The name of the game this week is…..BUDGET! I’ve got a bunch of odds and ends in the fridge and freezer, and not much left in the grocery budget (um…Ok…pretty much nothing left!) since we spent more than usual preparing for and driving to the campout. Ah, how I love gas prices! But I digress. Luckily, last week I bought some nice produce at a new natural market and I have some staples stocked up in the freezer, so it shouldn’t be too bad. Time to get creative….I am actually sort of excited about seeing what I can come up with!
Monday: Grilled chicken, grilled zucchini, leftover baked beans.
Tuesday: Red Beans and Rice. Soak a bag of large red kidney beans overnight. Place beans in a crock pot with 3 cups of water, a bay leaf, and some salt. Cook on low all day. About 3 hours before dinner, add one chopped onion, about 5 cloves of pressed garlic, and 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning. Chop one Kielbasa sausage into small pieces (the smaller you make them, the less likely your kids will be able to pick out just the sausage! Just a hint for those of you with kids…). Stir the sausage into the bean mixture. Let cook until dinner….if the beans are too runny, stir in a little rice flour or corn starch to thicken them up. It should make a nice, savory gravy. Serve over cooked brown rice, with a salad on the side. This makes a lot, so freeze some or use it for lunches all week.
Wednesday: Polenta pie and broccoli. We had this recently but we’ve got everything for the recipe and it’s good enough to repeat! Here’s the recipe:
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 cups water
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 egg, slightly beaten
Mix the cornmeal and water, heat to boiling, reduce heat and cook for 6 minutes, stirring frequently until mixture is very thick. Remove from heat. Stir in beaten egg, let stand 5 minutes. Spread into a pie plate and bake for 15 minutes, then put toppings on and bake for another 20 minutes. I’ll use a can of chili beans (not canned chili, just chili beans), sliced green onion, goat milk mozzarella cheese, and crumbled chips on top.
Thursday: Grilled steaks (picked some up last week on sale and froze them), baked potatoes, and Roasted Corn, Black Bean and Mango Salad. The salad looks good, I found the recipe online at Realage.com. We’re going to just use what we already have, so I will rinse a can of corn kernels instead of the fresh corn and use dried chipolte peppers instead of the canned type. Instead of bell pepper, I will use some leftover mini yellow and red peppers that are in the fridge and need to be used.
Roasted Corn, Black Bean, and Mango Salad
You can make this simple, fresh salad up to 8 hours ahead of time.
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups corn kernels (from 3 ears)
1 large ripe mango (about 1 pound), peeled and diced
1 15-ounce or 19-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 small canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, drained and chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the corn mixture to a large bowl. Stir in mango, beans, onion, bell pepper, lime juice, chipotle, cilantro, cumin, and salt.
Friday: Tuna sandwiches on homemade bread, steamed artichokes, canned peaches. We have several jars of homemade canned peaches left over from last year’s crop, and it’s time to use them up because in a few weeks we should be seeing our peaches ripen!
I made up this bread recipe, and it’s pretty good. To make the bread:
- 1 1/4 cups milk (substitute goat, soy, or rice)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- 1 cup rolled gluten free oats
- 1/4 cup Salba seed (see note)
- 2 teaspoons xanthum gum
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
Beat egg and oil and honey together. Heat milk to lukewarm, mix in yeast and let sit until bubbles form. Mix milk into eggs and oil. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Slowly pour dry ingredients into wet, mixing until it forms a sticky dough. Grease a bread pan (I use a long, industrial pan…you may need 2 smaller pans) and dust with cornmeal. Transfer dough into the pan, cover with a clean cloth and set in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until loaf is brown on top and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
By the way, Salba seed is a great ingredient for gluten free baking! It really adds a lot of moisture to your breads, and holds them together like xanthan gum. My father in law gave us a bottle, and I love it! It’s also very high in Omega 3, so it’s good for you too. If you don’t have the seeds, just leave them out and add another teaspoon of xanthan gum.
Saturday: Chicken rice bake. Brown rice, chicken chunks, onion, garlic, frozen peas, leftover broccoli and zucchini if we have it, some saffron and celery salt all mixed in with a box of Imagine Organic Potato Leek soup and some IMO sour cream substitute. Bake until the liquid is all absorbed and the chicken is baked through. Sprinkle goat cheese on top for those who can have it.
Sunday: Grilled chicken, homemade hummus, and cucumber sandwiches on homemade gf bread and a salad (leftover corn and bean salad if we have it).