Monday, April 29, 2013

Meal Plan: 4/29 - 5/5

Mexican Monday: barbacoa beef
Oriental Tuesday: Hawaiian haystacks
Twisted Wednesday: kielbasa stew
Authentic Thursday: bruschetta pasta
TGIFriday: tuna melts
Super Saturday: DATE NIGHT
Special Sunday: food storage meal, TBD

Upcoming recipe: roasted veggie quinoa.  So good!  *B

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tuna Marinara

Ever since we wrapped up our 72 hour kits, I've had food storage on the brain.  I've put together 7 weeks' worth of meals, and I'm now in the process of converting some family favorites into food-storage-friendly recipes.  This recipe was the first one I experimented with, and it is was a HUGE success!  I got the basic recipe from my friend, and I've tweaked it to our tastes/preferences...


  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 2 (7 oz) cans of tuna, drained
  • 1 T. Italian seasoning
  • 1 T. basil
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • salt, to taste
  • 5 (14.5 oz) cans of stewed tomatoes, Italian style
  • 1 can black olives, drained & chopped
  • 1 T. beef bouillon
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1 generous handful flat-leaf parsley, minced
  1. In a large pot, bring olive oil to a simmer.  Add seasonings, tuna, and garlic and return to a simmer.  Cook until garlic is tender, stirring occasionally (careful not to burn garlic).
  2. Add stewed tomatoes, olives, bouillon and brown sugar; stir well.  Remove from heat and transfer to crockpot.
  3. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Add flat-leaf parsley to pot and stir well.  Serve over prepared pasta.
Ok, here's the deal.  I realize how scary tuna marinara might sound.  Let me just say that we are not a tuna family, and everyone loved this!  Seriously, me and the hub were eating the sauce straight from the pot with a spoon.  That's how you know it's good.  *B

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

frozen yogurt

We keep our yogurt frozen because our fridge is usually too full and there's no room left...  We also limit our daily dairy intake, so I like to freeze our yogurt as a type of longer term food storage.  But practical reasons aside, my kids love it frozen as a special treat.

I know a lot of people who indulge in a bowl of ice-cream before bed.  If that works for you, great!  But if you're watching what you eat and are looking for healthier alternatives, try frozen yogurt.  I'm not talking about a carton of frozen yogurt, found in the frozen foods isle next to the ice-cream.  I'm talking about single serving yogurt cartons, popped in the freezer.  It'll  help curb your cravings, and your waistline ;)  Especially if you're the type that struggles with "just one more bite"...  *B

Monday, April 22, 2013

Meal Plan: 4/22 - 4/28

Mexican Monday: southwest chicken w/ rice
Oriental Tuesday: cherry-pom habanero salmon w/ roasted veggie quinoa
Twisted Wednesday: Normandy baked potatoes w/ "cheese" sauce
Authentic Thursday: minestrone soup
TGIFriday: BBQ chicken pizza
Super Saturday: DATE NIGHT
Special Sunday: Coq Sans Vin w/ rosemary potatoes & green beans

Upcoming recipe: tuna marinara.  Don't worry, it tastes better than it sounds!  I promise.  *B

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Crockpot Teriyaki

Not much to say here, except that this recipe is easy peasy (as my son would say) and tasty, too!  Complete with no complaints from the kids, only compliments ;)

  • 2 T. coconut oil
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 1/2  c. + 2 T. brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 6 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 t. ground ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • handful of baby carrots, quartered
  • handful of fresh snap peas, ends trimmed
  • 1 can of sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 handful of cabbage/lettuce, chopped
  • 4 1/2 t. cornstarch
  • 4 1/2 t. cold water
  1. Preheat crockpot on high.  Add coconut oil to crockpot and let it melt.
  2. Combine sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic and pepper until well combined.
  3. Place chicken in crockpot.  Pour soy sauce mixture over chicken.  Place vegetables on top.  Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or until simmering.
  4. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1-2 hours longer.
  5. Remove chicken and veggies from crockpot and set aside.  Combine cornstarch and water in small bowl and set aside.
  6. Pour sauce contents from crockpot into a saucepan and bring to boil.  Add cornstarch mixture and stir until thickened.
  7. Serve with brown rice.  Enjoy!
Feel free to omit the veggies from the crock and cook up your own assortment as a side dish.  Leftover chicken would make for a great Asian salad, or even lettuce wraps!  *B

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

72 hr kit (food)

We have always lived in small spaces (apartments/condos), so I've never been able to build up what I believe to be a proper food storage.  But, this past weekend we finally assembled our 72 hr. kits!  It feels nice to be somewhat prepared...  And I'm quite pleased with how balanced these kits turned out. 

Each item is individually sealed in a wrapper.  We bought most of our food in multi-packs, to add variety.  Even though you're eating oatmeal every day, at least you can choose from three different flavors...  Also included in each container (but not shown) is a GI P-38 Can Opener and some honey sticks.  The kids have fruit tea in their kits, and I've considered buying some formula packets for the baby's kit.

[day 1]
[day 2]
[day 3]


Assembly Date: _____________
Rotation Date: ______________
Day 1
     B: oatmeal, peanut butter & hot cocoa
     L: beef jerky, granola bar, trail mix & Emergen-C
     D: soup, crackers, fruit leather & tea
     S: sucker, chocolate
     Nutrition Facts: 1677 calories, 204g carbs, 55g protein, 75g fat, 13g fiber
Day 2
     B: oatmeal, peanut butter & hot cocoa
     L: soup, crackers, fruit leather & Emergen-C
     D: chili, applesauce & tea
     S: sucker, chocolate
     Nutrition Facts: 1677 calories, 216g carbs, 66g protein, 61g fat, 21g fiber
Day 3
     B: oatmeal, peanut butter & hot cocoa
     L: beef jerky, granola bar, trail mix & Emergen-C
     D: chicken, crackers, fruit leather & tea
     S: sucker, chocolate
     Nutrition Facts: 1672 calories, 176g carbs, 93g protein, 72g fat, 13g fiber

While I realize the baby only needs 1,000 calories a day, I am also aware of the fact that my husband might want more than 1,600 calories.  And I really wish I could cram some more fiber in there; I guess I'll just have to keep tweaking!  Each kit requires about 18 cups of water for food prep.  According to FEMA, each person needs 2 liters of water per day.  I'd like to buy a water bottle filter for every family member, too.  Maybe some water purification tablets...  But for now, I think these kits are a good starting point and will serve us well :)

I remember watching other people make their own kits, but they were full of food no one ever eats (Vienna sausages, anyone)!  Or they were full of processed junk, devoid of anything but empty calories.  I've also seen a lot of commercially prepared kits, but I prefer to make my own and personalize it according to our dietary needs/preferences.  I tried my best to make them as nutrient dense as possible; all while fitting inside a single, portable container.  And these kits are full of foods that we typically eat; foods that we'll certainly eat in emergency situations, and foods that we'll gladly eat in six months when it's time to rotate.  *B

Monday, April 08, 2013

Meal Plan: 4/8 - 4/14

Mexican Monday: tortilla soup
Oriental Tuesday: crockpot teriyaki chicken
Twisted Wednesday: ginger-citrus braised chicken w/ roasted vegetable quinoa
Authentic Thursday: angel hair pasta w/ balsamic glazed chicken sausage & toasted walnuts
TGIFriday: tomato soup w/ tuna melts
Super Saturday: DATE NIGHT
Special Sunday: TBD

Upcoming recipe: crockpot teriyaki chicken.  Also, I'd like to share my 72 hr food kit with all y'all...  So stay tuned!  *B

Friday, April 05, 2013

Steve's Doughnuts

I'm not a huge fan of sweets (I can honestly do without), but sometimes an itch needs to be scratched ;)  I recently discovered a local doughnut shop, and have feasted on some of the best doughnuts I've ever had!  So for those of you who happen to live nearby, check out Steve's Doughnuts.  For everyone else, feel free to visit me and I'll treat you and your tastebuds to some serious deliciousness!  And if it makes you feel better, I'll make you a green drink, too.  *B

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Steak a la Awesome

Many of you might already know that I'm not a huge fan of meat...  And typically, I would choose a grilled portobello mushroom over a filet mignon on most days.  But, I might reconsider if this steak is on the menu!

Adapted from Whit's Amuse Bouche

  • 1/2 stick of butter, softened
  • 1/2 t. no salt herb seasoning
  • two 8oz filet mignons (1.5" thickness)
  • 2 strips of microwave bacon (opt)
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. coconut oil
  • 1 t. salt, divided (see below)
  • 1 t. black pepper, divided (see below)
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 capful balsamic vinegar
  1. Prepare herbed butter: mix together 1/2 stick of softened butter and 1/2 t. no salt seasoning until well combined.  Spoon butter into silicone molds, or use plastic wrap to create a tube of herbed butter.  Place in freezer.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat a well-seasoned cast iron grill pan over high heat on the stove top (my dial is usually turned to an 8).
  3. While pan heats up, wrap the filets' periphery with bacon; secure with toothpicks.  Add 1/4 t. salt and a 1/4 t. pepper per side (top/bottom) and rub in.
  4. Add coconut oil and butter to hot pan.  Just before the pan starts to smoke, sear filets on one side for 2 minutes.  Carefully flip and sear for another two minutes on the other side.
  5. While searing your steaks, prepare balsamic mushrooms: Heat another pan over medium heat.  Add 1/2 stick of butter.  Just as butter starts to brown, add sliced mushrooms.  Cook for 10 minutes before adding balsamic vinegar.  Cook another minute or two, then remove from heat.
  6. Remove grill pan from heat and flip steaks once more before placing inside oven.  Cook for 8-10 minutes in 400 degree oven.
  7. Remove grill pan from oven.  Remove steaks and set aside; allow to rest for a few minutes.
  8. Remove herbed butter from feezer.  Slice into pats (about 1 cm thick).
  9. Serve steak with a pat of butter and a side of mushrooms.  Enjoy!
Depending on how thick your steaks are, and how well you like your meat cooked, the time really can vary.  I used to like my steaks well done, until I realized how amazing a medium rare steak tastes!  So for me, 8 or 9 minutes is perfect.  I realize there's a lot of butter in this dish, and I've ultimately come to grips with it.  We certainly don't eat this every day, or even once a week.  This meal is definitely rich, so we save it for special occasions.  Pair it with something green: grilled asparagus, broccoli, green beans, collard greens, or a fresh side salad.  And if you really want to feel fancy, pour yourself a nice glass of sparkling blood orange.  Go ahead, live a little!  *B

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

flour blend (wheat)

I know I've talked about flour blends before, but I figured it deserved its own post...  Before we went gluten free, I frequently used this flour blend to get the most out of my baked goods.  This blend keeps your muffins and breads from being too heavy, while keeping them nutrient dense.
  • 1 part whole wheat flour
  • 1 part unbleached white flour
  • 1 part wheat germ
I never got around to experimenting with pastry flour, or bread flour, but these three ingredients are easy to find at your typical grocery store.  I mix it all together in a container and keep it in the fridge, to keep the flours fresh and free from bugs and to keep the wheat germ from going rancid.

This blend really helps with transitioning from simple to complex carbs, leading to an overall improvement in your diet!  *B

Monday, April 01, 2013

Meal Plan: 4/1 - 4/7

Mexican Monday: fish tacos
Oriental Tuesday: wanton soup
Twisted Wednesday: skillet hash
Authentic Thursday: avocado pesto w/ grilled veggies
TGIFriday: chili toast
Super Saturday: DATE NIGHT
Special Sunday: baked chicken w/ garlic roasted asparagus

Upcoming recipe: the perfect filet mignon, with a side of balsamic mushrooms.  Apparently I'm really into balsamic vinegar right now...  But seriously, the steak is amazing!  *B