January 26, 2013

Menu: Jan 27 - Feb 2

Sunday: chicken and dumplings with carrots and celery
Monday: shredded pork tacos with fried sweet potatoes
Tuesday: leftover chicken and dumplings
Wednesday: crockpot fried rice
Thursday: Cilantro lime chicken tacos
Friday: porcupine meatballs (recommend doubling the sauce if you want some for pouring over other foods), mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli
Saturday: leftovers or out to eat (we did leftovers last Saturday, so maybe this Saturday can be our out to eat dinner for the month)

January 24, 2013

Meatloaf (dairy free)

I wanted a week night version of meatloaf that was dairy free. Only took two attempts to have one that is a new family favorite. This one is very moist thanks to the veggies. Best yet? My toddler LOVES this version!

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1 cup of crushed saltine crackers (or bread crumbs, but most store bought have dairy)
1 small onion, finely diced
1 cup pureed vegetables (I've been cooking about 2 cups of frozen mixed veggies and pureeing that)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix together. Divide mixture into muffin tins. Top with your favorite sauce (we like a mixture of ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar).
Bake at 350* for 30 minutes.

Before topping and cooking.

Mmmm...all done! These mini meatloaves do freeze well and are conveniently already in individual portions. ;)

And if you're dairy free like me and don't have the time/energy/desire to make mashed potatoes from scratch, these are diary free and have the fewest extra ingredients for an instant potato. I do make the potatoes with Earth Balance "butter" and almond milk. Not as good or as natural as homemade, but homemade doesn't fall into my week night ability!

January 20, 2013

Menu: Jan 20-26

Sunday: steak, fried potatoes, and steamed broccoli
Monday: chicken pot pie
Tuesday: chili with oyster crackers
Wednesday: teriyaki chicken over rice
Thursday: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob
Friday: chicken nuggets, tater tots, and zucchini
Saturday: leftovers or out to eat

Lunches: veggie pasta salad, hummus and pita bread, sandwiches

Snack: Playgroup granola bars made with coconut and dried cherries

January 13, 2013

Menu: Jan 13-18

My husband's schedule is a bit flip flopped from our "normal" this week, so I have a list of meals. When he's available for lunch or dinner I'll make a main meal and when he's not I'll make smaller lunch-ish items for my toddler and I.
New meal for us this week is porcupine meatballs. I am going to see how homemade mashed potatoes made with almond milk goes. Last week I made chicken salad. Going to give it another go to see if I can prefect a recipe for my tastes. Trying to get my toddler to eat tuna salad and chicken salad with me, but I know I'm pretty hopeful about that so I will make him something else when I eat those just in case.

Main Meals:
Hamburgers and salads
Chicken kabobs with veggie skewers
Porcupine meatballs with mashed potatoes and steamed carrots
Mongolian beef with broccoli and rice
Pasta with shredded chicken and tomato sauce
Out to eat

2nd Meals:
Tuna fish salad (me)
Chicken salad (me)
Chicken and veggie quesadillas (son)
Whole wheat macaroni and cheese (son)
Grilled peanut butter and honey (both)
Turkey sandwiches (both)
leftovers (both)

January 08, 2013

Fajita Seasoning Mix

from For The Mamas

1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin

Mix together. Store in an air tight container.

I found that I used half of the seasoning for my fajita recipe. This seasoning mix turned basic fajitas into amazing fajitas. While this does have a kick to it, it wasn't too spicy for my 2 year old son.

Menu: 1/6-1/12

Sunday: steak fajitas with extra bell peppers
Monday: chicken nuggets, tater tots, and corn (yep, high class meal right here!)
Wednesday: light spicy lemon chicken, fried potatoes, and steamed carrots
Friday: going to a potluck and bringing a side – pasta salad
Saturday: Honey Dijon glazed grilled pork chops, grilled sweet potatoes, and salads

January 02, 2013

Happy New Year!

Sorry I took an unannounced leave of absence. I needed it to survive pregnancy, bouts of sickness, and a toddler. I didn't really cook anything new. I spent a lot of time doubling up on meals and freezing the double. Lots of chills, soups, meatloaves, burgers, and more. Truly nothing exciting. Since Baby Girl was born we've been eating off of those meals and have recently run out items I can eat. What do I mean by "what I can eat?" Baby Girl developed extreme "colic" episodes (talking up to 9 hours!) and showed signs of reflux. First step once I connected the dots was to follow my best friend's advice and cut out all diary and soy immediately from my diet. Those proteins are transferred by mom to baby through breast milk.  Within 24 hours I noticed a difference. Within days she was back to being the fantastic newborn she was at birth. An amazing difference. Then I learned that *I* was allergic to dairy as a baby! I never knew! Just this week I've been testing out small amounts of soy hoping to add that back to my regular diet.

I don't come from a family who has food allergies. I have no experience with something so major needing to be avoided. It's been interesting making menus and going grocery shopping. I have to keep a list up on my phone of all the sneaky dairy ingredients that companies like to throw into products. It's no longer as simple as making a grocery list and sticking to it. I'm sure in time this will be easier, but for now super long commissary trips are the norm. My whole family is stuck with my diary free diet for any shared meals because that's way easier on me. I'm so thrilled that Baby Girl is happy again that I will keep this up as long as needed.

Speaking of Baby Girl she was born via VBAC November 27th at 41 weeks, 6 days. She was 7 lbs, 12 oz. Within hours she was smiling. While it wasn't the ideal labor (over 60 hours from first contraction to baby) or ideal birth (forceps were used), I don't regret a single part of the experience. Recovery has been a breeze compared to my c/s with my son (now 26 months - yikes!). It was truly exciting to go into labor on my own and birth my baby vaginally how I wanted!

Expect new (mostly diary free) menus and recipes soon!