September 27, 2013

Week 38 - From Freezer to Table

Printable Version of Meal Plan

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me!  Some people like to avoid their birthday, I on the other hand like to advertise it.  It's the one day of the year that's all about me... what's to avoid?  In fact I love my birthday so much I typically try to stretch it into a week.  So I've pretty much taken this week off.  We were out of town until Monday, Tuesday was my birthday and Wednesday I had a work function that provided breakfast and lunch.  So I thought what a great week to use some of the awesome food I've been stowing away in my newly cleaned and organized freezers.  As a result this was the ultimate easy week and my grocery bill was a grand total of $60!

Recipe Quick Links

Nut Free Nutella, Weelicious
Slow Cooker Honey Rosemary Chicken, Kojo Designs
Lacinato Kale Salad, Marin Mama Cooks
Coconut Curry Squash Soup, 52 Weeks of Meal Planning (Week 37)
Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats, My Whole Food Life
Pumkin Spiced Latte, Farm Girl Gourmet
Whole Wheat Tea Biscuits, 100 Days of Real Food
Baked Apple Chips, Taste, Love & Nourish

Snack Highlights

Cinnamon Rolls - I made a batch of Whole Wheat Tea Biscuits and split the dough.  I used half to make cinnamon rolls.  I rolled out the dough into a rectangle (fairly thin) and spread melted butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a generous sprinkle of brown sugar.  I rolled that up lengthwise and cut into 1" rolls and bakes along side the tea biscuits.  yum.

Baked Apple Chips - I've been seeing this recipe everywhere lately.  I gave it a try this week and LOVED them!  Will attempt the bananas next time too.

Apple Chips

Week in Review

Monday was my Birthday eve and we were just back from a weekend away.  I was not even capable of defrosting anything... we had a Take and Bake pizza from Costco.

Tuesday was my special day!!!  I booked the day off of both work (I vowed last year I would never work on my birthday again) and cooking.

Happy Birthday!

Nut Free Nutella & Banana on Tortilla - I made this simple "faux"-tella with Almond Butter (so my version was not nut free) and spread it on a tortilla that I had frozen from last week with sliced banana.  Absolutely as delicious as it sounds.

Slow Cooker Honey Rosemary Chicken with Rice and Kale Salad - A couple of weeks ago my sister-in-law sent me a link to freezer slow cooker recipes.  I've seen this idea before but never really "got it".  When I include a slow cooker recipe in my weekly plan I simply prep it the night before... so I never saw the benefit of prepping farther ahead.  But the timing of seeing this link made the light bulb go off.  I knew I was going to be away this past weekend and it occurred to me that if I had some complete meals ready to go in the freezer I wouldn't have to get groceries the instant I got home.  A few other things I liked about these particular recipes... they use "real" ingredients, are mostly all recipes that have little or no additional steps the day of cooking, and can be left for 8 or more hours.  This recipe was good but because it met all the above criteria I'd rate it great.  I have one other recipe from this site waiting to be cooked and I plan to try more.  The rice was also from the freezer and I made the Kale Salad the night before to make this a completely effortless meal.  Marin loves this salad by the way (I skip the red pepper flakes for her), so don't be afraid to put it on the "kid-friendly" list.

Wednesday only Dave required lunch because I had a work event. We had just enough leftovers of the chicken - sweet!

Pork Chops, Brussel Sprouts & Coconut Curry Squash Soup -  I had bigger plans for this meal but got stuck in traffic so in the interest of time I modified the plan - same ingredients, different method of cooking.  I basically just cooked the pork chops & brussel spouts (trimmed & halved) and in a skillet with olive oil, a diced onion and seasoned with salt & pepper.  I also thawed a serving of Coconut Curry Squash Soup from last week.  I was pleasantly surprised with the results of this speedy meal.

Thursday was back to the old grind.  To get myself into the groove I treated myself with a Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats for breakfast.  Another fall hit!

Turkey, Cheese and Avocado Wraps - I used up the last of my tortillas for these wraps... will have to restock this weekend! I try to stay away from deli meats but once in a while I'll splurge on a package of the Naturals, just can't beat the convenience.  I rolled up the turkey with cheddar, slices of avocado, lettuce and a little mayo.  Really good... and quick.

Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas

Shepherd's Pie - Yet another toss together meal that turned out pretty darn good if I do say so myself.  I browned the beef and added soya sauce, organic pasta sauce (awesome Costco buy by the way) and a little brown sugar.  The topping was sweet potato and parsnip mashed with milk and butter.  I assembled and baked it for a few minutes to get it heated through and a little crunchy on top.  So good!

Happy Friday!!  I started my day with a Pumkin Spiced Latte.  I do a modified version of this recipe from Farm Girl Gourmet.  Mine makes a single serving and takes a couple of shortcuts to make it easy to pull off in the morning.  And a tip for the pumpkin - I use canned pumpkin puree.  Last week after making the Pumpkin Buns I spooned the leftovers onto a cookie sheet into about 2T servings and put it in the freezer.  Once they were frozen I moved them to a freezer bag.  One "blob" is just right for both oats and lattes.

  • 2 cups milk (any % you choose)
  • 4 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso
  •
    Pumpkin Spiced Latte (Modified from Farm Girl Gourmet)

  • 2 cups milk (any % you choose)
  • 4 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso
  •
    1 Cup milk
    2 T pumpkin puree
    1 T maple syrup
    1/4 t vanilla (I recently switched to Kirkland brand and find it strong so I tend to go light)
    1/4 t pumpkin spice

    Combine all ingredients in a blender (I like to use the Magic Bullet for this recipe).  Pour into microwave safe mug and microwave on High for 1 1/2 mins (careful it doesn't foam up and overflow).  Slowly add espresso - I prepare a Tassimo espresso directly in the mug. Top with whipped cream (optional but recommended!)

    ** This is a recipe that you might have to play around with to adjust to taste.

    Supper, Use up Loose Ends - I have a few things that need to be consumed so we're having a supper surprise!  Grilled cheese?  Goat cheese omelettes?  Loaded Baked Potatoes?   We'll see what inspiration hits.

    Happy Weekend!


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