soup, grain-free chocolate zucchini muffins
dinner – grilled hoisin glazed pork chops, oriental coleslaw

Meaty Monday:
breakfast – grain-free apple cinnamon muffin hot “cereal”, coconut milk, veggie juice
lunch - chili (beanless), paleo “corn” bread
dinner – leftover chili over baked potato, steamed veggies

Taco Tuesday:
breakfast – breakfast burritos, veggie juice
lunch - Spanish chicken over salad greens, steamed Monte Carlo mix veggies, salad
dinner – taco soup, leftover paleo “corn” bread or grain-free chocolate zucchini muffins

Whip-it-up Wednesday:
breakfast – grain-free apple spice pancakes with apple butter, veggie juice
lunch - pizza frittata, steamed Chateau mix veggies
dinner – egg salad on cucumber slices or paleo bread

Traditional Thursday:
breakfast – dairy-free pumpkin custard, leftover grain-free chocolate zucchini muffins, veggie juice
lunch - ham roast w/mustard & herb crust, roasted veggies
dinner – BLTs on paleo bread, veggies & dip

Fun Friday:
breakfast – poached eggs, veggie hash, veggie juice
lunch - oven fried chicken, oven fried potatoes, green beans
dinner – take kids out for a totally NON paleo dinner for them, salad for me

Slow-cooker Saturday:
breakfast – omelets, hash browns, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers/clean out the fridge
dinner - crockpot BBQ short ribs, tomato & cucumber salad

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Grain-free Blueberry Crisp

I found this recipe on quite a few sites, so I'm not sure who gets the credit.

Grain-free Blueberry Crisp
  • 1 1/2 c. almond meal
  • 1 c. shredded coconut
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans or mix of both
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
Mix dry ingredients.  Add butter or coconut oil, vanilla, and honey; stir until mixed well.  Spread blueberries evenly in 8 x 8 inch baking dish.  Top with almond meal/coconut mixture.  Bake at 350° for 30 - 35 minutes.  Serve warm or cool!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rocky Road Cake

I totally blew my diet last night, but this was worth it!

Rocky Road Cake
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 2 tsp. instant coffee
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 c. sour cream (full fat)
  • 1 c. walnut pieces

Marshmallow Topping/Chocolate Fudge Glaze
  • 10 oz. pkg. mini marshmallows, divided
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. milk or water
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
Prehat oven to 350° F.  Grease a 9 x 13 pan.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt together butter and 2 Tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips.  Stir until smooth.  Add in cocoa powder, instant coffee and vanilla extract.  Stir until combined well.  In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until smooth.  Stir in chocolate mixture.  Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the sour cream.  Stir in remaining flour mixture, mixing just until no streaks of flour remain.  Fold in walnuts. 

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and sprinkle all but 2/3 c. marshmallows evenly over the hot cake.  Return cake to oven for 2 minutes, until marshmallows are puffed but not browned.  Allow cake to cool several minutes while glaze is prepared.

For the glaze:  in a small saucepan, combine sugar, milk and butter. Bring to a boil for 1 1/2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows until smooth (I added extra chocolate chips.)  Drizzle over warm cake.  Allow cake to cool completely before slicing, if you can.  I couldn't.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan for September 9 - 15, 2012

September 9 – 15, 2012

Slow cooker Sunday:
breakfast – crockpot sweet potato & sausage casserole, scrambled eggs
lunch – crockpot taco soup
dinner - crockpot buffalo chicken breasts, veggie salad

Meaty Monday:
breakfast – eggs in roast beef cups, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers from Sunday dinner
dinner - stuffed meatloaf/mashed cauliflower, roasted beets, cucumber salad

Taco Tuesday:
breakfast – huevos rancheros
lunch – nacho cheese soup
dinner - Spanish steak & riced cauliflower, tomato salad

Whip it up Wednesday:
breakfast – grain-free apple spice pancakes (in freezer), veggie juice
lunch - pizza soup, grain-free garlic crackers
dinner - honey mustard chicken, roasted carrots/beets/onions

Traditional Thursday:
breakfast - breakfast hash (eggs, diced potatoes, sausage, peppers, onions)
lunch – homemade beef & veggie soup, grain free cinnamon apple muffins
dinner - beef liver & caramelized onions, green beans, grain-free apple crisp

Fun Friday:
breakfast – peanut butter custard, apple slices, veggie juice
lunch – tuna patties, cucumber slices
dinner - pizza burgers, salad

Sizzling Saturday:
breakfast – grain-free pumpkin pancakes, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers/clean out fridge
dinner - grilled hoisin glazed pork chops, oriental slaw

Know what the best part is???  I didn't have to buy any groceries for this week!!!!  This is all made from ingredients that I already have in my pantry, freezers, refrigerator, and garden! 


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Artichoke "salsa"

I haven't tried this one yet, but it sounds good and colorful!  Not sure about spicy, though.

Artichoke Salsa
  • 1 jar (6.5 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, undrained and chopped fine
  • 1/4 c. chopped black olives
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped red onion
  • 3 medium plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. snipped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Combine all vegetables and add basil.  Salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: 16 servings

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Grasshopper Torte

I would break my diet for this!

from Pampered Chef

Grasshopper Torte
  • 15 creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 7 oz. jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 3 c. softened frozen vanilla yogurt
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 8 drops green food coloring
  • Additional chopped creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
Place cookies in small bowl; add melted butter and mix well.  Press crumb mixture onto bottom of 8 or 9 inch springform pan.  Refrigerate while preparing filling.
Combine marshmallow creme and milk in larger bowl.  Whisk smooth.  Add frozen yogurt; whisk until well blended.  Fold in Cool Whip, peppermint extract and food coloring.  Pour over prepared crust.  Cover and freeze until firm, 8 hours or overnight.  Garnish with additional chopped cookies before serving.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Almond Flour Apple Spice Pancakes

Almond Flour Apple Spice Pancakes
  • 1 c. almond flour (almond meal)
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. water in which 1/4 tsp. baking soda is dissolved
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  The batter will appear a little thicker than normal mix.  Drop by 1/4 cupfuls onto a lightly oiled non-stick griddle or frying pan over medium heat.  Use the scoop to shape the pancakes.  Flip like a normal pancake when bottoms are a nice golden brown.  Let the second side brown, also, before removing from griddle.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Steak Pizzaiola

This was a new recipe for us, but we all gave it a thumbs up last night!  I think I added too many pepperoncinis, though that may have added to the flavor.  We'll definitely have it again!

Steak Pizzaiola

  • 1 1/ 4 pound boneless sirloin steak about 1 inch thick, excess fat trimmed 
  • salt 
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed 
  • 1 large onion sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 bell peppers, 1 red 1 yellow sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 jarred pepperoncinis, drained and thinly sliced
  • 1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoons parsley
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley chopped 
Sprinkle the steak all over with salt, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the steak and sear until browned.  Remove to a plate.
Add the garlic to the skillet; once it sizzles, add the onion and bell peppers.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften slightly.  Add the pepperoncinis, tomatoes, oregano, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. 
Bring to a rapid simmer, then nestle the steak in the the sauce and simmer until medium rare, about 7 minutes, or cook longer for your desired degree of doneness. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.  Thinly slice the steak against the grain and divide it among plates, top with sauce and parsley.  Serve with focaccia or fresh Italian bread if desired.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Grain-free Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

This isn't an overly sweet muffin like you'd expect.  It's got a pleasant flavor though.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. coconut flour
  • 1/2 c. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 c. peeled and shredded zucchini
  • 1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
Mix butter and honey together.  Add eggs and vanilla and whisk well.  Stir in coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and cinnamon until well mixed.  Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips.  Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups in pans.  Bake in preheated 350° oven for 20 minutes.  Cool on a rack.
Makes 24 muffins

NOTE:  This recipe can be easily halved

Recipe is slightly tweaked from one I found at

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Weekly meal plan for September 2 - 8, 2012

Just for some fun I used "themes" for the dinners, and I think it turned out pretty well!

September 2 – 8, 2012

Slow-cooker Sunday:
breakfast – grain-free double chocolate zucchini muffins, eggs, veggie juice
lunch – broccoli ham soup, muffins from breakfast
dinner - crockpot spicy roast chicken w/roasted sweet potatoes & roasted beets

Meaty Monday:
breakfast – almond flour apple spice pancakes, veggie juice
lunch – shredded BBQ chicken on salad, beet pickles,
dinner - steak pizzaiola, Italian salad, sauteed zucchini/cauliflower/pepper blend

Taco Tuesday:
breakfast – breakfast burritos, veggie juice
dinner - taco salad
supper – nacho cheese soup

Whip it up Wednesday:
breakfast - eggs in ham cups, veggie juice
dinner - zucchini lasagna, cucumber/tomato salad
supper – Italian sausage & spinach soup

Traditional Thursday:
breakfast – scrambled eggs, bacon, grain-free cinnamon zucchini muffins, veggie juice
dinner - beef roast w/potatoes & carrots
supper – tuna egg salad, dill pickles

Fun Friday:
breakfast – breakfast salad, veggie juice
dinner – primal pizza casserole, salad
supper – salmon patties with dill sauce, steamed broccoli/cauliflower mix

Sizzling Saturday:
breakfast – omelets, hash browns, sausage, veggie juice
lunch – leftovers/clean out fridge
dinner - grilled chicken leg quarters, beet pickles, Monte Carlo veggie blend

Note:  my husband is moving to second (afternoon/evening) shift at work, thus the bigger meals at noon.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Greek-style Chicken

We've had this a couple of times and we all like it!  It's another versatile meal that can be served atop salad greens or served with fresh Italian bread.

Greek-style Chicken

Serves 4
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp. minced)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 18 large black olives, drained, pitted, and chopped (we used a whole can because we love olives)
  • 2 Tbs. parsley
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • feta cheese
Mix 2 Tbsp. olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Marinate chicken in this mixture for 30 to 60 minutes.  In large skillet sautee garlic and onions in 1 Tbsp. olive oil.  Add tomatoes and olives and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring often.  Add 1 Tbsp. parsley and thyme.  Stir to combine.  Remove chicken from marinade and place in a baking dish.  Cover with vegetable mixture and sprinkle with remaining parsley.  Cover dish with foil and bake at 375° for 40 minutes.  Top with feta before serving.