Saturday, April 19, 2014

Menu Plan Monday 4/21/14

The dairy free diet continues and I've noticed that I'm benefiting in a some significant ways.  My skin is clearing up and is smoother all around.  I've also noticed that I don't have any stomach bloating and my reflux has pretty much disappeared.  With all of these benefits, I can also say that I seriously miss cheese :( 
However, each day gets easier and I'm surprised at the will power that I have exhibited.  I think in my mind when I started this change, that I wasn't fully committed in that I left the option open, that if it was too hard, I would just eat a little bit.  I've only cheated one time and that was because I failed to plan.  I also paid for it in droves the next day which was impetus enough to keep me on the straight and narrow.
Enough about me already.  Here's our plan for the week and hopefully we will actually eat what we planned this go around.
Be blessed.

Easter Dinner with Family
To Do:  Put the baskets together for the kids, chop peppers and onions, clean out frig and freezer, put chicken stock in the frig,

Black Bean Burgers
Sliced Avocado
Pasta Salad
{Has to be an easy night, I'm working late}
To Do:  Nothing, I won't be home.

Chili Dogs
{Didn't make last week}
Ramen Noodles with Veggies and Chicken
To Do:  Put chicken, and pasta in frig.

{Didn't make last week}
Garlic Bread
To Do:  Put pork chops in the frig.

Grilled Pork Chops
Green Beans or Steamed Broccoli
To Do:  Nothing, I've given up cooking on Fridays


This week is super simple and fairly boring as far as variety and creativity but it will keep me on the path that I have chosen for right now.  

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Dairy Woes

I miss cheese and butter and cream, but mainly cheese.
That's all

Beef Tips Review

These tasty morsels were not on my menu this week, but when I was doing my weekly shopping at Aldi, sirloin roast was the sale of the day.  I brought the roast home and made my own beef "tips".  I browned the seasoned beef in olive oil then cooked some fresh mushrooms in the drippings.  I de glazed the pan with red wine and poured the whole shoot and shebang in to my 4 quart crock pot.  Just before stirring, I stirred in some sour cream (dairy free).  We ate the tips over noodles and had green peas on the side.  The roast was just over two pounds, so leftovers are in order.  There might be a fight for who gets them though :o)

Beef Tips
1 2lb Sirloin Roast
1 8oz package of fresh mushrooms
1 pkg gravy mix (your choice on flavoring)
Seasoned Salt
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
1/2 cup Red Wine (or more depending on size of pan)
Olive Oil
Cooked noodles or hot rice

Cut beef in to cubes.  Brown cubes in olive oil until good carmelization occurs, remove from pan and place in your crock.  Place sliced mushrooms in the same pan and cook until browning occurs, remove from pan and place with the beef.  Deglaze pan with red wine and allow to come to a boil. You could easily substitute chicken stock or water if you don't have any red wine or prefer not to use alcohol.  Pour the bits and wine over the tips and mushrooms.  Pour the package of gravy mix over the tips and stir the ingredients together.  At this point, I decided to add about 1/4 cup of water so there would be enough gravy to pour over the meat and noodles.  Cook on low for 8-10 hrs.  Serve over noodles or rice as desired.

Voila, easy dinner that I don't have to think about until I boil the noodles after work!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pantry Reorganize

I ordered some things from Amazon on Monday after I opened my pantry and things literally fell out. Sometimes, I'm really messy.....
Have a look at the kind of Before picture.  I had already taken out items from one of the shelves that I wanted to organize.  Truly, I border on being a food hoarder.

Well actually these are all of the items that came from just ONE shelf.  Wow!

I used these to expand the amount of room on each shelf and allow me to actually see what is in the cabinet instead of reaching in and having things fall out.  They expand to 24 inches.  I thought I was in trouble when the legs of the shelving kept slipping through the spaces in the wire shelving but I used a little ingenuity and came up with a fantastic solution.  I quickly measured the width and length of the existing shelves and then used the shipping box to place under the new expandable ones.  I cut the box to the correct size and it worked like a charm.

Now, the After 

So much better!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Menu Plan Monday 4/14/14

I'm thinking that this date is going to be lucky.  Woohoo, I'm buying a Lotto ticket.  Growing up all of our important numbers contained 4's. Our house and street numbers, our telephone numbers, our alarm code, our automatic door lock, and any other information that was vital for our family.  My parents did this to help them remember what the passwords were and it has followed me in to adulthood.  So.....over the years we've come to think of 4's as a sort of talisman/good luck charm and today is filled with 'em.  With that tidbit shared I'm on to the menu for this week. By the way if I win the lottery, I'm on an extended vacation immediately....just sayin'.

Have a great week and yes, I'm still dairy free!

stovetop cheesy broccoli rice with ham recipe
using daiya cheese
Fresh Bread
To Do:  Make enchilada sauce, chop fruit and veggies for the week, roast chicken and package for freezer, make pork or set up crock pot for tenderloin, make dressing

Olive Oil Couscous
Fordhook Limas
To Do:  Put chicken in frig for defrost


Thai Chicken Satay Noodle Salad with Creamy Coconut Peanut Dressing | The perfect salad for every occasion via Club Narwhal
Thai Chicken Satay Salad
If not the salad, will make jasmine rice to go with the chicken.
To Do:  Nothing, off tomorrow.


Chicken Enchilada Pasta
with Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce
using almond or soy milk
Green Veggie
To Do:  Put hot dogs in frig


Chili Dogs
Tater Tots
To Do:  Nothing tomorrow is Friday :)


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Saturday, April 12, 2014

What We Did This Week

I had a creative and fun week....I need so many more of these.

First I decided to paint the mailbox....mine looked something like this picture although faded and with numerous sticker from the previous owners.  You are gonna have to use your imagination because I forgot to take the before picture.

 I painted the outside and replaced the numbers and added some decorations to satisfy my aesthetic.  Here is the result even though the pictures aren't too good.  I couldn't seem to get the light right.

You can tell that the mailbox was old by the pink not red flag on the side.  I actually might get some pink paint to spruce that up too. Isn't the result so cute??  Oooh Aaah, lol

After that I hung this wooden sign on my front door for the spring season.  It caught my fancy in Hobby Lobby while shopping for poster supplies with my Boy #2 (story to follow).

And finally, I made this poster, after receiving a lot of direction from said Boy #2 because he was using it as a prop to ask his friend to go to the prom.  Keep in mind that this was completely his idea and I was just the facilitator (along with a couple of other people) of the plan.  His grand scheme was to surprise his girl by re-enacting the wrecking ball video by Miley Cyrus because.....that is her favorite artist.  So he enlisted his Grandfather to help him get a tire (to mimic the ball), called his friend's Mom to ensure it was okay to hang a rope swing from one of her oak trees, got me to make the poster because in his own words "his handwriting is atrocious", and borrowed a shirt from a friend with Miley Cyrus picture on the front from the Bangerz tour.  I'd say he orchestrated everything perfectly.  Oh and I forgot to mention he wrote a poem of sorts for me to put on the poster.  After all of his (and our) hard work, she said yes....thank the Lord!

Now we have to put all of his prom "plans" in motion.  Who knows what's in store??

As far as food goes, we ate really well and on my part dairy free.  Even though Boy #2 initially started this journey with me, he's only truly dairy free when I cook.  That's perfectly fine with me since he's willing to eat just about anything I make.

We ate Grilled Chicken, Black Beans and Corn with Red Peppers, and Pesto Couscous
We also had Bacon and Avocado Burgers with Roasted Potato Wedges, Beef Roast, and
Crab legs, Sauteed Shrimp, along with Tilapia  They were all great but I didn't take any photos :(

I discovered coconut butter.  It's really tasty and very rich...a little goes a long way.  The fat content makes this satisfying and filling.  I also found a yogurt that fulfills my lunch time need.

That's it for our week.  How 'bout yours?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Coconut Yogurt vs Almond Yogurt Review

I'm doing this non dairy thing, right?  And the one thing I haven't told ya is that I'm in love with regular whole milk greek yogurt....but, I haven't eaten any in one solid week.  No big deal since I'm only in the infancy of my diet change although I knew I needed to find a substitute that I can live with to keep me from falling off the wagon..  This led to taste testing some different brands that were available in my tiny health food store that is local.  I tried an almond milk based brand and a coconut milk based brand.

 Almond Milk 
The texture was quite thick and paste like and the flavor caused my jaw to contract as if I'd eaten twenty lemons at once (I only drink lemon water so that wasn't the issue).  In my head I was busy formulating ways to get over the fact that lunch is not complete without a yogurt product and the wheels were already turning to find some suitable substitute.  I had decided to purchase vanilla or plain versions so I would be able to really confirm or deny my like/love/hate for these products.  So vanilla it was for the almond.

Coconut Milk
With some trepidation, I tried the coconut.  The texture of this one was similar to the almond but the taste was much more palatable even though there wasn't any flavor added.  After one bite I made a take out container for my lunch the next day.
Coconut Greek Style Plain with Homemade Strawberries, Jam, and Flax Seed
I used half of the plain carton with a teaspoon of homemade strawberry jam, 1/2 cup fresh strawberries and topped it off with 1/2 teaspoon of flax seeds.  I'm in love with this.  The only negative as far as I'm concerned is the fact that I have to layer this myself instead of grabbing a pre made container out of the frig.  I'm saving calories as half of the carton is only about 65 and my usual greek yogurt contained from 150-170 per carton. I'm not feeling deprived and that's a good thing.  I may have had a bad experience with the first flavor and I'm certain I will try some other types and flavors when I have the opportunity to make it to the neighboring town for a more varied selection.

For this challenge, coconut rules.....almond drools.  I'm such a geek, lol