Long Absence

Wow…it’s been over a year since I posted anything.  The biggest reason is that last spring we moved, and getting the new house settled took up a lot of my time.  Then, I got pregnant, and now we have a third little girl in our family – super exciting!  But, pregnancy doesn’t agree with me very well, so any side projects got put by the wayside.

So, I’m on day 23 of a Whole30, (needed a kick in the tush to kick the sugar habit I slipped into over the past few months) and I thought I’d link to a few of my FAVORITE recipes that are definitely going to stay in the rotation even after I’m done with my WHOLE30.

Sunshine Sauce – amazing to dip grilled chicken or veggies in – awesome!

* Ginger-Lime Grilled Shrimp – wow, the first time I made this, I didn’t make enough – the family scarfed it down, even the kids.

* Rogan Josh – I got a pre-made spice mix from the Spice Shop for this – and it was amazing! I made a double batch, and leftovers were even better.

* Mango Salsa – I put this on top of the Ginger-lime grilled shrimp, and grilled chicken thighs, and I may have slurped some right out of the bowl – amazing!

* Spicy Thai Carrot and Kale Salad –  I didn’t put kale in this, because I didn’t have any on hand, I also swapped the peanutbutter for sunbutter, the almond milk for coconut milk, and omitted the maple syrup all together to make it WHOLE30 friendly.  One of my favorite go-to lunch veggies with this sauce on it!

* Classic (Paleo) potato salad – I had to bring a side dish to a potluck BBQ, and wanted to make sure there was plenty for me to eat – this definitely hit the spot!

* Coconut milk Latte – I seriously don’t feel deprived at all when I have this cup of coffee with my breakfast – amazing.  I will probably keep making it even after my WHOLE30.

* Avocado Tuna Salad – delicious, quick lunch option

* Sweet Potato Hash – amazing with a fried egg on top – my girls devoured this, too, my oldest kept asking if I was making cinnamon rolls it smelled so good

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CSA week 1

We joined a CSA this year. We did the same one several years ago, but decided to just shop farm markets the past few years. We decided to split the robust share with my sister and her family.

So, here is what we took home this week.

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From left to right, a bunch of flat leaf parsley, a purple kholrabi, turnips, dill, escarole, arugula, summer squash, rainbow chard, lettuce, salad mix, curly kale, basil, and stuck underneath – garlic curls.

Our pick up day is Thursday, so Thursday night I sautéed some chard in lard with salt, pepper, some garlic, and some parsley. I added some scrambled eggs and made a delicious & quick frittata. I whipped up some sweet honey oil and vinegar dressing to pair with the salad greens and some arugula. I love the mix of sweet dressing and spicy arugula – amazing!

Tonight was leftovers from earlier in the week since it was just me here tonight. Here is the plan until the next bag comes.

Saturday :: I plan to try to try a spatchcock chicken on our shiny new grill for the first time. We also have a sweet new grill sauté pan, so I plan to sauté the summer squash on the grill, too.

Sunday :: I like to use the crock pot – so I’m doing pork shoulder in the crock pot. Probably a side salad with all those greens.

Monday :: garlic curl pesto with a side salad – YUM! I love garlic curl pesto.

Tuesday :: veggie frittata

Wednesday :: garden chowder with any veggies I haven’t used up yet.

Menu Plan Feb 25 – March 2

I have been busy doing house projects to get our house ready for listing. So, I’m trying to get back on track this week. I’m baking a bunch of sourdough goodies today – scones, English muffins and cinnamon rolls (first time I’ve tried these).

Feb 25 :: eggs & sourdough rolls, carrots & hummus and applesauce, cheesy quinoa cakes & green beans

Feb 26 :: cinnamon rolls, leftovers, salmon cakes & roasted butternut squash

Feb 27 :: english muffins, leftovers, red beans & rice with pork

Feb 28 :: PB banana shake, leftovers, loaded nachos

Feb 29 :: oatmeal, leftovers, chili cornbread bake

March 1 :: eggs & sausage, leftovers, quinoa Mac & cheese

March 2 :: shake, tomato & lentil soup, quesadillas

Sourdough crepes

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Yesterday was a holiday, so my older daughter didn’t have school, and my husband was home from work. So, I made sourdough crepes for breakfast. I’ve tried making crepes in the past, and they haven’t turned out well, so I wasn’t expecting much. Oh. My. Gosh. They were awesome.

Most of the time when I make a recipe, I think of ways I could tweak it in the future to fit our preferences more. These crepes were so easy, and turned out so well, I wouldn’t change a thing.

They brought back such great memories of a trip I took with my Nonna when I was ten. we went to Paris for a week just the two of us, and I think I ate at least one crepe every day. I put a thin layer of Nutella with thinly sliced bananas on one, and just a sprinkling of powdered sugar on another. So, they weren’t totally whole foods, but boy were they yummy! I think homemade Nutella is going to be something I need to try out to put on these delicious crepes.

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Sourdough English Muffins

I’ve been using a whole wheat sourdough starter from cultures for health for the past few weeks. I’ve tried to capture wild yeast before without much success.

I also have the sourdough A-Z ebook from gnowfglins, which has some great recipes including these sourdough English muffins . Everything has been so good! Getting used to caring for a starter takes some time, but I have it down to a pretty good routine now.

The English muffins were fantastic with butter & jelly on them, but were also great as mini pizzas. I made homemade pizza sauce, added cheese, and everyone could pick their own veggie toppings. Pop them in the toaster oven, easy & delicious dinner.

After my initial success, I made a double batch and froze them. I pulled a few out for mini pizzas for lunch the other day. It was quick & easy, and my girls thought having their own mini pizzas was such a treat.

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Meal plan Jan 21-27

The plan went somewhat out the window last week with 2 sick kids, and some schedule changes. But, you roll with the punches. I ended up making dinner for my whole family Thursday with my sister – we made fish tacos, and they were delicious! I made a double batch of sourdough tortillas – so we had a bunch of veggie quesadillas for lunches, which were awesome.

Also, my father in law gave me a crepe pan yesterday, so I’m going to try out a sourdough crepe recipe I have wanted to try. My husband is home tomorrow, so I’ll have some time in the morning to experiment.

So, here is the plan for this week:

Monday: sourdough crepes & yogurt smoothies :: veggie quesadillas :: tomato & lentil soup
Tuesday: yogurt smoothies :: sourdough corndog muffins :: quinoa cakes and roasted butternut squash
Wednesday: creamy rice :: corn dog muffins :: pork chops & quinoa
Thursday: oatmeal :: pizza quesadillas :: baked falafel & salad
Friday: oatmeal :: pb&j and carrots :: dinner out
Saturday: eggs & sausage :: leftovers :: hearty nachos
Sunday: pancakes :: leftovers :: salmon cakes & green beans

Roasted Carrots

One of the easiest ways to prepare vegetables is to roast them.  I drizzle them with olive oil, a little bit of real salt and pepper, then pop them in a 400 degree oven.  It is as simple as that.  I roasted carrots for a side dish a few nights ago, and they were delicious.  Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the carrots.

I cut up 8 carrots on the diagonal – as shown below (these are pre-roasted, I forgot to take an after picture – it was dinner time, and we were hungry).  It took 35 minutes to get them to the perfect tenderness for me.  I roast all my veggies on my Pampered Chef Large Bar Pan.  It holds heat really well, and has a nice lip so the oil and juices don’t run off the end and make a mess in the oven.

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Chicken curry

My husband and I took an Indian cooking class 4 or 5 years ago. We made a ton of different recipes. One of the few I make on a regular basis is this chicken curry. It is so delicious, and pretty easy to make at home. I made some modifications from the original recipe because I had some trouble finding a few of the ingredients, and I prefer coconut oil.

Here are all the ingredients lined up and ready to go.

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I have recently been more intentional about having everything out and ready to go so I’m not scrambling around looking for a specific ingredient in the middle of a recipe. Everything goes much smoother.

Here is the recipe card. I use the My Recipe Book app for iPad which is where the format for the recipe card comes from.

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The directions call for a whole chicken cut into pieces, I cut it into 8 pieces – 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 breasts and 2 wings.

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It is really helpful to measure out all of your spices ahead of time, and have them all in one bowl to dump right in when you need to.

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I need to get a better photo of the final product, this looks somewhat unappetizing, but this is what I have for now.

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Also, usually I finish it in my enameled cast iron pan, but this time I needed to go somewhere for a few hours, so after it was all done except the simmering, I dumped it in my crock pot for 2 hours on high. It worked really well. I love it when a recipe works out in the crock pot, so I can get dinner ready earlier in the day, and it is ready to go when dinner rolls around.

Homemade Yogurt

Filmjolk YogurtI ventured into making homemade yogurt about 6 months ago.  We eat a lot of yogurt for breakfast, and it started adding up.  I looked into making my own, and didn’t really want to get a yogurt maker, or worry about getting things up to the right temperature, let it sit at the right temperature for the perfect amount of time, etc.  It seemed like a bit of a pain.

I started reading about the different types of starters at Cultures for Health, and was intrigued by the mesophilic starters.  They have a great page to help you choose the right yogurt starter for you.  I knew I wanted an heirloom variety so I could re-use the starter perpetually instead of using new starter each time.  So, I bought the villi starter.  It was so easy!  You just mix milk with the starter, leave it out at a warm room temperature until it sets.  I put it in a quart canning jar with a coffee filter on top secured with a canning lid ring.  You know it is set when it pulls away from the side of the glass.  I leave it sitting on top of my dryer in my laundry room which is off my kitchen – it stays warm in there.  Then, you just use 1 tablespoon of yogurt for each cup of yogurt you want to make for the next batch.  I make it about once a week.

I liked it so much, I got some Filmjolk starter.  The description says it has a slightly cheesier flavor.  It was just as easy to start, and has perpetuated quite well.  I have used a nut milk bag to strain some whey out of it to make it more like cream cheese – it is a great substitute for cream cheese.

Whole wheat blueberry muffins

20130103-092034.jpgLast night, I made the 100% whole wheat blueberry muffins from King Arthur flour. Check it out here. It is my older daughter’s turn to bring snack to preschool tomorrow, so I doubled the recipe.

I changed it a little, I used this whole wheat flour, rapadura instead of brown sugar, melted butter instead of vegetable oil, and regular milk instead of buttermilk or whey (because I was out of both).

They were delicious. I love my stoneware muffin pan. It makes such a great crisp crust that is delicious. I don’t use muffin papers, because I love the flavor of the crust of the bottom so much more when I don’t. They taste too mushy to me.

So, we each had a muffin to go along with our homemade yogurt this morning for breakfast – yum!

I posted this on the nourishing gourmets penny wise platter.