Saturday, April 30, 2011

Menu Plan 4.15.2011 Revisited

Thanks to everyone who gave me ideas to have for dinner last time!  We made it through, with your help! Here's how the menu worked out at our house the last few weeks:

  1. Zucchini spaghetti (Ben's request this week) with cous cous, beans and creamy garlic sauce (Something I threw together and possibly could write about!)
  2. Beans and rice
  3. Beans and rice with Taco Corn Fritters (Everyone in my family LOVED these!!)
  4. "Macaroni for dinner," as requested by Sam... Not sure exactly what that one's going to end up being :-) Vegetable tetrazzini (Thanks again, Aunt Joanne!)-- we ate almost the whole pan of this-- I will definitely make it again!
  5. Potato soup
  6. Mashed potatoes and sauerkraut
  7. Split pea soup with biscuits
  8. Vegan Lasagna (or maybe a vegan lasagna recipe that I modify with ricotta cheese instead of tofu) 
  9. Vegetable soup
  10. Beans and rice again! (I really love this with taco seasoning and hot sauce, and my kids all eat it willingly, too!)
  11. Pizza with millet crust (toppings: broccoli, mushrooms, onions, yellow peppers)
  12. Pizza with regular-type crust (Same toppings as before!)
  13. Tuna fish on homemade pitas and hummus with veggies
  14. Easter dinner-- turkey, ham, amazing orzo salad, regular-type salad, green beans with pine nuts, buttery delicious dinner rolls (a la my uncle Andre!)
  15. Baja Fresh at my mom's (vegetarian burrito with guac that we split)
  16. Vegetarian Chili with cauliflower
  17. Cauliflower and Potato Curry

Friday, April 29, 2011

Millers Natural Foods

I am so excited to share this with you-- Chris documented our last trip to Miller's so you can check it out too!  :-)  Hope you enjoy!

ps. please remember that it has been FOUR months since we went to Miller's (I try to go every two)-- the end result is not usually so high! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fruit Bars!

We made the most DELICIOUS BROWNIES (ahem,... I mean totally nutritious, healthy, filling fruit and nut bars) for an afternoon snack and dessert today!

These bars were inspired by my lovely friend, Monica (who also has a food blog-- check it out!). 

As I was making the recipe she sent me, I kept thinking, these are SO similar to the brownies I posted on this site! Well, I just had to modify them a bit-- to be more like brownies!  

They were 'scarfed' down readily by three hungry vultures and two adults. (And then the adults had two more after said vulture/children were in bed!)

Basically, it's a larabar, without the hefty price tag. The following recipe is based on the recipe Monica sent me. Here it is:

Chocolate Cherry Delight!
1 TBS coconut oil (or some other, light oil)
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
8 large dates (12- 16 smaller ones)
about 1/2 a bag of dried cherries (maybe 3oz?)
1/8 cup cocoa powder

Blend first three ingredients in food processor.  Add each additional ingredient one at a time, and blend until it's a fine, moist meal-like consistency. Press into 8x8 and chill until firm.  Or, scoop right out of the food processor with a spoon, and eat with a spoon. (Like we did this afternoon.) Taste will not be affected!  :-)

This made a thin bar.  I would probably 1 1/2 or double this recipe to make a nice, thick bar.

I'm sorry, I have no pictures of this bar!  Please accept my apology and enjoy this picture of a cutie pie instead!

Monday, April 18, 2011


WARNING:  This post doesn't have much to do with food.

Today, I am thankful for ants.  This is actually really hard for me to say, because at the same time, they are the bane of my existence. I clean up my kitchen floor four or five times a day- sweep and then spray with cleaner and wipe.  I vacuum the dining room after every meal. Every day.  From spring until fall.

Anyway, I am thankful for them, because I am learning about consistency, and persistence.

These ants are teaching me boat loads about being consistent, because if I do not consistently sweep, wipe the floor and vacuum, they will invade.  Just like if I do not consistently check my heart, the bad attitude, or hard heart, or harsh tone will invade.

They are teaching me about persistence, because they come into my house, day after day, hour after hour, in search of food.  And then, because of their persistence, they find every last little crumb that I miss.  And they bring all their friends to show them, too.  I guess I can learn from them.  Every day, I must go with persistence to God, and every day (or hour, or minute), if I am persistent, I will find a crumb that will sustain me through the day.  And when that crumb is gone, or when I give it to a friend, there will always be another crumb.  God is so good to give us crumbs to sustain us every day.  Just like He gives the ants crumbs to sustain them.

So, as much as I hate to say it, I am learning something from the ants that invade my house consistently and persistently all summer long.

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Cooking tip #1

Coconut milk curdles when you add white wine.

Just in case you didn't know.

But, it didn't matter in the recipe I was using-- I used it anyway and it was fine!

ps.  Thanks, Aunt Joanne, for the recipe suggestion!  We had it tonight and it was great!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

School Lunch

This link is a short video (only a few minutes-- nothing like yesterday!) about school lunches served in France!  I just thought it was amazing the benefit this food could have on the kids!  And, thinking about our own school lunches in public schools of America, and how horribly deficient they are!  

Check out the video here.

What do you like to eat for lunch?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Beautiful Truth

Here is the reason we really 'went for it' this January, as far as radically changing our diet.  It's pretty long, but worth every minute.  I hope you will check it out and be inspired, as Chris and I were.

Broccoli, Chicken and Rice Casserole

Here is a post that I started a couple of weeks ago and never completed!  I just rediscovered it, so I will try to recreate the dish for you.

I needed to make some dinner.  I had not many veggies left.  I had leftover rice. (At least, in my foggy brain mind, I think the rice was leftover.  Maybe I just whipped it up in my pressure cooker.)

I found two recipes (Chicken Divan and Broccoli Rice Casserole) in my handy-dandy Betty Crocker that I wanted to get married.  And become one. Forsake all others? Maybe we won't go that far.  It's only food after all, and I like broccoli in other things.  And rice, too.  Like, beans and rice. :-) And Broccoli Salad!

Two or three cups of cooked rice
A bunch of broccoli spears, cooked
leftover chicken (it may have actually been turkey) pulled out of the freezer (1-2 cups, shredded, cubed, diced, chopped, however you like it!)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour (Could use some gluten free flour, like rice flour in this)
3 TBS mayonaise (I use Spectrum cage free egg and expeller pressed oil-- use veganaise to make this vegan!)
1/2 cup(ish?) milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk)
Garlic powder
Onion powder
1 TBS lemon juice

Cook rice. Cook broccoli. Defrost and cut up chicken. Melt butter. Add flour.  Cook a bit, til it starts to brown and smell nutty. (Not nutty crazy, like me, but nutty like almonds or something!) Add the milk, mayo, garlic, onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook until thickened, season to taste. Put rice, broccoli and chicken in 9x13 pan.  Pour sauce over it.  Cook for 20-30 minutes in 350* oven. Grate Parmesan cheese over just before serving (or don't, if you are going to dairy-free/ vegan route). 

This turned out way better than expected, and the pan was gone!  It can be gluten free. And dairy free.  AND vegan.  With minor adjustments.  It's free of MSG, and condensed soups, which many casseroles like this usually call for.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Zucchini Spaghetti with Cous Cous, White Beans and Creamy Garlic Sauce

Wow, that's a long name for a recipe!  Maybe I should call it.... "warm cous cous salad with garlic sauce, zucchini, and beans." hmm... still too long.  "warm cous cous salad with garlic sauce"?  How about, "Some stuff in a bowl for dinner?"

well, anyway, here's what I did.

Ben wanted zucchini spaghetti for dinner, but we just had regular spaghetti AND macaroni noodles with chili in the last two days.  I was red-sauced-out! Then I was trying to figure out what might complement the zucchini, and make it into a complete, filling meal.  Hmm, there was cous cous in the cabinet. That's easy to make, and super quick... I almost just left it at that, but then I decided, one more addition might be good.  I have beans cooked and frozen in 2 cup containers just for days like this!  I grabbed one out, and I had the meal put together. 

Now, what to top it with?  I thought of garlic cream sauce, because it would be like spaghetti-- Alfredo.  So I whipped up some of that:

4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup butter
2 cups milk (i used unsweetened coconut)
kelp powder (We've been using this to get iodine in our diet since we don't use iodized salt)
arrowroot powder (maybe 1 TBS or less) (can also use cornstarch, if you're wondering what arrowroot powder is, or just don't have any.  It's a thickener.)

I cooked the garlic for less than a minute in the butter, stirred in everything else, brought it to a boil to thicken.  Ta-da!  Garlic Cream Sauce.  (And that sounds so fancy! At least, in my mind it does.)

Okay, so this is what I thought this dish would be: kind of reminicent of a summer salad, with a light coating of sauce, but all ingredients would be kind of separated-- think pasta salad.

This is how the dish actually ended up: Almost like cous cous garlic soup. It was mushy, which I wasn't thrilled with, but it tasted delicious. The kids didn't like it, though.  So, there is that consideration.  Chris and I enjoyed it.  But, we did NOT enjoy the cranky hungry kids we had later in the evening.  :-) I think, if I make this again, I will try less sauce.  Maybe a different grain might work better.  I don't know.  What are your thoughts?

How would you improve this recipe?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Menu Plan 4.15.2011

Alright, well, if you have been counting, it has been almost THREE weeks since I last did a menu plan... Well, we have been scraping by, just barely.... I am about out of ideas.  That's one of the reasons I have been dragging my feet this week.  Here's what I got so far...

  1. Zucchini spaghetti (Ben's request this week) with cous cous, beans and creamy garlic sauce (Something I threw together and possibly could write about!)
  2. Beans and rice
  3. Beans and rice with Taco Corn Fritters
  4. "Macaroni for dinner," as requested by Sam... Not sure exactly what that one's going to end up being :-) 
  5. Potato soup
  6. Mashed potatoes and sauerkraut
  7. Split pea soup
  8. Vegan Lasagna (or maybe a vegan lasagna recipe that I modify with ricotta cheese instead of tofu) 
  9. Vegetable soup
  10. .....
  11. .....
  12. .....
  13. .....
  14. .....
See my problem!?? I am out of ideas!  I need some help!  What's your favorite vegetarian dish? Or, just your favorite dish in general? We are looking for new ideas at the Good household! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Garden!


We have been outside a LOT in the last two days! And, we have been working on our garden!  Hooray!  You may remember a couple of weeks ago when I told you we had bought seeds for the garden.  Well, this weekend, we started planting IN our garden.  I am already looking forward to eating all the delicious foods we planted (or still have to plant). 

Here's what we've done so far. 

Last fall, we planted 25 garlic cloves, and they are coming up!

Then, we started seeds (way too early, I learned one day too late!) on March 1.  We started three kinds of tomatoes, three or four kinds of peppers, broccoli, lettuce, basil and cilantro.  These plants are so big now!  We are going to buy pots and plant them in soil from our garden. That way we can take them in and outside for the next month, but hopefully they won't be too shocked when we transplant them.  (I really have no idea if this will work.... can you tell I'm a novice gardener?!!)
Ben planting peas

A couple of weeks ago, Chris and the boys went out and dug the horseradish.  They have been enjoying it on anything they can think of.  I enjoy watching them eat it.  :-P

Ben with peas!
This weekend, we planted wild garlic as an experiment, to see what happens.  :-) Also, we planted peas, snap peas, kale, spinach, lettuce, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and beets.

Ellie helps
I am so thankful for our garden.  Last year, we were so blessed to eat fresh picked vegetables. The boys are learning the benefit of hard work.  They are trying new foods, and seeing how they grow.  We are thankful to have a huge backyard and a landlord who lets us plant in it! We are learning how to garden (we are by NO means experts!) I am looking forward to hopefully canning/preserving some of the things we grow to enjoy throughout the year!

How it looks today!
We are so blessed in so many ways by our garden.  So today, and this spring/summer as we work in our garden, and this fall and winter as we enjoy the fruits of it, I will be thankful for our garden!
Happy Gardening!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Leftover Surprise Revisited

Well, on Thursday I told you about the leftover oatmeal I had on hand... and what I did with it.  Just checking in to tell you it was a....


The four of us (three kids + one mommy) ate the entire 8x8 pan I made.  It was a delicious, filling start to our very busy Friday.  We ate it like you would eat baked oatmeal-- slightly warmed with milk on top!

Thanks for tuning in! This week, I hope to give an update on our garden, share Ben's latest recipe with you, and maybe even work up a menu plan!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mommy's Leftover Surprise.... For Breakfast?

Okay, well, you know how my kids love oatmeal.  :-)

Recently, I have been making TOO MUCH oatmeal in the morning!  I don't know if they just had a growth spurt and it is slowing down, or if the change in weather has affected them... but we have had leftover oatmeal in our fridge! So this evening, while doing the dishes, I came up with the brilliant plan to make "Mommy's Leftover Surprise" Breakfast casserole.

Aaaaannnnd, you're about to see how and why my recipes don't always turn out so great at first.  :-)  I would usually test them a bunch of times before sharing them with you, but since this is a special occasion-- I've never made leftover breakfast casserole before-- I thought I would just share it and tell you the results tomorrow! (Or, maybe sometime next week-- I'm going to the women's retreat at my church this weekend! Yay!)

I started out with:
  • 1.5 cups cooked peach oatmeal
  • 3/4 cup soaked raw oats
I added:
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I use sucanat)
  • vanilla
  • salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 2-3 TBS yogurt
  • 1-2 TBS chia seeds (I have been adding these to everything lately!)
  •  cinnamon
  • enough water to make it 'batter-like'
  • frozen peaches on top
  • cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top
I stirred everything together, adding the water last (a little bit at a time, until it was 'batter-like'....) Then I put it in an 8x8 and baked it for 40 minutes. It still looks jiggly in the center. So, I will have to report back about how this all turns out! I thought it might be like a coffee cake, but now it seems that we might just have to pour milk over it and eat it like oatmeal!  I guess next time, I'll have to add more flour!  But the true results will not be known until tomorrow!

Will this be as brilliant as I had hoped?  A giant FAIL? Should I just use the oatmeal to make pancakes? .....

You'll just have to keep wondering!  :-) Have a great weekend!