Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Menu Plan Update

It's way past Monday, but I did do up a menu plan.  I just never got to posting it....uh oh.
Last week I made some fantastic turkey meatballs with couscous

And some yum yum yummy Greek chicken skewers with roasted potatoes and roasted veg

Those were two highlights of my last week.
This week on Monday, we had turkey burgers with salad.  Tuesday I celebrated my birthday and made a favorite meal for my family.  Crockpot grainfed roast beef with mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and a beautiful salad.  Tonight I made a BBQ cedar plank salmon with couscous and salad. 
I still greatly dislike any fish, but my kids didn't notice I didn't eat it, so that's good.  They love it.

Spaghetti with a meat sauce
this had been my families most requested meal
they have asked for it for three weeks in a row

my girly turns 3!
Panko Chicken strips
Roasted potato wedges
and possibly a princess birthday cake
if I can get my act together

Chicken Soup
cut veggies

left overs

I have been wanting to make some more snacks for the kids.  I made these super easy granola bars and my family really loves them.  They were so super easy.

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars
1/2 cup peanut butter or sunbutter
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil (or another oil of your choice)
1 cup oats
1 cup total of any combination of:  sesame seeds, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, mini chocolate chips 
**I used sesame seeds, coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, chopped pumpkin seeds.  I'll be adding chia and flax next time
In a medium sized saucepan, melt together peanut butter, honey and coconut oil.
Remove from heat and add one cup of oats.  Choose your favorite combination of coconut flakes, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, dried fruit and mini chocolate chips, to equal a total of ONE CUP.  (I just got out my one cup measuring cup and poured in the ingredients until the cup was full.)  Pour in and stir well.
Stir well, then spread mixture into a 8×8 or 9×4 pan.
Chill for two hours, then cut into bars.
Wrap in plastic wrap for a quick grab and go snack!
Recipe is courtesy from Heavenly Homemakers

Mine looked different then from the original recipe, but they are oh so good!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

I managed to stick to my menu plan for the most part last week even knocked down with a cold.  When I got to the cauliflower fritters, I lost my steam.  I still cooked at home, so that is a total bonus.


CrockPot Scalloped Potatoes
Baked Chicken

Honey Garlic Turkey Meatballs
on Couscous


Garlic Lime Chicken
Greek Potatoes

Cut Veggies

with meat sauce


I possibly have a family dinner
we are just waiting to see if 
everyone overcomes their colds

for more menu planning ideas
be sure to check out

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

If you stalk around on Pinterest like I do; you have most certainly seen numerous 'pins' for a Cauliflower Pizza Crust.  I of course 'pinned' it and wanted to give it a try.
I mean, really a sorta healthier version of pizza....YES PLEASE!
I very much enjoy pizza, my family very much enjoys pizza.  I've been making my own crust for some time.  We tend to like a nice thin whole wheat crust with a variety of toppings.
So with all my extra cauliflower this week I was determined to make the Cauliflower Pizza Crust.
It was really very easy to make.  I 'riced' the cauliflower and steamed it in the microwave earlier in the day so it would be cooler to handle when I was ready to make the pizza. 
My 'riced' cauliflower equaled about 3 cups so I made two pizza crusts, one smaller and one bigger.  I actually followed the recipe with the exception that I did mozzerella cheese and pepper jack cheese in the crust.
The crust came together nicely on my pizza stones and baked as the recipe indicated.  I assembled my pizza's and broiled them on the bottom rack as I had made them earlier in the day and they did need to heat thru.
The difference with the cauliflower crust, it doesn't hold up like a regular crust, you can't just pick the pizza up in your hand and eat it.  It is totally a knife and fork dinner.
My family really enjoyed it.  My kids didn't even realized it was cauliflower.  My boy had 3 pieces; with no cheese as he tells me cheese tastes like worms.  I'm not sure how he figures or knows that, but really, I'm not gonna argue about cheese on his pizza, I just make his half with out cheese and he pounds it back, no complaints; including the broccoli on it or what ever concoction I've put together that day.  So if he doesn't want the extra fat of the cheese, really why argue when he eats everything else and is happy with dinner....cheese-less.
My husband really liked it, but wanted to 'hold' the pizza and wonders if I can figure how to make firmer to hold together more like an actual pizza crust.
I am tired of cauliflower, I now realize why I really never buy it.  I'm not a big fan of it.  The crust was fine, it tasted fine.  BUT...I'm a carb lover and I missed the regular pizza crust.  The chewy goodness of the carbs, even with a thin crust....mmmmm.
I was very happy to have a cauliflower free dinner tonight....tomorrow night....cauliflower fritters....*sigh*

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Serves 2; Adapted from Your Lighter Side.


1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp garlic salt
olive oil (optional)
pizza sauce, shredded cheese and your choice of toppings*


To "Rice" the Cauliflower:
Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself.
One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
To Make the Pizza Crust:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9" round. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven. To the crust, add sauce, toppings and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).
*Note that toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few minutes.

Note for those that don’ t have a microwave:
You can steam the florets on the stove before ricing them. The texture/consistency won’t be the same (It will be more like a puree) but it still works fine once you mix all the ingredients together! I know because I’ve tried it that way too!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pasta with Cauliflower

So I mentioned that I had gotten 3 heads of organic cauliflower when I hardly ever buy cauliflower.  I needed to come up with some ways to use all this beautiful cauliflower up.
I came across this recipe on Pinterest; Pasta with Cauliflower.  I had it in my food file there, so I figured I would give it a try.

Pasta with Cauliflower
  • 2 Tbs. salt
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into florets, then coarsely chopped
  • 8 Tbs. olive oil *I used only 4 Tbs
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 to 8 green onions, white and tender green parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh marjoram   *I used fresh organic basil
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley  *I didn't have flat leaf, just the common variety
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3/4 lb. conchigliette or other small pasta shells   *Rotini
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs   *I didn't have this...opps
Cook the cauliflower
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt and cauliflower to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Using a skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer the cauliflower to a colander to drain; set aside. Return the water to a boil.

Make the sauce
In a large fry pan over medium-low heat, warm 4 Tbs. of the oil. Add the garlic, green onions, marjoram basil and red pepper flakes and sauté until the onions are wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cauliflower, parsley and broth. Raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the cauliflower is lightly colored and the liquid is slightly reduced, about 12 minutes. **I used a potato masher to mash up to cauliflower more

Cook the pasta
Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Add as much of the cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce. **I didn't need any

In a small fry pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 4 Tbs. oil. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the pasta and serve. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Pasta, by Julia della Croce (Oxmoor House, 2006).
      I was worried this would not be very good.  However, everyone liked it; even my son who was sick with no appetite, ate a bit of it. 
    I had planned for this to be a meatless meal, but my husband asked for some farmer sausage with it.  That was fine with me, I only had a little bit of the meat as we had an abundance of wonder organic vegetables.
    This turned out to be a wonderful yummy surprise!  Worth a try!

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Valentine's Day 2012

    My kids were excited to see the hearts hanging in the kitchen when they woke up.

    We've all been sick with colds, but I still wanted to make it special for them.
    I planned a pink dinner. And didn't worry about getting the veggies in them today.

    We really enjoy Panekoek, a dutch pancake that is basically like a crepe.
    Mine were not super round, but really, who cares!

    So I made them pink and made pink whipping cream and had red strawberries.

    It was all so simple and yet it was such a bid deal to my kids.
    We finished dinner off with a Kinder surprise egg a special treat.
    I'm so glad I did this extra effort for them.
    It was wonderful to see how happy and excited they were for dinner all day.

    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    Menu Plan Monday

    Last week I did fairly good with my menu plan. 
    I did change a few things up, instead of the Pasta Toss, I just made a very yummy spaghetti with italian sausage, I did make the Cheesy Quinoa Patties, but again, I didn't make the Egg Tortilla, once I read the entire post with the instructions, it was just to much work for me that day, so I made my family some fancy omlettes with Egg and Potato and veggies, they loved them.

    I'm part of an organic vegetable co-op and this week, I ordered 3 heads of cauliflower.  I never buy cauliflower and now I have 3 heads!  I'm not sure what I was thinking.  However, I had 'pinned' a few cauliflower recipes to try, so I guess I'll make them ALL this week......


    Pasta Shells with Cauliflower

    Valentine's Day
    'Pink' Pannekoek (Dutch Pancake with food coloring)
    my family loves pannekoek and I'll set the table with candles
    and a some other valentine things


    Cauliflower Pizza Crust
    with turkey pepperoni and cheese
    cut veggies on the side

    TACOS!  A family Favorite
    with homemade Tortilla Shells
    Cut Veggies


    Cauliflower Fritters
    Farmer Sausage

    Soup from the freezer

    left overs

    Be sure to check out the Organizing Junkie
    each Monday morning for more menu planning ideas

    Friday, February 10, 2012

    Parent Fail

    Yesterday was a fail for me.
    I've really been struggling with my depression, most days I had no motivation and my house was becoming so terrible it was adding to sense of melancholy.  After working thru some of this, I was actually feeling motivated to get to work in my house.  I still have my stumbling blocks and I'm by no means thru this, but I'm working on it. 
    However, with my motivation to get things done, I neglected my girly.  My kids fought all day with my girl crying often.  This isn't like her, but I was to busy trying to accomplish things to give her the attention she needed.  Girly asked me often to cuddle her, my response, ya, just a minute.  She doesn't often ask for cuddles so randomly.
    I failed to notice she just wasn't 100%.  My frustration with the kids put me in a foul mood.  I did to much yelling and not enough listening and loving.
    I'm so thankful that children are so forgiving.  On the way to bring my little guy to his wee college we were listening to the christian radio station and he was trying to sing along.  I heard him pick up the word hallelujah in the song and sing it with the song.  I made my heart melt.  He wanted me to sing with him.  My girl fell asleep and I was able to get some running around done.  I found it very difficult to shake my mood and was looking forward to bed time.
    At the end of the day, it was fail as a good parent day.   My girly has a slight cold and my little man was full annoy mode for his sister.
    Today, I have no agenda, I've managed to squeeze in a few chores.  My kids are still in their PJ's and having popcorn for I think I'll score high on the parenting chart....we'll see, I don't really care. 

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Cheesy Quinoa Patties

    I heart Pinterest
    there, I've said it
    and this is one of my 'pins'
    for our meatless meal this week

    Cheesy Quinoa Patties with a Roasted Garlic and Lemon Aioli

    2 cups cooked quinoa
    2/3 cup grated fontina cheese (I used medium cheddar and Parmesan)
    3 tablespoons all purpose flour
    2 green onions, thinly sliced
    1 egg, lightly beaten (I used 2 eggs)
    2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    salt to taste


    ½ cup light mayonnaise
    1 head of garlic, roasted
    1 lemon, zested and juiced
    ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    salt and pepper to taste

    1. For the cakes: Place all ingredients, except for the oil, into a mixing bowl and stir together until well combined. Season with salt and allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
    2. Pour oil into a large sauté pan and place over medium heat.
    3. Form ¼ cup patties with the quinoa mixture and place in the heated sauté pan. (this will have to be done in batches)
    4. Cook quinoa cakes for about 5 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining patties until all of the cakes have been cooked. Set aside.
    5. For the aioli: Place all ingredients into a food processor, season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Pour into a small bowl and serve alongside the warm quinoa cakes.

    I found these hard to get to stay into patties

    my kids didn't even blink, but just ate

    my husband really enjoyed them
    I actually didn't like them
    not sure why
    but I was the only one who didn't
    I'm really glad I tried them
    one thing to make off
    on my PIN board

    Sunday, February 5, 2012

    Menu Plan Monday

    I didn't have a plan last week,
    but we still did fine overall.
    I'm trying a few new things this week
    I hope I'm not over shooting for the week!

    Lasagna from the freezer


    These cheesy Quinoa Cakes
    homemade bread


    This is an interesting egg and potato dish to try
    with Salad


    this easy pasta
    farmer sausage

    Slow BBQ chicken
    BBQ Potatoes

    Soup from the freezer
    cut veggies
    homemade buns

    left over Soup

    For more menu plan ideas
    be sure to check out