Monday, February 13, 2017

What We're Eating This Week

As promised, here is this week's edition of, "What we're eating this week."  First, I want to share one of my favorite granola recipes:  peanut butter cup granola.  This is our go to for breakfast.  We usually eat it and some fruit. It is so good, that it feels like you are eating something very indulgent.  This doesn't last long at our house, so I double the recipe each time I make it.  It is quick and easy to make though.  I originally found this recipe on the "My Whole Food Life" blog, but I believe she removed it from her blog so she could include it in her cookbook.  Here you go:

Peanut Butter Cup Granola---THE BEST
3 cups rolled oats (or replace ½ cup with seeds, etc.) (I usually double the recipe and do 5 cups of oats and 1 cup of sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds or 5.5 cups of oats and .5 cup of seeds)
1/2 cup peanut butter (make sure the only ingredient in your peanut butter is peanuts or peanuts and salt, otherwise you will be consuming a lot of hidden sugar. Just read the ingredient label to find out. I just grind my own at HEB)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 T cocoa powder
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp  ground vanilla beans (I just use real vanilla extract)
2 T milk (you can use almond milk or whatever milk you like)

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
In a small sauce pan, heat up the peanut butter, milk, maple syrup and applesauce on med. heat until the peanut butter has melted.
Add the wet to dry.
Spread mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes.
Pull the baking sheet out and move the granola around a bit.
Place back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
Serve with milk or sprinkle over plain yogurt. I actually just eat it plain and dry and LOVE it!  If you are feeling extra feisty, you can sprinkle a few chocolate chips in, but I never have because I like it as is.

Here is this week's dinner plan:

Monday:  Jessi's Chicken Tortilla Soup.  I love recipes that begins with the names of one of my friends.  :-)  You know those recipes are the best!  My friend Jessi brought this soup a couple of time to our family when I was going through chemotherapy treatment.  Of course I asked her for the recipe, because it is amazing!  And, there are always plenty for leftovers the next day.

Jessi's Chicken Tortilla Soup
For this recipe, a lot of things are optional – like how many vegetables you want included vs amount of chicken, it’s pretty difficult to mess it up.  Just be sure if you choose all the larger quantities that you have enough of the spices – it’s easy to add those to taste.  I usually just work with whatever I have in my pantry or fridge! I also freeze it and heat it up when I need a quick meal.
  • Heat large stock pot over medium/medium low heat with olive oil or 2 tbsp butter
  • Add 1 large can or 2 small cans chopped green chilies
  • Add ¼ to ½ of small onion, chopped
  • Add about 1 lb of chicken breasts or tenders, cubed and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • Add chopped bell peppers of choice - green, red and/or yellow
  • Continue stirring mixture
  • Add 1-2 cups of organic corn
  • Add 1-2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed (if you are lazy, Ok to just keep in liquid too)
  • Add 1 large can diced tomatoes (about 24 oz size can)
  • Possible spices to add before adding chicken stock: 1.2 cup chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon of cumin, 1 chopped jalapeno or Serrano pepper, 2 tablespoon chili powder, freshly chopped garlic, a dash of cayenne pepper for heat ...or more to taste! ·
  • Add 1 quart of chicken stock
  • Cover and bring soup to a boil
  • After boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken meats desired taste and texture (can be as little as 20 minutes or as much as throughout the day)
  • To serve: Crack tortilla chips, shredded cheddar and/or Monterrey jack cheese, chopped avocado, squeezed lime juice...all to taste!

Tuesday:  Leftovers: which is perfect for Valentine's day--it means less time in the kitchen for me and less cleanup, which equals more time with loved ones.   Our Valentine's Date will be on Friday night this year.  :-)

Chopped Thai Salad with Sesame Garlic Dressing: SO GOOD! A rainbow of power veggies with a flavorful homemade dressing. 390 calories. |

Wednesday:  Thai Chopped Salad

Chopped Thai Salad with Sesame Garlic Dressing

Author: Pinch of Yum
Serves: 6
For the dressing:
  • ⅓ cup canola oil (We replace this with olive oil. We don't use canola oil for lots of reasons that you can read about here:
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste (I just use fresh ginger)
  • a squeeze of lime juice
For the salad:
  • 16 ounces frozen shelled edamame (you will want to use organic edamame to avoid GMO's which are non-organic soy products).  If you don't like edamame, we have also used peas instead or beans.
  • 5-6 cups baby kale(or any greens you want)
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow)
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3 green onions
  • ¾ cup cashews (if you can find them, Trader Joe's Thai Lime and Chili Cashews are the bomb)
  1. Puree all the dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust to fit your preferences. Transfer to a dressing jar and rinse the food processor out for use later.
  2. Cook the edamame by boiling it for 3-5 minutes in a pot of boiling water. Drain and allow it to cool. Meanwhile, slice up the kale, carrots, peppers, cilantro leaves, and green onions into thin strips or shreds.
  3. Place the cooked edamame in the food processor and pulse 5 times to get a minced texture. Transfer to a bowl and repeat the same process for the cashews. Toss the kale, carrots, peppers, cilantro, green onions, edamame, and cashews together until well combined. Drizzle with the dressing, toss gently a few times, and serve immediately.
Notes:  The salad will stay fresh longer if you store the dressing separately from the salad ingredients, tossing them together just before serving.

Those 3 cloves of garlic pack a spicy garlicky punch, so if you don't love garlic, use less.

Thursday:  Leftovers:  I may also make one pot garlic parmesan noodles to go along with it.   It is basically like a delicious, quick and easy macaroni and cheese. This isn't something we make all the time, but is a "sepcial treat" for the kids.  We make sure to use good quality noodles, like spelt or whole wheat, or even a gluten free option like quinoa noodles. Recipe found here:

Friday:  Our Valentine's Date:   dinner out!

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