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Posts Tagged ‘Macaroni and cheese’

Ok, so my two-week grocery shopping plan needs a lot of work.  Apparently, I don’t have a really good concept of just how much food my family consumes.  I bought 20 pounds of apples less than two weeks ago, and we seriously have three left.  Thirteen pounds of potatoes, and again, three left.  Better planning is in order.

The other thing I am learning, is that I spend more time cooking than I would like.  Duh, right?  I guess we probably all feel this way.  Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy cooking.  It is just that with all the other responsibilities I have, cooking and baking can’t be a huge time taker for me.

I am reading Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman right now – even though our family may not qualify as large (seven people) compared to hers (eleven people) – and I am really gleaning some fantastic tips for organizing our household.

I am going to put two ideas into practice when it comes to my meal planning this week:

1. Leftovers

I need to cook larger quantities of dishes like soups, stews and beans so that I have enough for two or even three meals.  Years ago, I would make one batch of something and my husband would have leftovers for work the next day.  As our family grew, I had to make a double batch of things to have leftovers.  Now, we are at the point where I make a double batch of things and have no leftovers.  Leftovers save time!!!!  I now see that I need to start making triple or quadruple batches when I cook so that I can serve leftovers throughout the week.

2. Dinner

Dinner in the noon time, Little House on the Prairie sense.  My husband works from home during the day, and often times he works out of the house at night.  On those days, I typically serve a larger meal at lunch time – or dinner as it was called way back when.  Where my plan falls apart, is the fact that I also then feel the need to plan a larger meal for the kids and me later in the day.  So not necessary.  And, to be honest, my husband is really flexible.  I think to save myself the planning headaches, I am just going to plan a very simple breakfast, a very simple supper, and larger midday meal.  We’re bringing dinner back!

This week is also going to be an adventure for our family.  In addition to having my own five children ages eight and under, we will be watching my two nephews.  They are very energetic, very adorable little 21-month-olds.  Yep, that’s right.  Seven kids, eight and under.  It is going to be loud and messy – even more so than usual.  And we are all looking forward to it!  This is the perfect opportunity for my older two to really step up and help even more as well.  And, it will mean that I would like to spend even less time in the kitchen this coming week.

My plan = Big pots of stuff and lots of leftovers.

BREAKFAST:

Kids can choose from the following:

  • Eggs
  • Apples and Peanut Butter
  • Smoothies
  • Yogurt
  • Oatmeal
  • Granola

LUNCH (or DINNER):

  • Creamy Vegetable and Rice Soup, Steamed Broccoli
  • Beef Stew (yummy new recipe with potatoes and lots of dill)
  • Sloppy Joes (I use Laura’s yummy recipe, but add a bunch of chopped peppers and grated carrots), Steamed Corn, Steamed Peas
  • Cottage Mac and Cheese, fruit
  • Calico Beans , fruit
  • Leftovers x 2

SUPPER:

  • Refried beans, avocados, cheese, veggies
  • Baked potatoes, cheese, steamed broccoli, fruit
  • Eggs, apples, veggies
  • Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Muffins, fruit, veggies
  • Grilled Cheese, veggies
  • Leftovers x 2

That’s my plan.  I know that the theme of my week is FLEXIBILITY, so we shall see how my plan plays out in reality :).  I am still going both wheat and dairy free to see if my nursing baby’s skin improves.  The experiment continues . . .

What do you have planned this week?  Do any of you have your bigger meal of the day at noon?

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Česky: Pšenice. Deutsch: Weizen. English: Whea...

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I have said in previous posts that we are really blessed to not have any medical reasons to avoid wheat at our house.  But, we are also trying to avoid creating any medical issues when it comes to wheat.  I have been reading quite a bit lately about the negative effects of over-consumption of wheat, and I have been inspired to cut back.  Not cut out, just not overdoing it.

I have found that wheat can be fairly easy to avoid at breakfast time, as we tend to keep it simple with yogurt, oatmeal (gluten-free oatmeal is available here) or homemade granola with fruit most days.  Dinner is still pretty easy if we are eating a meat main dish or soup.  It is lunch that seems to be the tricky meal for me.  So, I thought I would share with you some of the wheat-less, easy lunches we have been enjoying.

1. Vietnamese Fried Rice – or any quick version of fried rice, this recipe just happens to be insanely delicious :).

2. Lettuce Wraps – These are really versatile, and we honestly do not miss the bread one bit.  Fill them with refried beans, tuna salad, chicken, veggies, cheese, leftover fried rice . . .  And here is the weird one, but I’m telling you it is worth a try – PB & J!  Or PB & honey if you prefer.  Ooooo – and add sliced bananas!

3. Soup and smoothies – I make soup quite a bit during the cooler months, and the leftovers make a fantastic, quick lunch.  Just make sure you plan ahead and double your recipe so you actually have leftovers at lunch time :).

4. Ants on a Log – Classic.  Just plain fun.

5. Baked Potatoes – These can be really versatile as well.  Try topping them with chili, pizza sauce and cheese, taco fixin’s, veggies and ranch dressing, broccoli and cheese . . .

6. Eggs – Scrambled, Over Easy, Omelets – all quick, easy and nutritious.

7. Beans and Rice – Or why not just beans?  A bowl of pinto or black beans topped with cheese, lettuce, salsa and guacamole is so yummy.  Or just top with shredded cheese and chopped tomato to really save time.

8. Lentils and Spinach – This recipe really is tasty.  Much more so than its boring name would lead you to believe.  I usually make a huge pot with lentils and brown rice.  Top with fresh chopped tomatoes and cucumbers.

9. Cottage Mac and Cheese – This is my box-less version of a kid favorite.  Make with brown rice pasta.

I would love to hear from you now!  Help me add to my repertoire – what are your wheat-free favorites?

To see one of my gluten-free menu plans using simple foods we all recognize, click here!

Join me at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays for more ideas!

This post is also linked to Real Food Wednesday and Works For Me Wednesday

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After a busy weekend, I am ready to stay home this week and enjoy the comfort of routine.  And the comfort of good food.  Here’s what I have planned:

BREAKFASTS:

Yogurt and fruit x 3

Chocolate Smoothies, fruit

Overnight Crockpot Steel Cut Oats, fruit

Oatmeal or granola, fruit

Cereal Bars – Tessa’s pick for her birthday, fruit

LUNCHES:

Scrambled Eggs, fresh veggies and fruit

PB & J, fresh veggies and fruit

Lettuce Wraps, fresh veggies and fruit

Deviled Eggs (or Egg Boats, as my kids call them), fresh veggies and fruits

Bean and Cheese Quesadillas, fresh veggies and fruit – Tessa’s pick for her birthday

Baked Potatoes and Cheese, bring cookies to share at church potluck

Leftovers

DINNERS:

Lentils and Spinach, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, fruit

Sloppy Joes, steamed corn, fruit

Minestrone Soup, bread and butter

Baked Salmon, steamed green beans, sweet potatoes

Black Beans and Rice, tomatoes, cheese, avocados

Cottage Mac & Cheese – Tessa’s pick for her birthday, fruit, CAKE!!

Leftovers & Whatevers

Enjoy!

What do you have planned this week?  Check out everyone’s plans at Menu Plan Monday!

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Ingredients for Cottage Mac and Cheese

Necessity is the mother of invention.  And I do believe the sister of invention is creativity.  The two are very closely related anyhow.  Well, those ladies, along with four hungry children were all in my kitchen several months back.  I needed dinner, fast, and the meal I planned had fallen through.  The wheels turned, the digging in the refrigerator began, and a recipe was born.  To this day, my kids all squeal in delight when I tell them Cottage Mac and Cheese is what’s for dinner.

Cottage Mac and Cheese

by Blessed Roots Farm

This recipe feeds at least four hungry kids and one mom.  Adjust amounts to make it feed your family.

4 cups dried whole wheat macaroni noodles (or equivalent amount of any pasta)

1 32 oz. container of whole milk cottage cheese

1/4 c. organic butter

1/4 – 1/2 c. whole milk

3 cups fresh spinach, chopped

4 large carrots, peeled and grated

(Adding any leftover meat is completely optional, and quite yummy!)

Freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese are delicious garnishes.

Fill a large stock pot about 2/3 full with water, and bring to a boil.  Add the macaroni noodles (and optional leftover meat if it is frozen) and set the timer so you don’t overcook them :).  While the macaroni is cooking, shred the carrots.  Toss the shredded carrots in the macaroni water.  While the noodles and carrots cook, chop the spinach.  Add the chopped spinach (and any leftover meat if it is refrigerated) and stir.  By this time, your noodle timer should be just about to beep.  When your noodles are cooked, drain the noodles and veggies in a colander with fine holes, so you don’t lose half of your veggies.  Pour the noodles and veggies back into your stock pot and place over low heat.  Add butter and stir until melted.  Then, add the cottage cheese and the milk.  Add enough milk to get the pasta to the consistency you prefer.  Top with fresh ground pepper and freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese.

The "Real" Deal

Sounds so weird, I know.  But they LOVE IT.  And it doesn’t come out of a box!

Enjoy!

Join me at This Chick Cooks, Real Food Wednesday, and Full Plate Thursday to see more yummy recipes.

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