Category Archives: Meal Plans

Review and Giveaway: Simply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of Simply Gluten-Free Quick Meals at no cost. This in no way influenced my review.

This giveaway is now closed. The winner was commenter #54 – Nicole, who says her favorite quick gluten-free meal is Miracle noodles with veggies and sauce. Congrats, Nicole! Enjoy your copy of Simply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals!

One of the struggles many people who switch to a gluten-free diet, especially when they wish to focus on healthy foods, is finding the time to prepare meals. For many people who rarely cooked before their transition to gluten-free, this can be especially daunting. But in an effort to heal our bodies after gluten, we make the commitment:

I’m going to learn to cook gluten-free for my family.

But how? Carol Kicinski’s new book, Simply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals, is an excellent tool to help you through that process. Carol is the author of the blog Simply…Gluten-Free and another cookbook (which I also reviewed!), Simply…Gluten-Free Desserts. She is incredibly talented, especially at making gluten-free recipes that are so good, you’d never guess they were “free from” anything! I’ve made quite a few recipes from her book and blog over the years, and they’ve been excellent!

Her newest creation, Simply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals, is possibly her greatest yet. The entire book is organized by meals, giving you a main course, side dishes, and desserts. This way, you can plan dinner for every night of the week! Carol gives you time-saving hints before each meal (such as suggesting you use frozen vegetables to save on prep time), which are essential when you only have about a 30-minute window for dinnertime. The recipes are very family-friendly, easily customizable (if you have dairy-free needs, Carol makes notes for dairy-free recipes as well), and the best part – they’re delicious. There are recipes for macaroni and cheese, polenta pot pie (I’ve made this before from her blog; it’s delicious!), shepherd’s pie, and SO much more.

I opted to make her Vegetarian Curry and Spiced Basmati Rice with Cashews. I love curries, but rarely opt to make a vegetarian version. This curry was easy, as it called for a jarred gluten-free curry base, and when using frozen cubed butternut squash, prep was a breeze. What would normally take an hour to prepare was done in a flash. She did offer a recipe for easy Mango Lassis, which I didn’t make, but can only imagine would be a perfect sweet treat to finish the meal. The curry was delicious – not too spicy, creamy, and comforting. The rice was the dark horse – it seems unassuming, but the spices were just enough to really keep you interested. Of course, the cashews provided a lovely crunchy contrast. It might have stolen the show! It was a great weeknight meal.

Sound good? Are you ready to learn how to win a copy of Simply…Gluten-Free Quick Meals? Here’s how you can do it:

1. Leave me a comment telling me YOUR favorite gluten-free quick meal, or a previously gluten-full quick meal recipe you’d love to see converted to gluten-free.

2. “Like” Tasty Eats At Home on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

3. Follow Tasty Eats At Home on Twitter and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

4. “Like” Simply…Gluten-Free on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

5. Follow Simply…Gluten-Free on Twitter and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

That’s it! The giveaway will end on Sunday, April 15 at 11:59PM CDT. I’ll then randomly pick one winner and notify you via email!

 

Cooking Locally and Seasonally at The Balanced Platter


Over at The Balanced Platter today, I’m talking about eating locally and seasonally. Check it out. Often, when I talk to people about getting this “local box” from Greenling (a company that delivers local and organic foods to the Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin areas), I am asked about what is included in that box. The next question inevitably is “What do you do with all of that produce? I’d never know how to cook (insert vegetable here).”

The answer? To some degree, I experiment. Of course, I also “google”, if I’m either stumped or have never encountered a certain vegetable before. Someone, somewhere, has cooked it – I promise!

But just so you can see what I do, here’s a rundown of how I cooked the “local box” I received in the photo above:

White button mushrooms and green garlic: I put half of these in the food processor along with some onion and the green garlic and made a “paste”, which I then sauteed a bit, and incorporated into some ground grassfed beef, almond flour, an egg, and some spices to make burger patties. They were delicious and the family had no idea there were mushrooms in their burgers!

Sweet potatoes: These were made into my maple sweet potato puree - a staple in our house.

Mustard greens and collard greens: On two separate occasions, I sauteed a bit of bacon, chopped the greens, and added them and some vegetable broth to a large saucepan and simmered for about 10 minutes. A bit of salt and pepper, and they were good to go. If I wanted to, I could have added onions and made them more traditional like I did here, or I could have gone vegan and made collard greens with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.

Spinach: This was added to green smoothies throughout the week.

Turnips: These were made into a turnip mash – peel and dice, and simmer in salted water. Drain and mash, adding (non-dairy) milk and “butter” as desired. Just like mashed potatoes. I’ve also made turnip-rutabaga mash, combining the two vegetables together, when rutabagas have arrived in my “local box”. I served this mash with my crockpot pot roast (using up more of the green garlic!) and it was so satisfying.

Brussels sprouts: These were used in the mustardy braised brussels sprouts recipe I cooked from Wheat Free Meat Free.

Oranges and Grapefruit: These were simply eaten out of hand. I love citrus as an afternoon snack.

That’s it! I actually rather enjoy trying to figure out what to do with the produce that comes in this box each week. It’s an adventure. And if by the end of the week, there’s anything that’s been left unused, it either can go into a soup (like a creamy chicken soup), or I also enjoy dicing them up and incorporating them into some scrambled eggs for breakfast. I’m a sucker for any vegetable+egg combo.

The big key for me in successfully using up all of this produce is to plan my meals around it and other items I already have in my freezer and pantry. (If you want to know more about how to meal plan, Amy over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free has some great tips and tricks in her Meal Planning Made Simple series.) Then I’m making the most of what I have, and I can plan to eat the more fragile produce first, and make plans for the hardier stuff later in the week.

Do you buy and cook local and seasonal, or are you striving to increase your local eating this spring? Share your thoughts, tips and tricks in the comments!

 

 

A Gluten-Free Holiday: Week 2 – Thanksgiving Favorites

It’s Week 2 of A Gluten-Free Holiday! This week our event is hosted by Kim at Cook It Allergy Free. Head on over there to check out her candied apple cranberry upside-down cake, and enter for your chance to win a copy of Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen! This weeks’ theme is Thanksgiving Favorites, so share your favorite recipes for a chance to win.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. Why? It’s one of the few national holidays that hasn’t been overly commercialized, it’s a holiday where the food is spectacular, full of comforting favorites, pie is the dessert of choice (and I’m a big pie fan!), and you can share a great meal and give thanks with family. And did I mention the food?

I love cooking and hosting Thanksgiving.

We’ve held Thanksgiving at our house for the past 5 years. This year will be the 6th. Over these past few years, I’ve started to really learn how to coordinate a Thanksgiving meal successfully, sometimes for as many as 30 people. And no, we don’t have a big house – I don’t even have a proper dining room, much less a double oven. We eat buffet-style, and it works for us. Note I said I can coordinate the meal successfully – it’s not perfect each time (sometimes I forget things, and one year, I was distracted by the doorbell and burned the brulee topping on a sweet potato brulee – it’s true, when you walk away from something that’s sitting under the broiler, it will burn!), but it’s a great time with family, and there is always more than enough (gluten-free) food to eat. That’s what it’s all about, right?

The biggest key to pulling off a successful Thanksgiving celebration (or any celebration, for that matter) is planning. Here’s a bit of insight into what I do to plan for the big day:

Three to four weeks before: Order a turkey from my nearby organic farm, Rehoboth Ranch.

One to two weeks before: Prepare make-ahead gluten-free stuffing and gravy and freeze. Finalize menu, and start making shopping list. Try to figure out how many people will be attending, and assign/request side dishes. Fill in gaps with menu.

The weekend before: Shop for all but the most perishable items. Prepare broccoli cheese rice casserole and freeze.

Monday or Tuesday before: Thaw turkey. Purchase any groceries not already purchased. Make cranberries.

Wednesday: Thaw casserole, stuffing, and gravy in refrigerator. Bake pies. Prep vegetables for side dishes (such as green beans). Peel potatoes for mashed potatoes and place in water and refrigerate. Brine turkey. (I’ve used this recipe for years. I’m still deciding whether to stray from this tried-and-true method, but regardless, I think I’ll be brining – it’s such a great way to ensure a juicy bird.) Make hour-by-hour schedule for following day.

Thanksgiving Day: Follow hour-by-hour schedule, which looks something like this:

8:00am – Iron tablecloths, arrange furniture, make sure clean towels are in bathroom, and other “tidying up” activities. Drink coffee!!

10:00am – Finish any prep work for vegetables or other sides. Get out cutlery, plates, napkins, glasses.

12:00pm – Get turkey in oven, take shower. Feed the kids something so they stop complaining about being hungry.

1:00pm – Cook potatoes and sweet potatoes. Mash potatoes and place in crock pot and turn on warm (this is a great way to keep them warm and ready, freeing up valuable space on the stove for gravy and such.)

3:00pm – People start arriving for the Cowboys game. Take out casseroles and stuffing to come to room temperature while turkey finishes roasting. Prepare gluten-free rolls or biscuits.

3:45pm – Bake rolls/biscuits. Place in basket with towel to keep warm.

4:00pm – Take turkey out of oven to rest. Place stuffing, casserole, sweet potatoes in oven to bake. Warm gravy in a saucepan, whisking to make smooth again. Place red wine in fridge briefly to chill. If other dishes brought by guests need warming or other prep, assist with that. Make sure any dishes containing gluten are segregated to one area to prevent cross-contamination.

4:30pm - Finish any last-minute dishes. Carve turkey. Take dishes out of oven. Tell everyone food is ready. Take out wine and open it. Pour myself a glass. Proceed to stuff myself silly with food and pie.

Of course, the time schedule isn’t always so tightly followed – but this is the general idea. I tend to take the day before Thanksgiving off so I can prepare, but it’s not always possible, so this is why I try to make some side dishes in advance, making it easier to keep sane on the big day. It’s a lot of cooking, and I generally am tired by the end of the day, but it’s all worth it. Especially if there are turkey leftovers for a midnight snack (along with an additional slice of pie).

Like anyone, I have favorites that I simply must have at Thanksgiving. Even though we have a gluten-free Thanksgiving, I must have stuffing and gravy. So I make my own. This year, I’m hoping to successfully modify this recipe – I have several members of the family that can’t eat corn, and one that can’t eat celery, so I’ll have to eliminate the cornbread from the stuffing, and replace the celery – possibly with fennel. I’m still experimenting. I also have family members that insist I make broccoli cheese rice casserole. Since the traditional version involves a can of cream of mushroom soup (which contains gluten and dairy) and cheese, I make a vegan version that everyone can have. But there are other dishes where I take a bit of liberty. I try new desserts. Last year, I made a peach and kumquat crostata that, while non-traditional, was very welcome at the dessert table. I also set out various appetizers and/or small snacks, such as spiced nuts, relish trays, and possibly some candies or cookies. Like I mentioned before, no one goes hungry at our house.

Are you new to gluten-free living, and are looking for help making your favorites gluten-free or allergy-free? Or are you just looking for a new favorite for this year’s holiday? Be sure to visit Cook It Allergy Free and read through her holiday plan. Be sure and review all of the links from other readers as well – we all get better when we learn from each other! Besides, you will be entered to win a copy of The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen by Laura B. Russell (the same book I’m giving away, in fact) – a splendid book packed full of amazing gluten-free Asian recipes.

Don’t forget to check back here next week, where I will be hosting Week 3 of A Gluten-Free Holiday. The theme will be Gifts of Good Taste!

Menu Plan October 31-November 4

When I started really planning out menus each week, I would carry around a folded-up piece of paper in my purse. This piece of paper would have the menu scribbled on the back, plus any additional notes for other things that I was hoping to make. On the front, I would write out my grocery list. I had a different area for different categories on the sheet – at the top left, I’d list all of the produce I wanted to buy. At the top right of the page, I’d list meats and seafood. Canned and pantry items would go in the bottom left, household cleaning items, hygiene items, and paper goods to the bottom right. Anything that wasn’t a weekly purchase or was out of the ordinary for me to buy – such as batteries, dog food, or a filter for the vacuum cleaner – would go at the very bottom, a bit separate from the other items, so I’d be sure to notice it. I would add to that list throughout the week, pulling it out and jotting down things I needed as I would think of them. It wasn’t pretty – that piece of paper would be pretty worn and crumpled by the weekend, sometimes with items crossed out because I’d changed my mind, but it was a system, and it worked.

Even when we got an iPad, and I knew of various grocery/shopping apps, I still hung onto my old paper-in-the-purse routine. My husband encouraged me to look into the apps, certain that I’d find one I liked. I even downloaded one or two. But I couldn’t cozy up to any that I found – they didn’t allow me to organize things the way I wanted to, and besides, I didn’t carry the iPad everywhere with me. What if I wanted to add something to the list on a day when I wasn’t carrying the iPad around? It just didn’t seem like a solution to me.

Then, I finally joined the rest of the world and got a smart phone – an iPhone. Yes, I am typically somewhat slow to adopt new technologies, and was carrying around my old “pseudo-smart” phone (a phone that had a full keyboard and claimed to have a browser, but you couldn’t actually use it for anything.) for a long while. But when I got my iPhone, I finally took the plunge and got rid of my paper grocery list.

Now, my grocery list is on my phone! I love it. This app isn’t anything special, but it allows me to customize categories, which I appreciate, and it even has an option to mail the grocery list to someone else, just in case I need to send my husband out to the store.

However, the big part holding me back from converting from paper to electronic grocery lists was the fact that I was also writing out my menu on the back of that piece of paper. Well, now, there’s an app for that too! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.) I have a meal planner app that helps me out with that.

This app actually has a lot more features than I utilize – you can even put in recipes and throw them into your meals, and can inventory your pantry, create a grocery list, and so on. I prefer my other grocery list app, so I only use this for meal planning. It works for me. I use it week in and week out, and I love it – I’m actually better about adding things to the grocery list than I was before, because I carry my phone a lot more than I do my purse. It’s also easier to “check off” items in the store  – no pen needed.

Not that I’m trying to promote the iPhone or any particular app – I’m just appreciative of technology and how I’ve finally made it work for me. Let’s hear it for bringing grocery shopping and menu planning into the 21st century! Woot! Woot!

Okay, maybe that was too much. Let’s move on.

The menu this week is simple, with only one semi-complicated item on the plan (Kung Pao chicken is hardly complicated, truthfully, but it’s the most difficult thing to make this week). I’m happy to keep it a bit simpler – after all, the holidays are nearing, and I’m sure my kitchen will be all too busy for the next two months. I have to take my breaks whenever I can.

Monday

Breakfast: green creamsicle smoothie (kale and spinach, orange, vanilla protein powder, and a bit of non-dairy milk)

Lunch: a smorgasborg of leftovers – a bit of hard salami, Bubbie’s pickles, a bit of chicken, curried kohlrabi greens, kohlrabi slaw

Dinner: baked Scotch eggs with a garden salad

Tuesday

Breakfast: paleo biscuits and sausage gravy

Lunch: garden salad with chicken

Dinner: leftovers (it’s soccer night!)

Wednesday

Breakfast: hard-boiled eggs, steamed kale

Lunch: tuna salad with parsley and lemon, tomatoes, celery and carrot sticks, olives and pickles

Dinner: slow-cooker beef tongue tacos and guacamole (yes, my love of offal continues! Got a grass-fed beef tongue from a local rancher.)

Thursday

Breakfast: hard-boiled eggs, apple

Lunch: leftover beef tongue tacos, lettuce-wrap style

Dinner: Kung Pao Chicken (from The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen – I met Laura B Russell, the author, at the GFAF Expo and am excited to review her book!), green beans with gluten-free tamari sauce

Friday

Breakfast: green smoothie with mango

Lunch: leftover Kung Pao Chicken and green beans

Dinner: leftovers or chili from freezer (soccer night again!)

 

What exciting things are you planning to make this week?

 This post is linked to Gluten-Free Menu Swap at Celiac Family.

A Gluten-Free Holiday and a Menu Plan for October 24-28

The holidays are just around the corner once again, and once again, we are sharing Gluten-Free Holiday recipes and ideas every Thursday throughout November and December.

After all, everyone wants to enjoy the holidays and share with family and friends and not have to worry about whether a recipe will turn out when making it gluten-free. What I love the most about this event, however, is that it’s not just the 6 bloggers hosting that will be providing recipes – it’s all of you as well! There are so many innovative ways to go about celebrating the holiday season, and I love seeing what everyone creates to share with family and friends.

What you’ll love the most? The giveaways! Yes, we will be giving away prizes each week of this event as well.

Check out the schedule over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free, and start brainstorming some great recipes to share!

What’s cooking at the Tasty Eats At Home household this week? I have yet another menu plan. Fall flavors are creeping into my menu more and more each week. This time of year, I get a little winter squash crazy. I buy up butternuts, pumpkins, kabochas, acorn squashes, and just about anything else I can find. It’s like I’m a squirrel trying to store nuts for the winter – only I hoard winter squash. I love it – it’s rich in flavor and naturally sweet, and so versatile. I thrive on finding innovative ways to use it. For example, check out this breakfast porridge made from acorn squash. I made some last week and it was a dream, and a wonderful change of pace from my usual breakfast routine. (And no, it wasn’t on the menu plan, but I took the opportunity to use up leftover acorn squash from dinner one night!) It replaces oatmeal as a filling, warm breakfast. Next on my winter squash list? A version of these pumpkin chocolate chip bars. Yum.

Monday

Breakfast: acorn squash breakfast porridge with a few pecans on top

Lunch: leftover pulled pork with coffee-molasses BBQ sauce (made Sunday night), fresh black-eyed peas, sauteed patty-pan squash, steamed kale

Dinner: (working late, so dinner must be quick!) sirloin steak, baked sweet potato, steamed broccoli

Tuesday

Breakfast: leftover pulled pork, avocado and tomato slices

Lunch: meatballs (threw leftovers from last week in the freezer), broccoli

Dinner: out or leftovers - I have two soccer games

Wednesday

Breakfast: smoothie with spinach, avocado, chocolate protein powder, handful of nuts

Lunch: chili (from freezer) or tuna salad with cucumbers

Dinner: pumpkin spice chicken cacciatore, steamed cauliflower, asparagus with lemon zest (sans parmesan)

Thursday

Breakfast: hard-boiled eggs, cucumber salad or sauteed spinach

Lunch: leftover chicken cacciatore, cauliflower, asparagus

Dinner: roasted chicken with sambhar masala (from Kurry King – this is our FAVORITE spice blend), tomato salad, roasted acorn squash

Friday

Breakfast: smoothie with spinach, mango, coconut milk, and protein powder, handful of nuts

Lunch: leftover roasted chicken, tomato salad, squash

Dinner: Buffalo chicken wings, carrots, celery, and dairy-free ranch dressing (working on this recipe!)

 This post is linked to Gluten-Free Menu Swap at Celiac Family.

Dallas Gluten & Allergen-Free Expo, plus a Meal Plan for 9/26-9/30

This coming weekend, I will be speaking at the public forum at the Gluten & Allergen-Free Expo here in Dallas. This is a great event with many amazing vendors, speakers, and even cooking and baking classes from talented people such as Amy of Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, Carol of Simply…Gluten-Free, Silvana of Silvana’s Kitchen, and Cybele Pascal. There will also be an author table where you can meet some amazing gluten-free authors! I will be speaking about reducing cross-contamination (of gluten) in the home when not everyone in the house is gluten-free. Here are some additional details about the Vendor Fair, and information about the Cooking Classes.

WHEN: Vendor Fair and Classes Saturday-Sunday, October 1-2
WHERE: The Westin Park Central, 12720 Merit Drive, Dallas, Texas 75251
For more information and to purchase tickets: www.gfafexpo.com

I hope to see you there!

I also have managed to squeak out a meal plan this week. Somehow, it just seemed like the weekend flew by, and I didn’t accomplish as much as I’d hoped. (Isn’t that the way things always work?) So who knows if we’ll eat according to the plan (I may switch things around some from day to day, but hey, it’s my plan, and I can do what I want!), but at least it’s a start and a way to make sure we use up all of the great produce I snagged at the farmer’s market this weekend.

Monday:

Breakfast: hard-boiled eggs, apple (there were organic Granny Smith apples at the farmer’s market!)

Lunch: leftover meatloaf (my meatloaf recipe will be in my cookbook!), steamed broccoli

Dinner: grilled grass-fed strip steak, stuffed squash from Lexie’s Kitchen, and a garden salad

Tuesday:

Breakfast: smoothie with spinach, apple, cucumber and protein powder

Lunch: leftover stuffed squash, salad

Dinner: tuna with lemon juice and parsley, green beans or baby carrots (I have soccer games, so dinner is super-quick!)

Wednesday:

Breakfast: hard-boiled eggs, apple, maybe some baby carrots or celery

Lunch: out – I’ll be at a conference, and since the hotel doesn’t really “get” gluten and dairy-free, I’ll likely eat a dry salad, and bring some homemade beef jerky, nuts, and a LARA bar in my purse to get me by.

Dinner: shepherd’s pie with pumpkin souffle topping (This is the second attempt. I was so excited about the results last week that I’m making it again with a minor tweak on seasoning. Then it’ll be blog-ready!), steamed kale

Thursday:

Breakfast: smoothie with spinach, banana, blueberries, and protein powder

Lunch: leftover shepherd’s pie, leftover kale

Dinner: pan-grilled beef heart, simmered carrots with honey, roasted eggplant (Yes, beef heart! I’m a big fan of offal – love me some liver and onions. Beef heart is actually much milder than liver, so if you’re new to offal, try it. Seared in a skillet and left medium-rare, it’s so delicious. I found some beef heart from a local organic ranch – so I’m excited about it! Mark at Mark’s Daily Apple has a great post on the health benefits of offal and some good ways to sneak it into your diet.)

Friday:

Breakfast: hard-boiled eggs, leftover eggplant, sauteed spinach

Lunch: leftover beef heart and carrots

Dinner: taco salad with guacamole

 

What are your feelings on offal? Do you enjoy it?

Have a great week everyone!

Peach BBQ Chicken and a Meal Plan for September 6-10

I hope everyone had a lovely Labor Day weekend! We certainly did here. Not a lot of plans, really – just hung out with family, relaxed, and enjoyed the fact that finally, we’re not having 100+ degree days. We’re still continuing to be in one of the worst droughts that I’ve seen (the wildfires all over the state are terrible), but at least the weather is starting to change. It’s amazing how much the heat can impact your mood. I find it so much easier to relax!

It also makes it easier to grill outside. While I have been using the grill a lot throughout the summer (and really, Texas is just about a year-round grilling state) simply so I could keep the house cool, it’s actually a joy to do so when it’s not 105 degrees outside. Tonight, I made a simple grilled chicken. Nothing fancy, no intricate flavors – just a pleasantly sweet sauce over a juicy grilled chicken breast.

The source of the recipe? Gwyneth Paltrow. In case you haven’t heard, she has a new cookbook out. I don’t own it – yet – although it’s on my wish list. When I saw the article in Bon Appetit a few months ago on her new book, I was eager to try her recipes. They were simple, straightforward, and with lots of fresh, seasonal ingredients. I have a tendency to overcomplicate things at times, so I’m always drawn to people who can pull together a delicious dish and keep the ingredient list short. At a glance, Gwyneth’s recipes seemed promising. I bookmarked several, and then, as it inevitably does, time passed.

Until this week, when I looked back through my bookmarked recipes for some menu inspiration. That’s when it jumped out at me: grilled chicken with peach BBQ sauce.  You see, a few weeks back, I bought half of a bushel of peaches at the farmer’s market, and put them up in my freezer (and made some jam). I was dying to use some in a savory dish, and this would be perfect.

It was. While it wasn’t the best barbecue I’d ever had, it was perfect for today. It was approachable; perfect for kids, family, and easy, laid-back entertaining. The recipe was simple, so that if you had a busy day, were hosting a barbecue or party, or just were too pooped to execute a complicated meal, you could pull this one off. And since this weekend was all about relaxation and saying farewell to summer (and possibly a “good riddance” to the heat!), a simple, delicious recipe was definitely just the thing.

Peach BBQ Chicken, adapted from My Father’s Daughter

1 c chopped peeled fresh peaches

1/2 c sugar-free ketchup (I used Organicville, but I know Amy’s would have been great as well!)

2 1/2 T fresh lemon juice

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 t Chipotle Tabasco sauce

salt and pepper to taste

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Transfer to a blender and puree. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon half of the sauce over the chicken breasts in a shallow glass baking dish. Toss chicken breasts to coat with sauce. Divide remaining sauce into two bowls. Allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to marinate, or alternatively, refrigerate, covered, for 8 hours or overnight. (I only marinated for 20 minutes.) Refrigerate sauce if not using within the hour.

Prepare the grill for medium heat. Brush grates with oil. Grill chicken until browned and almost cooked through, 4-5 minutes per side. Brush some of the remaining sauce over chicken and continue to grill until cooked through, 1-2 additional minutes per side. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, and slice. Serve with remaining unused sauce.

Serves 4.

 

Menu for September 6-10

Monday

Breakfast: Coconut flour pancakes, scrambled eggs, fresh raspberries

Dinner: Peach BBQ chicken, garden salad

(no lunch, as breakfast was late)

Tuesday

Breakfast: leftover pancakes, steamed spinach with a bit of leftover ground turkey taco meat, plum

Lunch: leftover paleo lasagna with zucchini (still working to perfect that recipe!)

Dinner: leftover chicken, sausage, shrimp chili (working to perfect that one too!)

Wednesday

Breakfast: smoothie with spinach, peaches, protein powder, and a hard-boiled egg

Lunch: garden salad with leftover peach BBQ chicken

Dinner: chicken satay with cucumber salad and steamed green beans

Thursday

Breakfast: scrambled eggs with leftover green beans

Lunch: leftover chicken satay and cucumber salad

Dinner: grilled chicken-basil sausages, baked sweet potatoes, and steamed broccoli

Friday

Breakfast: smoothie with blueberries, spinach, mint, and protein powder, and a handful of macadamia nuts

Lunch: leftover grilled sausages, sweet potatoes, and broccoli

Dinner: fridge clean-out! We’ll be eating whatever needs to be eaten that day!

 

Have a great week, everyone!

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

Zucchini Red Pepper Egg Muffins, and a Meal Plan for August 22-26, 2011

During the week, breakfasts have to be quick. I eat breakfast at my desk at work, (I know, probably not ideal, but I HATE the idea of eating earlier, at home, only to be starving at 9am again. I leave the house around 6:30-45 in the morning, and that’s just too early to eat!) so whatever I bring must be portable, easily and quickly microwaveable, and low on the mess factor. Many times, this means I make something in advance, and reheat it as needed.

This week, I made egg muffins. No, not sweet, carb-heavy, make-you-sleepy-then-hungry-soon-after muffins. These are a savory, nutrient-packed breakfast. They’re muffins in name only – they were made in a muffin tin. Truth be told, they’re more like mini-frittatas. And contrary to what you might be thinking – they actually reheat in the microwave quite well. Just make sure not to overdo it: I warmed up three of these babies this morning for breakfast for just under a minute. A healthy, tasty, protein-packed breakfast in a minute. That’s my kind of meal.

Zucchini Red Pepper Egg Muffins

8 large eggs

Salt and pepper

1 t coconut oil, plus more for greasing pan

1 large zucchini, cut into ½ inch dice

2 oz roasted red pepper, diced (about ¼ cup)

1 green onion, minced

10 green olives, chopped

 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin with oil and set aside. Scramble eggs in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat a skillet to medium heat and add oil. Add zucchini and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned and just starting to soften. Add red pepper, green onion, and olives and sauté for another minute. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Divide vegetables evenly among the 12 muffin cups. Divide the scrambled eggs evenly among the muffin cups, pouring the eggs over the vegetables.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until eggs are set in the center.

Serves 4.

 

These will be on the menu this week, along with a lot of other (hopefully) delicious new creations. Stay tuned, if they’re good, they may be coming to a future blog post (or the cookbook!)!

Monday

Breakfast: Zucchini Red Pepper Egg Muffins

Lunch: leftover tilapia with tomatillo-avocado salsa (salsa was good. fish needs work.), green beans, leftover eggplant salad with dehydrated tomatoes, olives, and parsley (this is definitely a cookbook candidate!)

Snack: homemade beef jerky, orange

Dinner: Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Cabbage-Carrot-Jicama Slaw, Sweet Potato Fries

Tuesday

Breakfast: Zucchini Red Pepper Egg Muffins

Lunch: leftover shrimp lettuce wraps, or if no leftovers, tuna salad with leftover tomatillo-avocado salsa and spinach

Snack: pear, beef jerky

Dinner: Pork Tenderloin with Peach Glaze, roasted red potatoes, sauteed okra

Wednesday

Breakfast: green smoothie with spinach, pear, cucumber, hard-boiled eggs

Lunch: leftover pork tenderloin and okra

Snack: handful of hazelnuts

Dinner: large salad with romaine lettuce, spinach, radishes, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and grilled chicken

Thursday

Breakfast: Zucchini Red Pepper Egg Muffins

Lunch: salad with grilled chicken

Snack: beef jerky, orange

Dinner: Thai Green Chicken Curry, braised eggplant

Friday

Breakfast: Zucchini Red Pepper Egg Muffins

Lunch: leftover chicken curry and eggplant

Snack: homemade beef jerky, pear

Dinner: paleo lasagna (a version based on Sarah’s over at Everyday Paleo - only I am thinking of adding some cashew-based “ricotta” cheese)

 

Do you eat breakfast on the go? What healthy, easy-to-grab foods do you often eat?

This post is linked to March Muffin Madness at Gluten-Free Easily.

Menu Plan: Week of Aug 1 – Aug 5

photo courtesy of dreamstime.com

Yep, it’s that hot in Dallas this week. It’s been hot for a while. We have had 30 days in a row of 100+ degree weather. Today will be the 31st. No relief in sight, according to the weather forecast:

Yikes. Needless to say, there will not be any turning on of my oven for a few days. Dinners will be prepared on the stove, the grill, and in the crockpot. So even though we’re eating chili in August, I figure it works, since the crockpot puts out virtually no heat. (And chili is delicious any time of year!) Every little bit helps.

Monday:

Breakfast: egg “muffins” – chopped zucchini and turkey chorizo with scrambled eggs, baked in a muffin tin (made these this weekend when the sun went down, so the house wasn’t too hot); steamed kale

Lunch: garden salad with leftover grilled chicken

Dinner: crockpot chili, spinach, slice of rosemary olive oil bread (from Life As A Plate - more info on this soon, as I’ve adopted AndreAnna this month for Adopt-A-Gluten-Free-Blogger!)

Snacks: bites of leftover grilled chicken, handful of hazelnuts

Tuesday:

Breakfast: egg “muffins”, sauteed spinach

Lunch: crockpot chili, rosemary olive oil bread

Dinner: garden salad with grilled chicken (or alternatively, dinner out. I have a soccer game at 5:30. It’s indoor, thankfully.)

Snacks: homemade beef jerky, baby carrots

Wednesday:

Breakfast: egg “muffins”, rosemary olive oil bread, sauteed spinach

Lunch: salad with grilled chicken or steak slices

Dinner: liver and onions, steamed spaghetti squash, steamed broccoli

Snacks: celery with almond butter, beef jerky

Thursday:

Breakfast: egg “muffins” and spinach

Lunch: leftover liver and onions and broccoli, or if no leftovers, tuna salad with celery sticks and baby carrots

Dinner: picadillo (making this again – gotta share this recipe soon!), guacamole, fresh homemade salsa, spaghetti squash

Snack: handful of hazelnuts, baby carrots

Friday:

Breakfast: egg “muffins”, spinach or yellow squash

Lunch: leftover picadillo and guacamole

Dinner: paleo chicken strips (from Everyday Paleo - cooked in skillet), roasted potatoes, sauteed okra

Snacks: celery with almond butter

Menu Plan – Week of July 25-29

The above picture has nothing to do with the menu plan for this week. This is a peanut butter brownie. I’ve been working on the recipe for a while now for my upcoming book, and after what feels like the 1,234,766 try (in actuality, it’s probably near a dozen), I think it’s ready to go. It’s dense, fudgy, and chock full of chocolatey and peanut buttery goodness. And they are gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. (This is the plan for all of the recipes in the book – no gluten, no dairy, little or no refined sugar.) My coworkers are simultaneously cursing my name and cheering for my brownies today as they snack. I think I will be the one to blame for ruining their waistlines, unfortunately.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to balance these decadent treats coming from my kitchen with a lot of lighter, healthier fare in my menu. Lots of lean protein and veggies. It’s a good thing it’s summer and the fresh produce is plentiful, because every week, I stuff enough veggies into my fridge to completely fill the two veggie drawers, plus some of one of the shelves. The difference in the fridge between Saturday morning post-market visit and Friday night is astounding. I love it though – there’s nothing as delightful as cooking and eating a bounty of fresh vegetables.

Monday:

Breakfast: scrambled egg whites with salsa, spinach, tomato, and chia seeds sprinkled over

Morning snack: honey peanut butter

Lunch: leftovers – bison meatballs with peach-ginger chutney sauce (another recipe test for the book!), sauteed eggplant, green beans, and red pepper, and spaghetti squash

Snack: beef jerky, carrots

Dinner: grilled teriyaki chicken over a garden salad

Tuesday:

Breakfast: scrambled egg whites, leftover sauteed mixed veggies

Morning snack: frozen blueberries, Tanka bar

Lunch: grilled chicken over garden salad

Afternoon snack: pistachios

Dinner: venison picadillo, stuffed zucchini with beans, onion, and jalapeno, collard greens

Wednesday:

Breakfast: smoothie with banana, blueberries, spinach, Sunwarrior protein powder

Morning snack: peanut butter with celery sticks

Lunch: out at business luncheon (hooray for uninventive gluten-free dairy-free lunch at a hotel…)

Afternoon snack: Tanka bar, plus there are single-serving Justin’s nut butters in my desk, in case lunch is not safe to eat and I’m still hungry

Dinner: Liver and onions (yes, we love liver!), roasted potatoes, roasted beets, and steamed green beans

Thursday:

Breakfast: smoothie with blueberries, cherries, coconut milk kefir and Sunwarrior protein powder

Morning snack: handful of almonds

Lunch: leftover picadillo, stuffed zucchini, and collard greens

Afternoon snack: baby carrots, celery, and a Tanka bar

Dinner: slow-roasted salmon, mashed sweet potatoes, and broccoli

Friday:

Breakfast: scrambled egg whites, spinach, tomato, and salsa with chia seeds sprinkled on top

Morning snack: handful of almonds

Lunch: leftovers (if available) or sardine salad

Afternoon snack: frozen blueberries, Tanka bar

Dinner: honey-mustard grilled chicken breast, grilled yellow squash, brown rice (tenative – depends on what time my soccer game is!)

Don’t forget – I’m giving away two copies of  The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen! Check out the giveaway here.