So many of you sent emails about my meal planning post~ thanks!! Yes, I do meal planning every week. Some weeks it gets pretty involved and others, well, I make 12 hour pizza dough in the morning and call it a day. You know how that goes, right? Well, I thought I would do another post about this week's recipes. I love posting about food and what we eat or sometimes, don't eat.
I started our week with a big batch of this! More-Than-Maple Granola. We eat granola plain by the handf-full, on top of greek yogurt, as cereal with almond milk. But, have you every looked at the ingredient list of the granolas you can buy at the store? Ouch! Between the sugar content and the chemical list, I'll pass. Besides, it is so simple to make. Why not just do it? This recipe makes about 4 cups which will last us one week maybe two.
(from Whole Grain Vegan Baking)
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3 Tbs. slivered almonds
2 Tbs. flax meal
1 Tbs. roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 Tbs. pure maple syrup
2 Tbs. neutral-flavored oil
2 Tbs. sucanat
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried sweetened tart cherries (I use cranberries because that's what I keep in our pantry)
*Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
*Combine the oats, almonds, flax meal, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, garam masala, and salt in a large bowl.
*Combine the applesauce, maple syrup, oil, Sucanant, and vanilla in a small bowl. Whisk together. Pour into the oat mixture and stir to coat.
*Spread the mixture out on the baking sheet. Leave some space between the clumps but try to get a fairly even depth so that the granola can bake evenly.
*Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the ove, and using a spatula, turn the granola over similar to flipping pancakes.
*Bake for 15-20 minutes more, until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheet. The granola crisps as it cools. When cool, break the clusters apart as desired and stir in the cranberries. The granola can be stored covered at room temperature for 2 weeks.
So, what else are we eating this week? Well, we already chowed down on some Indian Lentil Cauliflower Soup and plates of rigatoni with Mediterranean Lentil Meatballs and still to come? Gingered Rice with Chicken. We also have two evenings out on our calendar for this week but the house has been smelling pretty yummy! Meal planning is definitely the way to go. Sit down over the week-end, go through your cookbooks instead of letting them collect dust and choose a few recipes for the week. Stress relieved!!
These past few cold, gray days that have enveloped Charleston recently have been the prime opportunities for some good homemade soup. I love making soup. My entire house will quickly smell delicious and the warmth that unfolds is divine. And, how great is it that most soups are great to stick in the fridge and reheat? Great for boys coming and going from school and work to rehearsals and to practices. Busy days!
I wanted to share a new recipe with you...Indian Lentil-Cauliflower Soup. I LOVE cauliflower! We go through a lot of it. Roasted, steamed with a vegan cheese sauce, mixed with broccoli and red onions and topped with a sweet and sour sauce but this recipe is superb. So....here goes. Try it. You'll like. Unless you don't like curry. Then, try something else ;)
Indian Lentil Cauliflower Soup
(from The Oh She Glows Cookbook)
1 Tbs. coconut oil or other oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. minced peeled fresh ginger
1-2 Tbs. curry powder, to taste
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 medium cauliflower, chopped into bite-size florets
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 large handfuls baby spinach
3/4 tsp. fine-grain sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
*In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5-6 minutes until translucent.
*Stir in the ginger, 1 Tbs of the curry powder, coriander and cumin and saute for 2 minutes more, until fragrant.
*Add the broth and red lentils and stir to combine, Bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes more.
*Stir in the cauliflower and sweet potato. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the cauliflower and sweet potato are tender. Season with the salt and pepper, and add more curry powder, if desired. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted.
*Ladle the soup into bowls and top with cilantro, if desired.
|from Better Homes and Gardens|
Gingered Rice with Chicken
(from VB6 Cookbook)
1 1/2 pounds of bok choy
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
4 bone-in organic chicken thighs, skin removed
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tbs. minced ginger
1 1/2 cups brown rice, preferable basmati
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
*Cut bok choy leaves from the stalks and chop everything, keeping the leaves and stems separated. Put 1 Tbs. oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
*Add the chicken sprinkle with half the salt and pepper and cook undisturbed until the pieces brown and release easily from the pan, 3-5 minutes.
*Turn and brown on the other side, another 3-5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil.
*Raise the heat to medium-high and add the onion and ginger. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables soften, 3-5 minutes. add the rice all at once, turn down heat to medium, and stir until the rice is glossy, completely coated with oil, and starting to color lightly.
*Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and add stock all at once and bring to a boil, stirring once or twice.
*Stir in the white parts of the bok choy, adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles gently, then nestle the chicken pieces on top and cover the pot. Cook without stirring until the rice is almost tender and the water is absorbed, 30-40 minutes.
*When the rice is ready, remove the chicken and stir in the bok choy leaves and the peas with a fork. Turn the heat to the absolute minimum and let the pilaf rest for another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, fluff again, and serve the chick on a bed of the rice.
We had this recipe with some sauteed squash, peppers and onions and french bread....yum!
And, last but definitely not least...one of my all-time favorite recipes. Lentil meatballs or, in our case, black bean meatballs. No, they do not taste like meatballs created by combining beef and pork. No, my Italian grandmother would not approve these as a substitute for her homemade Italian meatballs. But, in our house, we enjoy them regularly. Why? They are simple to make and make ahead and....a pasta dinner is fast! There are nights when I need to get dinner ready to eat in 45 minutes before we all head out again. This is the way to go.
When I have some time over the week-end, I put these little guys together, bake them and store them in the fridge until we are ready for a pasta night. Simple. Give these a try. This week we used an organic, store bought marinara. Sometimes, I do make my own sauce but with only four of us at home now and little freezer space, it doesn't make a ton of sense to simmer sauce in bulk!
Mediterranean Lentil Meatballs
(from Peas and Thank You)
8 oz. precooked lentils or 8 oz. canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh basil
3-4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
*Combine lentils, oats, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, basil, tomatoes, onion and mustard in a high speed blender or food processor and pulse until mixture forms a thick, chunky batter. Stir in olives and season to taste.
*Form batter into 12 gold ball-sized meatballs and place on a cookie sheet that has been coated with cooking spray. Cook 20 minutes, flipping once during cooking time.
Note: I almost always used black beans for this recipe and I make my meatballs about half that size and twice as many. They also cook in about 15 minutes that way.
|photo from Cookie and Kate|
Well, there you go. A few more good-for-you options that are quick and easy for your weekly meal-planning. I am pondering the idea of hosting a meal planning course complete with recipes, make ahead tips and grocery lists. Let me know if you are interested?!
Last on my brain today...has anyone heard of a pacemaker for your stomach? I just saw this on the news! Currently, 1/3 of American adults are overweight and the powers that be have come up with a solution. Have surgery and have a stomach "pacemaker" installed that will tell you when you have eaten enough food. I am struggling to wrap my brain around this one. Anyone else out there think that maybe we should just get rid of fast food and processed food and start eating from our local farmers?? Wow. That seems to be all I can say at the moment. Mindful eating takes a back seat to the stomach pacemaker. Would love to hear your thoughts on that one!!
Hope everyone is getting ready for the week-end and making some great meal plans! Happy Thursday from Charleston Treasures!