Sunday, August 3, 2014

Week of Meals ~ 4

~ Happy Meal Planning ~

Hope these colorful pictures give you 
inspiration to not just get food on the table, but....

Enjoy doing it!

[Top row, starting with from the left]

*Lemon, Blueberry, Zucchini Bread.  This was so light and fresh tasting.  I divided this up in a muffin pan and a loaf pan, as it made two batches.  From the original recipe I just added zest and juice from a lemon and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract!(no chocolate)  The muffins took about 15 minutes less time than the loaf.  The muffins looked burnt and I was almost disappointed until tasting them.  Must be the coconut that just gets dark.  Made a wonderful breakfast and snack type meal!  Tip: Make sure to wring your zucchini to get all the water out! 

*Cheesecake Fudge.  This was tasty and very rich.  I did use Hershey's Sugar Free Chips for this recipe.  If you have a sensitivity to malitol then you should use some skinny chocolate or a couple Chocoperfection or Lily bars!  From the original recipe I added a few tablespoons of my homemade sweet blend.  I had a friend tell me that this got better with age, in the frig!  Stevia is weird like that! 

*Cauliflower Poppers.  These are so darn good!  I highly recommend them!  I didn't bother with the cheese sauce.  Trying to watch my calories so I just did a small bowl of marinara.  From the original recipe I really didn't bother with the Joseph's Pita breadcrumbs.  It was a step I risked skipping and it worked out.  No need for the added carbs and they turned out great!  I think that Nutritional Yeast Flakes would be great in this, too!

[Middle row, starting from the left]

*Yellow Quiona and Black Beans.  Nope!  I didn't forget to add a link.  It's just a big 'ole hodge podge, made up, meal.  You can do it, tho!  I took a very simple 'yellow rice and beans' recipe and just added quiona instead.  I added some sautéed onions and broiled asparagus to the mix.  With E meals, I personally think spice is your best friend cause 'fat' wasn't invited to the party!  You really gotta ramp up your spice quantity.  It's key to making a starch and low fat protein feel satisfying (all while being energizing).  My tips: I tend to add twice as much spices to a dish like this.  If it calls for 1 tsp of garlic powder and paprika, I add 2.  Use chicken broth instead of water to cook your starches in (quiona, rice, etc...)  Shaving fresh garlic over a microplane, into a dish, really gives it flavor.  (Thank Rachel Ray for that tip :)

*Upside Down Apple Cake.  This was created by a very creative Trim Healthy Mama.  The Trim Healthy Pancakes ARE my favorite recipe in the whole darn book!  I wish I had a link for the recipe but it's real easy!  Cook down 6 apples (don't you peel them, nutrients and fiber on the peel) and add your flavor like vanilla, sweetener with a little water.  Pour, strained, apples in a casserole dish.  Make a double serving of the THM pancakes from the book and pour on top! I made mine flavored with pumpkin pie spice.  Bake at 350 for 30 min.  Top with sweetened Greek yogurt.
Tip: I had a lot of flavored water left over from apples.  I hate to waste, so I put that water in the blender with some almond milk, sweetener, glucci, protein, ice and more pumpkin pie spice and made an (E)Apple Spiced Protein FSF!

Feta Meatballs.  Oh my...any recipe has me at "feta"!  Love that stuff!  These were very satisfying and husband approved!  Meatballs used to scary me when I first started cooking meat a few years ago.  I was a vegetarian for 22 years.  Dunno why, but things like meatballs just seemed intimidated.  The way I cook them may seem unorthodox, but it make them flavorful for sure.  My tips: replace the sundried tomatoes with pimentos to stay 'on plan'.  Half way cook your meatballs in a sautéed pan with some coconut oil.  No need to worry about cooking thru, just get the outside nice and dark.  Add all your meatballs to a cookie pan and finish cooking in the oven.  Just plain baking doesn't give them this crispy exterior and the seared outside locks in juices.  I served this with cauliflower simmered in some chicken broth, tomato sauce, basil, lemon juice and s&p. 

[Bottom row, starting from guessed it...left]

Omelet. This is 2 eggs with sautéed kale, portobellos, and swiss cheese.  Did you know Swiss Cheese has the most protein of cheeses!  I love the baby thin sliced!  I feel sorry for eggs as they got a bad rap for years!  Eggs are my go-to for little ones that are hungry and hate what I fixed for dinner.  Eggs are one of those unique foods that can be eaten at any meal or snack and has many forms.  I wanna do that skit from Forrest Gump and replace the shrimp with eggs...."scrambled eggs, hard boiled, poached, egg salad, fried, sunny side up, omelets...."

Whole Roasted Chicken. You can imagine as a reformed vegetarian, if meatballs were intimidating then you must know that a whole chicken used to be just plain frightening.  I am still a little squeamish in touching it, but boy do I love the crispy skin and flavorful juicy meat.  Every wife should know how to roast a whole bird.  It's mandatory!   Going to the deli of a supermarket doesn't count!  Click on the whole roasted chicken link to get the scoop on how to make the skin crispy.  I usually use a mixed seasoning like Mrs Dash or that one from Trader Joes.  Again, I always add more spices than called for.  I served this with Mashed Cauliflower. 

I have saved the weirdest for last.  I love Maria's creations.  She makes me feel like a food scientist.  These are dreamy!  It took me awhile to gear up to making these.  The ingredient list didn't compute.  But, after reading the last E-Zine from Serene about Gelatin and it's healing power as a natural botox for fine lines and even diastisis... I decided to try!  I have only experienced with lemon juice but got some flavored teas yesterday and gonna give try those!  I'm sorry they look like soap.  Maybe I will post some updated pictures with the tea flavored ones!  My tip:  Try something new!  You just never know....

~ Happy Cooking ~

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